The 81st Track Music Disk 1 Production Notes
By Brian "Aardvark" Handscomb
©2000 The 81st Track

First of all, please be aware that these notes are based on looking back on an "antique" data archive and were not made at production time (September-December 1991).

First off, the original loader concept was thrown away after a certain amount of work had been put into getting it working. In fact the loader may have even been "finished" and only waiting for some scrolling text to be finished.

Unused main screen:
The light areas at the top and bottom were reserved for scrolling text.

At the time I hadn't long started programming in 68000 assembler and this was the first attempt at producing something without the aid of AmigaDOS, and also hadn't worked out how to load a tune from disk whilst keeping the scrolling text moving. For this reason I quickly knocked up a little screen to cover up this problem that was designed to use as little memory as possible:

Unused "loading music" screen:

There was also an "xtra bit" that was to be used to fill up the space left over by the main section of the music disk. There was very little graphic design for this section for two main reasons:

Graphic image as created in a graphics program containing font for scrolling text:

Some while after the production had started on the music disk Andi bought a Commodore CDTV, and all of a sudden a new concept for the music disk was born, bringing a number of headaches including using a technique known as "overscan", re-writing large chunks of the menu system code and throwing away the then currently being developed extra section.

Final main screen:

After the music disk was finished, my cousin Steve "The Mad One" Handscomb bought an Amiga, and found that instead of a normal A500 he had an A500+ which contained a new Kickstart ROM (version 2.04) and the music disk didn't work. This was traced down to increased memory usage by the Amiga OS's kernel before the machine booted up. For this reason the custom bootblock and loader were hacked to allow the OS to use upto 68k before bootup before the disk failed. The previous limit was 64k.

Graphic images used to indicate load failures:

Finally, here are some minor facts:

Select source code from development archives (browse online):

Development archives (LHA format):

NOTE: Some source code files refer to other source code files located outside of these archived development areas. At the present time these are not available online.