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WIP : Saturn Save Data Manager, Pseudo Saturn Kai & USB dev cart, etc

Written by cafealpha 6 comments
Pseudo Saturn Kai  firmware development is currently paused in order to focus development into Save Data Manager application

Saturn Save Data Manager is an application in order to manage (copy, delete, etc) save data on your Saturn.
Basically, it is similar to the save data manager provided by Saturn BIOS, but also offers extra things, such as multiple selection of items to copy/delete, GPL license, and also save data import from various formats.

data/images/20160125_bupmngr_main_screen.tb.png
Saturn Save Data Manager main screen running on emulator.
It also works on real hardware, but I was too lazy
 to take a picture of my TV screen


At first, this Save Data Manager was made only in order to test Virtual Memory Cart behavior, so maybe user interface looks a little cheap, but I plan to improve this in the future according to first users eventual feedback


I really want to thank two people whose work helped to make this application :
 - Rockin-B : for his good old SaveGameManager application (yes, I copied the name of the application).
 - hitomi2500 : for his ss-save-parser application that really helped to understand Saturn Save Data structure. Also, I merged its Save Import related sources to my project, so that copying save data from dump file is possible directly on Saturn too


And, there's one screen that I need to show from ss-save-parser application : the "extract options screen". This is image is worth a thousand words when trying to explain how save data is arranged in Saturn backup RAM

data/images/20160125_save_data_structure.png
THE screen everyone need to see before
hacking Saturn saves data
Save data is arranged as header
(containing save name, comment, etc),
then blocks allocation table,
then data itself, with header data at
the beginning of each blocks.




Extra #1 : last month, I took a video of USB dev cart in action !
Nothing really spectacular however, but please watch it if you want to see what developing application with USB dev cart looks like
data/images/20151217_usb_dev_cart_demo.jpg
My dev laptop, a plain, not modded Saturn and USB dev cart,
ready for testing Saturn application on real hardware


Summary of the video (more details available in youtube page of the video) :
 - USB dev cart firmware update
 - CD-ROM unlock by using Pseudo Saturn hack
 - Upload and execution of program from PC to Saturn via USB, allowing testing of application performing CD-ROM access.


Extra #2 : with this USB dev cart, I could dump Shining Force Scenario 1 saves from Gosub .
You can find theses saves here.
data/images/20160112_gosub_sf3sc1_t.jpg
Backup cartridge with gosub's saves on it.
Thanks to Darius for providing me the cartridge

Gosub pushed each Shining Force character to their maximum competence on real hardware without using any cheat.
Really impressing work oO


Extra #3 : last month, my car reached its life achievement : 777777 kilometers :]
data/images/20160120_lucky_seven.tb.jpg
Wow. Many lucky seven. So beauty
Next challenge : 777 777 kilometers !



6 comments

#1  - hitomi2500 said :

It's great to see your active development, cause my saturn projects are almost in hibernation today (i'm a bit in a time trouble). And i'm glad my code is of some use.
Good luck!

Reply
#2  - seal1 said :

stunned and confused

last night I went on a sega saturn nostalgia trip.

I had to catch up with 8+ years @ segaxtreme.
I found antime's usbcart, hitomi2500's fork, hitomi2500's new "wasca" and your stuff here.

sounds great ...
I need to dig up my saturn and finally start something.
I have a usb-cart from 2006 from pinchy (he seems inactive since 2007).

Reply
#3  - cafealpha said :

@seal1 : Hey, I remember seeing your nick in segaxtreme thread about yano/Freewing transfer device. It was a long time before I made my first USB dev cart ... nostalgia. Many members forgot about Saturn, but luckily vbt and antime are still active. You're always welcome on segaxtreme, even if it just to say "hi" ;)

Reply
#4  - cafealpha said :

@hitomi2500 : Hehe, I got some free time until end of March ... I don't know what it will be after that, but what's sure is that I will continue to have fun with my Saturn :) Please keep continuing the good work too :]

Reply
#5  - SkeleSat said :

Hello,

I have little problem with flash my AR cart.
It's version with "Golden Finger v2" on PCB - AR Pro version copy with has two AM29F010 chips and one different(16v8Q-15JC/4 9624EEB M).
Just these three.
CafeAlpha identify AMD and also chip in green color.
I try flash first to Pseudo Saturn 0.832 with ATLAS, write succesfull but it freeze on SEGA logo.
I find one person with same problem(his cartridge was datel but also identify as AMD and Pro version AR).
He solve problem woth flash by CafeAplha(no matter with FW I select) but when I try it flash proces freeze after line Errasing.
It's same with original Pseudo Saturn flasher.

Just ATLAS finish write but it always same result - freeze on SEGA logo, even I try put back AR FW - more versions(original was 194 but not work even if I flash to these version).

Can you please help me somehow ?

Reply
#6  - cafealpha said :

@SkeleSat : I just answered your email :) Please let me know if this helped to unbrick your cartridge or not.

Reply

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