ElectrEm 0.6c

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ThomasHarte
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ElectrEm 0.6c

Post by ThomasHarte » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:04 pm

I've just uploaded ElectrEm 0.6c, which fixes the sound issues in the earlier 0.6 releases, has some tweaks to tape interrupt generation that mean that the Hewson games Southern Belle and Evening Star now work again (thanks go to Tom Walker for deducing the issue on this one!), and increases OS compatibility. I'm now optimistic it should work with OS X v10.2 and v10.3 on the Mac side and Vista on the Windows side. Most of the other changes aren't very major. In particular, I have yet to introduce [most of] the ROM paging and memory mapping observations that have recently been made on these boards.

Most of the rest of the emulator is unchanged, though at least the fast tape hack is improved a bit. And some fairly hard to encounter bugs are gone.

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Post by CMcDougall » Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:04 am

nice1 :wink:
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Post by Fraser » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:02 pm

Is the load tapes quickly option working? I can't turn it off. Is there any software now that doesn't work?

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Post by Fraser » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:05 pm

The Insert tape command only shows me UEF files. The File, Open command shows UEF and CSW when tape images is selected.

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Post by ThomasHarte » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:31 pm

The only piece of software I know that still doesn't work is Mineshaft. Others, such as Southern Belle and Jet Set Willy (note the very bottom of the barrel when all your lives are over) suggest that although the numbers I currently have for timing are very close, they're not perfect!

As for the tape, enable/disable seems to work for me, but I haven't thoroughly tested it. I'll look into it further. First time I built I thought I saw some similar problems under Windows, but after a fresh compile from source I was unable to reproduce them even once so I assumed it was a build problem — which MSVC 6.0 seems reasonably prone to on my setup (virtualised Windows, ElectrEm source in a simulated network folder to my normal Mac drive). I'll look into it thoroughly on Sunday, of course I'd rather be embarassed by having to release an update after just two days than leave problem software up on the website.

CSW on "Insert Tape..." is just a stupid omission which I will fix. Of course you can still open CSWs from the normal "File->Open...". The mistake was too literally transcribing into Windows what I had already done in OS X — of course there is still no CSW support in OS X because ElectrEm still sits on your CSW.dll. I plan to do something about that before too much longer, as the CSW format is very neat (as you're obviously aware) and in any case there seems to be plenty of CSW code about that I could just GPL-liberate into my own emulator. As I have the (still not fully implemented) FDI code.

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Post by retro_junkie » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:39 pm

Sorry to bring bad news again but the sound is still out. Using the old Acornsoft games again for example:

Snapper - Intro music slightly out (first couple of notes) but the sound of eating the dots is way out - the first dot makes no sound and there is another sound after you have stopped (try just pressing X at the start of a game and run into the wall).

Arcadians - The intro is the best it's been in ElectrEm but still a little out. The 'bip bip' during the game is also out though.

Hopper - The music is way out and the sound effects seem to be also a bit behind.

etc...

With the exception of the Arcadians intro, all of these played perfectly with the version from April last year...

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Post by ThomasHarte » Sat Jan 20, 2007 3:53 pm

Okay, I'll get onto that too! Would you be willing to pre-test any fixes I make so that I don't continue to test everyone else's patience with half-fix releases?

If the pre-April last year versions worked then it's probably something to do with the "optimisations" I enabled for 0.5 — in fact they are the way the code was originally designed to work, I just messed up the implementation originally. Specifically it's to do with the sound code correctly detecting when it doesn't need to do any work, which sounds like it should be very easy but is a bit more complicated than you might think because sound is all handled asychronously to everything else. Anyway, I'll get right on it.

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Post by retro_junkie » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:15 pm

I'd be happy to pre-test. Trying those games in the earlier version would be a good benchmark though.

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Post by retro_junkie » Sat Jan 20, 2007 4:54 pm

Oh and while you're here, what button do you press on the PC instead of COPY?

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Post by ThomasHarte » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:26 pm

Insert should work as copy. Another item on the "needed features" hit list is a keyboard configurator, similar to the one in the Classic emulator — arbitrary keyboard mapping and map saving/loading has always been supported in the Future code, there's just no way to use it at present. I'm not sure my Win32 and Cocoa knowledge is up to the task yet, and SDL is limited to one window at a time so I can't just use that unless keyboard configuration is something you switch to instead of running the main body of the emulator.

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Post by ThomasHarte » Sun Jan 21, 2007 10:50 pm

Is there any software now that doesn't work?
To reanswer this allowing for ROM paging fixes in accordance with this thread and further tape interrupt fixes made after discussion with Tom Walker, there are now no ElectrEm-incompatibilities that I'm aware of. Just minor timing issues related to exactly the right timing values for everything apparently being currently unknown.

I further believe I have fixed the sound issues and have taken the trivial step of adding CSW to "Insert Tape..."

A version that should have those to fixes is available at http://electrem.acornelectron.co.uk/fil ... dSound.zip — it's just a drop-in replacement .exe for the Windows version. I'd be grateful for some feedback on the sound fix!

I have some more bugs to track, especially related to the way it sometimes refuses to accept preference changes, but then I should be able to properly release 0.6d. Fingers crossed I can find someone to confirm or deny that it works on Vista before launching into 0.7 development.

Top of the 0.7 feature hitlist:
  • FDI file format support
  • Jim page emulation
  • as ever, more investigation into how to improve the fast tape hack — especially as against HQ UEFs
  • possibly some other generally interesting changes, though I haven't decided on what to do next.

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Post by CMcDougall » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:20 am

DFS discs don't work now, but who needs discs now when the
tape loader is like lightning :shock:
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Post by ThomasHarte » Mon Jan 22, 2007 8:13 pm

CMcDougall wrote:DFS discs don't work now, but who needs discs now when the
tape loader is like lightning :shock:
They seem to work for me, can you give me an example of a broken disc?

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Post by CMcDougall » Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:22 am

i used load disc 0, in ADFS (default), then press Shift-D-Brk to get going. but disc cat was wonky. :?
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Post by CMcDougall » Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:16 am

figures it out! its the DFS .DSD discs that are wonky. They work on other emulators. so its not there fault.

also tried loading them into drive1, but still same :(

Open file is very handy for tapes, does *T. , CH."" for you :D
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Post by retro_junkie » Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:44 am

Yep that sound fix seems to work for everything! The 'Hopper' music still stumbles a little bit but it does on an actual electron... the notes may be a little short but I could be just imagining it so I wouldn't worry about it... I guess I could run it at the same time as the real electron to compare...

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Post by Fraser » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:52 am

Can you make the 'Open as read only' setting on by default in the file opening dialog box? Some of the other emulators also have it off.

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Post by Fraser » Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:21 pm

The emulator is not starting now. I see nothing in the Electron screen window. The menu partially works. I have to force it to close with Windows.

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Post by ThomasHarte » Fri Feb 09, 2007 6:39 pm

If you're a Windows 95/98/ME user, is there any chance of getting a copy of the electrem.cfg that should be living with your .exe? If you're an NT/2000/XP/Vista user, then is there any chance of getting hold of the electrem.cfg from your "APPDATA" path? I'm not 100% aware of how the OS picks the name, but mine is "C:\Documents and Settings\Thomas Harte\Application Data" so I'd imagine it won't be hard to find yours.

Then try deleting electrem.cfg, running again, and seeing if the problem dies? And if you're in persistent state mode, any chance of also getting "electremstate.uef", which should be in the same location as the .cfg? One of those two sounds like the most likely culprit if the menubar is being added but the emulator is then entering an unresponsive loop...

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Post by Fraser » Sat Feb 10, 2007 12:34 pm

I use W2000 and I found the CFG file in the directory with Electrem.exe etc. My Windows drive is not C. Could that be a problem? There is a Windows function for getting the system drive letter. Deleting the CFG file has made no difference.

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Post by ThomasHarte » Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:25 pm

ElectrEm prior to 0.6c had always kept electrem.cfg with the .exe. As of 0.6c it puts the file in your application data directory (which it gets the path for from the environment variable APPDATA). So if you've upgraded by dumping the 0.6c .exe over an old installation it's perfectly possible you have an electrem.cfg with the .exe that isn't being used any more and another in your application data directory that is being used. Did you check there as well?

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Post by Fraser » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:01 pm

I didn't have that environment variable.

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Post by ThomasHarte » Sun Feb 11, 2007 3:19 pm

Well in that case the config file with the .exe should be the one it's using — it goes on whether or not it can find the environment variable, not specifically on the version of Windows underneath. I'd kind of hoped to be able to avoid having to use the Win32 API for this stuff since it isn't implemented on Windows 95, and is only available in an old version on my very historic copy of MSVC. I'd upgrade that but the free version doesn't include a resource editor (for the Windows native GUI bits and pieces) and neither do any of the other free alternatives.

Anyway, I'm following up leads on a problem with the disc subsystem right now, which might be causing this though it's hard to imagine that they are. My main follow-up questions are:

1) how many cores/CPUs does your system have?
2) are you using a persistent state (i.e. the emulator attempts to shut down and start up in the same state — can't remember what I called it in the preferences screen)?

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Post by Fraser » Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:44 pm

I had the persistent state option on. I turned it off and then closed using End Process. Its now working.

The problem comes back when I turn it on. I have 1 processor.

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Post by Fraser » Tue Feb 13, 2007 12:47 pm

Is the sound still being improved? The Chuckie Egg death music isn't quite right.

When I come out of full screen mode it goes to an incorrect low resolution temporarily for a second, then the right one but I have to restart Windows.

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Post by retro_junkie » Tue Feb 13, 2007 2:08 pm

Fraser wrote:Is the sound still being improved? The Chuckie Egg death music isn't quite right.
Do you have the very latest version (with the sound fix)? CE sounds fine to me unless you mean a very slight pause near the end of the death music... which may or may not be me imagining it! - it is certainly playing all the notes now (which it didn't until this version).

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Post by ThomasHarte » Tue Feb 13, 2007 3:00 pm

Is the sound still being improved?
Everything is being improved until it is perfect!

Concerning the hang at startup if persistent state is enabled, there should be an electremstate.uef somewhere on your system (even though you've disabled the feature, this is a known bug), if you can find it then is there any chance of me getting a copy?

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Post by Fraser » Tue Feb 13, 2007 6:25 pm

I don't have a electremstate.uef file. I'm using the C version.

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Post by Fraser » Sat Mar 29, 2008 3:27 pm

Where on the PC keyboard are the Electrons cursor keys? I found the copy key. Sometimes the emulator crashes after certain keys or combinations of keys are pressed. Sometimes the shift key stops working.

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