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Thread: Wolf32X - finally in beta!

  1. #676
    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mask of Destiny View Post
    One could argue that an add-on that is not entirely compatible with all the official revisions of the console has a design flaw. Especially when that add-on is made by the creator of the original console and released late in the life of that console so most/all of the revisions were already in existence.
    Engineering is all about doing what is PRACTICAL for the MAJORITY of people. Not being compatible with 1% of potential customers isn't a "design flaw" at all. PC software is normally written with a goal of compatibility better than 80% of the average consumer base PC, not 100%.

  2. #677
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Engineering is all about doing what is PRACTICAL for the MAJORITY of people. Not being compatible with 1% of potential customers isn't a "design flaw" at all.
    Obviously tradeoffs abound in engineering and it's possible the tradeoff is reasonable. That said, just because something is a reasonable tradeoff doesn't mean it's not technically a "flaw".

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    PC software is normally written with a goal of compatibility better than 80% of the average consumer base PC, not 100%.
    The situation with the PC is not that analogous. PCs are incredibly diverse. The combinations of CPU, RAM capacity, GPU, OS version/patch state and possible conflicting software is huge. It's completely unreasonable to test against that many combinations, especially since new combinations are being created all the time and the combinations are completely outside your control. With the Genesis there are fewer than 20 board revisions.

  3. #678
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mask of Destiny View Post
    Obviously tradeoffs abound in engineering and it's possible the tradeoff is reasonable. That said, just because something is a reasonable tradeoff doesn't mean it's not technically a "flaw".

    The situation with the PC is not that analogous. PCs are incredibly diverse. The combinations of CPU, RAM capacity, GPU, OS version/patch state and possible conflicting software is huge. It's completely unreasonable to test against that many combinations, especially since new combinations are being created all the time and the combinations are completely outside your control. With the Genesis there are fewer than 20 board revisions.
    Comparing it to the PC IS a bit of an exageration, but not a whole lot. You forget that differences in those 20 revisions may be mutually exclusive - what works for one revision may prevent another revision from working. Your only other choice would be to make different 32X units specifically for certain revisions of the Genesis, and that's asking too much. They did it right by targeting the main bulk of consoles and having "repair" procedures for the others in the service manual.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    You forget that differences in those 20 revisions may be mutually exclusive - what works for one revision may prevent another revision from working.
    Do you have an example? I'm not as good at EE as I would like to be, but I have a hard time believing there are no reasonable solutions for dealing with a clock signal that may or may not be marginal. It may not be as cheap as clipping off a capacitor, but it seems solvable. Worst case I imagine you could use a PLL to do clock recovery from some other signal and ignore the marginal clock altogether (though perhaps PLLs were not cheap enough then).

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    They did it right by targeting the main bulk of consoles and having "repair" procedures for the others in the service manual.
    Maybe. But if the problematic consoles are as small a percentage of the installed base as you suggest, I have a hard time believing that those sorts of problems are a major contributor the reputation of the 32X as unreliable. Of course, looking back at the thread again I guess that was never really your argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mask of Destiny View Post
    Do you have an example? I'm not as good at EE as I would like to be, but I have a hard time believing there are no reasonable solutions for dealing with a clock signal that may or may not be marginal. It may not be as cheap as clipping off a capacitor, but it seems solvable. Worst case I imagine you could use a PLL to do clock recovery from some other signal and ignore the marginal clock altogether (though perhaps PLLs were not cheap enough then).


    Maybe. But if the problematic consoles are as small a percentage of the installed base as you suggest, I have a hard time believing that those sorts of problems are a major contributor the reputation of the 32X as unreliable. Of course, looking back at the thread again I guess that was never really your argument.
    Perhaps the best example is the missing DTACK line on the model 3. Nothing you can do about that on the 32X side without MAJOR changes in the design.

    The differences in clock signals are more problematic than you think - to clean up the clock signal in the 32X will introduce a delay in the clock signal... which means that it's no longer in sync with the other signals. You can't just simply delay ALL the signals - it doesn't work like that. Working around that would increase the interface hardware considerably, and probably introduce extra wait-states. It's far easier (and more importantly, cheaper) to have a tech clip a cap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Perhaps the best example is the missing DTACK line on the model 3. Nothing you can do about that on the 32X side without MAJOR changes in the design.
    Given that the Genesis 3 was produced by Majesco well after the 32X had flopped, I have no problems giving Sega a pass on that one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    The differences in clock signals are more problematic than you think - to clean up the clock signal in the 32X will introduce a delay in the clock signal... which means that it's no longer in sync with the other signals. You can't just simply delay ALL the signals - it doesn't work like that. Working around that would increase the interface hardware considerably, and probably introduce extra wait-states. It's far easier (and more importantly, cheaper) to have a tech clip a cap.
    Since it's a clock signal, the absolute amount of delay isn't really important, it just needs to be in phase with the original clock. That's definitely a solveable problem. Poking around a bit more, a PLL based clock conditioner seems like the natural solution. If the signal is too marginal for even that then clock recovery based on one of the bus control signals should be doable (though the periods in which the VDP takes over the 68K bus for DMA make this a bit messy). Further, it's not even clear that the 68K clock is strictly required to make a robust memory interface for the 68K. The 68K bus is designed to be largely asynchronous after all.

    I certainly don't deny that having the tech clip the capacitor was probably cheaper (doubly so in hindsight given that the 32X was a flop) and even if the fix was within budget they may not have had the time to implement it given the relatively short development of the 32X. But just because a flaw is deemed acceptable for cost or time-to-market reasons doesn't mean it's not a flaw.

    As an aside, I apologize for contributing to a derail of your thread. I appreciate your work on the 32X.

  7. #682
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Perhaps the best example is the missing DTACK line on the model 3. Nothing you can do about that on the 32X side without MAJOR changes in the design.
    DTACK is properly connected to the cartridge slot on all Genesis 3s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chessage View Post
    DTACK is properly connected to the cartridge slot on all Genesis 3s.
    Not according to the thread where they show how you connect it to the slot to get things like the GameGenie and VR working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    Not according to the thread where they show how you connect it to the slot to get things like the GameGenie and VR working.
    This thread?. There are a bunch of signals missing that the 32X uses, but it doesn't look like !DTACK is one of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mask of Destiny View Post
    This thread?. There are a bunch of signals missing that the 32X uses, but it doesn't look like !DTACK is one of them.
    Hmm - you're right. I was thinking of this thread where you get VR and GG working on the 32X by connecting the DTACK line. With the model 3, it's a number of other lines, but not DTACK.

  11. #686
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    Is there a version avalible with more than just the first shareware level?

  12. #687
    ESWAT Veteran Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nintendo2600 View Post
    Is there a version avalible with more than just the first shareware level?
    No. The full game won't fit in a normal rom. The update will handle that... when I get to it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilly Willy View Post
    No. The full game won't fit in a normal rom. The update will handle that... when I get to it.
    So I'm guessing 4MB when you do release the update? Or perhaps 6 or 8MB?

  14. #689

    Talking Wolfenstein 32X

    Attachment 7648Attachment 7649

    Day 30 will have a friend make a flashcard specific to Wolfenstein 3D. When I discovered this port done by Chilly Willy was amazed! I was very angry but very angry! This is because both SNES, 3DO, Atari Jaguar and GBA versions have Doom and Wolfenstein. Now the 32X also came into play!

    There's the cover / label for those who want to, unfortunately is in Portuguese (BR) since I'm from Brazil.

    Made happier fans miserable 32X.

    Thanks, Chilly:

  15. #690
    RORRING STAAAAART! Master of Shinobi FuturePrimitive's Avatar
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    Since Chilly Willy is back, I'm Dig Duging the Wolfenstein 3D 32X thread up!

    I've been really enjoying this port! I made a CD of the .ogg soundtrack with ImgBurn, but I'm not sure I did it correctly. The tracks are in the right order and separated with 2 second intervals, but there's this high pitched whistle while the music plays. Maybe there's a better way, or maybe I screwed it up somehow?

    Thanks Chilly Willy for a great game!

    Reviews in the pipeline:
    Choplifter (Master System and SG-1000)
    Ys: The Vanished Omens with FM Sound Patch!

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