SPIN Public Beta 0.1b Available for download

edited May 2002 in Emulators
Hi all, back again, and as just recently announced on CSS, SPIN has been updated. Here's the post to CSS (or the relevant parts):

It's been a busy time these last couple of weeks, and there's a lot of
new stuff gone into SPIN, so grab a copy and have a look!

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.dunn4/SPIN.Zip

is the package to download. There's no windows installer (which is rather
nice), just unzip into a folder and go. If you have an old Spin.ini file
lying around, it may cause problems with the new one, which has more options
in it. This doesn't appear to affect 95/98/ME machines, just the NT based
ones. If you have trouble, just delete the file, and SPIN will recreate it.

The list of new stuff is not *very* big, but some of the bugs squashed and
features added are rather large changes. The main thing here is the new +3
disk support, it's not 100% complete, but works for the most
non-copyprotected disks. That's being worked on, and should be ready for the
next release. Joystick support and the keystick (PC cursors used to simulate
joysticks) has been fully implemented also.

So, here's the list of what's new:

Fixed joysticks detection - no longer warns you that there is no stick
attached if you select None in the list of stick emulations.
Fixed folders not using the ones you selected.
Fixed a bug in the keyboard routine - special PC symbol keys work properly
now.
Fixed some other *stupid* bugs in the keyboard routines...
Fixed a bug with the mouse pointer being visible in fullscreen.
Fixed Snapshot saving in 48k mode (SP pointer bug), and a related bug in
128k snap saving.
Fixed Z80 block compression
Fixed a paging bug in the +3 code

Changed Reset Icon to a power icon, thanks Neuro, (I'm not sure about it
though, I liked my Bin)
Changes to F_Key mappings - see readme for info.
Changed Sound pitch a little - sounds better now, especially AY Sound.

Added MRU list, ten most recent files
Added drag and drop support.
Added ULA Snow effect, and Floating bus based on RamSoft's technical docs -
with minor changes - probably errors in the translation from Italian to
English :)
Added Resizeable main window.
Added All joystick types keystick and PC Joystick.
Added more tape controls - FF 1 block, REW 1 block, FF to end, REW to start.
Now saves window size and position.
Added "Tape Auto Rewind" feature
Added - Ctrl key can be used instead of Shift to get stuff like : rather
than ; on symbol keys.
Added +3 Floopy drive emulation - full read/write support for dsk's, read
only for e-dsk. No copy protected disks yet.
Added *Basic* +3e emulation - it loads and runs the ROM, but not much else.
No IDE support. yet.


We *need* more feedback. It may well be that noone's interested in SPIN in
particular, but if you do download it and use it, let us know what you
think. There's quite a high amount of accuracy, and stuff like the AY and
Beeper sound has been improved immensely. The beeper has pretty much full
antialiasing now, at little or no cost to the speed of the emulator, and the
TZX support has been enhanced and is even better now, even in Blitz loading
mode.

FEEDBACK!! Please?

Thanks,
Dunny+Woody.


Post edited by Dunny on

Comments

  • edited May 2002
    What a fab emulator!!!! :D :D :D EVERYONE DOWNLOAD IT NOW - YOU WON'T BE DISAPOINTED!!!! As you have guessed - I like it a lot, especially the cursor & CTRL keys joystick mapping. Being able to actually 'see' tap/tzx files loading at warp speed is a nice touch too. Sound emulation/options is/are very good. Already the best 128k windows emu in my book (Spectaculator has the edge with 48k Windows emulation at the moment - the sound seems a tiny bit clearer IMHO, but not a huge difference).

    Plenty of choice with screen rendering options, excellent options to specify different directories for SNA/Z80, TAP/TZX, DSK/ROM files etc ...

    I'm using WinXP Pro and have a couple of bugs to report (this was after a 'clean' install) ...

    [1] When emulator screen is set to 'scanlines' this setting reverts to 'normal' mode next time the emulator is loaded (this happens in both window and fullscreen modes). I tested the other video options (e.g. 25% scanlines etc ... ) and there was no problem.

    [2] A TZX of ChaseHQ loaded in all 128k spectrum modes froze the emulator midway through loading. (Speedload option was set to on) It loaded with no problems in 48k mode.

    Hope this info helps. Keep up the fantastic work - SPIN is now a permenant resident on my PC! :)
  • edited May 2002
    On 2002-05-16 01:48, Refrenz wrote:
    (Spectaculator has the edge with 48k Windows emulation at the moment - the sound seems a tiny bit clearer IMHO, but not a huge difference).

    You can try the sound options, and turn off the surround or echo/reverb and see if that makes any difference - but spectaculator uses a different method of beeper antialiasing, and I agree that Mr Needles's is slightly better. Unfortunately, to get that kind of antialiasing requires quite a bit more CPU power than I'm willing to expend, but if I can come up with a better way I'll put it in.
    Plenty of choice with screen rendering options, excellent options to specify different directories for SNA/Z80, TAP/TZX, DSK/ROM files etc ...

    I'm using WinXP Pro and have a couple of bugs to report (this was after a 'clean' install) ...

    [1] When emulator screen is set to 'scanlines' this setting reverts to 'normal' mode next time the emulator is loaded (this happens in both window and fullscreen modes). I tested the other video options (e.g. 25% scanlines etc ... ) and there was no problem.
    You're right there - I'll fix *that* little bug! Also, noticed that if you choose scanlines when the window size is 100%, you get a black screen - this disappears when you resize the window larger :) Best get that fixed too...
    [2] A TZX of ChaseHQ loaded in all 128k spectrum modes froze the emulator midway through loading. (Speedload option was set to on) It loaded with no problems in 48k mode.

    I'll look into that too - it's not your clean XP install, it's a bug in the emulation, and I'll get that sorted too before the next release.

    Thanks for trying SPIN, and I'll release the next update soon.

    Dunny.
  • edited May 2002
    On 2002-05-16 01:48, Refrenz wrote:

    [2] A TZX of ChaseHQ loaded in all 128k spectrum modes froze the emulator midway through loading. (Speedload option was set to on) It loaded with no problems in 48k mode.

    Okay, here's what I think is going on - I've tested as many versions of Chase HQ as I can find, and I think you're using the Portuguese version.

    Using the Tape Browser (F6) it appears that the side 1 tzx loads up to the end, then the auto rewind kicks in (if you've got it set) and sets the tape position back to zero. The AutoTapeControl is starting the tape playing again (as the 128k version wants all the levels in one load) and so is trying to load the whole lot over and over again. Try turning off autorewind, and when the tape browser shows you're at the end of the tape, open the side2 tzx, and see what happens.

    Although that's the most likely scenario (the 48k version will stop the tape halfway through, as it abandons loading when it's got the first level) I've not found the emulator to freeze with any versions of the tzx. If you still can't get it to work, then can you mail me the tzx you're using?

    Thanks,
    Dunny.
  • edited May 2002
    Hi Dunny, thanks for the response. I forgot about trying the various scanline options in different window sizes - I just tried them in fullscreen and 200% mode.

    One teeny little thing I noticed (not really a bug) - If I open the options box up for the first time, the options tab says I'm on the 'Hardware' page, however the options shown are actually the 'File' options. It only happens the first time the options dialog is opened.

    Now, onto Chase HQ -

    I think I got my Chase HQ TZX from here ...

    http://tzxvault.retrogames.com/Spectrum/TZX/ChaseHQ.zip

    However, not being too sure I decided to download it again. Filesize was the same and both sides of the tape were in one 119k tzx file.

    The newly downloaded version worked fine so it looks like my 1st copy of Chase HQ got corrupted somehow. Very odd. Anyway, my apologies for pointing the finger at SPIN for this error. If I come across any other misbehaving games I'll investigate more thoroughly before wasting your time with them!!! :oops: :)
  • edited May 2002
    On 2002-05-16 20:37, Refrenz wrote:

    One teeny little thing I noticed (not really a bug) - If I open the options box up for the first time, the options tab says I'm on the 'Hardware' page, however the options shown are actually the 'File' options. It only happens the first time the options dialog is opened.

    Yep, I noticed that too :) I'll fix it for the next release.
    Now, onto Chase HQ -

    The newly downloaded version worked fine so it looks like my 1st copy of Chase HQ got corrupted somehow. Very odd. Anyway, my apologies for pointing the finger at SPIN for this error. If I come across any other misbehaving games I'll investigate more thoroughly before wasting your time with them!!! :oops: :)

    No waste of time there, it could have been a bug and therefore needed to be fixed. The fact that it wasn't doesn't mean your post was not useful.

    Thanks again
    Dunny.
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