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

Yeah !!! It work ! (when it doesn't bug)

Written by cafealpha no comments
This afternoon was a very intense debugging session
Nah, I joke, I just played Sonic R and Virtua Fighter Kids with my debug cartridge plugged on my Saturn

data/images/20150908_memcart_vfkids.png.tb.jpg
I unlocked Sarah's movie

Unfortunately, I lost against Dural during last (bonus) stage, but at least I was stronger than Saturn BIOS Backup Library

data/images/20150908_memcart_dbg.tb.png
Debug session using my good old SatLink tool.
Virtua Fighter Kids save file is read from/saved to SD card.
And as a bonus, backup related functions send debug messages
 to my dev laptop while the game is running

There's still a lot to do before getting something good, but today's debug session showed that current hardware (cartridge's PCB, CPLD firmware) and software (SH2 firmware) are working (more or less) fine

Read more Yeah !!! It work ! (when it doesn't bug)

Could finally write a file to my SD card :]

Written by cafealpha 3 comments
I could finally write a file to my SD card ... from my Saturn
Well, I just tested by dumping my Saturn's BIOS, and didn't tried further, because I don't want to find and fix other bugs today

data/images/20150716_bios_dump_ok.tb.png
Top : my Saturn BIOS, dumped from my Freewing device 5 years ago
Bottom : BIOS file in my SD card dumped today
Hex Editor says that both files are identical

This fixes a nearly 3 years old bug
At that time, I connected a SD card to my second pad port on my Saturn and could read files successfully. However, file write sometimes failed ... I thought about many possible causes of failures (not enough 3.3V power supply ? Bad luck ? etc etc), but it was a software bug : writing sectors to SD card actually takes longer than reading sectors, and I didn't waited enough for my SD card to finish write.
Changing poll timeout count from 500 clocks to 50000 clocks seems to fix the problem. (Q&D fix, but if it works fine, I won't change it )

So now, as SD card read/write access works on both yabause and real hardware, it is time to to use it in order to develop new features for my Saturn

data/images/20150716_memcart_rev2f.tb.jpg
My SD card cartridge for Saturn (Q&D prototype revision )

Edit : wow, current cartridge firmware build ID (incremented on each make/build) is 4200

Read more Could finally write a file to my SD card :]

Dragon Ball Kai - The war with Majin Buu is over

Written by cafealpha no comments
So 3 weeks ago, Buu was defeated by Goku, and last week Goku and Uub left Budokai in order to start training ...

Dragon Ball Kai is finally over ... I especially appreciate during Buu's death when it is said something like "he disappeared, and didn't left any cell behind", because I felt my cancer was completely cured (until the last malignant cell) at that time

Dragon Ball Super will start from this Sunday ! Toriyama-sensei, please bring us new adventures and dreams !!!

BTW, I saw Dragon Ball Battle of Gods on DVD, and it was cool
My comments :
 - I felt that Toriyama was behind this, because it was about eating foods from the beginning to the end
 - Not born yet Pan is already considered as a Sayajin ... it is strange that it didn't led to debate about pro/con abortion in Europe/USA


Last (technical) comment : I prepared an HDD in order to record Dragon Ball Super on it, and discovered that it isn't possible to copy recorded videos from one HDD to another ?!?
So, NO thanks to :
 - Sharp, for making such ugly user interface ... you didn't thought it would be cool to allow multiple selection when deleting recorded movies ?
 - Sony, and other companies from "Entertainment Industry", for restricting copy on recorded media from TV.

Ah, everything was simpler during video cassette tape era ...

Read more Dragon Ball Kai - The war with Majin Buu is over

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

Iso/Cue "loader" works on real hardware :]

Written by cafealpha no comments
(For more informations, you can also read this old article.)

I finally had time to use my Saturn, and I could verify that iso/cue "loader" works on real hardware !
Of course it works well when reading from RomFs, and it works also well when reading file from SD card

data/images/20150626_iso_loader.tb.jpg
My test environment ... sorry for the mess
(Micro SD card is located on top-left of the cartridge)

I lost some time to understand why data transfer from SD card was slower than expected, but finally understand why : some debug/whatever delay routine was called when accessing cartridge registers ...
Just putting some #if 0 around this delay code solved the "problem" ^^;

Read more Iso/Cue "loader" works on real hardware :]

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