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#1 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 1:26 PM

Hello there 99ers!  I thought I should start a new thread about this:

 

Roadrunner had posted an issue with this cart using Classic99, however, trying Robotron on MESS, I found that loading the cart completely crashes the entire host system (a nasty lock-up - I can't even go to a virtual console to kill the MESS process).  Roadrunner reports it working for a time in Classic99 before it crashes (I presume crashing Classic99).  Regardless, it appears something isn't right with the .bin file.



#2 Retrospect OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:10 PM

Hello there 99ers!  I thought I should start a new thread about this:

 

Roadrunner had posted an issue with this cart using Classic99, however, trying Robotron on MESS, I found that loading the cart completely crashes the entire host system (a nasty lock-up - I can't even go to a virtual console to kill the MESS process).  Roadrunner reports it working for a time in Classic99 before it crashes (I presume crashing Classic99).  Regardless, it appears something isn't right with the .bin file.

These .BIN files - were they originally disk images that were converted to cartridge?
Usually when they boot you would see the writing "Cart conversion by Tursi" for a second before it boots. (it comes up whenever anyone has used the converter utility from tursi, unless they used a different utility)

 

Just wondered if they are a bad conversion, as I have produced some bad ones of my own?


Edited by Retrospect, Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:11 PM.


#3 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:26 PM

Honestly, I'm not sure how .BIN files are made.  I've seen the "Cart conversion by Tursi" before, but figured it was for the specific cart (DM 2000).  If it is just a bad conversion, we should fix that, because it's affecting at least 2 emulators, and probably more I'd figure.



#4 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 2:46 PM

This version works fine for me. It is a zipped MESS (rpk) file.

Attached Files



#5 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 3:47 PM

trying Robotron on MESS, I found that loading the cart completely crashes the entire host system (a nasty lock-up - I can't even go to a virtual console to kill the MESS process).

 

This kind of crash should not happen. What have you done to make it crash? Can you upload the cartridge? What MESS version are you using?



#6 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:06 PM

Hehehe - I did nothing other than loading the cart through the MESS UI file manager.  As soon as I hit enter the whole system locks up.  I'm running v1.53 at the moment.  The cart is the one from the whtech:  ftp://ftp.whtech.com/emulators/cartridges/rpk/as_robotron_2084.rpk



#7 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:31 PM

This version works fine for me. It is a zipped MESS (rpk) file.

Interesting. Check these md5sums out:

 

3b56b6da61135a1a38cdc6974fab35ef  as_robotron_2084.rpk   (from whtech)

c6b78488bc1ad61c6eb43c892c33759c  as_robotron_2084.zip  (your attachment)

 

I'll give this one a go.  If I suddenly disappear for a moment, you'll know why :P.



#8 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:37 PM

Well, that's good, no crash, but says 'internal error':

 

Edit: Nevermind - I didn't realize that you'd zipped the rpk, I figured you had just changed the extension :grin: .  This would also explain the differing md5sums. 

 

Hmm, where did you get this version, Rasmus, whtech?  The md5sums are identical now, so I wonder if I'm about to crash my system for no reason ;).


Edited by RobertLM78, Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:41 PM.


#9 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:45 PM

The attached zip file is really a zip file, containing the rpk. Did you just rename zip to rpk?



#10 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:47 PM

Well, I've even extracted the .bin files from 'both' versions to see if there was a difference in those, and there are none.  I think I'll wait for a report back from Rasmus before I try it - I'm not keen on having to forceably restart my computer.

 

The attached zip file is really a zip file, containing the rpk. Did you just rename zip to rpk?

That's exactly what I had done ;).



#11 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 4:59 PM

I actually found an issue in the MAME core which causes a crash on exit; already posted it on the mamedev list. But I can always reset the emulator using F3 in partial mode. Are you running it on Linux?



#12 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:05 PM

I actually found an issue in the MAME core which causes a crash on exit; already posted it on the mamedev list. But I can always reset the emulator using F3 in partial mode. Are you running it on Linux?

I'm running MESS on Linux Mint 13 (64-bit).  Everything freezes when it crashes - I can't even go tty.  I doubt the F3 reset would do me much good at that point ;).



#13 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:08 PM

Something that strikes me as odd is that all the other Atarisoft titles appear to work normally.



#14 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:19 PM

Honestly, I'm not sure how .BIN files are made.  I've seen the "Cart conversion by Tursi" before, but figured it was for the specific cart (DM 2000).  If it is just a bad conversion, we should fix that, because it's affecting at least 2 emulators, and probably more I'd figure.


That's only for EA#5 files converted to load from GROM with my tool, Robotron started life as a cartridge so won't have that. ;)

#15 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:22 PM

I'm running MESS on Linux Mint 13 (64-bit).  Everything freezes when it crashes - I can't even go tty.  I doubt the F3 reset would do me much good at that point ;).

 

In that case it's likely your system at fault, possibly the graphics card driver. An application like MESS should not be able to cause a freeze, yet it's still possible that it triggers the bug.

 

Can you still do a dmesg or check your /var/log/Xorg.0.log for evidence that there is a crash somewhere? Maybe keep a terminal window open on the desktop.



#16 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:40 PM

Ah, I just noticed that the Robotron ROMs are overdumped, i.e. there are trailing zeros (check their lengths). So that is the point where they differ from other Atarisoft cartridges.

 

Here is a new RPK; try that one

Attached Files


Edited by mizapf, Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:40 PM.


#17 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:41 PM

Here's my Xorg.0.log and the output from dmesg.  I'm not sure what to look for in those, I must admit.

 

I will go ahead and open mess in a terminal, and report back.  I'll also add the new Xorg.0.log and dmesg output (assuming it will crash).

 

Are you sure that it's my hardware?  I've never had this happen with any other cart, and I can't imagine what would make this one so special.

 

Edit:

Ah, I just noticed that the Robotron ROMs are overdumped, i.e. there are trailing zeros (check their lengths). So that is the point where they differ from other Atarisoft cartridges.

 

Here is a new RPK; try that one

I'll try this one first ;).

Attached Files


Edited by RobertLM78, Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:42 PM.


#18 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:46 PM

Well Michael, the good news is that the new cart does not freeze up the host system.  The bad news is that the game blue screens after the 'tunnel' sequence and I have to do an F3 reset :(.

 

Edit.


Edited by RobertLM78, Thu Jun 5, 2014 5:47 PM.


#19 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 5:01 AM

Yes, as I wrote in another thread, Robotron is not stable. Classic99 seems to have similar problems with it.

 

The dumps you uploaded do not show any evidence of a crash; did you copy them immediately when your system froze? (... wait, this sounds somewhat silly ... ) If you look at the Xorg.0.log after a reboot, it doesn't have the stack trace of the previous run; in that case we need the Xorg.0.log.old.

 

You're using the fglrx driver, which I'm also using, but it seems as if mine is more recent: "module version = 14.10.2".


Edited by mizapf, Fri Jun 6, 2014 5:12 AM.


#20 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 1:10 PM

Yes, as I wrote in another thread, Robotron is not stable. Classic99 seems to have similar problems with it.

 

The dumps you uploaded do not show any evidence of a crash; did you copy them immediately when your system froze? (... wait, this sounds somewhat silly ... ) If you look at the Xorg.0.log after a reboot, it doesn't have the stack trace of the previous run; in that case we need the Xorg.0.log.old.

 

You're using the fglrx driver, which I'm also using, but it seems as if mine is more recent: "module version = 14.10.2".

I think I downloaded 14.x - maybe I'll give it a shot.  I know that one of the driver 'upgrades' I installed wasn't much of an improvement - I figured if it's not broke, don't fix it, so I have just frozen the driver at version 13.x.

 

My guess is now that I've restarted the computer a couple of times, the logs have been overwritten.  What I could do is next time I go to restart the system, I'll fire up MESS in a terminal and try to insert the whtech version of RoboTron, if you're still interested in knowing about why I'm getting the freeze.

 

By unstable, do you mean just bad .bin images, or something even deeper than that (i.e., something do with the physical cart itself)?


Edited by RobertLM78, Fri Jun 6, 2014 1:10 PM.


#21 am1933 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 2:24 PM

I think I downloaded 14.x - maybe I'll give it a shot.  I know that one of the driver 'upgrades' I installed wasn't much of an improvement - I figured if it's not broke, don't fix it, so I have just frozen the driver at version 13.x.

 

My guess is now that I've restarted the computer a couple of times, the logs have been overwritten.  What I could do is next time I go to restart the system, I'll fire up MESS in a terminal and try to insert the whtech version of RoboTron, if you're still interested in knowing about why I'm getting the freeze.

 

By unstable, do you mean just bad .bin images, or something even deeper than that (i.e., something do with the physical cart itself)?

As much as I admire your tenacity and as much as I love Robotron, I think you would be quicker building a M.A.M.E cabinet from scratch. ;)



#22 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 2:34 PM

By unstable, do you mean just bad .bin images, or something even deeper than that (i.e., something do with the physical cart itself)?

 

Even worse: Game code is buggy.



#23 Ksarul OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 3:35 PM

Is this a dump from one of the Competition Computers ROMs for Robotron or was it from a different prototype? There were several different prototypes out there, so maybe one of them is less buggy. I remember talking to Kyle about this one back in 1996 and he said the ROM he got initially was suffering from bit rot--and that he had to compare several to get an undamaged copy out of the mess. He got a lot of stuff from Atari back then--and I suspect his reconstruction was based on some partial source code access. . .



#24 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 5:27 PM

 

Even worse: Game code is buggy.

 

Robotron as played on my TI99 does not show any obvious bugs at all.  The symptoms complained about do not exist on the real deal  as far as my experience shows.  Just played it for about an hour, again,  and had no issues other than it get pretty difficult pretty quick and using one controller is a handicap.  I dumped the ROM a while back and posted it but it was the same one that Mike thought was buggy.  In fact I am pretty sure that there is only one available as it was dumped just a couple of years back.

 

Evidently Robotron does something that is fooling you Emu curators. The game works flawlessly on a real TI99/4a and as far as I understand that's the metal test......



#25 RobertLM78 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 6, 2014 5:38 PM

The game works flawlessly on a real TI99/4a and as far as I understand that's the metal test......

I agree.  So the .rpk on whtech was made from those dumps a couple of years ago?  (Incidentally, the date of the upload to whtech was January 2013, so it could well be).

 

Ah well, it was worth looking into.  It would still be good to find out why MESS dislikes it so much (at least for us 'Emu Curators' :P).







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