Re: [stella] Stella Emulator and .PRO files

Subject: Re: [stella] Stella Emulator and .PRO files
From: Rob <kudla@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 22 Jan 2003 23:53:37 -0500
On Wednesday 22 January 2003 16:00, Manuel Polik wrote:
> It's such a waste of talent to have three independent
> VCS emulators of that high quality. Just thinking about
> this giant amount of totally redundant work bothers me.

Well, the way things are now we have the portable but not 100% accurate 
emulator (Stella and its variations), the obscenely optimized and obsessively 
accurate emulator for an obsolete and unsupported operating system and which 
depends on a lot of assembler code (Z26), and then PCAE is sort of in the 
middle of those (I know everyone rags on its debugger, but it worked for me 
last time I used it....)

> Just imagine "what if" John and Eckhard would've worked
> all their current Z26 knowledge into the Stella core,
> rather than spending a years time porting Z26 to
> Win32...

Well, for a long time Stella's license wasn't exactly outside developer 
friendly, and I always thought the other emulators were more an answer to its 
perceived slowness and inaccuracy.  Nowadays all the emulators are on closer 
to equal footing in most respects and it's easy to posit what-if scenarios 
like this, but I can't see it ever having happened.

Personally, I'd love to see even a win32 port of Z26 because at least then 
there'd be a chance of it running well under Linux.  (Yeah, I know, use 
dosemu, but running emulators under dosemu seems to be a fairly reliable way 
to lock up one's video card.  I'd love for someone to prove me wrong.) 
Meanwhile, I'm glad there's more than one emulator because stella, while it 
has problems with illegal opcodes and is tougher to make work with esoteric 
bank switching schemes (like Andrew's), works fine under Linux.

Not that I necessarily have a lot of hope for WinZ26 either because PCAEWin 
won't even start under normal wine or crossover, and immediately dies with 
some richtext error under winex.  I could try to port the Delphi code to 
Kylix but the thought of rewriting all that DirectX stuff against SDL gives 
me hives.  I can scarcely believe Z26 will be *more* friendly to foreign 
operating systems.  So I'm still rooting for the portable one (Stella).  

As for the question about "how do you deal with making a entry 
every time", I've only built 4K and standard 8K binaries myself and at the 
time, the functionality of DOSKEY was plenty (edit file, hit cursor up three 
times to get dasm, run dasm, hit cursor up three times to get pcae.exe, exit 
pcae, hit cursor up three times to get my editor command line...) and 
nowadays I'd probably do the same thing but write a perl script "asm" like 

$bin = $asm = shift @ARGV; 
$bin =~ s/asm$/bin/i;
system("dasm -f3 $asm $bin");
($md5, undef) = split(' ', `md5sum $bin`);
open OUT, ">$";
print OUT qq("Cartridge.MD5" "$md5"
"Cartridge.Type" "3F" (or whatever....)
close OUT;
system("stella.sdl --pro $ $bin");

after which I could type "asm booga.asm" and it would build booga.bin, make a file and use it to run booga in stella.  (Being perl, this should 
work just as well under Windows assuming you change program names 


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