ColecoDS - Improved

CrashMidnick

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Ok tested the MSX side.
Now we can say that MSXDS is far behind in terms of speed on the older HW. Many games run at 60fps !
I saw that Alien 2 (aliens) has got graphical glitches and R-Type is not working (the emulator tries to load the Coleco core and is asking for an expansion pack, the core is identified as "MC").
Most games that are not full speed play most of the time at around 55 fps without frameskip (i.e. 1942). Very nice !

EDIT : just saw the note about R-Type in the read-me, I need to find the right rom (512k)
EDIT 2 : Aliens working with ASCII 16k mapper :)
 
Last edited by CrashMidnick,

wavemotion

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Good catch on Aliens. I’ll fix the mapper guess for that one. The MSX is a minefield of different memory mappers. ColecoDS gets better as time goes on and good guys like you report issues that I can easily fix!

Yeah the common 384k R-Type ROM is a mess. The memory is all kinds of screwy. Fortunately the corrected layout 512k version isn’t hard to find. MSX File Hunter is a go-to site for well curated versions of MSX games.

I should really make a public google spreadsheet of compatibility and usage notes. Someday.
 

wavemotion

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Version 7.5 is released: https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/ColecoDS

V7.5: 18-June-2022 by wavemotion-dave
  • Major update to the way internal memory is handled. It's slimmer, trimmer and much faster across-the-board. More games run at full speed.
  • Fixed EE and SRAM handling on MSX games - those also now back to files on the SD card so you can pick up where you left off.
  • Improvements to the Sord M5 driver so more games run correctly - Mahjong now works.
  • Improvements to the Coleco/ADAM driver so more games run correctly. Boulder Dash works properly and more ADAM disk games run properly.
 

wavemotion

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Well... I knew this day would come! My development system SD card finally died! I think I've done at least 2000 inserts of this card (I'm so old-school, I don't use a DS emulator to test my emulators... I make code changes, write it to SD and then run it on my development DS system).

My SD card had gotten chipped - the corners were wearing out... and today the upper right corner really chipped off... destroying the lock mechanism so now the card is stuck in read-only mode.

I'm going to have to start a GoFundMe page for US$8 to get a new SD card :D ;)

1655642315761.png
 

CrashMidnick

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This is why I prefer SD to micro SD card adapter. If it fails, the data on the micro SD remains untouched. In general they are sold with the micro SD so you always have a spare one somewhere.

2 months ago, my DStwo micro SD slot broke (the spring that retain the micro SD and most of the internal plastic). I removed the spring and used a thermal pad, put it in the back of the sd slot to reach the right height so that the micro SD makes contact again. I should not be worried anymore in the future.

This is why I always update and test your emus and others on my DSlite, I fear that the DSi slot break some day. It is cheaper to find a DSlite motherboard if the cartridge slot fails.
 

wavemotion

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Yeah, I bought a cheap DSi as my development machine... I think I paid US$30 for it shipped. It has a broken cart slot - which I don't care about since the SD is all I need to test my emulators. Someday it will break... and I'll get another.

I have a couple other DSi XL/LL units as my main gaming machines - those only get "stable" builds :)

Speaking of builds, I got a replacement SD card (and thanks to several of you for actually offering to buy me one! I was only kidding that I needed funding - but you're good chaps!). And this is MSX Cross Blaim:

1655683929936.png


It's got a one-off memory mapper that no other game uses. I added it to ColecoDS and it will be in the next build. I don't know why I get such joy from making one more game work on the system... more than 1000 "Coleco-Like" games run on the emulator and one more shouldn't matter. But it does - at least to me.
 

Zense

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The SD card slot of the DSi is indeed risky business. If you're not already aware @Pk11 made a great app called dsidl (https://github.com/Epicpkmn11/dsidl)
that lets you download stuff by scanning QR codes. It uses a homebrew DSi wifi library, so on supported routers it allows you to use a WPA-secured network to scan a QR code to get your app/update directly.

This, with the alternative of the DSi specific ftpd(?), could help save some DSi SD slots.

Just figured I'd share this since it's a quite recent development and it's also damn great news, especially for development since it could help shave off some time spent not developing.
 
Last edited by Zense,

plasturion

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It seems that Boulderdash is still crashing while using the reset button "#", but I don't care much about is it fixable or not, maybe that's a nature of this game. It's better to crash a game, than solid rock thing like sandisk or kingstone. There's a msx version of boulder dash and it's worinkg better. Wish a long life for a new sd card. :)
 
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plasturion

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Oh, well yes! It works fine with drZ80! Thanks! I thought "#" button is for reset level but is for return to title screen. So I thought this was weird action like reset cardridge, emulation or something. And it seems "*" button is for the action I was looking for. So many buttons for 8-bit console on the numpad that i didn't try others... my fault!
 

wavemotion

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This weekend I'm cleaning up the Cassette menu to make it more user friendly and adding an alpha-only keyboard. This simplified keyboard can be selected for games that don't need a full keyboard layout - the buttons are bigger and easier to use (especially on the DSi XL/LL) for games that are more text-oriented.

1656159519257.png
 

wavemotion

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Someone asked me to provide the CRC32 hashes of the BIOS files I'm using for all my testing/compatibility checks. In case this is useful:

  • 3aa93ef3 coleco.rom (original version)
  • a30b0c34 coleco.rom (faster boot)
  • 94ee12f3 msx.rom (MSX)
  • c3c590c6 bioscv.rom (Creativision)
  • ec134953 einstein.rom (Tatung Einstein)
  • 338d7b59 pencil2.rom (Hanimex Pencil II)
  • 8f31f297 pv2000.rom (Casio PV-2000)
  • 92cf9353 sordm5.rom (Sord M5)
  • 709904e9 svi.rom (Spectravision)
  • 05a37a34 eos.rom (ADAM)
  • 58d86a2a writer.rom (ADAM)
I've also added this to the README file for the emulator.

Other BIOS files may work as well, worse or better than the above... but those are the ones I use. MSX is especially tricky because MSX is not a machine - it's a standard (like 'PC' or 'Mac'). There are like 100 different MSX machines. The MSX.ROM I use is one of the more generic ones - it's one of the most popular for many other MSX emulators out there.
 

wavemotion

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Version 7.6 is released: https://github.com/wavemotion-dave/ColecoDS

V7.6: 28-June-2022 by wavemotion-dave
  • Cleanup of Cassette Menu handling.
  • Improved MSX compatibility.
  • Faster large-ROM loading speed.
  • New Alpha-only Keyboard support.
  • A few minor bug fixes as time allowed.

In short: more games on the compatibility list and smoother operation across the board. I ran through almost 1000 MSX cassette-based games and tweaked settings to get more than 90% of them to run properly.

Every day closer...
 
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