Getting started with Acekard 2

Discussion in 'Acekard' started by Grimm, Nov 23, 2008.

Nov 23, 2008

Getting started with Acekard 2 by Grimm at 9:23 PM (8,873 Views / 0 Likes) 34 replies

  1. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    Hi guys, i'm new to the forum and to flash carts. I know that newbie posts like this can be annoying and repetitive so i'll try to be as straight-forward as possible.

    I recently got interested in running movies, music and emulation related homebrew on my v5 NDS Lite. After some careful deliberation and a visit to the "Post your questions about which flashcart to buy" forum I decided on getting an Acekard 2 and a Kingston 4gb SDHC card. With them on the way, I figured it would be a good idea to educate myself in the software area of DS flash carts.

    Now I have already done a bit of reading and I know that i'm going to need programs like Moonshell (for music, movies) and SNEmulDS (for snes emulation) as well as a few others. My real question is about AKAIO. In short; what is it? From what i've been reading it seems like its used as a 'dashboard' (like the xbox uses) which launches when you turn on the DS with the Acekard in and then you can launch other applications (such as Moonshell, emulators, etc.) from there. Is this correct? What exactly am I going to need on my flash card to get everything working properly?
     


  2. VatoLoco

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

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,261
    Location:
    Ya Cant Get There From Here
    Country:
    United States
    [​IMG] The AKAIO WiKi is a good place to start
     
  3. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    I've been through the wiki two or three times but it reads kind of funny to me. [​IMG]

    I understand what i'm reading but i'm not sure what context its in. It's a pretty indepth Wiki as far as features go, but it doesn't give you the bare bones basics of using Acekard or AKAIO from what I can see. It says that its a custom firmware for the Acekard but it doesn't say if its absolutely necessary to use your Acekard. So can I just drag and drop emulators and other apps onto my MicroSD card and then play them or do I need a custom firmware like AKAIO or does the Acekard come with firmware built in? [​IMG]
     
  4. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Country:
    United States
    No, AKAIO is a direct replacement for the official firmware. You'll need to download and copy one or the other onto your microSD card or your Acekard 2 won't work (no need to install both). Although the two menus are similar (they are both based on the same source code), I recommend AKAIO because it has several bug fixes and numerous features that the official doesn't have.

    AKAIO has the ability to use different loader versions for loading your games (the loader is the part of the firmware that actually loads the games while the menu is the user-interface part of the firmware that lets you set options and run the games via the loader). If you do decide to use AKAIO, I would recommend that you also install the official loader (just get the "akmenu4.nds" file from the official firmware, rename it to "ak_411.nds" or something similar, and place it in the "__aio/ak2loaders" folder). Then, from the menu you can set any problematic games to use the official loader (which is newer than the one that comes built into AKAIO and has fixes for a few newer games).

    You can run your emulators with either the official firmware or with AKAIO.

    -Bri
     
  5. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    So the firmware is like an operating system in a manner of speaking?

    Then I have the option of either using the official Acekard 2 firmware or using AKAIO which is a better firmware than the official. So all I have to do is copy the AKAIO files directly onto my MicroSD card once I get it and then my Acekard will launch AKAIO every time I turn on my DS with the Acekard in. From there I will be able to launch emulators, games and other apps that are on the SD card as well, correct?

    Sorry for all the newbishness, but i'm really trying to get educated on the card so I know what to do with it by the time it gets here. [​IMG]
     
  6. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Country:
    United States
    Yup, that's about right! Both the official firmware and AKAIO have one file (named "akmenu4.nds") and one folder (either "__ak2" or "__aio" depending on which you're using) which you copy to the microSD card.

    But (unlike some other flash carts) you have the option of going to the NDS menu (the menu where you can run PictoChat, receive a download play, or set the NDS options) rather than directly to the Acekard 2 menu when you turn on your NDS with the Acekard 2 in it. In the NDS menu, the Acekard 2 will show up just like a slot 1 game cartridge and you click on it to get to the Acekard 2 menu. If you want to launch directly to the Acekard 2 menu as you described (bypassing the NDS menu), just set that option in the NDS options that runs a slot 1 cartridge automatically (then to get to the NDS menu you'll have to remove the Acekard 2 from slot 1).

    The great thing about that is that you can set it up either way. Once you get to the Acekard 2 menu (either the official or AKAIO, whichever you have on your microSD card) you can launch emulators, play games, etc. just as you described.

    -Bri
     
  7. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    So what you were saying before is to use AKAIO as the main firmware and then put the official firmware in the loaders folder so that you can use it to load any apps that might have problems loading in AKAIO, right?

    [​IMG] I think i'm starting to get it, but whats all this jazz about renaming the AKAIO files?
     
  8. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Country:
    United States
    Yes, exactly! Putting the (renamed) official loader in the AKAIO "ak2loaders" folder allows you to change a setting in AKAIO that will make AKAIO automatically launch it with the official loader instead of the built-in AKAIO loader (which is based on an older version of the official loader).

    I don't know what you're referring to as far as renaming the AKAIO files.

    -Bri
     
  9. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    I must have mis-read something and thought you had said that I needed to rename one of the AKAIO files.

    Ok so i've gone to the downloads page now and i've downloaded "Acekard Firmware 4.11" and "AKAIO v1.2." These are the Acekard official firmware and the latest version of AKAIO, correct? So what i've done is renamed the akmenu4.nds file to ak_411.nds and moved it from the Acekard Firmware 4.11 folder into the AKAIO ak2loader folder. Is this right?

    When I get my card, do I put the emulator and media player files into a certain folder in the AKAIO folder when I put it on the card or do I just put the AKAIO files on there (minus the readme, i guess) and then put the other apps on there in their own separate folders?
     
  10. dsoutware

    Newcomer dsoutware Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2008
    Messages:
    31
    Country:
    Netherlands
    I think what Bri trying to say is the loader from official site is more current and up to date, so if you want to use that loader, you have to rename that file to AKAIO loader file name so that AKAIO firmware when use have the right name when loading. If you don't rename that file, it will not be able to find the new loader and just load what it has built in. Is that correct Bri.
     
  11. CannonBallZ

    Member CannonBallZ GBAtemp Regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2007
    Messages:
    243
    Country:
    United States
    A question kinda related to Acekard. There was a video of a nice looking GUI that you could scroll with the touch screen and looks kinda like an iphone interface that was based on acekard posted awhile ago. It showed the acekard .nds file in the file system. What was the name of that project and what happened to it?
     
  12. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    He said that I should put the official Acekard loader in the loader folder of my AKAIO so that i'd be able to use the official loader if the AKAIO loader was having problems with a particular game.

    I was just checking with him to make sure that i've done it correctly. Being that I know little to nothing about flash carts, DS firmware, etc. and I don't even have my cart yet, its tough for me to experiment in order to get it to work. I, like everyone else I would imagine, want to be able to put apps on my DS card and use it right after I get it so the best way for me to do that is to learn about it while i'm waiting for the cart to arrive.

    I could sit and read FAQ's all day but a lot of them read like Chinese to me, I need more of a literal translation and something to relate the material to. [​IMG]
     
  13. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Country:
    United States
    Yes, I think you did it correctly. You don't touch the "akmenu4.nds" that comes with AKAIO -- you just rename the one that comes with the official menu and put it in the "ak2loaders" folder of AKAIO. By the way, the newest version of the official firmware (4.12) is NOT compatible with AKAIO, so use 4.11 until Smiths and Normmatt (the developers of AKAIO) can contact Acekard and find out what changed with the 4.12 loader.

    -Bri
     
  14. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    [​IMG] Thanks for clearing that up Bri.
    Oh and what about the placement of the app and emulator files? Do they go in a particular folder in the AKAIO files or do they go in their own folder and straight onto the SD card with AKAIO?
     
  15. ShAdOwFuRi

    Member ShAdOwFuRi GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    321
    Country:
    Australia
    If I'm not mistaken, the plugins allow them to be placed wherever you like??

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  16. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    After downloading a few apps and reading their respective readmes, I believe you put the AKAIO files and any other apps directly on the SD card, rather than putting the apps in a specific folder in the AKAIO files.

    Of course, this is what I gather from browsing through the files i've downloaded thus far. I'm still waiting for Bri or another knowledgeable person to confirm this. [​IMG]

    I'm sure that even after all this its going to take a bit of fumbling for me to get my train rolling. Unfortunately for me I didn't realize that dealextreme is based in China, otherwise I would have started this ball rolling 3 weeks ago and been ready for my 6 hour car ride to Las Vegas this Thursday. :/
     
  17. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Country:
    United States
    You're correct, homebrew (including emulators and other apps) and games do NOT go into the "__aio" folder.

    I put my games in a "games" folder on the root of the microSD card. I put my GBA games in a "gba" folder (you need a slot 2 card to be able to play GBA games). I put my emulators and apps in a folder named "apps" that is on the root of the microSD card. Most homebrew allows data files to go in a "data" folder on the root of your microSD card, although some require the data files at the root (that's kind of annoying).

    You should also make folders like "__aio" and files that you don't want to see in the menu hidden (select "properties" on the PC and select the "hidden" box). There is an option in AKAIO to show hidden files if you need to see them, but I leave that option off so that hidden files remain hidden.

    -Bri
     
  18. Grimm
    OP

    Newcomer Grimm Advanced Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    Messages:
    63
    Country:
    United States
    Sorry, my bad, after reading your post a second time I realized you'd already answered my question. [​IMG]
     
  19. ShAdOwFuRi

    Member ShAdOwFuRi GBAtemp Fan

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    Messages:
    321
    Country:
    Australia
    just to clarify, there are no restrictions whatsoever in placing .mp3 files, txt files etc etc???
     
  20. Bri

    Member Bri GBAtemp Psycho!

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2007
    Messages:
    3,413
    Country:
    United States
    You can put files anywhere you want, but I would recommend putting them in a folder rather than having them at the root. The FAT file system does have a limit on the number of files that can go on the root. Plus, it will make it easier to find your files. So put your .mp3 files in a "media" folder or something.

    -Bri
     

Share This Page