Author Topic: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1  (Read 27937 times)

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Offline mr.spiv

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OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« on: January 15, 2010, 06:21:21 AM »
Right.. I am getting bored with this project and the enthusiast volunteers of beta testers (pun intended..).

Here is the latest beta binary:
http://deadcoderssociety.net/pce/dl/slimegui_beta1.dmg

It is for Intel based Macs.. no PPC support, sorry. Also, I have myself used SnowLeopard (OSX 10.6.2) as a development environment and have not tested this in anything earlier than that. Support for TG-16 should also be in place.. obviously I have not managed to test it. There is no support for save ram as I don't own adequate hardware.

So, give it a try. I am not interested in hints to improve the functionality or GUI layout. However, I am very interested in TG-16 testers and experiences on OSX 10.5 or earlier. If you push the cancel button during the flash writing, it takes a while before process actually stops. It is supposed to do so...

Keep in mind that this is just the first public beta, which happens to work for me pretty well. When you report bugs etc anomalies remember to state your Mac type, OSX version, R0mz you were flashing, current setting in the GUI, flash cart size/type, and PC-Engine flavor.
 ~sm-43.gif~
..more coffee..

Offline mr.spiv

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2010, 06:26:58 PM »

So, give it a try. I am not interested in hints to improve the functionality or GUI layout. However, I am very interested in TG-16 testers and experiences on OSX 10.5 or earlier. If you push the cancel button during the flash writing, it takes a while before process actually stops. It is supposed to do so...


Any TG-16 users there? I would really need some testers.. Also, currently there is no any rom detection logic. Would one be needed? At the moment the stuff is crafted to work from PCE point of view, which might be confusing some times...
..more coffee..

Offline goldenegg

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 12:08:13 PM »
Unfortunately, I only have my PCE to test on at the moment.  Won't have access to my TG-16 until October  ::sm-02::

Offline Ichiban Rei

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 04:21:49 AM »
Hey Spiv!  Awesome progress on this.  I own both a TG16 as well as a Core 2 with region mod.  I've never gotten the card to work with the region modded concole but I will gladly test on my TG16.

Offline Ichiban Rei

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 08:12:36 AM »
Options:
128M Flash
Build in Menu
TG-16
Initial findings on US TG16:
Down does not work in the game select menu when loaded on TG16.
Selecting a game will only reset the menu (using either I or II buttons).

Tested this on PC Engine with US region selected:
Menu loads and can scroll games using Up or Down.
Selecting a game will only reset the menu just like TG16.

Hardware
Mac Mini April 2009
Snow Leopard
4GB RAM

Roms tested:
Bonk's Adventure
Bomberman 94
Magical Chase

I was going to try flashing these same roms using the PC install but I'm having some trouble getting the loader software to find the flash cart.  I believe updating the neo flash menu for Myth cart ended up getting rid of my old driver.  Damn...  Well I'll keep trying.
 

Offline mr.spiv

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 03:29:01 PM »
Options:
128M Flash
Build in Menu
TG-16
Initial findings on US TG16:
Down does not work in the game select menu when loaded on TG16.
Selecting a game will only reset the menu (using either I or II buttons).

Tested this on PC Engine with US region selected:
Menu loads and can scroll games using Up or Down.
Selecting a game will only reset the menu just like TG16.

Thanks! The good news is that the menu worked, which means the TG16 "support" is not completely bogus. I'll make you a custom build in few days, so I can actually see what the program tried to flash for you...
..more coffee..

Offline goldenegg

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2010, 12:30:07 PM »
I finally found my Slim Loader (turns out I accidentally packed it away with other gaming stuff), so I can finally test this out.  As mentioned before, I only have a PC-Engine to test with at the moment, as my TG-16 is back home in Toronto and I won't be back there until October.

Anyways ... anything I should be aware of before flashing the card?  Would it be better to format the card first?  Any known issues I might run in to during use?

BTW, will you be releasing source code for this utility?  I'm currently in the process of learning the dev tools for MAC (only programmed on Windows platforms up to this point) and would love to see the code as an example for building applications like this.  Maybe I could even provide some assistance in a month or so, once I'm up to speed on XCode :)
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 12:33:43 PM by goldenegg »

Offline mr.spiv

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2010, 02:59:12 PM »
I finally found my Slim Loader (turns out I accidentally packed it away with other gaming stuff), so I can finally test this out.  As mentioned before, I only have a PC-Engine to test with at the moment, as my TG-16 is back home in Toronto and I won't be back there until October.

Ok.

Anyways ... anything I should be aware of before flashing the card?  Would it be better to format the card first?  Any known issues I might run in to during use?

Not really. Everything gets overwritten every time. If stuff fails miserably, the best thing to do usually is to unplug the device and restart the program. Sound unfriendly but with libusb (used because of cross platform portability) you can have all the power of IOKit for example..

BTW, will you be releasing source code for this utility?  I'm currently in the process of learning the dev tools for MAC (only programmed on Windows platforms up to this point) and would love to see the code as an example for building applications like this.  Maybe I could even provide some assistance in a month or so, once I'm up to speed on XCode :)

The source will be available eventually once it matures. Btw, the GUI is done with cross platform library called Juce. If you still have access to Windows devtools, having a Windows binary at some point might be nice..
..more coffee..

Offline goldenegg

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2010, 06:55:14 PM »
I just tried this software for the first time.  Writing reported as successful, but I only get a white screen when booting the PC-Engine.  Writing with the Neo software works fine.

I've tried with multiple games and just a single game, with the same result.

Offline mr.spiv

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2010, 10:02:41 PM »
I just tried this software for the first time.  Writing reported as successful, but I only get a white screen when booting the PC-Engine.  Writing with the Neo software works fine.

I've tried with multiple games and just a single game, with the same result.


Plz. provide details as instructed in above postings. otherwise, i have no data to inspect anything.
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Offline goldenegg

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2010, 04:56:15 PM »
I got things working.  I'm using the card with a PC-Engine Core Grafx.  I seem to have accidentally selected my directory of USA roms when using this utility.  After writing them, all I get is a white screen (not even a menu).  I just tried it again with Japanese ROMS and it worked perfectly.

This brings me to a question ... is there any chance to add the ability to automatically modify USA roms to work on a PCE?  From my understanding, it's a single bite change in the rom.

In regards to the USA games I was using, here's a list (all from the latest No-Intro set):

Aero Blasters (USA).pce
Air Zonk (USA).pce
Alien Crush (USA).pce
Blazing Lazers (USA).pce
Bloody Wolf (USA).pce
Bomberman '93 (USA).pce
Bonk III - Bonk's Big Adventure (USA).pce
Bonk's Adventure (USA).pce
Bonk's Revenge (USA).pce
China Warrior (USA).pce
Dragon Spirit (USA).pce
Dragon's Curse (USA).pce
Fantasy Zone (USA).pce
Galaga '90 (USA).pce
Ghost Manor (USA).pce
Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu (USA).pce
Keith Courage in Alpha Zones (USA).pce
Klax (USA).pce
Legendary Axe II, The (USA).pce
Legendary Axe, The (USA).pce
Magical Chase (USA).pce
Military Madness (USA).pce
Moto Roader (USA).pce
R-Type (USA).pce
Raiden (USA).pce
Samurai-Ghost (USA).pce
Shockman (USA).pce
Somer Assault (USA).pce
Splatterhouse (USA).pce
Super Star Soldier (USA).pce
Taito Chase H.Q. (USA).pce
TaleSpin (USA).pce
Victory Run (USA).pce
Vigilante (USA).pce

EDIT:  Forgot to stay THANK YOU for making this utility!  It's so much nicer to use compared to the Neo Windows utility.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2010, 10:08:59 PM by goldenegg »

Offline mr.spiv

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2010, 01:46:24 AM »
I got things working.  I'm using the card with a PC-Engine Core Grafx.  I seem to have accidentally selected my directory of USA roms when using this utility.  After writing them, all I get is a white screen (not even a menu).  I just tried it again with Japanese ROMS and it worked perfectly.

This brings me to a question ... is there any chance to add the ability to automatically modify USA roms to work on a PCE?  From my understanding, it's a single bite change in the rom.

Thanks for testing. Yes, I really want to get this stuff running for USA roms in both PCE and TG-16 as well.

..more coffee..

Offline goldenegg

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2010, 08:29:34 AM »
Thanks for testing. Yes, I really want to get this stuff running for USA roms in both PCE and TG-16 as well.



Check your e-mail  ~sm-42.gif~

Offline goldenegg

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2010, 07:16:56 PM »
Any luck automating the process to make USA roms work on a PC-E?

Offline mr.spiv

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Re: OSX flashcart tool with a GUI.. beta 1
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2010, 02:42:22 PM »
Any luck automating the process to make USA roms work on a PC-E?

Sorry, no progress recently. I have been too busy flying around and doing my day job. Will definitely continue once this haste settles down..
..more coffee..