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Funnelweb History


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Just wondering if anyone knows the history behind the Funnelweb software. I'm using the assembler along with the XB256 compiler, via Calssic99. Seems the software was produced as share-ware in Australia. Do we have any of the Funnelweb folks lurking around the AtariAge forums? Any information you may have on this outfit and it's products is appreciated.

 

Sparkdrummer's Newsletter (Yesterday's News, March '17) mentions the release of version 3.4 in March of 1987. Was that the last version?

 

Do any of you 99ers use Funnelweb?

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Funnelweb was written in the mid 1980's (circa 1984) by Tony (father) and Will (son) Mcgovern. It started out as "Funnelwriter" and was released as Vn 3.2. I was lucky enough to have received a copy directly from Oz just after release and Charles Good and I became the de facto distribution points of contact here in the US. It was develped as a response to Imagic Australia's rapacious pricing policy for the TI-Writer and E/A cartridges. It took the place of both. The kernel (i.e., UTIL1 or FW) went through many upgrades in the early years with the final release being Vn 4.40.

 

The editors have also been through many more upgrades. Vn 4.40 was the last strictly 40-column version. The current version is 5.21, which was released at the last Lima TI Faire, and takes advantage of the added 192K VRAM of a 9938/9958 system. The editors can be configured into a single 128k buffer, two 64K buffers, or four 32K buffers. You can, for example, have four 32K buffers in memory at once and cut and paste between them. The text editor gives the user a full 80 columns as does the A/L editor. There are numerous keys to select a host of functions. The full features are too numerous to discuss in a short article. There are some limited foreign language options (German for one).

 

The loaders in the kernel will load any program that can be loaded on the TI and, in addition to the two menus presented there, the 40-column version provides three additional menus and the 80-column version provides 6 more. The source code for the entire package is availble from several sources.

 

As a side note, Tony and I corresponded for many years and I was even fortunate to have spent some time with him at the notorious "Funnelweb Farms" in New South Wales - and yes there really are Funnelweb Spiders there. Unfortunately both Tony and Will have left the TI community - Tony due to health reasons and Will for The Silicon Valley.

 

Unfortunately, The 80-column version will not work on the F18A or Classic99 due to insufficient available VRAM.

 

As Owen said, paired with a RAMdisk (and the 80-column menu program, it is truly a formidible system!!

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By a mile the the 80 column FW package was the best set up ever made for the TI.

Only the PC could hold an single RXB DV80 Source files that I created on FW 80 Column using a TIM Card.

 

I really miss FW 80 Column! The current lack of VRAM for it is sad.

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Unfortunately, The 80-column version will not work on the F18A or Classic99 due to insufficient available VRAM.

Classic99 supports 128k extended VRAM of the 9938 - it was a requested hack to make Funnelweb work. Been that way for years. :)

 

 

post-12959-0-79993100-1488866771_thumb.jpgpost-12959-0-29345100-1488866778_thumb.jpg

Edited by Tursi
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OMG never noticed this as many times I have brought up 128K or 192K VRAM and no one ever once mentioned this till now, thanks Tursi!

 

I can now break out my SAMS/FW stuff!

 

Will XHI or YAPP work with Classic99 and the 128K hack?

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FWEB requires the full 192K VRAM to operate in "all of its glory". The 128K option (I have tried it) gives one the full 80-columns (if that is enabled) but not the full file buffer space. In addition, the HELP files are not available.The color palette is also crippled and you don't have DISK REVIEW full functionality either. I think we had this same discussion at a Chicago Faire a few years ago. That's why I pushed for the V9938 emulation and the 192K VRAM then.

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FWEB requires the full 192K VRAM to operate in "all of its glory". The 128K option (I have tried it) gives one the full 80-columns (if that is enabled) but not the full file buffer space. In addition, the HELP files are not available.The color palette is also crippled and you don't have DISK REVIEW full functionality either. I think we had this same discussion at a Chicago Faire a few years ago. That's why I pushed for the V9938 emulation and the 192K VRAM then.

There's a difference between those limitations and "Funnelweb does not work on Classic99." ;)

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OMG never noticed this as many times I have brought up 128K or 192K VRAM and no one ever once mentioned this till now, thanks Tursi!

 

I can now break out my SAMS/FW stuff!

 

Will XHI or YAPP work with Classic99 and the 128K hack?

Doubtful, no other features of the 9938 are implemented. I have no idea what XHI is, but I think YAPP requires the graphics modes. ;)

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Doubtful, no other features of the 9938 are implemented. I have no idea what XHI is, but I think YAPP requires the graphics modes. ;)

XHI is 80 column Text and 9938 or 9958 Graphics 256 colors in XB, and 4 times the pixels of the TI99/4A 9918.

 

XHI is like TML on super steroids with LOGO added.

 

So sad 80 column FW not functional.

Edited by RXB
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Funnelweb was written in the mid 1980's (circa 1984) by Tony (father) and Will (son) Mcgovern. It started out as "Funnelwriter" and was released as Vn 3.2. I was lucky enough to have received a copy directly from Oz just after release and Charles Good and I became the de facto distribution points of contact here in the US. It was develped as a response to Imagic Australia's rapacious pricing policy for the TI-Writer and E/A cartridges. It took the place of both. The kernel (i.e., UTIL1 or FW) went through many upgrades in the early years with the final release being Vn 4.40.

 

The editors have also been through many more upgrades. Vn 4.40 was the last strictly 40-column version. The current version is 5.21, which was released at the last Lima TI Faire, and takes advantage of the added 192K VRAM of a 9938/9958 system. The editors can be configured into a single 128k buffer, two 64K buffers, or four 32K buffers. You can, for example, have four 32K buffers in memory at once and cut and paste between them. The text editor gives the user a full 80 columns as does the A/L editor. There are numerous keys to select a host of functions. The full features are too numerous to discuss in a short article. There are some limited foreign language options (German for one).

 

The loaders in the kernel will load any program that can be loaded on the TI and, in addition to the two menus presented there, the 40-column version provides three additional menus and the 80-column version provides 6 more. The source code for the entire package is availble from several sources.

 

As a side note, Tony and I corresponded for many years and I was even fortunate to have spent some time with him at the notorious "Funnelweb Farms" in New South Wales - and yes there really are Funnelweb Spiders there. Unfortunately both Tony and Will have left the TI community - Tony due to health reasons and Will for The Silicon Valley.

 

Unfortunately, The 80-column version will not work on the F18A or Classic99 due to insufficient available VRAM.

 

As Owen said, paired with a RAMdisk (and the 80-column menu program, it is truly a formidible system!!

 

Thanks for the history on Funnelweb!

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???? But, @Tursi just said that It is functional—just not the full capability an additional 64KiB would give it.

 

...lee

Hmm my point was what I used FW for and what I get now are not the same.

 

Waiter I ordered a Banana Split where is the Banana?

 

Waiter: "Sir everything is there, well except the Banana."

 

As stated I wanted it to load the entire file and used the 192K feature to compare files from DiskReview also and with out the 192K half the features I used are gone, very much like my missing Banana in my desert.

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FWEB requires the full 192K VRAM to operate in "all of its glory". The 128K option (I have tried it) gives one the full 80-columns (if that is enabled) but not the full file buffer space. In addition, the HELP files are not available.The color palette is also crippled and you don't have DISK REVIEW full functionality either. I think we had this same discussion at a Chicago Faire a few years ago. That's why I pushed for the V9938 emulation and the 192K VRAM then.

Does MESS/MAME emulate one of the V9938/58 peripheral cards for the TI setup? I know the V9938 emulation works well for the Geneve, as I use Funnelweb in the Geneve emulator environment quite 'often'.

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As we found during software testing, MESS adheres to the TI standard (i.e., real hardware) more closely then the other emulators. If you get an error or malfunction with software in MESS, you will most likely get a similar malfunction on real hardware. That is not necessarily the case with the others.

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Hmm my point was what I used FW for and what I get now are not the same. ...

 

Then you should have stated it that way. You made your point abundantly clear in an earlier post, but you apparently missed my point. @Tursi said that “Classic99 supports 128k extended VRAM of the 9938” and showed the 80-column functionality of FunnelWeb. Your “banana” story does not make your point. For you to say, “So sad 80 column FW not functional,” implies falsely that FW’s 80-column mode does not work in Classic99—but, it does work! Please, stick to the facts.

 

...lee

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Then you should have stated it that way. You made your point abundantly clear in an earlier post, but you apparently missed my point. @Tursi said that “Classic99 supports 128k extended VRAM of the 9938” and showed the 80-column functionality of FunnelWeb. Your “banana” story does not make your point. For you to say, “So sad 80 column FW not functional,” implies falsely that FW’s 80-column mode does not work in Classic99—but, it does work! Please, stick to the facts.

 

...lee

Well will use 80 column now in Classic99 as that is something I did not know, stupid me.

 

Again Classic99 does not support 192K so the features I use are not going to work with 128K.

I wlll have to settle for 64K less and no way to load the original files as not enough memory.

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Sorry Rich. It's not emulation of the 9938, it's just there so Funnelweb works. It's unfortunate that it doesn't work for your needs, but it works for the person who asked for it. The extra 64k is implemented in such a way that conflicts with the F18A registers, while the 128k is off to the side and doesn't hurt anything, so I was okay with doing the hack.

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Why was Funnelweb designed to use video memory instead of expanded CPU memory like SAMS?

 

Also wondering, if me or Tursi or someone else decided to add full V9938/58 support to their emulators, how much software would we have available for testing the emulation? Do we have software that utilizes all the different modes, the commands, and the sprite modes? I think it might be a fun project for JS99er.net, but only if there's enough software available for testing.

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