japanese-cake

Yet Another Dreamcast Developer.

GDROM Explorer v1.6: not dead yet!
japanese_cake
After almost a year, yeah I agree, it is legit to think so... To be honest, this version comes with a lot a new stuff. I wanted to slightly transform this tool into something you would like to use. So in this new version you can get many details about the IP.BIN: list of internal libraries and flags used, MR images inside, track list from the TOC, etc. I tried to focus on the user experience and ease users' wills by supporting the Drag'n Drop for extracting files. Yeah, wasn't that simple! .Net is a nice framework but coolest UI stuff we want are mostly only available in native code... and I did not really want to make this program a compilation of hack!


- Added: a nice IP.BIN viewer (game settings, images, libraries and a lot more).
- Added: Primary Volume Descriptor viewer.
- Added: MR image conversion and extraction.
- Added: File extraction via Drag'n Drop operation.
- Added: Status bar to show the program last event.
- Added: Padus DiscJuggler image (.CDI) support.
- Added: Disc track extraction.
- Added: Settings menu for mostly the file associations.
- Added: Auto-load NAOMI DES key
- Fixed: IP.BIN parsing errors.
- Fixed: Progress bar flickering.
- Fixed: Support data/data images.
- Fixed: Memory leakages.
- Fixed: Typos here and there
- Improved: UI colors, remove and add some icons.
- Improved: Try reading image even if IP.BIN missing.
- Improved: Error handling for non-compliant images.
- Improved: Explicit error messages upon IP.BIN parsing errors.
- Improved: Code robustness.
- Testing: Add unit tests for IP.BIN parsing.


Anyway, here is what you are looking for (or not!): GDROM Explorer v1.6



Update: Now the version 1.6.1 is out, bug fixed!


- Fixed: ¨No valid file-system found" error.
- Fixed: Some Naomi images are detected as Dreamcast images.
- Fixed: Weird behaviour when clicking on '+' and '-' in the tree.


Download link: GDROM Explorer v1.6.1

Heads up about GD over ethernet
japanese_cake

Hi there,

As you know I've been trying to make a loader (using dcload-ip) that would allow you to boot games over ethernet. After unsuccessful attempts trying to make the CDDA working correctly, due to some obvious timing reasons (software isn't as fast as the real hardware!), I have convinced myself that the hardware approach is the only one good solution. Booting games over network looks good on the paper but in the real life it can be a nightmare: random crashes with no real way to debug, texture clipping, lags.... For those that want to give a try to such solution, the best you can do is to test Marcus Comstedt's "dc-virt" project. "dc-virt" is basically an extension of dcload-ip that transferts the gd-rom system calls over ethernet. Those calls are then caught by the server part that emulates the system calls and returns the right disc sectors from an image file. His loader works fine with regular Katana games (I didn't try with WinCE ones though) but no CDDA support though. That said, I am really surprised that MC does not communicate about his project. His last update regarding this project was something like two years ago and knowing about it would have save me a lot of time!!! In brief guys, a solution exists out there, much better than the one I could have made. Now, you can play Bomberman online or whatever other funny games over ethernet: awesome, isn't it?

A while ago, I compiled and tested his project. Here are the 32-bit binaries for linux and the elf file for the Dreamcast: dc-virt-unofficial-build.zip I let you find out the format of the ISO files the server needs ;)

Btw, MC has some other interesting repos but I let you find this out yourself :)


Let's play with the Katana SDK
japanese_cake
Hi everyone,

I've been asked about how to compile a program for the Dreamcast using the official SEGA Katana SDK so I decided to clean up my "sample" Katana project and ship as is.
With it you can start playing with the official SEGA libraries and try out your skills. This small project gathers some hacks that make the .bin or .elf file bootable through dcload-ip or dcload-serial.
I'm in a hurry so I let you experiment it by yourself ;)

jc-katana-dcload.zip
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Last, but not least: new version of GDROM Explorer
japanese_cake
Hi everyone,

After a long period of inactivity on my blog, I am finally ready to release a new version of the GDROM Explorer. I spent a lot of time refactoring my code so that new file formats can be easily supported. As of today, this new version supports the .GDI, .ISO, and .BIN image files. I've also added a couple unit tests to cover .GDI file parsing errors. The whole list of new features and improvements are in the readme.txt inside the archive.

Please let me know if you encounter any bugs. 

Update: I've fixed few bugs... enjoy the quick fixes!
jc-gdrom-explorer-v1.5.1.zip

No news, good news!
japanese_cake
It has been a while since I had an occasion to post any updates! Well, I didn't have so much time lately and sometimes I have to put my projects appart. September is the start of the scool year, the time to return to work... But it is also the perfect time to comeback with fresh ideas :) A while ago I saw on Internet a nice project that aims to connect a Dreamcast VMU to an Arduino using the SEGA Maple Bus (see http://code.lardcave.net/entries/2010/10/19/032116/). Well, the article is outdated, I know but imagine how it could be awesome to manage your VMU data via a "simple" driver: having your VMU icon showing up in your windows explorer and being able to transfert your saves just copy-pasting them as you do with any other files on your computer!! I don't know when I'll have time to work on that but I've already bought some pieces of hardware:
ATmega32U4                             
Now, the hardest part: develop the driver... Anyone good at developing a storage driver from windows is welcome to work on that ;) For my part, I still have a lot to get done with my other projects!
Talking about painful topics, I pretty much did nothing more on my gdlan loader... In fact my dreamcast passed away and since I was quite busy, I was easier for me to work on the gdi explorer. The good news is that I can debug the gdrom syscalls a game makes (i.e. received them on the computer and be able to see what the game needs), and I've almost found a way to support retail game which use the GINSU loader (SEGA's propretary game loader which reset the execution context so you can play other game, like in demo disc, games which has an internet browser, etc.) and also Windows CE games. Though, since the syscalls are redirected via the BBA, I think there is a conflic somewhere when I try to load a game which has an "internet function". Games don't freeze when your BBA is plugged in but when I activate the syscall redirection, they freeze.... arf... I feel like there is a commom concurency issue or maybe the game tries to override certain values on the G2 bus.... Anyway, things are moving forward little by little....

On the server side of the gdrom "virtualization" project, I'm about to merge the work I've done on GDI Explorer with the small servre part so it is easier for me to use extract data from it (byebye ugly exraction algorithm!!). That is the reason why I want to stabilize my isofile library and also some part of GDI Explorer. What I can tell you now is that GDI Explorer is really fast now and most of the core and ui code has been revisited (I'm not really good at M$ technologies... always wants to create standards that are only known by themselves) New version, anytime soon ^_^


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