July 29, 2001

Hey look everyone! This page actually changed! :)

In a brief moment of genius, I finally remember what my login/password was for the ftp. The password was actually never the item in question, it turns out, but rather I had the login all wrong and just assumed it was 'sintendo'. Regardless, I'm back on line so I can give you guys some updates. There's an old post I found on my hard drive that never got posted because I wrote it the day I realized that I didn't know my password. You can read it below, it tells the epic tale behind how I solved the problem that has been the most recent post you guy's have been looking at for over two months now... Or something like that.

As far as the backgrounds go, they are still no go. I've been working to hard on everything else to have time to figure out what's going on with those backgrounds. It doesn't seem that many of you really mind the whole white to black gradient thing anyways, so its going to stay arround for at least one more release. The good news is, Sintendo is in great working order. I rewrote all of the menu code into a single function that can be called for various different types of menus. There are many, many advantages to this. Firstly, all menus run off the same code, so they are conistant and less error prone than individually writen menus. Secondly, new menus can be added with little to no hassle; this allowed me to add all sorts of small messages to replace those old 'text at the top of the screen' messages that you couldn't even read on a TV. In it's place are simple message boxes, like "Loading", and a Yes/No menu that asks if you would like to save, etc. Advantage the third is that it gave me an excuse to fix both of the major problems with the game menu, being that it crashed if you did not have at least 11 games, and never showed the last game. The new minimum is 1 game. If you feel the need, you can burn Sintendo with only one game on the CD and it will work normally. You can also get rid of your old ZZZ.smc files, and for those of us who didn't create them, we can finally play Zelda (which, by the way, doesn't work very well due to lack of transparencies).

Saving and loading is in a nearly complete state. I have yet to add options for removing/inserting VMUs during gameplay, but I will in the next few days. If it proves to be less than problematic, I'd also like to get transparencies running again. I believe that I know where the problem lies, but memory constraints may turn out to be a large issue in fixing this. If all goes well, Sintendo Beta v0.10 will be available soon enough, though I continue to resrict myself from setting a date. Just know that things are going very well and I am currently in a "clean-up" state, where I am going through the already working emulator and looking for any problems that may arrise. Hopefully, this will be a relatively stable beta release that is worth making self-bootable...

More in a few days.


June 1, 2001

All apologies to any of you die-hards out there still waiting to hear what's up with Sintendo - if there are any. I got a new hard drive, a much needed addition to my computer, but ever since, I've not gotten Windows 2000 running or installing on my computer. I'm grinding my teeth through Win98, which works fine most of the time, but I simply miss the stability of Windows 2000, especially for programming. I have to get either Windows 2000 running, or I have to install MSVC again in Win98. The latter of which will probably happen, and then I can get back to work. Every thing is running relatively smoothly - programming wise. And in my spare time of being stuck with Windows 98, I've managed to create a self-booting version of Sintendo. It uses CDRECORD, which I've found to the most reliable in that it should work on most every burner, as opposed to other methods which I haven't gotten a single other method to work with my burner yet. When a new version of Sintendo becomes released, if anyone would like to take it upon themselves to create an image for Nero, DiskJuggler, or any other program as well as instructions if free to do so. In fact, I'd like to have make them available from this site. Any that allow multi-sessioning are especially preferred. I'm still trying to work out whether the CDRECORD method will allow me to multi-session new executables for debugging.

As far as programming goes, everything is going quite well. Some time ago I solved the problem reported in my last post. I even prepared a website post concerning it, but some how managed not to save it. The problem was global of some nature, I just found a chunk of very buggy code and took it out, then re-wrote it. At any matter, when I wasn't working on the menus because of buggy code, I was working on the backgrounds, which still don't work, but I think I know why. I'm not going to fix them though, right now, when I reinstall MSVC, I'm gonna comment out that code so it runs normally and finish up the menus. I've gotten the better part of a reusable menu function that can be used so I can simply create menus of several different sorts. With that, a lot less buggs can occur, and the menus will all be relatively similar. Once that it working, I'm just about done. If I remember correctly, there's a little I have left to do with saving, most of which is touch-up work, and I'd still love to have backgrounds, but I can let that slide in interest of time. The menu's still are very usable and even attractive without them.

More news as soon as I get MSVC installed.


May 9, 2001

Ok, well, I'm not really sure what I did, but I hosed it pretty good and now it refuses to open any files on the Dreamcast, which is of course very neccessary if you are to play any ROMs. So at it's current state, it doesn't load ROMs, it doesn't load background images, but it saves and loads just fine. :) Of course, it has nothing to save or load, so I'm kind of up a creek here...

I'm gonna get it running ASAP. There were a few other things that went wrong, which I've already fixed... I'm still trying to figure out what happened in the first place.

More news in a few days.


April 28, 2001

I'm quitting working for the night, and probably for tommorrow as well. I ran into a small hitch (the whole thing crashed :), so I decided I need a break. Tommorrow I turn a year older and I think I'd rather do other things than sit home and program.

As of this point, the following things are working: Saving, works, quite well actually. Saving menu, in progress, nearly complete. Other menus, in progress. Right now it recognizes memory cards and the insertion/removal of any memory cards while in the save menu. It does not yet allow you to select which memory card to save to (it picks one) and it doesn't recognize insertion/removal during gameplay. I was working on another menu for selecting simple 'Yes/No' questions, in this instance whether or not you wish to enable saving for the current game, when it crashed on me altogether, and no long thinks that it should have to load ROMs... :)

So I'm finally getting arround to uploading the source. If anyone cares to take a look, the most recent source should be available on the download page by the time I go to bed tonight. It's a bloomin' mess right now, and doesn't currently even emulate on the Dreamcast, but...

At any matter, I'll be back at it in a couple of days and I hope for more great progress...


April 28, 2001

Ok, Saving works. I was playing Super Mario World from a resumed game today and I saved it at the end. It's quite a bit querky right now, and I need to add some menus so it all make sense, but otherwise things are going incredibly well... Basically, I came upon the code that I wrote almost overnight. I just kept working so things look up.

The plan is this. First of all, the source code will be available as soon as I zip it and upload it. When saving's working a little better I may include the compiled binary along with the source code. It's kindof like a Build, in that it's nothing too special, just a few extra features (saving's kindof cool :), but it's not a release and should be met with as much anticipation. Next step. I need to do two sets of menus. I can only imagine how problematic they will be or what other neccessities I will run into along the way. I might fix a few of the more important bugs/errors on the Sintendo Timeline, and then I gotta clean up code.

These are my projects and aspirations at this point in time. When I'm done with all of that crap, however, I think I might have something worth a release...

Update in a few days.


April 27, 2001

I've been working. I've got some saving code done. It recognizes VMUs, and prints information on the screen like which port and device it is attatched to, and how much space is available. If I remember correctly, I already have the Save/Load menu half coded, but I'm not gonna worry about that right now. I got make the files inside work and not cause errors, et cetera. I'm quitting for the afternoon, but I'm gonna try and pack up the source code and put it up. The source code for a few days ago is also up already, but I haven't put a link to it yet. I'll try to get these things done tonight, and then hopefully I can get a little more saving done. That's what I'm working on right now, and that's what the progress of Sintendo is...


April 19, 2001

Glad to be back up again. Thanks bunches go out to 007Cheater for the nice web space he's given me. I appreciate it a lot.

Sintendo is back online with a new address: sintendo.dcemulation.com. Be sure to check out my parent site, http://www.dcemulation.com though most of you already know it, there's lots of scene news and lots of forums. Speaking of forums, the forum link still works and still connects to the same old forum I've been running since almost day one. I might try to switch it over, I might not... not sure yet. One note though: non-constructive critism of Sintendo (messages like "you suck" or what-have-you) will be ignored and deleted. I won't tolerate it, at all. Constructive critism is welcome, as are programming inquiries or anything else that was allowed on the old board.

Okay, it's not up yet... mostly because I'm on dial-up and I spent a long enough time just getting this site uploaded, but I've got the most recent source all packed up and waiting to upload. It's not a great bit more than what it was for Build #209 (Did I ever mention I made that number up? :) but it's basically where I left off programming last. They key improvements are that you can remove a controller and re-insert it and the game still plays normal... (my cat's kept unplugging the controller...very annoying :). Also, the beginnings of a frame skip menu are in there, but I commented it out so the code actually compiles. There is no release for this code, and I won't set any kind of deadline what-so-ever for it. I will, however, try to release the source code as often as possible for anyone who is interested. I have changed the copyright information, and Sintendo is now considered free software. Open source, and any developer may change whatever they like and release it under there own name, so long as the copyright restrictions are adheared to, which include making proper mention of my own copyright on the software I have created. When I get the new source up, download it and check out 'Copyright.txt' if you're interested.

I've been busy with work and all that, so I'm not gonna make any promises about when I'll program or how much I'll have done by when. Please don't ask. Once I get this god forsaken printer working, I'm gonna print out some docs and try to figure out how to get some saving/loading down so as to make RPG's et cetera worthwhile to play.

More news in a few days.


January 15, 2000

The circus show I call my life continues with only some hope that eventually everything will settle down. My hope is that by the beginning of February, everything will have calmed down a little and I will finally be able to have some peace in my life. A few things have changed thus far, and my life is slowly taking a reasonable shape, so I guess they can only get better... But then again...

I have a public announcement to make to any of you who have posted in my forum that I should consider quitting working on Sintendo: No. If you honestly feel this way, any of you, then don't bother checking up on the progress of my emulator and leave my little corner of the internet alone. With or without the support of the people, I will continue progress on Sintendo, and make it great; if at the very least only in my own eyes.

I've been looking arround through my stuff, trying to find my copy of Microsoft Visual C++, but it hasn't yet turned up. So I guess that buys me some time to fix up this mess of a webpage I call home... I'm working on a few things with that: First of all, I have to finish the graphics page, and make it an actual link. I added a graphic to the upper right hand corner that you may have already noticed. You may have also noticed that this used to be the location of a banner and that the banner at the bottom of the table of contents is also missing. After over a month of 0 hits, both banner services cancelled on me, so I took them down. No big deal. I have a job now and I'm doing ok. Don't worry about me.

Someone was nice enough to send me a link to another page (in Spanish) that had copies of most of the files I was missing on the downloads page. Thanks to DC_CODER for this links. Thank you, also, all of you who offered to send me Sintendo v0.02, which I no longer need, or any other files which you offered. I appreciate your support. In another note, please don't offer to send me Visual C++, I have a completely legitimate copy and am not interested in illegal rips.

I'll also be adding a few other things to the downloads page. A few people have asked me about making their own 0gdtex.pvr files, so I have two programs for this. The first simply turns a PVR file into a PNG, and the second is a Photoshop plugin for saving and opening PVR files. I'll add these when I get a chance. Lastly, I have decided that it is reasonably safe to provide the WINCE files for download, provided a proper disclaimer is added, which I will expect everyone to read and agree to before downloading. It will say something along the lines that you understand and appreciate the potential illegality of downloading such software and accept full responsibility. You are also expected to legally own on Windows CE game for the Dreamcast, meaning that copying such files is potentially legal. Whether or not Sega Swirl (a freeware game) counts as such a legal copy is at your own discretion and you accept full responsibility for such actions. Neither I nor the server accept any responsibility for anyone who downloads such software illegally. Again, this will all be stated in a full disclaimer which, again, will be added when I get a chance.

I'm considering adding some 3D effects to the menu. Tell me what you think...


January 6, 2000

I have been working on repairing the site of a few things that I have been receiving constant emails about. Several of the links on the download page are now back up, but several are still missing. If anyone has a copy of the files marked "(DOWN)", please contact me and I can figure out a way to get these files back up.

Both copies of 0gdtex.pvr are now downloadable via the graphics page (which is still under construction, and still appears as a broken link, but is good - don't worry), and most of the graphics that will be used for Sintendo are on display. As stated, this page is still under construction and I should have them all up in a few days. All graphics on this page are now a link to the full-sized image I was given, for anyone who is interested in such things.

Programming is still in the research stage. I am now running Win98 SE (ack!), as opposed to Windows 2000 for various reasons, the most important of which being compatibility. I haven't yet installed Microsoft Visual C++ or any of the SDKs, I have to find room on my hard drive first. I've looked at the code a little and reconsidered a few things. I need to pipeline the graphics code to be as fast as possible, and get the menu running with full transparencies (which has caused me a great deal of problems in the past - so may prove to be quite frustrating once again). Once I get the SDK up and running, I'll spend some time looking through the documenation before I even begin programming, to prevent having to look up information on the fly, and also to prevent my own ignorance. :)

I'll post in a few days or something, give you guys some updates.


December 27, 2000

I hope you guys all had a happy Christmas. For Christmas I got a Dreamcast. And well, some of you don't know, I didn't have a Dreamcast for a small while there. I have a Dreamcast, I have a high-speed internet connection, and I think I'm going to do a little programming. I feel that my head is quite clear and any frustration I've had in the past with programming, I can now look at it with a fresh light. Time to do a little programming. I'd like to continue the menu final adjustments first and then I'll move into something else. I haven't even yet looked at my timeline to see what it says, but I guess I'll consider it. I have to reinstall Microsoft Visual C++ first, and before that I might have to reinstall my operating system. I think I'll stick with Windows 2000, but we'll see. I'm gonna look at what I got programmed already and read some to figure out where I'm going. By then I should have an operating system up and MSVC up and running. There were a lot of bugs on the menu code, but I think I've got some books that will inspire me. After that, sound or speed seems pretty important. Saving does too. We'll see as time goes on. No promises. No Deadlines. Just going to do some programming I've been meaning to be doing for a while now.

On the bright side, I have a *new* Dreamcast, as opposed to an old Dreamcast which I have taken apart. It reads CD-Rs just fine, and works great. I'm gonna reinstall my OS as soon as I find the darned CD, and I'm gonna start research as soon as I get a chance. Update in a few days, I hope. I glad to see anyone who still follows this site.



November 19, 2000

It has been a couple of days since the last the very latest I should have had a page update, and for that, I apologize. I just recently reformatted my hard drive and installed Windows 2000 which I prefer a great deal to Windows ME. Besides that, my life has been quite heckic and is currently in a state of complete disarray. I will not go into any details (as some of them are unclear even to me) but suffice to say that I could not be expected to program on a regular basis even if I wanted to. I am at a point where I have to worry about myself first and all other things (including Sintendo) second. I intend on finishing the development of Sintendo as time continues, but for now, I have to take a rather lengthy break from everything.

For anyone who is still interested in the progress of Sintendo, please feel free to check back in a couple of weeks, I hope to have a reasonable update to this page by then.

One or two people have asked about the timeline. The checkmarks are still accurate, but the "Estimated Release Dates" have been pushed back indefinitely. I will try to make further estimations when it is again possible for such estimations to be made.


Sintendo Build #209 - November 3, 2000

Ok, so I made that number up. :) I didn't want to call it a beta release because it's kindof a beta release for a beta release, so I went back to the old style of calling it a build. Only problem is, I lost count of the builds somewhere around 100. So... I just made a number up. But I imagine I'm somewhere close to 209. :)

The only thing that makes this a worthwhile release is multi-session. If you've got an old copy of Sintendo, multi-session replace the file "SintendoDC.exe" onto your CD. It's kindof like a patch. It is not yet everything I wish to include in a full beta release, but for those of us that are less patient (we are all at least a little impatient), it should tide you over. Sometime yesterday I finally got almost every problem I was having working, to a point where I was finally able to sit down and enjoy a few games, and even functionally use the in-game menu to pick other games or reset the current game.

I don't want to hear a single "complaint" about this release. Build release = me doing you guys a favor and releasing something that works before everything works. That's right, not everything works. If it's not checked off in the timeline (and not much is yet), then it doesn't work yet. But it is a significant improvement from Sintendo beta v0.02, in that the in-game menu works... and I know you guys have been waiting a long time for this.

By saying complaint, I mean that I do not wish to receive emails (and I will not reply) or forum posts (which I will delete) which are disruptive or critizes Sintendo for lacking a feature which is clearly stated in several locations that it is not included (i.e. speed, saving, sound, or frameskip). If you notice a bug, I encourage you to drop me a line through either of these methods. Please be intelligent about informing me about bugs. There are a number of known problems listed on the timeline, if there's not a check by it, then I already know it is a bug, and you telling me about it isn't going to do me any good... unless you feel you have some sort of new insight. Please, constructive critism only. Nothing in the world required me to release this software at this point, but I felt that the general public would be pleased to have an early release that fixes a few (but not all) of the major problems with the previous release. If you are not happy with the features included, feel free to wait arround for a future release; the Novemeber 17th release has been delayed in no way by this pre-release.

Oh yeah, yesterday I stumbled onto a single line of code that made me jump back a little... I hadn't realized it was there. This line of code put Snes9x in debug mode... which is, of course, slower than normal mode because it has to do more work. So I turned that off and got a slight performance increase from it. Don't expect to much though. It was most noticable when I was playing Super Mario World, which seemed to run at about 70-75% of true speed... So that's included too. It's still quite slow, however, so as I said before, don't expect too much. I will be looking for other "fixes" like that for the next release, and including a selectable frameskip, so hopefully by then play will reach a tolerable level.

Sintendo Build #209 is also a stand-alone burn for anyone who has never burned Sintendo before. The instructions are all there and you don't need to download Sintendo Beta v0.02 in order to use it.

Oh, and you get to the in-game menu by pressing Start+L+R at the same time. Only the top two features work ("Reset SNES" and "Select Game") all others will just return you to the game exactly where you left off.

With all that out of the way, I give you some pre-release tastiness. These links will also be mirrored on the download page:

Sintendo Build #209 (984,962 bytes)
Sintendo Build #209 - Complete Source (2,263,380 bytes)

November 2 , 2000

Another day, another post. :) I'm getting a job... soon; day or two or more and I'll go so broke I'll start buglarizing banks. On the bright side, I could probably get a lot of programming done in prison. :) ...but I gotta go with the legit thing and get myself a job. This, of course, means I'll have less time to program. I set up a timeline, I recommend anyone interest at all in the progress or future progress of Sintendo should check it out. It lists off many of the features I plan on adding to Sintendo, and the order in which they will be done. Much of the ealier programming, through the next release and on through implementation of saving, have time estimations for each step, and a deadline for completion. I'm not going to post in the development page tonight, because I think that pretty much covers it all. The current state of Sintendo is good, most things I've been working on for all this time are in a completed state, the menu and in-game menu work and look pretty good, but have a few bugs or things left to be done, so the release is coming close. As I said before, all things left to be done are detailed on the Timeline page, including how long I imagine it will take to complete them. I have taken into consideration getting a job, and reduced the estimated number of days per day/per week to 4 hours a day, 5 days a week.

The Timeline also doubles as a checklist. I intend on checking steps off as they are completed. If there are any programmers to whom specific tasks interest them in specific, then I encourage you to take a shot at it. I am willing to help as much or as little as you want. Talk to me and I can give you specific information about the task at hand. In other words, I am looking for any programmers who would like to help, be it in a little way or taking on large parts of the project, then your help would certainly help Sintendo come out sooner. I have divided the project out into small, simple projects; so anything you are interested in taking on, I encourage you. Thank you.


November 1 , 2000

Downloads are up. I noticed yesterday that people were completely unable to download Sintendo for a little while there, so I set up a page (quite well formatted, compared to the last one i think) where all of the Sintendo releases as well as the source code that accompanied those releases can be downloaded. An notable addition to that list; the absolute most current, up-to-date, source code for Sintendo, including all the code mention just yesterday on the Development page, plus a few small things added since then. This version is more complete than previous source codes, in that it includes full projects for both the PC and the Dreamcast versions of Sintendo, with all neccessary files. Anyone with the proper SDKs should be able to open those up in Microsoft Visual C++ 6.0, compile them, and they should work just fine, some caveats expected. These are straight out of the directories I use ever day; the source code zip should include two directorys, both with weird names, but they have to stay that way because the files used for the Dreamcast version just point at those used for the PC version... that's just the way I work it, and it works fine.

If there are any problems working with the Sintendo source code, please feel free to ask me any questions you wish; either by dropping me an email, or by venturing into the Development forum and asking your question there. I am slowing working towards making the source code more understandable and easier to work with, so your suggestions, comments, and problems are very helpful. My intention is to have well documented, easy to use source code by the time of the final release... Until then things may be a little shaky, but I think this source pushes this forward quite a bit. I will try to re-release an updaed version of the source code every week or so. I probably will not release source when parts of the emulator are in an incomplete state as it would be hard for other programmers to work their ways arround my problems. For information regarding such incomplete or non-functional source code, check out the Development page regularly (I intend on updating it quite often), or email me with questions. Furthermore, I encourage anyone who would like to assist with the development of Sintendo to do so in whatever way you see fit.

Final note on the source code: hopefully, high-speed internet connections will be available in my area some time soon, but who knows. When I have a high-speed connection and its more resonable to upload 2 or more Megs on a regular basis, I may consider using something along the lines of source forge in order to ensure that the source is consistantly updated. Time will tell.

Other than that, very little is going on to speak of. The menu has come along a few steps and I've actually got the program emulating again (it never got that far before, and if it did, a few things were removed so that it couldn't), so I'm starting to move the in-game menu (which crashes on the Dreamcast) over to the new format. Thing are working and not working at the same time, but atleast some (quite a bit) progress is being made. I'll try to set up a timeline or something to give you guys a better idea about when things will be nearing completion.

And lastly, I've hollowed out the links on the left that I haven't gotten around to, so that I don't have to post an update twice a day saying "<blah> is up". If its white, has a rollover, and has a link, then it's up, if not... Eh.


October 31, 2000

The forums are back up! As of yet, there are three links on the left that currently work: News, Develop., and Forums. Feel free to check out the Development page as well, I've updated it as I promised I would and it may give you guys a good idea as too where Sintendo currently stands.

Not much news other than site changes and that which is noted in the Development page...


October 30, 2000

Sintendo has taken on a new format. Most links on the left will be down for the time being, but I will strive to get them up and running as soon as possible. I will archive all the old news and provide it as a link when I get a chance.

As far as progress with Sintendo goes, things are going well. A large peice of the puzzle feel together today; I am still having a few troubles with it, but they are well within my capabilities of solving in a small ammount of time. In all of my troubled, I have still not yet managed to get saving to work, as I have had little time remaining to concerntrate on it. I am considering releasing a new version, with the improved menus (including an in-game menu) when it is ready, and leaving out saving for the time being. Fret not, however, as soon as this release is ready, I will get to work on saving, now having time to concerntrate only on saving, and I don't feel it should take much time. I am not yet willing to provide a time frame for these tasks. Keep checking the sight and eventually it will be ready. I may give a time frame as the up-coming release gets closer.

I have a near-prefect screen shot of what the menu is supposed to look like (noticably missing folders), for those of you are curious. Below is a thumbnail, click on it to see it in full 640x480 resolution. This is running on the PC version of Sintendo, the Dreamcast port still has a little bit of catching up to do, due to a few incompatibilites. It should be noted that they will not look exactly alike.

Menu Screenshot (80,744 bytes)

Some time ago, I was interviewed by a good friend whose name you've perhaps heard befor eon this site, Emulation-X. He imagined that some number of people may be interested in such an interview, and as such, asked me to link it from my site. I delightfully obligued, and you may read the interview at: http://www.retrogames.com/txt/Sintendo.txt.

Thank you everyone for your support. I would like to know what people think about the new format, please drop me a line.


Site Contents (C) 2000, Jamin Vander Berg
Site Graphics (C) 2000, Blue Bomber