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PPcenter. Arts and craft for my Sega Saturn. Since 1847 !

End of Summer (2021/09/19)

Written by cafealpha no comments
Summer here means an occasion to go to the beach, but because of 'rona restrictions I virtually went to the beach by reading an old blog article.

And instead of beach I went to nearby temple, so that I prepared my bin of 5 yen coins and use it to wish for many things from world peace to success in ongoing Saturn projects.
After getting bored in tossing my coins I took pictures of cats. It was a quiet day with more cats than pilgrims

A cat

Another cat

A gang of cats


Do not feed cats ... but they seem to live well anyway.
(Are they using my 5 yen coins to buy cat food ?!)

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Parallel Past (2021/03/29)

Written by cafealpha 7 comments
After a long wait there is finally an update of Pseudo Saturn Kai !
... and, there's not a lot of new things from previous version : only the minimum stuff to work correctly with latest (20210207) firmware for Fenrir ODE .

But wait, there's more ! As the weird title of this article suggests, this release is a bit special because it was made directly from previous release (v6.408) of Pseudo Saturn Kai and this is why both release numbers are quite close : there are other changes pending but not available in v6.411a and instead available in a "parallel future".

So you may ask why everything new is not available in v6.411a, and the answer is simple : all pending changes together don't work ! Additionally to small changes and improvements, this was an attempt to get write access working on Fenrir SD card, but as the previous times it didn't worked and in fact was terrible enough to break other base features such as SD card refresh

So rather than trying to fix everything in the same time, I simply focused on what's most important : fixing compatibility with Fenrir firmware 20210207, and the strategy paid because if I continued in trying to fix everything together, Pseudo Saturn Kai would certainly be still stuck at the same "nothing works" dead spot !


The plans for near future is to return back to main codebase indicated as "v6.419" in the picture above, merge back the fixes around firmware 20210207 from v6.411a and then terminate the remaining pending changes ! Now that base features are finally working correctly I hope that the remaining won't take a lot of time until being ready to release.

After finishing base and extra features, I shall finally be ready to attack the "Fenrir save data export & import" final boss. In order to (finally) go on next development goal, I really would like to terminate that this time, so please wish me good luck

Last but not least, I would like to express warm thanks to privateye, who helped a lot in the preparations of this release !!!



TL/DR: a new version of Pseudo Saturn Kai is available, but as it only contains tweaks to work with Fenrir, please wait for next release in the case you're not using this ODE

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Rebirth

Written by cafealpha 14 comments
Today is some kind of special day for me : among many other things, this is the anniversary of Jean-Luc Le Ténia, the best French singer in the world ! Jean-Luc would had be 45 years old today but unfortunately is no longer here to celebrate today with us.

Today is also the 4th anniversary of Gamer's Cartridge initial public release. For more than three years, this project was the occasion to meet many people, to loose hair on many bug and -I hope- to have contributed in a better Saturn community

Jean-Luc Le Ténia is no longer here, Gamer's Cartridge production was frozen (not to say discontinued) last year because of enough free time lacking to assemble new cartridges. And Saturn gamers are now either using Action Replay (reliable expansion RAM but no backup memory) or "all-in-one" cartridge (backup memory but sometimes buggy expansion RAM) to play their favorite games.


To makes things a little brighter, the best I can do is to develop a new Pseudo Saturn Kai fitting more nowadays needs and situation :
  • Built-in support with latest ODEs
  • In-game save data access for Satiator ODE
  • Save data storage on cartridge flash ROM

As a consequence of my free time being limited from this year, I thought in stopping non-priority projects to focus on other (not necessarily Saturn) ones. But on the other side, if I don't improve Pseudo Saturn Kai, I'm not sure that somebody else would do it for me !

So if the Saturn community shows enough interest, I would like to contribute to a newer Pseudo Saturn Kai

And to measure if the community is interested or not, I'm making Pseudo Saturn Kai development crowdfunding-based.
Principle is simple : the more interest (support) from the community, the more free time I allocate on Pseudo Saturn Kai. And the less interest from community, the more free time I spend on other projects.


My new patreon page

I don't plan to make a living in developing Pseudo Saturn Kai, and for this reason all the development made so far was done on a altruist basis.
All the development made so far (cheat codes, Rhea/Phoebe support etc) was cool but honestly a lot of work. So with your help I would like to find enough energy to give it birth again

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Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.324 - 2019' Cherry Picked Best Selection

Written by cafealpha 10 comments
As usual I'm not very on time for sending my best wishes  but I hope that everyone spent a nice Christmas and are appreciating winter vacations
To add even more fun to theses vacations, I'm happy to announce that latest flavor of Pseudo Saturn Kai is -finally- publicly available !

To be frank, there are no new major feature for Pseudo Saturn Kai in this release : the most important news is not hidden in Pseudo Saturn Kai itself, but in Save Data Manager, with a new edition of Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager, featuring 11 new opus !

Regarding this new edition of Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager, I really want to thank each respective contributor for their passionate work in shmup creation :
 - mk2, designer of DAIOH Huricane Special
 - WANG, designer of Houkou Tiger
 - Krissewyse, designer of Sonic Shooter, Last Soldier and several other unique shmup games



HouKou Tiger in action on my dev Saturn
Also featuring screenshots gallery of DAIOH Hurricane

I also would like to give a special thanks to Dezaemon DB (wiki) for all his support around floppy disk emulation in Gamer's Cartridge and motivating me in developing a new blend of Save Game Manager for Dezaemon 2, which then turned into Save Game Manager 3 (released on last Winter) and Save Game Manager 4, freshly releasing right now.
Unfortunately I didn't received any news from Dezaemon DB for more than two years, but I continue to believe he will be back in action in Dezaemon community someday.


Regarding Pseudo Saturn Kai itself, majority of changes in this release concern fixes in automatic game loader and cheat codes list. So if previous version of Pseudo Saturn Kai installed on your cartridge are working fine with your favorite games library, then ... theses games will continue to play fine with latest version.
But if you are experiencing problems with a game, it is worth trying this latest version. If even after that, some problematic games still doesn't wants to boot, then please consider verifying how well Pseudo Saturn Kai can fix hardware problems of your cartridge

All theses improvements were directed by privateye, who really deserve warm thanks for this huge work !!
It's a big task to get a project working more or less correctly as it was in previous releases of Pseudo Saturn Kai. But it's an even bigger task when trying to fix all the little details around that project Without privateye, Pseudo Saturn Kai certainly wouldn't had its edges polished so well


And, Gamer's Cartridge users may appreciate that a problem sometimes happening when retrieving Saturn date and time has been fixed in this release.
This bug was introduced in previous (6.314) version because I didn't checked enough side effects of modification done at that time to add support for wireless pads.
Concretely speaking, this fixes the file time stamp of save data files as well as folder naming (which is based on Saturn date) when dumping save(s) to SD card.
Except that, Gamer's Cartridge support is equivalent to previous version, so if you don't want to brick your Gamer's Cartridge (risk is super low, but I can't assert it to be zero), then continuing using previous version may be a wise choice. After all, rather than upgrading to latest firmware, the most important is to play your favorite games

Related links :
 - Pseudo Saturn Kai download page


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