[stella] Has anyone tried this before?

Subject: [stella] Has anyone tried this before?
From: Bad Panda Bear <badpandabear@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 23:13:12 -0800
After I saw Thomas' lxa_test program, I started thinking about ways of
playing with code executing in RAM. One idea I had was to use a 2600 to
dump the ROM of a catridge. The idea is:

1) Load a fully functioning display kernel into RAM.

2) Remove the super charger/catridge from the 2600.

3) Insert the cartridge you wish to dump

4) Have the RAM code dump the cartridge content. I was thinking of doing
this by sound (in a format similar to what the super charger uses), or
if that doesn't work trying to dump the data over the joystick port over
to a PC (or maybe an atari 8 bit).

To experiment with this, I created the attached program. It starts with
a red screen (note PAL colors are different). When select is pressed, it
loads code in to RAM and the screen changes to green to indicate that
the RAM code has control. When select is pressed again it reads from a
byte in ROM and then sets the background color to that byte. I've tried
this and I've found that I can indeed remove the supercharger from the
2600 and then get different colors from different cartridges. This works on all my consoles, including my 7800. BUT, sometimes when I insert a cartridge or remove a cartridgein a slow or awkward way the RAM
code seems to loose control and the screen starts to roll. I think that somehow a reset interrupt is being generated, because one time when I inserted SCSIcide the screen jumped to the SCSIcide title screen.

I think I'll continue with this expeirment with a bit, just as an excuse
to learn how to program sound on the 2600.  But I was wondering if
anyone else had tried this before, and what were the results?  Also, if
this does work out, does anyone think this would be usefull?  I tend to
think it isn't very usefull because most ROMs are available on the
internet anyway.

Dusty Reichwein

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