Questions about windows support

Nick Sabalausky a at a.a
Tue Feb 21 20:11:27 PST 2012

"H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh at> wrote in message 
news:mailman.842.1329878177.20196.digitalmars-d at
> On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 08:09:49PM -0500, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
>> "H. S. Teoh" <hsteoh at> wrote in message
>> news:mailman.830.1329870386.20196.digitalmars-d at
>> > On Tue, Feb 21, 2012 at 06:01:37PM -0500, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
> [...]
>> >> Heh, as bad as this might sound, I think what I basically want is
>> >> more or less Windows Explorer on linux ;)
> [...]
>> > Maybe if you write one in D... ;-) Perhaps *that's* the killer D app
>> > that we've been waiting for, that will take the world by a storm. :P
>> >
>> I've seriously been wanting to, but it's one of many things I haven't
>> been able to get around to yet.
>> I suspect, though, it might not end up so popular. Linux people like
>> the command line. Although it might help further popularize Linux
>> among WinXP fans...
> Only true for the old guard, hardcore people like myself. Newer Linux
> users tend to like their GUI desktops better. Even if they do use the
> command-line every now and then. In another generation or two I don't
> think many of the old guard people will be left.

Good point.

>> But it's looking like Vlad's D forums might be on their way to being
>> D's killer app anyway ;)
> Well in that case, we'd better get our act together and produce more
> awesome D apps, so that when D starts hitting the media headlines and
> people start searching for us, we'd have something to show for it
> besides saying "oh, D forums, that's the only really significant thing
> we've done so far". :)

Absolutely :)

> Man I love those old days when I spent hours memorizing assembly opcodes
> just to... no, wait, I didn't *deliberately* memorize them, it was just
> that I coded in assembly so much I could memorize almost all of the
> common instructions.  Yikes. Where did my childhood go?! :P

Heh yea. If I'm lacking in social skills, I think growing up on the Apple 
IIc and 386/486 are most likely to blame ;)

>> Hell, that's a big part of what makes those machines such a dream to
>> work with anyway. And also what made them cheap enough for average
>> consumers - *especially* the Atari VCS/2600 - That's just an
>> absolutely beautiful design in it's minimalism (had to be, to be
>> useful and only ~$200). Ever coded for it? It makes even the Apple II
>> seem enormously complex and powerful. It's sooo fun.
> [...]
> OK, you beat me there. I never owned an Atari. :(

I never did either until about 10 years ago when I spotted a nearly-new 
2600jr in a second-hand games store and quickly snatched it up.

There's a lot of great information on the web for how the 2600 worked, and 
how to develop for it. You can even get cheap cartridges that you pop in an 
EEPROM with your code and then run on the physical machine instead of just 
an emulator.

I read up on that information and wrote one little program for it. Wasn't a 
full-fledged game or anything, just a single-screen playfield you could move 
round in and interact with. I even designed and wired up a (barely-working) 
Parallel Port EEPROM burner, burnt the image, popped it into one of those 
homebrew carts you can get, and had it running on the real thing. I *should* 
still have the ROM image and source around somewhere, I'll have to dig them 
out. I know it'll run on the Stella emulator.

I miss having time for console homebrew, it's incredibly satisfying. I used 
to do a bit on the GBA, too: Check the "Older stuff:" section at the bottom 
of The ROMs will run in the fantastic VisualBoy 
Advance emulator (or on actual hardware, if you have the right Chinese 
gadgets ;) ).

> But yeah, even the Apple II had its complexities.
> I still remember puzzling over how Apple DOS can somehow "magically" add
> DOS commands to the BASIC prompt without the BASIC interpreter even
> knowing anything about DOS. Until one day I discovered that Apple DOS
> was hooking into the *keyboard interrupt vector* and listening in on
> keystrokes to sent to the BASIC interpreter's command line. When it saw
> a newline, it checked to see if the command buffer contained a DOS
> command. If not, it lets the newline through and the BASIC interpreter
> interpreted the command. But if the buffer contained a DOS command, the
> newline would be swallowed by DOS, which then proceeds to run the
> command before erasing the buffer and returning to the BASIC
> interpreter, as if no command had ever been typed.
> Apple DOS also hooked into the console output vector to catch those
> programmatic DOS commands which you put in your programs by doing
> something like: PRINT;PRINT ^DBRUN FILE;PRINT. The magic sequence was
> newline followed by ctrl-D followed by DOS command.  Such output
> sequences were "stolen" from the ROM's output routines and put in a
> temporary buffer, so that instead of being written to screen they ran a
> DOS command at the next newline.
> It was clever tricks like these that inspired me to become a programmer.

Heh, I think you got waaay beyond where I ever got in understanding the 
Apple II's internals.

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