Category Archives: Oldskool/retro programming

Putting the things together, part 2: MIDI and other problems

Remember a few months ago, when I explained my approach to playing VGM files? Well, VGM files are remarkably similar to Standard MIDI files. In a way, MIDI files are also just time-stamped captures of data sent to a sound … Continue reading

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What makes the PCjr cool, and what makes it uncool?

The IBM PCjr was a huge flop in the marketplace. As such, it has only been in production for about 14 months, and never even reached my part of the world. When I grew up, I had a vague notion … Continue reading

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More PC(jr) incompatibilities!

The race for PC-compatibility Since the mid-80s, there have been many clones of the original IBM PC. IBM themselves also made new-and-improved versions of the PC, aiming for backward-compatibility. DOS itself was more or less a clone of CP/M, and … Continue reading

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The Covox years

I have covered various early sound solutions from the DOS/8088 era recently, including AdLib, Sound Blaster, PCjr/Tandy’s SN76489 chip, and the trusty old PC speaker itself. One device that has yet to be mentioned however, is the Covox Speech Thing. … Continue reading

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Trackers vs MIDI, part deux

The previous post got rather long(winded) already. But shortly after I posted it, I realized that I had not yet said all that I wanted to say. Namely, I mentioned the Yamaha FM synthesizer chips at the start, and I … Continue reading

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Trackers vs MIDI

With all the recent tinkering with audio devices and sound routines, I stumbled across various resources, old and new. One such resource was this article on OS/2 Museum, about the Gravis UltraSound. (And small world, this site is by Michal … Continue reading

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DMA activation

No, not the pseudoscience stuff, I am talking about Direct Memory Access. More specifically in the context of IBM PC and compatibles, which use the Intel 8237A DMA controller. For some reason, I had never used the 8237A before. I … Continue reading

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