Mac Emulator with Debugger

Discuss emulation of the Nintendo Entertainment System and Famicom.

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davecom
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Mac Emulator with Debugger

Post by davecom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:11 pm

Hi All,

What is the best Mac NES emulator with a debugger? It seems like the emulators with good debuggers are Windows/Linux only. What do the Mac users here use? I see old forum threads, but I'm wondering what's in vogue as of 2018 on the Mac.

Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited to remove my second question and be on topic regarding what this thread is actually about.
Last edited by davecom on Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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koitsu
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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by koitsu » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:21 pm

davecom wrote:I'm a long-time lurker... first what is the best Mac NES emulator with a debugger? It seems like the emulators with good debuggers are Windows/Linux only. What do the Mac users here use? I see old forum threads, but I'm wondering what's in vogue as of 2018 on the Mac.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17508 (read, do not skim)

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by davecom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:24 pm

koitsu wrote:
davecom wrote:I'm a long-time lurker... first what is the best Mac NES emulator with a debugger? It seems like the emulators with good debuggers are Windows/Linux only. What do the Mac users here use? I see old forum threads, but I'm wondering what's in vogue as of 2018 on the Mac.
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=17508 (read, do not skim)
I've read that thread. It's recommending running FCEUX through WINE. I would prefer something native so I don't have to install WINE. It's very possible the answer to this question is that there is no Mac native NES emulator with a good debugger in 2018.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by koitsu » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:26 pm

Your choices for good/quality debugging in NES emulators are three (3) emulators: FCEUX, Mesen, and Nintendulator. All 3 are intended mainly for Windows, with Mesen being the exception. Mesen (which is .NET-based, also using glibc and SDL 2.x) happens to work on Linux through Mono which means there may be some distant possibility it could work on OS X (but OS X != Linux). I do not know how to do it.

If you find other NES emulators that provide quality debugging on OS X, let everyone here know so they might use those options. The Wiki could also be updated to reflect that.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by Banshaku » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:52 pm

For Mesen, I'm not able to make it work yet either with mono or wine. For now it does start with wine a but nothing is shown. I think it is more something with my current setup than anything else. I will share my finding in the mesen thread once I figure out the cause.

As for the thread mentioned by Koitsu, Nintendulator does work but sometime I had some UI glitch because of wine. Nintaco, just found it recently and it does seems to work well but I do not know about the debugger yet so I cannot comment on which one is better depending on your needs.

I kind of code on one machine, debug on another one so I do not work in any specific environment these days ^^;; The mac just happened to be my retired work machine which is faster than my main pc (core 2 duo/hdd) so I prefer the mac since it compile faster but always get my shortcut wrong :lol:

I think for mac Wine is the way to go. If you don't launch from the command line, just install wine bottler or something like that and it should simplify things.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by davecom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:11 pm

I was just able to build the mac only (written in Objective-C) emulator Maciform (older builds weren't building for me on High Sierra) with no changes in Xcode:
https://github.com/macifom/macifom

It has a basic debugger. I imagine the debuggers in FCEUX, Mesen, et al. are more extensive. I guess I'll need to bite the bullet and use Wine or do some two machine development.

Thanks.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by Banshaku » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:26 pm

It may be only me but I never heard of that emulator in all those years being on nesdev so I my guess it would be hard for me to recommend it. From it github page, it last update was 3 years ago so I would try a more recent emulator before going with this one.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by davecom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:30 pm

Of course its debugging is not very extensive (see attached screenshot), but it's better than nothing and may be an okay stopgap for some until they get access to something with more extensive debugging capabilities. There are many emulators that are not often mentioned on NesDev but very popular on GitHub. That doesn't mean any of them are necessarily good :) And I don't know yet if any have good debuggers... I will keep looking.
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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by koitsu » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:25 pm

Please update the Wiki with said emulators. It would save other OS X users from asking the same question. For examples of syntax/etc., see existing entries. Thanks!

Edit: if you don't want to make an account, at least list the emulator names and related link to GitHub, and one of us (probably me) will add them to the list.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by Banshaku » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:49 pm

I just added it to the wiki at the end of the under development list. At the least now I know my account is still working :lol:

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by davecom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:53 pm

Okay, another update you'll want to make to the Wiki is that it's no longer called MacOS nor OS X. The official current name of the operating system is "macOS."

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by Banshaku » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:57 pm

I forget about that one often :lol: I will fix it later. I will check how to add the link for IOS one since it's a different repo.

edit:

I just separated the link since it will be easier that way. As for the OS name, well, technically the older version is OS X and not it is called macOS so the author said OS X but I don't want to get into a "name wars" over small details :) The Wiki mentioned up to now OS X for the platform and people can figure out if it will work with their latest version or not. The wiki per se doesn't go into detail about the version though.

I think the most important is that the emulator and the target platform is mentioned. The rest, we can decide later what naming is better.

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by koitsu » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:40 am

Apple's naming convention nonsense (and such pedantry) can be represented by a single picture, which won't make any sense unless you're from the original Macintosh days:
sad_mac_by_mrkoi.png
sad_mac_by_mrkoi.png (1.22 KiB) Viewed 4903 times
Looking forward to the list of emulators and their GitHub links so we can actually improve something for everyone!

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by Banshaku » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:13 am

I know I'm derailing this thread but my OCD is kicking in and would love to know the meaning of the code since I never had an older mac. The only thing I could found is that is top row could be code 0xF for exception and 0xD could be NMI. Did I found the right information? (sorry Davecom! If you need help with emulators I will see what I can do!).

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Re: Help me Diagnose my PPU Problem & Mac Emulator with Debu

Post by koitsu » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:13 am

My point was that a classic Mac user (read: from the 80s) would know how silly it would be to hem and haw over "Mac OS" (with a space) vs. "OS X" vs. "macOS", and thus, arguing capitalisation and spacing semantics (esp. when most of those emulators were probably from 2016, which during late of was when Apple marketing decided to switch from "OS X" to "macOS") was sad -- hence, sad Mac. If a person says "OS X" we know what they mean, if they say "MacOS" when talking about present-day software/Macs, we know what they mean; the pedantry isn't necessary but is funny (to me) since Apple is effectively going back to the original name (sans a space and capitalisation -- again, who cares?) as their System 1 through 9 software. ;-)

Super off-topic as mentioned: as for the crash codes shown: it depends on the model of ("classic") Mac, and *when* the crash/issue happens. I remember that 0x0F meant an exception error, and that the remaining part of the code (or the code on the 2nd line) represented a detail/state code that was more indicative. I had to do some digging, but here you go. From that you should be able to discern that the Mac depicted is probably a Mac SE or Mac II indicating code 0x0000000F (exception error), subcode 0x0000000D (SCC failure; SCC = Zilog SIO (serial controller) used for controlling the serial ports). SCC isn't a new term to me, since the smae chip is on the IIGS (an 8530) -- and I sure hope I'd be familiar with it, considering I wrote a IIGS CDA back in the early 90s called QuickPort II that allowed setting the serial port >19200bps, haha. :D

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