A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

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Neville
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A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by Neville » Tue 23 Jul, 2019 4:16 pm

I really like that PCem emulates the Tandy computers, but right now the only profiles available are for the Tandy 1000 and the Tandy 1000 HX, with a CPU of 8088/16 tops. That's enough for many Tandy compatible games, but not for the latest games with Tandy support, like "Chuck Yeager's Air Combat".

My question is, are there plans to add more powerful Tandy machines in the near future? I'm thinking of the Tandy 1000 TX (CPU 80286/8) or the 2500 SX (CPU 80386/25), for example. I don't know if their firmware is widely available, though.

Here's some info on said Tandy models.

http://www.old-computers.com/museum/com ... t=1&c=1216

https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=49725

Apparently the second one could be shipped / upgraded with a standard VGA card, thus breaking compatibility with the Tandy CGA 16 colors screen modes :cry:

I should also note that I'm not an authority on Tandy computers. I heard of these models through DBGL, which has machine profiles for them to be used with DOSBox.

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omarsis81
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by omarsis81 » Tue 23 Jul, 2019 4:29 pm

What is the most powerful model that retains the PCjr / Tandy mode?

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Neville
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by Neville » Tue 23 Jul, 2019 4:43 pm

According to Wikipedia, "The [Tandy 1000] RL and RL/HD featured a surface-mounted 9.54 MHz 8086 processor". Further models (1000 RLX, 1000 RSX) had 80286 and 80386 CPUs, but by then the Tandy propietary graphics had been changed to an AcuMos 512 Kb. VGA or an AcuMos SVGA.

Which means the PCem author is right and me (and DBGL) are wrong. There are no more powerful Tandys that retain the famous CGA with 16 color support. Which means games with Tandy support released until the 1990s had to run on 8086 CPUs. No wonder the line was cancelled in 1993. By then they either couldn't run new software or they had became pretty much regular 80386 PCs.

EDIT: Silly me! Wikipedia doesn't cover EVERY Tandy 1000 model. In my first message I posted the specifications of the 1000 TX. It has a 286/9 CPU and retains the CGA with 16 color support.

SeanB
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by SeanB » Wed 24 Jul, 2019 7:45 pm

See the response from Cloudschatze further down the page:
Actually, the 2500 SX/33 has the same "Tandy Sound" PSG and DAC functionality found in the earlier, TL/SL/RL systems. In the 2500-series (and 1000 RSX), access was moved to 16-bit port addresses though (1E0h - 1E7h), so most Tandy-supporting software doesn't know to look for it.

Through use of a specific driver, all of Sierra's SCI0 titles can produce 3-voice music and digitized sound (where applicable) on these systems, while all of their SCI1 games, as well as several titles from Broderbund, Virgin, and Disney, will natively utilize the 1E0h-addressed PSSJ chip.
This would still be useful to me, especially if you could install a VGA card to compensate for the missing graphics mode.

Actually, this is the machine that my grandfather had when I was growing up. I didn't know about the sound fix at the time. PCEm could give me a great chance to remedy that now, if it was supported.

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Neville
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by Neville » Wed 24 Jul, 2019 11:40 pm

I'm more interested in Tandy graphics than Tandy sound, but that info is still very interesting. It means there could a reason to emulate the 2500 SX as well as the 1000 TX.

TonyM
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by TonyM » Wed 31 Jul, 2019 7:02 pm

I've owned the Tandy 1000SX, TX, TL and TL/3 in my days and still have my Tandy 1000 TL/3 which is the last 286 version that had both Tandy graphics and Tandy enhanced sound (3 voice + white noise channel) and full backward-compatibility with the PC Jr. It had a 286/10 CPU and a built in XT-IDE controller as well. The advantage over the TL and TL/2 was that it supported HD (1.2MB/1.44MB) floppy drives. The RL/RSX series were either less powerful (RL) or ditched the Tandy graphics (RLX/RSX).

I'd love to see the TL/3 emulated myself.

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Neville
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by Neville » Wed 31 Jul, 2019 7:19 pm

OK. Then so far we have two Tandy 286 models which retained the Tandy graphics and sound:

- Tandy 1000 TX

- Tandy 1000 TL/3

Both would be good candidates for emulation.

BTW, the Tandy 1000 are not fully compatible with the IBM PCjr. They have the same architecture, but it's handled differently. See http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... games.html for details.

TonyM
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by TonyM » Wed 31 Jul, 2019 7:36 pm

Neville wrote:
Wed 31 Jul, 2019 7:19 pm
BTW, the Tandy 1000 are not fully compatible with the IBM PCjr. They have the same architecture, but it's handled differently. See http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/201 ... games.html for details.
Very true. I guess I should have said "As compatible as any other Tandy" :)

I do like the idea of the built-in XT-IDE and 1.44MB floppy controller on the TL/3. Makes loading newer Sierra games and Deskmate 3.x easier. Plus the TL/3 has the 640x200x16 color mode (same as the emulated SL) whereas the TX only has the 640x200x4 mode.

But, as you said, either would be a nice addition to PCEM.

TonyM
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by TonyM » Wed 31 Jul, 2019 7:39 pm

Neville wrote:
Tue 23 Jul, 2019 4:16 pm
My question is, are there plans to add more powerful Tandy machines in the near future? I'm thinking of the Tandy 1000 TX (CPU 80286/8) or the 2500 SX (CPU 80386/25), for example. I don't know if their firmware is widely available, though.
Is there an easy way to rip my TL/3 firmware without damaging the machine? I know nothing about that sort of thing but I'd be willing to try if that would help to get it emulated.

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Neville
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Re: A more powerful Tandy profile, please?

Post by Neville » Thu 01 Aug, 2019 12:23 pm

There's an old Tandy emulator for DOS called Tand-Em. I think it includes utilities for dumping your Tandy firmware, but the format will likely different from PCem.

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