GCW Zero 5/5/14 Firmware Update Released

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Another World, May 6, 2014.

  1. Another World
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    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    GCW Zero owners have been patiently awaiting the release of the next firmware update. Packaged among some great fixes is the addition of triple buffer support. This new implementation provides a means to greatly increase the performance of emulation, which is perhaps the largest draw for both current and potential Zero owners. Flashing this firmware update is the same as previous updates, instructions can be found via the GCW WIKI article linked below.

    Root file-system changes:
    • Triple buffering in SDL
    • Input through joydev instead of evdev for joysticks
    • Access point mode (ad-hoc WiFi between two Zeros)
    • Integrated WiFi manager (GCW Connect)
    • Integrated image viewer (o2xiv)
    • WiFi notifier (blinks the green LED slowly)
    • Low-power warning (blinks the green LED fast)
    • Root file-system based on Buildroot 2014.02
    • Root file-system now located on system partition
    • On-demand loading of the network daemons
    • Added command-line tool to launch OPKs, "opkrun"
    • Added WiFi modules for recent units
    • Added GNU Screen
    Kernel changes:
    • Kernel based on Linux 3.12
    • Watchdog driver (automatic reboot on kernel crash/panic)
    • Optional joystick interface for built-in controls; an application can request the joystick interface using the new X-OD NeedsJoystick key
    • Supports loadable modules
    • rfkill (Internal USB bus powered on-demand)
    • Boot splash (press A for verbose boot)
    GMenu2X:
    • UI improvements
    • Custom fonts supported
    • New themes
    • Full navigation with joystick
    • Launches OPKs with "opkrun"
    Power switch daemon:
    • Fix the Power + X bug (crazy input events after the combo is used)
    • Sends SDLK_HOME if the switch is quickly flicked
    New important libraries:
    • Allegro 4
    • OpenAL
    • Java (JamVM + GNU Classpath)
    • JavaScript: NodeJS
    • Lua: lua-jit
    • SDL2 (experimental)

    :download: Official Download (5/5/14)
    :download: Filetrip Download
    :arrow: Updating Instuctions
    :arrow: Source
     
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  2. fermio100

    fermio100 Advanced Member

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    I have received mine and have updated the FW.

    It's a great piece of hardware indeed.

    I'm very please with the speed and quality of the SNES emulator.
     
  3. Another World
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    Another World Emulate the Planet!

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    i'm not really sure how that issue is relevant to the firmware update? perhaps you should contact justin barwick or post your concern to their kickstarter, dingoonity section, official e-mail, or any one of the mods found on their irc channel (/server irc.freenode.net /join #GCW).

    -another world
     
  4. RupeeClock

    RupeeClock Colors 3D Snivy!

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    A truly wonderful update, the triple buffering support is a massive performance boost for the applications compiled to support it.
    It really can do Yoshi's Island full speed, quite the feat.
     
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  5. Nebuleon

    Nebuleon MAH BOI/GURL

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    Not to mention all the other special chip games, like Star Fox, Kirby Super Star and Super Mario RPG. They also get very large boosts in performance.

    That was one of my favourite parts of the update, because I really like Yoshi's Island (except Baby Mario's crying, ugh!) and I really like optimisation.

    Next, but not least, is the part that finally allows the GCW Zero to write files without some random corruption in the middle (excluding things like turning off or resetting the GCW Zero in the middle of a write, but yeah). When testing the January firmwares, I had installation errors because the files were written corrupted. I had to reinstall up to 3 times in a row to get a firmware to run.

    Now I find out that some of my PocketSNES save files were written corrupted by previous firmwares, so I'll start the games again, but now I'm pretty certain that they'll be saved correctly after I wrote upwards of 20 gigabytes of file copy tests to the internal memory.
     
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  6. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Why does this release come with such an old kernel? Does kernel 3.15 not offer anything substantial worth upgrading to?
     
  7. Surkow

    Surkow Advanced Member

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    One of the OpenDingux developers mentioned degradation of SquashFS performance in recent kernels. The OS heavily relies on SquashFS for loading applications.
     
  8. Jayro

    Jayro MediCat USB and Mini Windows 10 Developer

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    Ah, typical kernel regressions... It happens a lot. I don't think the power regressions from the early 3.0 days even got fixed, to be honest.
     
  9. nl255

    nl255 GBAtemp Addict

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    So does that mean the GCW Zero can now run the PC version of Minecraft or does it still not have the CPU speed and RAM to do so given how resource intensive Minecraft can be.
     
  10. Surkow

    Surkow Advanced Member

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    In short, no it will not run. Even if it would it'd be too slow. Nebuleon might give you a bit more of an in depth answer. ;)
     
  11. nl255

    nl255 GBAtemp Addict

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    Oh well. I was hoping it would since they mentioned Java support.
     
  12. Nebuleon

    Nebuleon MAH BOI/GURL

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    OpenGL ES is there, and so is Java, yes, but the JamVM which was added to the GCW Zero firmware has only a Java bytecode interpreter, not a JIT compiler.

    Interpreters take on average 25 machine instructions to execute 1 bytecode instruction. So JamVM on the GCW Zero executes Java bytecode as if it were a native program running on a 1000/25 MHz processor (= 40 MHz).

    Java on PC is usually Sun Java (now Oracle Java) or OpenJDK, which both have excellent JIT compilers. They run Minecraft very well because their performance is very close to that of a C or C++ program compiled with optimisations specific to PC.
     
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  13. VMM

    VMM Hamon > Stand

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    GCW sure seems interesting for retro-emulation.
    I'm kind in doubt about getting this or Nvidia Shield for retro-emulators,
    but until I have any money to buy one of those, there is probably gonna be a year
     
  14. Aeter

    Aeter A walking contradiction

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    Alright that's it, I am buying this retro machine of awesomeness!
     
  15. voddy

    voddy No Title Available

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    good luck! I wonder where the creator of this nice device went to...
    I can't find any shop in my country that's selling this awsome thing!
     
  16. Surkow

    Surkow Advanced Member

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    If you are in the US you can buy from ithic.com and ThinkGeek (also ships internationally). See http://www.gcw-zero.com/store for more resellers (USA/Europe/Australia).
     
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  17. Aeter

    Aeter A walking contradiction

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    Got mine today, just updated everything and installed everything. So far it seems pretty awesome.
    Some things were kind of hard to figure out, but good thing there are manuals.
    Is it normal with the new update that the wireless app doesn't work anymore? At least at default firmware it worked fine, but now it won't connect.
    It will connect through GCW Connect, but then my LED doesn't stop blinking even when wifi is turned off.
    I'm confused by this. Perhaps I'm doing something wrong?
     
  18. Surkow

    Surkow Advanced Member

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    The wireless application has been replaced by GCW connect and is no longer supported.
     
  19. chartube12

    chartube12 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Sorry for the thread rez but I just saw an off topic post on Dingoonity about how the gcw zero isn't being produced anymore. Apparently the main dev has ran out of funds and just barely had enough money to finish thinkgeek orders.

    Looks like it is time to look else where. Any news on up coming linux device(s)?
     
  20. VatoLoco

    VatoLoco Don't crush that dwarf, hand me the pliers.

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    from what the wind has carried my way, ive heard rumours and unverified tales that thinkgeek have invested in another batch of zero's for the next holiday season.