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VCFe 23.0

Save the date! The 23th annual European Vintage Computer Festival will take place on 27./28. April 2024 ! And of course there can be no VCFe without Steckschwein. This time is special, as we first presented the humble beginnings of our (then nameless) favourite homebrew computer at VCF 15.0 in 2014. So this year not only marks the 10th anniversary of the Steckschwein, but also the 10th anniversary of the VCFe being “home” of the Steckschwein.

V9958 YJK (YUV) mode

Some time ago we introduced a tiny tool called ppmview.prg in our collection of tools and progs for our Steckschwein. The ppmview.prg, as the name already tells, is able to load an image in ppm (Portable BitMap) format with a maximum size of 256x212px and displays it on the screen. The first version of ppmview was released in 2018 and since then we just use the SCREEN 8 (MSX) also known as graphic mode 7 (RGB).

Niklaus Wirth 15.2.1934 – 1.1.2024

Niklaus Wirth has died on 1.1.2024 at the age of 89. Known to most as the creator of the programming language Pascal, Wirth was also primary designer of the programming languages Euler, PL360, ALGOL W, Modula, Modula-2 and Oberon, heavily influencing coming languages and the paradigm of object oriented programming, and programming methodology altogether. Furthermore, he led the team designing the Lilith workstation, a graphical workstation with a bitmapped graphical display, heavily influenced by the Xerox Alto.

10 Years

In order to fill the void in the days between Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2013, we began experimenting with a 65C02 on a breadboard. This little experiment would later evolve into an actually working 8bit computer. 10 years and some significant amount of focus creep later we had build this cool little 8bit machine with the specifications found here. The amount of new stuff to learn to design a new computer out of “old” or “retro” components was massive.

Saving ASCII sources in EhBasic

Our FAT32 driver now supports byte-wise writing of a file. Reason enough to continue reworking the file handling of our EhBasic port that we started here to finally having the SAVE command write ASCII source files. The basic idea is to open a file, redirect the EhBasic output vector to our new kernel call “krn_write_byte”, then trigger the LIST command internally. The listing being output by LIST will then be written to the opened file instead the screen.