ZX ULAX emulator

Struggling with Fuse or trying to find an emulator with a specific feature. Ask your questions here.
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by PeterJ »

@akeley,

May I work with you to get one game working? In this case 'Slightly Magic'? I do note that you have worked with computers as long as myself (I started as a computer technician when the College I was at still had a BBC Micro network!), and I also had problems to start with.

This guide tries to cover every mouse click. I'm using Windows 10 Pro. I set-up explorer so I have file types showing.

So without further ado....
  • Start by downloading 'ULAX-emuL.zip' and 'ULAX-games.zip'
  • When you have unzipped both files you should have two folders. 'ULAX-emuL' and 'ULAX-games'. Open up each folder in its own explorer window. Resize both windows so they are both visible. I put one below the other.
  • In the 'ULAX-emuL' explorer window change to the 'exe' folder
  • In the 'ULAX-games' explorer window change to the 'dux' folder
  • Scroll down the 'dux' folder until you see 'slimagic.dux' and 'slimagic.sna'
  • Left click on one of the above files, then hold down the left Ctrl key and click on the second file, so both files are selected. Release the Ctrl key.
  • With the left mouse button drag both selected files so they are on-top of emul.exe in the other window, then release the mouse button. See example below - Make sure two files are being moved:
Image
  • The emulator will now open with the '128 TR-DOS' menu
  • Make sure that the emulator is in-focus by clicking on it's top border with the left mouse key. Next we need the keys from the instructions (This is why show file extensions is important - we know this is a .sna file):

    Image
  • Now press the 'End' key and the game will appear
  • Finally press 'PgDn' to load the multi-colour dux
Image

I'm happy to try any other games if anyone else is struggling
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Lethargeek
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by Lethargeek »

Thanks, @PeterJ! I'm not so patient to explain everything down to standard windows interface level or Spectrum basics besides the emulator itself (and i hate preparing and editing illustrations). Only a few things in addition:

- starting the emulator by dragging files on it works in standard explorer, but not necessarily in other apps like commanders

- but that's not a problem as it's possible to drag&drop source files onto the working emulator window any time
⠀ (the only ones accepted exclusively at the startup are "extra ini" name and a log name)

- you don't have to drag both (or more) files at once, the emulator remembers the last filename of the each type (snapshot, tape, dux, etc)
⠀ (and in case of disk images, it inserts a given image in drive A shifting previous images to other drives, losing the one located in drive D)

- same about command-line parameters - the last one of the each type will be used (if it's a disk - inserted in the drive A)

- types are recognized by the file extension, order of the different types dragged (or given in a command line) is not important

- control keys, especially alt-combos, might not work as expected (or at all) when alternative keyboard layout is being used
⠀ (this is how windows and/or SDL works, with unpredictable results, couldn't do anything with it, so always use the english one) ;)

- and of course when pressing some control key (well, any key) the emulator must be in-focus, like any other windows app
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by PeterJ »

Thanks @Lethargeek,

Preparing documentation is part of my work job. There are many ways of doing things in Windows :-)

I'm doing everything on a standard windows vanilla install with a UK English keyboard layout.
Lethargeek wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 10:18 am
I hate preparing and editing illustrations.
The Windows Snipping Tool is the best application Microsoft ever built!
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RMartins
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by RMartins »

From my view, the problem seem to lay on the assumptions that each type of user makes (developer, regular user, power user, etc...).

Instead of relaying on any assumption (and I know this is difficult to do, because we do not realise easily that we are assuming stuff, because they are so obvious to the person assuming them), a manual or README file should not, i.e. MUST not assume any prior knowledge, and simply list every single step required, no matter how obvious it is, to do some specific action.

This way, that manual will work for any user, without problems.

As a developer myself, I find that sometimes I do these assumptions unwillingly too, even when I'm trying to be as thorough as possible.
Usually the real test, is to grab someone completely unrelated with the project or even computers in general, hand them the manual and a goal.
Then lay back and watch, without intervention and see where and how they struggle.
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by PeterJ »

Hopefully my tutorial covered that @RMartins.
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RMartins
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by RMartins »

PeterJ wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:11 pm
Hopefully my tutorial covered that @RMartins.
Yes and no.

It covers on how to provide the argument files to the executable, but apparently that is not the only thing that is needed.

NOTE: I haven't tried it or even read the manual. I was just stating, how I usually go about to make it more "user proof" :D
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by PeterJ »

RMartins wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:22 pm
It covers on how to provide the argument files to the executable, but apparently that is not the only thing that is needed.
NOTE: I haven't tried it or even read the manual. I was just stating, how I usually go about to make it more "user proof" :D
There are multiple ways as @Lethargeek says, but that completely covers one way. To load that specific game there is nothing else you need to know. Please give it a go.
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Lethargeek
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by Lethargeek »

RMartins wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:06 pm
Instead of relaying on any assumption (and I know this is difficult to do, because we do not realise easily that we are assuming stuff, because they are so obvious to the person assuming them), a manual or README file should not, i.e. MUST not assume any prior knowledge, and simply list every single step required, no matter how obvious it is, to do some specific action.
Right now it's an emulator readme, and it covers just the emulator part. Do you understand how much it will grow in size if i try to teach modern basic computer literacy (there are several ways just to supply files as parameters in Windows!) there as well as the emulated machine controls (like the inlays of the old days explaining how to type two quotation marks after LOAD)? And some people already don't wanna read even something a lot shorter.
RMartins wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:22 pm
It covers on how to provide the argument files to the executable, but apparently that is not the only thing that is needed.
See? This is what i mean. This time it looks like you didn't read @PeterJ's excellent message to the end. :lol: :cry:
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RMartins
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by RMartins »

Lethargeek wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 5:06 pm
RMartins wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 12:06 pm
Instead of relaying on any assumption (and I know this is difficult to do, because we do not realise easily that we are assuming stuff, because they are so obvious to the person assuming them), a manual or README file should not, i.e. MUST not assume any prior knowledge, and simply list every single step required, no matter how obvious it is, to do some specific action.
Right now it's an emulator readme, and it covers just the emulator part. Do you understand how much it will grow in size if i try to teach modern basic computer literacy (there are several ways just to supply files as parameters in Windows!) there as well as the emulated machine controls (like the inlays of the old days explaining how to type two quotation marks after LOAD)? And some people already don't wanna read even something a lot shorter.
You are not listening.
I didn't even mention windows anywhere.

The stuff that you are assuming, is how the emulator works due to your own choices, that users are not supposed to know.
You clarified it here in the comments, on previous posts, but most probably your README is not clear enough about the process, or people wouldn't be complaining.

NOTE: Again, I haven't read the README/Manual. So I'm only commenting on people reactions to it's contents.

Lethargeek wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 5:06 pm
RMartins wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 3:22 pm
It covers on how to provide the argument files to the executable, but apparently that is not the only thing that is needed.
See? This is what i mean. This time it looks like you didn't read @PeterJ's excellent message to the end. :lol: :cry:
Maybe you are too eager to jump on people, without first trying to understand the context.

I for one, was replying based on content I saw on the previous page, I didn't even see this page, while I was writing my post.
So don't be too quick to jump to conclusions.
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PeterJ
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Re: ZX ULAX emulator

Post by PeterJ »

To be fair to @Lethargeek, to get English language documentation from a Russian speaker is very pleasing. Only a few people have reported issues.
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