WCS format

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Por mars2000you

Enlighted (6014)

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26-02-2003, 23:49

One interesting emulator was WOOM. I say "was", because after 3 beta versions, the project had stopped and since a few months, the Internet site of WOOM has disappeared.

Remco Schrijvers, the author of this emulator, that seems to have given idea for the development of openMSX, had conceived a different format for the images of the games on cassette : the WCS format. But I can't find explanations about this format .... Can someone bring light in the darkness about this WCS Format ? Question

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Por BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

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27-02-2003, 09:53

This is the first time I've heard about that emulator. Was it (like OpenMSX) primarilly written for Linux as well or was it for another platform or even portable to other platforms?

Maybe if you can provide such a file, maybe the format itself isn't so hard to figure out.

Por mars2000you

Enlighted (6014)

imagem de mars2000you

27-02-2003, 17:40

I will send you the last beta version of this emulator by e-mail, so you can maybe analyse this strange format

Por BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

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27-02-2003, 18:26

Let's see what I can find out.

Por Manuel

Ascended (18233)

imagem de Manuel

27-02-2003, 21:31

Remco Schrijvers, the author of this emulator, that seems to have given idea for the development of openMSX

Why do you think that?

The idea of openMSX was launched by David Heremans on August 1 2000. I just checked the mail archive... Smile It didn't really start until quite some time after that, though.

For details, mail to the openMSX mailinglist Smile

Por mars2000you

Enlighted (6014)

imagem de mars2000you

27-02-2003, 22:06

It's really simple to explain that. Remco Schrijvers was not glad with all existing emulators. It was also the case of David Heremans (I know his page about efMSX and his problems with Marat), but Remco was the first to try the creation of an object-oriented MSX emulator : the last version of Woom was released in february 2000. I think that the new approach of Remco is a part of the concepts that are in the creation of openMSX, and I'm very surprised to see that Remco is not in the openMSX programmers team ...

Por Manuel

Ascended (18233)

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28-02-2003, 19:47

Hi, I showed this to David to get a reaction from him. He asked me to post this on behalf of him:

**
The only thing Benoit is right about is the fact that I wasn't pleased with the existing emulators, but more specifically the ones that existed for Linux, since I don't run Windows(tm).

I started out on efMSX, and the main concept at that time was to have a motherboard where you registered call back functions to 'plug in' certain hardware in given memmory/io-slots. I already had this implemented together with more user visible stuff like the keyboard handling when I tried to contact Marat about it. Since Marat was rather stubborn about me distributing altered fMSX code, I got rather pissed. After some discussion with Wouter I decided it would probably be better to start from a clean slate with a new emulator project, he also pointed out that al my call-back functionality where actually a C-implementation from the vtable stuff that C++ uses when using virtual methods in classes, so it would be much more simple to start over with my ideas in C++ since it would eliminate a lot of extra code, and simplify al my 'inheritance like' stuff. It is only at that time that I started to look at the ideas of other emulators. If I was to start again, why not collect ideas and filter them out... It was at that stage that I started to look at other emulators and also discovered WOOM. The problem with WOOM was the W part (Windows). And that is also one of the reasons why Remco isn't an openMSX developer (and he wanted to develop WOOM as a complete private project).

Note, one of the objectives of openMSX is portability, hence the use of SDL and the (already) existence of the windows port. The fact that it currently is only officially supported on Linux is simply due to the official developers liking Linux more as development environment then Windows.

**

No comment from me. Smile

Por mars2000you

Enlighted (6014)

imagem de mars2000you

28-02-2003, 20:36

That's a very interesting answer !
I understand of course that for good programmers and for many reasons , it seems better to develop on Linux a new emulator with new ideas.
As I use Windows, I can only see the results by the Windows-port of openMSX, but these results, selfs in the Window environnment, are great ! I must recognize that for experts MSX fans, openMSX is the best MSX emulator (and probably the Linux version is better than the Windows-port) .
For the "normal" users, it's another story, but there are projects to create a launchpad for the Windows port. When this launchpad will be released, I will compare with NLMSX , especially for the following features : configurations editor, multiple screenshots, configurable music emulation, music saving, emulation state saving and loading, Turbo-R emulation. I know that some of these features are not yet in NLMSX, but I can also hope future evolution of this emulator ! Smile

Por BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

imagem de BiFi

12-03-2003, 08:08

When I have info about the new XML structure for openMSX (and the implementation in the Windows port) I'll start working on the launcher.

And about the WCS format. I'm still working on it. I've tried a few basic things first like taking a specific bit from 8 bytes and putting these together to form a new byte. That just came to a abrupt halt. :/ If anybody has a working e-mail address of Remco Schrijver, maybe I (or someone else) can persuade him to release emulator sources so the WCS format can be either implemented or ported to the more understandable CAS format.

The CAS format is much faster. The WCS format brings back memories from old times with their long wait. Only thing I kinda miss is the sound it made. Smile

Por mars2000you

Enlighted (6014)

imagem de mars2000you

12-03-2003, 18:28

That's what I supposed without being a programmer : the WCS format should be more a "raw" format, like the "TAP" format that was used by Virtual MSX. Thanks for your researches Smile

Por anonymous

incognito ergo sum (116)

imagem de anonymous

14-07-2003, 10:39

That's what I supposed without being a programmer : the WCS format should be more a "raw" format, like the "TAP" format that was used by Virtual MSX. Thanks for your researches Smile

You're right. It is a "raw" format. It's storing the streamed data based on a CPU cycle counter. This means that it can be very accurate and support every type of 'tweaked' storage format (like the old Gremlin games used to have). If you manage to convert it from audio tape to WCS format first of course. However, it will result in huge streams too.

Anyway, I'm very surprised that there are people out there who are actually still interested in the WCS format. If you want to, I could send you the C++ code snippets related to reading these files. Post your E-mail address here.

The first important thing you should know is that because of the huge stream size, the files are compressed using the LZW algorithm. So trying to analyze them without decompression will be useless.

Remco Schrijvers

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