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vinniet

PlusCart connect to local NextCloud

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Posted (edited)

Is it possible to change the URL PlusCart points to so that I can use local NextCloud.  I have one running in my network and would like to use that, so I have unlimited storage?

 

Any thoughts of using TNFS as protocol for PlusCart like FujiNet uses?  

 

Thanks for great project!

Edited by vinniet

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11 hours ago, vinniet said:

Is it possible to change the URL PlusCart points to so that I can use local NextCloud.

The firmware code is open source, so it is possible to change the backend URL and build your own version. But the PlusStore API for the PlusCarts is not a "normal" WebDAV API.

 

11 hours ago, vinniet said:

 I have one running in my network and would like to use that, so I have unlimited storage?

unlimited storage? For what? The complete Atari2600 lib including all public available homebrews is approximately 100 MiB. And with a local installation you would have to maintain and update this yourself. That would not be a big gain over an SD card or an WiFi SD-Card. The PlusStore offers all this maintained by a community. With an PlusStore account you also have access to the public area with your PC (or any other internet connected device).

 

11 hours ago, vinniet said:

Any thoughts of using TNFS as protocol for PlusCart like FujiNet uses?

The very early version of the PlusStore API used ftp, but because of the limited features of the protocol I developed a custom API based on the http protocol. I thought of using a Network File Sharing protocol too, but that would not have been a big gain over the ftp protocol. A custom API offers much more possibilities (like chats, textfile reader, search, "Recently Added ROMs" and "Popular ROMs").

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I wanted to put mine in different folders and organize them differently.  I am only given 15MB to do that and it is not enough.  I also had some issues syncing files to public NextCloud while local one did not have issues.  I do not have my PlusCart yet but I wonder about lag time, although with the small size I can not see it being a big issue.  

 

Thanks for answering my questions. 

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On 3/19/2021 at 4:20 AM, vinniet said:

I wanted to put mine in different folders and organize them differently.

There are a few features the PlusCart/PlusStore offers so you have faster access to the ROMs you recently played, or the ROMs that are new in the public repository, or the ROMs that are currently popular (sort by downloads of all users in the last 4 weeks).

You can mark your favorites in the public area with the PlusStore nextcloud web interface (just click on "..." of a file and select "Add to favorites"), so you have fast access on your PlusCart via the "Favorites" folder.

Or just use the PlusCart search function to play the ROM your are looking for (and it will be added to your "My Recently Played ROMs" folder).

 

On 3/19/2021 at 4:20 AM, vinniet said:

I am only given 15MB to do that and it is not enough.

It is not enough if you are not using the community maintained repository and the features that the PlusStore and the PlusCart offers to you. I doubt that anyone can find 15MB of (public) ROMs that are not available in the PlusStore. And if so, just inform the ROM admins @Prizrak or @Omegamatrix or me and we will add them for all users to the public area.


 

On 3/19/2021 at 4:20 AM, vinniet said:

I do not have my PlusCart yet but I wonder about lag time, although with the small size I can not see it being a big issue.  

 

depending where you are located the connection time to the PlusStore is 40 - 500ms and downloading of a 4 to 32 KiB ROM is usually below 100ms, so most ROMs start within a second on the PlusCart.

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I thought there was the capability to set up your own nextCloud for local use.  Could have sworn I read Andrew Davie saying it was a thing people could do.

 

Not complaining.  Just confused.  I too would really, really like to use this locally as well as participate in the PlusCart cloud.

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6 hours ago, Al_Nafuur said:

There are a few features the PlusCart/PlusStore offers so you have faster access to the ROMs you recently played, or the ROMs that are new in the public repository, or the ROMs that are currently popular (sort by downloads of all users in the last 4 weeks).

You can mark your favorites in the public area with the PlusStore nextcloud web interface (just click on "..." of a file and select "Add to favorites"), so you have fast access on your PlusCart via the "Favorites" folder.

Or just use the PlusCart search function to play the ROM your are looking for (and it will be added to your "My Recently Played ROMs" folder).

 

It is not enough if you are not using the community maintained repository and the features that the PlusStore and the PlusCart offers to you. I doubt that anyone can find 15MB of (public) ROMs that are not available in the PlusStore. And if so, just inform the ROM admins @Prizrak or @Omegamatrix or me and we will add them for all users to the public area.


 

depending where you are located the connection time to the PlusStore is 40 - 500ms and downloading of a 4 to 32 KiB ROM is usually below 100ms, so most ROMs start within a second on the PlusCart.

Thanks for all the information. I am going to use the cart first and see how it performs.  You have created great ecosystem to play these tons. 

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9 hours ago, Gemintronic said:

I thought there was the capability to set up your own nextCloud for local use.  Could have sworn I read Andrew Davie saying it was a thing people could do.

 

Not complaining.  Just confused.  I too would really, really like to use this locally as well as participate in the PlusCart cloud.

I have NextCloud setup so that when I drop a binary in a local directory, it gets uploaded to the cloud and immediately visible on my PlusCart.

That's probably where the confusion arose.

 

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I appreciate the sanity check Andrew Davie!

 

Re-reading the original question I realize it was more complicated than I thought.  Sounds like TNFS is a feature request (which I conflated into not being able to host locally at all.)

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5 hours ago, Gemintronic said:

I appreciate the sanity check Andrew Davie!

 

Re-reading the original question I realize it was more complicated than I thought.  Sounds like TNFS is a feature request (which I conflated into not being able to host locally at all.)

I have local TNFS server already for FujiNet but understand that is feature request.  

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I received my PlusCart and I have to say it is excellent piece of technology.  Well Done!   I did have issues getting WiFi from HotSpot but I put it in manually and all good.   Connect fast along with loading times are fast.  Menu is very easy to read vs Harmony which is not. 

 

One thing I notice is there seems to be some interference when in the PlusCart menu.  I see random static which does not show up when playing game or when I have other carts in there.  Any idea what that could be? 

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9 hours ago, vinniet said:

I received my PlusCart and I have to say it is excellent piece of technology.  Well Done!   I did have issues getting WiFi from HotSpot but I put it in manually and all good.   Connect fast along with loading times are fast.  Menu is very easy to read vs Harmony which is not. 

 

One thing I notice is there seems to be some interference when in the PlusCart menu.  I see random static which does not show up when playing game or when I have other carts in there.  Any idea what that could be? 

Corrections I have the static while in the menu and also in the games too.   This happens with both my Atari 2600 and does not happen with any other cart including Harmony.  Anyone else have this issue?

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4 hours ago, vinniet said:

Corrections I have the static while in the menu and also in the games too.   This happens with both my Atari 2600 and does not happen with any other cart including Harmony.  Anyone else have this issue?

can you post a picture or a video of the static?

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I have uploaded the two files.  One is in the menu and the other is in a game.  Sorry for the size but that is what my phone produced.  

 

This happens on both my 2600, one is moded for RCA and the other is not.  Also in all games there will be these static artifacts. 

 

Let me know if you need more information.  Thanks!

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9 hours ago, vinniet said:

I have uploaded the two files.  One is in the menu and the other is in a game.  Sorry for the size but that is what my phone produced.  

 

This happens on both my 2600, one is moded for RCA and the other is not.  Also in all games there will be these static artifacts. 

 

Let me know if you need more information.  Thanks!

I have no idea what could be causing this. Actually, I would guess the power supply or the antenna cable for something like this, but then the error would most likely occur with other cartridges as well.

Have you tried using a different TV?

 

 

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12 hours ago, Al_Nafuur said:

I have no idea what could be causing this. Actually, I would guess the power supply or the antenna cable for something like this, but then the error would most likely occur with other cartridges as well.

Have you tried using a different TV?

 

 

I have two Atari 2600, one is moded RCA and the other is using antenna hookup.  Both are on different flat panel TV.  Someone gave me CRT TV and I see the interference with RCA too.   Its something the cart seems to be picking up or could it be something like cold solder join in the cart?

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That sure looks to me like a mechanical issue.  If you thump the desk near the TV, do you see the glitch?

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Andrew Davie said:

That sure looks to me like a mechanical issue.  If you thump the desk near the TV, do you see the glitch?

No nothing effects it (getting better or worse) by banging the desk, slightly moving the cart, or shaking the console.  Even tried different power supply and also different TV, different consoles, different cables, and different hookups.  I even moved it out of the room to another TV thinking it was my AP causing it.  I am stumped.

Edited by vinniet

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10 minutes ago, vinniet said:

No nothing effects it (getting better or worse) by banging the desk, slightly moving the cart, or shaking the console.  Even tried different power supply and also different TV, different consoles, different cables, and different hookups.  I even moved it out of the room to another TV thinking it was my AP causing it.  I am stumped.

My next guess would be RF interference from something.

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2 minutes ago, vinniet said:

Is this normal with the artificing with the font in the menu?

 

No, that's not normal. But, it's also clear that your TV is also doing weird things to the picture. That's not anywhere near what it should look like.

Have a look at the display on a CRT to see the difference. Until I see it on a CRT, I'm blaming your TV.

 

 

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See how the dots in H.E.R.O. look different?  With one scanline, and two scanlines?  Those are actually drawn identically.

The TV is doing some really weird line sampling/blending, IMHO.

 

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23 minutes ago, vinniet said:

I have completely different TV (10 yo) hooked up with antenna instead of RCA and similar issue.  The CRT does not seem to have the issue, but the screen was not that clear so hard to tell.  Two videos are from the new TV. 

 

The LCD TVs are the culprit, IMHO. LCD TVs attempt to emulate how a CRT works. Some are better than others. Many are bad at it.

Because the PlusCart is displaying pixels on and off on alternate frames, LCD TVs can either miss pixels, or average pixels in an odd way.

This is a generic and common issue with LCD televisions and not the PlusCart's fault. It is the TV.

Test on as many CRTs as you can find and I'd be confident none of them show this issue.

It is very common for '2600 fans to use a CRT for their retro-fix, and a small one at that. There's nothing quite like the real experience.

I'm 99% confident what you're seeing is not the fault of the PlusCart.

 

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1 hour ago, Andrew Davie said:

 

The LCD TVs are the culprit, IMHO. LCD TVs attempt to emulate how a CRT works. Some are better than others. Many are bad at it.

Because the PlusCart is displaying pixels on and off on alternate frames, LCD TVs can either miss pixels, or average pixels in an odd way.

This is a generic and common issue with LCD televisions and not the PlusCart's fault. It is the TV.

Test on as many CRTs as you can find and I'd be confident none of them show this issue.

It is very common for '2600 fans to use a CRT for their retro-fix, and a small one at that. There's nothing quite like the real experience.

I'm 99% confident what you're seeing is not the fault of the PlusCart.

 

I am new at this but I do not see others complain about it, you might have more experience with that.  If two very different TV with different hookups have the same problem I would imagine I would see lots of people with the same issue. 

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3 minutes ago, vinniet said:

I am new at this but I do not see others complain about it, you might have more experience with that.  If two very different TV with different hookups have the same problem I would imagine I would see lots of people with the same issue. 

OK, the PlusCart is doing something that almost no other Atari 2600 games do.  And that is display alternate pixels on alternate frames. The pixels in the font are on for one frame, and off for the next (while other pixels are on).  This is how the full-screen text display is done. This works on a CRT because of persistance of vision - the phosphor continues to glow, and the on/off states of each pixel tend to merge into a slightly-darker but always-on pixel.  Now a LCD is different. It does not have phosphor that continues to glow between frames. It's generally on or off - with very fast switching. So we don't benefit from the CRT's phosphor coating. That's the first thing. The second thing is the resolution of the LCD is usually a hell of a lot more than the resolution of your CRT. In particular, the vertical resolution of the frame from the 2600 is about 262 lines. Your LCD probably has something like 1080 lines. So the LCD, when it gets that signal from the Atari, has to do some scaling, to get from the 262 lines to the 1080. Furthermore, it has to decide how to display the 60Hz (frames pers second) coming from the Atari into whatever the LCD might have as its display. It needs to blend together frames, and within frames blend together scanlines. Different LCD TVs do this differently, and obviously none of them end up looking exaclty like a CRT.

 

Now you may not have seen others with the same issue - but it's not uncommon for people to have similar issues.

 

Finally, your test on a CRT showed you that the problem wasn't detectable on that CRT. You put it down to the CRT being "not clear" so it was hard to tell. That's pretty much the point, really. The CRT is an imperfect display device and the PlusCart menu/font display is taking advantage of everything we know about CRTs, phosphor, persistance of vision, and frame rates. The LCD pretty much ignores all of that and does what it wants.  

 

As I said before, for an authentic experience, with the display as nature intended, use a CRT.  I could be wrong about the issue, but hey... I'm pretty confident I know what's happening.  Only way you can confirm, I guess, is to find some more CRTs and do more testing.

 

 

 

 

 

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