Saturday, September 27, 2008

Plus4 world lives again!

Plus4 world now has a new home!! Although it still has some way to go in terms of files etc, you can now at least log on and use it again.

Thanks again to Csabo for all his hard work!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Bloody PC's!!!!

Well, it looks like I've had a hard disk failure, or rather its almost dead (I think). It keeps locking up, and it can take an age to access things sometimes, which is usually a sign your disks on the way out. This is a bugger an no mistake....

It means I've got to buy a new disk, reinstall everything, not to mention try and find all the software I use but forgot about... little utilities I take for granted.

I also have the choice of installing Vista or XP again. I hate vista, so the choice would seem pretty clear.... but that said, I dont really want to have to do this again. The hard disk that failed is about4 years old and its been that long since Ive had to install things again, but I hate doing it - who doesn't.

Anyway, all this means that things will now move pretty slowly as I need to do this before I can get going on my various projects again. Bugger.

I hate PCs.....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I've been discussing the debugger and trying to gauge how people develop over on lemon64 (HERE!), so if your interested head on over there.

I still think this project has the chance of being invaluable to the retro comunity, particually if I can get emulator writers to pick it up and implement the STUB (which I think/hope should be minimal work for them). This then gives a stable, consistent debugger across the board and should allow developers a great code base for doing tools and other features, not to mention develop new hardware and games.

I'm actively looking for feedback and suggestions on how you develop and what you'd liketo see in a debugger, so feel free to join in the discussion on lemon64.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Plus4 world gone....

Well, it would seem that yet another problem has hit plus4world, emucamp has had many problems reciently and now it seems its domain name has expired! I'm not sure where all the plus4 folk have gone to talk/complain about it, but I think now is the time to bite the bullet and move the site - enough is enough. Emucamp was okay, but its so incredibly unreliable now it's not funny, and I'd hate to lose the site because of some badly maintained server.

I tried to mail Lando, but he appears to have changed email addresses since I last spoke to him - which is a bugger....

Friday, September 19, 2008

Alive and kickin'

Well, I appear to be back in the world of the living again. I finally had to take a couple of days off to try and kick this cold and it appears to have worked, so after a reasonably lazy couple of days I'm finally sitting in front of my machine again looking back at the debugger.

When I started this I thought it would be a reasonably small job, and one I could quickly do and get it out there so I could progress with more interesting things, but alas... this was not to be. It's turning into yet another mamoth task, and one thats eating up yet more of my limited free time. Sure, once its all working things will be great! But that still looks like being a long way off for now. I may have to scale my initial release back a little so I can at least release something and not have this as yet another project that never seems to appear.

What I'll probably do is finish the Plus4 debugging so that its pretty good to use, and then do the emulator (TCP/IP) stub for everyone else, then release that. I know I wanted to get the C64 version done first, but that will take ages, and since it requires a real machine hooked up, I can only do it in my work room at home. Once I get TCP/IP support for emulators, I can carry on doing debugging features using my laptop anywhere I like using Minus4 (or my C64/Spectrum emultor for that matter).

I gave Russell my spectrum emulator and he's be rewriting it in C# with the idea of playing with Silverlight, but this means he's doing a Z80 debugger and will use the plug in interface to support his emuator.

So....thats where we are just now, lets hope I can kick things up a gear and do some actual work! Of course...I go away on holiday to Florida in two weeks, so that's gonna get in the way, although I've bought an extra battery for my laptop, so hope to do some stuff on the plane there.

Friday, September 12, 2008

You wait. Time passes......

Yeah, I've not been doing much past few days. I've got a bit of a cold so I'm feeling a bit pooh, and we've had some birthdays etc. so I've not had much time. I might get a chance to get back into gear over the weekend, but it depends on this cold...*sigh*

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Go faster stripes....

I've been struggling with replacing the rich text box for a while and almost everything I've tried was much slower, even though I know I could plot those bloody pixels myself quicker that windows ever could. I've tried several things but I've finally gotten a normal windows form to draw without flickering like a bugger and fast enough to be - well, actually usable.

I'm now rendering the dissassembly window using a large bitmap that I create each Paint (although I'll probably change that to be a little more optimal later). Still, at least I can do pretty much anything I want now without having to worry about it. The update is pretty good to - much quicker than the RichTextBox. So, I'll continue to progress with this and clean up the code as its been hacked around quite a bit in the last week.

After that I really need to address the registers as they have to be created, updated and process by the plugin.

So...progress at LAST! I'm now into the middle third of the project, and this is where things seem to move at a crawl and will never get finished. However, I'm now getting things moving again and I hope it picks up pace and I can actually release it to everyone to play with. I really do hope it'll help change development and make emulators a better platform to write on, not to mention making it easier to test on real hardware.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I was reading through some wikipedia entry's on DMA and their games, and it staggers my just how bad community editing can be. I look at these every now and then to see if anyone's discovered anything cool, but what strikes me the most is how bad the editing is.

Uniracers for example. About a year or so ago it had a fairly large entry and was pretty factual, but now its a tiny stub as editors trim bits they don't like. If you look back through the history far enough, you'll find additions by me where I talked about the split screen system having to be verified by Nintendo R&D. This was because I got the guys to use an old C64 trick of ripping sprites to get perfect splits. However some over zealous editor started asking for citations and verifications and it eventually got cut. It pisses me off a bit since they really know nothing about it, and any citations would have come from me in the first place.

The problem with only putting down things they are 100% sure of because its been in print somewhere else, is that there's never anything new. Its just a duplication of what's out there already. This is stupid. It means no one could EVER use wikipedia to publish a new theory or idea, because some little Hitler will come along and nuke the whole thing just because they have never heard of it.

Community editing is good, over all the right thing gets out there. Bits you've never heard of you leave, bits your sure about you add or fix. But at some point you get some kind of community editor, and they have too much power to kill things they don't like or don't understand. They are usually appointed because they've spent lots of time adding content, but it doesn't means they know what the **** they're on about.

All in all, Wikipedia is going downhill fast. Rant over....Grrrr...