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Upcoming Jaguar Game Drive Cartridge

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Perhaps. I think that is what I meant anyway. Tell me, does one need to have an understanding of BASIC for assembly code and have a great understanding of math? That is the learning curve for me: understanding a totally different counting system. We are raised to know decimal math, but hex gets me. I can wing it, but that's it.

 

I had heard from someone that one would need to understand BASIC well to get into assembly. I am sure it isn't that hard otherwise, but I am coming from this as a total novice, that's all.

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Well, hex and binary arithmetic are a must for any programming on an embedded system. I'd even say for *any* kind of programming.

 

Assembly is not difficult. And knowing BASIC is neither a must nor is it hindering.

 

The difficulty is the machine. Writing code for a multi cpu system is a challenge.

 

So, if you want to start programming in Assembly, do it on an easier system (like the Lynx ;-) )

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Or hit up RaptorBasic+

That is true as well. Assembly would be of use on the Lynx, for sure. I have been wanting to learn Raptor BASIC+ anyway. OK. Thanks for the info. :)

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Assembly if not tough. That's an urban legend. It is a bit more time consuming though.

Assembly language itself is probably simpler than most other stuff as it is limited to very elementary instructions but knowing what to read and write where is the challenge, I imagine even more so in the Jag‘s case with multiple processors to use.

 

 

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Yes and no. Assembly is simpler (RISC even more so), it also removes some of the abstraction introduced by higher level languages (like variables). So if you were to start programming with assembler you would probably find it makes perfect sense, if you come from a high level language, you might be a little confused by the absence of concepts like variables, and datatypes.

Talking to hardware is going to require you know "where" to write things in any language, possibly again abstracted for you by some of the languages that will present you a nice API and do a lot of the lifting for you behind closed doors.

There are various simulators that will simulate a CPU and allow you to write assembly and step through it's execution, watching registers and processor flags being set etc, they are AWESOME learning and prototyping tools. I have used Easy68K myself loads when trying to figure out why a bit of code isn't doing what I thought on the jag, as it gives me much better visibility of what the 68K is doing than what I can see of the Jag's

The extra CPUs in the jag can mostly be ignored until you need them, and if you have gotten your head around one CPU, picking up others isn't that difficult. I think the biggest hurdle for people with assembly is that they assume it's difficult or some kind of wizard language.. it's not.. It's just a very logical, very simplistic programming language. It may take more instructions to do the same thing, but it does the same things in smaller steps.

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LinkoVitch: Perfect description. I double the tip with the simulators. I always try to get one when I learn a new Assembly/CPU.

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When I hit the lottery I will commission the creation of a Panzer General type game for the Jaguar. It will be the greatest WWII simulator ever made. That is all!

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As someone that's only worked in higher level languages, I understand how assembly can be more straightforward. However I also feel like it's along the lines of teaching someone to use a pair of scissors. I can teach sometime who has never seen them to use them in 2 minutes. Gonna be a while before I let them cut my hair though.

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Right. That is true. But, I was thinking about only Atari systems, not other developers. But, you're right. It would be CPU-intensive for sure. I agree. It is hard enough for me to get 3D acceleration, for a certain example, on my Linux and Windows guests on VirtualBox for my iMac, and I have a Intel quad-core i7 and 16 GB of RAM in it. The 3D acceleration slows down the machines down too much if it is checked, but that is experimental on VirtualBox anyway, and I am working with a late 2009 iMac, so it is slower than newer Macs. So, I understand what you mean about emulation and it not being perfect. But, good point anyway. Real hardware trumps emulation all the time. So, yes, I do get that, but thanks for bringing it up anyway.

 

Anyway, that was just an example. I am no emulation expert, but I am certain it could be harder to emulate older cores for classic video gaming. But, I could be 180º off on that, too. Thanks. :)

That isn't even emulation in the strictist sense. Virtualization uses the same CPU. The reason 3d Acceleration within Virtualbox is poor is just because Virtualbox is the poor man's VM.

 

I just think it would be cool to play 2600/5200/XEGS/7800 games on the Jaguar because it would then be an all in one Atari Console.

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While I definitely wouldn't turn down anything like that, I also don't mind if it is there or not, and CD emulation would be far more important to me. Aside from the Jag, which isn't extremely emulation friendly in my experience, everything else can be covered by a cheap Retropie or similar sitting next to the Jag. I'd prefer Jag USB controller adapters for that honestly. You'd also be giving up the 5200's analog stick. True most games converted it to digital 8-way but not all.

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That isn't even emulation in the strictist sense. Virtualization uses the same CPU. The reason 3d Acceleration within Virtualbox is poor is just because Virtualbox is the poor man's VM.

 

I just think it would be cool to play 2600/5200/XEGS/7800 games on the Jaguar because it would then be an all in one Atari Console.

I have always wondered about that. I have wanted a virtualization app with more power, but the money issue keeps popping up. Oh, well. I will just save for it then. But, also, yeah. It would be cool to have all those systems in one. Agreed.

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I have always wondered about that. I have wanted a virtualization app with more power, but the money issue keeps popping up. Oh, well. I will just save for it then. But, also, yeah. It would be cool to have all those systems in one. Agreed.

If you are using Windows 10, use Hyper-V. It is built in and in my experience runs better than Virtual Box, which was developed by sun, now owned by Oracle who haven't done much with it.

Edited by leech

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While I definitely wouldn't turn down anything like that, I also don't mind if it is there or not, and CD emulation would be far more important to me. Aside from the Jag, which isn't extremely emulation friendly in my experience, everything else can be covered by a cheap Retropie or similar sitting next to the Jag. I'd prefer Jag USB controller adapters for that honestly. You'd also be giving up the 5200's analog stick. True most games converted it to digital 8-way but not all.

Doesn't the Jaguar actually support analog input? Or I am thinking at least some of the models did. I know the STe/Falcon ports do. Trying to remember the details there. But I was thinking an adapter for those.

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Now that is cool. Networking Jags over the Internet. Has it ever been done yet? It is a great idea. I have heard of the old Cortina setup, but just in prototype form. Maybe I am 180º off on that. I don't know. But, it is a cool idea, nonetheless.

 

I would've just preferred ComLynx to JagLink. And then somehow connecting them via MIDI to STs and even XL/XE machines with MIDI adapters. But then MIDI Maze was never ported to the Lynx or the Jaguar. It's a shame the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version of Todd's Adventure in Slime World wasn't ported to the Jaguar and then had the ComLynx/JagLink feature added to it. Ditto with Tengen's Gauntlet IV*. Actually, it's a shame none of the Gauntlet home games had null modem/MIDI or other networking options available so one could have multiple screen networking instead of 2-4 players huddled up sharing the same screen....

 

 

*Yes, I know the ST version of Gauntlet II has been ported to the Jaguar and it can use the Team Tap for 4-players in lieu of the Parallel Printer Port-2 Joystick Adapter that was available for the ST and the Amiga. It is a damn good re-creation of Gauntlet II and it was a Herculean effort trying to make the version as close to the arcade experience as possible without any original source code, not to mention it's great to have been ported to the Jag in recent years. However, Tengen's Gauntlet IV uses the actual arcade source code - since Tengen was Atari Games - and actually improves upon it, has theme music inside the game, and adds the Quest Mode inspired from the NES version to the mix as an option. Had Atari Corp and Atari Games had a decent relationship at the time - instead of fighting over royalties - the game would've made a far better pack-in than Cybermorph did...

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A port of EmuTOS has been on my mind. No reason the Jaguar cannot be a "proper" Atari...

 

 

In terms of future projects, I'm surprised the Vectrex and Intellivision folks haven't been contacting you and asking/pleading with you to lend your talents to creating SD Cartridge Adapter solutions for their systems. They're both still stuck with primitive ROM switchers. But don't let the lamentations of their women - wait, what women? - distract you from the 7800 after you finish the Jaguar SD Cartridge Adapter, Good Sir! :)

Edited by Lynxpro

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Doesn't the Jaguar actually support analog input? Or I am thinking at least some of the models did. I know the STe/Falcon ports do. Trying to remember the details there. But I was thinking an adapter for those.

Some models do, but others are missing an IC to handle it. I tried updating mine probably a decade ago, but by the time I did it, Thunderbird no longer remembered the code to activate analog control in Battlesphere, so I never followed up.

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In terms of future projects, I'm surprised the Vectrex and Intellivision folks haven't been contacting you and asking/pleading with you to lend your talents to creating SD Cartridge Adapter solutions for their systems. They're both still stuck with primitive ROM switchers. But don't let the lamentations of their women - wait, what women? - distract you from the 7800 after you finish the Jaguar SD Cartridge Adapter, Good Sir! :)

 

VecMulti is microSD and LTO Flash is USB via PC, not sure there's a reason to hit either.

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I would've just preferred ComLynx to JagLink. And then somehow connecting them via MIDI to STs and even XL/XE machines with MIDI adapters. But then MIDI Maze was never ported to the Lynx or the Jaguar. It's a shame the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive version of Todd's Adventure in Slime World wasn't ported to the Jaguar and then had the ComLynx/JagLink feature added to it. Ditto with Tengen's Gauntlet IV*. Actually, it's a shame none of the Gauntlet home games had null modem/MIDI or other networking options available so one could have multiple screen networking instead of 2-4 players huddled up sharing the same screen....

 

 

*Yes, I know the ST version of Gauntlet II has been ported to the Jaguar and it can use the Team Tap for 4-players in lieu of the Parallel Printer Port-2 Joystick Adapter that was available for the ST and the Amiga. It is a damn good re-creation of Gauntlet II and it was a Herculean effort trying to make the version as close to the arcade experience as possible without any original source code, not to mention it's great to have been ported to the Jag in recent years. However, Tengen's Gauntlet IV uses the actual arcade source code - since Tengen was Atari Games - and actually improves upon it, has theme music inside the game, and adds the Quest Mode inspired from the NES version to the mix as an option. Had Atari Corp and Atari Games had a decent relationship at the time - instead of fighting over royalties - the game would've made a far better pack-in than Cybermorph did...

I pretty much bought a Genesis+multi tap interface for Gauntlet IV. Love that game.

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Some models do, but others are missing an IC to handle it. I tried updating mine probably a decade ago, but by the time I did it, Thunderbird no longer remembered the code to activate analog control in Battlesphere, so I never followed up.

D'oh! Yeah, I am trying to remember if mine was one of the models that had it or not (I seem to think no, since I got mine around the time the JagCD came out. Weird that the Jaguar has such a small library, but still was out long enough for a motherboard refresh).

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Some models do, but others are missing an IC to handle it. I tried updating mine probably a decade ago, but by the time I did it, Thunderbird no longer remembered the code to activate analog control in Battlesphere, so I never followed up.

I know they support the spinner controller for Tempest, which is analog, unless there's some digital conversion to standard controls or something going on I'm not aware of. Feels really analog (of course it has to be converted to digital at some point lol). So do some models not support that and I got lucky, or is that something different?

 

And my comment about the 5200 was just in reference to using standard Jag controllers to play 5200 games. Some special controller or adapter could be made, or I can use an Xbox controller and a Retropie. I actually own a few 5200s and prefer the real thing. If I'm faking it anyway I don't care what it is running on, whatever is easiest!

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Spinner controller is NOT analog, it's an encoder wheel type setup, and sends digital pulses down Left and Right (IIRC).

 

You can easily identify the Jag's that have the ADC hardware, flip it over and look at the serial number, if it starts with a K then you have ADC, if it starts with an M, you DO NOT have an ADC.

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You can easily identify the Jag's that have the ADC hardware, flip it over and look at the serial number, if it starts with a K then you have ADC, if it starts with an M, you DO NOT have an ADC.

No, it's more complicated than that. The ADC chip is only present in NTSC Jags, and only on early K models (most K models don't have it, and none of the M models do).
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Spinner controller is NOT analog, it's an encoder wheel type setup, and sends digital pulses down Left and Right (IIRC).

 

You can easily identify the Jag's that have the ADC hardware, flip it over and look at the serial number, if it starts with a K then you have ADC, if it starts with an M, you DO NOT have an ADC.

 

Thanks for that info. So mine is an M. Is there any reason at all to find one that supports it? This is the first I've known of it, and I've never heard of any games/hardware that only worked on certain Jags. I also wouldn't expect someone making new homebrew software or hardware to make something that only works for some of the already niche Jag audience.

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