I wrote the first version of Engine Speeds circa 1982. The Commodore 64 was introduced but I couldnít afford one at $300. But the Commodore Vic-20s were marked down to, I think, $79. Then I needed a cassette recorder for about $30 to save my programs. The Vic-20 had 8KB of ram. The display used about 3KB, leaving 5K free. The Vic-20 had 22 characters across the screen. I needed a printer; at the time they produced 80 characters per line. I think itís still in the basement. It was expensive, slow, and noisy.
I enjoyed coding and decided a computer could make it easier for me to find tire sizes that were a comparable diameter to stock (same rotations per mile) with differing widths, sidewall ratios, and wheel sizes. In those years, at least here in the USA, load rating, sidewall ratio, and wheel size determined tire sizes. The tires that my car had were F70X14. If I wanted a lower sidewall ratio with the same diameter I might have to use a G60X14. The letter, which designated the load rating, was actually the sidewall height and tire width added together. So I wrote a small program to do this comparing up to five different tires.
I modified the program to accept one tire size and one final drive and up to five gears and again to use one tire size, one gear, and five final drives. I had to save three separate programs because the Vic-20 did not have enough memory to hold them all at once. I dreamed of a C-64.
In June 1985 I broke my leg and could not work for about 12 weeks. A friend let me play with his C-64 as he had been getting bored with it. I put together the Engine Speeds program with a menu to select between the choices, differing tire sizes, final drives, or gears.
When the C-128 was introduced I had to have one. I bought a BASIC compiler and I also wrote some assembly language. The C-128 was backward compatible with the C-64. The C-128 also had a method to double the processor speed if one could live without the 40-column display (TV out.) The C-128 had an 80-column display and I bought a small amber screened monitor to use it. Most of the programs I wrote could use either display and some would blank the 40-column screen for a few seconds of intense calculations. I came up with some really useful programs. One was called Amortizere and could cipher interest and principle for all available loans. My wife was born to be wild, but raised to be an accountant, and we worked it out together.
Commodore then introduced the Amiga, with amazing graphics and sounds and my C-128 was soon pushed aside. I bought AMOS and wrote a few simple games, but it wasnít the same as BASIC. C and C++ were difficult for me to comprehend, and my family and work took most of my time. Eventually the Amiga quit working and no one was around to fix it, so I bought a PC and gave up programming.
Fast forward to the 21st century.
My children have grown and take care of themselves. I am still working but I have some free time and money. I renewed my interest in slot cars and trains.
Now I have discovered PureBasic! PureBasic is a compiler that recognizes most of the old BASIC commands. I like it! Of course PureBasic has hundreds of new commands compared to Commodore BASIC, making it easy to work with a Graphical User Interface. It didnít take me long to write my first program, SlotCarSpeeds.
This inspired me to work on Engine Speeds again.
Release 1: 17-Jun-2005. Itís alive!
Release 2: 22-Jun-05. A few bugs squashed.
Release 3: 30-Jul-05. Quite a few changes to the GUI. Added a routine to allow a Final Drive for each gear. Fixed a glitch in the printing routine. Cleaned up the program and deleted some of the pop-ups.
Release 4: 03-Sep-05. More changes to the GUI. Added a file changed flag to warn to resave. Changed some fonts. Removed the Refresh button and menu item.
Release 5: 25-Sep-05. Version 1.69. Now using a nice installer and I finally got the registry going. Officially this will be the first announced release!
09-Oct-05. Version 1.73. Created a Window help file which saves about 110K on the download. Thanks to gnozal. Changed the Redline Upshift motor speed to display before the minimum speed. Added a menu item under Help to run Windows calculator.
See my Slot Car site: Slotictís Track Designs
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