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Zerosquare

Cartrige dumping utility : release it or not ?

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I'd love one, I'd dump all my games on the computer, back up saves, etc.

 

Such a device would probably go a long way towards getting a good Jag emulator too....but even with a good emulator, I notice a good chunk of my library simply isn't available online anywhere.

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Okay, since the vast majority of the comments is positive (thanks !), I released it :)

 

Download here.

Edited by Zerosquare
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Thank you for releasing it to the community. It's fairly obvious who the developers or programmers would be that could use a tool like this for good, and most likely you've got an idea who would use this in a harmful way.

If there is some doubt whether a public release is a good idea, why not a limited time release to those developers who could use it and perhaps to Al etc or to someone who requests it with legitimate reasons and close it within a certain number of days so it's not just sitting out there?

While you cannot control what they would do with it once they have it, it would be very easy to determine how it was leaked and by whom if it was a controlled distribution and that person could be avoided in future projects.

Please don't mind the lousy spelling and thoughts, pretty wicked migraine dealing with some bad stuff.

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Thank you for releasing it to the community. It's fairly obvious who the developers or programmers would be that could use a tool like this for good, and most likely you've got an idea who would use this in a harmful way.

If there is some doubt whether a public release is a good idea, why not a limited time release to those developers who could use it and perhaps to Al etc or to someone who requests it with legitimate reasons and close it within a certain number of days so it's not just sitting out there?

While you cannot control what they would do with it once they have it, it would be very easy to determine how it was leaked and by whom if it was a controlled distribution and that person could be avoided in future projects.

Please don't mind the lousy spelling and thoughts, pretty wicked migraine dealing with some bad stuff.

Developers and programmers don't need this tool, they can just write one themselves.

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Okay, since the vast majority of the comments is positive (thanks !), I released it :)

 

Download here.

 

Good work!

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Thank you for releasing it to the community. It's fairly obvious who the developers or programmers would be that could use a tool like this for good, and most likely you've got an idea who would use this in a harmful way.

If there is some doubt whether a public release is a good idea, why not a limited time release to those developers who could use it and perhaps to Al etc or to someone who requests it with legitimate reasons and close it within a certain number of days so it's not just sitting out there?

While you cannot control what they would do with it once they have it, it would be very easy to determine how it was leaked and by whom if it was a controlled distribution and that person could be avoided in future projects.

Please don't mind the lousy spelling and thoughts, pretty wicked migraine dealing with some bad stuff.

Developers and programmers don't need this tool, they can just write one themselves.

 

Sure, but no-one likes to have to reinvent the wheel if they don't have to.

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Good call. Thanks.

 

Sometimes people just want to learn stuff too. They aren't at the point where they could author the tool, but are to a point where using stuff like this would get them there.

 

(it's better with source code, or released just as source code, if you want to know the truth on what I think of that)

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It looks like I am late to the party! Thank you for releasing this tool. It may have little use to experienced Jag coders since they can write their own tools, but for people who don’t have the knowledge, this is a great gift to the community (especially for collectors wanting to preserve their more expensive Jaguar titles).

 

Edit: When something like this becomes public, there is always the danger of it being misused. Unfortunately, you have to take the good with the bad.

Edited by STGuy1040
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Thank you for releasing it to the community. It's fairly obvious who the developers or programmers would be that could use a tool like this for good, and most likely you've got an idea who would use this in a harmful way.

If there is some doubt whether a public release is a good idea, why not a limited time release to those developers who could use it and perhaps to Al etc or to someone who requests it with legitimate reasons and close it within a certain number of days so it's not just sitting out there?

While you cannot control what they would do with it once they have it, it would be very easy to determine how it was leaked and by whom if it was a controlled distribution and that person could be avoided in future projects.

Please don't mind the lousy spelling and thoughts, pretty wicked migraine dealing with some bad stuff.

Developers and programmers don't need this tool, they can just write one themselves.

Right! Anyway, how many people have a flash cart :?: Or source code for games completed or not completed like the famous NATIVE. :lust: It will be used mostly to dump ROMS only. :thumbsdown:

Edited by The Graphics Man
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So are there plans to add the function for the Save ram upload/download. I was curious if we could do something like the 3do Game Guru does with its hex editor for the save files infinite lives yada yada yada.

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Yes, it's in the list of planned features. I have other projects to complete right now, but I'll continue to develop the tool in the future :)

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Thank You! for releasing this utility publically, Zero! -really man! :cool: -that took some balls dude! -kudos to You! ;) I think it's a forward step out of the "Jaguar dark ages." It's a real strike against those that wrongly call others pirates, as this utility DOES have legitimate uses. And only Jag devvers can write their own program to do this!!, not the lowly game players like myself.

 

Now maybe I can dump this damn flashcart I have with a real Jaguar beta on it, so I can use it for running other things -and of course the beta will be preserved also.

 

Ok so now a little bit of frustrated venting from me, and this looks to me like the proper thread to do it in:

 

I am so sick of the constant bitching and fighting people do, concerning Jaguar - to the point where I don't give a flying shit anymore. Yeah, yeah we have lost Jaguar developers, new Jaguar games, oh and don't forget about all the Jaguar titles(half a dozen or more) that are tied up and in limbo(probably cancelled by now) because they are waiting to see what protections/abilities the JagCF will have. :P Could I have stopped any of that? -sadly No. :|

 

Everybody, is just going to continue to do whatever the fracken' hell they want anyway -right? -right. ;) I can't stop it, nor can anyone else -so who cares? I definitely DO NOT like copying of current Jaguar developers' IP tho -for sure, that really does hurt us. Unfortunately, it has happened. So in reality & because of that, I don't expect to get anymore new software for my Jag, if I do it will be quite a welcomed surprise. I realize now that some Jag devvers are making games for themselves and their own privileged inner circle of trusted friends. I'm not a pirate, but am I in this Jag elite group? -no, nor do I expect to be included to play games like Robinson's Requiem on the Jag anytime soon. :(

 

-end rant.

 

Gorf said:

You see, we may not make public releases anymore but that does not mean I wont

share these(Jag games) with a few trusted friends.

Edited by ovalbugmann
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Creating a game for yourself is the best thing to do. In my opinion, only something you create for yourself can really be innovative, fresh, exciting or groundbreaking. Especially in homebrew, creating something for yourself in the first place, is the driving force that is necessary to actually bring something unique from start to finish.

 

Nobody is forced to share their work. However, personally I think it's stupid not to share your hard work with people who appreciate it enough to even pay money for it.

It's another thing to want to try a game first, to see if you like it. But I honestly believe every true Jaguar fan will want to own a decent game and support the developer by purchasing it.

Buying a great homebrew product or independent game is a matter of respect and appreciation in my opinion and at the same time it helps the developers to continue their work in the future.

This may sound strange, but to me, homebrew and indie games are the future of videogames. With the exception of a handful of titles in the last 5 years or so, the mass market and big publishers really didn't have anything to offer that I cared about.

In fact I'm quite sick of the attitude of major publishers and their chewed out sequels. They are the death of videogames.

Sure games look more advanced than in '83 when the video game crash swept away all the soulless clones on the market, but these days it's essentially the same for most titles on the market.

Maybe I am the only one who feels like this, though. Just my personal opinion. ;)

 

Anyway. As I said, to me the future of exciting games lies in the hands of homebrew and indie developers, creating new original ideas and titles. :)

 

I don't care for elite releases that only a small group is able to enjoy.

It just raises expectations of those who can not try it. In my opinion a game is meant to be played. At least that's what I'd like to see with my games. :)

 

Regards, Lars.

Edited by Starcat
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Well said Lars. :) I always(and always will) support Jag Homebrew developers including yourself by buying yours as well as others' programs to run on my Jag. Many times I buy multiple copies of games just to show as much support as I can, as I have done with your releases. I would buy any homebrew Jaguar release from the coder- even if it was dumped and available for free online - to show support for homebrewers hardwork and to encourage further developments. :)

 

Because when you purchase something, you are actually voting for that product. :P

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I'd been aware of  this dump utility before, but after the recent tiny toons thread, I got curious whether I could actually get it working, and also just how slow it was. I plugged in checkered flag and got the orange screen up, but when I run bjl_dump.exe checkered.rom, it just prints the "Jaguar cartridge dumper... " banner and sits there. I looked at the source, and it seems I should at least be seeing it print out some info about the parameters if it made it through all the detection logic. Also tried specifying the size and start address manually, but same thing. Exact commands I'm using in WinXP:

C:\bjl_dump>lo_inp.exe -8 BJL_DUMP.BIN
BJL_DUMP.BIN is 864 bytes long
No Gemdos or COFF header  !
start is $4000
transmit-lenght is 864
uploading... 100 %
cksum = 09d152b6

C:\bjl_dump>bjl_dump.exe checkered.rom 200000 800000
Jaguar cartridge dumper through BJL cable by Zerosquare - version 1.02

And then it just sits there. Other things I tried:

  • Uploading BJL_DUMP.BIN in 4-bit mode.
  • Uploading BJL_DUMP.BIN using the older 1997 loader.
  • bjl_dump.exe with no parameters, just the game name, the trailing "0" to autodetect rom width.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I verified I can still upload very large files over this BJL cable successfully in 8-bit mode. Any ideas?

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No don't release it, the Jaguar has too much software support already.🤣 It's great when software is locked behind the doors of both obscurity and exclusive collector's hands. It really enriches the world and the Jaguar scene at large. ;)

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I have never got it to work with 8 bit mode. I always use 4 bit mode.

 

Mitch

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, cubanismo said:

I verified I can still upload very large files over this BJL cable successfully in 8-bit mode. Any ideas?

I'll have to check the actual source code -- that thing is more than a decade old at that point...

 

But this is pretty strange. If the BJL uploader works fine on the same machine, I don't see any obvious reason why the dumping code wouldn't.

Edited by Zerosquare

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Posted (edited)
On 3/30/2021 at 2:30 AM, cubanismo said:

I'd been aware of  this dump utility before, but after the recent tiny toons thread, I got curious whether I could actually get it working, and also just how slow it was. I plugged in checkered flag and got the orange screen up, but when I run bjl_dump.exe checkered.rom, it just prints the "Jaguar cartridge dumper... " banner and sits there. I looked at the source, and it seems I should at least be seeing it print out some info about the parameters if it made it through all the detection logic. Also tried specifying the size and start address manually, but same thing. Exact commands I'm using in WinXP:

C:\bjl_dump>lo_inp.exe -8 BJL_DUMP.BIN
BJL_DUMP.BIN is 864 bytes long
No Gemdos or COFF header  !
start is $4000
transmit-lenght is 864
uploading... 100 %
cksum = 09d152b6

C:\bjl_dump>bjl_dump.exe checkered.rom 200000 800000
Jaguar cartridge dumper through BJL cable by Zerosquare - version 1.02

And then it just sits there. Other things I tried:

  • Uploading BJL_DUMP.BIN in 4-bit mode.
  • Uploading BJL_DUMP.BIN using the older 1997 loader.
  • bjl_dump.exe with no parameters, just the game name, the trailing "0" to autodetect rom width.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong. I verified I can still upload very large files over this BJL cable successfully in 8-bit mode. Any ideas?

I've run in to this you need to have your parallel port in epp mode and you need to set it in your bios setting.

Edited by walter_J64bit

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1 hour ago, walter_J64bit said:

I've run in to this you need to have your parallel port in epp mode and you need to set it in your bios setting.

Oh, that makes some sense. I'll give that a try when I get back home. My Windows XP machine is actually my oscilloscope/logic analyzer, so hopefully I can figure out how to get into the BIOS and whether it lets me change anything there 🙂

 

In the meantime, I also got a JagLink, so I'm going to put together a DB-9 serial adapter or RS-232<->Rasberry Pi 3.3v UART adapter (MAX3221 looks like the right chip?) for that and try the dump method that uses that. However, as soon as I got the JagLink, I remembered my only BJL-modded Jaguar is currently hooked up to one of my crappy VGA adapters that block the network edge connector on the back of the Jaguar because their form factor was determined by the need to test out my SkunkBoard silkscreen, so in a roundabout way, this has motivated me to get back to that project and finish off my VGA+S-Video(maybe + composite) output adapter in a more sensible form factor that doesn't block the other rear I/O ports. I'm using that as an excuse to learn KiCad as well, as FreePCB is a bit dated, so it's slow going. I got about half the schematic done last night after working through a few beginners' tutorials. Hopefully I can get that finished and converted to a PCB in the next week or so. I'll probably waste a few nights setting up multiplayer Doom games with only one player after that, but perhaps at some point I can benchmark the BJL method Vs. the JagLink method, because I'm sure everyone's dying to know which of these things no one has cared about for a decade or so is faster.

 

I'll post an update when/if I get something working, but this isn't high priority for me. I might try to dump a few cartridges I have that aren't in the 'all t3h Jaguar romz' packs on popular privateering websites so I can personally use them on the GD (You know, the actual non-grey-area, fully-legal way of doing these things), but the main motivation is just curiosity/tinkering.

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On 4/13/2021 at 11:08 AM, cubanismo said:

I've run in to this you need to have your parallel port in epp mode and you need to set it in your bios setting.

Confirmed. Switched the port from 'ECP+EPP' to 'EPP' in the BIOS and it was happily dumping away at ~1-2KB/s. I compared with the one on Atari Mania, and they're a perfect match. Seems to work! Thanks for the tip @walter_J64bit

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