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RastaConverter and Turbo Basic


snicklin
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I'm looking to add a RastaConverter picture to my Turbo Basic project but am unsure how to do this.

 

How do I get either one of these options to work?

 

a) Load Turbo Basic, load Rastaconverter display routine and picture, complete a RUN"D:PROGRAM.BAS" to run the next program.

 

or... (probably more feasible)

 

b) Load RastaConverter and picture, load Turbo Basic, RUN"D:PROGRAM.BAS" to run the first program.

 

Do I use the integrator program with these options?

 

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Looking at a few pics, they seem to load between $2000 and $8400.

 

You should be safe insofar as top of memory goes, but there's big trouble in low memory - I've just booted a Dos 2.5 Atr of TB 1.5 and Memlo is around $3700.

What you could do is alter the pic file so it loads higher in memory, e.g. $2000 bytes higher up. Then do a save/restore operation of the memory between $2000 and $37FF or whatever high memory location is being used (remember a T-Basic program will grow that up).

 

It'd be a pretty tight situation but should fit. You might need to use screen Ram ~ $BC00 but you've got a picture being displayed anyway. You'd also want to be able to handle the user pressing Reset such that the previous environment is restored.

 

 

Alternatively show the pic before loading Turbo Basic, then I imagine you'd need some way of doing the binary load there since you'd be using the Autorun.sys yourself.

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You can create an AUTORUN.SYS that is the concatenation of the RastaConverter executable and Turbo Basic.

 

1) find the run address at the end of the RastaConverter executable with ataricom or od:

 

$ od -tx1 hitmen.xex | tail -3
0042740 ea ee ba 6f 20 b9 6f ee ba 6f 60 00 e0 02 e1 02
0042760 00 50
0042762

Here we see that the run address is $5000. (00 50)

 

2) Concatenate with an INIT segment between:

 

 (cat hitmen.xex; echo -ne '\xe2\x02\xe3\x02\x00\x50'; cat AUTORUN.SYS ) > combined.sys

3) Put combined.sys on a disk as AUTORUN.SYS and add your basic program as AUTORUN.BAS.

 

franny.exe -U AUTORUN.SYS test.atr
franny.exe -A -i combined.sys -o AUTORUN.SYS test.atr

Here's an example using my Caverns of Mars ten-liner and conversion of this Hitmen logo by Death.

 

test.atr

 

Alternatively to steps 1 and 2, you can just change the "run main" in no_name.asq to "ini main" when you generate the RastaConverter executable. Then the concatenation is much simpler:

 

cat hitmen.xex AUTORUN.SYS > combined.sys
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Hmmm,

 

I often use Superpacker for this job - to link several ML files into one without packing them. Just execute Superpacker (PC version), then load the Rastaconverter file and change its RUN adress into an Init adress (you may also load a Basic-off switch before the Rasta file), then load TB XL (which will be appended to the Rasta file) and if you like remove the first Init adress (so that TB XL copyright by Frank Ostrowski does not show up) and/or add a (Gr.0/Gr.1/Gr.2) title-text that is displayed while TB XL loads. Then save everything as one Autorun.SYS file...

 

Loading the finished file on the A8 should work like this:

- DOS boots and executes the Autorun.SYS file (Rasta file + TB XL)

- Basic is switched off automatically (if you added the Basic switch)

- Rasta file loads (depending on the file, you may have to wait 5-10 seconds and it will continue loading automatically OR you have to press a key to continue loading)

- after a while or a keypress TB XL loads (and maybe a Gr.0/1/2 title is displayed)

- the Autorun.BAS loads

 

Loading the Rasta file after TB XL will surely give you some (memory) problems or headaches, so I would load it before TB XL. This is also the way I prefer most games to load, first load a title-picture (meaning ONE title-picture, not dozens and if there is none, display a title text during loading), then load the main program (which should not display several title or intro pics again)...

 

Note: If your program can work as a compiled TB XL program, you may use the CTB-linker to link the Runtime + Autorun.CTB into one single file; then use Superpacker to link the Rasta file and this CTB program into a bigger, but still one single/stand-alone file... (and to shorten its length you can pack it).

Edited by CharlieChaplin
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