TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Screen Buffer
Volume Number:1
Issue Number:9
Column Tag:Modula 2 Mods

"Using the Alternate Screen Buffer"

By Tom Taylor, Software Engineer, Modula-2 Corp., Provo, Ut., MacTutor Contributing Editor

This article discusses the "alternate screen" capabilities of the Macintosh and presents a module that allows easy access to this facility from MacModula-2.

The Alternate Screen

As far as I know, Inside Macintosh only mentions the alternate screen buffer in two places: in the Memory Manager Programmer's Guide and in the Segment Loader Programmer's Guide. The Memory Manager section simply says, "There are alternate screen and sound buffers for special applications. If you use either or both of these, the space available for use by your application is reduced accordingly..." The alternate screen buffer can be used for high-speed flicker free graphics or a slide show program. For example, an application can be drawing in one screen while displaying a different screen. The popular "Tumbling Mac" demo by Mainstay uses the alternate screen buffer to create a high-speed flicker-free animation application. According to figure 1, the alternate screen buffer is allocated 32768 bytes below the main screen buffer.

Figure 1. Partial memory map showing sizes of various buffers.

The Segment Loader section mentions that the Chain and Launch traps configure memory for the sound and screen buffers. Whenever one of these traps is called, a parameter is passed that determines how these buffers are set up. The word (16-bit) parameter has three possible values:

Zero - Only the main sound and screen buffers are allocated. This is the normal situation and gives an application the most possible memory.

Negative - The alternate sound buffer and main screen buffer is allocated.

Positive - Both the alternate sound and screen buffers are allocated.

A Screen Switcher Module

Instead of building a specific program to demonstrate the alternate screen in Modula-2, this article presents a library module that can be used in many different programs in many different types of applications. This article will also present a small program that uses the developed screen switcher module.

A screen switcher module should support at least four functions:

• launch a program with the alternate screen,

• copy the main screen into the alternate screen,

• change the screen back and forth between the main and alternate screens, and

• set the screen buffer to the main screen before a program exits.

Apparently, the Finder always launches a program with the main sound and screen buffers (parameter set to 0). In order for a program to use the alternate screen, the program must be re-launched with the appropriate parameter (-1). The procedure LaunchWithAltScreen re-launches the program with the alternate screen if the alternate screen is not already allocated.

Here are the Definition and Implementation modules for handling the alternate screen:

DEFINITION MODULE ScreenSwitcher;

  EXPORT QUALIFIED
    LaunchWithTwoScreens,
    CopyScreens,
    SwitchScreens,
    SetMainScreen;
  
  PROCEDURE LaunchWithTwoScreens;
    (* This procedure re-launches the
       current program with the alternate
       screen.  If the alternate screen is
       already installed, this procedure 
       does nothing. *)

  PROCEDURE CopyScreens;
    (* CopyScreens copies the main screen
       into the alternate screen. *)
  
  PROCEDURE SwitchScreens;
    (* SwitchScreens alternately switches
       what is being displayed from the
       one screen to the other. *)
  
  PROCEDURE SetMainScreen;
    (* Sets the current screen buffer to
       the main screen so that when the
       program exits to the Finder
       the screen will be the right one. *)
  
END ScreenSwitcher.

IMPLEMENTATION MODULE ScreenSwitcher;

  FROM Launcher IMPORT
          CountAppFiles,
   LaunchRec,
   Launch;

  FROM Terminal IMPORT
          WriteString;

  FROM MacSystemTypes IMPORT
          Str255, LongCard;

  FROM Strings IMPORT
          StrModToMac;

  FROM SYSTEM IMPORT
          ADR, WORD, ADDRESS;

  FROM MacInterface IMPORT
          thePort;

  FROM QuickDraw1 IMPORT
          GrafPtr;

  CONST
    vBufA = 1e00h; (* Buffer A offset from
                                VIA interface chip *)
    vPage2 = 1;    (* This is a bit into
                              vBufA, if 0, select
                              alternate screen *)

  TYPE
    ScreenPtr
        = POINTER TO ARRAY [1..10944] OF
                 WORD;
      (* The Mac screen buffer is 10944
           16-bit words long *)

    FlagsPtr
        = POINTER TO BITSET;

  VAR
    CurPageOption [936h] : INTEGER;
       (* Mac global variable containing
           value of parameter at launch time
           that determines sound and screen
           buffers. *)
    ScrnBase [824h] : ScreenPtr;
       (* Mac global containing address of
           main screen. *)
    AltBase : ScreenPtr;
       (* Our homebrew alternate screen
            pointer. *)
    VIA6522Chip [1d4h] : FlagsPtr;
       (* VIA base address - from MDS's
           SysEqu.txt *)
    BufferA : FlagsPtr;
       (* Our pointer to vBuffer A *)
    originalPort  : GrafPtr;
       (* Save GrafPtr to whole screen *)

  PROCEDURE LaunchWithTwoScreens;
    VAR
      PrintOrWhat, count : INTEGER;
      launchRec : LaunchRec;
      prog : Str255;
  BEGIN
    IF CurPageOption >= 0 THEN
      CountAppFiles(PrintOrWhat,count);
        (* Get the number of Modula-2
            programs launched.  It better
            be one... this one! *)
      IF count # 1 THEN
        WriteString('Double-click the ');
        WriteString('program icon to start');
        WriteString(' the program');
        HALT;
      END;
      StrModToMac(prog,'Modula-2');
      launchRec.Name := ADR(prog);
      launchRec.SoundScreenBuffer := -1;
      Launch(launchRec);
    END;
  END LaunchWithTwoScreens;
  
  PROCEDURE CopyScreens;
  BEGIN
    AltBase^ := ScrnBase^;
  END CopyScreens;
  
  PROCEDURE SwitchScreens;
  BEGIN
    (* According to the MDS SysEqu.Txt
        file, the vPage2 bit in the BufferA
        flags is zero for the alternate
        screen and one for the main screen.
     *)
    WITH originalPort^.portBits DO
      IF baseAddr = ADDRESS(ScrnBase)
      THEN
          (* Graphical operations apply
              to alternate screen while
              displaying main screen. *)
 baseAddr := ADDRESS(AltBase);
 INCL(BufferA^,vPage2);
          (* Turn on bit *)
      ELSE
          (* Graphical operations apply
              to main screen while displaying
              alternate screen. *)
 baseAddr := ADDRESS(ScrnBase);
 EXCL(BufferA^,vPage2);
          (* Turn off  bit *)
      END;
    END;
  END SwitchScreens;
  
  PROCEDURE SetMainScreen;
  BEGIN
    IF NOT(vPage2 IN BufferA^) THEN
      SwitchScreens;
    END;
  END SetMainScreen;

BEGIN
  AltBase := ScrnBase;
   (* Set up pointer to alt screen *)
  DEC(AltBase,32768);
  
  BufferA := VIA6522Chip;
   (* Set up pointer to Buffer A flags *)
  INC(BufferA,vBufA);
  
   (* Save screen GrafPort *)
  originalPort := thePort;
END ScreenSwitcher.

            Here is a program module that actually uses the ScreenSwitcher module.  The 
program simply bounces a picture of a Lisa computer around the screen.  The program draws 
the picture in one screen, switches screens, erases the old picture, moves to a new position, 
draws the picture, and switches to the other screen and applies the same sequence of operations. 
 In order for this program to run properly, it is important to have this program and the 
Modula-2 program on the system disk.  Click the mouse to exit the program.

MODULE Animate;

  FROM QuickDraw1 IMPORT
          QDPtr, StuffHex, HideCursor,
          BitMap, Rect, SetRect,
          srcOr, srcBic, OffsetRect,
          Random;

  FROM QuickDraw2 IMPORT
          CopyBits;
   
  FROM MacSystemTypes IMPORT
          Str255;
   
  FROM Strings IMPORT
          StrModToMac;

  FROM SYSTEM IMPORT
          ADR, WORD;

  FROM MacInterface IMPORT
          thePort, Write;

  FROM EventManager IMPORT
          Button;

  FROM ScreenSwitcher IMPORT
          LaunchWithTwoScreens,
          CopyScreens, SwitchScreens;

  VAR
    icon : ARRAY [0..95] OF WORD;
       (* Storage to hold icon data *)
    x, y : ARRAY [0..1] OF INTEGER;
       (* coordinates of icon for each
           screen *)
    screen : [0..1];
       (* current screen reminder *)
    xDir, yDir : INTEGER;
       (* offset for each icon move *)
 
  PROCEDURE InitIcon;

    PROCEDURE MyStuffHex(ptr: QDPtr;
                         s : ARRAY OF CHAR);
    (* This procedure isolates the body of
       InitIcon from having to convert
       the Modula-style hex strings to
       Pascal format *)
      VAR
 macStr : Str255;
    BEGIN
      StrModToMac(macStr,s);
      StuffHex(ptr,macStr);
    END MyStuffHex;

  BEGIN
    (* Picture of a Lisa hoisted from
        Apple's QDSample program *)
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[ 0]),
'000000000000000000000000000000000000001FFFFFFFFC');
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[12]),
'00600000000601800000000B0600000000130FFFFFFFFFA3');
  MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[24]),
'18000000004311FFFFF00023120000080F231200000BF923');
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[36]),
'120000080F23120000080023120000080023120000080F23');
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[48]),
'1200000BF923120000080F2312000008002311FFFFF00023');
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[60]),
'08000000004307FFFFFFFFA30100000000260FFFFFFFFE2C');
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[72]),
'18000000013832AAAAA8A9F0655555515380C2AAAA82A580');
    MyStuffHex(ADR(icon[84]),
'800000000980FFFFFFFFF300800000001600FFFFFFFFFC00');
  END InitIcon;

  PROCEDURE DrawIcon(h,v: INTEGER;  mode : INTEGER);
    VAR
      srcBits : BitMap;
      srcRect, dstRect : Rect;
  BEGIN
    srcBits.baseAddr := ADR(icon);
    srcBits.rowBytes := 6;
    SetRect(srcBits.bounds,0,0,48,32);
    srcRect := srcBits.bounds;
    dstRect := srcRect;
    OffsetRect(dstRect,h,v);
    CopyBits(srcBits,thePort^.portBits,
                  srcRect,dstRect,mode,NIL);
  END DrawIcon;

  PROCEDURE MoveIcon;
  BEGIN
    (* Erase the old icon *)
    DrawIcon (x[screen],y[screen], srcBic);
    (* Calculate new position *)
    x[screen] := x[1-screen] + xDir;
    (* Don't let icon go off screen *)
    IF (x[screen] < 0) OR (x[screen] > 460) 
    THEN
      xDir := -xDir;
    END;
    y[screen] := y[1-screen] + yDir;
    IF (y[screen] < 0) OR (y[screen] > 310) 
    THEN
      yDir := -yDir;
    END;
    (* Draw the icon *)
    DrawIcon(x[screen],y[screen],srcOr);
    (* Swap our screen reminder *)
    screen := 1 - screen;
  END MoveIcon;
  
BEGIN
  HideCursor;
  (* Re-launch ourself with alt. screen *)
  LaunchWithTwoScreens;
  InitIcon;
  Write(14c); (* Clear Screen *)
  CopyScreens;
  screen := 0;
  x[0] := 100;
  y[0] := 100;
  x[1] := 100;
  y[1] := 100;
  xDir := 1;
  yDir := 1;
  WHILE NOT Button() DO
    MoveIcon;
    SwitchScreens;
  END;
END Animate.
 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Microsoft OneNote 15.29 - Free digital n...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Spotify 1.0.44.100. - Stream music, crea...
Spotify is a streaming music service that gives you on-demand access to millions of songs. Whether you like driving rock, silky R&B, or grandiose classical music, Spotify's massive catalogue puts... Read more
SpamSieve 2.9.27 - Robust spam filter fo...
SpamSieve is a robust spam filter for major email clients that uses powerful Bayesian spam filtering. SpamSieve understands what your spam looks like in order to block it all, but also learns what... Read more
VueScan 9.5.62 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Fantastical 2.3.2 - Create calendar even...
Fantastical 2 is the Mac calendar you'll actually enjoy using. Creating an event with Fantastical is quick, easy, and fun: Open Fantastical with a single click or keystroke Type in your event... Read more
PCalc 4.4.4 - Full-featured scientific c...
PCalc is a full-featured, scriptable scientific calculator with support for hexadecimal, octal, and binary calculations, as well as an RPN mode, programmable functions, and an extensive set of unit... Read more
Alfred 3.2.1 - Quick launcher for apps a...
Alfred is an award-winning productivity application for OS X. Alfred saves you time when you search for files online or on your Mac. Be more productive with hotkeys, keywords, and file actions at... Read more
OmniPlan 3.6 - Robust project management...
With OmniPlan, you can create logical, manageable project plans with Gantt charts, schedules, summaries, milestones, and critical paths. Break down the tasks needed to make your project a success,... Read more
Backblaze 4.2.0.990 - Online backup serv...
Backblaze is an online backup service designed from the ground-up for the Mac. With unlimited storage available for $5 per month, as well as a free 15-day trial, peace of mind is within reach with... Read more
AppDelete 4.3.1 - $7.99
AppDelete is an uninstaller that will remove not only applications but also widgets, preference panes, plugins, and screensavers along with their associated files. Without AppDelete these associated... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Galaxy on Fire 3 and four other fantasti...
Galaxy on Fire 3 - Manticore brings the series back for another round of daring space battles. It's familiar territory for folks who are familiar with the franchise. If you've beaten the game and are looking to broaden your horizons, might we... | Read more »
The best apps for your holiday gift exch...
What's that, you say? You still haven't started your holiday shopping? Don't beat yourself up over it -- a lot of people have been putting it off, too. It's become easier and easier to procrastinate gift shopping thanks to a number of apps that... | Read more »
Toca Hair Salon 3 (Education)
Toca Hair Salon 3 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Education Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Winter comes to Darkwood as Seekers Note...
MyTona, based in the chilly Siberian city of Yakutsk, has brought a little festive fun to its hidden object game Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery. The Christmas update introduces some new inhabitants to players, and with them a chance to win plenty of... | Read more »
Bully: Anniversary Edition (Games)
Bully: Anniversary Edition 1.03.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.03.1 (iTunes) Description: *** PLEASE NOTE: This game is officially supported on the following devices: iPhone 5 and newer, iPod Touch... | Read more »
PINE GROVE (Games)
PINE GROVE 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A pine grove where there are no footsteps of people due to continuous missing cases. The case is still unsolved and nothing has... | Read more »
Niantic teases new Pokémon announcement...
After rumors started swirling yesterday, it turns out there is an official Pokémon GO update on its way. We’ll find out what’s in store for us and our growing Pokémon collections tomorrow during the Starbucks event, but Niantic will be revealing... | Read more »
3 reasons why Nicki Minaj: The Empire is...
Nicki Minaj is as business-savvy as she is musically talented and she’s proved that by launching her own game. Designed by Glu, purveyors of other fine celebrity games like cult favorite Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, Nicki Minaj: The Empire launched... | Read more »
Clash of Clans is getting its own animat...
Riding on its unending wave of fame and success, Clash of Clans is getting an animated web series based on its Clash-A-Rama animated shorts.As opposed to the current shorts' 60 second run time, the new and improved Clash-A-Rama will be comprised of... | Read more »
Leaks hint at Pokémon GO and Starbucks C...
Leaked images from a hub for Starbucks employees suggests that a big Pokémon GO event with the coffee giant could begin this very week. The images appeared on Reddit and hint at some exciting new things to come for Niantic's smash hit game. | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

New 2016 13-inch Touch Bar MacBook Pros in st...
B&H Photo has stock of new 2016 Apple 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models, each including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $1999 - 13″ 2.... Read more
New 2016 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock...
B&H Photo has new 2016 Apple 15″ Touch Bar MacBook Pro models in stock today including free shipping plus NY sales tax only: - 15″ 2.7GHz Touch Bar MacBook Pro Space Gray: $2799 - 15″ 2.7GHz... Read more
DietSensor App Targeting Diabetes and Obesity...
DietSensor, Inc., a developer of smart food and nutrition applications designed to fight diabetes and obesity and help improve overall fitness, has announced the launch of its DietSensor app for... Read more
Holiday 2016 13-inch 2.0GHz MacBook Pro sales...
B&H has the non-Touch Bar 13″ MacBook Pros in stock today for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.0GHz MacBook Pro Space Gray (MLL42LL/A): $1449 $... Read more
Holiday sale: Apple TVs for $51-$40 off MSRP,...
Best Buy has dropped their price on the 64GB Apple TV to $159.99 including free shipping. That’s $40 off MSRP. 32GB Apple TVs are on sale right now for $98 on Sams Club’s online store. That’s $51 off... Read more
12-inch Retina MacBooks, Apple refurbished, n...
Apple has restocked a full line of Certified Refurbished 2016 12″ Retina MacBooks, now available for $200-$260 off MSRP. Refurbished 2015 models are available starting at $929. Apple will include a... Read more
Holiday sale: 12-inch Retina MacBook for $100...
B&H has 12″ Retina MacBooks on sale for $100 off MSRP as part of their Holiday sale. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 12″ 1.1GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook: $1199 $100... Read more
Apple refurbished 13-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $849. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is free: - 13″ 1.6GHz/8GB/128GB MacBook Air: $849 $... Read more
Apple refurbished iMacs available for up to $...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 21″ & 27″ iMacs available for up to $350 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. The following models are available: - 21″ 3.... Read more
Apple’s Education discount saves up to $300 o...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad using Apple’s Education Store and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free: -... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Trumbul...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- Philade...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions- San Ant...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Products Tester Needed - Apple (Unit...
…we therefore look forward to put out products to quality test for durability. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.