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Everything you wanted to know about the Skunkboard


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#1 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:48 PM

I just want to say, really.. about the politics that forced the Skunkboard lockout (which is my eyes is incredibly trivial and such a tiny percentage of the library and NOT worth the fuss that it generates) -- the only reason those politics even existed is people whining and complaining and demanding, just like the messages I reply to from time to time where people talk about how stupid it is that it doesn't do exactly what they wanted.

The board was created for doing development on. I managed the first manufacture and release so other developers could have one, too. We did subsequent runs because people wanted them for playing games on. But to complain, five years later, that it doesn't do exactly what you want is childish. It wasn't created for you. It was created for the people who wanted it. It was released to try to stimulate more software development in the community, because the Alpine was expensive, BJL was restrictive, and the other solutions were rare or just not happening -- to some extent it succeeded.

I consider Skunkboard a success beyond expectations. To that end, the whining is kind of expected too, and I've /generally/ stayed out of most of it. ;) We sold just shy of 500 units, and could have sold more if we could have built them. It was mostly dealing with the community that pushed me away from doing any runs after the first one. KSkunk picked up the reins to better support you all for Rev 2, and Dan of GOAT Store took a huge risk to give you a revision 3. Big props to them!

I know we hear it again and again but for every awesome member of the community there are three who are less so. Despite that, I hear the voices of the supporters far louder than those of the detractors -- and THAT, rather, YOU, made it a success.

So my next action is sure to invoke controversy, but I've been working towards this for some months now. And it's time. For you, the /awesome/ members of the community, I have a gift.

I am pleased to release to the public domain and the members of the Jaguar community, the complete source code, netlists, and functional documentation for the Skunkboard project. Yes, public domain. It's now YOURS, all of you, to do with as you will. KSkunk and I have both relinquished rights to it.

You will find it at the usual Skunkboard support site, that being, http://harmlesslion....ware/skunkboard

I hope you'll exceed my expectations and do good things with this.

This will also mark the end of my formal support of the board. We can't build any more and AFAIK there are few if any left at GOAT. That said, if you brick your board and can't find someone to reflash it, and I still have a Jaguar, we can negotiate a repair. I also managed to find four spare rev 2/3 flash chips - if you have a burnt-out flash I can potentially repair that many. Again, we can negotiate or I can just sell you the chip and wish you luck. When supplies run out, they're out.

This has been the plan since day 1. I don't believe in abandoning a product without leaving a way for the users to support it. Have fun with it, guys!


#2 CyranoJ ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:53 PM

This is the board that re-lit the fuse for homebrew on this console. Excellent decision above. +1

#3 Gemintronic OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:21 PM

Sounds like the best possible way forward for the Skunkboard.

As for whatever issues related to self policing ROMz with super secret copy protection on a flash cart.. Well, it's a silly idea. Pirates are gonna pirate. It only hurts legitimate backup use and creates bad blood in the community.

I hope going forward we can make things even more free (as in freedom).


DISCLAIMER: I know not what drama Tursi was talking about and I really should shut my mouth. It smells of the kind of shenanigans the Pier Solar people pulled to get emulator and flash cart makers to self police playing of backup binaries of their game.

Edited by theloon, Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:29 PM.


#4 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 6:52 PM

I consider Skunkboard a success beyond expectations.


The Skunkboard was one of the true watershed moments in the Jaguar's continued life... Kudos to both of you for bringing it into being, and for this decision. :cool:


[...]It smells of the kind of shenanigans the Pier Solar people pulled to get emulator and flash cart makers to self police playing of backup binaries of their game.


Not to get into much detail (I don't want to derail this fantastic announcement) but you pretty much hit the nail on the head for the tiny band of fucknuts responsible for the same (and worse) shenanigans in the Jaguar area.

#5 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:04 PM

Wow - more unnecessary drama?

The few f***nuts left causing all the ruckus need to be drawn and quartered already!

#6 doctorclu ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 9:55 PM

Kskunk and Tursi... I hope as you said the above that you felt nothing but accomplishment over the Skunkboard. I do believe there has been a burst of new games on the Jaguar due to the Skunkboard. And as I have gone to Kuwait to serve alongside the armed forces of America the Skunkboard was the one thing that made it possible to continue enjoying the new Jaguar games.

Thanks so much for making this possible.

#7 Hyper_Eye OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 21, 2012 10:26 PM

For what it's worth, I have always used my skunk to load my code into the Jag. It was awesome the first time I did it and it is awesome every time. The Skunk allowed me to go from tossing things at emulators to actually seeing my stuff run on the Jag. It is not the first console I have written code for but, for whatever reason, it feels way more awesome when it's the Jag. Thanks for the Skunkboard. It's one of the best things the Jaguar community has ever produced. Most games released since then and most games released going forward will most likely have run on Jag hardware for the first time using a Skunkboard.

#8 Sauron OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:11 AM

Great to see this happening. The Skunkboard is probably the single greatest thing to happen for homebrew Jag development, so major kudos for having brought it to life. The Jaguar community will forever be in your debt.

#9 skip OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:48 AM

Good stuff!

Btw, if the Goat Store has any ghosts left or anyone wants to sell theirs, please get in touch. I missed out last time. Sorry for the derail. *oops*

#10 sh3-rg OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:21 AM

Another skunk run seems unlikely with the difficulty in getting hold of the flash chips, but maybe someone fancies making a cut-down version of the skunk that simply lets you send BJL type stuff to the Jaguar via USB? Something cheap like that would be very hand to equip testers with and for potential devs who don't fancy a bigger outlay but would give it a go at a lower price entry point.

#11 Gunstar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:52 AM

This is very cool. Maybe I can make my own Skunkboard.

Is there a newer/more common flash chip that could be substituted with a just a few design changes in the circuit?

#12 kskunk OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:27 AM

This is very cool. Maybe I can make my own Skunkboard.
Is there a newer/more common flash chip that could be substituted with a just a few design changes in the circuit?

Not that I know of, but I'd be happy if someone proves me wrong.

The Skunkboard takes advantage of 5V tolerance that was available in flash chips circa 2006 when it was designed. That feature is gone in modern flash, requiring fast bidirectional level converters. The addition of level converters would require a complete re-layout, but if you're not afraid of that, it might be all you need.

- KS

#13 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:34 PM

Another skunk run seems unlikely with the difficulty in getting hold of the flash chips, but maybe someone fancies making a cut-down version of the skunk that simply lets you send BJL type stuff to the Jaguar via USB? Something cheap like that would be very hand to equip testers with and for potential devs who don't fancy a bigger outlay but would give it a go at a lower price entry point.


If you replaced the flash with a small ROM (8k would do) containing the BIOS, or loaded the BIOS a different way (ie: CD, Jaguar BIOS replacement), everything else will work - in the first run I had a board that came back from the factory without a flash chip, and I used BJL to load the BIOS so I could see if it still worked. Of course you still have the more expensive chips on the board. Other parts were getting hard to find too. It's doable, but cost-wise you won't save much on a new run.


#14 wozencl OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 23, 2012 12:39 PM

You guys are truly great contributors to this community.

A huge thanks for all your effort, patience, perserverance and genorosity. Legends! :thumbsup:

#15 sh3-rg OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:44 AM

Sorry to dig up a thread that's older than a year, but I found a Czech guy who has made use of kskunk and tursi's released skunkboard project files:

 

http://www.8bity.cz/...nkboard-v3-red/

 

SkunkBoard_rev3_Martin_sn8504-7_front_th

 

As far as I understood skimming the translation, he had 10 boards produced, hand assembled them and only had issues with one. Good effort :0)

 

Sorry if this isn't "news" to people, I'm quite out of the loop regarding Jaguar happenings as I just don't have much time for it anymore, but thought people might be interested.



#16 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:04 PM

Maybe someone could contact Lotharek, and see if he would consider doing a production run?



#17 JagChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013 12:22 AM

Thats awesome that they are doing stuff with the Jaguar and skunkboard in the Czech republic. Its funny that the translation I'm getting is Tursi is 'Tursiho' and 'Kskunka'. 

 

I'm not saying Tursi is a ho or anything. He's a pretty good guy. Well he might be a ho but he's still a pretty good guy. 



#18 LinkoVitch OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013 8:40 AM

Thats awesome that they are doing stuff with the Jaguar and skunkboard in the Czech republic. Its funny that the translation I'm getting is Tursi is 'Tursiho' and 'Kskunka'. 

 

I'm not saying Tursi is a ho or anything. He's a pretty good guy. Well he might be a ho but he's still a pretty good guy. 

 

It's their Samurai alter ego's JagChrissan :D



#19 JagChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:20 AM

:)



#20 VladR OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:47 PM

Thats awesome that they are doing stuff with the Jaguar and skunkboard in the Czech republic. Its funny that the translation I'm getting is Tursi is 'Tursiho' and 'Kskunka'. 

 

I'm not saying Tursi is a ho or anything. He's a pretty good guy. Well he might be a ho but he's still a pretty good guy. 

Czech language is one of the 4 languages I am fluent at (both read/write), and it just so happens it's the secondary language in my bilingual background, so I can explain those pesky suffixes a bit for ya :)

 

"Tursi-ho" means "of/from Tursi"

"KSkunk-a" means "of/from KSkunk"

 

This way, the grammar allows for much cleaner sentences without overabundance of superfluous helper (read:useless) words like "of, from, by, via, with, ..." by simply adding a proper suffix (and/or suffix), thus allowing for plenty sentences being merely one word long. You gotta parse it sort-of like a programming language :)

 

Do you fancy me translating some other parts of the blog or did the google do a good job ?


Edited by VladR, Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:48 PM.


#21 JagChris OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 20, 2013 4:02 PM

Google translate is probably adequate enough. :)



#22 Martin8bity OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 23, 2013 1:45 PM

Or I can explain anything direct if you have a question ;-) VladR explained the Czech language nuances perfect.



#23 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 15, 2013 1:48 AM

The creator mailed me in advance to ask for some help getting started, and sent me two of the blank red boards as thanks. They're pretty sweet!

#24 Elerach OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 15, 2013 5:05 AM

Tursi,

 

Thank you so much. I am moving away from the Jag community but it is unbelievable how much you and kskunk have contributed. If you are ever in Alberta, look me up. I owe you a beer (or two).



#25 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 15, 2013 12:08 PM

Careful what you offer, I'm in Alberta pretty often. ;) Calgary and Edmonton area (actually Holden ;) )






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