Contents of the DFV.DOC file
DFV (Dave's Flic Viewer)
Rel 0.0.4 (09/30/93)
Copyright (c) 1993 by David K. Mason
This is an alpha test version of my flic player, DFV. DFV is
supposed to be able to play .FLI, .FLC ,and .FLX animation files.
Right now it's still pretty limited... It should be able to handle
any .FLI you throw at it, but it can only handle certain resolutions
of .FLC files: VGA and tweaked VGA resolutions 320x200, 320x240,
320x400, 320x480, and 360x480. The only SVGA resolution it can
handle so far is 640x480. If you've got a VESA-compliant SVGA,
it'll display it in 640x480, otherwise it'll fake it with the
tweaked VGA 320x480 resolution.
It can handle .FLX files up to 640x480, if you've got a VESA
compliant hicolor SVGA or a hicolor SVGA board using the Tseng
4000 chip. (If the resolution is less than 640x480, then it'll
display it in 640x480 mode.)
Originally I released just a protected mode version of the program,
because of the large amounts of memory required to load some
flics. But there's a problem with the protected mode version...
while it can start up hicolor graphics mode fine on machines
which have VESA in hardware, it chokes when trying to start
hicolor mode when using some VESA TSRs.
So, there are now two executables, DFV.EXE (real mode) and
DFVX.EXE (protected mode).
Because DFV.EXE can allocate less memory it often pauses to read
pieces of a flic from disk. You'll also run into pauses with
DFVX if you play flics that are larger than 16MB... DFVX
uses '286 protected mode, not '386 protected mode, so
16MB is the max even if you've got more in your machine.
DFVX requires RTM.EXE and DPMI16BI.OVL files from either the
DTA archive or the DMorf archive. When DFV goes "final", I'll
include these files in the DFV archive.
Rel. 0.0.4 (09/30/93) -
o Fixed a bug in the timer routines... if you typed DFV
with no parameters to get the syntax, DFV forgot to
turn off high-speed timing, and the system clock would
go crazy, advancing a minute every few seconds.
o Added direct support for TS4000 boards (hicolor only, so
far) ... well, it works on the one I've tried it with, anyway.
Hopefully it'll work on other folks' machines, too.
Because it doesn't have to use real mode interrupts at all,
it's faster than VESA and there don't seem to be the
incompatibility problems I've run into using some VESA
Later on I plan to add TS4000 support for the 256-color SVGA
modes, and also direct support for some other SVGA chipsets.
(DFV seems to play .FLX files *lots* faster when using the
TS4000 code... but this may be partly because I was using
it on a '486 DX-50 with local bus video instead of a '486
DX2-50 without local bus video.)
o Added a /B command line switch, for specifying the number of
64K buffers that DFV is allowed to try allocating...
Unless told otherwise, DFV will allocate as many buffers as
(1) it needs to hold the entire flic; and (2) are available.
This can fill up memory real fast, so if you type
dfv x.flc /b1
DFV will only use up 64k for flic storage.
Sometimes, when there isn't enough memory for a whole flic,
there can be lengthy pauses when DFV stops to refill all
the buffers with the next portion... the more buffers you
use, the longer this pause will be. If you use fewer buffers,
there will be more pauses, but each one will be a lot shorter
and less distracting.
o Changed the keys for variable speed a bit... <2> now represents
33 milliseconds per frame, which works out to about 30 frames
per second (the speed of American television) and <3> now
represents 42 milliseconds per frame, or about 24 frames per
second (the speed of motion pictures).
(FYI, <4> = 75, <5> = 125>, <6> = 175, <7> = 275, <8> = 375,
and <9> = 500. <1> still represents "as fast as possible",
and <0> still represents whatever speed is built into the
Rel. 0.0.3 (09/17/93) -
o Got flic speed working right in protected mode... I think.
It messes with timing, but it looks like it sets it back
to normal when it's finished playing. I dunno, but this
might cause problems with running DFV in a DOS window in
Windows or OS/2. Haven't had a chance to try it out.
o Added variable speed based on keys 0-9, in a sleazy imitation
of Trilobyte's PLAY program.
1 sets speed to 0, the fastest that DFV can display a flic.
2 through 9 slow the flic down in increments, with 9 being
0 resets the speed to the speed from the file.
o DFV was having problems playing some .FLX files produced
by Tempra Turbo Animation... I think I've got this fixed.
o Fixed a problem in the real mode version that made DFV display
graphics in VESA modes *much* too slowly. It was doing bank-
switching calculations for every pixel when it didn't have
o Got the protected mode version to play FLX files on a couple
machines which had VESA TSRs instead of VESA hardware.
Hey Dan R., does this work on yours?
o DFV expected every palette chunk in a flic to have exactly
256 colors in it... which was okay if it was playing a
flic built with DTA, which always does, but was NOT okay
for flics built in some other programs.
Expanded the code to fully support partial and multiple
Rel. 0.0.2 (09/12/93) -
o Split DFV into two versions: DFV (real mode) and
DFVX (protected mode).
o Fixed a problem with disk paging... whenever a flic
was bigger than memory, it would crash when it finished
playing the first chunk.
o DFV couldn't play hicolor flics in resolutions other than
640x480 correctly. Now it can handle lower-res FLX files
Rel. 0.0.1 (09/09/93) - Initial release