another problem with emulators
Sunday, September 15 2019
I was working on my stone wall when Gretchen came around on her dog walking loop in the opposite direction from the way she'd gone yesterday. I would've thought she would be more impressed by the wall, but she seemed blasé, perhaps because I'm not taking the care that Andy Goldsworthy would take to minimize the joints between adjacent stones. But Andy Goldsworthy would have a better selection of stones, dumped for him from a truck coming directly from a mine. Some of my stones are rounded boulders and others have the shapes of prisms, and such stones don't lend themselves to effortless stacking. Also, I'm just one guy working without a budget.
I interlaced such work with further attempts to reconstruct my old VIC-20 character editor, a project that is proving more like resurrecting the thylacine than initially expected. At first I'd thought I could just OCR the printout of the code and then manually edit that, all of which I've now done. But, as mentioned yesterday, there's the issue of Commodore's proprietary control characters, which tells the computer where on the screen to place data, and the fact that these were imperfectly represented in printouts (especially on an obscure printer like the Commodore VIC-1520 plotter I'd used; it had been the cheapest printing option available to me in the early 1980s). It was looking like any further work on resurrecting the character editor was going to require trying to get the program to run in an emulator (as I do not have a VIC-20, at least not in Hurley, and the one or two I left in the honey house attic near Staunton, Virginia do not work.) But then, even once I'd installed an up-to-date version of VICE (the Versatile Commodore Emulator), I had no way of knowing what keys on my PC-compatible keyboard produced what results in the emulator. Such emulators really should come with onscreen emulated keyboards providing a view of all the special characters. I was particularly interested in how to produce the symbol "π," which kept coming up in my code for some reason. But it seems that none of the Commodore emulators have complete onscreen keyboards or much interest in producing one (there is an emulated keyboard on Frodo C64, which I have on my smartphones, but it provides no way to produce anything but familiar letters, numbers, and punctuation). This evening I think I solved my problem as best I could by printing out a VICE keyboard map, but by then I was in no mood to actually start experimenting with control sequences, since I expected that it would take a lot of trial and error. While I was printing things on the house's only working computer (down in the first floor office), I also printout out a Raspberry Pi printout map, since I frequently need to consult that these days.
Looking east off the escarpment from the Stick Trail about 100 feet north of the Chamomile (about 200 feet north of the stone wall).
Click to enlarge.
Looking at the wall from the south on the Stick Trail. Click to enlarge.
Gretchen on the Stick Trail at the west end of the wall. The Chamomile is 100 feet behind her to the north.
Click for a wider view.
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