Nov 1 2013

Gearsystem Emulator

So this is my latest project.

After finishing and polishing my Game Boy emulator I wanted a new challenge. Something a little bit more complex.

I tried the Master System and to my surprise I found that it is rather easy to emulate. The CPU (Zilog Z80) is somewhat harder but the system is quite simple compared to the Game Boy and Game Boy Color. Most games aren’t very sensitive to timing and the VDP is easy to implement.

So after some weeks of work I have it running most games flawlessly.

I made it multi-platform so it can run on iOS, Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Raspberry Pi.

You can get it here: https://github.com/drhelius/Gearsystem

And now what? NES maybe?

BTwqz9zCUAAfjf5

 


Oct 25 2013

DevOps

To me, DevOps is a label that describes a situation where there are no walls, no gates, no transitions, and no ceremony between Development and Operations.

They are seamlessly integrated (when viewed from “above”) into a single, value delivering, IT entity. From within, there may be individuals who specialize on “one side or the other,” but even those individuals interface seamlessly and directly without the need for an intermediary.

Most importantly (in my humble opinion) DevOps means that everyone—from Jr Analyst, to Mid Dev, to Sr. Test, to Director of IT—is equally responsible and accountable for the product from inception through retirement, meaning the Devs are just as likely to be maintaining the system in Prod as the Sys Admins are, to be doing configuration testing in the Dev Environment.


Feb 28 2013

Gearboy: From Ashes

Selling an emulator on Cydia seems to be not possible, well… PayPal would have something to say…

Trying to sell it by other means is a bit difficult and clumsy…

What else is left? Relesaing it for free!

Yeah, Gearboy is now live on Cydia (again) and you can get it for FREE.

Give it some love and send me your comments to: http://twitter.com/drhelius


Feb 17 2013

The rise and fall of Gearboy on Cydia

After several months of hard work my Game Boy Color emulator Gearboy can be considered as finished.

It has sound, full emulation of the most usual memory bank controllers, save files, disassembler, frame mixing and can be played on many platforms including Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iOS and Raspberry Pi.

The compatibility is pretty high. It can run almost all Game Boy and Game Boy Color games. Most of them run flawlessly.

If you are interested you can grab the full source code and binaries from here: https://github.com/drhelius/Gearboy

Some days ago I had the happy idea of selling the iOS port on Cydia. It was a good idea indeed.

This attracted a lot of people on Twitter and the news of a new Game Boy emulator running on iPhone 5 got viral. Quite a lot of people were asking me about the emulator, its features and when it was going to be released.

Gearboy eventually went live on Cydia and was selling pretty fast when suddenly, only a few hours later, I got an email from Saurik telling me he was having some issues with PayPal not allowing payments for the emulator. So he decieded to refund all customers and pull the emulator out of Cydia.

This was sad :(

Anyway, I learnt a lot by writing Gearboy and it was quite funny. In the end, my real interest is just to learn how consoles do work.

 


Aug 17 2012

Gearboy: a Gameboy emulator hosted at github

It’s been a long time since I last tried to write a Gameboy emulator… 6 years methinks :)

That time I was struggling with my emulator written in C# and finally abandoned it.

And for the sake of completeness I just wanted to say that I’m now finishing it!

Some weeks ago I decided to give it another try, this time in C++ in order to run it on Windows, Linux, Mac and iOS…

Well, this is the result, it needs more work and lacks sound, but is compatible whith most roms.

You can see all the progress and source code in my github repository: https://github.com/drhelius/Gearboy


Jul 17 2012

Custom Made Arcade Bartop

Following my venture in the creation of an arcade cabinet from scratch I decided to face another project.

This time I wanted to make an arcade bartop. This machine is like a mini arcade cabinet designed to be placed in the top of a table.

With little amount of wood I can easily build two identical machines and so I did.

I changed the design a little bit to mount a 15” tft monitor inside. The size of the control panel should allow for two players too.

Putting all the components inside was a little bit tougher this time, because all of the reduced space.

I used the same buttons and controllers from Ultimarc, just like in my previous cabinet.

 

I put a door on the rear so I can access all the electronics later on.

 

The two models side by side.

 

Nice bartops!

 

 


May 24 2012

Building the arcade cabinet from scratch

With the blueprints and the measures in my hand I went to a local wood store and had the panels cut in pieces.

The next thing was giving the panels some cool form. Cabinet form, actually :-P

This was my first time using a jigsaw and it went almost right.

Building the cabinet from the pieces was straightforward.

I drilled all the necessary holes in order to build the main control panel. Then I placed and wired all the buttons.

I used an old 21” PAL TV well suited for my purposes.

As a bonus, I planned doors in the front side so I could also use the cabinet to store some stuff in it, apart from being the only way to access the electronics.

I used acrylic glass instead of regular glass. It’s easier to manage but it’s also easier to scratch its surface.

So this is how the cabinet looked completely built up. In this shot you can see that I initially used U-molding but I was not satisfied with the results so I end up ordering some T-Molding directly from here.

Then I started drawing the side and front arts. I based my work on a free Bomberman Illustrator file I found on the net based on this original drawing from Hudson Soft.

The final side and front arts.

Placing the arts is a lot easier than you might initially think. A water spray did the trick.

Finally, I placed the T-molding. My daughter was happy to see it working :-)

And the final product, nice! :mrgreen:


May 23 2012

My custom arcade cabinet blueprints

It’s a long time since I last wrote about building a home made arcade cabinet. See…

  1. Creating an arcade cabinet from scratch
  2. Buttons and controls for our arcade cabinet

My project got started at 2008! but having 2 children since then is not an easy task… and the project become stale.

Fortunately, I recently started getting some more free time so I could manage to finish the cabinet.

First thing first, draw the blueprints!

I used 3D Studio MAX. It’s not the perfect tool to do the task but it’s the tool I am most comfortable with.

So, this is how it looks like:

And the same pieces flattened:

I didn’t want any curve lines bacause that translates into problems when you are cutting the wood panels. This was my first time using a jigsaw so it must be easy.

Straight lines all along! and still looking good, me thinks…

Anyway, in case anyone is interested here is the max file.

In the following post I’ll show you how it went the right way :-)


Apr 6 2012

If you are not using Dropbox you are missing up to 16GB of free cloud storage

Dropbox just made it so that you can get up to 16GB of storage by referring new users to the awesome, life-changing free-of-charge cloud service.

Noobs also get the same bonus for being referred, too. Let’s get this pyramid scheme rolling, people.


Sep 8 2011

Packt 2011 Open Source Awards

The 2011 Open Source Awards was launched on the 1st week of August by Packt, inviting people to visit www.PacktPub.com and submit nominations for their favorite Open Source project. Now in its sixth year, the Awards continue in its aim of encouraging, supporting, recognizing and rewarding all Open Source projects.

The 2010 Open Source Award Winners included the Open Source Content Management System (CMS) Award winner CMS Made Simple, Open Source JavaScript Libraries Award winner jQuery and Pimcore the winner of the Most Promising Open Source Project Award.

The 2011 Awards will feature a prize fund of $24,000 with several new categories introduced and the vote of the public becoming more influential.

Packt has opened up nominations for people to submit their favorite Open Source projects for each category at www.PacktPub.com/open-source-awards-home. The top five in each category will go through to the final, which begins mid-September.