Vectrex programming at Pforzheim University – Back to the Future

A bit like Marty Mc Fly from Back to the Future the male and female students at Pforzheim University are likely to in the course “Vectrex programming” have occurred:
In the summer semester 2016 standing in front of the students to learn the low-level programming is not as in recent years the usual NAO robot model H25 V4, but an over 30 years old, black Vectrex console model 3000 G1-EURO.

How did it happen? For small by its size of only about. 60cm cute acting, humanoid NAO robots college was a prolonged maintenance. An alternative for the robot had to be found and Professor Dr. rer. nat. Johannsen came on an unusual idea: In the attic he had from his childhood still a Vectrex console. After thinking and tinkering Professor Johannsen had put on a development environment, can be written and compiled 6809 assembler or C in the source code in Motorola. The preparations were thus established all, would be interesting, how many students would get involved with the Vectrex programming and select this quite special course.

The antiquity of the Vectrex console and something special registration for the course “Vectrex programming”, for the well-known for his enigmatic based learning Professor Johannsen had set tasks related to Machine-oriented languages ​​as first hurdles, was interested students put off apparently, since the course began with a total of 27 Female students.

About five months later and many, many lectures, internship- and hours worked on are now a total of 21 emerged Vectrexspiele, in the Vectrex-Projektgalerie exhibited are.

The majority of questions the students kindly binaries, the manual and the optional overlay visuals available for download. The results presented in the Project Gallery with description and screenshots Vectrexspiele can therefore be tried directly; a Vectrexemulator as ParaJVE to play on a PC or a VecFlash- provided or VecMulti cartridge to play on the original Vectrexkonsole.

To date, I only came to, to look at the two games Space Assault and traffic Race accurate. Both games are full games with scoring, Control and opponents; in Space Assault started Fabian Pfeifroth even has implemented several levels with different opponents.

Professor Johannsen and the students are very satisfied with the results arising – and manage the:
In addition to learning the machine-oriented programming as well as the careful use of limited resources such as memory and processor time are virtually interesting as a side effect, quite playable Vectrexspiele with instructions and some even came with color film. Therefore, from my side, kudos and thanks to all the students for the creation and deployment of their first films and a lot of success and fun for further study!

Vectrex32 SmartCart: The power of two hearts

The vector of the Vectrex is something special; if it were not for the limited processor and memory of the Vectrex would. So probably many a developer has thought – but now Bob Alexander did something: Die Vectrex32 SmartCart. On a clear board to a microcontroller is a modern 32-bit processor with 200Mhz and a 512kB RAM module. For comparison: The Vectrex clocked at 1 MHz and used it a simple instruction set; floating-point arithmetic, we do not want to talk. This board is plugged into the module bay, From there leads the 32-bit processor, the processing by the processor during the Vectrex only reads the video memory of the board and use this information to record the vectors.

In a demonstration video Bob impressively shows, what is possible with the Vectrex32:

Bob lives in the US and has the Hard- develops and software Vectrex32 entirely alone. He now sells first 20 Copies of SmartCart for $150. plus. Shipping and customs charges will cost the Vectrex32 SmartCart for German buyers at the current exchange rate ca. 200 EUR.

For further information in Vector Gaming Forum or on the website nicely done to find.

The Vectrex32 SmartCart could herald a new era for the Vectrex. I press the thumbs Bob, that Vectrex32 by collectors, Players, especially once one or the other developer is adopted and arise out new interesting games for the Vectrex.