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Posts posted by Yod@

  1. JP, I'd hoped you might have posted some thoughts specifically regarding the removal of the hiscore.dat from public builds before they've coded the replacement. I remember when MAME releases used to be relatively few and far between; people would eagerly await the next release to see what improvements had been added. I still don't understand why they don't just remove the hiscore.dat now, work away on the WIP source (which people can still download and work on themselves), and then release the next public version once they've actually done it.

    The same could be applied to the old Asteroids sample argument - why not have kept the samples until the full emulation had been completed? I've said it before in this thread - it's perfectly normal for preliminary drivers to be commented out of the source, allowing people to uncomment it and recompile it themselves.

    I've done it myself in the past, no reason why it can't be done now, surely?

    Now, I'm no coder - if my suggestions are nonsensical, then just say so. :(

  2. Sorry, I will also just play devil's advocate for a second and say this - I do sympathise with the torrent of abuse that the MAMEdev team have probably had to put up with over the years; warez-kiddies begging for roms, for the latest games to be updated, extra (possibly ridiculous) feature requests, and all the rest.

    I guess it's only inevitable that all that would create a barrier between the coders and the users.[/devil's advocate]

    Mind you, a lot of other dev teams seem to put up with it, so I'm not sure if it really counts as a real excuse? *shrugs*

  3. Heh, all this passionate debate is amusing.  I can't help but wonder how many of you are genuinely passionate about continuing MAME down the "accuracy at the cost of function" road?  I can understand people being passionate about losing certain functionalities in their favourite app, but vice versa?  Surely a strange thing to be passionately debating!

    Losing high score saves (at least in the near future) and the possibility of losing other features such as overclocking the emulation to eliminate slow-down isn't gaining functionality.

    I use AdvanceMAME, so I guess I'm lucky in that respect - it means that there's a chance, at least, that the AdvanceMAME coders will try to keep the additional features of MAME intact.

    Anyway, there are clearly two debates here - one about the direction that MAME is taking, and the second is the attitude of MAMEdev. In all honesty, can anybody say that they've read that whole thread (link here) and say that they don't find the attitude of most of the coders disgusting?

    By contrast, feel free to go look on the AdvanceMAME support groups - you'll find a very helpful and friendly bunch of coders, even when asked questions by n00bs.

    If things *do* go awry, then I'll do exactly what has been suggested - I'll stick with an older version of MAME. But it's not necessarily a simple task - by the time I noticed that MK2 was broken, I had to go back quite a few versions to get a working one. And if any of you think it's a trivial matter to go back and dig up an old set of MAME roms, then I respectfully disagree.

  4. Because people then criticise them for hoarding code, and claim MAMEDEV is keeping stuff secret and "ruining MAME". Lose/lose situation.

    Maybe they could just provide the WIP source code for people to compile themselves?

    End users are happy with their working builds, DEVers can still access the latest code.

  5. what is the different between what it does now, and "save state support" ?

    What it does now is that every time you load up the game, hiscores may be loaded but the actual emulation starts again from scratch.

    If you use savestates, the emulation continues from where it last left off.

    I gather that this will influence the way "random" numbers may be generated - restarting the emulation time and time again may result in the generation of the same "random" numbers each time.

    I totally understand their goal, but I don't agree with their method of execution.

  6. without hiscore.dat there might be more incentive for people to fix the save state support

    IDGI. On one hand, they're criticising "[l]users" for being utterly ignorant of how MAME is coded and the direction it's going in, and yet they expect the removal of the hiscore.dat to suddenly increase the incentive for people to fix save states? Surely the only people who are going to be fixing save states is existing MAMEdevers, no? So what's the point in preventing end users from using hiscores?

    Yet again, I'm going to point out that MAME public releases used to be less frequent than they are now - I don't see why there's a problem with them going back to the routine of only releasing a public build of MAME whenever they've added a lot of new working games, or fixed significant problems.

    I also notice a bit of moaning about the "overclocking" options in MAME - first they add a feature, and then at a later date they whinge about it?

    Imagine being able to play Metal Slug without the slowdown present on the original boards. Shocking.

  7. Just out of interest, of the 3,000-odd games that are emulated at the moment, how many used to work in previous versions but are now broken?

    I do know that Mortal Kombat 2 used to run very nicely (perfectly smooth), but then the driver got broken and stayed broken for ages. No idea if they've even fixed it again yet. For all I know all the MK games and versions are broken in the same way.

    I normally only play a few games on MAME regularly, so I wouldn't really know how many other titles have also been broken. That's not to say that there aren't any though! :(

  8. Features are only taken away if you want to get different features (i.e. - play other games). The high score example is, I believe, very well dealt with in the above quoted post.

    But why take it away now? IMO they need to make fewer public releases, and spend more time on internal ones - like they used to do. That way, they can just remove the hiscores on the internal builds, work happily away on whatever things they want to do, then release it when it's fixed. Or, if it's not fixed yet, just release it with the existing hiscores stuff and comment out the new WIP stuff.

    This is what they used to do with preliminary drivers - they'd leave them commented out of the source.

  9. No-ones taken any functionality away.

    Up until now, the hi-score saving has been optional - if you want to save hiscores, you download the file and put it in the relevant MAME folder.

    What possible reason is there for wanting to remove that option from users? It may be more faithful to the original hardware, but what purpose does it actually serve?

    All the older versions are still available, and still work.

    Only if you have the old romsets to go with them.

  10. I think a slimline PC case would be great for a supergun. I was thinking of doing that myself, but I don't have a spare one.

    The only (minor) thing which put me off was that most PC shells are metal, and I intended to just set the board on top of the supergun casing rather than have it sitting on the floor - so that would have meant finding a way of insulating the board from the metal shell.

    Anyone else here thinking of building a supergun? sweetdaddyg? Antiriad?

  11. No, so long as you've got everything else wired up ok then it won't damage the TV.

    Have you decided what casing you're going to use? Or are you going to just build it first and sort out casing afterwards?

    And are you going to use an external PSU, or try and fit the PSU inside the case as well?

    What joystick/joypad(s) will you use?

    I'm always interested in seeing other people's supergun designs. :)

  12. Ah, right.

    SCART pin 16 is for the switching voltage - technically 1-3 Volts would tell the TV to use RGB, and around 0 Volts would tell it to use composite.

    There are some sets which are very fussy about the SCART voltage and will not switch to RGB if the voltage to pin 16 is too high, so the resistor is there to reduce the voltage from 5V down to 3V.

    I never bother with it on my own stuff since my TVs work fine with a 5V switching voltage.

  13. I just looked at Rob and Magic Lord's document again, and I don't see any mention of a capacitor in the intial parts list (not counting the two caps used for the MD controller circuit). Am I blind?

    Just thought of another (small) hint - when making a key for the JAMMA connector so that it can't be plugged in the wrong way round, I just used a jumper off a hard drive - it fits into the JAMMA hole perfectly. :(

  14. When it comes to writing software you sometimes need to change stuff at a very low level in order to improve things later on.

    IIRC when working on preliminary drivers/code they used to just leave it commented out of the public builds, and left it up to people to decide if they wanted to comment it back into the source and recompile it for themselves.

    Then, when it was ready, they'd put it into the public builds.

    Now it seems they're doing the opposite.

  15. Good call on the joystick connectors :o

    I bet the look on my face was priceless as I went to plug in my joystick for the first time! :)

    A couple of Q's for you, Yod@.  The video lead; it looks like you got it wired right up to the JAMMA or whatever.  The document warns against doing that 'cos of the voltage yet, looking around teh Interweb, I see that nobody ever seems to bother hooking up the capacitor that is recommended.  Is yours like that?

    Secondly, them switches are ace.  Care to recommend a part #?

    You're right, I'm not using a capacitor. I've never even noticed any mention of using a capacitor, I'll go read up on it now and see what it's for.

    I'm also not using fuses, but that's probably a bit *too* reckless to recommend for anybody who actually values their boards. :)

    Switches - go to www.maplin.co.uk and stick the part no ND91Y or FH59P into the search box. Note that these are "push-to-make" switches - Maplin actually sell "push-to-break" switches which look identical to these ones, but they're no good for a Supergun.

  16. This is an interesting subject - I don't see a clear "right" or "wrong" though.

    I can understand why MAMEDEV insist on certain things, like for all emulation to be entirely CPU-based - if you start using hardware functions of gfx cards then you just end up with people having to arse about with different plugins, and possibly an enormous amount of code which has to get scrapped and rewritten later on (think "Sentinel Returns looked gorgeous on my ancient Voodoo 1 card, but runs like a turd on my fancy modern-day card).

    Their theory is that in the future, all computers will still be able to run MAME without requiring users to obtain plugins/patches/hacks etc for the more advanced 3D games.

    I applaud this decision. If you want hardware-accelerated emulation, just use a different emulator. I want to be able to use MAME in the future with just as little hassle as I do now.

    However, I agree with Kensei - the decision to implent a more "accurate" emulation at the cost of functionality is incredibly difficult to understand. And wanting to remove saveable hi-scores? I cast a big :) in their general direction.

  17. A bit of an update on mine, here's what I've got so far:


    Mounted a VGA connector on the back of the supergun - works with my VGA-SCART lead which I normally use with my PC for AdvanceMAME.


    Also got the rest of my JAMMA loom connected up - joysticks and test/diagnostic buttons . The four black ones are Start 1/2 and Coin 1/2 - the red ones are Test, Diagnostic and Game Select (for MVS boards).

    I'm going to mount a volume knob in the last hole, but I've yet to hook up a speaker. The reason for that is that I'm missing the cable looms to connect the Mortal Kombat audio board to the main board, so I need to make up some replacement ones before I can get any audio out of it. I'll try and do that during the week.

    Also just need to cut a hole in the front panel for the JAMMA cable.

    For anyone else building a Supergun, I've learned a couple of invaluable things:

    1. If you're fitting joystick connectors, make sure there's enough space around them for the joystick plug to fit.

    I accidentally Some idiot did that with mine, so I had to remove the plastic underneath the joystick connectors because the plugs wouldn't fit. :)

    2. Some of you may have noticed that I put connectors on both the control inputs as well as all the power supplies. At the time I thought it would be a good idea, but it's an incredible waste of time. If I hadn't bothered with all those extraneous connectors then I could have built 3 Superguns by now!

    Seriously, don't try and be a smart arse like me and put connectors on, it's utterly pointless. Even if the PSU failed, I'd be able to solder in a new one in less time than it took me to mess about with all those sodding connectors.

    Hopefully nobody else will make these mistakes now. :o

  18. I guess they're ok for a bit of casual gaming, but they're not great. The worst things are the analogue buttons (they actually have a microswitch which clicks when the button is fully depressed, yet the microswitch isn't even wired to anything! :D ), and the base is small and light, so it moves around a lot when you're using it.

    The joystick itself is ok - microswitched, smooth action, choice of handles.

    EDIT: Oops, slow typing. I'm talking about the cheap-o sticks.

  19. Made a bit of progress this morning - I've finished wiring up the power connections for the JAMMA harness, and temporarily connected a SCART plug.

    I decided to put molex power connectors on the end of the JAMMA harness - took me a LOT longer to do, but it means that if something happens to the PSU then it'll be a simple matter to swap it out.


    I haven't bothered with the joystick wiring or coin/test wiring yet, I'll do those at the end.

    Next step? I guess to fit a power switch to the casing and mount a coin switch and joystick connectors. I'm planning to have a separate (detachable) SCART lead, so I'm going to mount a VGA socket on the casing as well.

    Cutting holes etc in casing is definitely the thing I find hardest, so it'll probably take me ages. To console myself, I tested out my Mortal Kombat board in the meantime:


    Sorry for hijacking this thread a bit, I'm expecting others to also post updates/pictures as they make theirs! :lol:

  20. I got a really small PSU for my cocktail cabinet by robbing it from a small and ancient P75 desktop system - the PSU only measures about 8cm square.

    I reckon your best bet is to try to scavenge one from an old or faulty slimline PC. I'll have a look about for a spare one if you like. I assume it doesn't matter whether it's an AT or ATX one?

    EDIT: I actually found a JAMMA connector and some other bits in the garage this afternoon, so here's what I've done so far using an old Amiga disk box.

    Took me ages to file out the hole at the back of case for the PSU. I've got a Mortal Kombat board to use for testing, no idea if the board actually works or not yet. -_-


  21. Nice write-up, Rob, cheers for that. You've inspired me to get off my lazy ass and buy a JAMMA connector off ebay so that I can finally build a supergun out of all this crap I have lying about.

    CurryKitten, you're using the same casing that I was planning on using - the "strewn across the living-room floor" type. B)

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