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Topics - nitro322

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1
General Discussion / Firmware history and/or official site?
« on: 04/Sep/2018 02:08:57 AM »
Hello, all.  Been away for a while and just checked in to find a wealth of new activity and features in the latest firmware thanks to skaman and others.  Great news!

I'm trying to catch up on what I've missed, but I'm having some trouble finding all the information I'm looking for because of how the updates are being released now.  Hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

1. I see skaman has been posting new firmware details as separate threads in this forum with download links to mediafire, but the official firmware page still shows 0.19 beta as the latest release.  Is there any new central location to track these newer updates, or are they all being handled just through the forum posts?  If it's the latter, that's obviously fine, just want to make sure I'm not missing something.  I tend to find things easier to track when there's one comprehensive changelog you can check or download source.

2. Following from the above, I see skaman's four sticky posts covering firmwares 0.22 - 0.25a, but I can't find any details about firmware releases between 0.19 beta on the official site and skaman's 0.22.  I've seen references to 0.20 but can't find the changelog, and I can't find anything at all about 0.21.  Can anyone either point me to some reference for this or provide some details about what was included or changed in those releases?

Thanks!  And to be clear, I'm very appreciate of the updates, so please don't take any of the above as criticism.  Just excited to jump back into this with some recent pickups and want to make sure I have a good grasp on what's new.

2
General Discussion / How do I join the party?
« on: 15/Jun/2012 08:20:00 PM »
http://www.retrode.org/2012/06/retrode-turns-3/

Says I need a password.  I don't want to be left out.  :-)

3
General Discussion / Atari 2600 adapter
« on: 01/Apr/2012 03:34:47 AM »
Is it still possible to buy this anywhere?  If not, is anyone interested in selling theirs?

4
General Discussion / ROM timestamps
« on: 26/Mar/2012 06:52:00 AM »
What's the significance of 1990-11-20 23:00?  All files presented through my Retrode 2 have this timestamp.  At first I thought this was the time when the ROM was compiled or something, but all ROMs have this same timestamp.  So, where does it come from?

Related, would it be possible to get the original timestamp of the ROM and/or SRAM through the Retrode?  That'd be a nice touch.

5
General Discussion / NES cart dumping/plug-in
« on: 26/Mar/2012 04:34:59 AM »
I know this question comes up a lot, but rather than talk about how awesome it would be to have a plugin for this (though I won't lie - it would be quite awesome), I'd like to have a discussion about why it's so difficult to create one.  Specifically: what are the challenges involved in dumping NES carts, and are there any practical solutions for overcoming or working around them?

As I understand it, based on rather limited research, here are the fundamental challenges of dumping NES carts:
  • Each cart has (at least?) two types of ROM chips: PRG+CHR
  • Each cart may use one of many different, incompatible types of memory mappers
  • There is no programmatic way from the ROM(s) themselves to determine which memory mappers, etc. are included or should be used (ie., no built-in header)

Is that at least somewhat accurate?  I'm sure I'm missing and/or oversimplifying some details, so please correct me where appropriate.

As for possible solutions... I know that there are a lot of people working on documenting NES ROMs.  One of the most thorough and complete databases that I've found is the quite aptly named NES Cart Database.  The even publish an XML document to make the data available for programmatic use (this will be referred to as 'database' below).

So, is there any reason Retrode, or an appropriate NES Retrode plugin, couldn't leverage this data to workaround the limitations of the NES carts themselves?  For example, I'm thinking of something like this:
  • A copy of the database is either baked into the firmware or exposed separately on the device (similar to RETRODE.CFG) for easier updates
  • When reading a NES cart, a checksum is performed of the PRG and CHR ROMs
  • The checksums are compared against the database to determine which game is being read
  • Using the information obtained from the database, the ROM can be dumped in one of two different ways:
    • Separate ROMs for the PRG and CHR, plus an extra XML file (or whatever) to define the data
    • A combined data file w/ an appropriate header to define the data (such as iNES or UNIF format)

I think 4a would be better/cleaner, but 4b would be acceptable as well.  In either case, the result would be a successful dump of the NES cart through a Retrode, as joy and happiness abound.

Again, I'm sure I'm missing some details or (grossly) oversimplifying the technical challenges, but conceptually, is something like this feasible?  If not, why not, and are there any other feasible (if not easy) solutions available?  I'd like to better understand the problems/challenges involved.

6
General Discussion / Submitting "bug" reports?
« on: 26/Mar/2012 03:54:09 AM »
While dumping all of my SNES ROMs, I came across a bunch that were either overdumped and needed to be trimmed, as well as a few that could not be automatically detected and had to have forceSize set to the appropriate Mb size.

For the sake of improving the Retrode (2), I'm thinking of redumping all of my games and this time taking notes about the ones I had trouble with.  Would this be helpful?  Ie., could this info be used to improve automatic detection and dumping?

If so, what information would you like for each problem game, aside from, say, the game name, checksum, problem description, and necessary setting(s)?  Also, where should I post such information?

7
I just received my Retrode 2, and of course I've been dumping my SNES games like a madman.  So far, I've had great luck, with dumps falling into two categories:

1. ROMs that match previously dumped versions (using the no-intro set as a baseline for comparison)

2. ROMs that are overdumped, but can be fised using NSRT's -trim option (which then match the no-intro set)

However, my dump of Street Fighter II Turbo is neither.  Initially I thought it was just a bad dump, but I've redumped it several times and get the same result every time, and the more I examine it the more I'm thinking this is a new revision that's not included in either the no-intro or goodnes set.  Of course, I realize how exceedingly unlikely that is, so I really don't know what I should do.  I certainly wasn't expecting to run into this problem.  :-)

So here are the details, as compared to the 1.0 NTSC revision identified as "Street Fighter II Turbo (USA)" in no-intro:

File sizes are identical (after nsrt -trim):
Code: [Select]
<SNIP> 2,621,440 1996-12-24 23:32 Street Fighter II Turbo - Hyper Fighting (USA).sfc
<SNIP> 2,621,440 2012-03-16 01:25 StreetFighter2Turbo.sfc

NSRT ROM info matches, along with a clear "Revision: 1.1", although there's no database match:
Code: [Select]
---------------------Internal ROM Info----------------------
       File: Street Fighter II Turbo - Hyper Fighting (USA).sfc
       Name: Street Fighter2 Turbo    Company: Capcom
     Header: None                        Bank: HiROM
Interleaved: None                        SRAM: 0 Kb
       Type: Normal                       ROM: 20 Mb
    Country: USA                        Video: NTSC
  ROM Speed: 120ns (FastROM)         Revision: 1.0
   Checksum: Good 0x119A            Game Code:
---------------------------Hashes---------------------------
      CRC32: A45CADD6
        MD5: AC63BD5085B0F8F35E2CFF59E9C34456
--------------------------Database--------------------------
       Name: Street Fighter II Turbo
    Country: USA                     Revision: 1.0
     Port 1: Gamepad                   Port 2: Gamepad
    Genre 1: Fighting                 Genre 2: Hand To Hand

---------------------Internal ROM Info----------------------
       File: StreetFighter2Turbo.sfc
       Name: Street Fighter2 Turbo    Company: Capcom
     Header: None                        Bank: HiROM
Interleaved: None                        SRAM: 0 Kb
       Type: Normal                       ROM: 20 Mb
    Country: USA                        Video: NTSC
  ROM Speed: 120ns (FastROM)         Revision: 1.1
   Checksum: Good 0xAAAF            Game Code:
---------------------------Hashes---------------------------
      CRC32: D43BC5A3
        MD5: 014863E139F5A9E9FC8ECF59A133223B
--------------------------Database--------------------------
    ROM wasn't found in the database (possible bad dump).
    You can try using -fix or -findover to see if the
    file has been slightly altered in a rectifiable way.

And, as a final check, the game loads and plays perfectly fine in bsnes.

So, what do you think?  Could this really be a new revision?  Is there anything else I can/should do to verify?  I'm (very) new to the whole dumping thing, so I'd appreciate any guidance.

Thanks.

8
Support / Removing cartridges / sticky buttons
« on: 17/Mar/2012 04:20:19 AM »
Hi.  I just received a shiny new Retrode 2 a couple days ago, and while I'm certainly quite happy with it, I have a couple issues I wanted to ask about:

1. Is there a 'proper' way to remove a SNES cart?  or do I just yank it out?  I guess this may sound like a somewhat silly question, but it is hard to remove SNES carts from my unit (I haven't tried Genesis).  It feels like I'm ripping the cart out of a powered-on SNES; ie., with the locking mechanism engaged.  As far as I can tell the Retrode has no such thing, but seriously - I need yank quite hard to get the cart out, and every time I do it I feel like I'm going to break the thing.  Is that normal?

2. The two buttons on this unit are rather sticky, by which I mean when I press one down half the time it sticks in place and I have to try to pry it back up with my fingernail.  It also happens all of the time when pressing both buttons at the same time, making the firmware update process rather difficult.  Again, is that normal, or am I doing something wrong?

Would appreciate any feedback.  THanks.

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