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Posts posted by RevEng

  1. I have some bad news. We got a little unexpected money, so we're not going to lose phone/Internet/cable TV.[...]

    I'm sorry to hear that. My family and I will pray for you to lose your phone/Internet/cable next week.


    Keep the faith!

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  2. Some possible methods of case fabrication:

    • rapid prototype aka 3D printing... too expensive ($100s or $1000s per part) and takes very long per part.
    • Injection molding... Initial setup is expensive. May be cost effective depending on your definition of "small run"
    • NC mill... Similar cons to 3D printer.
    • DIY vacuform... Case needs to be simple and designed with this in mind. Check benheck forums for examples.

  3. I had a fuzzy 4-switch 2600, and ordered and installed longhorn engineer's video mod. I am very pleased with the results. Build quality is excellent, and the screen looks great to me even through the composite output. (It has s-video as well) As a bonus, you get stereo sound output too.


    As for general advice, supposedly cleaning the connectors and/or replacing the RF cable with a heavier one helps.


    Doing that didn't have much effect on my 4-switcher, but I have a feeling it may have had a problem with the internal RF modulator.

  4. One thing you didn't consider is that a console should include bankswitching support for all schemes if it's going to have, for example, an SD card port for binaries.

    In truth I never thought SD card capability was important, seeing that there's already a 2600 SD cart solution. :)


    An hardware-based solution would be expensive as a hobby project (as powerful FPGAs are) and would require basically starting from scratch as nothing short of the FB2 was ever completed, and obviously we aren't going to get at the source to the FB2 and no other source for any other projects are available.

    Curt seemed to express some interest in this thread, so I thought this might go with an updated FB2 core (which Legacy Eng owns AFAIK) and eventually be done with an ASIC.


    IMO if someone else is going to take a kick at the can with the software emulation route, they might as well take the GP2X approach and emulate multiple platforms (with sd card). No technical reason why it couldn't support 2600/7800/colecovision/etc and even some of the early arcade units.

  5. If an old Xbox would be good enough, which I doubt,

    It depends on what "good enough" is. It plays Stella as well as I've seen it run on any PC. IMO that's not good enough, but it depends on how high your bar is.


    wouldn't people have to hack it or modify it in some way? That's OK for solder-jockeys, but the rest of us who don't want to risk harming our consoles would rather have something better and easier to use.

    Its soft-moddable, and there are lots of guides.


    But my point really wasn't about the xbox per se - it was just one example. The point was, if software emulation is good enough then there's not much point in creating a specific platform. The user can readily find one that suits them... Whether its a used xbox, a castaway pc, a used wii, or whatever.

  6. Emulators like Stella are practically 100% accurate at emulation. In fact, Stella is more accurate than any hardware-based solution that doesn't use a genuine 650x chip. [...]

    Maybe Curt could verify this, but I'd guess that fb2 had a lot less dev time and iterations than stella has seen. With the exception of a few fixable issues, its pretty near perfect itself. I owe its success in such a short dev time to the approach chosen. (And to the implementors, of course)


    If a vcs emulator is good enough, the someone should just create a usb cart interface and leave the rest to the end-user. People can get a used xbox cheaper nowdays cheaper than we can make a console for, microcontroller or not.

  7. Definitely true that emulation is emulation, whether it is in hardware (through an FPGA or ASIC) or software. The gates and such in an FPGA version of a chip are unlikely to have the exact same characteristics as the original.


    But emulation in hardware happens at a lower level than software - signals, gates, etc. are recreated as faithfully as possible.


    Emulation in software is necessarily at a higher level because realtime emulation of circuit pathways in software for any complex design just isn't feasible on today's CPUs. Instead you get a higher level state machine which lacks the subtler undocumented characteristics of the original.


    Regarding video improvements, due to the way the programmer controls much of the 2600 video timing, the only way I see it being fixed for modern TVs is a complete framebuffer approach, where an extra layer of hardware would take the outgoing video as an input and build a frame in memory, and ouput something more accurate to NTSC standards. Doable, but it would be prone to errors too, and I suspect it would add significantly to the cost.

  8. I think the n-in-1 is a very good idea as a vehicle to expand the potential user base and make it profitable. Even if the "modern" mode is basically a 7800 plus some low-hanging-fruit enhancements.


    I could see "plays classic games too" as being a draw to parents who used to game.


    All of the carts should use the same 2600/7800 form to avoid unnecessary cost. The modern carts could be signed (differently than the 7800) and if they look too clunky for a modern system there's no reason they couldn't be half height.


    I'd also suggest the controllers go the inexpensive-to-manufacture-and-familliar-to-kids gamepad route, with the standard 9-pin.


    Too far?

  9. Actually, its a little known fact that the 2600 pacman designer saw a cheese pizza with a single pepperoni piece on it.


    Also the pizza had a single square slice removed from it.


    If not for that careless pizza pie all those years ago, we would have an arcade perfect pacman port and the video game industry wouldn't have crashed!

  10. Sweet!!! When's the release date on that? Can I choose which rock star? When can I pre-order?!?! ;)


    I think a lot of the people posting here understand that the features need to be limited, there's just some disagreement on which features are important critical.


    @Kenny_McCormic: implementing S-Video in addition to composite adds a few pennies to the overall cost. IMO there's no reason not to have s-video as an option.


    Regarding wireless vs. wired controllers: Even though I'd love to see them perhaps wireless controls is something that should be tackled in a different project, something that might be useful on the original hardware as well.


    If it's going to be a "n-in-1" game console, the money people are going to want that part closed-off, so only they can license titles. We'd have to leave it to them, and develop solely in "legacy" 2600/7800 mode.

  11. Nice score Will! I had a feeling breaking 2000 was possible, as my 1888 run wasn't even close to being a perfect game.


    StanJr: I originally played MGD on stella, until it got popular with my family.


    After that, putting it on an eprom cart was the only way I was going to get my laptop back.


    But I would love to see a finished version on cart, even if there's just a final unbroken platform after the void and the game title music starts playing.

  12. Ok, I went back to school, and tonight I managed to score 1888. Anybody got that beat?


    Truly an excellent game, and the deadly abyss is not a bad ending to the game either - you can try to cheat it, but eventually random effects will get you! (I'm thinking at that point the game has wrapped past the rom and is scrolling from ram.)


    This post is also an excellent excuse to ask if anyone has heard from Alex, so I'm asking. :)

  13. HDMI would be overkill and not enough bang-for-buck.


    Most of these are the updated features mentioned in this thread that I think would be obtainable:


    -7800 compatibility

    -wireless controlls with select/reset. (Likely bluetooth)

    -plugs for traditional controls


    -s-video or compnent output

    -stereo output

    -Harmony compatability (all useful undocumented opcodes implemented)


    And here are some more controversial ones that can be done, but are more controversial:

    -support for 4 joystick controllers

    -scan-line doubler (probably too costly)

    -built-in optional atarivox, pokey or other sound enhancement

  14. I'm posting from my cell, so I can't review your code or be sure of my syntax, but it sounds like you want something like...

    if switchreset then frame=frame+1
    rem change the 1 below to total number of frames your code has, less 1
    if frame>1 then frame=0
    on frame goto frame0 frame1
    rem if we're here, frame=0
    goto framesdone
    rem if we're here, frame=1
    goto framesdone
    rem whatever code follows your frame setting goes here

    There's some finer points that I didn't include, like you'll probably want to debounce the reset switch or delay the change of frames, but hopefully that gets you started.

  15. I think its an anti-hack filter on the form submission. Its doing that to avoid getting a literal zero char in the middle of a text form.


    If you add an extra percent and 2 extra zeros you can get around it.


    Eg. Use %%00001 to get %001

  16. 2 questions...


    1. Couldn't a capacitor across the power lines of the cart keep it alive for a second or two, and ensure that Harmony only lost the powerup race once?


    2. Is there a simple mod one could perform to delay power (or otherwise trigger a wait) in the 6507 itself?

  17. Actually, its a little know fact that pacman was designed by none other than the father of modern psychology, Sigmund Freud. It was a means of teaching his theories to the unwashed masses.


    Pac is meant to represent a classic oral fixation case.


    Pacman's mother was a prostitute that abandoned him at an early age, leaving him in stuck in the childlike oral fixation stage - hence the character's lack of secodary sexual characteristics, such as pubic hair or deep voice.


    Given the massive success of Pacman, its a complete mystery as to why Namco eventually pulled the plug on Freud's anal-fixation based sequel!

  18. I get the feeling that the "Atari" part was added on by a clueless editor.


    At least I want to believe that nobody who played either Colecovision or Atari back in the day would confuse the two. Its kinda like saying you were a fan of Michael Jackson until he changed his name from Prince to the symbol, or that you enjoyed drinking Pepsi's Coke.

  19. Actually if we're going to take another stab at this, a 7800 on a chip is what I'd prefer...





    I think the idea of a 7800 clone is even more exciting than the idea of a 2600 clone!

    There's a number of ways this could proceed, and everything seems to lead from where the funding would come from.


    What are your thoughts on...


    1) A crowd-funded project. Is $500 from 100 people in the ballpark, or is it laughable?


    2) A traditional VC allowing the additional expense of a cart slot to be in the design?


    3) Taking Legacy public so it can finance this and other projects. If this question is too intrusive or personal, feel free to just ignore it. But I believe in what Legacy does and would be willing to invest.

  20. The kind of memory chips that can be affected by gamma rays are high density RAM chips. The gamma ray knocks an electron out of position, which flips a 1 to a 0.


    Unless this was a proto cart or a loaner cart, or was similarly unique, its going to be made with a mask ROM, which is a physical structure.


    I'm not a physicist, but with a mask ROM I'm fairly sure you'd need more energy than a stray gamma ray is going to provide, to flip a bit by knocking an atom or molecule out of place.


    But other methods are definitely possible - a strong static discharge for one.

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