CopyNES Will Be Available Again Soon!

Discuss hardware-related topics, such as development cartridges, CopyNES, PowerPak, EPROMs, or whatever.

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Jagasian
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Post by Jagasian » Thu Nov 10, 2005 8:16 am

DosBox won't work because it doens't have parport support. Other options include FreeDos on one of the free PC emulators such as Bochs. There is another free PC emulator that I can't remember right now. I've used it on Linux and it works nicely. It has ports to Windows too. I think that the best bet is to open source the PC-side software, so that it can, unofficially, be ported to more modern operating systems.

Great Hierophant
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Post by Great Hierophant » Thu Nov 10, 2005 11:02 am

What I would suggest doing if you have XP is to simply make a DOS 6.22 bootdisk and perhaps a small FAT partition. (My two 250GB RAID 0 drives are formatted for NTFS, but there is 16MB of unformatted space which would be perfect when combined with a CD of NES ROMs.) Whenever you needed to use CopyNES, simply use a bootdisk. Not the most convenient solution, but it will have to do for us advanced folks until someone writes an app that will support parallel ports in Win XP.

rbudrick
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Post by rbudrick » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:44 am

Many older Bung-type devices and other copiers have this same issue....must be run in 98 or 95. I have been meaning to make a second partition on my HD for a while. I have Partition Magic, but I have to reread the instructions on how to make a 98 partition. For all the copiers and things I can't use because of this, I'd better do this soon. :lol:

Jagasian had a good suggestion too...having it rewritten for XP. Or, maybe even something more portable...

-Rob

Jagasian
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Post by Jagasian » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:50 am

rbudrick wrote: Jagasian had a good suggestion too...having it rewritten for XP. Or, maybe even something more portable...

-Rob
ucon64 supports many parallel port based backup units. If kevtris open'ed up the source code, I am sure they would add support for the copynes.

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Quietust
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Post by Quietust » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:05 pm

Jagasian wrote:
rbudrick wrote: Jagasian had a good suggestion too...having it rewritten for XP. Or, maybe even something more portable...

-Rob
ucon64 supports many parallel port based backup units. If kevtris open'ed up the source code, I am sure they would add support for the copynes.
The source has ALWAYS been open - the client program is written in [uncompiled] QBASIC, and there will soon be a Win32 version available as well.
Quietust, QMT Productions
P.S. If you don't get this note, let me know and I'll write you another.

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teaguecl
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Post by teaguecl » Wed Nov 23, 2005 2:01 pm

On a related note, I've run into the exact same issues with my prototype dumper (CopyCart). I've gone with a USB interface which hopefully still will have a lot of life in it, certainly more than parallel or serial ports. Also, I've written the PC side of the dumping software in Python. That way, it's 100% portable between linux and windows (and probably a lot more). Python is slow, but performance isn't an issue.
So what I'm saying is, it would be nice to have someone make an implementation in Java/Python or some other platform independent language. If I had a CopyNES I would volunteer, but my dumper is taking up all my time right now.

Jagasian
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Post by Jagasian » Thu Nov 24, 2005 7:05 am

I've confirmed that the free and open source PC hardware emulator, QEMU, which can be used to run DOS, FreeDOS, Windows 98, and Linux on either Linux or Windows XP, in fact does support the PC parallel port. AFAIK, parallel port support is only available under Linux, Linux people have been using it for parallel-JTAG software that is Windows only. I have an old copy of Windows 98 SE floating around my house somewhere. I am going to try my GBX first.

Windows XP users might want to check out QEMU to see if they can parallel support working.

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koitsu
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Post by koitsu » Sun Nov 27, 2005 8:02 pm

Is there some particular reason these devices continue to use parallel ports instead of, say, USB? USB interface ICs are ridiculously inexpensive (or so a college EE friend of mine tells me).

I'm just wondering, since a lot of hardware engineering folk -- even in 2005 -- still swear by the parallel port (which is being phased out, as we can see from the removal of legacy devices on some present-day motherboards).

Just curious.

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kyuusaku
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Post by kyuusaku » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:14 pm

I see USB as temporary, where the parallel port is timeless ;)

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Post by bunnyboy » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:42 pm

For USB, doing device->computer is very easy if you can use the built in HID drivers (mice, keyboards, etc). If you want to transfer data or do computer->device you need to write your own operating system specific drivers which is far harder than interfacing with the parallel port. It used to be very easy to program the serial and parallel ports, Windows just makes it harder for no reason.

My off topic problem with the CopyNES right now is that my keyboard stops working when a program is run in a dos window!

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teaguecl
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Post by teaguecl » Sun Nov 27, 2005 10:44 pm

The reason the parallel port is used is because it's really easy to program it. USB isn't excessively difficult, but it certainly takes some study time. Also, dealing with the PP is very low level - write to a port and flip an io pin. USB is abstracted away pretty far by the OS, so you need to deal with some higher level abstractions (endpoints, interfaces, devices etc.). Lots of low level programmers/hardware people just don't want to spend the time to learn that stuff because it's not very interesting to them.

tepples
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Post by tepples » Mon Nov 28, 2005 10:03 pm

If you don't need wicked fast transfers, why not just use an emulated parallel port over USB? Or is there too much latency for it to be useful (as is reportedly the case with USB network adapters and Nintendo DS Ni-Fi)?

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kyuusaku
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Post by kyuusaku » Tue Nov 29, 2005 10:54 am

Not a single one of those actually emulates a useful parallel port, I haven't seen one that's compatible with more than a printer.

There are however USB <-> ISA translators which may do the trick, not sure if anyone's tried that route.

Really though, if your computer doesn't have a parallel port, there are always PCI parallel ports... IMO, the only excuse why you shouldn't have a parallel port is if you own an Apple, someone should really develop a universal PCI-X card thinking of the future.

tepples
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Post by tepples » Tue Nov 29, 2005 5:09 pm

kyuusaku wrote:there are always PCI parallel ports
Which don't work if every PCI slot in your machine is filled. This is likely on "compact" models, which place the PCI cards parallel to the mainboard in order to make the case thinner, such as a Dell Dimension 4500S. A network card and a FireWire card fill the machine's two slots. And even in a more typical ATX case, are quality PCI parallel ports affordable?
IMO, the only excuse why you shouldn't have a parallel port is if you own an Apple
Don't be so quick to dis Mac owners. Several Nintendo products have used the same CPU as an Apple product:
  • The NES used a "2A03" CPU with a 6502 core (minus decimal mode) and some custom I/O; the 6502 was used in the Apple II, II+, and original IIe computers. I learned 6502 assembly language on an Apple II.
  • The Super NES used a CPU with a 65C816 core and some custom I/O; the 65C816 was used in the Apple IIGS computer. Nintendo built the first Super NES devkit around an Apple IIGS because it had a stable 65C816 assembler.
  • The Game Boy Advance uses a CPU with an ARM7 core, and the Nintendo DS CPU has two cores, an ARM7 and an ARM9. The iPod music player and the Newton PDA have also used ARM cores.
  • The GameCube uses a "GEKKO" CPU with a PowerPC G3 core and some custom I/O; the PowerPC G3 was used in several Macintosh models.
  • The Nintendo Revolution will use a "BROADWAY" CPU which includes some sort of PowerPC core and some custom I/O.
Outside of Nintendo:
  • Sega Genesis used the same off-the-shelf Motorola MC68000 processor as the original Apple Macintosh.
  • Atari Jaguar and Sega Saturn used this same processor as an I/O processor.
  • Sega Dreamcast uses an ARM7 similar to the GBA's to control the audio DSP.
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 has three dual-thread PowerPC cores. The first Xbox 360 devkit was made of Mac hardware.
  • The "Cell" in Sony PS3 has one dual-thread PowerPC core and seven DSPs.

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kyuusaku
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Post by kyuusaku » Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:48 pm

How was I dissing Apple? I've had a love/hate relationship with Apple computers over a decade/over half my life. I have no idea why you felt the need to make a CPU list, are you implying Apple are CPU trendsetters for consoles? That might be the case or it might be coincidence, it's totally irrelevant. Not related but when Apple finally makes the switch to IA64 what will that mean to you? heh

I suggested the PCI-X card because I really do think someone should develop a parallel port compatible with modern computers (including Apples), it'd be one more push for me towards getting a G5 should uCON64 support that parallel port.

PCI parallel ports can be easily had for less than $20 shipped. I don't know what aspect makes one quality, all PCI cards I've seen are EPP compliant, it either works or it doesn't. If someone has a PC without integrated parallel port or a free PCI slot, they may want to reconsider their PC if they intend to interact with legacy hardware.

I'm personally adamant about parallel ports because I use the parallel port to communicate with dozens of backup devices and with 5 or 6 other devices which I cannot afford overpriced USB counterparts of such as my JTAG cables.

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