PPCenter :: devblog

PPcenter. Arts and craft for my Sega Saturn. Since 1847 :D

Happy New Year !

Written by cafealpha no comments
First post in 2016 Happy new year !!!

Last week was "new year's bargain" here in Japan.
So, no, I didn't spent my whole day in choosing clothes
Instead, I went to electronics store, and bough a 128GB SD card for only 5000 Yens (around 40 US dollars)

I use this SD card in order to watch movies on my Pandora during lunch time

data/images/20160110_pandora.tb.jpg
Pandora : Youtube, Firefox, Thunderbird, mplayer,
and real keyboard in my pocket


Read more Happy New Year !

Merry New Year !

Written by cafealpha 6 comments
I sometimes check this blog in order to verify if there are some interesting news, without success, and then I realized that I am the only author of this blog (), hence though I should write something here in order not to deceive my countless fans.

So, sorry for the lack of news recently, I was busy with Saturn things, but also in deciphering Christmas presents lists ... and now busy in tidying up lego blocks and trashing used wrapping paper

I hope you're spending nice Christmas vacations ! I'm a little late for wishing you a merry Christmas ( ), and a little early to wish you an Happy New Year ( ), hence the broken title


So what's new with my Saturn projects ? In fact, nothing worth writing an article, but here is a short (and probably incomplete) list anyway :

 1. SD Memory Cart : when overwriting save on Saturn side, keep the old save file on SD card (but remove it from saves list, of course).
Basically, it automatically keeps old saves somewhere on SD card, so that it is possible to revert to a previous state. I hope Saturn RPG fans will like

 2. USB dev cart mode : when USB cable is detected, allow to unlock CD-ROM and then prompt for data upload.
This feature allows to makes tests on Saturn main program using data from CD-ROM without the need of installing a modchip, and without the need of burning a CD-R on each program changes
Special thanks to Shazz for reminding me to add such a feature, antime for wiring FTDI's PWREN signal to Saturn (it was unused for 3 years, but it was useful in order to detect USB connection, and hence hiding USB dev mode for normal users not using USB), and of course CyberWarriorX and jhl for Pseudo Saturn

 3. PCB changes : basically removing few debug "in case of" stuff, and also moving SD card socket in order to fit better with cartridge shell.
It is still WIP, but plan to send the updated gerber to the PCB house on next month.

 4. Few changes to the sources of yabause I'm using for testing my projects.
Especially, I added position save/restore and keyboard shortcut to each debug dialogs ... long time I wanted to do this

 5. In Backup Data Manager, some additions to "Import" feature : backup data dump file read and parse was done a while (4-5 months ?) ago, I just added something to select where (Internal Memory or Cartridge or Floppy) to save selected saves, and plan to port save data extract algorithm next month or so
Thanks to hitomi2500's ss-save-parser project, such "Import" feature is easy to integrate in my Backup Data Manager project


Last but not least, I also want to thank Stac user on Assembler forums
He's doing good job in beta testing, and thanks to his reactivity and good communication, project is progressing faster than I was expecting.
Beta testing is far from being a funny job, especially with me as main programmer (), and when testing requires to play games (this requires time, and bugs on my Saturn project may lead to loose of progress in game), so once more, thank you 

Read more Merry New Year !

Blog's CMS updated ...

Written by cafealpha no comments
Updated ... for around two hours, then reverted to previous version
Making a backup of whole devblog directory before trying version update was useful this time

Details about why I reverted to previous version : I first wanted to try latest version in order to see if image upload is better than current one (sluggish HTTP POST upload ).
So I download Pluxml latest version, and verify differences with current one installed in this blog (there are some modifications for captcha and extra smileys), merged everything, uploaded and ... article editor plugin (pxleditor) displays corrupted text when trying to modify an article

It's not that I can't do anything without article editor plugin, but ... I don't want to write articles in raw HTML (), and trying other editor plugin was only an half-success, because I prefer pxleditor simple interface (the simpler the better ).

Well, I don't give up, but that's enough web-related things for today this week this month ().
I don't know if I hate html/php, or if html/php hate me, or both, but what's sure is that I prefer Saturn programming

Next time I will try to update my blog, I will first try with xampp on my dev laptop ^^


Edit (2015/11/12) : at least I made one change to my blog : I added this smiley :
This is the image from where I made the cow (not hippopotamus) logo that I put on all my personal projects
I found it in "pre 2007" archive folder in my laptop. Fortunately this old file wasn't lost

Edit (2015/11/16) : re-install from scratch, and local setting & testing with xampp did the job. However, "send email to cafe-alpha when comment is posted" feature seems to be broken, but I will investigate about this later

Edit (2015/11/18) : email send feature is fixed, everything is working correctly, and blog's CMS is updated to its latest version

Edit (2016/01/14) : fixed article formatter in order to display images in a separate browser tab.

Read more Blog's CMS updated ...

Some fun with yabause on my laptop

Written by cafealpha 2 comments
Today, I made fixes to :
 - yabause (debug version for personal use), because UBC doesn't works well on it.
 - SatLink, because mkdir function returns -1 when folder already exist
 - PseudoSaturn, various features additions, fixes, as usual
 - BackupManager, in order to display some debug informations.
 - Vmem module, various fixes, especially one that took me a couple of hours to understand

data/images/20150630_bug_fix.gif
Me when debugging my Saturn projects
(Video grabbed from 9gag.com)


But at least, virtual memory cart is ready for debugging now
data/images/20150630_vmem_test.tb.png
Debug session with yabause and SatLink
NiGHTs Xmas header data (bottom of screenshot) was copied
from internal memory to laptop HDD


So, everything don't work right now, but UBC related things and log message output are nearly OK, so that debugging this vmem project will be (maybe ?) comfortable from now :]

... I'm tired No more debugging for today ^^

Read more Some fun with yabause on my laptop

Old project release : JWPds

Written by cafealpha no comments
Last day, I was digging in my HDD, and found an unreleased project !

Project name was JWPds, and about Japanese words/kanjis translation tool running on Nintendo DS.
data/images/20150609_jwpds_radic.tb.jpg
Looking for the meaning of 絵 kanji on my DS :
bottom screen allows kanji input and
kanji meaning is displayed on top screen.


data/images/20150610_jpwce_radic.tb.png
Looking for the meaning of 絵 kanji on my PC with JWPce.
(JWPce is not my project, it is just for comparison with JWPds)

Project is unfinished, because developing things on DS took more time than expected, and also because I learned enough Japanese, hence didn't needed to develop/use this application any more

Stable binaries and latest (not stable) sources are available, so please have fun with them

For more informations, download links, screenshots, etc, please have a look in the project page .

If you have any message, etc to send to me, don't hesitate to post a comment to this article

PS for DS fans lost here, and wanting leave a comment : comments require a Turing test asking for my favorite game console, and it's not DS
Please have a look in my blog in order to solve this test (If you are an human, it won't be difficult ).

PPS to Saturn fans here : don't worry, I don't plan to shift to DS homebrew development !
The console I like to debug on is and will always be Saturn

Read more Old project release : JWPds

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