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Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Posted by Nick on 10 November 1999, 16:45 GMT

Ben Mickle released a wonderful utility for the 86 recently called Zip86. It's used for compressing both assembly and basic programs on the calculator so you can fit more on. After they're compressed, you can run them like you would run any normal program. For those of you who don't understand the value of this, the 86's large amount of memory is effectively made much, much larger with the use of this program :).


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Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Kikki_Lavemang_Danielsson  Account Info

Besides being the first comment (as far as my browser tells me) I want to congratulate Ben for his wonderful utility. Great work, ben!

     10 November 1999, 17:03 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
beasty  Account Info
(Web Page)

BLAH! GIBERISH!IRRELVANCY! MWAHAHAH. ANyway I think this program isgreat.heh ANARCHY RULED. But it did rule. sigh, this program rules.

MWAHAHAH love ya

     16 November 1999, 03:22 GMT

Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
cyder stopar Account Info

I haven't tried this yet but i will asap. Does anyone know the "percentage" of compression this utility does on the 86. On another note, i wish you could even compress levels and what not and use them too.
great idea though, stupendous.

     10 November 1999, 18:07 GMT

Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Bear123123  Account Info

This sounds like a great idea. But does it lose some information everytime the programs are compressed and uncompressed? This is a problem with some computer compression utilities.

     10 November 1999, 19:44 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Ciaran McCreesh  Account Info
(Web Page)

Nope - if you were to get even one bit wrong in an assembly program then you could well crash the calc big time. For example, if a $f3 (pop af) was turned into a $f1 (halt) and interrupts were disabled - bang!


     10 November 1999, 19:56 GMT

Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Patrick Wilson  Account Info
(Web Page)

Hrmm, I tried the program, and depending on how correct my assumptions were, when I compressed about 40k of programs on my calculator, Zip86 only saved me about 6k or at most 7k. Nice, but not great :/

     10 November 1999, 20:59 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
prabal  Account Info
(Web Page)

its not the best compressor but its the start. Great work. Keep it up

     10 November 1999, 21:53 GMT

Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Disco_Stu  Account Info

It says not to zip programs that are run from other programs. Does this mean that shells cannot be used?

     10 November 1999, 22:06 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Ben Mickle  Account Info
(Web Page)

It might be safer not to run a compressed program from a shell, depending on the program. However, that was intended to mean that you shouldn't compress modules. An example would be that you shouldn't compress bloat, then run a program that uses bloat. Too many programs may become 'imbedded.' Also, I would NOT recommend running YAS from Rascall, then MSE from YAS, then ASE from MSE, then running a compressed program (especially if all those shells are compressed!). With certain programs, 'imbedding' programs like that may cause a crash. If you are just running a compressed program from a shell, that should be safe.

     10 November 1999, 22:22 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Robert Maresh  Account Info
(Web Page)

One possible way to remedy this problem (I am not sure if it will work, SO DON'T TRY THIS WITH ZIP86 UNLESS YOU ARE WILLING TO RISK IT!) is to make a program that calls itself as a subroutine. If you were to do this, then your program would be compatible with the compression utility. This is a small example (using TI-83 Syntax; I don't own a TI-86)

If 18=LTST(1
Goto 1
;Programming code here
;Like a game, or whatever
;Then when you want to
;call the subroutine:
;More code here,
;then you can goto the end of the
;program when you are done.
Goto Z
Lbl 1
ClrList LTST ;so the program doesn't mess up if you press on;
;Subroutine here;
;then return to main program;
Lbl Z

Using this method, you can place as many subroutines in a single program as you want. BUT, SINCE I HAVE NOT TRIED THIS with Zip86, don't blame me if something goes wrong. DO NOT TRY THIS until I check with the author of Zip86!!!!!!!!! If this does work, then then GREAT!

     10 November 1999, 22:47 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Disco_Stu  Account Info

I figured that, but I was just wondering if it applied to shells as well.

     11 November 1999, 02:25 GMT

Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Robert Maresh  Account Info
(Web Page)

This sounds like the beginning of a great era! I do not own a TI-86. However, a compression utility like this would be GREAT for the TI-83 plus, with the FLASH rom capabilities. If someone could make a program that compresses the program data (BASIC AND ASM) and store it on the FLASH rom, then the shell could decompress the programs to ram to execute them. It would allow for some really great games for the TI-83 Plus! Someone who is an expert in data compression and assembly programming (Maybe Ben Mickle or someone else) make a program like this. Congratulations, Ben, for your work for the TI-86!!!!

     10 November 1999, 22:12 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
The_Professor  Account Info
(Web Page)

I think that this Zip86 program is cool, but it would be much better if you could use it to compress ALL of your files. Just a suggestion - since programmers don't get paid (for calc progs), it is good that it was even programmed at all.

One thing I want to say about the TI-83+:
What was TI thinking when they decreased the normal RAM from 27k in the 83 to 24k in the 83+? I know the flash memory adds 160k of memory, but 24k is pretty cramped, you have to archive stuff just to play a game sometimes, and it is worse when you like both assembly and BASIC games. TI should have Increased the RAM, not decreased. This annoys me even though I only use an 83+ when I am putting games on it (I have one of the only graphlinks at my school). I don't even own a TI-83+ and it really annoys me!
(I own only an 86, and soon an 89)

     10 November 1999, 22:50 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Reno  Account Info

I think it had something to do with the flashrom being added that took up some of the free ram without losing some of the functions, but I could be wrong

     11 November 1999, 02:02 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Robert Maresh  Account Info
(Web Page)

That is probably part of it, along with more safe ram areas for the Flash Applications for the TI-83 Plus. Have you noticed that all variables take up a few more bytes on a TI-83+ compared to a TI-83?

     11 November 1999, 05:20 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
The_Professor  Account Info
(Web Page)

I noticed that variables on the TI-83+ take up 18k, and on the TI-86 they take up 17k. I don't know about the TI-83 because I don't own one and haven't used one.

     11 November 1999, 16:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86

I think they try to limit games on your 83+ while still capable of running educational programs.

     12 November 1999, 05:58 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86

Yeah, me too, I'm like the only person who has a Graphlinkl and knows how to use it in my entire school. I always have the best games and they always ask me for games and stuff.

     11 November 1999, 04:27 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
mentalspice Account Info

Ion already has some of this functionality. It can copy your ion games to and from the flash to free up ram so you can run another prog. So, if a game like lotus turbo challenge needed more ram to run than you had left, it would copy breakout to the flash, and then back again when you exited lotus. It can't compress the ram though. Just give me a year to learn asm and C, plus to get enough cash for the flash SDK, and there will be a zip83+. I've already got the algorythim planned out...just need to learn to program in C.....If only PASCAL worked with the SDK........

     12 November 1999, 21:12 GMT

Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Ben Mickle  Account Info
(Web Page)

I'd like to point out something about the usage of Zip86:
You need to leave some free memory in order for things to decompress properly. If a program is compressed by 1k, and you only have .5k free, that program cannot decompress properly because there is not enough memory. This is the most common cause of crashes when using Zip86.

     10 November 1999, 22:40 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
(Web Page)

I don't know how you stored the compressed files, but it might be a good idea to include a small header contianing the size of the un-compressed file and use that when uncompressing to see if there is enough memory to decompress the file. This would prevent to program from crashing if there wasn't enough memory on you calc...

     12 November 1999, 01:31 GMT

Re: Re: Ben Mickle Releases Zip86
Ben Oman
(Web Page)

Nice Job Ben. Another great program. I love mario 86, and Freecell. Good luck on your next program.

     13 November 1999, 02:27 GMT

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