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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#120292 01/03/2022 12:13 AM
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
When the MCD-212 'VDSC' is in two-region mode - which allows more explicit control over windowing/mixing effects - it shouldn't process the region control registers if the first region control register for each plane (indices 0 and 4, respectively) have an operation code of 0.

By continuing to process further region control registers, it can lead to the weights for a given plane being changed partway through the line, when the plane weights should be held where they were at the start of the line. This could inadvertently cause a fully-visible scanline to abruptly become invisible, but in the case of The Apprentice, it led to the planes being turned back on, which was causing 16 lines of flickering garbage at the bottom of the screen.

With that out of the way, The Apprentice looks much better.

I'm still in the process of blowing the dust out of the MCD-212 device at the moment, so I haven't submitted a pull request yet, but it will be interesting to see if this has a positive effect on any other games.

Edit: Also, I'm aware the game should have audio prior to going in-game. I intend to look into it once I've finished cleaning up the MCD-212/VDSC.

Incidentally, the VDSC is used in nearly all late-model CD-i players. However, earlier models based on the "Mini-MMC" board (which include the 605, and 910 players) used 2x VSC/VDC. The latter chips are what Magic Card are based off of. The former (VDSC) more or less rolls the functionality of the latter (VSC/VDC) chips into one package, hence the name.

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Liked Replies
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
Seems like I've given these forums short shrift, but have a look at what I've been investigating over the past couple weeks while gradually chipping away at the stuff necessary to put together a belated 25th-Anniversary video:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

For those who aren't familiar with the overall backstory, a bunch of really crazy, and really brilliant, people decided to go and come up with a way of preserving Laserdiscs in exactly the way that I envisioned happening like 15 years ago: Tap the laser pickup, capture a raw stream of the data, and then post-process it in software.

As a result, via the "Domesday Duplicator" hardware platform, there's now the ld-decode project: https://github.com/happycube/ld-decode

The initial point that I was blocked on was worrying about the fact that the chroma decoder would only handle active video lines, and the existing LD captures in MAME require raising the upper "bar" of decoded lines to include VBI data. Except about a week ago, after 5 minutes of investigation, it turned out that doing so is as easy as adjusting a few variables that define the active starting lines for both fields and frames.

Currently, the main blockers are that there are some audio decoding issues. Time Traveler in particular is hit pretty hard, as there's mysterious distortion that can't be ascribed to waveform clipping, and also doesn't seem to involve CX companding. So for now, things are at a standstill until the resident audio genius on the ld-decode project can nail down what's going on. After that, though, it's pretty turnkey to bring these captures into MAME.

ld-decode is a project that stands to have as much of an impact for A/V as the people working on magnetic-flux captures have had for disk media, yet it's always seemed to have a very small but hard core of developers. I'm hoping that by promoting it a bit more, there might be a few more folks who come on board to lend their skills.

But suffice it to say that what already exists is killer: There's even support for "disc stacking": It's known that at this point, it's pretty common for Laserdiscs to suffer from disc rot. But if you can stack multiple captures from multiple discs of the same production run, the toolchain supports a best-case voting process in order to completely eliminate dropouts that only occur in a minority of discs, since the dropout locations are fairly random.

This doesn't just benefit MAME, it benefits the Daphne and Singe projects as well. This rising tide raises all boats, and I couldn't be more excited about it. smile
10 members like this
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
TOC (Table of Contents) handling, CD-i Ready handling, and other things have been dramatically improved in a pull request that I just submitted.

Among other things, The Apprentice now plays CDDA as expected during all portions of the game. I haven't tested Dimo's Quest - it will need re-converting from the current redump.org image - but it should be equally improved once an improved CHD comes online.

[video:youtube]
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Additionally, I've put a considerable amount of effort into optimizing the video chip emulation, since that seems to be the perpetual hot spot. I was hoping to post a side-by-side video showing off how much faster the CD-i driver is after the latest round of optimizations, but I can't, because the inputs desync due to some of the other MCD-212 related changes. So, the general figure is that it should be about 1.5-3x faster than it was before.

For some perspective, a 120-second run of the intro of The Apprentice would run at around 600% unthrottled on my machine with 0.239, and it now hits around 1125% unthrottled on my machine with my current pull request.
7 members like this
by Pernod
Pernod
Added a couple of useful modern'ish devices for the MTX machines.

Firstly, the MAGROM, a 512K cartridge system containing many games for quick loading. Various ROM images for the device have been softlisted.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Secondly, the CFX System, a Compact Flash storage device.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Also softlisted bootable CF images for:
CP/M
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
Fuzix
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
and we can finally run Hex-Train (contains over 200MB of pre-rendered graphics)
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
7 members like this
by Vas Crabb
Vas Crabb
I got a Mac II, and a SuperMac Spectrum/8 Series III video card, but I could only afford the 16" 832×624 monitor:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

Creative use of 1-bit video with 24-bit palette entries:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

Nice, but it’s looking crowded already:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

If only we could do something useful with all that expensive VRAM…
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

Hey, where did my hard disk icon go?
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

Oh, it’s over here:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]
It’s gonna be a long trip to the trash can!

Lots more real estate, even if you can’t see it all at once:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

Maybe we want to take a closer look at Susan Kare’s artwork:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]
That’s hardware zoom – no copying from an off-screen buffer.

Off-centre alerts are disconcerting:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]
7 members like this
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
Turns out that some debug code from when I was first getting the span draw-er up and running, which was only accepting spans that didn't exceed the presumed clipping range of the framebuffer viewport, was biting me in the ass. This looks a lot more like Polygonet Commanders.

Still some DSP bugs lurking - those bent triangles on the front of the first-person tank are pretty suspicious - but if I can get Thursday off in addition to Friday this week, I'd say we have a damn good chance of getting this sucker finalized for 0.245.

[video:youtube]
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5 members like this
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
This is pretty neat. Side-by-side comparison of the initial tank-in-a-crate scene between MAME and footage of real hardware captured by Uncle Phil. The very slightly visible inset in the top part of the door, and the way the point on the bottom part of the door aligns with the credits readout are great reference points. smile

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
5 members like this
by Duke
Duke
The Falco 5220e is a newer terminal from Falco. It's part of the Falco 500 series of terminals, released after their TS and FAME series. I previously looked at the driver, but this time I got alot further, figuring out many of the ASIC functions powering it. Here's the setup screen:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

RS232 fully works, so we can connect our Linux system:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It supports a few different video modes, so here's it's maximum resolution of 132x50 lines (showing htop):

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It also has multiple window as well multiple host support. Thanks to MAME we can support this too:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Here is mc on Linux at the top connected to Port A and the pfsense firewall on FreeBSD connected to Port B at the bottom at the same time. You can switch between the two using the keyboard.

The terminal supports a mouse too, and this works as well (by connecting a serial mouse to one of its ports).

And as bonus, showcasing smooth scrolling support: https://redump.net/files/scroll.mp4
4 members like this
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
.

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4 members like this
by kmg
kmg
More NES and friends audio fun. cam900 added an implementation of the non-linear APU mixer which means the sound balance between the 5 audio channels should be different and have all the weird quirks of real hardware—triangle, noise, and DPCM can affect one another as can the two square channels. Unfortunately this change highlighted just how off our triangle channel is. It's a clicky bastard. I've added a small fix which improves most cases (knock on wood). Hopefully, the remaining popping can be debugged. For your listening pleasure here are three versions of just the triangle channel from the title (only briefly) and start screens of Mega Man 2 (US version).

First is how MAME sounded before: https://imgur.com/0PcPDFu.mp4
Second is post cam900's mixer addition: https://imgur.com/AHmXUGR.mp4
Last is post-pop: https://imgur.com/tvzp4Vw.mp4
3 members like this
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
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3 members like this
by Pernod
Pernod
I've been sent a ROM from the Psion MC400, and with just CPU, ROM, and RAM we have:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
It's waiting for keyboard/touchpad input, but unfortunately it uses a couple of custom ASICs that are not documented anywhere so may struggle to get any further.
3 members like this
by Vas Crabb
Vas Crabb
SuperMac Spectrum PDQ blitter is working now, too.

Before:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

After
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

That “before” screenshot is a little unfair – it was actually usable with glitches at 1152 horizontal resolution:
[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]
3 members like this
by kmg
kmg
The upcoming 0.240 has a fix for nespal DPCM sample playback. Sounds were being played lower than their intended frequency due to a missing table for PAL (really the APU is missing all PAL-specific details). Here's a particularly glaring example in the bass line of a Sunsoft game that I've uploaded to illustrate the fix. I guess nobody ever tests the PAL versions of games?

2 members like this
by kmg
kmg
Fixed a PPU bug. Grayscale mode wasn't being universally applied to palette values. I'm not sure if I would have ever noticed this but I was playing around and hard-coded the grayscale flag for fun. Only thing is if you do that you immediately notice all sorts of background colors are still in color:
[Linked Image from imgur.com]
Anyway, here's an example of something that is actually fixed by this from SMB3. After you defeat a castle boss and return to the map the game code uses 4 frames of grayscale mode on and off to flash the screen. Here are before and after stills of one of the "flash" frames:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com]
And (mock) flashing gifs:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com] [Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
2 members like this
by kmg
kmg
Really! Nobody plays the PAL version of NES games?! This one isn't as cool as the brutally-off bass of Sunsoft, but the APU's noise channel was also missing a table to compensate for the PAL NES's lower CPU clock. Here's an old favorite from Quick Man's stage:

Why won't he blink? Blink already Mega Man!
2 members like this
by Robbbert
Robbbert
Exelvision EXL-100 gets a keyboard at last

[Linked Image from messui.1emulation.com]

This game is called GUPPY. Something like pacman with each level having a different maze, and there's only one enemy.
The keyboard is diabolical though, and I believe the original machine was like that.
2 members like this
by R. Belmont
R. Belmont
Getting a bit further.

[Linked Image from rbelmont.mameworld.info]

ETA:
[Linked Image from rbelmont.mameworld.info]
2 members like this
by crazyc
crazyc
Compugraphics Powerview MCS 10 post screen It's not rotated, it's actually 3:4.
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
It does some weird 6845 abuse where it sets the horizontal display reg to 12 which means each "character" is 62 pixels wide. Now to figure out the nasty z80sio test.
2 members like this
by Revenant
Revenant
Further adventures in 90s Casio MIDI gear:

CTK-601 keyboard demos (without DSP):
https://revenant1.net/casio/ctk601_demo0.ogg
https://revenant1.net/casio/ctk601_demo1.ogg

GZ-70SP demo:
https://revenant1.net/casio/gz70sp_demo.ogg

I got the latter working thanks to Casio's old SW-10 softsynth for Windows - the sound bank it uses is apparently just the entire ROM from the GT913-based MIDI modules (GZ-30M and GZ-70SP) and the WG-130 daughterboard. I've also been able to use the softsynth as a reference for improved mixing and envelope behavior.
2 members like this
by Duke
Duke
Tab Products E-22: Line drawing characters now work properly:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Unfortunately it still needs a hack to activate the RS-232 port. I haven't yet been able to find the issue because the code is very convoluted and uses jump tables all over the place. I did find the function that toggles the necessary bit and the jump table entry for it, but not where it's actually called.

On another note, this system is still completely invisible to the Internet - I only found reference to some earlier terminals from Tab, but not this one. Obviously it doesn't help that we don't even know if the system name is correct.

EDIT: Found some references on Google Books now, so the system name should be correct.
1 member likes this
by Duke
Duke
Another day, another terminal. Here's the Falco TS-28 "Endura":

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

It's working quite well, there are just some slight scrolling issues sometimes (might be a host issue) and the bell sounds a bit weird.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Other than that, it's perfectly usable as a Linux client.

A picture of the real unit is here: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/falco/Falco_TS-28/1.jpg
1 member likes this
by Duke
Duke
I've added support for the "Falco Business Graphics" aka Tektronix 4014 support (images slightly aspect corrected):

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
dodekagon.plt

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
08_isco36.plt

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]
mona.plt

Images show are from example files from this emulator: https://github.com/rricharz/Tek4010

All the PLT files will work in MAME.

To test this yourself, the following steps are needed:

- Start MAME with the "null_modem" device attached to "porta"
- Enter terminal SetUp, then Window settings
- Create a new temporary window (settings don't matter)
- Delete Window 1
- Create a new Window 1 with type FBG. The followings settings worked for me: 1 / 24 / 2 / 24 / 1
- Leave SetUp
- You can now load PLT files with the MAME file manager. To clear the screen use the "Next Screen" key (default mapped to Page Up). If the status shows "HS" press Scroll Lock to continue.

It's fun to watch it draw. Even animations will work - I might create a video later to show this.
1 member likes this
by kmg
kmg
...and more fixed or added Chinese games:

[Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com]
software name: jxqy, qitiands, qiwang, tmlxj, tstd3, wumingcs, zgdaheng, zhentian
1 member likes this
by Alegend45
Alegend45
In Xavix2 news, sprite scaling was partially reverse-engineered for the purposes of ltv_naru's title screen. Monkey brain pattern recognition is gud :P

[Linked Image from user-images.githubusercontent.com]

AFAICT, the last thing needed to perfect this title screen rendering is better CRTC emulation, and also pointer input.
1 member likes this
by kmg
kmg
Here's a sampling of recent NES additions. From the homebrew and oddities department:

[Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com]
software name: abbaye, assimil, tysonipp

And from the fixed and or added Chinese department:

[Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com] [Linked Image from imgur.com]
software name: chengji, chongwbb, datangf6, dishit, firembc, firembgcc
1 member likes this
by R. Belmont
R. Belmont
Darksoft and Team Europe dumped a Sega medal machine called "Tinker Bell". It uses the System 24 video chain minus the sprite chip, and it's started to say it's unhappy.

[Linked Image from rbelmont.mameworld.info]
1 member likes this
by Just Desserts
Just Desserts
Soon.

[video:youtube]
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1 member likes this
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