Slow, slow and SLOW!
Posted July 12, 2020 5:22AM MST
Production's been going really slow on the Libretto video I promised to make in my last video, largely as I have to go through several script rewrites so I can cover the thing properly as best as I could as I want to avoid half-arsing it. At least the more time I've spend on the Libretto I'm learning some of its quirks that I would have otherwise not noticed and would've not covered in the video if I got that done sooner. Hopefully the video will turn out great once it's done.
As for some brief updates. I've gotten some new gear as of late, such as a Sony DCR-TRV820 Digital Handycam which is a Digital8 camcorder that can actually do proper widescreen, which is something my VX1000 can't really do. I've also found a Compaq EISA 486 system that needs a bit of work to get going, namely the power supply is busted and I need to replace a MOSFET that exploded and possibly a bunch of caps. I'm most certainly going to do a video of that system once it's fixed up, though the only downside with it is its missing the front panel as it got completely smashed off the thing and there's no model number stated anywhere on the chassis to determine the exact model of Compaq it was. Other things I've got is a box of 50 (43 remained in the box) 3.5" floppies that are actually of pretty decent quality, a Model M keyboard which I've found just yesterday when this post was made and a Cosmic Baton Girl puzzle set, a show I used to watch as a kid but actually completely forgotten about until I spotted that set. Bought it anyway just for the hell of it, as there was literally no Cosmic Baton Girl merch available anywhere back when that show used to air on Animax, which figures as the original run of the show had long since ended when I watched it as a kid.
As for n00bROM, well it has improved quite a lot since I last brought it up here, the most notable improvement being it now uses the BIOS bootstrap routine instead of n00bROM's own bootstrap code to boot the CD-ROM for increased compatibility and reduces the size of the n00bROM ROM to make way for new features to be added whilst keeping it below 32KB. As for PSn00bSDK, it's still been worked upon from time to time and I'm still holding off doing any large scale work on it for awhile. Just now I've added support for multi-session CDs for both utility type homebrews, such as an upcoming Lameflash utility, but also so I won't be wasting CD-Rs as much when testing CD-ROM related things on real hardware. This is currently in the SVN repo as of the making of this post as I want to test it extensively before committing it to the mainline repo on Github, but this shouldn't take too long.
New thing coming up: n00bROM!
Posted April 9, 2020 1:02PM MST
Haven't been able to update my website very much, was mostly busy with work in the past few months and then this Made in China outbreak happened. At least I can focus full-time with my projects during this quarantine period, but staying home all day tends to get really monotonous and I miss going to the surplus shops for any neat goodies to get.
Anyway, thanks to this quarantine thing a little project of mine has been taking shape considerably. This project being n00bROM and it's basically my own take on a Caetla equivalent but more developer oriented. Development of n00bROM started around late last year with the intent of making an open source equivalent of Caetla that can be adopted for use in custom homebrewn cartridge devices and more developer oriented, as n00bROM will likely never receive cheat or viewer/player capabilities that Caetla has.
n00bROM supports downloading PS-EXEs from serial or parallel port with an Xplorer, direct TTY to serial hook for both stdin and stdout, exception handler, built-in flash capability for easy ROM updating and finally, booting CDs and PS-EXEs with nocash unlock or swap trick, allowing to read or boot CD-Rs on unmodified consoles.
Whilst n00bROM is pretty bare bones in comparison to Caetla as it lacks a number of features that would be useful for homebrew developers such as memory upload/download, VRAM upload/download and PCDRV as of the making of this post, n00bROM makes up for this by being far more compact than Caetla as the ROM size is currently around 25KB. Due to the small ROM size of n00bROM, I have plans of implementing a feature to store multiple PS-EXEs into the otherwise unused EEPROM space, so you can have your favorite homebrew utilities or demos readily available in the cartridge. The aforementioned features that are currently absent in n00bROM will be added soon, especially PCDRV.
Expect n00bROM to be released either this weekend or next week. Just need to do a bunch of cleaning, tidying up and writing the readme documentation. Ignore the links shown in the notice screen as n00bROM is obviously not even out yet, I'm sure I'll be releasing it along with source code once its ready for big show.
My website's now on lameguy64.net
Posted January 29, 2020 1:09AM MST
If no longer being able to host my own server wasn't bad enough, my website's domain name has expired a few days ago. Whilst this is not as bad as no longer being able to receive incoming connections to my home Internet it turns out Freenom's free .tk domains are only free for one year. Once that's up you'll have to pay to get the exact old .tk domain renewed and it costs more than registering a new .net domain. So I've decided to just register a new .net domain as it is of better value overall and sounds better than the old name. I've registered it to last two years so I don't have to deal with this for a long while.
So from here on out, if you have anything that references my website you may want to update it to point to lameguy64.net. It'll take me awhile to update the READMEs of my active projects to use the new domain so you may want to correct them yourself if I haven't got around to updating them yet.
First post of 2020
Posted January 14, 2020 2:10AM MST
Great, another year has passed and haven't got around to make anything that resembles a game project yet with Scarlet Engine being put aside for pretty much the entire year in favor of another but equally as outstanding of project that originally started out as just a small little experiment with the GCC compiler from 2018; the PSn00bSDK Project.
Development of PSn00bSDK was quite rapid last year, having a good amount of the PS1 hardware implemented in the libraries even before a year has passed since the project was pushed out to the public. Disappointingly a great majority of the work had to be done by me to the point that it has made me feel tired of working on the project for awhile, though granted this is my project after all and I'm more of a lone wolf developer than one who has to depend on several other people working together to get things done and I also have to juggle multiple, smaller projects too.
But I did get a few small fixes and corrections here and there from others which I'd otherwise not notice myself as I'm normally most focused in working on the bigger things, which are very well appreciated. I suppose this is mainly due to the fact most people in the PS1 scene are not exactly low level aficionados of the console as I do, and those who were have seemingly retired from the scene.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment I've made with PSn00bSDK before the year's end was implementing full CD-ROM support that does not use the limited BIOS CD-ROM routines, allowing for full control of the CD-ROM which no other open source SDK for the PS1 has ever had that I'm aware of, or at the very least not as well as how I've implemented it in PSn00bSDK. Some pretty crafty folks supposedly accomplished data streaming from CD in PSn00bSDK, which I don't see it as being impossible to do but the streaming had to be handled with the programmer's own streaming routines as I haven't developed a .STR equivalent for PSn00bSDK yet.
Anyway, we'll see how things turn out and what gets accomplished in 2020. I hope to get back to Scarlet Engine at some point, this time it'll be developed for PSn00bSDK as it has become my de-facto SDK for the PS1 and would perhaps help promote its capabilities not seen in other projects that have come and gone.
As for the hardware side of things, I've aquired a lot of great things in the last year. The CZ-5000, the HD CRT, Toshiba Libretto and a Sony VX1000 Digital HandyCam that is new in box and a bunch of smaller things. So surplus hauls were pretty great in 2019.