Andreas Gustafsson's Blog

Monday, March 12, 2012

How a piece of cardboard can improve loading...

I guess I have to stop spamming my blog with so much posts, not even three years have passed since last time, but you will have to try to keep up! ;)

Let's start with the resolution to the ever-so-exciting question of what the code snippet in the last post about Z80 optimizing was:

The answer is the bumpmapper right at the start of this MSX demo!

And now on to other Z80-related stuff. I recently bought a ZX Sinclair +2A, and now I'm trying to finish a demo in time for the Forever party later this week.

I was having a bit of trouble with loading my stuff today though. The +2A doesn't have an external cassette port, so I load from the built in one using one of those crappy MP3-car-cassette adapters. However, it stopped working. After some experimentation I came up with this somewhat MacGyverish solution:

The central thing here is the piece of cardboard wedged down above the play button. It presses just enough on the button that the adapter makes contact with the tape head in the Spectrum, but not too much that the motor starts running (because then it would just stop loading entirely after a while). Empirical studies showed that three layers of cardboard was the sweet spot, two didn't press enough to give contact with the head while four made the motor start.
Sometimes you just got to love old hardware!

Labels: , , ,