Chloe 280SE gets a firmware update and new demos

Two classic Amiga demos have been ported to the Chloe.

Sponsors on Patreon got an early look at Chloe ports of two classic Amiga demos (Boing and Juggler) late last year, but they are now available to download from Source Solutions, Inc. Two years ago when we first reported on the Chloe, firmware updates were roughly quarterly, but last year there was only one update. Development had stalled, and efforts were focused elsewhere, such as on expanding localization support.

There have been some new technical demos released during that time, including another 6-channel sound demo (showcasing Arkos Tracker 2), an on-system version of the teaser video, and three demos streaming sound and video from disk using the DMA. The older demos have been updated to run at a smooth 30 FPS. But now there’s a new SE Basic IV release with lots of new features that lays the groundwork for more updates later this year.

The changes bring this version of BASIC much more in line with Microsoft BASIC. It now has the same mathematical order of precedence. Boolean operators have been replaced with 16-bit signed bitwise operators (true = -1, false =0). Support has been added for long variable names. Existing string slicing is retained, but LEFT$, MID$ and RIGHT$ are now available. FIX and STRING$ functions are added. Operators now include backslash (\) for truncated division, MOD and bitwise NOT, AND, OR and XOR (~, & and | are available as shorthand for the first three, along with ? for PRINT).

But SE Basic IV isn’t beyond borrowing from other BASIC dialects. This release adds DPOKE and DPEEK (16-bit versions of POKE and PEEK). The OLD command restores a program previously erased with NEW. The STR$ function is extended to support conversion from base 2 to 36 (encompassing BIN$, HEX$ and OCT$). String multiplication is now supported. This can be used to fill a string with a character or even mirror a string.

There are also bugfixes, speed ups and other enhancements. For example, a unified detokenizer now gives the same results in listings and in the editor. Now that all the available calculator functions are assigned, the calculator code is considered complete. The work remaining to complete the firmware includes advanced file handling, advanced sound, and graphics commands. But even without these, the system is already very usable.

Author: Zedex

4 thoughts on “Chloe 280SE gets a firmware update and new demos

  1. 8pixel attributes after youve seen sam coupe interlaced screen$ just doesnt cut the mustard cant u add spectra video modes youd be even closer to sam then with 2×2 attributes

    1. Because the firmware is currently running under the ZX core on the Uno, only legacy video modes are available at the moment. The Chloe core specification includes a dedicated video processor with 160 x 200 pixels in 256 colors, 320 x 200 pixels with 16 colors per line, or 640 x 200 in 16 colors with attributes.

  2. how man6 colour palette? is it just ula+? 260 colours no? spectra only has 64 i think which is a pity as she adds 32kb of video ram but no hardware scrolling no dma and no coprocessor! especially with elite legend floating about!

    1. The palette is 256 colors. It’s the same one used by the MSX2 and Pico-8. Using a larger palette gives worse results in 16 color per line mode, where the larger the palette the more noticeable the banding.

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