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Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Posted by Nick on 10 March 2000, 02:31 GMT

On the condition that I spell the phrase "featured program" like "f33-chur3d," Kirk Meyer has released a program to us called Pterodactyl for the TI-86. This program will add another fifteen kilobytes of memory to your 86. According to Kirk in a lengthy IM, "TI allocated 16kb of RAM for temporary storage during normal usage of the calculator. However, nowhere near this amount of space is utilized. Pterodactyl simply reclaims 15kb of this space for your usage. Oddly, the memory design of the TI-86 allowed for this to be done quite painlessly." Uh, yeah. If you get a really small amount for your RAM after this, it's good - it only lists the last five digits of the amount of RAM you have, so if you have 105,291 bytes of RAM, it'll show up as 5,291. Also, uninstalling the program requires a memory reset - simple deletion won't work.

As if the 86 didn't have enough already :P

 


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Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Reno  Account Info

thanks kirk, my 86 is now officially my fav calc (although it HAS been that, anyways)

     10 March 2000, 02:39 GMT


Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
big_willy  Account Info

that's cool.86's are great.

     12 March 2000, 03:22 GMT

Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Kirk Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

As a quick addendum to the article, please note (as reiterated twice in the documentation and the fileinfo page) that this is incompatible with quite a few ASM programs, because they take for granted that they can use this space as temporary space.

     10 March 2000, 02:39 GMT


Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Reno  Account Info

oh yes, kirk, I wanted to email you this question but hopefully you'll read it here instead:

when I run chmasc, all I get is a black screen and a crash; should my memory be empty before running this program (also, should the left+down patch not be running)?

     10 March 2000, 02:42 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Kirk Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

This is semi ontopic, so I hope as many read it as possible, so that I won't get so many emails.

Chmasc is in its beta stage right now. I do have ideas of how to make it work much better, but I haven't yet implemented them. It is _totally_ beta right now. In fact, it may only work on certain ROM versions, and intermitently at that. Until then, I truly recommend that you not use the program.

     10 March 2000, 02:47 GMT

Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
amicek  Account Info
(Web Page)

Wow I AM impresssed. That is unfortunate that many ASM programs don't work with it, but maybe some of the major programmmers can tweak there codes to comply. Though, something tell me messing with storage addresses is a tricky thing.... Anyways you keep us on our toes Kirk by coming up with ideas infinitely more creative and innovative than I (or a lot of other people) would think of. Thanks!

By the way this is not an ode to Kirk, I was just impressed :)

amicek

     10 March 2000, 02:45 GMT


Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Reno  Account Info

I had thought kirk stopped programming for the 86 when his page went down and no info on katydid/ti-94/cymbol/etc ever showed up, till I joined the 86 assembly mail list and saw his replies. I'm impressed a lot, now that my 86 has more memory; good job kirk

     10 March 2000, 03:00 GMT

Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
GuitarSka4

Wow! I cant believe that more memory was possible (except with the expander) By the way, has anyone tried this out yet? If so, does it work good?

     10 March 2000, 03:01 GMT


Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
brentes
(Web Page)

does it work ->WELL<-

     10 March 2000, 03:35 GMT

Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Jeff Meister  Account Info

Hmm... at least this expander actually works (well, I'm assuming it does; it has a good name attached to it), unlike that one for the 83 a few days ago. Stupid thing... all it did was display that you had more mem, then went right back to ION or SOS with the normal amount of mem. !@*^@#@#%!@@! I wish I could get more mem on my 83...

- Jeff

     10 March 2000, 03:14 GMT

Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Chris  Account Info

Does this program do what I think it does? Does it take ROM page 1 which is used by the 2 stacks (start & end) and use that to store programs? If that's the case, I can see why most of the ASM program would crash. Of course, the stacks are so small that *they* won't be overwritten. But most of the big ASM games use that space as pure RAM. It might be a good idea to make a compromise though! Maybe we can establish a standart where the programmers would only use from X-Y of memory. I'm sure most games don't use the full 16K. Maybe 8K Max?

     10 March 2000, 03:46 GMT


Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Kirk Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

No... some games use all 16kb. If programmers would check the location of the stacks before using RAM page 1, this problem would be at least averted. (I myself am also guilty of not checking.) The page has been free for so long that programmers take it for granted as memory. I know a kid at school that takes up all his memory with /BASIC/ programs, and wants even more on there. This is the perfect thing for him.

     10 March 2000, 03:57 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
JaggedFlame

darn it... someone check this but i think ASE 1.3 messes with the 16kb... i ran it and it gave me a syntax error.

     10 March 2000, 04:16 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Kirk Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

Many programs mess with the 16kb, except the very early assembly ones (when they weren't sure whether it was safe to use page 1 or not). Also, /certain/ assembly programs probably are A-OK. For example, ZTetris should work just dandy... in /general/, programs that are a single program (i.e. not split into two different variables) and do not have levels will usually be okay. I'm also sure that at least one of the shells doesn't tinker with page 1.

     10 March 2000, 04:41 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
JaggedFlame

how about yas? i'm considering switching to it, since it's newer... does it mess with page 1?

     10 March 2000, 23:44 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Cpt.Ginyu

Mario v.91 works for anyone interested.

     11 March 2000, 01:36 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Kirk Meyer  Account Info
(Web Page)

That's odd... I would think that it wouldn't work since it uses RAM page 1 quite a bit. Remember that the program usually won't explicitly crash; but when you leave the program, the variables that are stored earlier in your memory are going to be garbagized.

     11 March 2000, 05:06 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
Cpt.Ginyu

I was wrong, it does have a slight few bugs but it only crashed it once, for the most part it corupted other programs such as the infstat app and the asmide for writing in asm on the calc. It directly crashed with arkinoid though and when I used mario it corupted asmide code and caused hidden programs that were desighned not to show up in the shell. I guess that just come under the risk of using asm though.

     12 March 2000, 04:56 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
rabidcow
(Web Page)

oh, it'd probly do worse than give you a syntax error.
i had ase 1.3 running fine with this, didn't have a lot of other programs at the time, so it's possible it stores the list of progs there.
freecell doesn't work, tho

     11 March 2000, 19:51 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
rabidcow
(Web Page)

of course the code to simply check the stacks takes at least 20 bytes, and more than that if you want an error message. this means that programs that need this extra space, in order to aviod crashing modified calcs, will have to waste more precious space on calcs that they _will_ run on. perhaps a better solution is to continue writing "sloppy" code and say in the documentation "uses ram page 1" or something so the user can decide before wasting time downloading something they can't use.

     11 March 2000, 19:47 GMT

Re: Pterodactyl Memory Expander Released by Kirk Meyer
JaggedFlame

wow... expansions through software! hopefully this cool idea might be found more often in the future...

     10 March 2000, 03:48 GMT

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