Tursi speaks on Ami99 and the (vocal) TI Community (LONG)

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Posted by Tursi on August 16, 1999 at 18:47:30:

Regarding the video problems in DX3 - I'm not sure what's up with that.. graphics and sound are handled by an experimental build of Allegro 4.0 - I could probably add a "safe" mode which doesn't rely on direct-X -- if I continue.

I wanted to be a little more clear here about the reason I aborted Ami99. Some people might be offended - don't. I'm not aiming this at anyone in particular, honestly.

The few people who spoke up favourably were really appreciated, and it's because of such comments I found this message board, and I check once in a while. So hopefully nobody gave up hope in waiting for a reply. I did unsubscribe from the TI Mailing List, though.

Ami99 got to where it is because I love the TI, and I had a lot of fun developing it, even as I cursed the bits of hardware that didn't work as I understand. The current version (which is 3 minor fixes beyond the last one I announced... check the date on my web page against the readme on your version) has a few hacks to make it run as it does...

But I'll ramble that way in a sec... first the reason for ending the project.

I was getting right into it.. and on the list trying to stir up some interest and discussion about what directions to take. I received apathy, which I'm used to, and actual hostility. It began, over time, to look like people were accusing me of trying to shut down CADD electronics simply because I produced an emulator for free. Sort of a "don't you dare compete with one of the last commercial TI Vendors" attitude... which I can sort of understand, but guess what people? It doesn't encourage anyone to create anything new.

It's the same reason I left the TI community in the first place. "We don't need another program because works fine, except I wish they work fix this this and this, but I would pay twice as much for it anyway to show my support."

There's this attitude that competition is going to destroy what's left of the commercial TI world, instead of inspiring innovation. It's extremely frustrating and I really can't see anyone wanting to bring a new product out under those conditions.

I realized that towards the end of Ami99, and decided to set a goal. That goal was to make Ami99 run my game Super Space Acer, so I could include it on the release of the updated PC version I'm doing. To that end, I had to tweak the joystick control, finish the sound system, add bitmap support, and add the partial disk support. I finished that, and released it... then I began tearing it apart so that it would run SSA with no TI ROMs. I succeeded, btw. But anyway, I found a few other glitches and fixed them.. though I'm still curious what exactly is wrong with the AtariSoft bitmap games. Also, I did some work to make Parsec work, because it is considered by many to be the benchmark of TI software. (Sorry, I never got Tunnels of Doom going, for the one who asked. ;) )

I'm proud of Ami99, despite the glitches it shows, and the hacks that some bits use to work because I never fully figured out the hardware. I would like to finish it... (as if finishing a program is possible ;) ) but it's hard to be motivated to devote time to it when most of the people are looking at me like some kind of criminal. :/

Maybe MESS will work well... I dunno. I do know the CPU emulation for the 9900 in MAME is a little bit broken and missing some information, but I doubt my CPU core is readable enough to be useful. ;) I wanted to add features like anti-aliasing, too. And fix the sprites so they don't flicker. ;)

I didn't ask for much support, and I got some help when I did ask... I'm not saying nobody would help. I'm just saying nobody seemed to want it. :/

Note the new web page address, btw..

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