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Topics - Vectrex32

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News and Updates / The V Prize: A bounty for new games
« on: September 05, 2017, 10:14:44 AM »
I am offering US$500 bounties for games to be written for the Vectrex32. See the details at http://vectrex32.com/the-v-prize.

- Bob

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News and Updates / Yet more Vectrex32s
« on: June 26, 2017, 04:22:03 PM »
Vectrex32s are back in stock. I have 19 available (I had 20 made, but one was DOA). You can order one here.

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I have ten Vectrex32s available for purchase. If you'd like one, you can buy it here.

The is a new revision of the hardware that supports all Vectrexes, both the original and the late model "no-buzz" Vectrexes! BASIC programs written on the older Vectrex32s will run on this new hardware and vice-versa (assuming the old Vectrex32s have been upgraded to firmware version 1.15).

- Bob

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News and Updates / Version 1.15 Released
« on: May 12, 2017, 01:22:31 PM »
Version 1.15 has been released. It consists of bug fixes and a very minor new feature. If you already own Vectrex 1.10 or newer, you can download the firmware here. If you still have version 1.00, please read this.

Many thanks to "Astrosynthesist" who found and reported many of the bugs.

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News and Updates / Vectrex32s available for purchase
« on: April 04, 2017, 04:31:06 PM »
I have ten Vectrex32s available for purchase. If you'd like one, you can buy it here.

- Bob

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News and Updates / Version 1.14 Released
« on: December 12, 2016, 01:16:32 PM »
Version 1.14 has been released, with new features, a new game, and a new video. If you already own Vectrex 1.10 or newer, you can download the firmware here. If you still have version 1.00, please read this.


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News and Updates / Version 1.13 Released
« on: November 19, 2016, 10:24:47 AM »
Version 1.13 has been released. There are no new features, but memory usage has been improved to allow larger programs.

You can read more about it here and download it from here.

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News and Updates / Version 1.12 Released
« on: October 27, 2016, 02:09:08 PM »
In response to requests for new features, I released version 1.11 of the Vectrex32 firmware. Then, while packaging it up to post on the web site, I discovered a bug that can cause a crash. Since I had already sent 1.11 out to a couple of customers, I had to bump the version number to 1.12.

The changes in these last two versions are:

Version 1.12, October 27, 2016
------------------------------
A bug fix.

- If Vectrex32 was unable to find a function or subroutine that is called in a program, it could lead to a crash later. This bug is now fixed.


Version 1.11, October 25, 2016
------------------------------
Minor feature additions.

- The FOR...NEXT loop now supports STEP, with both positive and negative values
- The FOR...NEXT loop now supports floating point numbers for the start, end, and step
- The WaitForFrame function now accepts an optional fourth argument to specify the resolution of the analog joystick.

Documentation is available here and the firmware download is available here. You must have version 1.10 or 1.11 to upgrade to 1.12. If you have version 1.00, you need to send your Vectrex32 back to me and I will upgrade it. See information about that here.

- Bob

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Code Swap / 3D Tie Fighter Demo
« on: October 20, 2016, 11:00:28 AM »
While adding 3D graphics features to the Vectrex32, I wrote a BASIC program to demo them. The program allowed you to create Tie fighters (like in the original vector graphics Star Wars arcade game) on the screen and rotate them. But there was a problem: the Tie fighter is such a complex drawing that the Vectrex exhibits the dreaded pen drift, and one side of the Tie fighter starts oscillating, being drawn in a slightly different position in each frame.

So I switched from Tie fighters to pyramids and that's what I included on the Vectrex32's USB drive (see the program Demo3D.bas).

However, some people might want to experiment with the Tie fighter or use it as a code example, so I'm posting it here. You must have Vectrex32 version 1.10 or later to use this.

- Bob


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News and Updates / Version 1.10 Released
« on: October 19, 2016, 10:42:19 AM »
Version 1.10 of Vectrex32 is now available. The most notable change is that it now supports 3D graphics (similar to those in the Battlezone and Tail Gunner arcade games, not requiring 3D glasses). There are also significant bug fixes.

Version 1.10 makes 3D graphics easy. You define your shapes with (x, y, z) coordinates, set their rotation with pitch, roll, and yaw angles, and position the objects in a 3D world. Then, you specify the position and direction of the virtual camera to determine what the player sees. Throughout all of this, you don't need to do any trigonometry; the Vectrex32 does all the work of converting the 3D scene into an image on the screen.

A couple of users have run into bugs that cause Out of Memory errors. Those bugs have been fixed.

More information about the new features and bug fixes can be found at http://vectrex32.com/category/documentation/. The release notes describe more bug fixes and the Vectrex32 manual discusses programming 3D graphics.

If you already own a Vectrex32, you will probably want to upgrade the firmware. Vectrex32 has a built-in mechanism for upgrading the firmware but, sadly, it has fatal bugs. So I am going to have to do a recall and upgrade your cartridges myself. This is my fault, so I will cover the cost of your shipping. I apologize for the inconvenience.

If you are in the US and you send me your Vectrex32, I will refund $7 of your purchase price. This will cover your cost of shipping by USPS Priority Mail. You may buy insurance at your discretion. Remember to include your return address with the Vectrex32!!

If you are outside of the US, I will refund $15 of your purchase price. If this is insufficient to cover your shipping costs, please contact me. You may buy insurance at your discretion. Since you are returning the Vectrex32 for repair and it will be sent back to you, neither of us are legally required to pay customs fees. Please explain to your post office that you already paid customs and that you are returning this, and ask them how to mark the package to avoid customs charges. Remember to include your return address with the Vectrex32!!

Send your Vectrex32 to:
   Robert Alexander
   6 Robinson Drive
   Bedford, MA 01730
   United States of America

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News and Updates / VIDE Supports the Vectrex32 SmartCart
« on: September 26, 2016, 07:51:31 PM »
Vide, the Vectrex Integrated Development Environment, has been enhanced to support the Vectex32 SmartCart. It provides a terminal emulator to give commands to the SmartCart, a file list that shows the files on the SmartCart's drive, and an editor window that shows the program you're working on.

You can read more about it and download the latest version (1.02) at http://vide.malban.de/what-is-vide

Many thanks to Malban for his work on Vide.

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News and Updates / More SmartCarts available
« on: September 14, 2016, 09:01:43 PM »
I received 30 SmartCart boards today and tested them - they all work. I only have 11 shells (more are coming in two days). So I'm making 11 available for sale now and 19 more when I get the shells.

Last time, I sold through eBay. This time, I'm selling through Vectrex32, but I'm still using PayPal to process payments.

If you'd like to buy a Vectrex32 SmartCart, go to the Buy page.

- Bob

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News and Updates / A few more SmartCarts available
« on: August 28, 2016, 09:08:51 AM »
I have a few more SmartCarts available. You can buy them here.

I have ordered 30 more SmartCarts, and they should be available in about a month.

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News and Updates / Copy protection discussion
« on: August 25, 2016, 10:00:34 AM »
I've started a new thread in the Features Requests forum to discuss copy protection schemes. See it at http://forums.vectrex32.com/index.php/topic,11.0.html

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Feature Requests and Bug Reports / Copy protecting BASIC programs
« on: August 25, 2016, 09:38:18 AM »
Some people have suggested that the SmartCart provide copy protection, so that game writers can sell their games without fear of them being pirated.

Features that would be nice are:
  • Allows for a free trial period, so a user can try the game before buying
  • Does not require a terminal emulator, since some people might have trouble setting one up
  • As simple as possible for the user and the seller

- Bob

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