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#51 Zerosquare ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 1:42 AM

1. No for commercial JagCD games. Potentially yes for homebrews, if there is a BJL version as well as a CD one (which is true most of the time).

2. Main differences :
- The Alpine uses a parallel port connection, while the Skunkboard uses a USB one (faster and more reliable on current operating systems)
- The Alpine emulates a real cartridge a bit more closely, but I don't know of any case where it makes a difference
- The Alpine uses battery-backed RAM while the Skunkboard uses Flash memory, but you won't notice any difference either
- The debug tools are different (irrelevant if you don't want to develop games with it)
- The Skunkboard is much cheaper than the Alpine, and a lot less bulky

3. I don't have the exact figures, but you can expect the Skunkboard to be several times faster than the Alpine.
Causes : USB has a higher throughput, old parallel port tools don't work well with current OSes.

Edited by Zerosquare, Tue Mar 2, 2010 1:43 AM.


#52 primeform OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 1:56 AM

Thanks for quick response Zerosquare! So why does the guy in an earlier post use both Alpine and skunkboard? Can you run commercial jag games with BJL cd player? Can skunk run commercial jag cd games without the cd player?

#53 Stephen Moss OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 2:58 AM

Thanks for quick response Zerosquare! So why does the guy in an earlier post use both Alpine and skunkboard? Can you run commercial jag games with BJL cd player? Can skunk run commercial jag cd games without the cd player?

I you are refering to Atari Owls use of both a SkunkBoard and an Alpine board it is because he has been coding from the Jaguar on and off for a long time, before the SkunkBoard (and possibly BJL) existed and so at the time an Alpine Board was the only viable method for Jaguar game development.

I may be wrong but I do not think that you can run Jag CD games on a SkunkBoard for two reasons, first a CD can hold 720Mb of data where as the SkunkBoard 2 can only store 6Mb, second IIRC the header files are different for a CD game and a Cart game and for that reason CD games will not run from cartridge memory space hence you can only play Jag CD games from the CD drive. Equally you can not copy a dumpped cartridge rom onto a CD a run it from the CD drive.

#54 Zerosquare ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 4:23 AM

Correct. You can't play CD games with a Skunkboard (or an Alpine, or a Flash cart -- basically any cartridge-based device). And you can't play cartrdige games with the CD player.

#55 primeform OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 4:35 AM

but you can burn any rom and play it with the cd including released licensed games? what flash cart are you talking about?

#56 Zerosquare ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 6:24 AM

Nope. Can't play cartridge ROMs with the JagCD. You could copy CD-based games, but it's not a good idea to discuss it in this forum.

The Flash carts were basically programmable cartridges (kinda like the Skunkboard) made by Atari. They were intended for game developers, not players, and they weren't publicly released. Some Jaguar collectors have one or several of them.

Edited by Zerosquare, Tue Mar 2, 2010 6:25 AM.


#57 primeform OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 6:30 AM

Do the flash carts sell very often? whats the going price on them? How does the PSE method differ from the flash carts?

#58 Zerosquare ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 2, 2010 3:34 PM

PSE is one way to use BJL ; thus it can run homebrews only, not commercial games.

I don't know for how much the flash carts sell, but they're pretty rare.

#59 rdemming OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 2:38 AM

1> can the BJL cart run jag cd games or I would still need to buy the CD player and run the BJL cd?



Can you run commercial jag games with BJL cd player? Can skunk run commercial jag cd games without the cd player?


BJL CD-Player? There seems to be some confusion here.
BJL is a special program that allows you to upload programs from a PC to the Jaguar's main ram via a parallel cable. You can't use it to load programs to cartridge space. In other words, you can't download and run cartridge dumps with only BJL.

And BJL has nothing to do with the CD player. You always need a CD player to run games that are on CD, no matter if you have BJL, Alpine or Skunkboard. Maybe the confusion was caused by the fact that the BJL program can be loaded in several ways, as replacement BIOS rom or as bootable CD. If you have BJL as replacement BIOS, then the BJL bios can still boot from CD or cartridge.

Note that homebrew games that usually load with BJL to main ram, can often be put on bootable CD. They other way around, from CD to a BJL downloadable program is not possible unless the CD consists of only a boot track. In other words, commercial CDs and nearly all homebrew CD releases can't be converted to BJL downloadable programs.

Robert

#60 primeform OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 3:00 AM


1> can the BJL cart run jag cd games or I would still need to buy the CD player and run the BJL cd?



Can you run commercial jag games with BJL cd player? Can skunk run commercial jag cd games without the cd player?


BJL CD-Player? There seems to be some confusion here.
BJL is a special program that allows you to upload programs from a PC to the Jaguar's main ram via a parallel cable. You can't use it to load programs to cartridge space. In other words, you can't download and run cartridge dumps with only BJL.

And BJL has nothing to do with the CD player. You always need a CD player to run games that are on CD, no matter if you have BJL, Alpine or Skunkboard. Maybe the confusion was caused by the fact that the BJL program can be loaded in several ways, as replacement BIOS rom or as bootable CD. If you have BJL as replacement BIOS, then the BJL bios can still boot from CD or cartridge.

Note that homebrew games that usually load with BJL to main ram, can often be put on bootable CD. They other way around, from CD to a BJL downloadable program is not possible unless the CD consists of only a boot track. In other words, commercial CDs and nearly all homebrew CD releases can't be converted to BJL downloadable programs.

Robert


thanks for that clarification robert. so to summarize, the only thing that can play commercial releases is the skunkboard or flashcart?

Edited by primeform, Wed Mar 3, 2010 3:04 AM.


#61 Zerosquare ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 4:34 AM

nearly all homebrew CD releases can't be converted to BJL downloadable programs.

I don't think that's really true, since a lot of CD releases have a plain-BJL counterpart. I think even non-free CD releases such as Double Feature #1 and Gorf CD are basically just a BJL-like program plus a loader, so they could theoretically be converted (though the authors wouldn't probably allow that). The only homebrew CD release I know of that couldn't be converted is Orion's Jaguar Collection, since it uses CD audio tracks. There are also the Cinepak video discs, for obvious reasons.

#62 rdemming OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 3, 2010 6:25 AM

nearly all homebrew CD releases can't be converted to BJL downloadable programs.

I don't think that's really true, since a lot of CD releases have a plain-BJL counterpart. I think even non-free CD releases such as Double Feature #1 and Gorf CD are basically just a BJL-like program plus a loader, so they could theoretically be converted (though the authors wouldn't probably allow that).


Yes I'm aware of that, but then you loose the loader/intro/menu screen and have essentially a loose program. I meant it can't be converted to BJL loadable program without loosing the coherency of the parts on the CD.

And in cases of "Non-commercial" homebrew CDs like Atomix, Beebris, Do the Same, etc, the BJL downloadable program was converted to a CD and not the other way around.

Robert

Edited by rdemming, Wed Mar 3, 2010 6:32 AM.





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