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Extrarius

Boot Sector Tic-Tac-Toe

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After too many hours of slaving over x86 assembly without a debugger, I finally finished Boot Sector Tic-Tac-Toe! It is a standard Tic-Tac-Toe program that can be placed on the boot sector of a floppy so that you can play the game reguardless of which OS the machine is (or is not) running. It also includes the program compiled as a standard DOS "*.com" file so you can play the game without rebooting if you feel the need to do so =-P

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Is it possible to make a bootable CD with it? Lots of newer machines don't have floppy drives, and besides, a 1/2 KB program on a >600 MB disc is deliciously wasteful :)

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Quote:
Original post by SiCrane
I can't decide if I'm impressed or horrified. Possibly both. :)

Definitely both. Assembly by itself is bad enough, but fitting it into the size limitation imposed by DOS-compatible boot sectors (something like 435 bytes of actual code, with the rest being used by data fields required by DOS and juggling around them so the data doesn't get executed =-)

It took 50 revisions to get it working, and then 50 more to get it to fit in the size limitations without eliminating features or changing functionality.

I wanted to include the string 'Extrarius' in the executable, but I decided it was more important to include the 'randomization' of the AIs selections so it won't always pick the same response every time the board has the same pattern. I could have possibly squeezed enough room for both, but prolonged exposure to x86 assembly is hazardous.

Quote:
Original post by uavfun
Is it possible to make a bootable CD with it? Lots of newer machines don't have floppy drives, and besides, a 1/2 KB program on a >600 MB disc is deliciously wasteful :)
I'm not going to do that, because it would make all the work I've done getting the program to fit (while keeping the floppy DOS-compatible) worthless. Sure it isn't worth much as is, but fitting it in was an acomplishment and if I moved it to a CD I'd feel bad not filling the whole 1MB boot area or whatever it is, and there is NO WAY I'm writing a ~1MB+ demo. That would be... like ... 2048 copies of the tic-tac-toe program, and that is counting the floppy disk info headers. Without them, 2416 copies would fit and that still includes some setup code for each instance that only gets run a single time.

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Hah, neat idea.

Thought I'd help out a bit:
Bootable disk image (.IMG). Works on VirtualPC, VMWare, and Bochs (Yep, I tested.) You can write it to a real floppy with dd or rawrite (not really useful, since there is a writer in the actual package)
Bootable CDROM ISO. Works in VirtualPC and VMWare (Don't know enough about bochs to get it working). You can burn it to a CD-R with any decent burning software.

Both are about 2k zipped and about 1.4mb unzipped.

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nice one :). I am imagining a game where all computer resources are used by it,no OS that doing some background work, just a game with all it's power :).

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