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Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support #114841 03/15/19 06:24 PM
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BallyAlley Offline OP
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I am offering a bounty of $100 (paid via PayPal) to someone who adds support for the 2000-baud tape format to the astrocade emulator in MAME. Currently, there is no tape support at all. I want to, at minimum, be able to load Bally BASIC programs into the "AstroBASIC" cartridge.

I wrote extensively about this much-needed feature at mametesters.org. The "report" I made is there. It's called:

"07072: astrocde and clones: [Enhancement] 2000-Baud "AstroBASIC" Tape I/O Support Missing"

Here is a direct link to that thread:

https://mametesters.org/view.php?id=7072

Is anyone interested in trying to add tape support to the Astrocade emulator?

I'm not sure how to work out the details of this, so perhaps we can talk about it publicly here. I'm not even sure how to approach this if more than one person is interested.

I don't think that there is an official way to offer a bounty for work on MAME. Someone on the BallyAlley Yahoo group suggested that I post here. If this is not correct, then can someone please point me to where I could offer a bounty for a feature to be added to MAME?

I'm hoping that $100 is enough to inspire someone to look into the code for this often-overlooked game console from 1978.

Adam

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114842 03/15/19 06:29 PM
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ICEknight Offline
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Ok, this is weird.

Last edited by ICEknight; 03/15/19 07:39 PM.

LCD artwork scans and cleanups: https://mega.nz/#F!uFYSzK7S!U-lJon9jsqyoCX_3y7_KLA
Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114843 03/15/19 06:40 PM
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Just Desserts Offline
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I can't guarantee anything, but I don't have anything else to do on MAME at the moment, so I might poke at it a bit this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes.

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114845 03/15/19 08:57 PM
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Duke Offline
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There is also a page on bountysource for MAME: https://www.bountysource.com/teams/mamedev

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114846 03/15/19 09:13 PM
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Haze Offline
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It was also absolutely impossible for me to actually claim the bounty for the CPS3 work, because they didn't seem to support payments to non US citizens. (in the end I passed on my account to somebody else, as it was a joint effort anyway and one of us was a US citizen)

There are honestly better ways to handle it, without yet another middleman cut.



Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114847 03/16/19 12:33 AM
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Just Desserts Offline
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As of this commit, I have now added cassette support for the AstroBASIC cartridge: https://github.com/mamedev/mame/commit/e23c64eb76c1ab9a1465d0101272c9df058bddad

Here's a screenshot of Bob Ogdon's "Anti-Aircraft Gun" tape in the process of loading:
[Linked Image]

And here it is running:
[Linked Image]

Here is George Moses's "Auld Lang Syne" song from the Christmas tape after having loaded:
[Linked Image]

I have also added tape output support. Here is a screenshot of a small BASIC program I wrote (as you can tell, I am woefully unfamiliar with the Astrocade's control mapping), having been loaded off the tape to which I saved it in a previous run of MAME:
[Linked Image]

And here it is running, to verify that the data was loaded correctly:
[Linked Image]

For further proof, here is the tape image that MAME generated:
http://polygonal-moogle.com/mame/astrocade/test.wav

Please note, support for the cassette interface is available through MAME's "Software List" functionality only. That is, the AstroBASIC cartridge ROM will need to be in a ZIP file called "astrobas.zip", with a path of "roms/astrocde/astrobas.zip", or wherever appropriate for where you have configured MAME to expect software-list ROMs to be found. Rather than loading AstroBASIC as a loose file through the -cart switch, one specifies a software list entry like so:

Code
mame64 astrohome astrobas <options>


Thank you for the informative bug report on MAMETesters, and thank you also for posting your request on these forums, as I am not in the habit of checking MAMETesters.

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114849 03/16/19 11:06 AM
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Haze Offline
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Very nice MG.

If the guy still wants to donate $100 for this I think it'd be easier if you gave him a PayPal account than going through Bountysource or the like if you have one? Could go towards more Game & Watch stuff?

Alternatively, if you're happy for the money to be spent on Plug and Play stuff, then then it could just be sent my way (keep in mind it will be some months before Sean can process anything again tho) or possibly even just in the direction of The Dumping Union if it's to go on misc arcade board stuff.

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114850 03/16/19 11:28 AM
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R. Belmont Online Content
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Or decide that we aren't RetroArch and refuse the money.

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114851 03/16/19 11:33 AM
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Haze Offline
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I think as long as it goes on something physical that is needed and will make a long term difference, not paying for the actual work, we're not RetroArch or any of those other vile Patreon or Bountysource funded projects.

That's where I draw the line there personally, money into pockets is money out of the system and should be refused, money spent on items that will benefit everybody is not.

The $30,000+ a month into pockets you read about with other projects (including ones complaining that $7000 a month isn't enough) is horrible, the same amount spent on actual hardware would do wonders. That's why I specifically suggested it could go towards Game & Watch or similar.

Anyway, the way I see it, the work has been done, a payment is not required, but if the OP wants to donate $100 towards the purchase of some items that will help with emulation to say thank you, that is now a choice. We could pick up one of those LJN video art machines for hardware analysis for example.

Re: Bounty: $100 for Astrocade Tape Support [Re: BallyAlley] #114852 03/16/19 12:09 PM
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R. Belmont Online Content
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Agreed, I'm just concerned that this is twice work has been done as a direct result of bounties (this astrocade thing was on MT for like 3 years) and that's going to send the wrong message.

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