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

Macs Fan Control 1.3.1.0 - Monitor and c...
Macs Fan Control allows you to monitor and control almost any aspect of your computer's fans, with support for controlling fan speed, temperature sensors pane, menu-bar icon, and autostart with... Read more
NetShade 6.3.1 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an anonymous proxy and VPN app+service for Mac. Unblock your Internet through NetShade's high-speed proxy and VPN servers spanning seven countries. NetShade masks your IP address as you... Read more
Dragon Dictate 4.0.7 - Premium voice-rec...
With Dragon Dictate speech recognition software, you can use your voice to create and edit text or interact with your favorite Mac applications. Far more than just speech-to-text, Dragon Dictate lets... Read more
Persecond 1.0.2 - Timelapse video made e...
Persecond is the easy, fun way to create a beautiful timelapse video. Import an image sequence from any camera, trim the length of your video, adjust the speed and playback direction, and you’re done... Read more
GIMP 2.8.14p2 - Powerful, free image edi...
GIMP is a multi-platform photo manipulation tool. GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. The GIMP is suitable for a variety of image manipulation tasks, including photo retouching,... Read more
Sandvox 2.10.2 - Easily build eye-catchi...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
LibreOffice 5.0.1.2 - Free, open-source...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
f.lux 36.1 - Adjusts the color of your d...
f.lux makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake... Read more
VirtualBox 5.0.2 - x86 virtualization so...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
File Juicer 4.43 - Extract images, video...
File Juicer is a drag-and-drop can opener and data archaeologist. Its specialty is to find and extract images, video, audio, or text from files which are hard to open in other ways. In computer... Read more

ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard (Utilit...
ReBoard: Revolutionary Keyboard 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Do everything within the keyboard without switching apps! If you are in WhatsApp, how do you schedule a... | Read more »
Tiny Empire (Games)
Tiny Empire 1.1.3 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.1.3 (iTunes) Description: Launch cannonballs and blow tiny orcs into thousands of pieces in this intuitive fantasy-themed puzzle shooter! Embark on an... | Read more »
Astropad Mini (Productivity)
Astropad Mini 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Productivity Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: *** 50% off introductory price! ​*** Get the high-end experience of a Wacom tablet at a fraction of the price with Astropad... | Read more »
Emo Chorus (Music)
Emo Chorus 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Music Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Realistic Choir simulator ranging from simple Chorus emulation to full ensemble Choir with 128 members. ### introductory offer... | Read more »
Forest Spirit (Games)
Forest Spirit 1.0.5 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0.5 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Ski Safari 2 (Games)
Ski Safari 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: The world's most fantastical, fun, family-friendly skiing game is back and better than ever! Play as Sven's sister Evana, share... | Read more »
Lara Croft GO (Games)
Lara Croft GO 1.0.47768 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.47768 (iTunes) Description: Lara Croft GO is a turn based puzzle-adventure set in a long-forgotten world. Explore the ruins of an ancient... | Read more »
Whispering Willows (Games)
Whispering Willows 1.23 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.23 (iTunes) Description: **LAUNCH SALE 50% OFF** - Whispering Willows is on sale for 50% off ($4.99) until September 9th. | Read more »
Calvino Noir (Games)
Calvino Noir 1.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: The film noir stealth game. Calvino Noir is the exploratory, sneaking adventure through the 1930s European criminal underworld.... | Read more »
Angel Sword (Games)
Angel Sword 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $6.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Prepare to adventure in the most epic full scale multiplayer 3D RPG for mobile! Experience amazing detailed graphics in full HD.... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

iPad Air 2 on sale for up to $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has iPad Air 2s on sale for up to $100 off MSRP on their online store for a limited time. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices available for online... Read more
MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP
Best Buy has MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale prices for online orders only, in-store prices may vary... Read more
Big Grips Lift Handle For iPad Air and iPad A...
KEM Ventures, Inc. which pioneered the extra-large, super-protective iPad case market with the introduction of Big Grips Frame and Stand in 2011, is launching Big Grips Lift featuring a new super-... Read more
Samsung Launches Galaxy Tab S2, Its Most Powe...
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. has announced the U.S. release of the Galaxy Tab S2, its thinnest, lightest, ultra-fast tablet. Blending form and function, elegant design and multitasking power,... Read more
Tablet Screen Sizes Expanding as iPad Pro App...
Larger screen sizes are gaining favor as the tablet transforms into a productivity device, with shipments growing 185 percent year-over-year in 2015. According to a new Strategy Analytics’ Tablet... Read more
Today Only: Save US$50 on Adobe Elements 13;...
Keep the memories. lose the distractions. Summer’s winding down and it’s time to turn almost perfect shots into picture perfect memories with Elements 13. And get the power to edit both photos and... Read more
1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $50
Best Buy has the 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $50 off MSRP on their online store. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Price for online orders only, in-store price may vary... Read more
12-inch 1.1GHz Gold MacBook on sale for $1149...
B&H Photo has the 12″ 1.1GHz Gold Retina MacBook on sale for $1149.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
27-inch 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849, sav...
Best Buy has the 27″ 3.3GHz 5K iMac on sale for $1849.99. Their price is $150 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if... Read more
Worldwide Tablet Shipments Expected to Declin...
Does Apple badly need a touchscreen convertible/hybrid laptop MacBook? Yes, judging from a new market forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, which... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Music, Business Operations - Apple (...
**Job Summary** This role in Apple Music and in iTunes is working with…the songs that we all enjoy listening to in Apple Music. Your job will be to work wit Read more
Hardware Systems Integration Engineer - *App...
**Job Summary** We are seeking an enthusiastic electrical engineer for the Apple Watch team. This is a design engineering position that entails working with Read more
Engineering Project Manager - *Apple* TV -...
**Job Summary** The iTunes Apps project management team oversees iTunes, Apple TV, DRM and iOS Applications. We are looking for a project manager to help manage and Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
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 Online Store: Customer Insigh...
**Job Summary** Apple Retail (Online Store) is seeking an experienced e-commerce analytics professional to join the Customer Insights Team. The Web e-Commerce Analyst Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.