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AquaLite is an emulator for the Mattel Aquarius. I believe it's most comprehensive and most accurate emulator available.

It works on all Windows versions from 7 upwards.

 

It is freely available to use and share as long as the zip file is kept fully intact and not modified in any way.

 

Enjoy!!

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JzhHgmrpb-5I-Fu7AI?e=p1KsGx

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On 11/14/2020 at 9:49 AM, Richard Chandler said:

AquaLite is an emulator for the Mattel Aquarius. I believe it's most comprehensive and most accurate emulator available.

It works on all Windows versions from 7 upwards.

 

It is freely available to use and share as long as the zip file is kept fully intact and not modified in any way.

 

Enjoy!!

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JzhHgmrpb-5I-Fu7AI?e=p1KsGx

First, thanks again for making this. I know an emulator is an extraordinary amount of work, especially for a platform that doesn't have a large community. The debugger is something I absolutely need while I'm plodding along with Aquarius dev.

 

However, I'm running into a lot of bugs. When I first launched AquaLite, everything seemed great. I poked around the menus, checked out the debugger, typed in a few BASIC commands, etc. and had a solid 60 FPS at 100% speed. I then made a few Options tweaks—I clicked the 'PC Keyboard' and 'Pause emulation...' options, selected NTSC timing, and changed my View to 200%. Once I dropped back into BASIC, I first noticed that the PC Keyboard option didn't work. Quotes, for instance, were still mapped to SHIFT-2, Aquarius-style, instead of standard PC keyboard quotes. I also noticed that the frame rate and emulation speed had dropped to half, creating significant lag in input. 

 

I thought I'd start again, so I deleted the folder and re-unzipped the download folder. The same problems continued. (I'm assuming some configuration file got written when I first launched the program?) When I tried switching Display options from GDI to DirectDraw and Direct3D (without a shader), a new bug appeared—the AquaLite window shrunk by half, so now 200% view looks like 100%. It's also clipped the menu text and information text at the bottom of the window. Closing and reopening the application doesn't help, nor did a fresh "re-install."

 

I'm running currently-updated Windows 10 Lenovo ThinkPad w/ a core i7. It's about 18 months old, and it's not my primary computer—I use it almost exclusively for dev. I'm happy to help troubleshoot issues if needed. I really want to use this as my sole Aquarius dev emulator, but I fear I've "broken" the app with no way to get it back to its usual state. And at half speed, it's not particularly usable.

 

The screenshot below shows the crowded lower display and speed (19%). I can't see the FPS 😕

 

AquaLiteTest.thumb.png.2e903b0354c707083ada48d0bd2529cc.png

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Thanks for the bug report. Must admit I (and a few other people) have been using it for a few months now and no-one has reported anything like that. I'll try and replicate it and see what's happening (and even try and fix it!!!)

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I can't replicate this or even get anywhere close to replicating any of these bugs.

 

Try deleting the config file and running it again. All the defaults will then be reset.

 

You can find the config file here...

 

C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\AquaLite

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3 hours ago, Richard Chandler said:

I can't replicate this or even get anywhere close to replicating any of these bugs.

 

Try deleting the config file and running it again. All the defaults will then be reset.

 

You can find the config file here...

 

C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\AquaLite

Will do—I'll let you know how it goes!

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OK, I deleted the config file then restarted the computer and re-downloaded the linked file, just for good measure. That appears to have fixed the sizing and frame rate/speed issues. The "PC Keyboard" option still doesn't work, but that's fairly low priority for me. I'll post back if anything odd happens again. 👍

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I'm going to take another look at the PC keyboard code, I'm not convinced it's working properly to be quite honest (actually it's the Aquarius native keyboard that doesn't appear to be correct).

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20 hours ago, chjmartin2 said:

Is this available somewhere else?   I'd like to give it a try but the download links aren't working. 

Hi, here is the latest version. Next version will have MicroExpander emulation. Currently writing a version for Linux.

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JzhwiGIVaqrrSUzWOE?e=c07w6s

 

This version was a bit of fun I must return to, primarily for debugging/developing.

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JzhBtrXLrBMMasiXOF?e=x5dfwT

 

Also I wrote this (currently quite threadbare) version for Raspberry Pi 3/4.

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JziFjHElp6x2-4TmU_?e=wNh4yl

 

Enjoy.

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2 hours ago, Richard Chandler said:

Hi, here is the latest version. Next version will have MicroExpander emulation. Currently writing a version for Linux.

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JzhwiGIVaqrrSUzWOE?e=c07w6s

 

The attached program waits for the vertical refresh and toggles between two screens to provide 30 Hz additional colors and a pseudo expanded character set because of temporal blending.  You effectively get 4 colors per 8x8 block instead of two.  Anyway, it runs on Virtual Aquarius perfectly and in sync.  Sadly it does not work with AqEmu at least on my machine.   When I run it and set the emulator to 100% it just seems to be going slow.  Oddly when I completely disable sound it almost works except it skips (for lack of a better term) every second or two.  My computer isn't super new so maybe its just not fast enough?  

 

I am excited about this emulator because it appears you are working to make it very cycle accurate which for me would be very useful.  I know another person is trying to chase the beam to draw higher resolution effective graphics and I had started work on that but dev was so slow because of having to burn to EEPROMs and insert it into the Super Cart.  Speaking of the Super Cart, if I could ask for a feature I would love to be able to use 1 meg ROMs that are compatible with Super Cart using bankswitching because then I could share some Aquarius "movies" with others for them to run on your emulator.  It also would help with other potential development matching the Super Cart.  I have spent far too long away from my friend the Aquarius.  

xbox360.bin

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2 hours ago, Richard Chandler said:

 

 

This version was a bit of fun I must return to, primarily for debugging/developing.

 

https://1drv.ms/u/s!Ar4VkKtk_3JzhBtrXLrBMMasiXOF?e=x5dfwT

 

I broke it.  I got this version to run once and then realized I had started it from my desktop and moved it and now it just says "ROM NOT FOUND" even when I re-unzip it.  Help?  I can see how it would be really useful to see all the states.  

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12 hours ago, chjmartin2 said:

I broke it.  I got this version to run once and then realized I had started it from my desktop and moved it and now it just says "ROM NOT FOUND" even when I re-unzip it.  Help?  I can see how it would be really useful to see all the states.  

Haha, I didn't put a lot of error checking into this, it was really just a bit of fun. 1st time you ran it you created an .ini file which hold the ROM location, unfortunately when you ran it again the ROM location had moved because you didn't run from desktop 2nd time round.

If you go to C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\AquaLite and delete the AquaMon.ini file and start again then all will be good!!

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12 hours ago, chjmartin2 said:

The attached program waits for the vertical refresh and toggles between two screens to provide 30 Hz additional colors and a pseudo expanded character set because of temporal blending.  You effectively get 4 colors per 8x8 block instead of two.  Anyway, it runs on Virtual Aquarius perfectly and in sync.  Sadly it does not work with AqEmu at least on my machine.   When I run it and set the emulator to 100% it just seems to be going slow.  Oddly when I completely disable sound it almost works except it skips (for lack of a better term) every second or two.  My computer isn't super new so maybe its just not fast enough?  

 

I am excited about this emulator because it appears you are working to make it very cycle accurate which for me would be very useful.  I know another person is trying to chase the beam to draw higher resolution effective graphics and I had started work on that but dev was so slow because of having to burn to EEPROMs and insert it into the Super Cart.  Speaking of the Super Cart, if I could ask for a feature I would love to be able to use 1 meg ROMs that are compatible with Super Cart using bankswitching because then I could share some Aquarius "movies" with others for them to run on your emulator.  It also would help with other potential development matching the Super Cart.  I have spent far too long away from my friend the Aquarius.  

xbox360.bin 3.86 kB · 1 download

Thanks for that, it's always good to find something which doesn't run properly, gives me the opportunity to make the emulation just that little more accurate.

 

I've made a note to look at 1MB ROMS and bank switching, no guarantees but I'll try.

 

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1 hour ago, Richard Chandler said:

I've made a note to look at 1MB ROMS and bank switching, no guarantees but I'll try.

Thank you!  If you need more information about how the SuperCart bankswitching works, for 1MB ROMs and other sizes, see here.  (It's nothing complicated; most of the work is done by a 74LS374 and a 74LS245.)

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2 hours ago, jaybird3rd said:

Thank you!  If you need more information about how the SuperCart bankswitching works, for 1MB ROMs and other sizes, see here.  (It's nothing complicated; most of the work is done by a 74LS374 and a 74LS245.)

I don't know from an emulation perspective but programming for it is great.  First 8K can be program and then second 8k Bank switches with one command and works great to have the upper 8k to be data.   Certainly it is EXTREMELY fast - made an audio player that cranks at over 100 KHz... 

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2 hours ago, Richard Chandler said:

Haha, I didn't put a lot of error checking into this, it was really just a bit of fun. 1st time you ran it you created an .ini file which hold the ROM location, unfortunately when you ran it again the ROM location had moved because you didn't run from desktop 2nd time round.

If you go to C:\Users\xxx\AppData\Roaming\AquaLite and delete the AquaMon.ini file and start again then all will be good!!

Sweet. will fix it.  This will be invaluable for debugging and coding - especially if we want to chase the beam!

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1 minute ago, chjmartin2 said:

Sweet. will fix it.  This will be invaluable for debugging and coding - especially if we want to chase the beam!

I haven't put much development work into it recently, I basically just threw it together over a weekend. There is so much that could be improved/added.

Do you think it's worth pursuing as a long term project. And is there a userbase for it?

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11 minutes ago, chjmartin2 said:

I don't know from an emulation perspective but programming for it is great.  First 8K can be program and then second 8k Bank switches with one command and works great to have the upper 8k to be data.   Certainly it is EXTREMELY fast - made an audio player that cranks at over 100 KHz... 

I'm glad you've found it useful!  Recently, support for SuperCart bankswitching was added to the MAME emulator.  I haven't yet tried AquaLite, but I hear great things about it, and of course I'd love to see it support the SuperCart also!

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Just now, jaybird3rd said:

I'm glad you've found it useful!  Recently, support for SuperCart bankswitching was added to the MAME emulator.  I haven't yet tried AquaLite, but I hear great things about it, and of course I'd love to see it support the SuperCart also!

I didn't know that.  Will need to dust off some of my old programs and see how MAME handles it.  AquaLite is VERY promising.  

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1 minute ago, Richard Chandler said:

I haven't put much development work into it recently, I basically just threw it together over a weekend. There is so much that could be improved/added.

Do you think it's worth pursuing as a long term project. And is there a userbase for it?

There are only a handful of people who have or are coding for the Aquarius.  It has been years since I did anything meaningful as I lost my development set up.  I tend to drift between platforms.  I wish there were a few game developers for it.  It is a pretty obscure limited system to be honest.  What is wild is that the 4 Mhz Z80 is a huge "engine" for it, so it really has more computing power than it does in graphics.   I never played with the AY/Mini expander, nor the SD Card tool that Bruce made.  There is a small group of us that really like this machine is all I can add.  

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13 minutes ago, chjmartin2 said:

I didn't know that.  Will need to dust off some of my old programs and see how MAME handles it.  AquaLite is VERY promising.  

Yes, it was added only recently, with version 0.227.  In case you need it, I posted an updated ROM set here.

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1 minute ago, chjmartin2 said:

There are only a handful of people who have or are coding for the Aquarius.  It has been years since I did anything meaningful as I lost my development set up.  I tend to drift between platforms.  I wish there were a few game developers for it.  It is a pretty obscure limited system to be honest.  What is wild is that the 4 Mhz Z80 is a huge "engine" for it, so it really has more computing power than it does in graphics.   I never played with the AY/Mini expander, nor the SD Card tool that Bruce made.  There is a small group of us that really like this machine is all I can add.  

I 'm a member of the Aquarius FB group and they are a small yet dedicated group of Aquarius enthusiasts, it's wonderful that in some small way software is still being developed for it.

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30 minutes ago, Richard Chandler said:

I 'm a member of the Aquarius FB group and they are a small yet dedicated group of Aquarius enthusiasts, it's wonderful that in some small way software is still being developed for it.

I hope to develop a lot more, but unfortunately, my plans are more abundant than my free time.  I have some hardware projects in the works, and I hope to at least get a game under way before the year is over.

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