I figured I better write something on my blog after a month of inactivity so here goes. There isn't a new version of Makaron and it's not going to be ready soon. I'm not happy with the code as it is now but I don't feel like spending all my free time working on it. This isn't the only hobby I have after all.
That said, I've been doing various Dreamcast and NAOMI related things lately, some of those actually progressed to the final result stage :) Those of you who have NAOMI units with DIMM running in satellite mode know that some games will not work in that configuration. Those hang shortly after boot for some reason. Curiously this does not happen when the game is loaded from a GD-ROM reader. Well guess what, I now know the why this happens.
Here's a random shot made a few days ago, I had to trojan Ikaruga with my own exception handler and this is the very early version of it:
I made a pretty universal patcher to fix said games, though a handful still refuse to cooperate. I will work more on those titles sometime in the future. What you need to do is download the DIMM tools set
I prepared and patch game images prior to uploading them to DIMM. There are two files here, the patcher and a separate region unlocker for those who don't want to run Japanese BIOS all the time. Patcher does region unlocking as well by the way, I only made a separate program for games (like SF3A) that work but will Error 02 for no good reason :)
There are no instructions included with the tools, but the usage is pretty simple. Just run those from command line, giving the game image to patch as parameter. Not exactly rocket science, trust me, if you got your DIMM working with the custom PIC this will be a breeze.
If you haven't understood a thing from the text above, this blog entry is not for you. Move along now.
UPDATE: Unforeseen consequences
It seems the patcher has some interesting side-effects :) Unfortunately not all of those are beneficial.
I always wondered how credits input in one game are recognized by another one. I guess it's obvious now, it's also handled by BIOS code and/or SEGA libraries. And that was probably the original function of the code I happily disabled. I really need to solder me some of these button things to get an actual JVS input for testing.
Anyway, all other controls seem to work and for now you can play if you start a GD- or cart-based game first, and raise the credit counter before switching to satellite mode. Rather than disable the whole code path I could just try to prevent it from talking to DIMM, it's a bit more difficult but I already thought about this. Expect another version of patcher in few days.
I made a new patcher, redownload form the link above. It's more complicated and hasn't been extensively tested but should work.