It's been a while but lots going on..
Last year I created an update for wubtris that will appear on a future Sam Revival coverdisk. The last version was too ambitious and so for the special edition all the 2 player stuff has been removed to create a simple 1 player challenge. I couldn't understand how my horrible, convoluted game logic worked so I left that alone and just updated the drawing code. The result is a lot faster and more playable. I also added some fun palette changes for each level that make it look nice too.
This will be an exclusive game for Sam Revival and won't be released elsewhere!
To follow this, Dungeon Game is nearing completion and will be released for Sam Coupe and Android this year. This is a fast-paced Robotron style shooter that takes place within randomly generated dungeon maps. It's a lot better than my usual efforts so I'm considering releasing it as shareware with a donation request on the loading screen.
Other than all this, I'm still loving the Trinity and slowly filling my SD card with spectrum games. I've discovered a few tricks for the occasional game that fails to work with Emulspec and I'm hatching a plan to make a really cool new emulator that makes good use of the Trinity.
My Sam has been given a new lease of life with the Trinity, Trinity Boot ROM and also a new keyboard membrane.
It's unbelievable that a replacement membrane even exists in 2015 but the one produced by RWAP Software is identical to the original and took barely 5 minutes to fit. I bought the membrane from RWAP's ebay shop and would recommend them to any Sam user with keyboard woes.
Equally unbelievable but even more exciting is the Trinity. Having to deal with 3.5 inch floppies is painful and most of my time on the Sam has been wasted through faffing about with unreliable disks. To the rescue comes Quazar with a three in one solution that provides an ethernet port, SD card slot and a programmable EEPROM on one card.
The card is stored in a standard VHS cassette box and comes with a number of manuals and leaflets that contain full instructions and technical details of the package. There's also a couple of disks with the software to install B-DOS onto the EEPROM and some demo programs to test the internet features. The entire package is beautifully produced, the instructions are clear and well written, and I was able to download the test game, XOR, from the internet in no time at all.
While placing the order with Quazar I also bought an upgraded, Trinity aware, ROM chip that allows the Sam to boot directly into B-DOS after it's been installed to the Trinity. This results in a Sam that's ready to load from the SD card a scant few seconds after powering on.
The Trinity can use SD cards up to 64GB in size but I decided 8GB was big enough as this is equivalent to about 9000 floppy disks, or records as they are called by B-DOS. The SD card works like a virtual second disk drive and the RECORD keyword is used to change the virtual disk currently in the drive. I've found it pretty easy to modify programs to access the SD card so far and most stuff seems quite happy to boot from drive 2.
I use the Sam as much for Spectrum emulation as for it's own software and the Trinity really makes that more workable than relying on dozens of disks. I'd recommend the Trinity for this purpose alone as the Sam (hooked up with a scart lead and furnished with an appropriate old-school joystick) is about the nicest way to play Spectrum games on real hardware that exists.
The ethernet port presents some very exciting possibilities for 8-bit gaming and it will be interesting to see what happens with this in the future. For the time being it's the SD storage that makes the Trinity a must have device for Sam owners and on this basis that I'd declare it an essential Sam peripheral.