Author Topic: To all with a shred of free time...  (Read 114 times)

geepee16

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To all with a shred of free time...
« on: May 28, 2008, 08:33:21 PM »
hey all, the TML is a little quiet this week so i decided to take nat up on his excellent idea and try here (i also registered at frozenetopia but i haven't received my confirmation yet so, here i am).  i recently got my hands on the 64 meg flash cart for the turbo/pce and absolutely love it! i have two ideas/suggestions i would love to see some work on:

1. i would love to see an e-book/word pad program for the Turbo.  A
little page flip feature and the option to dump text and music would be
great.  See, with this flash cart, the Express becomes a cool way (to
me at least) to carry books, files, lesson plans, phone numbers (hell,
even photos!)whatever with me.  yeah, i could buy a pda but that is not
as cool as the express.  that flash cart has a lot of memory to carry
stuff like that around and as i spend lots of time on trains, planes
and buses, it would be ideal.  this flash cart/express combo has
possibilities aside from just games. anyone?
if no one out there is willing to do this, can you direct me to a turbo
coding tutorial?

2. the more ambitious and perhaps difficult of the two.  the 64/128 meg flash carts make porting CDs and SCDs to the Express! those of you around from the old days have likely seen the express advertisement by TTI which for some reason shows gate of thunder being played on an express.  imagine this, think about it and tell me if this is possible:

most of a turbo CD is wav files, right?
for a game like gate of thunder, what could the actual game size be (minus .wav files? 8megs? 16megs? 32?
now imagine we could make those .wav files into mp3s?
package that code up with the mp3s and the extra two or so megs of memory from a system card and dump it on a 128meg flash card and...voila! we may very easily have dracula x on the go; be it with an express or an LT!

i would love some responses on this.  mind you, i know very little about programming but would love to see someone do this. oh, please say it's possible. please oh please oh please.
 

Necromancer

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2008, 02:41:34 AM »
Your second idea is interesting, but flash card sizes are in bits, not bytes.  Consequently, a 128Mb card can only hold 16MB, so it's gonna be tough to get even the data track to fit, let alone the audio tracks.  Even if there was more room available, I don't think the audio could be compressed, as there's nothing capable of decoding 'em on the card or in the Express.
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nodtveidt

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2008, 01:32:20 AM »
The second idea is impossible. The first...not very likely unless there was a way to query the flash card itself from within the PCE program...and as far as I know, there is no such method in existence. If there was, then it'd be a different story. About the only thing I could think to do is make a psuedocompiler that would include the necessary file(s) into the PCE ROM image itself, but this would carry the side-effect of only being able to hold data of up to around 900KB or so, since the max size of any PCE ROM is 1MB (8 megabits) unless you add bank-switching hardware (like SFII does).

Also, there aren't really any pce coding tutorials out there, just mainly sample code and whatnot. I started on a huc crash course but haven't gotten very far in it due to lack of time. Virtually all existing pce coders have previous experience in C and/or 6502 assembly.

geepee16

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2008, 08:55:26 PM »
Ah well...it was an exciting idea at least. 

What would happen if the flash carts got bigger, way bigger, in size?  Would anything be possible then?

nodtveidt

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2008, 01:48:36 AM »
The second idea would still be impossible, and the first would still be subject to the 8mbit limit. :D

geepee16

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2008, 07:54:56 AM »
the 8mb limit isn't really all that bad, is it? i mean, the flash cart could have 8 8mb files , if i'm not mistaken.  in any case , it seems like such an easy thing to do.  i think it would just be coolness to have my express for numbers, notes, articles, whatever i wanted to dump on it and read at a later time.  shit, i could even put my kanji studies on there instead of carrying my notebooks around.  there has to be a simple way to take some word-pad-esque notes and present them in a way the turbo could decode them. 
  ever hopeful.

nodtveidt

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 10:39:05 AM »
What is more likely is having a new type of card designed that would be able to read and write a flash RAM chip on the card. It would require some special addressing hardware. The program would reside in the normal ROM space. However, I believe you would still have to be able to have the data in RAM somewhere. Perhaps it could be read in 8KB segments using the work RAM, although not quite all of it would be accessible. Or, perhaps it could be read directly into VRAM where there's a lot more space to use.

Mednafen

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2008, 02:31:02 AM »
What's the native resolution of the TurboExpress's LCD?

nodtveidt

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Re: To all with a shred of free time...
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2008, 09:53:20 AM »
Wikipedia lists its native resolution at 400x270. Of course, everyone and their grandmother knows this is dead wrong and is based on incorrect information that's been copied around for years across websites. Its actual resolution is somewhere in the realm of 160x140.

EDIT: Some sites also list the resolution as 160x102. This is also wrong, as can be proven by playing virtually any game that uses a lot of text. If the vertical resolution was so small, the TE would suffer far greater graphical deterioration with text, and it doesn't. It would lose considerable pixel space, so much that most text would be outright unreadable.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 09:57:57 AM by The Old Rover »