Psion Chess under uQLx

Discussion and advice about emulating the QL on other machines.
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drdtyc
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Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby drdtyc » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:18 pm

Managed to install uQLx in my laptop under Manjaro Linux.

Downloaded PsionChess.qlpak

I have put the .qpak file in win2_

wcopy "win2_PsionChess.qlpak" to win1_pchess

wdir win1_
This shows that pchess file is in win1_

exec win1_pchess
It shows bad parameter.

I am a newbie on QL emulator.
I had a QL more than three decades ago.
Now trying out an uQLx to re-live my QL days.

Thus need some guidance and directions to go about it to run Psion Chess which was my first computer game and my favourite on the QL,


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Chr$
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby Chr$ » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:37 pm

Isn't a .qlpak an image file, so a container/archive for usually more than one file (original Psion Chess was certainly more than one file).

I have no experience with Linux but I think you've essentially moved and at the same time re-named the .qpak file to 'pchess'.

So it is therefore not a proper QL executable and when a file you try to execute isn't a valid executable I believe the 'bad parameter' error is exactly what it reports (on a real QL at least).

I think you need to somehow unpack the archive (qemulator seems to support that type), then put the contents of the archive wherever you want to run it from. No doubt someone will be along with more accurate instructions!


Collector of original and some newer QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: 3x German, 1x UK model (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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Andrew
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby Andrew » Sun Jul 19, 2020 11:50 pm

qlpak is a zip archive which contains the program AND the settings to configure QEmulator to run it.
The chess.qlpak i know of is the one found here: http://www.terdina.net/ql/software.html
You can simply extract the chess program with unzip, but it will not run because it is copy protected and it will look for the chess in microdrive 1.
There is a version of Psion Chess with the copy protection removed that will run on any QL, including the expanded QLs (original Psion Chess will run only on QLs with 128k ram)


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drdtyc
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby drdtyc » Mon Jul 20, 2020 1:50 am

Andrew wrote:qlpak is a zip archive which contains the program AND the settings to configure QEmulator to run it.
The chess.qlpak i know of is the one found here: http://www.terdina.net/ql/software.html
You can simply extract the chess program with unzip, but it will not run because it is copy protected and it will look for the chess in microdrive 1.
There is a version of Psion Chess with the copy protection removed that will run on any QL, including the expanded QLs (original Psion Chess will run only on QLs with 128k ram)

Indeed the Psion Chess package was downloaded from the stated website.

Where can I find the version of Psion Chess with copy protection removed?

I downloaded 3DCHESS_QL from the webpage below.
http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html
It is described as "Psion Chess, modified as a QL executable by Jochen Hassler. Note: should be run in QL 512x256 mode 4, but QPC2 users can start this in high colour modes by issuing a QPC_QLSCREMU 4 command beforehand. (31K) [03/02/19]"

It is a zip file.

Do I need to unzip the file inside uQLx?


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drdtyc
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby drdtyc » Mon Jul 20, 2020 3:30 pm

drdtyc wrote:I downloaded 3DCHESS_QL from the webpage below.
http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/games/index.html
It is described as "Psion Chess, modified as a QL executable by Jochen Hassler. Note: should be run in QL 512x256 mode 4, but QPC2 users can start this in high colour modes by issuing a QPC_QLSCREMU 4 command beforehand. (31K) [03/02/19]"

It is a zip file.

Do I need to unzip the file inside uQLx?


To answer my own question.

I have managed to install the unzip utility in uQLx and thus successfully unzip the 3DCHESS_QL zip file.
This yields a file called chess_exe in win1_
I think this is a QL executable file according to the description as shown above.

But running this command "exec win1_chess_exe" gives an error of bad parameter.

What could be the way forward?

Could it be the PsionChess.qlpak file still needed to be unpacked to extract other supporting files needed by chess_exe?


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Chr$
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby Chr$ » Wed Jul 22, 2020 12:53 pm

drdtyc wrote:
But running this command "exec win1_chess_exe" gives an error of bad parameter.

What could be the way forward?

Could it be the PsionChess.qlpak file still needed to be unpacked to extract other supporting files needed by chess_exe?


It shouldn't need other files, just the executable. The original Chess cartridges (and certainly the .mdv image version I use) just contain a boot file that execs the main chess executable.

Does uQLx support .mdv images at all? If it does, or you can find some way get it to, then there is a .mdv image of Psion Chess here:

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/vdrive/index.html

Or, I know... I see that uQLx uses a normal QXL.WIN type container file? In that case, use the attached QXL_1.WIN file (it's in a normal zip (in windows) as you can't attach other types of attachment here that aren't jpgs, zip etc).

Once that is your default win1_ you'll see I've put the 'chess' executable in the root. Try to exec_w win1_chess and see if that works.
Attachments
QXL_1.zip
(32.22 KiB) Downloaded 37 times


Collector of original and some newer QL related computers, accessories and software even though I don't understand how any of them work.
Original QL's: 3x German, 1x UK model (plus quite a bit of other old stuff and 100+ original software titles)
Custom AT cased QL system with Gold Card, Qimi mouse, Hermes and MFM HDD
PC with QXLII card installed
Q68 also present

Ask me about near NOS re-felted good quality Microdrive Carts - many available.
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RalfR
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby RalfR » Wed Jul 22, 2020 2:53 pm

Interesting to see, that you can read all the ASCII incl. the Help pages in the code as clear text, if loaded in an Editor. The original Chess (on MDV) has all ASCII encrypted, So Jochen Hassler seem to have saved it from memory after the CALL of the program then made it an executable.


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drdtyc
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby drdtyc » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:46 am

Chr$ wrote:
drdtyc wrote:
But running this command "exec win1_chess_exe" gives an error of bad parameter.

What could be the way forward?

Could it be the PsionChess.qlpak file still needed to be unpacked to extract other supporting files needed by chess_exe?


It shouldn't need other files, just the executable. The original Chess cartridges (and certainly the .mdv image version I use) just contain a boot file that execs the main chess executable.

Does uQLx support .mdv images at all? If it does, or you can find some way get it to, then there is a .mdv image of Psion Chess here:

http://www.dilwyn.me.uk/vdrive/index.html

Or, I know... I see that uQLx uses a normal QXL.WIN type container file? In that case, use the attached QXL_1.WIN file (it's in a normal zip (in windows) as you can't attach other types of attachment here that aren't jpgs, zip etc).

Once that is your default win1_ you'll see I've put the 'chess' executable in the root. Try to exec_w win1_chess and see if that works.

Thanks for your assistance.

It works like magic.


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drdtyc
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby drdtyc » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:29 am

RalfR wrote:Interesting to see, that you can read all the ASCII incl. the Help pages in the code as clear text, if loaded in an Editor. The original Chess (on MDV) has all ASCII encrypted, So Jochen Hassler seem to have saved it from memory after the CALL of the program then made it an executable.


Yes, I can read all the ASCII included in the Help pages (2 pages in total). I can use the space bar to switch between the 2 pages. Pressing any other key returns to the game board.


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RalfR
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Re: Psion Chess under uQLx

Postby RalfR » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:39 am

drdtyc wrote:Yes, I can read all the ASCII included in the Help pages (2 pages in total). I can use the space bar to switch between the 2 pages. Pressing any other key returns to the game board.
No ;-) I meant you can read it in the code (loading the file in an editor). Of course you can read it after execution.



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