Sponsors on Patreon got an early look at Chloe ports of two classic Amiga demos (Boing and Juggler) late last year, but they are now available to download from Source Solutions, Inc. Two years ago when we first reported on the Chloe, firmware updates were roughly quarterly, but last year there was only one update. Development had stalled, and efforts were focused elsewhere, such as on expanding localization support.
There have been some new technical demos released during that time, including another 6-channel sound demo (showcasing Arkos Tracker 2), an on-system version of the teaser video, and three demos streaming sound and video from disk using the DMA. The older demos have been updated to run at a smooth 30 FPS. But now there’s a new SE Basic IV release with lots of new features that lays the groundwork for more updates later this year.
The changes bring this version of BASIC much more in line with Microsoft BASIC. It now has the same mathematical order of precedence. Boolean operators have been replaced with 16-bit signed bitwise operators (true = -1, false =0). Support has been added for long variable names. Existing string slicing is retained, but LEFT$, MID$ and RIGHT$ are now available. FIX and STRING$ functions are added. Operators now include backslash (\) for truncated division, MOD and bitwise NOT, AND, OR and XOR (~, & and | are available as shorthand for the first three, along with ? for PRINT).
But SE Basic IV isn’t beyond borrowing from other BASIC dialects. This release adds DPOKE and DPEEK (16-bit versions of POKE and PEEK). The OLD command restores a program previously erased with NEW. The STR$ function is extended to support conversion from base 2 to 36 (encompassing BIN$, HEX$ and OCT$). String multiplication is now supported. This can be used to fill a string with a character or even mirror a string.
There are also bugfixes, speed ups and other enhancements. For example, a unified detokenizer now gives the same results in listings and in the editor. Now that all the available calculator functions are assigned, the calculator code is considered complete. The work remaining to complete the firmware includes advanced file handling, advanced sound, and graphics commands. But even without these, the system is already very usable.