I am a child of the early 1980s, defined by the personal computer explosion and post-modern style of that era. Despite that upbringing, I am not a Mac lover (although I don't hate them either). My hobbies are centered on a particular pocket of the Nerd universe that includes the demoscene, MobyGames, Mindcandy DVDs, and 8088/CGA assembler programming. There is a trend there -- see if you can find it in my writing. My parents made sure I witnessed the first launch of the Space Shuttle, and also the first broadcast hour of MTV (which, coincidentally, also included a launch of the Space Shuttle). I think that says a lot about who I am.


Yahoo Messenger: MobyGamer

AIM: mobygamer

v0.40a released, 275 systems in the database

Added a small fix for video cards that are so slow it takes the vidram metric more than 10,000 usecs to finish (by comparison, the PCjr takes about 4,000). This was necessary to add a russian system to the database that has some serious speed issues ūüôā

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v0.38.h released, 260 systems in the database

As the title says, this is just a yearly update with newly-submitted systems.¬† One interesting system is the “FrankenTandy”, a Tandy SL that had its CPU and crystal swapped out.¬† For a system originally built on an 8086, it’s now faster than a 286.

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Version 0.38g, more systems

New version released with a bugfix and more systems added.  242 systems total in the database, including some very odd beasts including a PCjr running an FPGA instead of a CPU, and an XT upgraded all the way to a 486.

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The Star Benchmark

For TOPBENCH’s 5th anniversary, I thought I would out the easter egg I snuck in around version 0.33: ¬†The Star Benchmark. ¬†In the 1990s, I always thought it would be cute to see how many 60Hz 3-D stars would be possible on a system, but I didn’t implement it until TOPBENCH. ¬†To see how many “stars” your system can produce, use “starbench” as the only command-line argument:

topbench starbench

…and your system will display increasingly more and more 3-D stars until doing so would cause flicker or slowdown. ¬†After viewing the display a bit, hit a key and the number of stars your system could produce will be displayed. ¬†If the number is followed by “(maximum!)”, then congratulations, your system “wins”. ¬†(There is no prize for winning!)

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8 systems added for 2016

Minor update for 2016, which includes 8 new systems including an HP 200LX palmtop, Apple MacBook Pro, and LOBO (the fastest 286 on record).

The MacBook is the newest system in the database, but is not the fastest for 16-bit real-mode code which is what TOPBENCH was designed to benchmark. The current speed winner for 16-bit real-mode code appears to be the Intel Pentium III running at 1GHz.

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Over 200 systems in the database!

Thanks to many helpful people, there are now 200+ systems in the database.  Head to the downloads page to snag the newest version.

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Version 0.38 available

In this version, I fixed the CGA “always blinking” bug if not using -k — sorry about that. ¬†Also, 182 systems now in the database. ¬†Download the new version from the downloads page.

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Version 0.37 now available; taken out of beta status

Version 0.37 is now available:

  • Added command-line “-l” option requested by Sektor to continuously calculate¬†and display the SCORE for the current machine without going through the¬†entire database load and CUI process.
  • Database contributions added; now 160 systems in database.

Also, I’ve removed the “beta” status from the tool, since it’s been tested successfully for 11 months now.

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Version 0.36 now available

Version 0.36 now available:

  • Added command-line option to do “real” MHz detection (raw result is¬†returned without any type of user-friendly normalization). Warning,¬†this has the potential to return some pretty wacky results since MHz¬†detection is not an exact science; use only if TOPBENCH consistently¬†mis-reports MHz by orders of magnitude or something. Besides, you¬†should be fixing the value before committing it to the database anyway!)
  • Added search-by-number jumps in the browser interface
  • Bugfix: Importing numeric values from a text file with trailing spaces¬†after the value resulted in a value of 0
  • Restructured a few aspects of TOPBENCH so that there would be more¬†free memory when debugging in the Turbo Pascal IDE
  • Added TOPBENCH.TXT as super-quick documentation to go into the .zip file

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v 0.35 now available

V0.35 has the following changes:

  • Recompiled stub so it has the new measurement wrapper
  • Added v86 check (and command-line to override)
  • Enhanced /i so that it also spits out usec timings
  • Added [letter] to jump to next system that starts with that letter in the browsing interface
  • Add command-line option to work with a different database file.
  • Added some small “special effects” if working on a color monitor (with command-line option to override)

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