Nitrografx / S8DS freeze

Discussion in 'NDS - Emulation and Homebrew' started by plasturion, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    I became huge fan of pc engine lately and I have issue with both these emus and I woudl like to ask you if the same thing occur. ( Is it emu bug or r4/sd fail?)
    So I'm using r4 with ds lite, and in both emus when i load game and run a bit sometimes rarely randomly it hangs when i try to go to menu screen (L + R, or touchscreen). So what do you think? What can it be? Did it ever happen to you?
     
  2. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Like most of emulators when you launch an emulator for the first time you can have this kind of issue it's caused by .cfg files,
    you can try to reboot your console. If it doesn't work, be sure your folders are on the root of your sd
    and have the good name with the right police size :

    For the pce emu the folder need to named (without capital) :

    nitrografx

    your games need to be placed in subdirectories inside the "nitrografx" folder
    and all the others files of this emu need to be placed directly into the "nitrografx" folder.
    (except the .nds file that you can place anywhere you want)


    For S8DS it's the same except the name of the folder that is :

    S8DS
     
    Last edited by Indy13, Jan 28, 2019
  3. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    Well, I have folder S8DS in root but for nitrografx i used capitals and I didn't know that holding roms in subfolders is mandatory. Thanks for sugestions, so I make a cleanup inside and I check/test again.
     
  4. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    In fact the police size is not mentioned on the readme file, the first time I installed Nitrografx, I could not launch the cd-rom games and I had the same kind of problems as you, hucards were ok but impossible to change the setup of the emu, it's by changing the name of the nitrografx directory (without capitals) that I could finally play with pce cd games and change the settings.

    If you reinstall nitrografx here is what I recommend :

    1. Create a folder to the root of your sd and name it : nitrografx (picture 1)

    2. In this "nitrografx" folder, create 3 subfolders (we gonna call them A, B, C for this tuto)(picture 2):
    - (A) one for your pce bioses (I recommend to use [BIOS] Super CD-ROM System (Japan) (v3.0).pce),
    - (B) an other one for your hucards games
    - (C) and the last one for the pce cd-rom games*
    (you can name these subfolders as you want of course)

    3. Put in the "nitrografx" folder all the others stuffs from your archive (an empty folder called "Extras", CDROM_readme, gamelist, history, readme .txt files (the settings.cfg file will be generate by the emu later)

    *I've tried several times US CD-rom with US bioses but only japanese bioses seems to work or I have a wrong copy of the US bios, anyway...

    For your reinstall test, I recommend you to get your hucards (of course^^) but also your super-cd bios and a cd-rom game like Castlevania X or Fatal Fury 2 or what you want but a japanese version.

    In the subfolder for your cd-rom games (C) create a subfolder named as the game you want to play where you'll extract the two cd-rom files, the .cue file and the .iso file (be sure your game is a cue/iso format not a bin/iso) (picture 3 & 4)

    -----------------------------------------------

    Once you did it, you can launch Nitrografx and make your settings :

    1. Launch Nitrografx, a message that say "couldn't find settings.cfg file" will appear, don't worry it's normal, touch the bottom screen to pass this step.

    2. Press R, select machine and press A, then select bios and press A. Here the Nitrografx browser drives you to the root of your sd so go to the "nitrografx" folder and go in folder where you've placed your bios (the folder we've called (A) earlier)

    3. Once your bios is selected press B and go to settings, here choose "Powersave 2nd screen" and press A to active the option (this option will save your battery, you don't need the bottom screen during a game) then press B and press L to come back to the main menu.

    4. Then load a hucard, normally the nitrografx browser brings you to the last opened folder (where you've selected your bios in step n°2) so here select ".." to come back into the "nitrografx" folder where you have your bios folder (A), your hucard folder (B), your cd-rom folder (C) and the Extras folder (from the original archive), once you are here (picture 2) press B to come back to the main menu.

    5. Choose save settings by pressing A (normally the top screen will freeze few seconds, it's because the emu will generate the settings.cfg file).

    6. Select Power On/Off by pressing A and turn off your console.

    7. Turn On your console and relaunch Nitrografx, normally a new message appears and says settings loaded (picture 5), now when you'll launch Nitrografx, when you load the first game you want to play the Nitrografx browser will open directly the nitrografx folder (really easier to use), if you load a cd-rom, load the .cue file*


    *Sometimes when you load a cd-rom you can have a black screen if it's the case, reboot your console, launch the .iso file, you'll have a black screen again but now the path of the game will be written in the settings.cfg file (after that I don't remember if you can reload the game by pressing start, touch screen, A or if you need to reboot your console again), try the first three possibilities and if it doesn't work reboot your console after that you don't need to load the .iso file anymore, only the .cue file will be enough to load your cd-rom game, I'm not sure but I think it depends of the game and the publisher for example a Capcom game like Dynasty Wars will be different than a NEC Avenue game like Asuka 120%.



    -------------------------------------------------
    S8DS
    -------------------------------------------------

    The installation and the settings of this emu quite similar and easier.

    Install

    1. Create a folder to the root of your sd and name it : S8DS (picture 1)

    2. In this "S8DS" folder, create 3 subfolders* (we gonna call them A, B, C for this tuto)(picture 6):
    - (A) one for your Game Gear games,
    - (B) an other one for your SEGA Master System games
    - (C) and the last one for the SG-1000 games
    (you can name these subfolders as you want of course)

    *You can create a 4th subfolder for Coleco games but I've never tried coleco games with this emu, I'm using ColecoDS so I just gonna talk about SEGA games.

    3. Drop into the S8DS folder the "S8DS09Bin" from the original archive and all its contents.

    --------------------------------------------------

    Settings

    1. Launch S8DS, a message that say "couldn't find settings.cfg file" will appear, don't worry it's normal, touch the bottom screen to pass this step.

    2. Then load a game, here the S8DS browser drives you to the root of your sd so go to the "S8DS" folder where you have your GG games folder (A), your SMS games folder (B), your SG-1000 games folder (C) and the S8DS09Bin folder (from the original archive), once you are here choose one of your subfolder games (no matter which one you choose, it's not important) and load a game by pressing A.

    3. Touch the bottom screen, it brings you back to the main menu then load a game again, normally it brings you back in the folder so go on the top of the list, select ".." and press A, this brings you back to the S8DS folder then press B to come back to the main menu.

    4. Choose save settings by pressing A (normally the top screen will freeze few seconds, it's because the emu will generate the settings.cfg file).

    5. Select Power On/Off by pressing A and turn off your console.

    6. Turn On your console and relaunch S8DS, normally a new message appears and says settings loaded (picture 6), now when you'll launch S8DS, when you load the first game you want to play the S8DS browser will open directly the nitrografx folder (really easier to use)




    Sorry it was a little bit long but I hope this tuto will be helpful.
     

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  5. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    Well, I didn't change anything yet, I looked settings.cfg in moonshell and they seem correct (contain /S8DS and /NitroGrafx as the existing one). Now I only cleared sticks of my r4 card and sd, because i noticed sometimes won't work. After longer peroid of time, for longer break my ds dont see card, so from time to time i have to blow inside slot1. So yesterday I think I had better power conduction and after 1 hour playing on nitrograhx changing roms, saving loading save states everything worked flawessly. Only once it freezed, when I changed aspect ratio from 1:1 to different one, change hucard, and load savestate. But I think It has been supose to fail in some conditions, but I want to test a little more.
    ----------------
    That's really great both emus however I'm little disappointed about sound emulation.
    I think some sounds are missing especially on noise channel.
    For example I can't hear voice sounds in Street Fighter II (hucard), but in windows emulator they work.
    And I can't hear hear voice sounds in example in Sailor Moon S for game gear.
    But I watched on youtube that Castlevania cd emulated in NitroGrafx has really good sound emulation.

    Anyway thanks for tutorial, I think it's good help for cleanup and manage files.
    --------
    I noticed when I load game and I take out card from slot1 NitroGrafx still works fine even entering menu by L+R or touchscreen works good. So I shouldn't expect any I/O fails during only entering menu. So conductions of card can be unrelated. Screen freezed right after i tried enter menu so i think it's more emulator issue than file structure, irq or i/o.However it happens very rarely I think entering menu once per 50 so it's not big problem to me.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Jan 29, 2019
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  6. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    I'm not sure but maybe that's where the problem might come from, maybe it's necessary to save settings (and additionally reboot the DS) before to change hucard and load savestate, otherwise I agree with you about the power conduction or a good battery condition, also for everything to work well, it's important to keep a little bit of free space on the sd and this for any emulators (especially for DSx86 but that's another discussion^^)
     
  7. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Edit : double post
     
    Last edited by Indy13, Jan 29, 2019
  8. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    I noticed same thing sometime happen, so i check with renaming main folder NitroGrafx to nitrografx and place rom in subfolder later for testing. Maybe I use second version dldi patch and check out.

    I like wonderboy in monsterland game. There's translation for pc engine and game feels almost the same as arcade but they changed too much. Bosses and clercks looks completly different. Therefore sega master system port is a litlle bit better. Sadly there's no way to play mame version on s8ds? I thought it has ability to emulate some arcade machines.
    I think this game had much influence for later plaform games for PCE and sega. Many similarities not only for monsterworld series.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Jan 29, 2019
  9. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Just by curiousity what is your linker ? Personnally I've tried Nitrografx on classical R4 (2go), R4 Gold Pro SDHC 2016 and DSTwo+, I've never used a ddli patcher, I always let do the auto patcher from my differents linkers but sometimes It could be useful to install an homebrew on a linker and then once the homebrew is auto-patched, to make a backup on a pc and to reinstall it on another linker, generally old R4 (2go) is great for that because it's an old and very compatible flashcard.

    The only way to play to the mame version is by using mame4all or fba4dstwo with a dstwo of course^^
     
    Last edited by Indy13, Jan 29, 2019
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  10. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    I have standard very first r4 card and wood akmenu 1.62. So do you think my card should be able to autopatch dldi? I applied patch because that was written in readme file. I found dldi patch for r4 (v2) and aplied to nitrografx and s8ds. Maybe i shouldn't?

    You are right, there's no need to apply dldi for r4.

    Ok i placed files exactly as you said and I found even something new. There's image of sega console in menu. So maybe i didn't copy all files before. Maybe this image was stored in .DS_Store file. I thought it's some kind of trash lol. Thanks a lot. For now it works fine.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Jan 30, 2019
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  11. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Actually ddli pacth is required when the .nds file of the hombrew doesn't work.

    That's a reason why i like this emu, it's very complete.

    I think you're right about .DS_Store file, I never did the test without this file but it must be that.

    Glad if it works fine :)
     
  12. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    Not exactly, the same thing still happens by entering L+R, but very rarely, as I said I can live with this.
    I can only tell the moment how it freeze.
    Sometimes sprites moves about 20 pixels or background position change.
    Then I can only turn off and turn on DS, but it's ok to me.

    Maybe my r4 can't handle irq properly in this emu implementation, maybe something else, I don't know.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Jan 30, 2019
  13. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    I'm not sure if it's raletad but I found a situation when I can meet with this issue more often, and I think it have to do something with loading/saving save states in Nitrografx.

    The best example you can see it using Bomberman '93. When you save state at any moment of stage level and then when you turn off ds, turn on, open Nitrografx, open rom and than instantly load state. The emulation speed is reduced by 2 and whole screen is shaking. Sometimes pressing L+R at this point makes emulation freezed.

    How to load save state to working fine? And this is interesting. All you have to do is to wait until title screen of Bomberman is displayed, and then load state. From this point you can load/save using L+R and everything should work fine, no freeze expected (until you change game and repeat some actions too fast). I only noticed after load state when the stage is too wide and you go too far to second side brickswalls positions change to the one at first side.

    Any conclusion? I guess save state don't set up everything. Maybe ram is not correctly zeroed or prepeared by save state and it's required that you have let game rom wait for load some part to allow format ram and maybe it setting up registers and stack too. For sure it seems that loading save state doesn't set up everything.

    About save state in S8DS v0.7 and Wonderboy in monsterland. This is interesting too, loading save state can't set up color palette. So when you load state and you were in different location color will be different until you change location again, lost life or open door wich mean you call setting color palette procedure again.
    Similar situation as nitrografx. Until you don't change rom, saving/loading should works fine, no freeze.

    Conclusion:
    Saving state don't store everything or loading state don't set up enough.

    I know this issue(setting up color palette after load save state) is fixed in v0.9 but i noticed v0.7 for me is more stable, v0.9 freezed before more often than v0.7 and I didn't like idea 'X' button as run/start. Anyway for save states v0.9 works much better, so probably i move to newer version and test more.
    ------
    And this can be unrelated with freezing because in example freeze happened in nitrografx twice lately in bomberman '93 before i could try load any state. It freezed when first L+R was pressed when bomberman is flying in space before title screen is showing. Or maybe yes(if waiting for load some part of game affects also on better function call of emulation but it happen not regular so it's doubtful. The longer you play one game the emulation seems to work more stable and no freeze and therefore some ram locations can be more complete)
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Feb 3, 2019
  14. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Hi Plasturion,

    I just tried to reproduce the bugs you have with Bomberman '93 and Wonderboy In Monsterland on nitrografx v0.7 (not on S8DS), I don't have any problems but I have to say my sd is almost empty so maybe it could be a reason, other thing, to make a savegame I don't do exactly as you, first at all, I don't use L+R, I'm just using the touchscreen to go to the main menu, so once I've loaded a hucard, to make a savegame, I press touchscreen and press A on "Save State" option then if i want to change the game or to quit the emu after saving I choose "Eject Game" before to load a new hucard or to choose the "Power On/Off" option (before to turn off the ds).

    Note: in any case if I want to load a savegame, I load the hucard before.
     
    Last edited by Indy13, Feb 3, 2019
  15. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    Yes that maybe that's it, i didn't clean up sd card by years. And i can't even copy state file in wood as backup, it telling me there's not enough disk space(not true), I can only move file from one location to different. So best way to check is to format sd, place clean firmware and nitrografx folder. About Wonderboy in Monsterland I was telling about sega master system emu s8ds. There are two versions, most recent is v0.9.
    Touching screen or L+R acting the same.
    -------
    Whats new:
    SD card was fully formated in sd card formatter v5 with auto adjustment.
    Fresh Wood 1.62 installed on card.
    Placed emu folders and rest.
    Free space 1gb 50%.
    Wood menu showing up much faster.
    I can copy files now, yes.

    I can reproduce the same bug in Bomberman '93. I think if you load save state enough fast you can see this.

    And there's one thing. I had swich on softreset in homebrew before. It's now off by default. It's softpatch and works like dldi, right? Maybe because it use similar combination of keys L+R make a conflict. Still testing with off option.

    Stay tuned. ;)

    Nope, I pass. I can accept random freeze than live without soft reset.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Feb 3, 2019
  16. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    I made the test with Wonderboy In Monsterland with S8DS v0.9 and it works fine, there is no freeze with the savegame, the only thing I've noticed is effectively a color problem during loading state but by pressing B everything comeback ok (same bug with nitrografx) but I've also realized that I don't have the same wood as you, mine is an older version (wood akmenu 1.56) maybe the difference can come from here so I've uploaded my wood on mediafire if you want to try it, here is the link :

    http://www.mediafire.com/file/tsa1qn3ff5r2mna/Wood_R4_akmenu_1.56.rar/file

    IMPORTANT !! Don't forget to make a backup of your actual wood on your PC and all the other things on your sd before to install this one and also to change the language because my settings language is french.

    As I told you'll don't need ddli patch, the best is to create a folder on your PC to prepare your sd, where you'll put the wood files, the emus (nitro and s8ds) with all the folders and files required, reformat your sd, and copy/paste all the contents from your PC folder to your sd.
     
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  17. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    Yeah, i didn't forget to backup, but scandisk found some files and fixed errors. And the best way is install fresh firmware.
    I've got from official site.
    http://www.r4ds.com/download.htm#2
    Do you prefer 1.56. Is any particular reason to do it? More stable?
    I really don't have any problems with other emulation and homebrew and 1.62 always work fine with emu like nesds, gameyob, lameboy never freeze. Only snemulds have some problems with savestates. When I play Donkeykong Country after load savestate, emulation works fine few seconds, then image freeze, but sound is playing. If 1.56 is more stable maybe i give it try.

    Yes s8ds v0.9 load color palette fine, but v0.7 don't.

    Thanks, I'll check your upload and compare.

    I didn't apply dldi to anything, i only say that turning on softreset in homebrew( to go back to wood menu) works similar to autopatching dldi. Some code is layered to homebrew by software. Maybe this comparision is not equal.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Feb 4, 2019
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  18. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Actually there is no particular reason that I'm using this version, I do lots of tests with different linkers (3 especially, the classical R4 (2go), R4 Gold Pro SDHC 2016 and DSTwo+, I'm using a ds lite like you but I've added an EZ flash 3in1), few years ago, I bought an used ds lite to get one more (I have to admit I'm a huge fan of this console, I've got more than 20 pieces of this console, I like to open and repair^^), anyway, when I bought this old console a broken linker was in the package but the sd was ok so I've tried the firmware on another linker everything were ok so I've decided to keep this version.

    What I've noticed through the years (maybe I'm wrong) is generally what it works on this wood works on the others firmware especially for the DSTwo+ (R4 Gold Pro 2016 seems to be less compatible in particular when I add the EZ Flash 3in1).

    An other thing that is interesting with firmware is the auto detect GBA mode (EZ flash), this wood is not too old, not too new, it's a good deal to make some tests because sometimes you can get some troubles with the EZ flash (ghost games problems or bad header detection) so I made a sd only to debug the EZ with other homebrews that using auto-detect like GBA_Exploader_058b0_MX, gbaldr, Diagnose, memtestARM, NOR_Eraser and other stuffs like scummVM J test build, GameYob and Pokemini to test ram and rumble pack, it works fine so finally that's the reason why I'm using this wood version.

    For the moment the only trouble that I had is a FAT Init fail with AemioDA.

    Maybe I should try a fresh version but to be honest I don't really have time to do this because I'm working since few years now on a big sd (128go) for my DSTwo+ and I try to put the most games and emulators as possible so this mean i have to test all the complete catalogs of games for each machines and this takes a lots of time because sometimes some roms seems compatible but actually they're not because of protection for example Aladin sms crash after the first stage but the game gear rom works fine or an other example for jenesids, Donald In Maui Mallard crash after the first boss, The Adams family is listed as a not working game but actually it works, it just needs to reboot the game and change the country option.

    I don't use too much snemulds because this emu is far to be perfect, I'm using the old version (v06a) because the sound and the compatibility is better but I've never tried to save a game as far as I can, I'm using original save system or password it depends the games.
     
  19. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    I tested NitroGrafx on v1.56 wood akmenu from http://old.r4wood.com/pages/Wood-R4-Kernel.html and I can tell this is it. Now it works on/off and reset option correctly (before was only black screen on top) and freeze is no possible now. NitroGrafx issue solved, thanks.

    In bomberman '93 I can make the same bug but seems it's not related with freezing.

    S8DS v0.9 sometimes freeze, but maybe theres something else, I used both versions sharing the same config file, even so I think v0.7 will not freeze now. :)
     
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  20. Indy13

    Indy13 Advanced Member

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    Great to read this :)

    Maybe it comes from your roms, you should try to find and test an other copy of Bomberman '93 and games that freeze on s8ds, you can use mine if you want, PM me and I'll send you that ;)
     
  21. plasturion
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    plasturion GBAtemp Fan

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    Well I know there are few dumps of every game so I think Im able to find different one. But it's not so important. I can always avoid bug waiting for title screen, then load state. More annoying bug is that some brickwalls are replaced when stage is too big and i'll go far. I found something similar in Valkyrie no Densetsu. When I load state and walk a bit to one direction sometimes stage map is taken from different places and It looks like im walking on a water or Im falling and sinking when ground is shown. It seems like ram/vram lacks something or is too shrink. To avoid this bug all you have to do is to load state at the begining of first stage, loading state should be fine. It looks like vram is bigger by actual gameplay and it allow to load state correctly.
    I think it's not possible to make these bugs if I not use savestates.

    I noticed freeze is sometimes possible but very very rare only at first minute or less, after load rom. I think I can accept all that imperfections.
     
    Last edited by plasturion, Feb 5, 2019
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