As indicated in the title, I wish you an happy new year for 2019 !
Did you decided about your promises for this new year ? Personally I didn't and just plan to continue having fun with my Saturn
And, I hope that the new freshly released Pseudo Saturn Kai bringed you even more fun with your beloved Saturn
If you want more rings for Sonic, or doing off-track tourism in Sega Rally without minding about remaining time until next check point, this is now possible thanks to cheat codes feature
In an unrelated note, it's funny to notice that people pre-flashing Action Replay cartridges had short winter holidays, because Action Replay with new logo on label were found around one week after Pseudo Saturn Kai release
Custom Pseudo Saturn Kai logo
The design is questionable : why such aspect ratio for the logo ?! I guess it's to see it when cartridge is plugged, but I personally think it's a bit too "stomped"
Anyway, that's still better than the original Action Replay logo !
Read more Happy new year 2019 !
The kids are currently on winter holidays, I don't want unexpected and messy task at work before entering new years holidays, so today was spent at movie theater with kids
We went to see Dragon Ball Super - Broly
, and it was cool !! I really appreciated the "フリーザー！「カコク」ってなんだ！？" from Goku just after Freezer used "過酷" word in a dramatic scene
So well, it seems it's the good moment to announce a new public section in my homepage, which is about Dragon Ball cards
More than 15 years ago (but it feels like last week ... I'm really getting old !), I spent many afternoons in scanning my collection of Dragon Ball cards, and then put everything on a CD-R ... because internet was paid for each minutes connected, and my maximum transfer speed at that time was around 7KB/s, hence not suitable for uploading hundreds of megabytes of data
All theses limitations are no longer a problem, so please enjoy my digital cards collection
Broly when I was a kid
Oh, I forgot to say that everything in more or less in its original state, including the html, so in advance I'm sorry for any reaction to Comic Sans MS font and flashy image background
Also, the textual contents are left as-is in omelette du fromage
there's currently a bug so I shall re-release it soon
After everything will be fixed and verified, I shall make a proper announcement in this article, so if you don't want to flash your cartridge twice, please keep tuned for one day or two !
: version v6.274 was released a couple of a days ago
, and so far I didn't received major claims about it, so let's consider this version a stable one ! Please find below an overview of the changes and additions in this release.
What's new in Pseudo Saturn Kai v6.274
Automatic Game Loader
So far in Pseudo Saturn Kai 6.074, user had to choose which game loader to choose before starting a game, but this is now done automatically on Pseudo Saturn Kai side.
There's no magic around this feature : it just uses a list of games not compatible with CWX loader, and decides accordingly
Pseudo Saturn Kai boot menu
No need to worry about which loader to choose ♪
That's a big addition for this release. Its development spans around June 2017 to Spring 2018.
The main features for cheat codes are :
- Built-in : don't need to manually enter the cheat codes
- User friendly : just push X button when booting a game, and then select the cheat(s) to enable.
- Maintained by cafe-alpha () : rather than adding an "enter cheat codes by yourself" feature, I plan to continue improving and maintaining the cheat codes list
Back in 2015, I added a stub of alternate rmenu to Pseudo Saturn Kai, but didn't had the technical information regarding Rhea/Phoebe API so the feature was disabled in its unfinished state.
And this summer, an enthusiast friend
helped a lot to get this technical information, so that I could finally finish this feature
Development of this feature was an occasion to bring usage of proportional font in image selection menu, thus showing more information on a single screen. Base of menu module was developed around 2010 without any consideration for proportional font, so development of this side feature was a nightmare, but I don't regret for having done it now it is finished
Image selection menu for Rhea/Phoebe ODEs
Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager 3
Dezaemon 2 is a shooting game maker application for Saturn. And Save Game Manager is a collection of user games for Dezaemon 2.
By the past, there were two volumes released by Madroms : SGM1 in 2007
and SGM2 in 2008
And 10 years after that, SGM3 is released and contains some new user games as well as all the games from SGM1 and SGM3 : one SGM to rule them all
Special thanks to Dezaemon DB
for gathering a community around Dezaemon 2, and dumping the user games
A stylish logo for Pseudo Saturn Kai
That's maybe a detail, but that was really missing from a long time !
Special thanks to Alien^PDX
for the logo, and CyberWarriorX for putting me in touch with him
Pseudo Saturn Kai logo, 2017/12/31
Yes, taken one year ago !
In-game connectivity for USB dev cartThis uses cheat codes routine, hence requires at least a valid master code to be set. It can do USB connectivity while doing transfer with PC, but that's a bit slow (because of unoptimized C running from cartridge ROM), and consequently may cause glitches on some games.
As a countermeasure, there is another mode who does only USB connectivity (hence no cheat codes) but does it fast since the code for it is written directly in assembly and running in RAM.
That may be cool for game hacking, or looking for new cheat codes ... but I still need to add a proper cheat codes finder feature on SatLink before looking for cheat codes on my favorite games
In-game USB connectivity in action.
Radiant Silvergun was one of the very first games
to work correctly with Pseudo Saturn Kai cheat codes
Virtual Memory Cartridge support via USB dev cartThis is similar to "Virtual Memory Cartridge" used in Gamer's Cartridge, but access save data files on PC via USB dev cart instead of SD card.
That's convenient for save data hacking, or testing several saves, but for normal use then using SD card is (in my opinion) a better choice.
As a consequence, full firmware can now be installed on USB dev cart. But cartridges not using SST39SF040 flash chips are not supported (because there's not enough room in flash ROM) and in that case only lite firmware can be installed.
Virtual Memory Cartridge via USB dev cart
It was convenient for taking screenshots
for Dezaemon 2 Save Game Manager 3
Fixed support for 3D padIn previous version, using 3D pad would sometimes cause an emergency exit to multiplayer screen when touching analog buttons. This is now fixed, and additionally supports input from analog buttons.
Pseudo Saturn Kai is not a 3D game, so the interest of using analog buttons is a bit questionable, but at least it is supported now
And the most voluminous change is ... :Fixed many bugs everywhere, added other bugs here and there
Everything should work now ! Trust me, I'm an engineer
Congratulations, you reached the end of this long article
Last but not least, I wish you a Merry Christmas, happy new year 2019 and happy gaming
Read more Pseudo Saturn, Kai, and Dragon Ball too
I was away from keyboard (and fortunately away from shopping malls too) during this Black Friday
, so I am a bit late to celebrate this marvelous commercial event.
But any date isn't late to celebrate something, so let's tweak a little the event name and officially open the ...
The event is open all year, so everyone including latecomers should get their 80% off on first download
Read more Pseudo Saturn Kai - Black Saturday !
... and all of a sudden, November arrived
It's not like being under a quota of articles to write every months would stop the financing of my Saturn projects and in fact, as described on my "donate
" page or this blog article
, I don't have any interest in crowdfunding, or some kind of third party financing : if I'm not in the mood, or don't have enough free time to update this blog, then I don't update it
But well, moreover not being paid for not writing blog articles, as I actually have to pay to keep this blog alive (web page hosting is cheap but not free, but at least it's my own homepage
), I like to feed this blog from time to time even when being busy with real life things
So don't worry, I didn't stopped this blog : currently, I have one ongoing article that is waiting for its last paragraph and proofreading etc, but as I started more than two weeks ago (yes, that's my usual pace when preparing blog articles), please be patient until I finish it
I do have some ideas for future articles too, but theses are just ideas currently recorded as single lines in my TODO list, so I don't know when I actually start writing them
Regarding Pseudo Saturn Kai project, I ... didn't had a lot of free time to continue it recently
In fact, I think I just turned on my Saturn once last month just to test if -as requested by someone by email- DoDonPachi worked with Pseudo Saturn Kai or not. The game worked fine here, so I turned off my dev Saturn an put it back in my closet for better times when I will be more available
BTW, I'm currently experiencing an unexpected burst of things to do at work, so it may take a while until things return back to normal
But as I can't live without doing my Saturn projects, I promise that things will return back to normal as soon as possible
... Well, the contents in this article are a bit poor, so let's fill remaining space with random facts about my life recently
The "okra" plant I wrote about in a previous blog article
is still going well and I continue to water it regularly.
Okra in all its glory, 2018/10/18
Since summer is now finished, I no longer have to water it everyday, so that I now just do this regularly enough to prevent it from finishing yellow and burned
And yes, the kid who took back that from school completely forgot about its existence
I'm not keen on gardening (as suggested on the picture above, I don't even own a garden), but have a couple of pictures of other green things in reserve ... and I keep theses to fill future small posts
Read more I wanted to publish an article this October ...
... One month ago, I wanted to announce that I wouldn't be available for several weeks, but I was suddenly taken in a storm of bringing/taking kids to/from schoolchildren care, washing bento boxes, going to work and the usual dish-wash/throw trash/laundry/whatever daily routines
Personally, I only had two rest days at the middle of August generously offered by employer as summer holidays ... two days !! That's one day, and ... one another day
Moreover both are consecutive
And that's ... so long I fear I would forget everything about work after such a long rest
Well, more seriously I took some day-off here and there during August too, and theses were a good occasion to refresh from everyday life
As a consequence, I completely neglected my email box during this period of time. Sorry to all concerned people !
I will try to tidy-up my mail box this week, but can't guarantee that everything will be done on planned time since day work went a bit crazy recently
So here comes some lines about my summer holidays ... hey, that's my homepage which I pay for hosting and where I installed and filled this blog, so I write whatever I want on it
So if you're not interested in me talking about my life, please skip until next horizontal separator
Summer 2018 activity #1 : going to the beach
As every summer, I celebrated the lapse of one year by going to the beach : four years ago, I spent nearly two months at hospital
without any occasion to go outside, so that I like to take a revenge every year
At that time, I had around 50-60% of chances to be still here today. It's good to be alive
Well, there were a bit more medusa than usual, so I didn't swam so much, but that's better than not being able to go to beach at all anyway
to boost my blog audience.
And I own TI-89 calculator rather than TI-83+
The kids wanted to make a sand castle, which
ended in some kind of free-style art Title: Japanese style toilet, by cafe-alpha kids, 2018
I like that they didn't spent half a day to do a instagram-compliant thing that would then be destroyed by the sea but had fun anyway
Summer 2018 activity #2 : watching typhoons
I don't know if that's limited to the region I live, but there were a lot of typhoons this year ! There wasn't any kind of major damage nearby, but not everybody in Japan could be that fortunate ...
Personally, it was the occasion to do some cleanup on the balcony : I trashed several things that accumulated over past year, and Mr Typhoon helped to clean up dust after that
I wish typhoon and other similar kind of natural disasters could evolve into intelligent entities to clean up earth from climate-skeptical trolls
Rare footage from the birth of a French citizen
(That's not super related with typhoons, but this is my blog,
and I write whatever I want on it )
Summer 2018 activity #3 : going to several kinds of museums
The kids like museums, especially to watch insects, machines or similar stuff. But museums close early, unfortunately.
Close at 4PM ?!
That's not a museum, but an hideout for civil workers
Always should read the little letters : "open until 4:30 PM ... but can't enter after 4PM"
The rear door was still open, so we could sneak inside anyway ... that's funny to hack museum rules
Went to aquarium too. That's a Hammerhead Shark.
And it's also a multi-purpose drawing :
tilt your screen and E.T. will appear Summer 2018 activity #4 : watering plants
Kid bring back okra
from school. One of summer vacations homework was to take care of that thing, but from the limited range I could see, only me was doing such boring duty
Mr Okra in all its glory.
I put it near the space for hanging
laundry so that I don't forget to water it
Summer 2018 activity #5 : watching Saturn for real !
Local astronomy group prepared an "Watch Jupiter, Saturn, and also a bunch of other stars I forgot their name" event ... so I was super interested in it
土星, during small explanations about how to locate things in the sky.
Saturn was so bright it's hard to miss it in the night sky
But Mars was even brighter this summer !
This was also an occasion to assemble a small telescope by oneself. That's a cheap "30 bucks" model, but with lens good enough to see Jupiter moons oO
Summer 2018 activity #6 : adventuring in Tokyo
In order to renew a identification paper, I had to go to embassy located Tokyo : this was basically one day spent in transports, except 15 minutes at the embassy itself to sign a couple of papers, have my fingerprints taken, and pay 12198 yens
That's a long time I didn't get lost in Tokyo
Everything was more or less smooth in changing from plane → train/subway → bus, but in the last steps walking to the embassy, the battery of my phone decided take a little rest for the remaining of the day
I was aware that battery wouldn't last long, so I printed nearly all directions, but last "use your own foots" steps weren't detailed a lot
Fortunately the "ask random people around" solution could guide me to the embassy
The return back to home without help from phone was more or less OK, and when back to home I finally could unlock
? Because my phone's power switch is broken
At a moment, I asked for an estimation to my phone carrier to get this fixed, and price was around 80 buck-ish, so I decided it would be better to live with this broken switch rather than paying that
Now, I'm used enough to my phone power in sequence that I no longer consider it as a problem, but instead as child lock feature
: if kid try to play game on it while it is running on battery, it turns off after around 5 minutes
My secret method to turn the phone on is to tweak the debounce circuit with a small wire. Electronics components there are super small (which is probably why the power switch broke ...), why requires the usage of tweezers or a small pliers hence can't be done outside since I don't always bring my electronics toolbox with me when I go on travel
My phone, and its broken power switch.
I feel like MacGyver when I turn on my phone
Summer 2018 activity #7 : going to hospital
This was "just
" a routine appointment for periodic screening, and everything was OK
This time was the occasion to celebrate the fourth year still alive after surgery
This is an archive picture : all the "no pokemon go in hopital"
warnings were removed. Instead there was a notice that
North side parking is not available, but I didn't took a
picture of it since I doubt the average reader of this
blog is concerned by such news
End of the personal and boring news
August was also a time do PCB design to celebrate the 10th birthday of my favorite PCB house
(More pragmatically, I rushed to finish PCB design until August 31st because they were offering discount coupons until that date to celebrate this event
Among PCBs ordered, there was minor change for Gamer's Cartridge
, and a small board to flash MAX3000A CPLDs used in Gamer's Cartridge.
Gamer's Cartridge PCB rev 3.3 (c)
There's nothing changed nor deleted : I just added footprints for alternate voltage regulator : I'm using this alternate regulator in another project, so I would like to unify electronic components used in order to reduce stock management/space/etc to store theses two components.
Additionally, this alternate voltage regulator is a bit easier to solder, so at the end I would like to stick with this one
CPLD flash board
That's a really simple board to interface between CPLD and programming hardware : so far I was flashing Gamer's Cartridge CPLD one by one after soldering each cartridges, but thanks to this board it may be possible to flash a batch of CPLDs in a row hence save some bits of time on my side
Read more End of 2018 Summer vacations