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Bee: The Latest ColecoVision emulator


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#1 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:07 AM

I just found out about this emulator... it's called "Bee" and it's designed to play games for systems that use the Z80 processor. This includes the Master System, its ancestor the SG-1000, and of course the ColecoVision. What's intriguing about this one is that it has support for the ColecoVision's optional controllers, including the steering wheel, the trackball, and the Super Action Controller... I can't think of another CV emulator that offers that functionality. On the downside, the developer is going for complete bit-for-bit accuracy with this emulator, so if you don't own a modern computer you can forget about it running smoothly. There's always a trade-off, huh?

Anyway, here's a link:

http://www.thebeehive.ws/

#2 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:22 AM

...it has support for the ColecoVision's optional controllers, including the steering wheel, the trackball, and the Super Action Controller... I can't think of another CV emulator that offers that functionality.


MESS:
RollerControl.PNG
DrivingControl.PNG
SuperAction.PNG

Plus don't forget the awesome hlsl support:
doCast.PNG

#3 goldenegg OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:25 AM

This is looking like a pretty impressive emulator. I'm just a little confused with their overlay support. Choosing an overlay doesn't appear to actually do anything, except show the overlay in the control configuration screen. I was hoping it would display on screen while playing.

#4 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jun 24, 2012 12:51 AM

What's HLSL? Something scanline related, I take it?

Also, is there any trick to making games like Slither work? I tried setting Other Controller to Roller Controller in Categories, and turning on mouse support in Properties, but the control is very sketchy... your cannon barely moves, and not always in the right direction.

#5 hardhat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 6:50 AM

Bee looks pretty interesting. But I think that AdamEm/CVEm does all of the special controllers as well.

#6 macgoo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 9:55 AM

All I want is an Adam emulator for Win XP that doesn't go full screen (so annoying when emulators force that!)

I want to play the enhanced Adam games from the Coleco like DK and Buck Rogers but AdamEm is pure shit for this day and age.

Does this emulator let me play Adam specific games? Is it easier to set up than that absolute mess of an emulator called M.E.S.S.?

#7 ChuckH OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 10:17 AM

Forget about MESS as an ADAM emulator. It's broken in the current version. The last version in which it worked is 140 and that's hard to find. Even so, it works great in that version and I still have it. The MESS emulator is not for the faint of heart though and takes some getting used to. I use it for lots of different systems.
Get VirtualADAM for an ADAM emulator in my opinion. It's ADAMEm with a nice frontend that's a snap to use. It's by Steve Pitman. It runs just about anything having to do with ADAM.
Chuck

edit:
Oh yeah. It will run in a window as well.

Edited by ChuckH, Fri Jul 6, 2012 10:18 AM.


#8 jblenkle OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 11:19 AM

You can grab Virtual ADAM from my web page here: http://www.sacnews.n.../downloads.html

All I want is an Adam emulator for Win XP that doesn't go full screen (so annoying when emulators force that!)

I want to play the enhanced Adam games from the Coleco like DK and Buck Rogers but AdamEm is pure shit for this day and age.

Does this emulator let me play Adam specific games? Is it easier to set up than that absolute mess of an emulator called M.E.S.S.?



#9 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 6:50 PM

VirtualADAM v1.03 (an all inclusive package for ADAM emulation that comes with an installer, DOSbox, ADAMem and a tremendous Frontend) is indeed the way to go as far as ADAM emulation. The one drawback, however, is the inability to swap Disk or DDP images on the fly (without exiting the emulator) because of an unfixable conflict with the included and required DOSbox emulator. For most persons needs, this will not be an issue or problem that you will run into... so go with this one especially if you are running Windows XP or newer.

If you have an older system with an earlier version of Windows (especially 98 or 2000), then go with ADAMem with the ADAMem Manager Frontend. This setup will allow for the swapping of Disk and DDP images on the fly and the frontend made by Marcel de Kogel is very nice.

BTW, both of the above will allow for you to use all the special controllers like the Roller Controller, Driving Module and Super Action Controllers.

As far as ADAM emulation in M.E.S.S. (version 0.140 and earlier), I actually had a lot of success with using it and ColecoVision emulation is part of the ADAM emulation, of course, and very good. The big drawbacks are lack of DDP emulation, inability to write back to Disk images (so no saving your work or High Scores in Super Games) and as was mention... broken ADAM emulation in newer versions of M.E.S.S.

Hopefully, one day the BlueMSX team will add ADAM emulation like they mentioned they are considering. Their ColecoVision emulation is outstanding.

BTW, I haven't kept up with emulators for a while now seeing as I have recollected all the actual hardware.... which is the best way to go!

#10 jblenkle OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 8:27 PM

VirtualADAM v1.03 (an all inclusive package for ADAM emulation that comes with an installer, DOSbox, ADAMem and a tremendous Frontend) is indeed the way to go as far as ADAM emulation. The one drawback, however, is the inability to swap Disk or DDP images on the fly (without exiting the emulator) because of an unfixable conflict with the included and required DOSbox emulator. For most persons needs, this will not be an issue or problem that you will run into... so go with this one especially if you are running Windows XP or newer.


Actually, it's not unfixable. The keystroke that is used to enter the menu in ADAMem to swap disks is the same keystroke that exits DOSBox. It's a simple matter of reconfiguring this key in DOSBox. Unfortunately, Virtual ADAM writes temporary files that are hard-wired, so to speak, to use the same temporary name. So swapping a disk with a new name would just read back to the same previous disk you were using. Steve would have to do a major re-write to Virtual ADAM to fix this (I kept hinting to him this would be a good idea)...so unless he decides to take up the project again, we are stuck with it the way it is.

At one time he was talking about doing an entirely new ADAM emulator. I don't know if that is still in the works or not.

If you really need to do disk swapping, use ADAMem with the ADAMEmMam front end. Once in the emulator, Ctrl-F9 drops you into a configuration menu where you can change disks, ddps and other options. The only real problem with ADAMem is that from Windows XP on, the sound is usually screwed up. Although I think it depends on your sound card. My laptop with Windows XP runs it fine. My PCs built in sound card as well as any Sound Blaster card I've tried has really scratchy sound.

I keep Windows ME on a second computer in case I want to do anything with ADAMem...works fine with that.

#11 NIAD OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 9:56 PM

Thanks for the clarification Joe. I remember we had a lengthy discussion about this a couple years ago and had forgotten all the details. I haven't heard anything from Steve in a while so it doesn't look likely that a new emulator will ever be coming from him anytime soon if at all. Looks like we'll just have to keep all our old computers (ADAMs and PCs) well maintained to insure that we'll always have access to our favorite computer via emulation or the real thing.

#12 jblenkle OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jul 6, 2012 11:12 PM

I'll have to drop him an email again to see what he's up to...

Thanks for the clarification Joe. I remember we had a lengthy discussion about this a couple years ago and had forgotten all the details. I haven't heard anything from Steve in a while so it doesn't look likely that a new emulator will ever be coming from him anytime soon if at all. Looks like we'll just have to keep all our old computers (ADAMs and PCs) well maintained to insure that we'll always have access to our favorite computer via emulation or the real thing.



#13 hardhat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:33 AM

I've been working with Geoff Oltmans and Doug Slopsema on an SDL version of AdamEm, that runs windowed on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Geoff did most of the work, so it is published on his site:

http://bellsouthpwp2...dam/adamem.html

Enjoy.

Now I guess Geoff assumed that you'd just know how to use AdamEm from the commandline already, so there is a thread talking about the lack of documentation included here:

http://www.atariage....dl-18-released/

Somewhere way down on my todo list is to make a nice user interface like AdamEmMam or VirtualAdam to make passing in the configuration options easier. Geoff is actually working on a native OS X GUI for that, but I don't know how far along he really is.

Edited by hardhat, Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:38 AM.


#14 jblenkle OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:49 AM

I think a UI for this is a must. Too many people become confused when they have to enter a string on a command line and in this day and age, virtually all emulators are UI driven.


I've been working with Geoff Oltmans and Doug Slopsema on an SDL version of AdamEm, that runs windowed on Windows, MacOS and Linux. Geoff did most of the work, so it is published on his site:

http://bellsouthpwp2...dam/adamem.html

Enjoy.


Now I guess Geoff assumed that you'd just know how to use AdamEm from the commandline already, so there is a thread talking about the lack of documentation included here:

http://www.atariage....dl-18-released/

Somewhere way down on my todo list is to make a nice user interface like AdamEmMam or VirtualAdam to make passing in the configuration options easier. Geoff is actually working on a native OS X GUI for that, but I don't know how far along he really is.


Edited by jblenkle, Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:55 AM.


#15 nanochess OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:39 PM

I've tested the Bee emulator, I've played with a lot of settings and it can only run games that are in its database.
So I could not play my own games developments :(
Besides it's incredibly slow...

#16 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:42 PM

I've tested the Bee emulator, I've played with a lot of settings and it can only run games that are in its database.
So I could not play my own games developments :(
Besides it's incredibly slow...

Well, that settles that.

#17 Geoff Oltmans OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2012 9:13 AM

I haven't done much with the emulator in a while. As hardhat said, most of the emulator is already documented (minus the new bits of support I added) via the command line. My original goal was to make the emulator work natively in Windows XP, as one of the zillions of patches that were automatically installed via Software Update on my XP machine at the time rendered ADAMEm unusable. I used MinGW/GCC along with SDL (a cross-platform graphics/sound/controller library) in order to make it more portable (Dale Wick has it running on a Sony PSP for example).

After that initial push, I ended up getting a MacBook and decided to get the port working on there, and as a result of tinkering with XCode decided it would be fun to try and get a proper UI working on it. It is still possible to drive the mac version via the CLI. From there, it seemed like it would be nice to add a few features to the emulator, like PowerMate IDE hard disk emulation in particular, and one of the Adam group members was having trouble with the existing release of ADAMEm running an old program (SEQuel) since it probed for a MIDIMite adapter. I added a tiny bit of support for that just to get it past the software probe for that program so it would at least start up. Also added support for scale 2x for the video, and got the sound working via a new driver (although there are a few bugs in that).

So, 6 years into all that it's still not in the best shape. ;) It does at least run on a wider variety of systems than it used to, and has a few new nice features (and also a couple bug fixes in the original code).

I need a kick in the pants to finish up what's started before continuing any further improvements. I'd like to rip out the SDL and make a proper OS X port which would make GUI support a little bit easier.

#18 LoTonah OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 31, 2013 10:11 PM

Hi Geoff.

So far, so good. Anything new to report? I've *really* been looking forward to a decent Mac Adam emulator.

I've got big feet, good for kicking people in the pants. ;)

Cheers,
Don

#19 Geoff Oltmans OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 3, 2013 7:47 AM

Hi Geoff.

So far, so good. Anything new to report? I've *really* been looking forward to a decent Mac Adam emulator.

I've got big feet, good for kicking people in the pants. ;)

Cheers,
Don


Not a whole lot unfortunately. I really need to get a better place to host the emulator binaries, put in some of Doug's patches, and generally clean the code. Aside from that, I was playing around with it last night... thinking I may do a native OS X Cocoa application of it, sans SDL. I think that may make a GUI a bit easier to manage on the OS X side of things, but I don't want to do anything to the core code that wouldn't be cross-platform compatible.




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