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As my favourite steering wheel I vote for #1 (Pole Position style).

And please fix the Atari version of Pole Position. It was the one I remember from childhood (big cockpit machine in a Horten shopping center), which had different billboard graphics. The MAME version gets stuck in its bootscreen rug pattern forever, which may have to do with protection emulation and incomplete roms.

I remember the old DOS versions of MAME could play Atari Pole Position well, so it can't be difficult to make it work using roms of other versions.


MAY THE SOFTWARE BE WITH YOU!

{weltenschule.de}
Curt #118323 01/07/21 08:24 AM
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Hi,
this is a bit off-topic to the rest of the thread, but which version of MAME and Pole Positions are you using? I tried both poleposa1 and poleposa2 in MAME 0.227 and both seem to work fine.

Curt #118325 01/07/21 08:57 AM
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Sorry for OT. I downloaded all Pole Position versions from several website. I remember a popup that the romset would be incomplete. But at least within the last 2 years Atari Pole Position only gets to the blue screentest grid, then brief text flash and reboots in an endless loop. I had tried to delete highscore files, DIP settings and everything without success. (I haven't dared to start 0.227 due to the hopefully false virus alert of ZoneAlarm.)

My laptop is a Thinkpad X61t (Intel Core2Duo 1600MHz, 4GB RAM,) running Win10Pro 1703. (Yes, this Windows version is old, but the machine depends on a dozen of special drivers and registry tweaks (strange touchscreen etc.) those get killed by every forced feature upgrades and take days to manually reinstall, thus I have deactivated that.)


MAY THE SOFTWARE BE WITH YOU!

{weltenschule.de}
Curt #118327 01/07/21 09:34 AM
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Have you deleted nvram, too? How do you updated MAME? Do you unpack the whole package or only unzip the executable (the latter would be wrong and could cause various problems)?
If everything else fails, could you try downloading 0.227 and unpacking it in a new directory and try if it works?

Osso #118335 01/08/21 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Osso
Have you deleted nvram, too?
I have now installed MAME 0.227 and deleted nvram of both Atari Pole Position. The result was that I could indeed start them once. But after quit and restart it does the same like before, i.e. it shows a blue screen full of "0" followed by letter mess, then quickly flashes "RAM 0" and it resets endless in a loop back to the letter mess.

Apparently MAME writes here a corrupted nvram file that it can not read back. The other Pole Positions (World, Japan etc.) and Pole Position II work ok.As a temporary fix I copied the "nvram" file from "Pole Position (World)" (polepos) to "poleposa1" and "poleposa2", which works now correctly. I suspect that the incomplete rom dump somehow makes them fail to initialize their nvram fully with correct values, but accept the data (shows highscores etc.) written by "polepos" (Namco version).


MAY THE SOFTWARE BE WITH YOU!

{weltenschule.de}
Curt #118339 01/08/21 06:38 AM
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They work fine here, even after multiple launches. Possibly something wrong with your setup?

Osso #118347 01/08/21 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by =CO=Windler
Originally Posted by Osso
Have you deleted nvram, too?
I have now installed MAME 0.227 and deleted nvram of both Atari Pole Position. The result was that I could indeed start them once. But after quit and restart it does the same like before, i.e. it shows a blue screen full of "0" followed by letter mess, then quickly flashes "RAM 0" and it resets endless in a loop back to the letter mess.

Apparently MAME writes here a corrupted nvram file that it can not read back. The other Pole Positions (World, Japan etc.) and Pole Position II work ok.As a temporary fix I copied the "nvram" file from "Pole Position (World)" (polepos) to "poleposa1" and "poleposa2", which works now correctly. I suspect that the incomplete rom dump somehow makes them fail to initialize their nvram fully with correct values, but accept the data (shows highscores etc.) written by "polepos" (Namco version).

Originally Posted by Osso
They work fine here, even after multiple launches. Possibly something wrong with your setup?

Yes - they work fine here. I tried the Atari Pole Position sets (poleposa1, poleposa2) and I don't see any issues you are reporting with normal use.
The only way I saw a "RAM 0" error as you described is when I started the machine with specific cheats activated or activated a particular cheat while machine is running then hit F3. Disable cheat activation or do not reset when cheats are active. I can only duplicate your issue with the restarting/startup screens by hitting F3 numerous times. Pole Position, at least to my knowledge, did not come with a reset on-board so the F3 (Reset) is simulated and not guaranteed. You can only truly consider it reset by using SHIFT+F3 and it performs an emulator restart.

As far as your nvrams becoming corrupted.. both Atari machines tested create identical nvram contents as near as I can tell and even if I force the issues as described above, once I exit MAME and restart, the NVRAM contents don't change. I have no idea what you are doing or how corruption would be happening. The missing (no dump) roms that MAME mentions are from the placeholders for the PAL dumps which have not been made for those machines and would have nothing to do with any malfunction - perceived or otherwise.




Curt #118358 01/09/21 08:42 AM
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I never used MAME cheat modes. I tried again to start the Pole Position Atari 1 version without nvram file, but (no matter if I ddidn't play or have entered a highscore) after exiting MAME it will not start anymore but boots into the endless loop before reaching the grid screentest. Only the Namco nvram file keeps working after restart.

The nvram file from Atari1 with and without highscore differ at addres:
Hex 24,25,28,29,708,70C to 71E,7F0

The nvram file from Namco and Atari1 with highscore:
Hex 24 to BF strongly differ, then at 708 to 71E, 7F0,7F1

My HxD file comparison:

Code
Namco:

Offset(h) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

00000000  B0 04 00 00 00 00 AD 04 00 00 00 00 AA 04 00 00  °...........ª...
00000010  00 00 A7 04 00 00 00 00 A4 04 00 00 00 00 A1 04  ..§.....¤.....¡.
00000020  00 00 00 00 3B 02 00 00 00 00 5D 04 00 00 21 54  ....;.....]...!T
00000030  7A 0A 00 00 12 0C 7C 04 00 00 77 0F 08 08 00 00  z.....|...w.....
00000040  17 0C 84 0B 00 00 17 0D 2B 0B 00 00 17 0D 7E 01  ..„.....+.....~.
00000050  00 00 00 00 1A 01 00 00 00 00 65 01 00 00 00 00  ..........e.....
00000060  2F 00 00 00 00 00 33 01 00 00 00 00 4B 00 00 00  /.....3.....K...
00000070  00 00 50 01 00 00 00 00 B7 04 00 00 17 0D C4 03  ..P.....·.....Ä.
00000080  00 00 17 0D D2 03 00 00 17 0D F5 0A 00 00 17 0D  ....Ò.....õ.....
00000090  FC 0A 00 00 17 0D 8B 0A 00 00 17 0D 08 05 00 00  ü.....‹.........
000000A0  17 0D E0 0A 00 00 17 0D 81 0B 00 00 17 0D 88 0B  ..à...........ˆ.
000000B0  00 00 17 0D D1 0A 00 00 17 0D 48 08 00 00 17 0D  ....Ñ.....H.....
000000C0  50 04 00 00 00 00 4D 04 00 00 00 00 4A 04 00 00  P.....M.....J...
...
00000700  00 00 2F 01 00 00 00 00 C0 30 FF FF 66 66 89 66  ../.....À0ÿÿff‰f
00000710  72 39 45 66 66 97 B7 66 67 18 38 66 77 66 75 FF  r9Eff—·fg.8fwfuÿ

Atari1 (with highscore):

Offset(h) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

00000000  B0 04 00 00 00 00 AD 04 00 00 00 00 AA 04 00 00  °...........ª...
00000010  00 00 A7 04 00 00 00 00 A4 04 00 00 00 00 A1 04  ..§.....¤.....¡.
00000020  00 00 00 00 CD 0A 00 00 17 09 9B 04 00 00 00 00  ....Í.....›.....
00000030  98 04 00 00 00 00 95 04 00 00 00 00 92 04 00 00  ˜.....•.....’...
00000040  00 00 8F 04 00 00 00 00 8C 04 00 00 00 00 89 04  ........Œ.....‰.
00000050  00 00 00 00 86 04 00 00 00 00 83 04 00 00 00 00  ....†.....ƒ.....
00000060  80 04 00 00 00 00 7D 04 00 00 00 00 7A 04 00 00  €.....}.....z...
00000070  00 00 77 04 00 00 00 00 74 04 00 00 00 00 71 04  ..w.....t.....q.
00000080  00 00 00 00 6E 04 00 00 00 00 6B 04 00 00 00 00  ....n.....k.....
00000090  68 04 00 00 00 00 65 04 00 00 00 00 62 04 00 00  h.....e.....b...
000000A0  00 00 5F 04 00 00 00 00 5C 04 00 00 00 00 59 04  .._.....\.....Y.
000000B0  00 00 00 00 56 04 00 00 00 00 53 04 00 00 00 00  ....V.....S.....
000000C0  50 04 00 00 00 00 4D 04 00 00 00 00 4A 04 00 00  P.....M.....J...
...
00000700  00 00 2F 01 00 00 00 00 2A 30 FF FF 66 66 66 66  ../.....*0ÿÿffff
00000710  66 8D CA 66 66 67 CE 66 66 68 54 66 66 66 66 FF  f.ÊffgÎffhTffffÿ

Atari1 (unplayed):

Offset(h) 00 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 0A 0B 0C 0D 0E 0F

00000000  B0 04 00 00 00 00 AD 04 00 00 00 00 AA 04 00 00  °...........ª...
00000010  00 00 A7 04 00 00 00 00 A4 04 00 00 00 00 A1 04  ..§.....¤.....¡.
00000020  00 00 00 00 9E 04 00 00 00 00 9B 04 00 00 00 00  ....ž.....›.....
00000030  98 04 00 00 00 00 95 04 00 00 00 00 92 04 00 00  ˜.....•.....’...
00000040  00 00 8F 04 00 00 00 00 8C 04 00 00 00 00 89 04  ........Œ.....‰.
00000050  00 00 00 00 86 04 00 00 00 00 83 04 00 00 00 00  ....†.....ƒ.....
00000060  80 04 00 00 00 00 7D 04 00 00 00 00 7A 04 00 00  €.....}.....z...
00000070  00 00 77 04 00 00 00 00 74 04 00 00 00 00 71 04  ..w.....t.....q.
00000080  00 00 00 00 6E 04 00 00 00 00 6B 04 00 00 00 00  ....n.....k.....
00000090  68 04 00 00 00 00 65 04 00 00 00 00 62 04 00 00  h.....e.....b...
000000A0  00 00 5F 04 00 00 00 00 5C 04 00 00 00 00 59 04  .._.....\.....Y.
000000B0  00 00 00 00 56 04 00 00 00 00 53 04 00 00 00 00  ....V.....S.....
000000C0  50 04 00 00 00 00 4D 04 00 00 00 00 4A 04 00 00  P.....M.....J...
...
00000700  00 00 2F 01 00 00 00 00 00 30 FF FF FF FF FF FF  ../......0ÿÿÿÿÿÿ
00000710  FF FF FF FF FF FF FF 66 66 67 15 FF FF FF FF FF  ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿffg.ÿÿÿÿÿ


MAY THE SOFTWARE BE WITH YOU!

{weltenschule.de}
Curt #118359 01/09/21 10:11 AM
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Tested the various polepos games here, all worked as expected. The only issue was if I hit F3 multiple times quickly, then it got stuck in the ram test.

Curt #118361 01/09/21 10:44 AM
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Of course in the real world if you switch on and off your pcb multiple times quickly, a corrupted nvram is going to be the least of your worries. I'm pretty sure atari never tested that.

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