Kevin Vance - My SuperCard and Passcard-3 arrived today! They both work well.…

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06:37 pm

Monday, June 19th, 2006
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My SuperCard and Passcard-3 arrived today! They both work well. Apparently, an idiosyncrasy of the SC is that you have to store your DS program with the GBA loader (.nds.gba), but it can't end with .gba or it gets stuck at the Game Boy logo. You have to rename it to .nds, even though it isn't. Anyway, I've done all of this so far:
  • DS Linux, of course. It boots up fine, and can scan the various wireless access points around the house, but can't connect. I'll figure it out, I'm sure.
  • ScummVM! I have a copy of Indy and the Fate of Atlantis on there, and it runs impressively. The sound skips infrequently when it's busy loading, especially on cutscenes. But I can think of that as the authentic 486 experience :) Also, supports sleep mode! I have a feeling this is the most mature DS port of anything.
  • My own homebrew program where you drag rectangles around with the touchscreen, based on the "exercise for the reader" at the end of this tutorial. Though apparently they do something like it in the next tutorial. I'm still pleased :P
  • Nethack DS. Flaky. I had to edit the hardcoded paths to where I stored it on the CF card, and disable a couple of sanity checks ("trickery"!). It still occasionally complains that something isn't right, and it uses stupid graphical tiles instead of ASCII characters. How am I supposed to know what anything is?! I may have better luck trying to get nethack to run in DS Linux.
  • snesDS. I can't make it work. It doesn't have CF support, so you have to cram your ROM images into the DS executable image. And you have to use some crummy windows-only software to do that. I've tried its .nds and .nds.gba images, and I've tried appending my own GBA loader with dsbuild, but all I get are 2 white screens.
SuperCard and Passcard boxes (front) SuperCard and Passcard boxes (front)
SuperCard and Passcard Boxes (back) SuperCard and Passcard Boxes (back)
DS Lite with cards DS Lite with cards
Passcard-3, SuperCard, and 1GB CF.
DS Linux booting DS Linux booting
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[User Picture]From: kaddar
2006-06-20 03:43 am (UTC)
It's like this thing is a keyboard away from being the 100 dollar laptop they've been designing, albiet with a really hard to read font size.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2006-06-20 06:27 am (UTC)
It has a lot of cool hardware in it, but only 4MB of RAM! Even the $100 laptop has more than that.
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From: zixyer
2006-06-20 06:02 pm (UTC)
Supercards and M3s actually have 32MB of extra RAM; just fyi.. :)
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From: zixyer
2006-06-20 04:52 am (UTC)
I wouldn't even bother with snesds; it's pretty bad. nesds is much better (except no save support).

Those are probably the best tutorials available, but they're a little out of date at this point. I use DSTek mostly for reference. Too bad all of its register names are different from libnds's.

I just got sound working in my video player tonight. As soon as I get synchronization done it'll be ready for an initial release. The framerate takes a hit with sound, unfortunately -- I'm trying to find an mpeg audio decoding library that fits in the 64k allocated to the arm7 (it's apparently possible to get that up to 96k if you fiddle with devkitARM's linker scripts, which I'm not looking forward to). I've only been able to get the libmad binary down to about 100k.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2006-06-20 05:55 am (UTC)
Browsing DSTek was originally what got me excited enough to buy a DS Lite :)

Does the devkit have any kind of overlay features? I had to split Handhelj into two sections--network and everything else--to get around PalmOS's 64k limit.
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From: zixyer
2006-06-20 05:50 pm (UTC)
I've seen some speculation on the forums that it might be possible to do overlays, but no one's written any code. Sure would be nice, though...
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2006-06-20 05:58 am (UTC)
The original photo was of loch ness monster quality since the penguin is only up for like 2 seconds. It looks extra shopped because when I cranked the levels on the screens, the edges wouldn't blend back in very nicely.
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From: ex_md744
2006-06-20 06:17 am (UTC)
The card for the DS slot just unlocks it so it will boot into DS mode. If there's only a card in the GBA slot, it boots as a GBA, so you only get one processor, no wi-fi, and no touch input.

SD/CF reader also obviously fit better in the GBA slot.

I heard the passkey will drain your battery, and is unnecessary anyway after it's finished booting, though maybe they've fixed that.

Anyone want to buy my playyan for $70? :3
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