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squeedo / custom dev cart for playpower

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:05 am
by frantik
I was wondering.. I know you've said your squeedo could send keyboard input and whatnot.. could it be used to emulate the keyboard and mouse on a "playpower" style familclone?

there might be a demand for cart which could run custom code and also provide allow a NES to function as a "$10 computer" while hooked up to a real computer. This would be much easier for people in the west to develop for the playpower platform than the current options.

anyways just an idea :)

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:16 am
by tepples
It would probably require patching an app's keyboard input routines, but ROM hackers in and out of the warez scene have been doing that for years *cough*Mario Paint by Fairlight*cough*.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:30 pm
by Memblers
Mostly, yeah. It can easily turn up any key combination from an ANSI terminal (maybe everything except Function keys), but a custom PC host program could work with all the keys.

I have it use interrupts, which is the best way if the NES wants to read from the MCU for any other reason. But an IRQ routine that loads up a buffer, that would be close to code-compatible.

The the thing that really slowed me down from doing stuff like this with Squeedo is that I've never been in the business of PC programming. And here the PIC has this huge lonely FIFO buffer, ready for communicating with a PC's keyboard, mouse, gigabytes of disk space.. I spent way too much time trying to get my NES on the internet. I only found one appropriate program that might have worked for that (RS232 to network), and it was a commercial program.

So if anyone was wondering, that's pretty much the story behind the big hold-up with Squeedo's development. I nearly mastered the NES and the PIC, but got overwhelmed by trying to do the same thing with the PC. Probably I would've done better if I could've stuck with DOS/Win98. At least I learned C though. :) The 6502 and PIC asm parts work though! Not optimized for timing, but working.

Definitely though if this would be useful for anyone wanting to develop for the world's cheapest computer, that'd be cool. That's really all that system needs is software. They'd need 2 separate input routines, but that's no problem at all using .if / .else.

Posted: Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:41 pm
by tepples
Memblers wrote:I spent way too much time trying to get my NES on the internet. I only found one appropriate program that might have worked for that (RS232 to network)
Now that things like Puppy Linux, DSL, and Xubuntu have supplanted Windows 98, couldn't you just run a PPP server on the PC and bridge that to the Internet?

Posted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 11:41 am
by Memblers
Yes, a PPP server is what is needed. I also looked into SLIP. I couldn't find a way to make it work, but I hadn't given much consideration to using another OS. Mostly because most of my dev software runs in windows. I'd like to try it sometime, if it'll be that much easier to make it work.