The author waffles about MSX – part 3

Debunking De debunking “The author waffles about MSX – part 2”

This is a demo of the very thing which made me give up trying to program on the Commodore 64. In other words, it’s two sprites colliding, then bouncing off each other in different directions. The C64 group leader of my computer club told me “Oh, that would be VERY difficult!” He was much older than me, very experienced and I thought he may have been using computers for years before the home computer boom.

There are so many things wrong with this anecdote that it’s hard to know where to start… we can’t even assume that this “C64 group leader” was equipped to properly answer the question in the first place of course, but there’s also the distinct possibility that the author failed to adequately communicate what he was trying to achieve, something we can see he struggles with frequently just by reading his blog.

Actually having the objects bounce in a realistic manner (and we can’t assume that the “C64 group leader” didn’t interpret the question in this way since we’re only getting the author’s biased side of the story) would indeed be difficult and the MSX2 program offered up by the author doesn’t go into that territory at all.

I’d love to see a program in C64 BASIC V2 with an accompanying video from TMR or any C64 fanatic showing the same thing being done. I doubt they’ll do one. I think this proves conclusively that the Commodore 64 is crap!!

The lack of anybody picking the author’s gauntlet up won’t demonstrate anything about the C64 but the tortured “logic” used here demonstrates a truly ridiculous level of arrogance on the author’s part. As noted previously, your correspondent isn’t here to entertain the author so won’t be providing a BASIC program but the method used by the author is so ham-fisted it wouldn’t be worth replicating anyway.

In the cases of the Amstrad CPC and the Atari 8 bit, at least those computers had dialects of BASIC which supported their hardware and they were both more colourful than the Commodore 64.

The author previously described C64 graphics as “blocky” and your correspondent pointed out that Amstrad CPC and Atari 8-bit fans liked their 2:1 ratio pixel modes as well. Palettes or BASIC dialects are irrelevant to that preference since the majority of both user bases weren’t programmers.

Of course, MSX2 was released in 1985, following on and maintaining compatibility with the original MSX, released less than a year after the C64. The fact that an 8 bit Z80 based computer could display graphics better than the Atari ST and nearly as good as the Amiga was astounding!

So the author feels that it was “astounding” that a machine released in the same year as the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga had similar graphical abilities as those machines; it’s no more “astounding” than two of any product released in the same year having similar specifications.

There was also the fact that there was such a thing as an MSX2 upgrade cartridge, as well as some MSX users upgrading their computers to the MSX2 standard by fitting the Yamaha 9938 graphics chip, a RAM upgrade, and an MSX2 sub ROM. There was no such upgrade available from Commodore for the C64.

The author has previously written off cartridge-based expansions when they were for the C64 so he’s being a massive hypocrite here once more. And there’s no equivalent upgrade because the C64 hardware remained the same for its entire commercial lifespan.

The sound and music hardware and software in question is similar to my old CX5M computer, so I already know what to expect.

The author is merely making assumptions here and “similar” doesn’t automatically equate to “the same” or “better”. Your correspondent can go down the same route and, due to previous experience with the author’s writings, assumes that regardless of the actual quality of the hardware or software the author will shower it with superlatives.

We’re talking here about TMR’s obsessive hatred of flowcharts to plan programs. Rodnay Zaks, the master of Assembly Language/Machine Code on several processors, has said this is wrong, so he should know. The fact that none of the programmers at one particular software house used flowcharts doesn’t prove anything.

And the fact that one author reckons they’re a good idea proves nothing as well, that was the entire reason for offering a counter example or in this case several since we’re talking about multiple programmers.

As for your correspondent’s“obsessive hatred” of flowcharts, it’s nothing of the sort and he finds the accusation exceptionally funny from someone who has been holding an obsessional, childlike grudge against a home computer for over thirty years.

The Electric Adventures programming course on YouTube has got off to a very slow start. I’m still not sure how they’ll teach programming.

And yet the author was making predictions about how the “final stage could blow your mind”.

The next installment has appeared at Electric Adventures and covers “setting up a free text editor and Z80 assembler” so is indeed skipping over BASIC entirely; that means the author’s previous claim that “people couldn’t just dive into Assembler/Machine Code programming without learning to program in some other language first of all” has been countered by one of his own sources. How embarrassing for the author!

In the first two episodes, all Tony Cruise has done is install and demonstrate the use of a sprite editor and an MSX emulator, both running on Windows. He claimed this was to make things as easy as possible.

Cross development is how most 8-bit coders now work because it is indeed easier and the roots of cross development on home computers date back to the 1970s.

Of course, it doersn’t matter that Metal Gear was eventually released on the C64. All that matters is that this was using its by then roughly seven year old VIC-II graphics chip, in the usual blocky 160×200 mode with only 4 colours in each 8×8 character cell. A quick search online reveals something that doesn’t even look like the same game.

Of course it does matter when the point being made is that the author had failed to do his research properly once more. The author’s absence over the Christmas period has done absolutely nothing to improve his comprehension it seems…

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