ANN: Spectaculator 7.5

edited March 2011 in Emulators
Spectaculator 7.5 is now available from http://www.spectaculator.com/

- Spectrum +3 disk images in IPF format are now supported. IPF disk images will be available shortly. See http://www.softpres.org/ for more information on the IPF format.

- The display renderer has been completely rewritten to work better with modern graphics cards and later versions of Windows. A minimum version of DirectX 9 with a graphics card capable of hardware-accelerated Direct3D is required[1]. This fixes the problem of blocky graphics on ATI and nVidia cards on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

- Improved TV simulation effects (Scart/Composite Video/Aerial (RF)).

- Lots of other minor stuff...

More information is available in the news section on the website.

Many thanks to all those who supplied bug reports, comments, suggestions, feedback and beta testing (especially the SPS guys) - a big thank you to you all.

Enjoy!

Jon.

[1] In practice this shouldn't really affect many people. It actually runs faster on my circa 2000 Pentium III 650 with GeForce 256 (due to more of the work being offloaded to the GPU). Some old low-power Netbooks might have issues. E-mail me if you do.
Post edited by Jon Needle on
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Comments

  • edited February 2011
    Jon Needle wrote: »
    - Spectrum +3 disk images in IPF format are now supported. IPF disk images will be available shortly. See http://www.softpres.org/ for more information on the IPF format.

    You should probably also be noting that the IPF format is closed, so that it is not possible to implement it in any emulators who do not want to use SPS's code. This is a disappointing retrograde step for compatability :-(
  • edited February 2011
    That sounds great.
    I'm a sucker for TV simulation effects, and it seams this release has quite a few....
    Off to download ;)
  • edited February 2011
    That's a great update. The display effects are brilliant and I LOVE the 4X zoom mode!
    Thank you for continuing to support this excellent emulator, Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    Hi Jon,

    I have a fully registered version of Spectaculator and it's great.

    I have probably emailed support about this but wondered if you could help direct on the off chance.

    I had ZXCF (Sami Vehmaa) and residos 2.25 (Gary Lancaster) working with realspec with a 16MB emulated CF.

    I would like to use either an emulated ZXCF or DIVIDE + (from rwap software)
    within Speculator (7.0.1) but cannot find a way to do this.

    Any advice or help getting this working would be appreciated.

    Thanks

    JTB
  • edited February 2011
    The aerial option is great - it looks EXACTLY like my old TV that I used to use with the Speccy!!
  • jpjp
    edited February 2011
    Hmm, my apologies, and sorry to be so grumpy about it but I'm not particularly keen about the new TV simulation features - just because I've always used a 200% zoom with crystal clear clarity, and now [IMHO] it looks awful. Never mind, resizing the window height to be a pixel shorter works around that.

    The other thing I've noticed, is that when I start the 7.5 release with a 48k mode selected I see what a +3 would do on power up, i.e. black border and screen garbage. Subsequently selecting the 48k mode does what it should do!

    Example AVI of power up here - 1.2mb

    I'm running under Windows XP Professional - 5.1.2600 Service Pack 3 Build 2600 with DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)

    Cheers, Jim
  • edited February 2011
    jp wrote: »
    Hmm, my apologies, and sorry to be so grumpy about it but I'm not particularly keen about the new TV simulation features - just because I've always used a 200% zoom with crystal clear clarity, and now [IMHO] it looks awful. Never mind, resizing the window height to be a pixel shorter works around that.

    The "RGB Monitor" option (which is the default) produces a display identical to previous versions. It's also the fastest as it basically disables all effects in the rendering pipeline.

    However, on Windows 7 and Vista, ATI and nVidia disabled bilinear filtering which resulted in a very blocky display. On these systems it looks like it should now.

    If you want the blocky graphics, I can provide an option to turn off the filtering completely now I've moved to DirectX 9. Just let me know.

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    jp wrote: »
    The other thing I've noticed, is that when I start the 7.5 release with a 48k mode selected I see what a +3 would do on power up, i.e. black border and screen garbage. Subsequently selecting the 48k mode does what it should do!

    Hi Jim,

    I've always filled RAM with garbage to produce the initial screen. Looks like the default border colour is black now during initialisation. I may have changed it as I noticed my real 48ks start up like that - I can't remember TBH.

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    jayteebee wrote: »
    I had ZXCF (Sami Vehmaa) and residos 2.25 (Gary Lancaster) working with realspec with a 16MB emulated CF.

    There's no support for IDE devices yet (although it's almost been finished for a couple of years). I also have a ZXCF (and a divIDE+) so I'm keen to finish this at some point.

    You'll need to use another emulator in the meantime.

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    Jon Needle wrote: »
    You'll need to use another emulator in the meantime.
    Which one do you recommend Jon?
    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • RNDRND
    edited February 2011
    whoa this is a nice thing to wake up to! The new display looks much improved and the aerial rf emulation closely follows what I had to put up with :o
    Facebook @nick.swarfega Twitter: @sw4rfega
  • edited February 2011
    Awesome news :) Time to update.
  • edited February 2011
    Jon Needle wrote: »
    Spectaculator 7.5 is now available from http://www.spectaculator.com/

    - Spectrum +3 disk images in IPF format are now supported. IPF disk images will be available shortly. See http://www.softpres.org/ for more information on the IPF format.

    - The display renderer has been completely rewritten to work better with modern graphics cards and later versions of Windows. A minimum version of DirectX 9 with a graphics card capable of hardware-accelerated Direct3D is required[1]. This fixes the problem of blocky graphics on ATI and nVidia cards on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

    - Improved TV simulation effects (Scart/Composite Video/Aerial (RF)).

    - Lots of other minor stuff...

    More information is available in the news section on the website.

    Many thanks to all those who supplied bug reports, comments, suggestions, feedback and beta testing (especially the SPS guys) - a big thank you to you all.

    Enjoy!

    Jon.

    [1] In practice this shouldn't really affect many people. It actually runs faster on my circa 2000 Pentium III 650 with GeForce 256 (due to more of the work being offloaded to the GPU). Some old low-power Netbooks might have issues. E-mail me if you do.

    Hi Jon,

    I was hoping to try 7.5 but it states that my 30 days has expired. I realise this is becuase my 7.0 had expired. Would it be possible to get a few extra days to see the new features?

    Many thanks

    Paddy
  • RNDRND
    edited February 2011
    I thought the registration was non expiring? Mine still works from v7.0
    Facebook @nick.swarfega Twitter: @sw4rfega
  • edited February 2011
    RND wrote: »
    I thought the registration was non expiring? Mine still works from v7.0
    No, he tried 7.0 and his 30 day trial ran out. You can't just install a new version and get 30 more days as we'd all just keep on installing and re-installing the last two versions.
    I wanna tell you a story 'bout a woman I know...
  • RNDRND
    edited February 2011
    ah yea, that is certainly true.
    Facebook @nick.swarfega Twitter: @sw4rfega
  • edited February 2011
    RND wrote: »
    I thought the registration was non expiring? Mine still works from v7.0

    IIR, I think you had to send in your current code to generate a longer one.
    I'm just about to install 7.5 now.

    Cheers

    Andy
  • edited February 2011
    You should probably also be noting that the IPF format is closed, so that it is not possible to implement it in any emulators who do not want to use SPS's code. This is a disappointing retrograde step for compatability :-(

    You can use SamDisk 3 to convert IPFs to EDSK.
    Emulator authors might be able to just call SamDisk to convert before load ?
    VICE did that for TZXs calling 64TZXTAP before loading.

    I'm not sure if that works under the license agreement, calling 3rd party plugins/utils ?

    Cool beans to Jon though for this addition.

    Andy
  • edited February 2011
    I'm sure that when IPF +3 Disk images start to appear for download, we'll be able to start reverse-engineering the format so that it can be opened up and included in free OSS libraries.

    D.
  • edited February 2011
    I've tried it and it works like a charm. I'd like to say thanks for the extra TV emulation facilities. The effect obtained from enabling the RF-aerial cable option is incredible: it looks just like my good ol' telly back in the 80s. This may sound fool, but this has brought me really good memories. I'm replaying the old games I coded back then and they look... exactly like when I coded them. Awesome :)

    RF.png
  • edited February 2011
    OK Jon,

    Thanks for the reply..

    Keep up the great work..

    JTB
    Jon Needle wrote: »
    There's no support for IDE devices yet (although it's almost been finished for a couple of years). I also have a ZXCF (and a divIDE+) so I'm keen to finish this at some point.

    You'll need to use another emulator in the meantime.

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    I was hoping to try 7.5 but it states that my 30 days has expired. I realise this is becuase my 7.0 had expired. Would it be possible to get a few extra days to see the new features?

    I've sent you a PM :)

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    Great to see the new version !

    By the way... Jon, do you need bug reports?
  • edited February 2011
    Ralf wrote: »
    By the way... Jon, do you need bug reports?

    Hi Ralf. Sure, send me any issues you find. I always log them in Trac.

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    Damn... Just did a clean install of Spectaculator 7.5 on my new laptop and it won't accept my exist license code.

    I'm presuming I need to uninstall 7.5, install a 7.0 version, insert the license code into that and then reinstall 7.5?
  • edited February 2011
    If your code license is from v. 6.x, you need to update it.
  • edited February 2011
    na_th_an wrote: »
    If your code license is from v. 6.x, you need to update it.
    My license code is for version 7.0
  • edited February 2011
    na_th_an wrote: »
    RF.png

    That looks really nice! I believe ZX Spin has some very nice TV effects too so it may be worth to compare the two. Doesn't Fuse have some TV emulation filters too? Really quite amazing how far some emulators go to reproduce the original thing.

    I wouldn't mind emulating TV effects in Zero myself in the near future except that since my knowledge about these things is next to zero (pun unintended), it may not be such a "near future". ;)
  • edited February 2011
    Strident wrote: »
    Damn... Just did a clean install of Spectaculator 7.5 on my new laptop and it won't accept my exist license code.

    I'm presuming I need to uninstall 7.5, install a 7.0 version, insert the license code into that and then reinstall 7.5?

    7.5 accepts the same keys as v7. If you put in a v6 key, it will automatically upgrade it to a v7 one (internet connection required).

    Double check the name/serial number combo (they're mathematically related so you need the pair - you can't just make up the name part).

    Contact me via the website if you continue to have issues.

    Jon.
  • edited February 2011
    Arjun wrote: »
    That looks really nice! I believe ZX Spin has some very nice TV effects too so it may be worth to compare the two. Doesn't Fuse have some TV emulation filters too? Really quite amazing how far some emulators go to reproduce the original thing.

    I wouldn't mind emulating TV effects in Zero myself in the near future except that since my knowledge about these things is next to zero (pun unintended), it may not be such a "near future". ;)

    It really looks nice :)

    RF-chem3.png
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