Retrospecs

A RETRO-COMPUTING/CONSOLE PIXEL ART CAMERA APP FOR iOS

About

Retrospecs lets you convert/capture images so that they appear as they would on a variety of home computers and consoles from the 70's, 80's and 90's. It's part camera app, part tribute to the sort of computers I lusted after whilst pouring over copies of Byte magazine as a lad.

For a full list of the current computer and console presets see the updates section.

It's currently only available for iOS (it supports iPhones, iPods and iPads) , but an Android version is planned for 2016. Android version update.

View in the App Store

Updates

9th May 2016

The latest version (release 1.14) is now available in the App Store.

It's a whole new world! (Of minor bug fixes with a sprinkle of new bits to keep people happy.)

Bug fixins...

  • Fixed converter screen so it should now remember which system/mode you last used.
  • Fixed iPad Pro home screen display (Bathe in the luxury of three columns.)

New bits...

  • Tweaked Game Boy palette and added new "Daylight" and "Pocket" variations.
  • Added CMYK palette option for custom emulations.
  • Added new "Horizontal", "Vertical" and "Diagonal" dither options.

System Presets

The current system presets as of release 1.14 are:

  • Teletext
  • Apple ][ (Low res)
  • Atari 2600 (NTSC, PAL & SECAM)
  • Commodore PET (PETSCII)
  • Intellivision
  • Atari 400/800 (CTIA & GTIA modes with NTSC & PAL palettes and two ATASCII options)
  • ZX80/81
  • IBM DOS/ANSI
  • IBM CGA (6 variations)
  • BBC Micro (Modes 0, 1 & 2)
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum (normal, "bright only" and duotone modes)
  • Commodore 64 (Low res, high res & CBMSCII modes with two palette options)
  • Colecovision
  • Dragon 32 (PMODE3 in green and buff)
  • Thomson TO7
  • Camputers Lynx
  • Mattel Aquarius
  • MSX (Screen mode 2 and (for comedy value) 3)
  • Sinclair QL (Low res & high res modes)
  • Apple Macintosh (Original B&W 1984 model and two Mac OS 4.2 colour modes)
  • Thomson MO5
  • Amstrad CPC (Modes 0, 1 & 2 in both colour & green screen versions)
  • Commodore C16/+4 (Low res, high res & CBMSCII modes)
  • IBM EGA
  • Enterprise 64/128 (4 modes)
  • Commodore Amiga (OCS - 320x256 in 32 colours and 640x256 in 16 colours)
  • Atari ST (320x200 in 16 colours and 640x200 in 4 colours)
  • Sega Master System
  • MSX 2 (Modes 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8)
  • Acorn Archimedes (11 modes)
  • IBM VGA (Mode 13h and two Microsoft Windows palette modes)
  • Sega Mega Drive
  • Nintendo Game Boy (three variations)
  • Atari Lynx (16 colour standard and per-scanline modes)
  • SAM Coupé (Modes 3 & 4)
  • Amstrad 464/6128 plus (Modes 0, 1 & 2)
  • Sega Game Gear
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo Virtual Boy
  • Tiger Electronics Game.com
  • Nintendo Game Boy Color (32 colour mode and 12 Type 1 palette modes)
  • Pebble Smart Watch (2 modes)

Dither modes:

  • Floyd-Steinberg
  • Atkinson
  • Stucki
  • Sierra (Standard and two row)
  • Bayer 4x4
  • Bayer 8x8
  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
  • Diagonal

Custom emulations

To create a shiny new custom emulation, either hold your finger down on the preview image in the converter (which should create a *roughly* equivalent custom emulation for you to begin customising) or select the "Custom" system and then tap "Create new emulation" under the mode tab.

The current custom emulation options as of release 1.14 are:

Palettes:

  • 1-bit (B&W)
  • 1-bit (Amber)
  • 1-bit (Green)
  • 1-bit (Atari Blues)
  • 1-bit (Yellow on Blue)
  • 3-bit
  • 6-bit
  • 8-bit
  • 9-bit
  • 12-bit
  • 15-bit
  • 18-bit
  • ABS (Solid)
  • Alien Tones
  • Amstrad CPC
  • Amstrad CPC (Green screen)
  • Apple ][
  • Apple Macintosh (System 4.1)
  • Arne 16 colour
  • Arne 64 colour
  • Atari 2600 NTSC
  • Atari 2600 PAL
  • Atari 2600 SECAM
  • Atari GTIA NTSC
  • Atari GTIA PAL
  • Commodore 64
  • Commodore 64 (Pepto)
  • Commodore C16/+4
  • Commodore VIC-20
  • CGA Palette 0 Low
  • CGA Palette 0 High
  • CGA Palette 1 Low
  • CGA Palette 1 High
  • CGA Mode 5 Low
  • CGA Mode 5 High
  • CMYK
  • Colecovision
  • Dawnbringer 16
  • Dawnbringer 32
  • Dragon 32 (Green)
  • Dragon 32 (Buff)
  • Enterprise
  • Intellivision
  • LCD (Green)
  • LCD (Grayscale)
  • LCD (Simulated)
  • LCD (Pure white)
  • LCD (Yellow)
  • Mattel Aquarius
  • MSX
  • Nintendo Entertainment System
  • Nintendo Gameboy
  • Nintendo Gameboy (Daylight)
  • Nintendo Gameboy (Pocket)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Blue
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Blue (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Brown
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Brown (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Dark Blue
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Dark Blue (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Dark Brown
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Dark Brown (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Dark Green
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Dark Green (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Gray
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Gray (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Green
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Green (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Orange
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Orange (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Pastel
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Pastel (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Red
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Red (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Reverse
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Reverse (Remapped)
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Yellow
  • Nintendo Gameboy Color T1 Yellow (Remapped)
  • Pebble Smart Watch (Colour)
  • Pico8
  • Sam Coupé
  • Sinclair QL (Low-res)
  • Sinclair QL (High-res)
  • Sinclair ZX Spectrum
  • RISC OS
  • Thomson MO5
  • Thomson TO5
  • Nintendo Virtual Boy
  • Windows (16 Colour)
  • Windows (20 Colour)

Character sets:

  • Amstrad CPC
  • Amstrad CPC (partial)
  • Atari 400/800 - ATASCII
  • Atari 400/800 - ATASCII (with inverse)
  • C64 - CBMSCII
  • C64 - CBMSCII (unshifted with inverse)
  • PET - PETSCII
  • PET - PETSCII (partial)
  • IBM DOS (BIOS 8x8)
  • Mattel Aquarius
  • Sharp MZ
  • Sharp MZ700sc
  • Sinclair ZX80/81
  • Sinclair ZX80/81 (partial)
  • GeometriCam?
  • Binary

Once apon a time

The idea for Retrospecs has been kicking about in my mind for a few years – the concept being part preservation/part tribute to the sort of computer systems I lusted after whilst pouring over handed down copies of Byte magazine as a lad. However, I didn't get around to implementing anything concrete until early February '14 when I roughed out some vague proof of concept algorithms.

At the time I was re-skilling between jobs (the goal being to transition between web and native app development), so I abandoned the other bits I was experimenting with and started focusing full time on the app proper. After several weeks intensive graft, the first conversion engine (the "attribute" engine, created specifically with the Sinclair ZX Spectrum in mind) was limping along natively on my trusty iPhone 4.

Early demo version of Retrospecs

Fast forwarding a bit, over the following three months I threw myself into expanding the available conversion engines, added a basic user interface and by Saturday the 7th of June 2014 I'd finally submitted the first build to the Apple App Store.

Since then, I've been back in full time work and so Retrospecs has become a strictly weekend affair - adding new engines and emulations and building out the UI to the extent that it's currently roughly how I initially envisaged it. (Apart from a layer of output filters including phosphor and raster effects - they're still to come. Oh, and video. And an Android version. And all that other stuff lurking on the to-do.)

On top of that, I've also spent many snatched hours of an evening completely failing to attract much of a following for the app, usually by failing to convince people to accept a promo code on Twitter. (Sorry about that.)

As I recently phrased it:

"I think my attempts at marketing are, on a good day, perhaps best described as the distraught thrashings of a drowning man."

Contact

The best way to get in touch for quick queries is via Twitter, but if you'd prefer something less transient by all means send an email to:

info@8bitartwork.co.uk