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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 2:14 pm 
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What does N call the APU?

Was OAM called OAM back in NES days? (The only references I could find were from SNES onwards)

Is there an official name/acronym for palette RAM?

What's N's acronym for battery backed WRAM?

Is it joypad, control pad or controller?

Do the PPU/APU regs (and their bits) have official names?

Is "MMC" Nintendo's blanket word for all (even 3rd party) mappers? (It appears so)



Facts(?):
-N called sprites objects (OBJ) even then
-N refers to main RAM as W-RAM (W = workable or working, possibly not "work")
-(battery backed) WRAM is "expansion RAM"
-"CIRAM" is VRAM


Is this a touchy subject since it might be misconstrued as trade secrets?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:17 pm 
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The only stuff I've found from a licensed nes developer greggman's blog post about programming MC kids, and I don't think that uses any official terminology.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:52 pm 
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kyuusaku wrote:
Is it joypad, control pad or controller?

The whole assembly is the Controller, and the +Control Pad is the directional keys.

Quote:
Do the PPU/APU regs (and their bits) have official names?

Only in trade secrets.

Quote:
Is "MMC" Nintendo's blanket word for all (even 3rd party) mappers? (It appears so)

Discrete logic mappers are not called MMC in the "Why Game Paks Never Forget" article in Nintendo Power. But they're not called "mappers" either.

Quote:
-N refers to main RAM as W-RAM (W = workable or working, possibly not "work")
-(battery backed) WRAM is "expansion RAM"

I seem to remember that NP's two tech articles called it "Work RAM".


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:11 pm 
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Are public patents considered trade secrets?

It's (+)control pad and not (+)"D-Pad"? (Also was the D originally for directional or digital?)

Do you know what NP did call the discrete logic? Or did they not mention discrete for the MMC campaign?

Would official programming documentation be welcomed at NesDev if it were hunted down? (BTW, is NesDev the correct capitalization or is it NESdev like the forum on this board?)


Edit: Direction = directional


Last edited by kyuusaku on Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Would official programming documentation be welcomed in NesDev?


Only if it's legal, which pretty much means "no". Any documentation produced by Nintendo will be at the very least copyrighted, and I'd be highly skeptical of any claims that Nintendo had allowed it to be freely distributed. At this point, our own reverse-engineering effort is not far from being complete, and the information is more reliable than any documentation (except perhaps one marked up with notes and corrections by a NES programmer).


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 5:54 pm 
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That's true that any document even obtained through legitimate (fair) means would have been originally leaked in breach of somebody's NDA; I didn't mean to suggest NesDev distribute copyrighted material. Component names and high level descriptions should be fair however since the act of transfer of information is ambiguous.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 7:06 pm 
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kyuusaku wrote:
Are public patents considered trade secrets?

No. Patents are publications of the United States government and are not subject to copyright or trade secret law.

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It's (+)control pad and not (+)"D-Pad"? (Also was the D originally for directional or digital?)

Nintendo has never called it the D-Pad; that's a Sega term. It's been the Control Pad since 1985.

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Do you know what NP did call the discrete logic?

"Logic Gates".


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:10 pm 
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That's true that any document even obtained through legitimate (fair) means would have been originally leaked in breach of somebody's NDA

It's not the NDA in general that's the problem, it's that any documentation, even that bought in a public bookstore, would be copyrighted material and thus subject to whatever restrictions the holder has decided on. Though NDA/trade secret adds another twist, in that the information itself can't be shared, regardless of the wording.
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Component names and high level descriptions should be fair however since the act of transfer of information is ambiguous.

They might be interesting, though they'd be yet another alternate name for whatever they are commonly called. And if they are as bad as the names for the Game Boy sound registers (NR12, NR25, etc.), I'll pass! :)


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:28 pm 
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But if a document of evident integrity not explicitly written by Nintendo surfaced, wouldn't it be great to even reinforce what everyone knows?


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 8:32 pm 
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I'd sure like to see the docs. As far as copyright, oh well. Everything is copyrighted (unless specified otherwise), it only effectively matters if the owner cares. Somehow I don't think Nintendo would care much about a few people looking at some obsolete docs for free.

I'd just be interesting to see. There's no way we could get anything new out of it, just no way it could be as detailed as the all the info we have scattered around now. It'd be much more interesting to see notes about the hardware or the TTL schematics of the chips, but I doubt that info will ever see the light of day even though it's certainly out there somewhere on some giant pages of paper.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2006 9:04 pm 
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kyuusaku wrote:
Do the PPU/APU regs (and their bits) have official names?
tepples wrote:
Only in trade secrets.


hahahhhahahahh Sorry, I have no useful input, but that was great!


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 6:02 am 
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Dwedit wrote:
The only stuff I've found from a licensed nes developer greggman's blog post about programming MC kids, and I don't think that uses any official terminology.

Searching Y! Groups for "stooges" should give posts by Andrew Davie related to a licensed game that failed lot check because the PPU on one of Nintendo's test units was overheating.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 10:38 am 
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I don't think any official NES doccumentation could bring anything, but imagine getting a complete official information for the MMC5 chip, aside with 10 empty ExROM boards that could be soldered with any rom !!
Quote:
Somehow I don't think Nintendo would care much about a few people looking at some obsolete docs for free.

Since the piracy and reversing of the GBA has hurt sales, Nintendo really DOES hate all reversers and homebrewers as well, I think. They won't let anyone touch anything official, they'd try to sue everyone instead.

BTW I'm surprised the Nintendo Power magasine seems to had mentionned mappers and all. I don't think many players will care if they have a discrete logic mappers or a custom chip mapper in their favourite cards. Or was it a magasine only for technical experts ?

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 8:45 am 
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They mentioned a few hardware-related things back in the day (they pointed out uses of Mode 7 on SNES, for example,) though they never got very technical.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 10:52 am 
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Yes, and now the name of "mode 7" became overused when the mentionned game doesn't actually write "7" in the mode register; for example the 3D levels of Axelay doesn't use mode 7, but are often refered to, and sometimes mosaïc effect are messed up with mode 7 effect.
Also, the scaling/rotating on GBA wich is NOT especially mode 7 is still always refered to mode 7, just as it would be the SNES.

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