Friday, 15 January 2010

Enter the Master! (Get it taped)

15th January 2009

Well, well, well. Been a little while since I last wrote something in this blog. Finally (although it is getting rather late) I can blog something. Well, once again I have been very creative. Last week I wrote a Koala Paint 2 Frame Picture Animator V1.0, but this week I worked on something better. The Tape Master Pro V1.0.

I'll give out a story and explain about this program. Over the past year or so, I went on to Codebase 64 and read about the Auto boot tape turbo loader source, by Martin Piper. I thought that I should give this open source a try and modified some of it to make my own loader routines. The scroll text routine was written from scratch and also I added routines that can display a loading picture. Although my knowledge of loaders, etc is limited. I started talking to Martin via email, about his IRQ loader. Gave him some ideas, which included Marty Load, a tribute to the Cyber Load loader. I was also given kind permission to use this source whichever way I like.

I used the same auto boot type of loading source for a couple of Psytronik Software releases (As I was a very kind person) and prepared the auto booting tape masters for The Last Amazon Trilogy and also The Wild Bunch. Now I decided earlier on this month to write a program that allows people to master their own files from a disk and write it to tape with an auto boot turbo loader (Also by Martin Piper) which will play loading music and the loader can also draw a koala paint picture during loading (Just like the Ocean Loader back in the 1980's). The user can also choose whether or not they want flashing sprites or loading noise during loading.

This program is nothing like any ordinary disk/tape transfer tool. As this is probably somewhat more special. Have you ever saw a disk/tape transfer that allows you to choose the type of flashing border you like before mastering to tape? Well, have you? I thought not. Hahaha. Anyway, the overall result was great.

I was very pleased with this tool, and I showed an early version of it to Martin. I think he also liked what he saw. Here are some example loader experiments I have been doing:

1. Sharkz II loading with the Cyber Load style colour bars and a flashing tape sprite at the bottom left corner of the screen.

2. Snacks 4 Snakes (Protovision friends/contributors entry) with a black border and thin light grey stripes.

3. Finally, Hyper Duel, with the classic multicoloured border :)

Where's the tool? How much does it cost? I wanna try it! (Drool, grovel, glaaargh!)

Like with my other C64 programs, the Tape Master Pro V1.0 program has been distributed as freeware for anybody to use it. So if you wanted to, you could create your own master disks and send them to or a retro software that releases new games or upload on to your web site, but it would be nice if on the loading scroll text you credit Martin for the tape turbo, and Richard/TND for the loader's additional programming.

I have uploaded this tool on the tools page of the usual TND web site address

The source for the original autoboot tape turbo loader + explanation about it by Martin Piper can be found here on Codebase64

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