Vesko's All-In-One DS Glossary

Discussion in 'NDS - Tutorials' started by OmegaVesko, May 4, 2011.

May 4, 2011
  1. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Vesko's All-In-One DS Glossary


    NOTE: The point of this glossary is to provide one place where you can check every term you might come across with flashcarts, and the DS in general. I'm aware there are already several DS glossaries, and this one is here to provide a one-stop explanation for every term.
    The glossary is divided into categories, so you can easily find every term. Alternatively, if you know the exact term you're looking for, just search for it (The hotkey is ususally Ctrl/Cmd + F).

    Category 1: General DS terms

    DS Phat - The first generation DS that came out in 2004. It's called the "phat" because it was physically bigger than it's successors. The Phat didn't have any firmware updates. The only thing its firmware can do is launch games and configure the DS itself, so all flashcarts will run on it.
    DS Lite - The second generation DS that came out in 2006. It's basically a smaller version of the Phat, and as a side-effect of the reduced size, slightly reduced build quality. If you're not careful, various parts of the shell can break, including the hinges breaking and L/R buttons stopping to work. The firmware is the same as in the Phat, so all flashcarts will run on it.
    DSi - The third generation DS that came out in 2009 (2008 in Japan). It's the same size as the Lite, however with a seemingly increased build quality. It also added features, such as a Wii-like menu (replacing the old firmware), and two cameras (inside and outside). With the launch of the DSi, Nintendo also launched the DSiWare service, which is the DSi's counterpart to the Wii's WiiWare system. It allows you to download DSiWare-exclusive games and demos, not available on the DS Phat and DS Lite. With the new firmware also came firmware updates, so many flashcarts are rendered useless until (and if) the manufacturer releases a firmware update for the flashcart that bypasses the DSi's security.
    DSi XL - A larger and heavier version of the DSi released in 2009/2010, its main feature being larger screens, but not increased resolutions(!). The firmware and all other features are the same as the DSi.
    3DS - A completely new system, NOT a part of the DS line (listed above). Released in February/March 2011. Some flashcarts have firmware updates that can bypass the 3DS security, however keep in mind that they run in DS-mode, meaning they can't run 3DS games, nor use the 3D effect.
    Gamepak/cartridge - The DS storage media. It's solid-state memory, meaning it reduces loading times, unlike optical media such as the PSP's UMDs and the Xbox 360's DVDs. However, the storage capacity is smaller than the PSP's UMD, but it's barely noticeable due to the fact that the lower-powered DS needs less data to begin with.
    Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection - Nintendo's counterpart to Xbox LIVE and the PlayStation Network. All of its features are free, including the DSiWare service and online play using Wi-Fi (Note though, only the DSi and DSi XL support WPA encryption, while the Phat and Lite rely on WEP encryption alone).
    Slot-1 - The main slot on the DS, DSL, DSi and 3DS. Runs DS/3DS games (and flashcarts).
    Slot-2 - The secondary slot on the DS and DS Lite, used to run GBA games. It was removed with the DSi. In the 3DS, it's used to launch DS games.

    Category 2: Flashcarts/Homebrew


    Flashcart - An unauthorized device made to fit in the Slot-1 (and sometimes Slot-2) opening on the DS. In most cases, one would use it to watch movies using Moonshell, as well as play ROMs. However, some cartridges such as the iPlayer only support media playback (with the exception of the 3rd party GBA emulator for the iPlayer). These aren't licensed by Nintendo, and are regularly blocked out using firmware updates.
    Sudokuhax - An outdated homebrew exploit for the DSi/DSi XL by Team Twiizers (creators of the Homebrew channel and BootMii), using the Sudoku game developed by EA. It could be used to launch NDS binaries directly from the DSi's internal SD card slot. Unfortunately, the game has since been patched and cannot be used for this purpose.
    Slot-2 flashcarts - These were made to launch GBA games and GBA-specific homebrew until carts like the iPlayer and Supercard DSTwo had functional GBA emulators.
    ROM - A 1:1 copy of a Read-Only Memory unit, usually from a DS or GBA cartridge. Elsewhere, the term can also be used for computers, arcade machines, etc.
    Firmware - The software you get when you buy a flashcart. If a flashcart supports firmware updates, it means it can be updated to bypass security updates and get new features without having to buy a new flashcart. Most DSi-compatible flashcarts today have this feature.
    Homebrew - Custom DS software made by 3rd party developers, not licensed by Nintendo. Everything made to be run using flashcarts/exploits counts as homebrew. This includes homebrew games, emulators, ROM loaders, and even flashcart firmwares.
    Moonshell - An extremely popular video and music player for the DS. It supports a wide range of formats, but unfortunately does not play AVI video files. It comes built into a lot of carts, but in theory any cart can run the NDS binary.
    Wood R4 - An unofficial R4 OS (incorrectly called a "firmware") made by Yellow Wood Goblin. Its biggest feature is that it will run on 1:1 clones, which are in most cases never updated themselves.
    AkAIO - An unofficial OS (incorrectly called a "firmware") for the original Acekard. It's based on the source of the Acekard RPG.

    Category 3: Specific Flashcarts


    Acekard 2i - The Ak2i is one of the most popular carts today. Using AkAIO, it has near-perfect compatibility, while also supporting the DSi and 3DS. Unfortunately it lacks the built-in processor of the DSTwo, which is why people still choose the latter instead.
    Supercard DSTwo - The best flashcart in existence, for now at least. Slightly higher game compatibility than the Ak2i, while its built-in processor allows it to run the built in GBA and SNES emulators at full speed, along with other DSTwo-exclusive homebrew. If you can afford it, by all means get one of these.
    DSTTi - A fairly widely used cart, boasting slightly more features than the R4, but not much. It generally costs about as much as an Ak2i, so, given the choice, you should get the Acekard.
    M3i Zero - This cart has about the same features as the Acekard, and focuses a lot on the ability to play MP3 and DPG files. It runs its own Sakura operating system, and supports upgrading both the firmware and kernel. So basically, it's somewhere between the R4 and the Ak2i.
    CycloDS iEvolution - The second cart in the CycloDS line, the iEvolution's biggest feature is the ability to run DSi-mode homebrew and games; It remains the only cart that has this ability. However, DSi game and homebrew support is buggy and not many homebrew apps have been made to support DSi-mode, so this feature hasn't really lived up to the hype. Somewhere between the Ak2i and DSTwo in terms of features and price.
    R4 DS Revolution - One of the first DS carts ever made, it has the ability to run DS games and homebrew, including Moonshell (giving it the ability to run music and video). It's not as widely used anymore, due to the lack of DSi/DSi XL/3DS compatibility and advanced features.
    "Clones" - "Clones" are fake carts made to look and feel like popular carts like the R4 DS and M3i. Generally these carts should work fine, but the firmware is never updated (which is why 3rd party firmware like Wood R4 is made), and in rare cases can also brick your DS if you're not careful.
    iEDGE - A nice middle-range DSi compatible flashcart. Comes with Moonshell built-in, as well as the ability to launch Slot-2 carts from the firmware. Also supports Action Replay codes, and a fully upgradeable bootstrap.
    EZ-Flash - The EZ-Flash isn't a cart per se, but a brand (and team) name. The EZ-Flash team first started making flashcarts for the GBA, and eventually ddveloped the EZ-Flash Vi, their first DS cart. Their most popular products are the EZ-Flash 3-in-1 Slot-2 extension (Acts as a RAM expansion and runs the Opera browser), as well as the EZ-Flash III and EZ-Flash IV, their GBA flashcarts.

    Category 4: General


    Anti-Piracy - In DS terms, a part of the DS firmware that doesn't allow a flashcart to run a ROM. Occasionally, ROMs/games themselves will have built-in Anti-Piracy (Such as Pokémon Black/White). This is usually bypassed using a ROM patch or a flashcart firmware update.
    Patch - A file or program used to modify or "patch" a ROM, usually to bypass Anti-Piracy. In some cases, ROM Hacks will be referred to as patches.
    Brick - A state of the DS system or flashcart. Generally, bricked systems will not function at all (usually unable to boot up), because they were handled improperly or blocked out by a firmware update (for flashcarts). The name is derived from the fact that it's about as useful as a brick in this state.
    Dump - "Dumping" is a method of transferring the contents of a DS or GBA "gamepak" to another device, usually a flashcart or PC. A "dump" is the resulting ROM file.
    1:1 Clone - A 100% identical clone of the R4 DS Revolution cart. These are highly valued as they can run the Wood R4 firmware, making them just as functional as an actual R4. In some cases, 1:1 clones are also made of other carts, such as the M3.
    GUI - Short for Graphical User Interface, it's the part of a flashcart's firmware you can see and interact with. Its counterpart is the kernel, which actually does all the work. In some cases, homebrew will be developed as a shell (DSLinux, for example). This means you see a command-line interface instead of a GUI.

    I'll be glad to update the glossary by request, so ask away!
     


  2. KingdomBlade

    Member KingdomBlade Blade v3+ (I R SHMEXY)

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    And this is different from this, or this, or maybe this, or even this, in what way? Please, avoid making topics that already exist.
     
  3. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Like I said, I realize there are several similar threads, but mine is intended to be up to date and have more terms (Which it does, if you don't count the wiki page).
     
  4. coolness

    Banned coolness PSN: Dutch_DarkLord

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    nice one [​IMG] and what gives if there are more Glossarys, this 1 is updated [​IMG]
     
  5. RoMee

    Member RoMee ??

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    here's a tip,
    google "firmware and OS"
     
  6. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    It's intended for n00bs that don't know how to Google. If they could, threads like this wouldn't need to exist.

    That, and this thread is meant to explain it in simple terms. I don't think a 12-year-old that just got a flashcart understands a word of the Wikipedia article for "Firmware". [​IMG]
     
  7. KingdomBlade

    Member KingdomBlade Blade v3+ (I R SHMEXY)

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    What he means (I Think) is that the definition of firmware is actually the definition of an OS. (I THINK)
     
  8. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, to some extent you are correct. But I haven't made separate definitons for firmware and OS, so I don't see what the problem is here. [​IMG]
     
  9. KingdomBlade

    Member KingdomBlade Blade v3+ (I R SHMEXY)

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    There's no such thing as a 3rd Party firmware or anything, firmware is BUILT into the device. The DS game playing "function" counts as part of the DS's firmware. AKAIO is not a firmware. AKAIO is an OS.
     
  10. jurassicplayer

    Member jurassicplayer Completionist Themer

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    It's because otherwise, your definition of "firmware" is wrong.
     
  11. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Ah, I see now. But still, every post/thread/guide I've ever read refers to them as "firmware", so changing it would just be confusing.
     
  12. MaxNuker

    Member MaxNuker GBATemp's Official Shinigami Substitute

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    Firmware is like the bootloader of the flash carts, so it can bypass the ds security ( mask itself as another game for example)

    OS or Kernel is what you use to launch games, etc
     
  13. Nathan Drake

    Member Nathan Drake Obligations fulfilled, now I depart.

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    I think I learned more from the replies than the actual glossary. xD

    Seriously, nobody had adequately explained what a firmware actually is to me. It seems like it gets misused pretty heavily within the DS scene.
     
  14. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    My point exactly. I'd change it otherwise, but newbies would just get confused more if wherever they're coming from refers to it as something completely different.
     
  15. RoMee

    Member RoMee ??

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    I don't see how giving noobs inaccurate information is helping them
    I thought the whole point of this was to inform them, but hey, it's your glossary.
     
  16. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I know that. If the term "Firmware"was used in ANY other context, I'd be happy to change it. However, like I said, it would only confuse them further.

    EDIT: There, changed the definition to a slightly different one. Also fixed an HTML hickup with the headers.
     
  17. jurassicplayer

    Member jurassicplayer Completionist Themer

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    It doesn't confuse any of the EZV/i normal users infact it's BECAUSE of that stupid wrong definition that new users sometimes screw up shit. There is a much needed distinction when using the EZV/i where if you do the wrong thing, you will probably end up bricking your EZV/i for all eternity.

    Apart from some of the various tempers going around and correcting people on their inaccuracy, giving a guide for noobs that tells them the inaccurate definition REALLY doesn't do much to stop the problem. That is like me putting the definition of Troll in a regular dictionary as "A user of the internet who says things in order to provoke others and gain attention." Is it a somewhat correct definition in terms of today? Sure. Are you REALLY expecting the "child" aka noob to learn that a troll is a fucking user of the internet or a troll like EVERYTHING says it is?
     
  18. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, for one thing, the EZV/i aren't really THAT great to begin with. Anyway, I changed the definition now so it's more generic, and I believe it's somewhere between the DS scene definition and actual definition now.
     
  19. jurassicplayer

    Member jurassicplayer Completionist Themer

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    It should be "most DSi compatible flashcarts today" and that definition breaks the two definitions of the Wood kernel and AKAIO.
     
  20. OmegaVesko
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    Member OmegaVesko GBAtemp Regular

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    Done, edited the Firmware definition to include "DSi-compatible", as well as fix the definitions for Wood and AKAIO.

    I'd also like to thank everyone for your feedback, you've been very helpful in ironing out the bugs.
     

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