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Old 29 June 2010, 23:59   #1
MethodGit
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How come nobody considers porting Fellow to other platforms?

If UAE is always going to be a resource hog whatever it runs on, then why not see if lesser platforms can handle Fellow any better?

Being old, it can't be as demanding as its more well known cousin, surely.
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Old 30 June 2010, 00:05   #2
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Why do birds suddenly appear, everytime you are near...
Seriously, either do it yourself or just ask straight away for which platform you want it (guess you think about PSP or Pandora).
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Old 30 June 2010, 00:14   #3
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If I knew how to code, I would've got to work on it quietly.
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Old 30 June 2010, 00:15   #4
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Heh, fair enough Now, which platform(s) are you thinking about?
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Old 30 June 2010, 00:19   #5
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PSP and Wiz mainly. Not going to worry about a Pandora until I actually have one. XD
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Old 30 June 2010, 02:09   #6
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I dont think fellow ever got fully converted into C. I think they got pretty far but it still has major parts written in ASM.
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Old 01 July 2010, 20:10   #7
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I take it very few platforms support ASM and mostly support just C?

Maybe this explains why ZSnes only got ported to Xbox...
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Old 01 July 2010, 20:24   #8
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ASM is a low-level whereas C is a high-level programming language. Nothing to do with 'support', but with 'can (quite) easily be ported'.
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Old 01 July 2010, 21:18   #9
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Well as far as I know the ASM parts are in x86 ASM which wont work on machines with non x86 processors, such as the PSP, Wiz or pandora.
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Old 02 July 2010, 12:04   #10
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I take it very few platforms support ASM and mostly support just C?
All platforms support ASM. The thing is they only support ASM for their particular CPU.

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Maybe this explains why ZSnes only got ported to Xbox...
Precisely. The XBox 1 has an x86 CPU and ZSnes is partially written in x86 ASM. Fellow is also partially written in x86 ASM.

Thing is, the ASM is where these two emulators get their speed from. Take it out and replace it with portable C code and they would probably loose any advantage they had over other emulator projects.
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Old 14 July 2010, 13:50   #11
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While we're discussing emulators.... can anyone confirm if SDL is very platform-friendly? Or would it still not make a difference?

I've seen what appear to be SDL ports of UAE, ZSNES etc lurking around on the web. ScummVM also uses SDL from what I recall and that's ported everywhere.
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Old 14 July 2010, 14:39   #12
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SDL is not really platform friendly. I have used the Nintendo DS port for my projects on the DS, and there are serious limitations:

- use anything else than 8-bit display and everything crawls
- no sound support. I had to hack SDL to remove audio IRQ and use a specific NDS sound system instead (maxmod)
- limited to 1 SDL interrupt server (and it does not work!)

Generally speaking, it's good but you have to degrade a lot of features to make it work. I would not rely on all SDL capabilities on small platforms.
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Old 05 August 2010, 02:28   #13
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Another question...... is there a particular reason that X86 isn't used more often in computing/gaming platforms? Seems as if Xbox (and 360?) is the only known console platform to not use C, or at least Xbox emulator authors don't use it by the looks of things. I'm not sure if stuff like the PSP/PS2 is supposed to be more Linux-based what with its use of ELFs and what not...


Oh how I would wish for M$ to just bring out an Xbox handheld already...... and watch the hackers turn it inside out for mass homebrew glory.
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Old 05 August 2010, 04:07   #14
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Another question...... is there a particular reason that X86 isn't used more often in computing/gaming platforms? Seems as if Xbox (and 360?) is the only known console platform to not use C, or at least Xbox emulator authors don't use it by the looks of things. I'm not sure if stuff like the PSP/PS2 is supposed to be more Linux-based what with its use of ELFs and what not...
I'm sure you could get a C compiler for Xbox, you can get them even for Lynx IIRC...

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Oh how I would wish for M$ to just bring out an Xbox handheld already...... and watch the hackers turn it inside out for mass homebrew glory.
I'm sure M$ would do their best to brick it at every opportunity. Xbox sux. There are already open handheld platforms, eg. GP32, so why pay M$ more money for their proprietary bug-ridden crap?
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Old 05 August 2010, 10:15   #15
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Yeah damn Microsoft for protecting their investment!

They suck!

You had a bad month or something minuous?
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Old 05 August 2010, 21:29   #16
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Another question...... is there a particular reason that X86 isn't used more often in computing/gaming platforms? Seems as if Xbox (and 360?) is the only known console platform to not use C, or at least Xbox emulator authors don't use it by the looks of things. I'm not sure if stuff like the PSP/PS2 is supposed to be more Linux-based what with its use of ELFs and what not...
I'm not quite sure you've got a handle on these things here... C and ASM are computer languages. When you write anything in a computer language, it has to be "compiled" into machine language, which is something specific that only a certain family of processors can understand. The Xbox doesn't really "use C", but rather people will write a program in C and use a compiler to translate it into x86 machine language, at which point it will run on the Xbox. There is tons of Xbox software that was originally written in C.

ASM is quite a bit different from C... C is designed to be portable and more human-readable, but at the expense that you can't always be sure what the compiler is going to do with your code. A function in C could compile into a single machine language command, or a whole string of commands, or sometimes different commands depending on the context. ASM is based entirely on machine language, so much so that it's usually little more than assigning short names to functions of the processor itself. Since each family of processors uses it's own machine language to describe it's functions, when you write in ASM, you're writing only for that family, and nothing else. It's much harder for a human to read and make sense of, but a programmer is 100% sure what his code will translate to because it's a straight one-to-one mapping. Ideally, this means that a skilled programmer can write much more efficient code, while with C, you're limited by the features of the compiler you're using.

To make an analogy, writing in ASM is like learning French in order to talk to a French person, while writing in C is like drawing pictures and showing them to that same person. The pictures won't carry the same meaning, but they're easier for you, and you can also show them to a Russian person and get approximately the same understanding.

SDL is something different entirely... it's a set of standardized functions to talk to the hardware of a device. As you might imagine, programming graphics on a Amiga is quite a bit different from programming graphics on a Wiz, as they use different hardware created by different people for different purposes. Rather than trying to write directly to the hardware, you can simply ask SDL to do it for you. SDL knows how to talk to your hardware, so it translates for you. It makes it much easier to port software between different platforms because you don't have to learn exactly how the hardware works.

Ideally, if a program is written in C and uses SDL to talk to the hardware, it should be a simple matter to recompile it for another platform (In reality, you'll always have to make a few changes... like swapping out keyboard controls for something appropriate to an Xbox controller for example). However, if a program is written in ASM, you pretty much have to rewrite it from scratch.
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Old 06 August 2010, 12:28   #17
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They suck!

You had a bad month or something minuous?
Just getting sick of users asking me to port my emulators to their crap locked down platforms... (not that that was the case here, but on other boards...)
If the manufs are going to try to brick the devices at every opportunity then why bother supporting them.

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Yeah damn Microsoft for protecting their investment!
I don't see how it is "protecting their investment".
It's like a car manufacturer stopping you from changing the CD player, ie. pointless and annoying. So were Commodore not protecting their investment just because AmigaOS allows you to run your own programs on it?!

Last edited by Minuous; 06 August 2010 at 13:21.
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Old 06 August 2010, 12:56   #18
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How about porting Fellow to Windows CE?
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Old 06 August 2010, 18:05   #19
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Off-topic:
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So were Commodore not protecting their investment just because AmigaOS allows you to run your own programs on it?!
AmigaOs is a computer operating system, therefore it has to allow you to run anything you want, just like Winblows and Linux for example. Amigas are personal/home computers while the Xbox is a game console. Amigas are intended to run anything the user wants, while the Xbox is supposed to be used for games. Big difference
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Old 06 August 2010, 18:29   #20
killergorilla
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I don't see how it is "protecting their investment"
Of course it bloody is.

Console manufacturers make 99% of their cash from the sale of games.

The second someone figures out how to run custom code on their console it can mean that either:

1) People can buy the console for reasons other than buying games, i.e. running media players, homebrew games, emulators etc.

2) People can buy the console and play pirated games.

Both of the above mean that they will be selling consoles (possibly at a loss) to people who have no interest in buying games.

They don't want that to happen. They want their consoles to have the highest attach rate possible.
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