One of the big issues with the TMS1000 is the instruction set is mask programmable. It's not like a 6502 when you know what you are getting or like a Pentium when you know 2 + 2 = 7, you can (I think !) order it with a reorganised instruction set. I kind of reckoned nobody ever bothered, I mean if you did that the development tools wouldn't work.
I've been running BlockBuster on the emulator (It's one of those knock the bricks out of the wall games) . One of the first things it does is display something like 7 ST (a bit like this http://home.comcast.net/~eichler2/microvision/MicroBlockSim.htm).
It sort of works. It displays something, but not what it should.
Looking at the code, I find this (note for people even more pedantic than me - code has been remapped from the LFSR PC to a standard counter PC. If you don't comprehend this this means you are a normal human being).
796 ldx 4 // set X index to 4
797 tma // Load Memory(4,Y) to accumulator
798 tdo // put A (pixel data) on output lines to LCD
799 tya // save Y in A (this is the ptr to the data)
79A tcy 7 // set Y to 7 (the data clock latch)
79B rstr // set data clock (latch 7) to 0
7BC setr // set data clock (latch 7) to 1
7BD tay // restore the pointer.
which is all very sensible. This should load a nibble into the accumulator (Y points to the pixel data at the start), put it on the LCD data bus and put a pulse on the data clock line to load it into the latches, it preserves the pixel data pointer whilst it does this).
However ....... it doesn't work. Single stepping this code, it doesn't output the data to the LCD.
Because ... it shouldn't work
The reason it shouldn't work is in the TMS1x00 Programmer Guide.
It says (page 8-12) "The operation of the SETR and RSTR commands is possible for 0<=Y<=15 and 0<=X<=3. And it explicitly says - the X register must be <= 3.
(I note that the Microvision emulation for the TMS1x00 doesn't test this. This might be because they know more than I do, or because they are working from the TMS1000 which doesn't do this test, because X is always 0,1,2 or 3)
A brief perusal of the code above shows X isn't in the range 0-3. It's 4. So , according to the book - it shouldn't work.
Now the code is obviously - to me anyway - doing what it should. It makes logical sense, and it may well work without this test.
Whether the book is wrong (other lists don't mention this X requirement and it does seem a bit pointless !), or the chip is a special one, I don't know. The problem is, of course, if the chip is a special this is an entirely new issue. It doesn't seem to be, what I see of this code makes sense. So I'm going to fix it so it works irrespective of X is and see what happens.
From the challenge view point it doesn't matter as I'm writing a new game not an old one, but if I can get it working reasonably I know my emulation is okay. (If you do nothing it beeps three times to warn you which kinda makes sense). I do have a Microvision so I must see if it actually does this.
The display, we shall see.