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Dreamcast Reading An IDE Hard Drive 178

Posted by timothy
from the this-isn't-a-cd-dave dept.
evilpaul13 writes: "Somebody got an IDE Harddrive hooked up to his Dreamcast! He plans to build a new case for it as a later project. Maybe this will encourage new Linux for Dreamcast work with the greater possibilities it presents for a small SH6 based web server?" This is still a work in progress -- but it's encouraging, especially given the current price of Dreamcast consoles.
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Dreamcast Reading An IDE Hard Drive

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  • Given the relative slowness of the dreamcast, even at less than a $100 buck it still can't compete with a PC. You can easily put together a Duron sytem for around the same cost and have a far more useful Linux box. Being able to run binaries and not recomiling to run on the dreamcast will save a boatload of time in the long run too.
    • by magicslax (532351) <frank_salim&yahoo,com> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @09:21PM (#3422830)

      Given the relative slowness of the dreamcast, even at less than a $100 buck it still can't compete with a PC. You can easily put together a Duron sytem for around the same cost and have a far more useful Linux box. Being able to run binaries and not recomiling to run on the dreamcast will save a boatload of time in the long run too.

      You missed the point. This isn't about "useful," "practial." or "cheap." This is Good ol fashioned hardware hacking. (see look, it even says it on the site. neeener.) It has much less to do with how usable it is as it does with its coolness factor.

    • If you can throw together a duron system for less than 100 bucks then please tell me how.
    • So, Linux may eventually run from a HDD on the DC, but so may other homebrew OSs which is where all the fun will be. What has a PC (assuming you mean generic clone hardware rather than Personal Computer) got to do with anything? All my 40+ PCs (personal Computers) of which only a single runs horrible Windoze and none run horrible Linux run other more fun OSs. I don't know if you lived in the 80s computer world, but it was fantastic, not from a hardware specs point of view (when looking back), but from the point of view that everything is different and unique and everything had nice things about them - these days, just horrible beige boxes with Windoze or Linux - yuk!
  • by LordZardoz (155141) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @09:17PM (#3422802)
    A friend of mine was / is looking to purchase a Dreamcast, but none of the large retailers carry them any more. Unless you can get one off of E-Bay or a Pawn Shop, you will probably have great difficulty finding any these days.

    END COMMUNICATION
    • Agreed, they're no where to be found on places such as Amazon.com or EBworld.com (or Gamestop.com), which are the big three retailers AFAIK. Smaller online specialty shops may still have them, but I imagine they're asking more than retail given the shortages these days.
    • There's a store just up the road called GameStop. It's a part of Barnes and Noble, so I assume you can find GameStops pretty much anywhere you can find a Barnes and Noble. Anyway, they sell used consoles, including Dreamcasts. I bought my N64 there about a year ago for only about $50, and it's worked wonderfully since then. Good quality, low prices. Check them out.
    • by sparcv9 (253182) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @10:03PM (#3422959)
      Hit up a Babbage's or FunCoLand (same parent company). Babbage's sells mostly new stuff, but has some used/refurbed DC stuff, and FunCoLand is primarily a used game/console store. The one near me has about a half-dozen used DCs for sale. I even got a DC keyboard at FunCoLand for $10, new in the box. The Electronics Boutiques around here seem to be dropping the DC merchandise and just selling off the remainder, though, and the local Wal*Marts have stopped carrying it completely.
    • You can pick one up with very little effort from Gamestop.com ( http://www.gamestop.com/ [gamestop.com]) They have several deals on used systems with 1 or more games starting around $69. As you mention - ebay works well too. If you're gonna hack it anyway, why buy new?
  • by gss (86275)
    I'm not as interested in running linux from a dreamcast but this would be rather handy if you could play games from the hard drive. I'd probably play with my dreamcast more often if the damn games loaded quicker.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i heard something about someone putting linux on an xbox and running it on that. where can i find information?
    • i heard something about someone putting linux on an xbox and running it on that. where can i find information?

      I believe you are referring to www.xbox-linux.org [xbox-linux.org]. Looking at the website it looks like are making progress slowly though I don't think it will be easier than porting to the Dreamcast despite the x86 architecture. I believe part of the reason the Dreamcast port was successful was due to hardware documentation, namely the leaked SDK document.

      With the X-Box it aint so easy because anyone who applies for the dev-kit has to sign a NDA. So the only way Linux on the X-Box is going to happen is to reverse engineer the system, just like the aforementioned group are doing. Microsoft are no doubt quite determined to stop unauthorised development for the X-Box.
      • A success? (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Dreamcast Linux distro isn't a success yet from what we've used (on the DC we bought specifically). It's certainly got potential. Just a shame about the broadband adapter drought.
        • Just a shame about the broadband adapter drought.

          Indeed. I shelled out $120 plus shipping from Hong Kong to get a Japanese-version Broadband Adapter. Prices on Ebay are hovering north of $100 for used US versions. It works well with the Linux distribution, but it is certainly an expensive add-on to a system I got for $49 used at the local EB.
  • ...but getting it to work on an X-Box would be even more so!

    But seriously, I'm constantly amazed by the ideas people have of devices to run Linux on -- perhaps more so than the actual hacking required to do it.

    Check out this Linux on a toaster [k12.or.us]... Crazy teenagers! :)
    • ...but getting it to work on an X-Box would be even more so!

      I could be wrong on this, but I believe it's easier to develop for the Dreamcast as the SDK was illegaly leaked on the net. It is because of that there was a large flux of emulators and other unoffical programs developed for the Dreamcast.

      Microsoft is no doubt more protective about it's SDK and stopping unauthorised for the development for X-Box. According to the X-Box development site [xbox.com] you need to sign a NDA to get access to the devkit. So any GLPed program let alone Linux is quite unlikely, that is unless you reverse engineer the console but these days that would probably land you in hot water.
  • Why anyone would really consider this "promising". Cool, yes. Geeky, yes. But come on, for the price of the hardware, you can buy a two or three generations old real machine on ebay and have a MUCH more funcitonal webserver without any of the do-it-yourself hassle. Can you really see someone going out and buying up a whole slew of dreamcasts and hard drives to build out a cheap server farm?
    • No,
      but running mame and then playing all the old arcade standards is very neat. Plus the DC games are still very playable. That's what I did and I've been very pleased with results.
  • Not SH6 (Score:5, Informative)

    by ldspartan (14035) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @09:19PM (#3422816) Homepage
    It uses a Hitachi SH4, not SH6, iirc. Just splitting hairs :).

    --
    Phil
    • According to NetBSD's page, it uses an SH3!

      Alex.
      • Ok, here's how I understand it. NetBSD for the Dreamcast falls under the NetBSD sh3/4 port, which is shortened to just sh3 (I'm guessing the procs are binary compatible, or close to it.) On the other hand, every site I've seen lists it as an SH4.

        For instance, if you look at Marcus Cestedt's DC Hardware page [mc.pp.se] (which is rather definitive, imho) it lists the SH4.

        --
        Phil
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, 2002 @09:20PM (#3422826)
    If I remember correctly, the Dreamcast sports a first gen Kyro graphics chipset. Also noteworthy, PowerVR has just released its 2nd wave of BETA X11 XServer, GLX, and DRI drivers for their Kyro and Kyro II graphics chipsets. I submitted this as news, but apparently Slashdot doesn't think it's noteworthy. What realy is noteworthy is POWERVR has NOW opensourced their DRIVERS! Check it out on their download page...

    SuSE 7 [powervr.com]
    RedHat 7
    Mandrake 8
    SOURCE RPM
    and SOURCE TARBALL ;)

    PowerVR has just made the Dreamcast into an aspiring platform for Linux gaming! Good graphics, 128 bit SuperH CPU, good BUS, affordable(less than $100 at retail, cheaper used), and now a harddrive... shame on them ;)

    • Think of the possibilities here...

      - Linux Distro on DC
      - X11 running on DC
      - IDE Capabilities

      This could make a CHEAP, but Uber Kewl Workstation!!
    • The reason they're so cheap to buy is that they make their money on the software licences. They don't expect people to buy them then run Open Source software on them!
    • The thing that some people seem to forget is that Dreamcast is a dead platform. Unlike an old P133 that you may put linux on and shove in the corner to be your personal bitchbox, dreamcast has just about zero potential to be useful.

      I got really into the dcdev scene about a year ago, and even then, it was catch as catch can and often left me wondering why in hell I was sinking my fleeting spare time into it. Think of it this way: In order to have a hard drive in the thing, you have to hack together an IDE/ISA interface from raw gates. To use the thing on a network you need to put your hands on an (extremely) scarce broadband adapter, or a cobbled together ISA interface with some other ethernet card. Hell, to even play around with the thing in linux you need a special serial cable which you either have to make yourself by scamming samples of a MAX232 RS232 driver or buy from Lik-sang or whereever. If you could do *anything* useful (other than play old DC games) with a DC these days, the development community would be a lot further along. It is a hobbyist sect and should (and most likely will) stay that way.

      Just as I know people who still run 68040 based NeXT boxes, I'm sure that people will continue to futz with DC indefinitely, but it really is more trouble than its worth. I would say the best (i.e. closest to drop-in functionality out of the box) idea I ever heard for the DC was the thought that, using serial communications alone, and with more specs on the graphics engine, you could create a boot CD that would run linux and then have a central machine with a whole bunch of serial ports that farmed out rendering tasks to be done in the graphics engine. (and even this idea suffers because of serial port bandwidth)

      I am as much for hardware reuse as the next guy, but in my opinion, the people who are sinking so much time into the DC as an embedded platform should move on to something that's going to be around a little longer.
    • If I remember correctly, the Dreamcast sports a first gen Kyro graphics chipset....


      Sorry, but Dreamcast uses a PowerVR series 2 chip (the CLX2) while Kyro I & II are series 3 chips. There are, of course, a large number of similarities, but there are also quite a number of significant differences.

      For example, Series 2 used vector quantisation texture compression (generally 2bpp although it can go lower!) while series 3 has S3TC/DXTC. Series 3 added several new features such as 8 layer multi-texturing (although you could do emulate this on series 2 because it had a scratch-pad "accumulation" buffer).

      CLX2 also included some "special" functions that were requested by Sega that aren't in any of the PC chips.

      Cheers
      Simon
  • by Egonis (155154)
    Now THIS will solve my library of VMU's problem.
  • Cheap Kiosk (Score:2, Interesting)

    by geoffsmith (161376)
    Here's a recipe to roll your own cheap kiosk:
    • 1 el cheapo Dreamcast for your local walmart with dreamcast linux installed
    • 1 inexpensive little TV (you've probably got one in your garage)
    • 1 spare ide drive -- I've got one sitting on my desk
    • Plywood and paint
    And as a bonus, you can play Sonic the Hedgehog on it!

    Websurfing done right! StumbleUpon [stumbleupon.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Someone else made it, a team of college students I believe. They made an interface 4 it. now that the dc is rather dead and its cpu dated it doesnt much matter. Well it might to those linux nuts that want to run linux on everything from a wrist watch to a cash register
  • This is cool.
    If we incorporate the DC Navi with Lain OS, then we will have a full NAVI styled DC NAVI :)
  • Linux on the DC... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Junta (36770) on Saturday April 27, 2002 @09:41PM (#3422900)
    It has beend done, here is a url:
    http://www.m17n.org/linux-sh/dreamcast/
    You can even get an ISO for the modified RedHat/eCos there.
    It supports the video card (unaccelrated framebuffer, maybe improved by now), and the BBA (if you are lucky enough to have one). You *could* make it into a web server through nfs, or static on CD, but see no good reason. Doesn't support the sound though.
    Personally, If I had a BBA and linux supported the sound, it could make a convenient MP3 jukebox with neato visualizations, or even an MPG player. You can get software to play MPG and MP# from CD already, but over NFS would be so much more convenient... Home theater applications, that could be useful, since it's form factor is so nice. Linux on the XBox would be a truly great Home Theater thing (hard drive and ethernet built in). Hell, any general purpose OS on the XBox would make the box more attractive, the games sure as hell don't excite me.
    • and done a long time ago too, like a year, so this is very much a case of non-news.
      You gotta love the DC signed by Stallman :)
      http://www.m17n.org/linux-sh/images/lwe01.jpg
      There's also a LinuxDC site at sourceforge:
      http://linuxdc.sourceforge.net/
    • Has anyone actually gotten this to work? I've never been able to get it to make working CD.
      • Unfortunately some Dreamcast units cannot read CD-Rs. A list of these versions and how to identify them is out there somewhere, though I don't have a URL.
      • I have, but it required getting a different CD burner in order to create the multisession cd-r. My SCSI burner wouldn't work so I picked up a plain IDE one at a computer show and it works just fine. Also, I think the version of the kernel they are using is 2.4.5, which has a broken version of the RTL-8139C ethernet driver. It keeps reporting 'no medium found' when it tries to load the driver. This apparently was a problem with the driver code in the main kernel tree and was fixed later. This distribution just hasn't added that fix yet (I haven't yet either, so I can't complain). X seems to work ok.

    • The url here points to a very old "distro" for the DC.

      Since that was done a sound driver has been written and support for some types of light guns and rumble packs added.

      Best place to look for this is: the sourceforge project page [sourceforge.net].
  • Old news... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Daniel Wood (531906)
    bITmASTER32 [compuserve.de] made an IDE interface and Kiyoshi Ikehara [nma.ne.jp] built released a driver for NetBSD a long time ago. What this guy did was nothing special. They have been Lan booting NetBSD on a dreamcast and using the HDD (albeit slow, 800k/sec) for a while now.
  • Maybe this will encourage new Linux for Dreamcast work with the greater possibilities it presents for a small SH6 based web server?
    The Dreamcast is SH4-based, not SH6. The SH5 chip is just about ready to be released.
  • Linux is a marvelous OS but it doesn't need to run on EVERYTHING.
    • deer non-linuxheads,

      it doesn't hurt to try to prove that it could run on everything. besides, it's only wasting time for the person who is trying it.

      it's okay to geek out.
  • Sega Master System - Z80 cpu. no idea of mhz
    Sega Genesis - MC68000 cpu, z80 cpu for sound
    Sega 32x - SH2 cpu, able to utilize 68k as coprocessor
    Sega Saturn - Dual Hitachi SH3's, 68k for sound
    Sega Dreamcast - SH4 cpu, (SH3 for sound? heh)

    Anyone have any idea what the Game Gear used? I'm guessing z80, though it might have been others.
    • Eh, the z80 in the genesis wasn't really for sound. There were a handful of games (3 or 4 if I recall) that did use it, but it was mostly there for the Master System compatibility.
      And the Game Gear used a z80 as well.
      • Not what I've read. I was under the impression that the SMS converter for genesis sported its own z80 for just that purpose.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          Despite its bulky size, the SMS converter did not have a Z80 in it. It was just necessary to convert between the cart pinouts which varied greatly between the 2 systems.

          Except for some minor differences, the Genesis is able to run SMS software in its SMS compatibility mode. It isn't emulation, it's just the way the Genesis was designed to work. The Z80 subsystem's memory is easily remapped to work with SMS carts and if you've ever taken a look at how the SMS and Genesis video processors work you'd notice some funny similarities.

          The Genesis VDP can be programmed to act like an SMS VDP (which was similar if not the same as the MSX's.)
        • The Genesis used the Z80 for both sound and Master System/Game Gear (same box, different resolution screen) compatibility. I believe that there was 1 or 2 licensed games that used it for SMS compat, the rest were 10 in 1 pirate carts and the like.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 27, 2002 @11:21PM (#3423185)
      As someone who has written a Genesis emulator, I can assure you that the Z80 is indeed the sound CPU. There was only 1 game which used the SMS compatibility mode that I'm aware of (Phantasy Star -- exact same game as the SMS counterpart, in a Genesis cartridge.)

      Try firing up some games in your favorite Genesis emulator and then disabling the Z80. What's that? Sound stops? Oh! :) Some games did PSG sound through the 68K but the bulk of sound output was done through the YM2612 FM (and its DAC) using the Z80.

      The SMS compatibility mode was activated via a cart pin. It disabled the 68K, put the VDP in SMS compatibility mode, and the made the Z80 think it was an SMS Z80.

      The Game Gear is basically just an SMS (the only real difference is that its palette can define more colors.)

      The 32X used twin SH-2s in a set up that was somewhat similar to the Saturn. The Saturn used 2 SH-2s, NOT SH-3s. There was an SH-1 in the CD-ROM drive, but you couldn't load code on it, so it basically worked like a black box.

      AFAIK the Dreamcast uses an ARM CPU for sound.

      If you can't already tell, programming old Sega consoles for fun is something I've dabbled in :)
    • The DC uses a Yamaha AICA chip for sound, which is just an ARM that runs code given to it to process sound. Pretty flexible beast, from what I've heard.
      • Flexible, and as far as the homebrew people are concerned, slower than expected. As someone that has played with the homemade dcdev kit setups, while they can do WAV/MOD type stuff smoothly, the SH4 processor has to get involved in order to decompress MP3s in realtime. The ARM audio chip should have enough power to do it, but the guys that wrote the code can't get it to run at full speed (yet).
    • Dreamcast uses some flavor of custom ARM for the sound. And it's almost completely undocumented at that.
      • What is undocumented is the real power of this system - its advanced DSP properties. It's relatively easy to get it to play 48k bit rate stereo though.
    • > Sega Dreamcast - SH4 cpu, (SH3 for sound? heh)

      StrongARM, actually.
  • by Paradoxish (545066) <glegeza AT simparadox DOT com> on Saturday April 27, 2002 @10:23PM (#3423022) Homepage Journal
    ...for running Linux off of a HDD hooked up to a dreamcast, although the PS2 serves the purpose a little better for me (just based on its shape and its PC-like CD tray): car "PC" systems! Think about it, a console is generally cheaper than a PC, has a smaller profile, doesn't generate as much heat, and has more "out of the box" uses (A PS2 placed in a car is already capable of playing games, DVDs, AND CDs - and with Linux running on it could probably very easy serve as an mp3 player).

    A Dreamcast might not be as useful for that specific purpose, but the moral is don't immediatly assume any Linux project done "just for the hell of it" has no practical use. Anyone with the creativity and skill to get Linux running on unusual hardware (and in this case modify the hardware itself) can definetly come up with a good use for it.
    • Anyone with the creativity and skill to get Linux running on unusual hardware (and in this case modify the hardware itself) can definetly come up with a good use for it.

      How true. The thing is, though, that those trolling slashdot saying "what's the point" don't have the imagination in the first place (and thus the trolling).

      Anyways, you definitely make an interesting point... I wonder how hard it would be to hack a remote control with, say, 4 buttons for controlling MP3 playback. If it worked via radio signals you could plug an adapter into one of the DC controller ports and perhaps velcro your remote to the steering wheel.
    • Actually, when running the PS2 Linux Kit you can NOT access any CDs or DVDs. Probably some stupid IP/copyright issue. One point for the DC :)
  • This has been done before, it's actually been done a lot better before.

    I apologize for not being able to find the URL. For some reason, dreamcast hackers don't link to eachother much at all, so the info is hard to find with google. Somewhere around here, I have a PDF with a schematic.

    About a year and a half ago, someone released an unfinished schematic for a board that connects where the modem or BBA connects and has an onboard IDE controller and an ISA slot. The website for it also had pictures of an improved design with a notebook ide connector and mounting hardware, and a pcmcia slot instead of an ISA slot. All this hardware being supported under netbsd, with source provided.

    the creator / author said on the page that the complete design was unfinished but very close to finished. It was uncertian whether he was planning on printing and selling boards, or even telling anyone else how to do it.

  • I've Googled and Googled, but have yet to find any resources covering homebrew on the Game Cube. It uses a modded IBM G3 and some interesting SRAM-ish [anandtech.com] memory. I'd be nice if a resource like Marcus Comstedt's [mc.pp.se] existed. So far the closest I can find are photos [gamesx.com] of the guts, and some marketing from Metrowerks [metrowerks.com].
    • The problem faced by many is the fact that it uses mini-dvds as a format rather than full dvds. Those "leetos" with DVD burners have a tough time with that, and mini-cds don't hold enough. I expect that in due time, there will be projects, but by design it is not nearly as PC-like as the dreamcast (could work with MS windows CE) or the Xbox (well... it is a PC :).
  • It runs on pretty much everything, probably more stable than Linux too (it has been for me on x86 but not as much fun stuff)

    http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/dreamcast
    • Don't want to start a flamewar, but the netBSD support for the DC is about a year behind that for Linux. For instance: there is no X windows or sound support on the netBSD port.
      The netBSDers deserve credit for being first, but they seem to sort have given up now they've got a working kernel.
      • netBSD also doesn't have a working mouse for DC.

        netBSDs real strength is its portability and stability. When DEC/Compaq support runs out on VMS for VAX, I'm turning the VAX server where I work into a netBSD mailserver. The DC port was probably done for two reasons (all good): To have fun. And to test the claim that it can port to anything. (The Linux port was done for the same reasons I assume).

        A possible problem with the Linux port as opposed to the NetBSD port (as I found with x86) is the difference in distros and platforms. (I never have problems with pkgsrc)

  • I'd really prefer the "I made X into Y" articles were in their own category, rather than hardware. There's enough of them to warrant a category, and I suspect I'm not the only person who has no interest in them but still wants to read legitimate hardware news.
  • Being a software pirate, I'd love to see this used to store games.. wouldn't it be cool to have a 100GB drive hooked up to your Dreamcast and to be able to load games off the HD? Probably tough to do since I'm sure games read the CD directly.. but it'd be cool. Like those N64 copiers that read games off zip disk.
  • I've been following the scene for quite awhile. Was hop in #dcemu 6 months or so, when it wasnt busy. Went through the big John Henderson fiasco.

    There is alot the DC offers, that nobody realizes. Do you know its the only cheap $50 console, that has accelerated 3d rendering? in free, open source libraries (KOS 1.1.7).

    Rocket Racer beta2 is a wipeout-style game, no AI or Multiplayer till beta 3, but the techdemo of it kicks ass (4 cars, 2 tracks, time trials only).

    DCShooter (beta that is out is old, wait for next release).. loads Q2 levels. Its a homebrew multiplayer (1-4) shooting game. Will soon be goldeneye-style.

    DCAsteroids and DCFighting are both 3d, but are on backburner for the shooting game at the moment.

    Look at fucking DcDivx!! Made by team Project Mayo themselves! (Divx 3,4,5 support, AVI, MP3 - Disc Swap Support) Its only beta 3, and is an -excellent- movie player.

    There are outstanding emulators too.

    NES : NesterDC 6.0
    SNES: DreamSNES 0.9.7
    GB : DCGNUboy 1.0.3-0.4
    Genesis : DCGen 0.34b
    Sega Master System/ Game Gear : Smeg 0.84

    Just to name a few.

    The harddrive is only a smaller mod that makes up the DC as a whole. Look at everything, and it kicks the crap out of any PS2 or Xbox...

    Go ahead, play a super nintendo game on the Xbox.
    Play a DivX movie on your PS2.

    http://www.dcemulation.com/
    http://www.dcvison. com/
    http://www.boob.co.uk
  • The most obvious thing would be not only Linux on DC, but the other applications.

    Imagine your cool Dreamcast MP3 player with no disc swapping because the MP3's are on the drive. It sucks now, even though I have all my MP3's on CD because I must swap and look for the CD I want to play.

    Imagine the cool shit - rip CD's to the drive and you've got a cheap unit similar to the HP or the others.

    I'm excited! I loved the Dreamcast - IMHO the coolest console to come out in a long time. For some reason I scoff at the new ones because my love runs so deep. Fsck Xbox, PS2 and GC!

    Dreamcast I Love You! - Please Don't Die

    I'm lame, mod me as such
  • It seems to me the point of using them would be to use a LOT of them. In which case it would make sense (to me) to put a broadband adapter in it and have a netboot server for them. That way you can harness their cheap processing power and don't have to worry about difficult hardware manipulation to add a hard drive.

    ~LoudMusic
  • As I Dreamcast lover, I LOVE this kind of stuff. "Why do this? You can buy a cheap PC and blah blah" ... that isn't the point. The point is that people who love the DC are finding all of these great other uses for it. The Dreamcast is still a beautiful system, and is very versitile in what it can do. The bigger the underground DC scene becomes, the happier I am. I remember back when VMU animations were just becoming possible, and how fun that kind of stuff was. I made two Japanese flash card programs for the VMU through the simple animation routines. What was the point? Just because I could, and I got a kick out of seeing it work.
  • Why bother? Is the question I am most frequently asked about running Linux on the Dreamcast.

    Well, it's not because it's a cheap alternative to a PC - it's not. The system is cheap - there are bucket loads of them for sale on ebay etc - and you get a lot of bang for your buck. But it's not a PC and wouldn't be a PC if you attached a RAID array for 40 GB disks to it - it's a games console.

    As such it's pretty close to working in the "embedded space" and its also a challenge - we have a sound driver, but no sound DMA yet - we have a video driver, but no 3D yet - we have lots of devices for which support is still being worked on - microphones, cameras even.

    Nobody is ever going to get noticed for writing a new driver for a sound card on a PC, but you do get noticed if you write one for the DC. And isn't getting noticed and complemented on your work what being a hacker is all about?

    This site is subtitled "News for Nerds" and there isn't anything more nerdy that writing Linux drivers for a games console - so join the fun [sourceforge.net].
  • Whenever I see things like this I think that it is quite cool, but wonder what the point really is. Isn't this guy just trying to re-invent the PC? Can't he do something better with his time?

    Mike
  • by JoeRobe (207552)
    The number of things that people have done with a dramcast amazes me. I don't know much about Dreamcast hardware, so here's my question:

    Has all of this stuff been done with the Dreamcast because its hardware is extremely flexible, moreso than any other console?
    Or is it simply because the Dreamcast has been around for long enough that people are starting to wonder what ELSE they can do with it, and modifying it?

    JoeRobe

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