Having been slowly inching towards doing a little coding on the Atari ST, I decided to set some (very) small, straightforward goals to actually get started doing something useful. This seems to be a pretty important tactic for me, as otherwise, I can start to get lost in the haze of all my different interests and never really get anywhere.
I started laying these out in a simple todo list following the extreme programming task card style we used at Cellusys, like so:
* ST: Display a sprite! (IH: 2)
* ST: Switch to low res and back to original. (IH: 0.5 / AH: 0.5)
* ST: Print the current colour palette. (IH: 10m / AH: 20m)
* ST: Change the background colour to green. (IH: 2 (??) / AH: 10m)
Printing the palette took a bit longer since I decided to write a number->binary (string representation) conversion function, and realised I'd forgotten some pretty basic things about C. But that's part of the fun! Note my fairly pessimistic estimate of 2 hours to display a simple sprite. It's probably a good idea to err on the side of underestimating yourself when planning stuff that is somewhat beyond your ken, even if you used to do it ten years ago. To be honest though, I'm not really sure what to try after that. A little animation I suppose? Then eventually some screen flipping and fiddling with the palette and an XBIOS sound routine. Sounds like a plan...