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MiSTer FPGA (computer/console/arcade hardware simulation)

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by elvis, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. Grant

    Grant Member

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    I used Linux, I found a half-working script somewhere on the MiSTer projects, then found a slightly improved version in some random GitHub fork, and used that after fixing some syntax errors (!) in the bash script. I see there's a recent script in the Linux_Image_creator_MiSTer project which is probably better, there's a similar script for macOS linked from the wiki. If anyone needs help getting it working on a Linux system I'm happy to help.

    I dremelled up an old southbridge heatsink to fit the top of the FPGA SoC, I also didn't have any thermal epoxy but it's about half a millimetre too tall, so I used regular thermal paste and screwed down the perspex top plate over the top of the heatsink - it holds it down with adequate pressure :lol:

    Shouldn't need a fan in an open-style case I think.
     
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  2. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    I can live with this dodgy old setup for a little bit, I have the IO board and fan on the way :)

    Also found out from Sorgelig over on the Atari forums that my make a.*.rom issue is because of spaces in my top folder name ... DOH!
    Anyway, I'm now looking into the inject rom into core "MIG" utility. Ummm
     
  3. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I went through the macOS installer script. It was pretty obvious from there what to do in Linux. Weirdest bit was uboot being at the end of this SD card. That's "backwards" compared to x86 or RPi setups.

    I'm going to try to see if the version of Linux on the DE10-Nano can handle one or more of

    * BtrFS with compression (handy for lots of ROMs)
    * SMB mounts to my NAS
    * NFS mounts to my NAS
    * autofs

    NFS+autofs is preferred, as that means I never have to bother organising ROMs on SD cards, and can keep my huge collection on larger/faster disks with compressed/deduped file systems.

    Depending on what I find, I'll write doco for it all.

    Good Linux house keeping 101 - avoid spaces in file and directory names. Yes, Linux can handle it. But bad scripts with poor variable handling exist in great number.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2019
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  4. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    And for bonus poor practice points....
    The folder was on my desktop too :D

    Edit - Keeping the roms on a nas sounds like a good idea. I assume that means the 8gb card would end up being plenty of space ??
     
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  5. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Yeah, the image supplied is around 2GB which isn't even super full.

    I'd like to, by preference, host everything on my NAS and network mount it. Failing that, store it all on the card but with file system compression for tools that don't support data inside .zip files.

    The filesystem on the device is exFAT currently, but I don't know if that's a limitation of the platform. For example, RPi can only boot from FAT, but you can host the OS outside of the boot area on any other file system, so long as the loaded kernel from the smaller FAT boot filesystem has the built in support for it.

    I know FAT and exFAT get used for these dev boards a lot, mostly because the majority of users aren't Linux nerds. Even the MiSTer wiki page talks about Linux being "inconvenient", which irks me a little, but I get it. Still, it would be nice to have some software options to improve the usability of the platform without just needing to go and buy enormous SD cards.

    With all that said, if network mounting a NAS via SMB works, that's useful for a lot of folks - even Windows and Mac users, who can share straight from their desktop computers even if they don't have a NAS.

    I can even envisage writing an RPi image that simply boots to a mini server running DHCP, DNS and mounts a portable USB drive that could be a direct-connect NAS for your MiSTer.
     
  6. flain

    flain Member

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    First thing I did once I had my sdcard imaged was network it, ssh in and setup a ftp server and cifs shares on the mister. A network drive should in theory work fine :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
  7. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but it practice there is." :)

    I want to avoid writing to the MiSTer's storage all together, and read live from a network mount. That'll depend on a lot of things - I've seen applications stat a file system which triggers autofs to mount it correctly, but at the time of stat the application considered it empty, and then never refreshed itself. Dumb stuff like that exists everywhere in computing, so it's those sorts of edge cases I want to try out.
     
  8. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Before I go ordering fabrication for a memory, USB and I/O board. Does anyone have ones already built they want to sell?
     
  9. Grant

    Grant Member

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    But but but if you use compression you need to use COW and you might cause heavy filesystem fragmentation from your 20MB Mac Plus disk images and 800k save disks :tongue:
     
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  10. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    I hear all this, but sd cards are cheap as chips these days and I'm not getting into MiSTer to have the biggest collection.
    I have MAME for that :)
     
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  11. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'm going to write up a SmokeMonster/Flash-Cart/MiSTer ROM management guide soon. You're gonna need a bigger boat. :)
     
  12. flain

    flain Member

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    Mister supports zipped roms in the newer releases. That alone has reduced sdcard copy times from 8+ hrs down to 13ish minutes for me.
     
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  13. OP
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    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I'd heard that around the traps. Great to hear it confirmed.

    I ran the SmokeMonster tools, but they were still creating uncompressed ROMs for consoles, although I'm assuming that was because they were in the Flash-Cart folders. A script over the top of those will make the ROMs zip up nicely.
     
  14. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    Ive had a look at some of the Everdrive file sizes. Yikes!
    Might need an IO board with a Sata plug ....
     
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  15. flain

    flain Member

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  16. gdjacobs

    gdjacobs Member

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    Michael Jackson's Moonwalker?
     
  17. MUTMAN

    MUTMAN Member

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    It was fun game on megadrive from memory.
    If not a little weird the way he touched the children to "rescue" them and then made the "woo" noise ....
     
  18. flain

    flain Member

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    The arcade was different to the home ones, it was more of a beat em up game. Moonwalker would be a good one for him to do because it could lead towards other sega games like golden axe, shinobi etc

    Mwalk.jpg
     
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  19. nimmers

    nimmers Member

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    Vote #1 Sega 16! MJ might be in the media for the wrong reasons but the same hardware runs Shinobi and Golden Axe!
     
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  20. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Some sync issues to solve on my 240p YPbPr CRT (fairly certain they're cable related) but this is smooth as butter on my RGBHV SVGA 21" HP badged Sony Trinitron.

    Running line doubled to 480p/VGA with 50% scanlines. I did a double take when I saw how smoothly this ran. Audio is incredible as well.

    If I didn't have any consoles in my collection and was looking to get into retro gaming, no contest, this is where I'd start.

    20190312_212340.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
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