ZX Spin 0.3 Released

edited September 2002 in Emulators
Standard Cut'n'Paste from CSS post again!

I can't get to my webpage, so I've uploaded SPIN0.3 to WOS, Alt.Binaries.Comp.Sinclair, and also Daren Pearcy has kindly consented to host SPIN for the time being! His URL is:

http://darenp.co.uk/speccy/


Currah uSpeech didn't make it to this release - Woody's working on it, but
with no documentation or info on the beast, it's not easy :) There should be
a release soon with it in, but we're not happy with it yet, so we decided to
leave it out. As for me, TZX->WAV conversion will also be along soon too. In
the meantime...

So, just quickly, here's a list of new Stuff in this release:

V0.3 - Rewrite

Emulation/Environment:

Rewritten a sigificantly large portion of the emulation engine. Should be
way more stable than before, but probably a lot of bugs to iron out. Also
makes updates a lot easier.
Folder locations bug in Snapshots folder.
Bugs in the Binary Files dialog fixed
Added Fuller Joystick support
Added CSW association - it *is* a speccy format after all.
Fixed a small bug which could kill some machines when Fullscreen was
activated
Fixed auto-associate on startup.
Fixed an \"Emulate Memory Contention\" bug
Added Magnum Lightgun support
Added 48k Keyboard helper - it's in the Help menu - which can be useful when
programming BASIC in 48k Mode, and has a command finder which displays the
correct keypresses for keywords and functions, and a Quick BASIC helper
which can alleviate the tedium of typing in all those long listings :)
Various fixes to the speed (TZX Files should speedload a touch faster) and
the graphics are more reliable now.
Better handling of zip files (they don't set the last visited folder to the
temp folder) and MRU items don't set them either.
Added an FPS counter - click it to get % emulation speed, and click again to
go back to FPS.
Fixed a bug concerning the speed of the emulation when muted sound was
chosen in conjunction with the autothrottle.
SPIN Now saves the positions of all its' windows, not just the main window.
Added Support for external ROM files - install them to the ROMs folder and
then select them into the appropriate hardware in the Options window.
Thanks to Steve Snake (Author of Klive) Losing Victoria now runs in the same
manner as the real 128k Spectrum (and the same as Klive does), ie - by
losing synch in the endpart. Thanks Steve!

RZX Recording/Playback:

Added RZX files to the list of Associated filetypes
RZX handling now brought further into line with RamSoft's spec.
RZX now has compressed snapshot block support, and compressed IRB support.
At last :)

Tapes/Disk Support:

Better handling of Tape flashloading.
Added CSW/WAV recording (MIC output)
Added TZX/TAP saves (ROM trap method).
Added Fuller Box AY Support.
Added a new tape/disk opening method - hold down shift if you want to
override the auto tape/disk loader, and opt *not* to load them when they
open.
Fixed another bug in Flashloading that caused some tapes to skip around.
Speedups to the tapes - reworked to take advantage of Delphi's optimiser.
Altered the behaviour of the Autoload - tapes automatically play under
autoload.
Added an option to hold down CTRL to load tapes in Usr0 mode... Hi Jon! :)
Added TZX Direct Recording Block recording support.
Added a *Basic* TZX editor - you can rearrage/delete/duplicate blocks, and
edit their properties.
Added MRU List for tapes in the Tape Browser

Thanks,
Dunny.
Post edited by Dunny on

Comments

  • edited September 2002

    Currah uSpeech didn't make it to this release - Woody's working on it, but
    with no documentation or info on the beast, it's not easy :)

    The manual is available at.
    http://www.madhippy.com/8-bit/sinclair/microspeech.html
  • edited September 2002
    Yes, and the ROM, if it's of any use, is hosted by Philip:

    http://www.srcf.ucam.org/~pak21/spectrum/roms.html
  • edited September 2002
    Hmm, I best clarify that one a little :)

    Woody's emulating it perfectly, no problems - but the samples *are* a problem. Atm, we've got a long sample kindly donated by Mike Wynne of a sp0256 running through its' repertoire - but it's a real pain seperating the wavs out and trimming them for the timings - everything seems to need to match up perfectly so there's no cracks or pops. We've got *acceptable* uSpeech output, but it's not great - nowhere near the standad that Woody has set with his AY code, and so I'm reluctant to release it until it's perfect.

    There may (or may not) be a new release with a few bugs fixed coming soon. I noticed that I forgot to set the TZXBrowser's save tapes menu options up, so in order to save a tape, you have to eject it! I've also implemented TZX to WAV/CSW too, so that'll be in next.

    Dunny.
  • edited September 2002
    Yes, I imagined if you had a preliminary version of the interface out, stuff like the ROM or the manual would have been known to you already... So, are you saying somebody sampled all the "allophones" in the speech synthesis chip, and you're using such samples?
  • edited September 2002
    On 2002-09-13 15:06, Alessandro Tommasi wrote:
    So, are you saying somebody sampled all the "allophones" in the speech synthesis chip, and you're using such samples?

    Yep, we got one large WAV file holding every allophone with a 2 second gap between each one.
  • edited September 2002
    I see... do you think this is the way the original chip worked? Like, do you think it actually stored samples? Working with such samples must be as hard as building up a soundfont, for those who know what a soundfont is. And there must be all sorts of 'filter' to apply to plain allophones, like for stressed syllables or so, isn't it...

    Sounds like a lot of work! Good luck, and THANK YOU for spending so much of your time on something we're all going to enjoy very much!!
  • edited September 2002
    On 2002-09-15 00:36, Alessandro Tommasi wrote:

    I see... do you think this is the way the original chip worked?

    The original chip has a built-in 16k ROM which is used to generate the allophone sounds.

    Unfortunately, no-one seems to know how it does this. This leaves us with doing a poor man's simulation by playing back samples rather than a true emulation :(

    Chopped up a huge sample myself that I got off the web for Spectaculator. Very dull!

    If you like, Woody, I can e-mail them to you. If you've got a resource ripper, you can get them from uspeech.dll in the Spectaculator 3 beta 1 package.

    Cheers,

    JOn.

  • edited September 2002
    On 2002-09-15 13:58, needlej wrote:
    If you like, Woody, I can e-mail them to you. If you've got a resource ripper, you can get them from uspeech.dll in the Spectaculator 3 beta 1 package.

    It would be much quicker and easier if you could mail them :)
    I don't think I'd have much chance to get them into SPIN before the next release though - the bug fixed version should be available later tonight and, as long as Dunny doesn't change his mind, the uSpeech emulation will be in there. So you should get your chance to listen to the most dreadful speech emulation ever!
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