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Learn Multi platform Z80 Assembly Programming... With Vampires!
Platform Specific Lessons
<- Back to the Main Contents & Basic Z80 Assembly Lessons

Lesson P1 - Basic Firmware Text functions
Lesson P2 - More Text Functions, Improvements... and the Sam Coupe!
Lesson P3 - Bitmap graphics on the Amstrad CPC and Enterprise 128
Lesson P4 - Bitmap graphics on the ZX Spectrum and Sam Coupe
Lesson P5 - Bitmap graphics on the TI-83 and MSX

Introduction to the Platform Specific Series...
In this series of tutorials we're going to cover how to do simple common tasks on multiple Z80 systems... this series focuses on the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, MSX, Enterprise and TI-83

The lessons will cover how to do each task (where possible) on all the systems and create functions that can be called in a common way, so we will create a 'common library' of functions you can use in your own programs to write platform independent Z80 code...

You should know Z80 already, If you don't please go through the Basic Z80 Assembly Lessons first!

Each lesson will have a matching Video tutorial, and if you just want the code, you can skip knowing how it works, and just download the code!

Well, let's shut up quit wasting time and get coding!



Lesson P1 - Basic Firmware Text functions

So we can make a start, we're going to create some quick functions... we'll use the firmware to save time where we can.

This lesson We're going to create the following routines... on 5 different Z80 Systems!


Function Purpose Registers unchanged
CLS Clear the screen. All may have changed
Locate Move the text cursor to a new (X,Y) location where H=X and L=0 and the top left corner of the screen is (0,0) BC,HL,DE unchanged
NewLine Move the cursor to the start of the next screen line BC,HL,DE unchanged
PrintChar Print the character in A to the screen BC,HL,DE unchanged
WaitChar Wait for a keypress, and store it's character in A when we get it BC,HL,DE unchanged
PrintString Print a string of characters from address HL ... string is CHR(255) terminated BC and DE unchanged... HL now at end of string

This will give us enough to test our ASM programs, and give us a foundation to build future lesson upon... later we can create better own routines that work the same but don't need the firmware... but that's more complex and will be too much for now!

Lets make a start! we'll go through each system, and look at how we can make the commands work

Basic Text Functions on the Amstrad CPC:
The CPC version is pretty straight forward!

We use firmware call &BC14 to clear the screen (CLS).

PrintChar is done by a firmware call to &BB5A

WaitChar is done by firmware call &BB06 too...

When it comes to Locate - we have a firmware call, but it considers the top left to be (1,1) so we have to INC H and L by 1 to make it work the same as on all systems.

NewLine on the CPC is performed with Chr(13) (carriage return) and chr(10) (NewLine) - we just get the PrintChar call to do the work for us!

PrintString is also straight forward, using the PrintChar command to print each character to screen.

And that's it!
As with the Basic Series... the CPC is kind of the Benchmark for this development series... and will continue to be unless someone builds a better Z80 emulator with built in Assembler!
The CPC is fairly kind to us too.. making these simple jobs... well... simple!

Basic Text Functions on the ZX Spectrum:
The ZX spectrum is a little more tricky!

Firstly it corrupts all the registers, so we need to use PUSH & POP to back things up and make sure it works the same as the Amstrad!

CLS is ok, we can Call &0dD6B to clear the screen

Locate is odd!
RST 2 (Call &0010) will send a character to the screen - and we move the text cursor by sending a special character to the screen!
The basic command 'AT' is Character 22 (yes the word 'AT' is a character!) we print this to the screen, then print the co-ordinates Y first, then X!... weird eh!

The Spectrum Firmware accesses hardware via Channels - we connect to a Channel device, and send to or read data from that channel.

The Spectrum Text screen is split into 2 bits, the main top part is Channel #2 - which we will use for the PrintChar command... we set A to 2 and Call &1601 (CHAN_OPEN) to open channel 2... then we use RST 2 to put char A on the screen

PrintString works in the same way, we open Channel 2, then send each character through it with RST 6

WaitChar opens a connection to Channel 0 (the bottom of the screen and Keyboard)... a Call to &15D4 will read in a character from the keyboard.

On the ZX spectrum a new line is achieved with just CHR(13) - we put our NewLine command just above PrintChar to save a call!... the Speccy is the odd one out here, Chr(13)+Chr(10) is more typical
The spectrum is a bit tricky to work with! it has odd screen and key functions return strange values on 48k systems...
and it corrupts all the registers!

Still, it's perfectly usable, and later we'll write our own 'direct hardware' routines, and skip all these problems!

Basic Text Functions on the MSX:
The Spectrum gave us a hard time, but the MSX is much kinder!

PrintChar is handled by firmware call &00A2

WaitChar is handled by firmware call &009F

CLS has a firmware call of &00C3... but it requires us to set A to Zero for it to work right.

Locate is also handled by a firmware call, and like the CPC, the top corner is (1,1) - so we INC H and L

NewLine on the MSX is Chr(13)+Chr(10) (Carriage return + NewLine)

PrintString is handled simply with the PrintChar firmware call....

and we're done! Simple!
The MSX Operating system makes development really quick and easy!
 
It does have disadvantages in places.. with regards to speed and memory usage... but for this job of getting started, it's great!

Basic Text Functions on the TI-83:
Being the most limited system, it's no surprise the  the TI-83 has some strange stuff in store for us!

On the TI-83 we use RST 5  to call firmware functions - on the TI it's called BCALL - it pages in firmware rom and calls the address stored in the two bytes after the command... we're going to need it a lot!

That said, it's pretty easy to make it do what we need - we just need a lot of PUSH POP's to protect our registers!

CLS is handled by the firmware function called ClrScrnFull at &4546... notice we refer to it in a DW after the RST 5 ... this is how we make the TI-83 BCALL a function

Locate is unique on the TI too! The current cursor position is held in to memory addresses, we just load the new values into those addresses and we're done!

PrintChar is done by firmware function PutC at &4504

and WaitChar is handled by GetKey at &4972... we also use this for out PrintString command!

Newline is not done by any kind of character printing... the firmware has a special command for that too! NewLine function &452E does that nicely!

And that's it!... the firmware has handled all our requirements very nicely!





The TI-83 is the most basic system we develop for... but if we can make something work with the TI-83... we can probably do it with anything!

it's like our 'Canary'... if our code doesn't die on the TI... it's probably well designed!

Basic Text Functions on the Enterprise:
The enterprise is quite similar to the spectrum way of doing things! It uses Channels to connect to hardware, and special Charcodes for Text functions

This code fragment relies on an INIT routine setting two channels up for us... it assumes a Screen has already been opened on Channel 10 , and Keyboard open on Channel 11... see the source downloads to see how it works!

On the Enterprise... RST 6 is the EXOS call... A will contain the Channel, and the command will appear in a single byte after the RST6

PrintChar is achieved by EXOS command 7 (see DB 7)... we load B with the character, A with the screen channel (10) and call RST 6

PrintString is the same, we use EXOS command 7 to print each character as needed

Newline on the Enterprise needs CHR 13 and CHR 10 - so we could use PrintChar... but instead we use WriteBlock EXOS command 8... which we need to tell it the number of bytes in BC, the memory address of the data in DE... and of course the channel in A

WaitChar reads from the keyboard Channel... which we've defined as 11... EXOS command 5 will wait for a character from the Channel (from the keyboard)... it's returned in B... so we need to move it back to A

CLS is done with some special control codes...  CHR(27) (&1B) is defined as 'Escape' which tells the hardware special commands are coming!...CHR(26) (&1A) means "Clear the screen and reset the cursor position'... again we use a WriteBlock Command to save some commands

Locate is also done with Escape codes...  the commands are 'Escape = Y X' where Y and X are the co-ordinates - strangely on the EP128 we have to add &21 to convert our 0,0 based co-ordinates to what the Enterprise wants...  then we use WriteBlock to send the string!

Complex, but not bad... and EXOS doesn't alter the other registers... so at least no PUSH POPping!


The 'Channel' nature of the Enterprise means this takes a lot of code... and while the Enterprise OS does not corrupt registers... we need practically all of them to communicate with the OS!

Still it does the job nicely, and later we can use a slightly modified version of our Amstrad code to access the screen and keyboard directly!

And there we go!... Later we'll look at making an example of using these scripts, but I have to finish my Z80 Devkit first... and that's taking a lot of time!

Lesson P2 - More Text Functions, Improvements... and the Sam Coupe!

We did some good stuff last week.. but our Spectrum and TI-83 getkey functions could have been better... we're going to fix that today... add a function to get the cursor position that we'll need in the future... and we're going to start learning the Sam Coupe!

Remember... the sourcecode to all of these are in the Sources.7z file - so download it if you want to try them out!

WinApe can't do very advanced conditions,
We would like to do IF ScreenWIdth > 32 as a compiler definition, but Winape won't allow us!
So to work around it, we define ScreenWidth32 for IFDEF's, and ScreenWidth as 32 for ranged CP statements.

Reading Key input on the ZX Spectrum:
On all of our systems, we're going to add some definitions to the header,

We'll need these in later lessons to allow our code to function differently depending on the different systems
We're defining screensize functions, and the Keys for Enter and Delete




The WaitChar function we wrote on the Spectrum last time wasn't great... it often returned 'Command Characters' rather than letters... so this week we'll change it!

This version uses the Firmware updated Variable at &5C08... the firmware updates this each interrupt call.

We clear it to 0... then wait for something to be pressed and return it...

Of course this would wait forever if interrupts were already disabled... so we use the "PO trick" we learned in Lesson M1... if we LD A,I... PO will be set if interrupts were disabled!... this allows us to turn interrupts on... and back off again if needed!
Here's the new command we're adding this week! GetCursorPos will return the position text will print next... in the same HL format as our Locate command!

On the speccy we can get these from memory locations &5C88 and &5C89

Unfortunately, for reasons best know to itself, the Speccy stores these relative to the bottom right corner, so we have to do some subtraction to get them in the 'Top-Left' relative format we want!

If we're going to use IFDEF command, you should make sure the EQU definitions appear at the top of your code.. or WinApe may get confused!
if the definition isn't BEFORE the first IFDEF.. During the first assemble scan, they don't exist, but on the second they do, and WinApe messes up all our labels!!...
To Fix it, just put them in the header, before other code, and things will be fine!


Reading Proper letters and numbers on the TI-83:
As with the spectrum we define our Screen size, and Enter and Delete keys
On the TI-83 our GetChar command was returning all kind of weird things!

We need to get proper numbers and letters for future lessons, and a big lookup table seems wasteful!

Fortunately, even though they don't map to Ascii..  1-9 and A-Z are at least consecutive!
We can fix these important ranges, just by checking if the keypress is within those ranges, and remapping them to the proper symbols... other keys will still return weird stuff.. but they're not important to us for now!
The TI-83 may punish us when keyreading, but the GetCursorPos couldn't be easier!!!


Getting the Text Cursor Position on the MSX:
As with the other systems, the MSX needs some definitions.

However, we have no changes to make to our Keyreader!
Our new GetCursorPos command can get the screen location from &F3DC... but it's (1,1) based... so we need to decrease H and L to get the (0,0) base we want!

Getting the Text Cursor Position on Enterprise 128:
The Enterprise uses a 40 char wide screen, and a weird key for Backspace, but that's about it for the definitions!
But it makes us work for our GetCursorPos!

To read cursor pos on the Enterprise, first we send " [ESC] ? " to the screen... then we read two bytes in FROM the screen!!!

Re first will be the Y pos, and the second will be the X pos... but like with our LOCATE command... the Enterprise adds &21 to the co-ordinates...

We have to subtract &21 from both to get the (0,0) based co-ordinate we want...

It's a bit of a 'hassle' but it works fine, so it's all good!

Getting the Text Cursor Position on Amstrad CPC:
The CPC is pretty easy, so we've left it pretty much last... Here are the screen and key definitions !
&BB78 on the CPC is know as  TXT_GET_CURSOR - we can just call it and it will return the cursor position, but we need to decrease H and L, to get the (0,0) based figures we want.
Not much work on the CPC this week!

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, tonights feature presentation....

Basic Text functions on the Sam Coupe:
The Sam Coupe has a 32x24 screen in it's default text mode, so that's how we'll use it.
Our INIT routine will load 1 into address &5ABB... this will turn off the 'Scroll' message, the rest of our work will be done by the CLS routine
... and here it is!

&014E is know as JCLSBL... it will clear the whole screen if we set A to 0

next we call &015A .. known as JMODE... we just want text mode so we set A to 0 (Though basic actually calls this mode 1!!)

Finally we want our output to go to the screen, so we load A with &FE - known as channel 'S' - the main screen area...

A call to &0112 (JSETSTRM) will do the job!
PrintChar can be handled by just calling RST 2... but we have to protect a lot of registers!
The Sam Coupe just needs a CHR(13) to start a new line - just like the spectrum!

Our Locate command just needs to write it's values to memory addresses &5A6C, and &5A6D... and that's it
unfortunately, when we try to get it back for GetCursorPos.... the Sam Coupe firmware plays a trick on us!

When we do a NewLine... the X position will reset to &FE! How annoying...

To fix this, we just check if the Xpos is anything over &F0... and reset it to zero... and the problem is solved!
We're going to call &0169 (JREADKEY) to get input from the Keyboard... this returns NZ when a key is pressed.

Unfortunately(?) it returns very quickly... so we need to pause a bit to make sure we don't instantly read in a load of letters...

We could do a HALT, but that would fail if interrupts were disabled, so instead we loop around a bunch of NOP's for a while.

Of course we could just wait until the key was lifted again... but we want it to repeat if it's held down long enough!

There seem to be some strange people who consider the Sam Coupe to be a successor of the ZX spectrum!...
because Sam Coupe screen mode 1 is identical to a spectrum... and it's other functions are superior.
As it has more memory it can load in a fake ROM and simulate a 48k speccy pretty easily!
Fun Fact: the Sam Coupe clocks DOWN to 3mhz from it's usual 6 when in 'Spectrum screen mode'...weird eh!
Lets test it!
We'll use these in a later multiplatform lesson, but lets try a little test program now...

See LocateTest.ASM in the samples download!

This will show some locations to the screen, then read in text, clearing the screen when BACKSPACE is pressed... and starting a new line on ENTER
Of course, this little test will work the same on every system, because it uses our common functions...

But lets see it on the Sam Coupe!

the two first lines dump HL from the Get Char Pos, H being the X pos, and L being Y

Then we can type our text onscreen, hit enter to start a new line, or press backspace to CLS.

We'll do some far better stuff soon using these functions in the Multiplatform Series!!!

The content of this week's lesson may seem boring, but now we have enough to do some proper text reading, and we'll be using these in the Multiplatform series to make some really cool stuff!

Lesson P3 - Bitmap graphics on the Amstrad CPC and Enterprise 128

We're going to start looking at how to get things on screen on all our systems - this time without using the firmware!

We're going to look at our 6 main systems, two at a time, and see a common way we can get data to the screen on all of them, we'll start with the CPC and Enterprise, as they have functionally  the same graphics system


First lets take a look at the functions we're going to define for our 'multiplatform code'

The Amstrad CPC and Enterprise have 2 screen modes - one is 4 color, and the other is 16 color, but half the resolution... this code supports either, just enable "ScrColor16" if you want to use the 16 color mode

Also, while the CPC & Enterprise support 320x200 at 4 colors, you may want to use a smaller 256x192 screen - which will match the Spectrum and MSX, and will be a little faster!
To start up the bitmap screen we use the ScreenINIT function.

Then we need to select the line we want to send data to with GetScreenPos... we pass it an X,Y co-ordinate in BC... where B is X is in BYTES , and C is Y in LINES

Then we can use the SetScrByte to send byte data to the screen (The format must match the system)... the screen position will automatically move along to the next byte in a left->right pattern.

When we need to move down a line, use GetNextLine... note the X position is reset to the position when you last used Get ScreenPos.
There is another option... SetScrByteBW will take a 1 bit-per-pixel bitmap (BW) and plot it to the screen, in a common way on all our systems... we will use this for drawing a common bitmap font to all our systems!

Set ScrByteBW always takes the byte from A!
How the data will look onscreen will depend on the system, and color depth you're using!
The examples we're going to look at today work fine, but they're not the fastest!

If you're making your own sprite code or something, you should use these as a template, and create your optimized versions for each platform to get full speed!

Bitmap graphics on the Amstrad CPC:

First we need to set up the screen, we can get the firmware to do this, by calling &BC0E, just set A to 1 or 0 depending on the mode you want!
If you don't want to use the firrmware at all, you achieve this in a different way!

Set B to &7F to send data to gate Array...
Set C to 128 plus the mode number you want... and do an OUT command!

If interrupts are enabled you'll need to set shadow register BC' to this value... otherwise the firmware interrupt handler will turn it back!
If you want a 320 pixel wide screen, you're done! but if you want to work at 256x192 (or 128x192 in mode 0) then there's some more settings needed!

We need to defefine the screen layout, by setting up the 14 CRTC registers of the CPC to resize and reposition the screen!
The first stage of getting data to the screen is to set HL to the correct memory location onscreen.

We use GetScreenPos

This example uses a Lookup table to get the screen position based on Y co-ordinate, and then adding the X byte to that...

HL will now contain the byte required!

Note: if your screen is 256 pixels wide the Lookup table will be different, but the procedure is the same!

Using a lookup table isn't the only option - and if you're short of memory, you may want to use an alternative, for example, you could move down 200 times to get the bottom line, or use a formula to calculate the memory position of a line...
A lookup table will be fastest, but if memory is limited, then other options are also viable!

We will often want to move down a line, so we can continue drawing a sprite or whatever, we've got a routine that will do this

On the CPC the next line can be calculated by adding &0800 to the byte position... unfortunately, every 8 lines you'll end up going over &FFFF, and need to roll round to &C050... so we check bit 7 to see if this has happened, and adjust if needed...

If your screen memory was located at &8000 you would want to use bit 6,h instead.

We store the last calculated ScreenLinePos so we can quickly return to the left hand side of our sprite or symbol when moving down a line.
When it comes to Setting bytes we're using a Macro... unlike a Call, macros are code fragments which are inserted by the assembler wherever they are used... we do this, because the commands could be totally different depending on the target system, but doing a call every screen byte will be slow.

We're defining SetScrByte to set a byte... and NextScrByte to more along one byte...

Note: if we're using 256 pixel wide screens we only need to inc l .. not inc hl... this saves a few CPU cycles so is faster!
The last command is SetScrByteBW... this takes a 2 bit Black and white bitmap, and renders it to screen in the same format on all of our systems!

The bits are organized in L->R format, where bit 7 is leftmost and bit 0 is rightmost (Spectrum format)... on the CPC we have to reorganize the bits quite a bit to achieve this, and in 16 color mode it's even harder!

Bitmap graphics on the Enterprise 128:

On the Enterprise the byte data is the same as the CPC, but the line organization, and setting up the screen is very different
The enterprise can have 128k or more of memory, BUT the screen must be in one of the four first 64k banks....

on the EP64 there are 4 banks FC,FD,FE,FF  ...  on the EP128 there are 8 banks F8, F9,FA,FB  as well as the 4 the Ep64 has

What we should do is tell the Enterprise operating system we want 16k memory segments, and until we get back a bank we can use for the screen... then free up all the ones we didn't really want!

Well that was pretty tough, but we're not done yet!

We have to define a table in the memory bank which will define the screen, like the screen, this also needs to be in the first 64k of memory, it's usually pretty small, so it's probably easiest to store it around &CF00 or equivalent with your screen data.


The screen definition is called the Line Parameter Table (LPT)... it's made up of multiple sections.
Each "Section" has 16 bytes...

1. The first byte is the negative of the number of lines we're going to define, so if we want 200 lines, it should be -200
2. the next defines the screen mode and other screen options.
3-4. These define the left and right margins of the line... that is, the area used by the screen border.
5-6. These are the memory address of the byte data... note this is relative to the 64k internal banks (FC-FF)  not the visible memory to the Z80
7-8. These are unused.
9-16... these are the RGB palette colors... in 4 color mode the layout is (g0 | r0 | b0 | g1 | r1 | b1 | g2 | r2)... so green and red is defined by a 3 bit color definition... but blue only has 2 bts...

the remaining 8 colors of 16 color mode are a brighter copy of the first 8  colors, defined by Setting bits 0-4 of "FixBias" on port &80 using out (&80)... we'll look at palettes later!


In this example we're just defining one block of 200 lines, and the top and bottom of the screen, but that's just a basic example... if you want you can slice the screen up and add 200 such 16 byte blocks, and change the palette and even screen mode every single line of the screen!... and this is all done by the hardware, so no CPU power is used!

On the enterprise, getting the next line is easier because the lines are directly below each other... as each line is 80 byrtes, we just add &50 (Dec 80) to get the line below... of course it's &40 (64) if your screen is 256 pixels wide.

We add to L first... and if it overflows, we INC H... this is faster and uses less registers than doing ADD HL,BC or something like that.
SetScrByte , NextScrByte and ScrByteBW are IDENTICAL on the enterprise to the CPC, because the byte layout is identical

Lesson P4 - Bitmap graphics on the ZX Spectrum and Sam Coupe

The Sam Coupe and ZX Spectrum are similar to the CPC/ENT in the sense that the screen is accessed directly in memory... however the Spectrum is a 1 bit (B/w) screen (with color attributes)  and the Sam Coupe is 4 bit (16 color) in the mode we're using in these tutorials!

Bitmap graphics on the Sam Coupe:

On the Sam Coupe the screen is 24k in size... what's worse, unlike other systems where switchable banks are 16k in size, on the SAM they are 32k... this makes it hard for us to access the screen memory with other things...
These tutorials will bank in the screen ram in the low half of screen memory - but that means we'll have to use IM2 or disable interrupts

Our program is running at &8000 , so our only option is to bank in the memory at &0000-&7FFF... but this means we'll need to change the stack pointer, and keep interrupts disabled the whole time.

As we're going to mess with the stack pointer, we back up the return address in hl

first we tell the screen hardware at port 252 what screen mode we want (bits 5-6) and where in memory it is (bits 0-4)

then we page in that memory using port 250 where bits 0-4 define what memory appears at &0000-&7FFF

Finally we set up a new stack pointer, and put the return address back!... phew!
GetScreenpos and GetNext line on the SAM are basically the same as on the Enterprise...

Unlike the CPC the SAM's screen lines are directly below each other, so each as each pixel is 4 bit, and each line is 256 pixels, each  line is 128 bytes...

To move down a line we add &80... and if L overflows we inc H as well.
The Byte commands are the same as the enterprise, not too much to see here!
The SAM coupe screen byte layout is not the same as the CPC! two consecutive bits in mode 0 are ------12... on the SAM these are positioned ---1---2... this means we have to do a lot of bitshifts to get our 2 bit bitmap in the correct format for the screen. as each byte only contains 2 pixels, we have to do this 4 times!
Because of the Sam Coupe's memory layout if you need to enable interrupts, you'll need to restore the original low memory bank.

I've created two sample macros, which will page in the screen memory, or  return the original low memory bank... but be careful! The Stack pointer will have to be above &8000!
Paging in the screen memory to &0000-&7FFF isn't ideal, but is what we'll do in these tutorials,
When you're writing your own game you may want to bank it into &8000-&FFFF, but as our program runs from &8000 this isn't possible here.
We'll cover how to do memory banking in detail in a later lesson!

Bitmap graphics on the ZX Spectrum

The screen memory functions on the ZX Spectrum are similar to what we've seen on the Amstrad CPC... however unlike the CPC, the Spectrum screen is even more complex!

each 8 lines is spilt into a 'chunk'... and the screen is also split into 3 chunks... and the section of the HL address we need to change varies depending on which of these 'Chunks' we're in.

I think this is to make drawing 8 line characters quick - as you can move across the screen with INC L, and down (within 8 lines) with INC H..., but it makes everything else a pain!... the GetNextLine  function here will handle it for you, and it's about as efficient as is possible.

The bits in HL that make up the XY co-ordinate are shown below:

H L
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
0 1 0 Y7 Y6 Y2 Y1 Y0 Y5 Y4 Y3 X4 X3 X2 X1 X0
The ZX Spectrum is basically 1 bit per pixel, but we can define basic colors for each 8x8 square.

To make this easy I've written a GetColMemPos... this will take a location in the same line-byte format as GetMemPos, and will return a byte address in the Color table...

The color info on the spectrum is stored from &5800-&5AFF

Each Color byte is defined in the following format:
% 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
Flash Bright Back Back Back Fore Fore Fore

FOREground and BACKground colors are defined by 3 bits each... values from 0-7:
7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0
White Yellow Cyan Green Magenta Red Blue Black

The 'Bright' Bit will make both foreground and background color brighter.
The Spectrum may make things difficult for us when we're getting screen locations, but because it's 1 bit per pixel, Our Set ScrByteBW command is super simple!...

Also, moving within the X co-ordinate can just be done with INC L.. so everything here is very fast!
Systems like the MSX, Enterprise and Sam Coupe can work in the same way as the spectrum screen... but with only 2 colors per square, the result isn't so great to look at... so in these tutorials we won't be covering those modes... we're aiming for 4 and 16 colors in general, but the spectrum can't do that!

Lesson P5 - Bitmap graphics on the TI-83 and MSX
The 2 color TI, and  the 16 color MSX may seem odd partners, but they both have something in common... their GPU's are not accessible directly from memory!

This means we have to use OUT commands to get data to the screen.

Bitmap graphics on the MSX2

The MSX VDP (Video Display Processor) handles graphics on the screen of the computer, it works fastest when filling or copying block areas of the screen, however it can also work by addressing screen memory 'bytes' in a similar way to the other systems, while this is rarely as fast as using faster 'area based' commands, it will be sufficient for us to make a start!

We access the VDP via it's ports, the main ones we'll need today are the  'Control' port &99... which we use to set the memory address in video ram we want to send data to... and the 'Data' port &98, where we send the new values to write to memory


The VDP has 46 'registers'... these are settings we can set, and allow us to command the VDP
To set one, we typically send the new value we to the Control port, then the register number to assign the value to plus 128....

For example,  if we want to set register '2' to 31, we send 31 to the control port, then 128+2 to the control port...
The register will now have the correct value!

Don't worry if this seems hard, we'll make some functions to do the dirty work!
We have to set a variety of registers to set up the screen in 16 color mode,

don't worry about what these are, as you won't need to change them again!


If you really want to know the 'ins and outs' of all the options of the MSX VDP check out the "V9938 - Technical Data Book
Programmer’s Guide
"
We'll cover some more advanced options later, but if you want to jump ahead, definately get it and take a look!

The MSX 16 color screen has a visible range of 256x192... however it's 128k vram means internally it's 256x1024... pixels 193-1024 are offscreen and not usually show, but we can load sprites into these hidden areas, and copy them into the visible area, or use this space for alternate screen buffers...
We won't do any of that yet, but its important to know for when we're setting memory addresses!



the MSX screen is 256 pixels wide, Each byte contains 2 pixels, in the same format as the sam coupe, so each line is 128 bytes wide.

We're going to use the function "VDP_SetReadAddress" to tell the VDP what memory we want to write to... as the machine has 128k of memory, we won't be able to just use HL to specify the memory address, so we'll use AHL as a 17 bit memory address..

This function will convert the address into the format required by register 14 (direct memory access) so we can start sending data
The GetScreenPos function will convert the co-ordinate to the correct memory address and use this "VDP_SetReadAddress" command to get the address,

When it comes to getting the 'next line' it's not possible to do this automatically, so we recalculate the new memory address, and use the VDP_SetReadAddress again
When we want to set the bytes in video memory, we just OUT the data to the data port (&98)

We don't even need to move along one byte, the VDP does that for us!
Sending the 1 bit data is pretty much the same, we have to shift the bits around to get them in the correct format for the MSX, but we just OUT the final byte to the screen in the same way!

Bitmap graphics on the TI-83
 
The Ti-83 uses a command port, and a data port like the MSX, but that's where the similarity ends!

The Ti-83 screen is just 96x64, just 12 characters wide, but it has a 'narrow mode' where only 6 bits of each byte sent are used ,allowing us to use smaller fonts and get 16 characters on a line... we'll support this with the defined symbol 'ScrTISmall'



We tell the LCD what we want to do with these ports, unfortunately, it's not very fast, so we have to 'Wait' for it, by calling 'LCD_BUSY_QUICK' at &000B... if we don't things will go strange!

Our set up is pretty simple, we just send 0 or 1 to the command port, to set narrow (6 bit) or normal (8 bit) mode respectively.

We send 7 to the screen, this set's what the TI call's 'Autoinc Y' (but everyone else would call Autoinc X)... rather annoyingly in the TI documentation, Y goes across the screen and X goes down! Grr!
We set the X,Y position of the location the next write will appear, by sending 2 bytes to the command port...

We add &80 to the Vertical Y co-ordinate, and send it, and &20 to the Horizontally X co-ordinate - &80 and &20 tell the LCD hardware that these bytes are co-ordinates, not other commands

When it comes to moving to the next line, we remember the last chosen co-ordinate and reposition the drawing cursor to the line below.
If we're just normal bytes to the screen, we just OUT them to the data port, then call &000B to wait for the LCD to catch up!

If we're using the 6 bit screen mode, then we need to skip 2 bytes from the written data, we skip 2 of the middle bytes, to try to avoid making fonts look weird!


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