barryharris.me.uk
Saturday, 26 July 2014, 07:05
teddybb

Site Update

Posted on 27 May 2014 at 19:44

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

I've updated the site software a bit to avoid the deprecated MySQL interface. I also created a new development server for me to make changes more easily in future.

I'm now planning on quickly knocking up a bug tracker for FB Alpha, and once complete I plan to roll-up a new FB Alpha to go with it. Stay tuned!

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HTTPS Web Filtering on FreeBSD 9.2

Posted on 20 May 2014 at 19:50

Posted by barry

Filed under General

This guide will allow you to setup HTTPS filtering using Diladele Web Filter on FreeBSD 9.2. Parts of this may need updating for newer versions, but it gives a good overall starting point.

This guide is partly based on the following two guides;

Click more for the full article.

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FIFA 13 with Windows 8.1 (Fix)

Posted on 20 October 2013 at 19:57

Posted by barry

Filed under General

It seems that FIFA 13 doesn't work with Windows 8.1. It also seems that EA don't care, responding ad verbatim that Windows 8 isn't officially supported for FIFA 13 (which is pretty poor customer service however you look at it). Checking on the web, the only solutions I have seen involve using cracks.

After firing up Process Explorer I found that the game is dying after it uses the Windows Error Reporting Service. Simply disabling this service is enough to prevent the crash and the game runs without issue.

As with all FIFA games, you may want to run it using Windows 7 Compataibility Mode to improve performance too.

If you need step-by-step instructions to disable the service, follow this process;

  • Right-click on the Windows 8.1 start button (bottom-left of screen).
  • Choose Run and type services.msc before clicking the OK button.
  • Find the Windows Error Reporting Service and right-click on it.Choose Properties from the context ment.
  • Change the Startup type dropdown to Disabled and click Apply. Close the dialogs and play the game as usual.

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Comments (19)




FB Alpha 0.2.97.29 Release

Posted on 29 June 2013 at 12:37

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

It's been 6 months so it's time for a new FB Alpha. Get the new version on the FB Alpha page.

Click more for the list of new things.

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Comments (40)




FB Alpha 0.2.97.28 Release

Posted on 17 December 2012 at 19:47

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

A new FB Alpha has been released. You can download it on the FB Alpha Page.

Click more for the what's new.

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Comments (55)




New Compile Guides

Posted on 2 December 2012 at 20:30

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

I updated the compile guides and posted them in the FB Alpha section. The two new guides require the next version of FB Alpha which won't be too far behind!

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Comments (5)




CPS-2 Sound Tests

Posted on 23 November 2012 at 19:33

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

Smitdogg dumped a single-board version of Marvel Vs. Capcom recently. He remarked that the case had a volume knob (as opposed to digital up and down buttons usually seen on CPS-2 games) and that the sound test screen was missing the volume slider. At first it was assumed that this was due to differing program roms, but the program is the same as the normal Japanese version (the roms are byteswapped). I decided to take a look at what else could cause the different sound test screen.

I also decided whilst I was looking at CPS-2 sound volume, that I should take a look at how the actual slider works. All CPS-2 emulators currently lock the slider to the top (0xe021). There are 40 possible levels for the volume and from analysing the screen, I have found the values that need to be returned at 0x804030 for each of the volume levels. These are (if you look carefully there is a pattern there);

UINT16 Cps2VolumeStates[40] = { 0xf010, 0xf008, 0xf004, 0xf002, 0xf001, 0xe810, 0xe808, 0xe804, 0xe802, 0xe801, 0xe410, 0xe408, 0xe404, 0xe402, 0xe401, 0xe210, 0xe208, 0xe204, 0xe202, 0xe201, 0xe110, 0xe108, 0xe104, 0xe102, 0xe101, 0xe090, 0xe088, 0xe084, 0xe082, 0xe081, 0xe050, 0xe048, 0xe044, 0xe042, 0xe041, 0xe030, 0xe028, 0xe024, 0xe022, 0xe021 };

I have hooked these up and added volume up and down buttons to the driver and the sliders now work in all games where they are present. I also added support to change the actual Q-Sound output based on the volume selected.

I also found that returning any number in the 0xd000-0xdfff range will disable the volume slider in the sound test screens, and added a seperate init for the single board game to return this value.

Below are screenshots of the Marvel Vs. Capcom sound test screen (with and without the slider).

Marvel Vs. Capcom sound test
Marvel Vs. Capcom single board sound test

Not exactly a significant find, but it helps to further understand the hardware.

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Comments (1)




FB Alpha 0.2.97.27 Release

Posted on 24 August 2012 at 20:02

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

A new FB Alpha is available for download. There has been quite a lot of work done on improving sound in this release, particuarly in balancing and directing the different audio streams for each game. The result is that this release of FB Alpha sounds much better for games that have plenty of audio sources.

You can download the new release on the FB Alpha page.

Click more for the whats new.

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Comments (31)




FB Alpha 0.2.97.26 Release

Posted on 14 May 2012 at 19:08

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

A new FB Alpha release. Get it over on the FB Alpha page.

Click more for the what's new.

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Comments (9)




IRQ 4

Posted on 12 May 2012 at 16:08

Posted by barry

Filed under FB Alpha

I looked at Street Fighter II: Magic Delta Turbo again. It had sprite glitches, and the scroll 2 layer was in the wrong place when row scroll was used. The game writes different row-scroll values than normal, and it wasn't just a case of applying an offset to line-up the layer.

Initially, I gave the game a different VBLANK IRQ, I found that using an IRQ of 4 the game started reading and writing in the 7xxxxx area. I hooked up inputs and dips for the reads at 708xxx. I then recognised the layer enable write and scroll register writes in the same 708xxx range. Hooking all these had the game working pretty well, albeit with sprite glitches and incorrect row scroll.

At times when sprites were on-screen, there were plenty of writes in the 0x7xxxxx area, with the tell-tale 0x8000 end of sprite list marker being written too. Sure enough, this is sprite RAM, in the same format as many of the other CPS-1 bootlegs. Hooking this up, the sprites work perfectly, the aforementioned glitches are gone.

For the row scroll, I noticed that the game wasn't writing the row scroll start register. This is usually the same as the y scroll value, so hooking up the scroll2 y write to this register seemed plausible (the game isn't writing it anywhere else). Doing this, aligned the scroll layers, but ended up with slightly "juddery" scrolling.

I also noticed, that the game wasn't alternating the row scroll table register. Usually, the game would alternate between four row scroll tables to achieve smooth scrolling. I found the alternating value in the game's work RAM, and hooking this up, gives the normal row scroll effect. I am not 100% sure if this is accurate or not, but it seems strange that the bootleggers would leave the game with the "juddery" scrolling. If anyone has access to a PCB, it would be nice to get confirmation about the scrolling. The Guile stage is particuarly good for checking, and helpfully, is first in the demo loop. A video would be perfect, if anyone has the capability.

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