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hloberg

making a standard laptop into a MAME Geneve laptop

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I was given a old laptop recent that had a few issues along with the f12 key missing. I fixed the issues except for the missing f12 (never use it anyway) and put win10 on it. Well, the laptop is an old AMD and it gets hot as a firecracker and when it does it slows to Pentium speeds for a bit so as a win10 machine it was a bit of a dog. SO, I put MAME with Geneve on it and had it boot directly into the Geneve like it was a Geneve laptop. It actually worked fairly well as I was able to bypass most of the Win10 stuff and have it go straight to Geneve. That is almost all the Win10 stuff.

Now, I'm installing Linux which I think I can boot directly into MAME with Linux being almost invisible. But, I'm a MS guy and know just a little about Linux. I know I want to use a distro without a desktop to jump straight into Geneve and it not need UEFI so the HP logo won't show at start. And light as possible. Since the Geneve didn't use carts and had hard disk I need not worry about vdisk or vcarts support. but I do want to be able to print directly to a printer. I wouldn't think internet access would be needed though.

when I'm done I'm going to create a logo and name plate for it. 

Any Linux gurus out there got any suggestions and like help out?

I'll post the progress on ti99resouces.wordpress.com in the projects area and if in the mood maybe youtube.

 

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Over the past year I've wanted to task an old out-of-date laptop as a TI only box, so I'll try to peek in from time to time to see how it's going.  While I'm not really interested in a Geneve emulation, a distro that only emulates a TI would be the bomb.  I'd need something totally idiot proof though, you know something that would install itself, wipe out Windows and goes straight to the TI title screen on boot up.  

 

What I have now runs out of XP and seemingly takes forever to get up and running, so of course I rarely use it.

 

TI.thumb.JPG.6324d40f8e1edd726411f414181123b8.JPG

 

 

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27 minutes ago, Omega-TI said:

Over the past year I've wanted to task an old out-of-date laptop as a TI only box, so I'll try to peek in from time to time to see how it's going.  While I'm not really interested in a Geneve emulation, a distro that only emulates a TI would be the bomb.  I'd need something totally idiot proof though, you know something that would install itself, wipe out Windows and goes straight to the TI title screen on boot up.  

 

What I have now runs out of XP and seemingly takes forever to get up and running, so of course I rarely use it.

 

TI.thumb.JPG.6324d40f8e1edd726411f414181123b8.JPG

 

 

I had thought about A ti99/4a version but there is no real good way to emulate the cartridges which a big part of the ti99. you would be stuck still having some kind of menu which kill the 'illusion' I want. I don't ever want to go to the MAME menu. I got it fairly close with Win10 and geneve doing some of the tricks I know. after turn on it came up to the HP logo for about second then black screen for 10 seconds then Geneve. all the programs ran off the 3 hard drives so no need of disk or cart access. pressed the on/off switch and the geneve would power down windows as normal with little fanfare. the only thing I couldn't remove was the startup HP logo which was tied to the UEFI. you could use a legacy boot which eliminate the HP logo but Win10 doesn't work under legacy.

I also tried XP but this laptop has some key pieces of hardware not supported by XP.

by the way, any Linux/MAME we come up with would work with TI99 except the issue of having to use carts or disk.

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Understand.  Yeah, Linux is out of my realm, I only know enough to put NOOBS on an SD card and to choose either KODI or Raspbian, but that's about it.  Honestly, I have neither the time nor inclination to dig into learning Linux.

 

I have a cool TRS-80 emulator that I run on a RPi 3, something like that, but for the TI, running on the laptop would be neat too.  I'll probably have to let this wish go.

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I've had to build a couple Linux mail servers for a client once so I know a little bit but that was years ago. right now I'm running Lite-Ubuntu on the laptop which I found I really don't like, it's not very standard. I think I'm going to change to something else. 

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I did that hacked chromebook some time back. It was basically just an xubuntu install that was prodded to autostart Tursi's Classic99 through a 32bit WINE session.  All the necessary prodding was spoilerized in the old thread.

 

 

The basic formula could be used to autostart basically any linux program instead of the normal window manager. That includes the linux port of MAME.

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35 minutes ago, wierd_w said:

I did that hacked chromebook some time back. It was basically just an xubuntu install that was prodded to autostart Tursi's Classic99 through a 32bit WINE session.  All the necessary prodding was spoilerized in the old thread.

 

 

The basic formula could be used to autostart basically any linux program instead of the normal window manager. That includes the linux port of MAME.

i'll look at it. happen to know which thread it was?

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I found a way to remove all the branding and almost all startup and shutdown screens in Win10.

It starts black screen for about 10 secs then displays 'TI99 welcome' for 2 sec. then a small outline of an empty taskbar that then disappears after 10 sec (i'm still working on making that disappear faster). then MAME-ti99/4a beep and ti-99 screen. takes about 45 sec on this old slow machine. I'll have a video sometime tomorrow.

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15 hours ago, hloberg said:

I was given a old laptop recent that had a few issues along with the f12 key missing. I fixed the issues except for the missing f12 (never use it anyway) and put win10 on it. Well, the laptop is an old AMD and it gets hot as a firecracker and when it does it slows to Pentium speeds for a bit so as a win10 machine it was a bit of a dog.

 

Concerning emulation speed, you should check on the command line:

 

mame64 ti99_4a -bench 20 [... further peripheral stuff ...]

 

You must reach some value above 150% to be sure that the normal emulation operation (with graphic output) stays at 100%. If you drop below, the emulation speed is slower than the real machine; things take much longer, the sound is stuttering.

 

See my discussion on https://www.mizapf.de/en/ti99/mame/mamereq

15 hours ago, hloberg said:

I know I want to use a distro without a desktop to jump straight into Geneve and it not need UEFI so the HP logo won't show at start. And light as possible.

I had this topic with @Sid1968 some weeks ago. The problem is that there is no framebuffer display driver support in MAME for some years now, so you must use a graphical environment, i.e. a desktop. (No need to pick an old MAME release, because the issue is also on the Linux side if I remember correctly.) MAME heavily relies on the SDL library.

 

This is not a big issue, since you can configure your desktop with auto-login, and on the desktop you can install autostart programs, one of which could be MAME. However, this depends on the desktop you choose; I am using KDE/Plasma, you may want to go for a lightweight one like LXDE. I cannot give you much advise here, since I don't use it. In general, you should try to get familiar with the system you are working, at least to some degree.

 

Also, I would recommend to launch MAME in windowed mode, not in fullscreen mode, just to keep mouse control.

 

15 hours ago, hloberg said:

But I do want to be able to print directly to a printer.

From MAME? Or from Linux?

 

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14 hours ago, hloberg said:

I had thought about A ti99/4a version but there is no real good way to emulate the cartridges which a big part of the ti99. you would be stuck still having some kind of menu which kill the 'illusion' I want. I don't ever want to go to the MAME menu.

You'll have to somehow tell MAME to switch cartridges. The brain-to-machine interface is not ready yet. 🙂

 

There could be a way using a remote access via the Lua interface, but I don't know much about it (in particular whether it can be accessed remotely).

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13 hours ago, wierd_w said:

The basic formula could be used to autostart basically any linux program instead of the normal window manager. That includes the linux port of MAME.

Technically, there is no Linux port of MAME, since MAME is multi-platform, with binaries for Win, Mac, and Linux.

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1 hour ago, mizapf said:

Technically, there is no Linux port of MAME, since MAME is multi-platform, with binaries for Win, Mac, and Linux.

Picky picky picky-- you know what I meant, the linux-native build of it.

 

 

 

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🙂 no big issue; I just wanted to say that there is no primary platform, from where things need to be ported to the others. This may explain some compromises concerning UI experience.

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here is the video of the very minimalist startup of Win10 direct to MAME/MESS TI99-4a in myarc XBII. this phase I still have a taskbar and my side bar with the TI99 key commands. the only thing I don't like is how long it takes from the taskbar appearing to the MAME/MESS appears. I haven't figured out how to shorten that time much. the myarc XBII boots from one of the 3 hard drives. no disk needed.

next phase would be to replace Explorer with another shell such as Blackbox then the taskbar would be removed. but then it makes fiddling with windows more difficult and there is a lot of fiddlin' I still want to do to myxbii. 

it's a lousy video but you get what is going on.

 

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i can't seem to speed up the Win10 startup. it has too long of a boot time and alternate shells don't help the speed. next step, linux, again.

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This nothin' fancy Dell Latitude 610 takes about 46 seconds to boot XP, another 20 to run Classic99. A bit over a minute isn't long to wait. Your Win10 setup isn't too different from that.

 

I've put the Dell to sleep for a couple weeks straight, give or take, with Classic99, TIdir and whatnot loaded. Lifting the lid, logging in to XP and ready to go back to work takes only 13 seconds.

 

It's no doubt pretty cool to have a retro-only system pop up with a single touch of the power button. And maybe a fun challenge to accomplish that goal. I hope you get it configured to your liking.

 

Myself, I don't mind the short bootup wait and even shorter wakeup time. I find I use the Windows side quite a bit for file and folder managing, notepad and a few other things as well.

Edited by Ed in SoDak
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current load time is 45 seconds total. i think I'm going to disable as many drivers in win10 as I can get away with and see what happens. probably can't skim anymore than 10 or so seconds though.

 

 

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If MAME can be run without an X server, linux is going to be king.  Console only linux would beat anything else. (especially if you go for one that does not do all kinds of bullshit with systemd.)

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12 hours ago, wierd_w said:

If MAME can be run without an X server, linux is going to be king.  Console only linux would beat anything else. (especially if you go for one that does not do all kinds of bullshit with systemd.)

from what research I found it does require xserver drivers. i read a thread on how to just load the x drivers you needed but it didn't look any faster than win10 when finished. also my experiment with using a lite linux desktop was just about as fast as it took win10 to start. I'm getting the feeling linux or win the quickest will be about 35 seconds.

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I did something similar with my younger son's old college laptop and ran it for many years before it finally died. It was a Toshiba Satellite and I had it so it booted up the OS {I think Windows XP} and then it immediately displayed the TI99/4A 1981 title screen as its wallpaper and after you hit the space bar it booted up Win994a!

 

I used to use it instead of my desktop all the time. The CD/DVD drive was useless but since every piece of TI99/4A software fit on its hard drive that was a moot point. With the Win994a setup I had a "classic" TI99/4A with three (3) floppy drives and three (3) hard drives.

 

It was a perfect use of an obsolete Toshiba Satellite for a TMS9900 Series hobbyist to use since it was really dead to the PC world since it couldn't run the latest Windows OS! 

Edited by eric-bray
Correct grammar
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