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#776 DirtyHairy OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:23 PM

It seems that in this day and age... This type of thing, especially when it's related to emulation of old consoles, wouldn't necessarily be considered illegal by a lot of everyday people. Not saying it isn't, as you've stated.

 

As a developer of opensource software and as a contributor to Stella, I do care alot. And everybody using it should care as well.

 

I hope I'm not way off in saying this as well.

 

If you are saying that violating the GPL by "leaking" a hacked version of Stella 5 to the web would be OKish in any way, you are lightyears off. OS software contains thousands of unpaid development hours. I don't want to even start guessing how many hours Stephen has sunk into Stella. Violating the GPL is just plain stealing (to be crystal clear, I am **not** saying that Hyperkin is doing this). Claiming that it is acceptable in any way is a punch in the face of anybody who spend their time developing the software that you are using for free. Sorry if I am sounding abrasive, but this is how it is.


Edited by DirtyHairy, Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:28 PM.


#777 Robert Middleswarth OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:49 PM

I think to have Stella preinstalled on the device, you would need to release the source code along with any modifications, and provide a means for users to compile it and update their own Retron77s accordingly.

 

 

Incorrect.  They have to provide the source code and modifications but don't have to provide any kind of compile environment or build setup to build a fresh image.  They have been many devices that provide the source but nothing else that has caused issues with people attempting to build replacement images.



#778 TokyoBatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Aug 29, 2017 10:07 PM

 
As a developer of opensource software and as a contributor to Stella, I do care alot. And everybody using it should care as well.
 
 
If you are saying that violating the GPL by "leaking" a hacked version of Stella 5 to the web would be OKish in any way, you are lightyears off. OS software contains thousands of unpaid development hours. I don't want to even start guessing how many hours Stephen has sunk into Stella. Violating the GPL is just plain stealing (to be crystal clear, I am **not** saying that Hyperkin is doing this). Claiming that it is acceptable in any way is a punch in the face of anybody who spend their time developing the software that you are using for free. Sorry if I am sounding abrasive, but this is how it is.


Thanks for your input into the matter. You don't sound abrasive, but you do sound pationate.

I appreciate open dialogue and have learned quite a bit on this topic.

In response, I agree that following the law and complying with a license are both equally important.

In my experience it would be naive to say that casual gamers or people picking the retron 77 up for the first time would be familiar with the areas you've highlighted or areas that have been highlighted in this post. As someone who is pretty familiar with retro games, hacked systems,and emulators, I have found a lot of new things to think about.

A 45 year old, Bob, picks this retron 77 up and it can't play his favorite game. He looks to the internet and finds he needs an updated open source emulation called Stella. He puts it on and starts remembering those childhood days.

Are we really gonna fault him for not digging deep into the licensing matter?

The fact is, this happens all the time. Hackers hack hackers. Emulation is very openly accepted these days. Everything is being put up to be enjoyed.

Obviously you have pointed out a clear line that shouldn't be crossed. How many people do you think know about it, will find out about it or even care about it when they do?

Personally I have been enlightened and do care. I wonder how far reaching this info can get though and whether it'll be a deterrent.

#779 mykgerard OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:45 PM

 

Sweet.  Now we just need a 5200 version.  And maybe 7800.  Or if this did both even better.

 

 

What I'd like to see is a conversion module that connects into the cartridge port that takes 5200 and 7800 games.  It would come with a controller that has a D-Pad and an analog thumbstick as well as two buttons, start, pause select and a numpad.  Extra controllers available for purchase.  Subsequently they could also even release an intellivision and colecovision conversion module using the same controller design.  I'd be in heaven! 



#780 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:06 AM

A 45 year old, Bob, picks this retron 77 up and it can't play his favorite game. He looks to the internet and finds he needs an updated open source emulation called Stella. He puts it on and starts remembering those childhood days.

IMO there is a huge difference between violating the law intentionally or just not knowing that you are doing wrong. So I wouldn't blame Bob here, but any company which is actively supporting law violations.


Edited by Thomas Jentzsch, Sun Sep 17, 2017 12:06 AM.


#781 TokyoBatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 7:36 AM

IMO there is a huge difference between violating the law intentionally or just not knowing that you are doing wrong. So I wouldn't blame Bob here, but any company which is actively supporting law violations.


I agree completely.

When we look at how the times have rolled with emulation and where we are at today...

If hyperkin doesn't secretly put it out there... Someone else more than likely will.

It took a Russian hacker, Clusterm, a few months to crack the NES classic, which had sound lag issues. Lots of people signed onto that knowing or not knowing what they were doing. They just saw a problem and wanted it fixed... Especially since Nintendo wasn't doing anything about it.

The Retron 77 is in a different bag though. People may go as far as to Google Stella. When they see open source... That'll be a green light right away.

I can't see them digging into a license issue. Just my opinion on the matter.

#782 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 8:00 AM

If hyperkin doesn't secretly put it out there... Someone else more than likely will.

This would only work if an option/interface for changing the emulator is provided. And then the theft would be actively supported by the company.



#783 TokyoBatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:04 AM

This would only work if an option/interface for changing the emulator is provided. And then the theft would be actively supported by the company.

 

Well, from the pics it looks like they are doing a usb power.  That was all the nes classic needed to be hacked.  Nothing seems to be unhackable these days and if something is said to be, it gives the hackers more drive to hack into it.  I bet a lot of the hackers don't even game, they just enjoy the hardware/software/programming aspect of the endeavor.

 

If hyperkin don't have an opening though and decide to go with an ac adapter, no sd card slot, no connection wifi, basically a closed unit... You're right.  Not a lot of people will be hard modding these things.



#784 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2017 4:16 AM

It's been a few months and there have been no updates.  Is that usual for this company or maybe they ran into a "brick wall" in finalizing the Retron 77?



#785 AtariLeaf ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2017 3:08 PM

It's been a few months and there have been no updates.  Is that usual for this company or maybe they ran into a "brick wall" in finalizing the Retron 77?

 

Something seems to be up. I emailed them a while back and they said: 

 

We are working on finalizing all the details on the RetroN 77 and we will  update our Facebook page as soon as we have a update

 

That was July 24th so a month and a half and still no update. I personally think this thing isn't going to happen at all but I hope I'm wrong. 



#786 swlovinist OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:06 PM

I have attempted to make a contact to the company and have heard zilch.  This does not mean it is dead, but might be delayed or some other reason.  The bottom line is that there is a need for some replacement hardware so that gamers can play their original carts on modern TV sets.  There is a big enough demand, and hopefully this still can be offered at some point that does not violate any laws.  Fingers crossed.  



#787 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:20 PM

I certainly hope this device isn't canned. Even if they lack ARM support or undocumented opcodes, it should still support 99% of bitd carts, with the possible exceptions of Pitfall II and Super Charger. If they're hedging their bets on a holiday release, they need to get their butts in gear.



#788 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:42 PM

For all we know there's a delay in cardboard box it's gonna ship in. Or maybe the box printer ran out of ink?



#789 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:16 AM

What would be great is if these machines would play the more recent homebrews.  I'm beginning to think it would be impossible as they seem content on using an out of date version of Stella.



#790 TokyoBatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:45 AM

I'm beginning to think it would be impossible as they seem content on using an out of date version of Stella.


From their last statement and what we've heard, it seems opposite of that. They want to get the latest license for the newest version of Stella. Users have posted that this will be nearly impossible with how many contributers of Stella will need to give the green light.

Hyperkin has been quoted as saying they will leave open a back door for users to do as they like in the event that they can't secure a newer license, considering Stella is open source.

Be it legal, we've discussed the ethics of hyperkin doing something like this.

#791 kdgarris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:10 PM

If they provide a way to install an updated version of Stella, and it works with no modifications, then it is not a violation of the GPL.  As discussed previously in this topic, they could do this e.g. by having their cartridge-reading code dump the BIN on the fly, and feed that to Stella.

 

If they did have to modify Stella to get it to work, then that would be fine, too - so long as they are willing to release their modifications under the GPL as well.

 

Simply having GPL code on the same system as proprietary code doesn't constitute a GPL violation, however.



#792 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:33 PM

If they provide a way to install an updated version of Stella, and it works with no modifications, then it is not a violation of the GPL.

Then why are they not using the latest Stella at the outset?



#793 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:42 PM

Couldn't they read the cart, dump it to a file, then invoke Stella vX.X via command line..? Call it a day..

Sure I'm missing something..

#794 kdgarris OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:15 PM

Then why are they not using the latest Stella at the outset?

 

I don't know.  Putting an unmodified version of the latest Stella on their hardware wouldn't be a GPL violation, either any more than it is a GPL violation to put GPL-licensed software on a proprietary operating system.  You just have to be willing to share any changes you make (if any) under the GPL license.



#795 Kosmic Stardust ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:09 PM

Yeah, and might I remind you how they fully disclosed and shared all the changes made to the various emulators bundled with the Retron5, lest we forget. :ponder:

#796 Thomas Jentzsch OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:26 PM

Couldn't they read the cart, dump it to a file, then invoke Stella vX.X via command line..? Call it a day..

Sure I'm missing something..

I am sure they could and it would be completely legal.

But I suppose some manager made a deal by licensing the old Stella and now doesn't want to admit his/her mistake.



#797 TokyoBatman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:52 AM

 

I don't know.  Putting an unmodified version of the latest Stella on their hardware wouldn't be a GPL violation, either any more than it is a GPL violation to put GPL-licensed software on a proprietary operating system.  You just have to be willing to share any changes you make (if any) under the GPL license.

 

Going out in left field here.  Maybe they paid for the older version license, put all of their research/development costs into having the cart reader work in tandem with the software.  They made a pre-production model and that's where we are at?  Them not wanting to share the changes to get the newer version of stella.

 

As you've said, they could have gone the route of atgames where it seems as if it dumps the rom first... then pushes it to the emulator.  

 

This could be a simple, don't want to start over and waste the r/d, time, and money (as well as not wanting to share to keep it proprietary).  But I agree that your idea sounds very logical and the plan they should have run with from the start of development. 



#798 Flojomojo ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:07 AM

Has anyone contacted the nice developer that was in here a while back? Speculation is fun but it seems like none of us know anything. 

 

What does everyone think a realistic sales target for something like this might be? Remember, it requires cartridges, which not everyone has, and a similarly-priced AtGames Atari thing with ~100 built-in games is everywhere. Low thousands, maybe?



#799 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:09 AM

TBH I see only a small market for this. Emulators + AtGames is a better solution that exists today, right now.

#800 atarifan88 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Sep 22, 2017 6:24 AM

Has anyone contacted the nice developer that was in here a while back? Speculation is fun but it seems like none of us know anything. 

 

i private messaged him and got no reply.  Not sure what to think about his silence on here... 






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