Emulating MSX on iPod, Sansa E200 and other media players

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By cax

Prophet (3738)

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11-04-2007, 23:56

As you probably know, there exists a piece of software called RockBox, which can run on a variety of compact mp3/mp4 media players, including iPods.

It also runs on a rather popular Sansa E200 series which has resolution of 220x176 (not too much for MSX, but good for a compact player), but already can run a RockBox plugin called RockBoy - a GameBoy emulator, ported from some known GNU project.

Well, if GameBoy can be emulated, maybe it can interest someone of you to create a port of fMSX as well ? I'd like to try myself, but doing it together with someone else should be more productive.

So, are there anybody interested ? Jr ?

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By dvik

Prophet (2200)

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12-04-2007, 00:42

I'd port bluemsxlite instead of fMSX.

By Manuel

Ascended (18958)

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12-04-2007, 08:15

...or openMSX Tongue

By cax

Prophet (3738)

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12-04-2007, 10:02

Knowing the device has dual 100MHz ARM core (PortalPlayer 5024 chipset), will bluemsxlite or openMSX run fast enough, with sound, without skipping frames, etc. ?

Running Gameboy Color version of Metal Gear under RockBoy plugin for RockBox works nicely, but MSX needs more horsepower, right ?

By cax

Prophet (3738)

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18-04-2007, 14:23

so, no one is interested in MSX on portable devices, running rockbox ?

By jltursan

Prophet (2619)

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18-04-2007, 14:36

In fact, this one has been the first time I've ever heard about this kind of devices running such software... Tongue
Being ARM it must be very close to other similar developments done for mobile phones. Anyway I guess that all must be programmed in C and very, very little ASM.

By cax

Prophet (3738)

cax's picture

18-04-2007, 14:53

I think Jr is the most experienced person in porting MSX emulator to small devices, so I'd like him to comment on this.

In the meantime I've found that atari 2600 emulator was also ported to rockbox.

jltursan: sure, rockbox plugin should be in C, and should use as few float math as it could because there is no math co-processor on these devices. But, AFAIK, fMSX has no problem with all these conditions.

By jr

Champion (377)

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24-04-2007, 14:59

Uh, thanks for the confidence, cax Wink Of course there's a lot more than just the CPU that contributes to the overall performance of any HW platform. I have to admit I've never heard of this thing either before...

Anyway, the original version of fMSX/S60 runs justabout fine on a Nokia 7650 which, if I don't remember wrong, has a roughly 100MHz ARM CPU without floating point support and a 176x208 display with 12bit colors. So just looking at the CPU specs I'd say performancewise it should be very much doable.

I'd say it'll probably run with decent speed already with the "plain" fMSX source if you just make it fit with RockBox and rewrite the vdp rendering and audio generation routines.

By cax

Prophet (3738)

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24-04-2007, 18:21

Jr, thank you very much !
I think now I can start my porting attempts.

By cax

Prophet (3738)

cax's picture

07-05-2007, 21:37

Well, after almost a week of porting fMSX already boots up inside Sansa emulator for PC and even reacts to button presses.

Still a lot of work is left, for example - to make it running on a real device Smile
Then I plan to add configuration UI (with keys mapping), to optimize the speed, to add sound, and to implement screen rotation and better scaling. I also have problems with palettes, so if anybody have good understanding of how it works and wants to help - I'll be very glad.

By poke-1,170

Paragon (1769)

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08-05-2007, 01:07

ehmm, fmsx also runs on my gp2x, which has a dual arm core thingymeboo too,
and runs smoothly.maybe that info is of any use ? there is a link to that fmsx gp2x
emu on the frontpage iirc.

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