[stella] Emulator detection

Subject: [stella] Emulator detection
From: "atari2600" <atari2600@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2005 03:29:50 -0400
Here's an interesting question:  

An anonymous source (I will let him identify himself if he so desires) has just sent me a binary which effectively allows code to determine if it is running on an emulator or not.  I am not making this up.  This binary will work both on Stella and Z26 (both latest versions) and allows the code to quickly determine if it is running on the real thing.  So, my question is -- should this 'exploit' be published and thus allow the emulators to more correctly emulate the hardware, or should it be kept private and allow authors (me! me! choose me!) to release binaries that can only be played on real hardware?

An even better question is:  should emulators allow such detection so that those who want to release binaries that cannot be played on emulators, can do so.  My personal opinion is that emulator authors SHOULD include such an official hook as an encouragement for collectors to buy actual homebrew cartridges.  Otherwise we get into an 'arms race' where such exploits as found above are NOT shared with the community, and the emulators are therefore not as perfect as they otherwise might be.

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