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Web-based interface to my NES-on-a-Chip
Cool idea! (I'd use it.) 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
Pretty neat. (I might use it.) 11%  11%  [ 1 ]
Pretty neat. (But I probably wouldn't use it.) 56%  56%  [ 5 ]
Bad idea. 22%  22%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 9
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 5:15 pm 
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Hello all!

I just had this crazy idea come to me today and I was hoping some of you would help me brainstorm how to go about implementing it....or if it would even be useful/possible.

I'm hoping that eventually my VeriNES will be a _super_ accurate hardware-based reproduction of the original NES. Of course, super accuracy is a ways down the line yet, but I'm very confident that I can get to that point. Anyway, since the design is written in HDL (a much less common language than say, ANSI C), and because significantly fewer people are going to have access to the hardware that will be able to run my emu I was thinking about a web-based interface to my VeriNES!

I would have my development board running the VeriNES emu design connected up to an internet-connected computer, running a web-server, and _somehow_ people (such as yourselves) could navigate to a webpage that popped up a Java applet (or something, I really have no idea yet) that interfaced to my devlopment board and displayed the real-time audio/video of the NES. Then the user could upload whatever ROM they wanted to test on my hardware-based emu and compare it to a software-based emu or whatever.

Does that seem like a cool idea to anyone? Would it even be possible to get a reasonably smooth gameplay framerate? Or...is it just a dumb idea? Haha.

For anyone that thinks it's cool do you have any idea of what libraries/software/languages would be best to implement this? My web language skills are almost nil but I could certainly learn. I'm just hoping that someone could tell me a really good place to start rather than me trying to figure it out entirely on my own.

My hardware development board has the following interfaces that could be used to attach to a PC:

- Ethernet (but I don't want to run the webserver and all that on the board, just the communications link to send audio/video to the internet-connected PC.)

- 1x PCI-e

- USB 2.0

- I could also make a daughter card with a different interface type on it (but I'd rather not have to)

Those interfaces should have enough bandwidth to transfer the necessary NES audio/video data.

And even if you don't know how I would go about doing it I would appreciate any feedback on if you'd use it, or think it's just a good/bad idea. :)

Thanks for any input!

Pz!

Jonathon :)


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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2010 6:15 pm 
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Really cool idea. Don't let my vote stop you from doing it. My only thought was people that want to try things on HW probably have access to PowerPak or some other cartridge hardware that they can throw in a real NES.

*I* don't have that luxury...but I will go get it if necessary. I'm developing an emulator/IDE though, not a game. So, my needs are slightly different.

I'd at least check it out...


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:33 am 
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USB video device class is designed for this sort of application. Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows all support it, so you might be able to broadcast NES video using generic webcam software.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 4:58 am 
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People would just upload roms that displayed advertisements for my mom.

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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 5:37 am 
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I don't think anything will ever match the accuracy of a genuine NES. There's no substitute for testing on the real thing. It would be cool to have a NES on a web page, where you could get a few screenshots, or a video of your program running. It could use something like CopyNES, along with an external reset control (or maybe CopyNES can do that already). Just be sure whatever you put there has no exploits that can destroy the hardware, heh.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 10:20 am 
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blargg wrote:
I don't think anything will ever match the accuracy of a genuine NES.

I agree, but production is discontinued. An accurate NES clone written in Verilog and posted to OpenCores would at least let the makers of NOAC-based famiclones come closer to the real thing. It might even let people sell NES games as dedicated consoles to people who don't have an NES.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 10:31 am 
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Heh, I've actually had exactly this idea of devcart sharing over the web myself, but it's one of those many cool ideas where you couldn't motivate yourself enough to actually make it happen :)

If you feel up to it, then go for it! It'd be really cool to see it happen! Though I have to agree with everyone else here saying that using a real NES + Powerpak would make a lot more sense...


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 Post subject: thanks!
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 12:52 pm 
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tepples wrote:
USB video device class is designed for this sort of application. Linux, *BSD, Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows all support it, so you might be able to broadcast NES video using generic webcam software.

Very cool!! I'll definitely check this out! Thanks tepples!

Dwedit wrote:
People would just upload roms that displayed advertisements for my mom.

LOLOL, that's hilarious! But I would make it so that whenever a new person logs in the device is reset. ;)

blargg wrote:
I don't think anything will ever match the accuracy of a genuine NES. There's no substitute for testing on the real thing.

I completely agree, but on that same token I think I can get it REALLLY close.

Thanks for the comments guys!

Pz!

Jonathon


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 Post subject: Re: thanks!
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:25 pm 
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jwdonal wrote:
Dwedit wrote:
People would just upload roms that displayed advertisements

I would make it so that whenever a new person logs in the device is reset. ;)

But the ad would still get shown to anonymous spectators.


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:28 pm 
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anonymous spectators would not be allowed. log in only! and only one log in active at a time! That'll fix 'em!

:-D


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:29 pm 
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jwdonal wrote:
log in only! and only one log in active at a time!

Then someone will cause a denial of service by staying logged in all the time. Are you planning to charge for access in order to discourage such behavior?


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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:33 pm 
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nah, no charging here!! But I could also set a time limit too! Lots of options! :-D

Of course, I would allow many of the people here on NesDev that have helped me with my emu to have no time restrictions. You're welcome!

:-D

Jonathon


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 12:18 pm 
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Actually I think that allowing anonymous spectating is a big part of what makes the idea interesting. Though it would involve a lot of uploading. I guess using a site like Youtube would make sense, but I kinda doubt they allow uploads to be automated (I really don't know though).

So for example when anyone here is talking about code in their project, if it was that much easier for them to post a link to the code in action, maybe we would see more of that. Especially since maybe 90% of the coding discussion around here is about the PPU.


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PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 3:33 pm 
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you should check out the youtube data api http://code.google.com/apis/youtube/getting_started.html#data_api
look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylLzyHk54Z0#t=2m7s for some examples of similar uses


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PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:23 pm 
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Memblers wrote:
So for example when anyone here is talking about code in their project, if it was that much easier for them to post a link to the code in action, maybe we would see more of that. Especially since maybe 90% of the coding discussion around here is about the PPU.

Wow, that is a totally kick-ass idea! I hadn't considered that. Hmm...I will need to think about this a bit more then. I think I could still keep the access "controlled" though - maybe something like once you upload your test ROM that you want to show other people you could give them a password by posting it here on NesDev and then post the link and say, "Here is the link and password can you take a look?". Actually, I think that would work pretty well now that I think about it! :)

hyarion wrote:
you should check out the youtube data api http://code.google.com/apis/youtube/getting_started.html#data_api
look at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylLzyHk54Z0#t=2m7s for some examples of similar uses

Awesome! Thanks a lot. I will check this out too!


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