boochk
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 10:20 pm

Timex Sinclair Help

Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:18 am

After learning more about the MAME system, I discovered that it emulates a dinosaur system called Timex Sinclair 1000/1500. WOW! Since I had one of these, I thought it would be cool to load one up and have a look. I reviewed the hash file zx81 and I have the correct rom asteroids.zip/asteroids.tzx CRC is correct. So I start the UI and load the Timex Sinclair 1000. As in my problem with my Atari ROM, I am unable to load it. Same red message files missing. So I run the console from a command line "mame64 zx81 asteroids" and get a list of software with the letter A and asteroids is listed. I even point to the specific file "\mame 64\software\zx81\asteroids" and it still cannot find the file. I wish I understood the XML file for the zx81 better but am at a loss on what I have missed. Can someone point me in a direction on documentation so I can read further on this? I tried the mame64 -showusage but the command list is beyond my buffered output.

Thanks,
John

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Pernod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:29 am
Location: UK

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:28 am

boochk wrote:
Thu Jun 08, 2017 2:18 am
So I run the console from a command line "mame64 zx81 asteroids" and get a list of software with the letter A and asteroids is listed.
The set name is astroids not asteroids, use "mame64 zx81 astroids".

boochk
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 10:20 pm

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Thu Jun 08, 2017 3:10 am

Penrod,

Thank you for pointing out my painful error. One of my medicines has been messing with my vision and I totally missed this. I also figured out it must be in a folder called zx81_cass in the software folder. After entering the correct command I got the ROM to load but all I got on the screen was a "K" in the lower left of the screen. I am out of time to play tonight but will continue tomorrow. As I recall, the cassette took 20 minutes to load so maybe the emulation needs time as well. I will post my results tomorrow.

Thanks,
John

boochk
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 10:20 pm

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:03 am

Update:

I have been unable to get past the initial screen with the "K" on the lower left side of the screen. I have used the command line and can launch it from UI but get the same results. The UI lists both the console and the game as working (NO Sound as TI had none). No errors are received in the command line either. I did leave it loading before work but 9 hours later, still at the "K". I do not plan on spending much more time on this as frankly it was a PITA to begin with. I am just surprised to see it and wanted to reflect on some old memories. Should someone know a trick to make it work or point out something I am doing wrong, I would like to see it work.

Thanks,
John

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Pernod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:29 am
Location: UK

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Fri Jun 09, 2017 2:06 am

Hi John, you mentioned previously that you had a Timex Sinclair 1000 so I would assume you knew how to use it. I had one in 1981 and remember it well. In MAME when you start it with 'mame64 zx81 astroids' you are effectively switching on a ZX81 with the asteroids tape in the attached cassette player. You need to tell the ZX81 to load the game from the cassette.

Here's a step-by-step to load the game:

Code: Select all

mame64 zx81 astroids
Press J (should see LOAD) then SHIFT P twice (should see LOAD "") then press ENTER
You have now told the ZX81 to load something from cassette. If you remember back over 35 years you'll know you now have to press PLAY on the tape recorder. In MAME press SCROLL LOCK to Enable UI then press TAB to enter the UI menu. Now select Tape Control, then Play. You should now see the cassette playing. Press TAB again to exit the menu and press INSERT to FastForward the emulation to load the cassette quickly, the game will start when loaded.
I recommend getting the ZX81 artwork from http://www.progettosnaps.net/artworks/a ... p?letter=z and placing it in your artwork folder so that you can see the keyboard layout like:
zx81.JPG
zx81.JPG (225.19 KiB) Viewed 447 times

boochk
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 10:20 pm

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Pernod,

First, A BIG THANK YOU! I am able to load this game now. 35+ years since I used that thing so yes, I forgot the load cassette stuff. I had an Atari 400 with a cassette player too. I ran into two minor issues. The first is you must use the left shift key only. After I downloaded the artwork that solved that. The other is for some reason my Sinclair 1000 will not do anything after the cassette finishes. Both the 1000/1500 use the same ZX81 Bios so not sure why but the 1500 works exactly as instructed. It's funny to think back how primitive things were back then, and we thought it was amazing. I now remember the frustration of waiting for the cassette to load and it never loaded the first time. I am grateful for your help as this did bring back many memories. I totally forgot about the different symbols that displayed when you turned the ship. Actually my Sinclair was a prize, if you sat through a Time Share presentation. That was more painful that the loading of the software.

Regards,
John

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Pernod
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2016 1:29 am
Location: UK

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:48 pm

boochk wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 8:28 pm
The other is for some reason my Sinclair 1000 will not do anything after the cassette finishes. Both the 1000/1500 use the same ZX81 Bios so not sure why but the 1500 works exactly as instructed.
The Sinclair 1000 only has 2K of RAM, most games require 16K as found in the Sinclair 1500. The ZX81 only has 1K normally but we've attached the 16K rampack by default to avoid users complaining that nothing works.

boochk
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu May 25, 2017 10:20 pm

Re: Timex Sinclair Help

Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:16 pm

Pernod,

Thank you for your help in getting this emulation working. I have had time to relive some very old memories. It brought me a great deal of joy!

Regards,
John

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