Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Discuss technical or other issues relating to programming the Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, or compatible systems.

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Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by rencya6 » Wed Mar 23, 2016 12:12 am

What would it take to make a cart out of a Family BASIC program? It would seem to me that you'd need to take a snapshot of memory while the Family BASIC program is running and write a loader that dumps that memory state back into RAM. Would the Family BASIC ROM still be needed for that?

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Re: Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by tepples » Wed Mar 23, 2016 6:28 am

Yes. Family BASIC is an interpreter, copyright Nintendo and Hudson. The ROM is required to run a program. The legal alternative would be to write a workalike BASIC interpreter, but in practice, very few are likely to own (or to be willing to buy) both a Famicom and Nintendo's keyboard. So that would strongly need either chykn's ENIO adapter (to plug Nintendo's keyboard into a front-loading NES) or a microcontroller-based PS/2 keyboard to NES adapter. tpw_rules in #nesdev on EFnet was working on the latter, but that project appears to have been put on a back burner due to university obligations.

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Re: Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by slobu » Wed Apr 06, 2016 3:49 am

There is a method that uses a specialized utility and an emulator (bypassing the need for a particular physical console and keyboard):

Probably because I don't know enough to ask the right questions I never figured out which board/configuration is needed to put the resulting ROM onto a real cart. I think this last piece of info is the last critical step to making this work.

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Re: Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by AnnaWu » Thu Apr 13, 2017 3:28 am

thongcongnghet wrote: The Family BASIC cartridge itself was had several different versions; v 1.0 was never released to the public and is presumably the prototype originally created by the development group.
The version 1.0 (prototype?) is already dumped.

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Re: Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by Pokun » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:35 am

Version 1.0 is no prototype. It's just a bit more rare than 2.0 and 2.1. It shows up now and then on auctions and stuff. I read on a Japanese message board that one guy bought Family BASIC back in the day and got 1.0 and then his friend bought it only months later and he got 2.0. He then called Nintendo and they let him trade it in for a 2.0 cart.

Check out this thread about version 1.0, a guy that dumped it too.
All versions of the cart required two AA batteries and had a back-up enabling on/off switch.
"Required" is a misleading word I think. AA batteries are only needed if you want to use the backup feature which can only be used for certain things (in V3 it can be used for more things though). You can still save to tapes without it.

Known versions of NS-HuBASIC:
V 0
Earliest known version. The PlayBox BASIC prototype ROM seems to have this version.

V 1.0
PlayBox BASIC (release version) and early Family BASIC carts has this version.
Pressing T at boot activates a RAM self-test screen (confirmed in Family BASIC but not in PlayBox BASIC).

V 2.0
The RAM self-test screen is turned into a short-cut to BASIC mode. The command SCR$ was added.

V 2.1
Some buggs are said to be fixed. I don't know what kind of buggs though.

V 3.0
Used in the red V3 cart. Tons of new commands and features are added. The non-BASIC stuff is gone, more Work RAM and there are sample games in ROM.

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Re: Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by AnnaWu » Thu Apr 13, 2017 9:33 am



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Re: Family BASIC Program to Cart?

Post by Charizard700 » Thu Nov 26, 2020 2:06 am

It seems that some people have dumped PlayBox BASIC V 1.0 (release version).

Family BASIC Super Thread ... c=11959.15

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