The result of a blogging accident

RetroLAN fun!

For StreetGeek 9.08, some people may have noticed that I changed the format of the presentation software for that event. I really should have blogged about this, say... a month ago... but I really just ran out of time to talk about it and I really didn’t want to spoil the surprise before the event. :)

In SAGAPresenter (the presentation software I wrote for StreetGeek and SAGAfest), I wrote a fully functioning PETSCII telnet server. This meant that I wasn’t just pretending to look like a Commodore 64 with downgraded graphics, but I was sending actual command-codes that a Commodore 64 with a network card (and telnet client) could interpret and display. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a C64 with a network adaptor for the LAN, so I installed Per Olofsson’s cgterm, which emulated the C64 on a normal PC without the need for special hardware. It was also much easier to hook up to a projector for the event.

All the while, the traditional GTK# interface was still running, and the displays all perfectly synchronised with each other. I used this PETSCII .NET encoding handler to do a little bit of the text conversion, however I had to write my own code to handle the text alignment and inserting control characters in the right spot.

All in all it was a fun hack, with not a huge amount of code additions required. I spent most of the time converting sponsor banners by hand to PETSCII and tweaking to get them just right!