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DHS.NU news article
Gemdemo - New concept June 5th, 1998
Now you might think.. "what on earth is this" or "totally lameness" or maybe "fucking crap..". Well, whatever you might think of the idea of running a demo in GEM, we're working on it anyway. ;-)
When I downloaded Therapys SMURF (cool program!) utility, and watched the "about" dialoge, which has a rotozoomer in it I came up with the creazy idea of maybe trying to run of our demoeffects inside a gem window. I took contact with the GEM coder #1, Ozk of AssemSoft in Norway. I know him since before, and he does things with GEM no C-programmer would ever dream of. In short words, what happens when Ozk do GEM coding: SPEED happens. And I mean a great difference here. Ozk was happy to help out with this idea, and work began. I started to code a small demo-effect (the flat 2d bumpmapper) and sent the source to Ozk who then had all ideas ready how to make it as fast as possible. Shortly therafter Ozk sent me the first preview. I was very very intersted to see if it moved at all, or if it was just megaslow. Well, tap my fingers! The darn thing ran nearly the same speed as when allocating your own screen. And this in GEM!

After this I coded anohter small effect (the tunnel) and Ozk improved the GEM routines. Now, the work for grapiccard support began. We spend a whole night discussing how to make the 16->15bit(intel) conversion as fast as possible. People from DHS, Toys, AssemSoft and The Black Lotus argued hour after hour which was aould be the best. And it turned out that Ozk came up with the best way himself :-).
This means that Gemdemo should work with nearly all graphicscards that has a 15bit or 16bit graphicsmode. This includes: CrazyDots, CrazyDots2, Nova, Hades060/040 cards and standard Falcon videl of course. And belive it or not the people with those cards and computers have tested Gemdemo and it actually works fine! Thanks to Tiitsu (Hades060), Frank (ab040/Nova), lp (TT/Nova), Nut (TT/Nova) on IRC #atariscne for testing it!

If you still don't quite belive this, have look at this screenshot I made from my Falcon today. It's a 256col dithered version, but you'll get the idea!

So, you might think.. when can we test this? Well, the answer is we don't know yet. We're currently working on making all demo effects modulebased, which means new effects can be coded by different persons without involving the authours (us) and that new effects can be added without the need to download all the old ones again. The work with the moduleformat is nearly finished and works very well already. Right now the effects can have two zoom modes; one normal, and one zoomed (2x) mode. We're planning to make a 4x zoom mode as well (this has to be coded within the effects though..) and after that, try to write easy to understand docs, example sourcecodes and other things you need for developing your own demoeffect modules!

Now, those who thought DHS would be involved in such a big and serious project raise your hands! ... ...... ..... as I thought, none! ;-)
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