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Messages - Mark Szkolnicki

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1
Off Topic discussions / Re: Lying low for a few days
« on: June 20, 2022, 05:08:42 pm »
Sorry to hear, Paul

We are cat people, and there are currently 2 in the household, but over the years four others have been part of our lives - the balance were from our local SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and one from a litter on a farm.

Most were kittens when they came in. We had to help them each to their final rest after long full lives, and there was a lot of crying involved. Each little soul was unique, as I'm sure your furry companion was.

I hope Hudson had a long full life as well, full of love, which he probably gave back 10 fold. Treated well (and with respect) dogs are loyal and loving to the end, especially being with his master in such a beautiful setting. I'm sure his last memory and sight in this life was of you, which is as it should be.

Again my condolences and Best!

M




2
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 17, 2022, 04:02:07 am »
Thanks Wim, for your contribution to this.

Hi Mark,

Quote
The only problem I foresee with that, Wim, is that you may be literally inundated with data from all sides, and it may overwhelm in that sense. You have already done a lot for this project, and being overwhelmed is the last thing we want, because, strangely you also have a life.

Thank you Mark, for your compassion. Right now I am already grinding to a standstill. This is all too much for me to handle. In light of my health I have to let go.

Will send you an email soon.

Best regards, Wim.

You've been nothing other than gracious, in both your time, and interest in this small little project, as well as the advances you have contributed to in all areas, including this, based on your technical knowledge.

The least we can all do is say - Thank-you!

We will muddle on, as always, Sir, like the rest of humanity,

Rest, Warrior and Best, as always - will email soon as well!

M

3
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 15, 2022, 07:48:47 pm »
Heh Dave!

110 mm of rain so far in the last two days - more to come

Hi Mark, when I first started using OS/2, Warp v3, it was on a 4MB 386/33. At first just as a drop in replacement for DOS, then slowly migrating to OS/2 programs like WebExplorer. Had to be very careful in tuning and not use the WPS for it to be usable. That readme would have been very pertinent at the time. Even when I upgraded to 8MBs and swapped the CPU for a 486DLC.
Now here we are, so much memory that most is used as a ramdisk and still worried about the browser using all the memory :)

My first computer was the third IBM PC in Winnipeg (the original PC, not PC-XT).

It was an 8088 CPU, no 8087 co-processor installed, came with two full height 5.25" 360K floppy drives  (the full height brick size hard drive was too expensive for my meager budget of the time - and its full capacity, if I bought one was a whopping 10 Mb).

I think on-board memory was either 64K or 128 K, with a Hercules monochrome graphics card and screen, no sound other than the built-in PC speaker.

Strangely you were still able to do a lot on it command line wise - I learned DOS, and my first word processor was Volkswriter, which did not have bells and whistles but still worked well. Learned Windows starting with v3, as I learned I could add new components to the box and upgrade it (remember AST memory cards, and the absolutely state of the art 10 Mb Hardcard hard drive, which plugged into the motherboard bus, like other add on cards?).

Still have that box, but most items in a disassembled state - got rid of the full height floppys, but wish I had kept them - was hoping to reassemble that box someday, but probably will just get rid of it to make space ............

I jumped up to a 386/66 next, where I installed OS/2 for the first time - v2.0 (missed v1.3), then v2.11, Warp 3, Warp 4 (added all the fixpacks, which came on the new 1.44 Mb 3.5" disks - sometimes 16 or so of them), then on to eCS and now ArcaOS,

Along the way I learned how to build computers from components, setup and run a network, connect first with a 28 K modem, then 56 K (remember Compuserve and Golden Compass for OS/2?) then on to ADSL, Satellite and where we are today.

So about 25 or so Desktops, Towers and portables later here I am - still a hardware geek, but one that has covered the entire history of the PC line, IBM or otherwise.

So yes, its amazing that we marvel at 94 Mb being small, given where we've come from ............

M


4
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 15, 2022, 05:53:15 pm »
Hi Wim!

Hope you are having a fine day!

Hi Martin and Mark,

I am a little bit disappointed. What you are doing is not the way to go. The "PlayStation 3 controller (USB Connected)" and the "Genius MaxFighter F-31U Vibration" are controllers not yet tested at all. Remember the method we used in the past. You need to follow the step by step approach as outlined in the "testing.txt" files that are part of the package. For the huskee device that procedure starts as follows:

Code: [Select]
Installation Instructions - Part A
==================================

A1. Ensure that USBECD.SYS has been installed.

A2. Put the following line in your CONFIG.SYS file:
(Use the proper drive and directory for your system).

DEVICE=H:\OS2\BOOT\USBECD.SYS /D:0C12:0005:0001 /N:$HUSKEE$ /V

A3. Reboot your system.

A4. Run OINPUT.CMD and watch gamepad events in hexadecimal format.
Use Ctrl+C to end this procedure.

Once this is working I would like you to do the following:
---------------------------------------------------------

A5. Run OINPUT.CMD > BUTTON.LOG and press available buttons
(one at a time, after each other, and tell me which ones)
Use Ctrl+C to end this procedure.

A6. Run OINPUT>CMD > STICK.LOG and press stick to different positions
(one at a time, after each other, and tell me what positions)
Use Ctrl+C to end this procedure.

Send me files BUTTON.LOG and STICK.LOG for me to inspect.
--------------------------------------------------------

Since you are preparing oinput.cmd yourself for these new devices, you have to prepare the corresponding testing.text accordingly. It is waste of time and effort to skip these steps.

I am currently investigating what needs to be done to provoke the "PlayStation 3 controller (USB Connected)" to send event records so step A4. can be completed succesfully.

I understand that for the "Genius MaxFighter F-31U Vibration" step A4. has been completed successfully. Why not append some of that output for me to inspect?

Best regards, Wim.

I deeply apologize as well if you feel we are jumping the gun, Wim as I consider you a friend and as that was not my intention. I am probably more to blame than Martin in this.

However, here is a perspective for consideration - as this testing is being done in a public forum, there is a lot of interest being generated, and a lot of people are watching what is happening. Since publishing the Testing Guide I have received private e-mails from others wondering if they can participate, as they feel we are actually carrying on a private conversation between ourselves, in public, and they are simply watching.

As we are also releasing the gamepad-xxxxxxxx,zip files in public, they are wanting to try these drivers for themselves and are looking for a path to do so. IOW there are a lot of potential testers out there that can help - but we need to enable them to do so.

Since the original gamepad package was released, the additional packages have not contained the original sub folders, for the equipment we started with (ie. Marttins and mine), which were actually the items that contained the testing instructions. If we want to keep this more structured, and possibly generate more data from others and their game controllers, I would propose the following:

1) Can we create a new gamepad package, with the most current drivers, and two folders - simply gamepad, and joystick, if the instructions need to be different for the two, and Include the necessary files in each to stay to the structure you specified. They should simply contain the files necessary to test the device, and generate the necessary information for you, to be posted here.

2) I will modify the Testing Guide to stay strictly to the program you specify there in testing.txt, plus the additional information that will allow them to test game controller function once an xevents file is created, that either we or they can test. I would also suggest adding some information on generating lsusb reports, and how to do that to the guide as well.

I will send the draft version of the guide to you privately first, so you can approve the testing info in it, so we can run these tests properly.

The only problem I foresee with that, Wim, is that you may be literally inundated with data from all sides, and it may overwhelm in that sense. You have already done a lot for this project, and being overwhelmed is the last thing we want, because, strangely you also have a life.

Best as always, Sir

M


5
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 15, 2022, 03:35:53 am »
Hi Martin!


Hi Mark

I tried xeventsF1d.cmd , I changed the NAME and HardwareID, but I get no output from it.
I tried back the xevents.cmd (RM203) and it keeps giving me some output.

Regards

Then I suspect, although the layouts of T.Flight and the MaxFighter are similar, your MaxFighter has more in common with the older joystick than the newer - input packet size perhaps? Looking at your lsusb hardware report and mine I see marked differences in the way each operates, although there are commonalities as well.

Did you modify the original xevents.cmd in RM203 from the original package (gamepad-20220317?)

If so, you might want to try this one attached - it is the latest one I'm using for the older Joystick - it contains some modifications from the original - I suspect it won't solve all your problems, but see if its any better than your first try.

Best!

M


6
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 14, 2022, 06:19:45 pm »
Heh Dave


I'm sure memory is getting short, yep 94 MB shared low memory.


When I was trying to decrypt how to run Masterroids yesterday, I had to chuckle when I read the readme.1st file included, as follows:

--------------------

MASTERROIDS loads up to 3 MB data, so your computer should have a
    minimum of 8 MB RAM. (Sorry about that, but I had no chance to test the
    game on a computer with 4 MB. I don't even know, if 4 MB is enough for
    OS/2 itself. )

    You should have a 486 or better (66 MHz or more. 33 MHz is possible
    but slow. Sorry. )

    Cause the game puts your graphic-card to its limits (and the processor
    as well) it would be the best, you have no other programs running in the
    background.

________________

You could have run roughly 30 sessions of Masterroids, at the same time in the 94 Mb left!

And apologizing for the program taking up ALL CPU time and Graphics cards resources?

How our view of the tech world, and its challenges, has changed .....................

M

7
Applications / Re: New builds of Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
« on: June 14, 2022, 06:02:53 pm »

You are welcome to the rain, though it looks like it is leading to a state of emergency with the snow melt. Still grey, wet and cold here, just had to light a fire, which is almost never needed in June. At least the cold has slowed down the snowmelt here.
Good luck and hopefully no flooding


Not near me, Sir - although I live on Cooking Lake it is actually like a big slough - no inflow, no outflow, no riparian flow - all the years of drought have caused it to recede about 400 feet so we'd need metres of water coming down to m,ake a dent.

They also have the manholes in our hamlet about 2 feet above the ground, so pretty well just sewage flow - the water is still just being sucked into the soil, for which I am thankful.

As to fires - Anne and I enjoy a natural fire but because its not our primary source of heating - may have one in the fireplace today just for fun.  8)

Best!

M

8
Applications / Re: New builds of Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
« on: June 14, 2022, 04:52:33 pm »
Heh Dave!


Yea, I'm 60 and finding it hard crawling under the truck, especially the getting up part :)


At least you still can get up ............. <grin>

And BTW thanks for the rain .......... had one hell of a thunderstorm last night to start (Thor was throwing around Mjolnir pretty liberally, battling Frost Giants and knocking out power everywhere).

Expecting 135 mm in the next 3 days so we'll be building an ark as well in Alberta, to join you guys in BC.

Best!

M

9
Applications / Re: New builds of Thunderbird and SeaMonkey
« on: June 14, 2022, 04:45:30 pm »
Heh Paul!



I'm 'only' 47 but my days of car maintenance are definitely over :) Particularly as I bought two new cars when I left GM in 2017 - and modern cars are WAY too hard to work on yourself!


I agree 100%.

My loyal 2005 Jeep Liberty crapped out on my birthday last year - I could still do maintenance on it.

Its replacement is an immaculate 2008 Jeep Limited Edition, I bought used - however the new Loyal is a living computer - going to the dealership, its the data transfer module that is plugged in first ................

Upside is the hard drive can hold about 6000 songs, so I'm off the 10"s of cd's cluttering the dashboard.

But still have my 1984 Firebird Trans-Am, the first car I ever bought myself - body fully restored - but need to work on the engine badly as a lot of gaskets are leaking. Perhaps I'll get around to some more restoration this year, but gas prices are a scandal - still completely drive-able without but probably limited this year.

Old loves are always the ones that never quite leave you <sic>.

M

10
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 14, 2022, 06:31:57 am »
Okay Guys and Gals - after some head scratching, I got joysticks working under Masterroids 1.1.

Again it is not obvious how to do it.

With Xevents running for the joystick I'm testing, I ran Masterroids - a box is present at start-up asking you to center the joystick and then press enter (can be done from either a mouse or hitting ENTER on the keyboard.

Follow the instructions when the calibration graphic window opens - move the joystick around in a circle a couple of times then click the big Checkmark button.

Before starting the game you must go to the Options dropdown, and then click on Player (very obvious, right? - N-O-T)

A window will open which allows you to customize the keyboard control settings, for each of up to 4 players. However, there is also a checkbox marked "Joystick" which must be checked as well. Press the big Checkmark button at the bottom to go back to the starting screens.

To run the game, go to the Games dropdown - choose 1 player, then enter, to start the game.

Without checking that one Joystick checkbox, the game will not recognize that a Joystick is there, despite asking you to calibrate same .......... a fine example of the first corollary to Murphy's Law - namely Murphy was an optimist ............

And, oh, by the way, this has to be done each time the game is run - despite the ability to register the game is long in the past, the unregistered version will not save any changes to PLAYER or SETTINGS options from game to game, as opposed to settings under CONFIGURATION, also in the Options dropdown.

But we have yet another native OS game that can be tested, kids - and from the limited time spent on it this evening, a game that is a lot of fun, bringing me back to the money dropping hours I spent in the video arcades about a century ago .......... !

Time for bed and Best!

M

11
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 14, 2022, 05:38:29 am »
Heh Neil!

I haven't tried this in years, but it is a pretty nice game that ought to be cracked.

To play, use the menu Game->Players->1 and the game will start. Fire using right shift, and right control does shields or something.

Discovered that after trying every key combination on the keyboard and then starting with the Games Dropdown - I discovered it by pure dumb luck - of such is brilliance made <sic>.

Still trying to get it to recognize the joystick - it looks like its calibrating but your using the mouse to press all the buttons - starting the game no movement of the joystick or buttons are recognized.

Will try using just the keyboard for the moment - looks like it could be a fun game ............ if you like blowing lots of things up ............. !

M

12
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 14, 2022, 01:58:58 am »
Heh Martin!


But I overestimated the difference between a joystick and gamepad. It seems that the joystick has something different that is always "pressing". Even that I got different visual feedback when I press the buttons, I was not able to make Makman and Wolfstein 3D to work with the RM203 scripts, also the DOS game joytest utilities does not provide any movement.


Wim in an e-mail back to me mentioned you had indicated that Masterroids might be another possible native OS/2 game to test, as it does have Joystick support. So I decided to download it from OS2World today, install and run it.

Have you or has anyone else actually tried to run this game?

Its circa 1995 and has a registration block which was obviously quite important to the author - however, despite a seemly endless set of menu categories and customization choices, there seemly seems to be something missing ............. as in HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY START THE GAME?!?

The first (Game) selection menu certainly tells you how to stop a session and exit the game, but nothing obvious as to how to start it - it originally pops up with a window that's supposed to allow you to sign in as a player (and a block on it that you must click to acknowledge you will register in 30 days) which cycles back and forth between that page and a title page, but NO menu item that simply says "Start New Game".

Exiting the game gives you this weird screen where you're supposed to place checkmarks in 7 checkboxes around the window then click a big checkmark button at the bottom.

Any clues as to how to run this one - looks like an exciting variation in living technicolour (if anyone remembers THAT) of the old monochrome Asteroids game.

Best!

M

13
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 13, 2022, 09:13:33 pm »
Hi Martin!

Hi

It was time to also give a test drive to the "Genius MaxFighter F-31U Vibration" with ArcaOS.

I took the "RM203" files and copy it as "MAXFIG".
Added:
 
Quote
DEVICE=X:\OS2\BOOT\USBECD.SYS /D:0458:3019:0100 /N:$MAXFIG$ /V
Changed the oinput and xevents and I got some output there.

But I overestimated the difference between a joystick and gamepad. It seems that the joystick has something different that is always "pressing". Even that I got different visual feedback when I press the buttons, I was not able to make Makman and Wolfstein 3D to work with the RM203 scripts, also the DOS game joytest utilities does not provide any movement.

I'm attaching the scripts and log just in case.

Regards


Did you try modifying the Xeventsf1d.cmd file that Wim created for me? (I've attached it again below but included it in a separate post to Dave Yeo previously)

I don't know which Xevents is present in the most current RM203 file, but the MaxFighter looks very similar to the T.Flight X in configuration, so the changes there may settle things down. The MaxFighter schematic seems very similar to the T.Flight, being kind of a cross between a joystick and a gamepad

Some of that may also be due to calibration - the Mk2 and T.Flight X have sometimes needed to be re calibrated when one or the other is used in a game.

Some Joysticks can also be really sensitive - the new T. Flight has a tension adjustment on the bottom which I have cranked up to max, as I'm used to the heavy springs on the Mk2.


Funny Note: I had to check the online dictionary to know what is a "Rudder" and I still does not know what does it do on a Joystick 


The T. Flight actually has a Throttle control on the base which is a slider.

The Mk II was actually part of a Flight Control System, which also included a separate plug-in throttle. The latest systems have a Joystick, separate Throttle, Foot peddles for rudder control, sometimes even what is called a "collective" lever for helicopter control (adjusts the rotors so the helicopter doesn't spin out of control - its also the way to control direction) - I know one fellow who even has a custom chair to surround himself with all the controls - WILD!

M

14
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 13, 2022, 04:28:11 pm »
Hi Martin!

Hi Mark.

Just in case, if you want to update the table on your guide (Page 9 - tested Equipment), I have some details of my gamepads here: https://www.os2world.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Joysticks

Which reminds me I need to take some time to test the "Genius MaxFighter F-31U Vibration" that I have around.

Regards

Thanks, Martin - I'll add some more of the actual explanation info into the Tested Equipment Section

I'll send you some info related to the Logilink adapter as well as the Thrustmaster Joysticks for inclusion there as well, with pictures.


Let me know either here or via my e-mail once you've tested the MaxFighter and I''ll also add that if things are working for you

Got comments from Wim so will be starting Guide v1.3 sometime today - if anyone else has any observations or success stories, I'd be interested in those.

Best!.

M

15
Games / Re: DOS VDM - USB and Game port Gamepad support
« on: June 12, 2022, 05:13:56 pm »
Heh David!

Hope you having a fine weekend.

I've also been following this with interest so ordered a Logitech F310 gamepad (seems to be popular and inexpensive). Once I get it, I'll use Mark's guide to try it out. Thanks for all the development work on this!

Regards,

Yes, some days it does look like its just Wim, Martin and I having a conversation on this thread - until the straw poll (views) tells me that there have been 24,700 views of this thread as of this morning. Obviously there is a LOT of interest in what may seem like a tiny trivial subject, David ..............

I wanted to do a guide on what we are doing to capture what we've learned so far, as the one thing I do see is a LOT of useful information provided by the very gifted braintrust that lurks around our forums - the trouble is how many hundred posts do you have to go through to find the one thing that you seem to recall in someones post from 2 years ago? I'm doing this constantly myself, so I thought, why not?

Version 1.1 was ready, and I was using it as a guide myself, so when that rather fun loving Mr. Yeo (who steals his kids gamepads when they're not looking) started asking about what we were doing, I thought it was time to release it, as Martin was heroically trying to explain how to do all this from scratch (and Martin IS a true hero - perhaps we should do a video game starring HIM someday)  :)

In my spare <sic> time I'm hoping to do more of these, on other subjects we're discussing - I have a few in draft for my own use already, as its something I've done for years for paying clients - only their emergency plans and guides usually ran into hundreds of pages, something I hope to avoid here .......

But thanks for your kind words today, Sir - in my experience, in emergency response, when you do something right, you never hear a peep - however, if things go horribly wrong ........... WELL!

Best!

M

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