STEEM authors?

A forum for anything about the Steem Engine STE emulator, comments, problems, bug reports etc. Steven Seagal regularly provides updated versions of the original STEem code. The current version is v3.9.4.

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STEEM authors?

Postby Zenichiro » Sat Sep 29, 2007 7:19 pm

Did anyone keep in touch with the STEEM authors outside of these forums? When was the last time anyone heard from them? It's a real shame that the sources aren't available and that development of a fantastic emulator has come to such a lenghty halt.

With that being said it's great to see the work going on with Hatari, I just think the emulation scene for the ST would be that bit more vibrant if STEEM didn't appear to be in such a final state of development.

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:37 pm

Its a damned shame that Steem is apparently no longer in development :(
But I can't really grumble as it does what I need it to do... 8)

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Postby Dal » Sun Sep 30, 2007 5:16 pm

A real shame STeem hasn't gone open source then.... :-(
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Postby mrnukem » Sun Sep 30, 2007 9:19 pm

If it went open source it would be nice if someone developed the ability to save to my PC's floppy drive inside of Steem.

If it can and I have missed that feature please let me know

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floppy and steem

Postby charles » Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:14 pm

as for the floppy and steem i am certain it can access your pc's floppy just like a real atari drive,mine functions this way,just keep track of
which disks have the pc/atari format and which don't.

allright
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Re: floppy and steem

Postby Joel » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:59 am

charles wrote:as for the floppy and steem i am certain it can access your pc's floppy just like a real atari drive,mine functions this way,just keep track of
which disks have the pc/atari format and which don't.


Really? I couldn't find an option for that?

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Re: floppy and steem

Postby ppera » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:14 pm

charles wrote:as for the floppy and steem i am certain it can access your pc's floppy just like a real atari drive,mine functions this way,just keep track of
which disks have the pc/atari format and which don't.

allright
charles


You mixed up some things...
There are some emulators which can access PC's floppy drive (and disks of course). But in XP it must go via special floppy driver (fdrawcmd).
Steem has no such feature.

Personally, I think that it is not good way - not good for (maybe valuable) floppy disks, not good for users - too much disk swap etc.

Best is to image floppies with some imaging program and then work with image files (as author of Pacifist stated many years ago).
See bottom for proggy :-)

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Fri Nov 23, 2007 6:14 pm

I know this is off topic Ppera, but is that your cat you are using for you avatar??
I like cats, whats his/her name??

ppera

Postby ppera » Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:00 pm

RetroGamerUK wrote:I know this is off topic Ppera, but is that your cat you are using for you avatar??
I like cats, whats his/her name??


Yes, it was my cat. Died couple years ago. Unfortunately, on small avatar is not visible how smart look she had. I called her 'Smarty' (translated)
:D

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Sun Nov 25, 2007 4:03 pm

I know your pain man, I had to have my tinkerbell put down last year :cry:

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Postby Marakatti » Sun Nov 25, 2007 8:38 pm

Yes, a sad moment indeed :(

We lost our cat last summer too... It was run over by a car, my cat was still warm when I carried it home, cleaned everything and made a grave for it in our garden... Not very easy thing to do :(

Well, something positive too: Thanks ppera for your excellent imaging program! Just got around 350+ disks free, imaged them with your proggy and only about 20 refused to work! That is just amazing :)
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Postby Joel » Mon Nov 26, 2007 1:31 am

Personally I think hearing the drive whirr and click is half the ST "experience" ;-)

I hope my ST continues to read floppies well into the future!

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Postby Dal » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:14 am

I remember using one emulator that had sampled "drive whirring" sounds on disk access... Might have been WinSTon?
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Postby unseenmenace » Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:30 am

Dal_1978 wrote:I remember using one emulator that had sampled "drive whirring" sounds on disk access... Might have been WinSTon?

SainT does that and its author (Leonard) still pops in here from time to time :)
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Postby RetroGamerUK » Mon Nov 26, 2007 5:05 pm

Isn't Saint the only Windows based ST(E) emulator still in development?

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Postby mOa » Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:56 pm

Well, MESS have a new ATARI ST/STe/mega ST/STe driver but very WIP status. MESS is updated every month
You can have a look at progress page here:
http://mess.dorando.at/svn

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Postby geoslake » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:32 am

mm, let me guess, Mess requires 3 ghz for st emulation ? :)
Seriously, i hope steem is just "on hold", even though i dont need any update atm. More gfx filters would be welcome though (like the "bilinear plus" for instance, as seen in Exult or VBA)

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Postby Desty » Wed Dec 12, 2007 11:48 am

Marakatti wrote:Yes, a sad moment indeed :(

We lost our cat last summer too... It was run over by a car, my cat was still warm when I carried it home, cleaned everything and made a grave for it in our garden... Not very easy thing to do :(

Further off-topic, but about 10 years ago, I'd been up all night coding in GFA and was fairly tired (possibly 2 all-nighters in a row) when my ma walked in and said a: "You should dump that older Atari since you're using the new one now. We've no space for that." and b: "Looks like your cat is dead over by the main road - better go get him?"

So I trudged down the road, bleary-eyed, not expecting to find anything really... then found my cat, Ultan, very much dead. Carried him home, put him in a plastic bag and my old half-meg STFM in another and dropped them both in the black wheelie-bin outside our house.

Two things I didn't want to part with, but we had no room for an unused STFM and there was already a cat (I think) and certainly a few mice/birds/etc buried in the garden.

(Wonder Years voice)
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tá'n poc ar buile!

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Wed Dec 12, 2007 2:51 pm

:cry: Sniffle.... the poor cat :(
I like the "Wonder Years" ending though :lol:

MOA wrote:Well, MESS have a new ATARI ST/STe/mega ST/STe driver but very WIP status. MESS is updated every month
You can have a look at progress page here:
http://mess.dorando.at/svn

Hmm, another emulator in development, that's interesting... :o

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Postby Pugsy » Mon Dec 17, 2007 11:19 pm

mOa wrote:Well, MESS have a new ATARI ST/STe/mega ST/STe driver but very WIP status. MESS is updated every month
You can have a look at progress page here:
http://mess.dorando.at/svn



I've been following the Atari ST MESS emulation for years (though it's been a stagnant test driver till a few months back). Unfortunately at present I believe the MESS ST driver is just a skeleton so that somebody with little MESS/MAME experience but lots of ST emulation knowledge could start to flesh it out.

The MESS route of Atari ST emulation has many advantages in that lots of the nitty gritty of writing an emulator from scratch has been eased though obviously this will tie the dev's hands in many ways(and obviously any code will be open source which if not good for the dev is good for everybody else).

On a purely selfish note I'd love to see MESS ST emulation as it brings 2 things that ST emulators have lacked so far...1. A Cheat Engine and more importantly 2. A world-class debugger which blows all the current frankly piss-poor ST emulator debuggers clean out of the water.

geoslake wrote:mm, let me guess, Mess requires 3 ghz for st emulation ?


I know that MAME has got a bit of a reputation as slow emulator when compared to the far smaller dedicated arcade emulators, but lets be honest a fairly basic 8Mhz 1980s computer is not going to cause too many emulation speed issues when faster and more complex multi-cpu arcade machines run at full speed on fairly bog-standard PCs.

At the current time it will be slow as it's far from complete. However, if and when it's finished it should be more than capable of running ST emulation at the full 8Mhz speed on a fairly common spec'd PC. Obviously unthrottled speed wise it won't compete with the likes of STeem and
SainT and it will be a long time before it comes close on the compatability of those two.

But in 10 years, MESS emulation is likely still to be in active devolopment and it's more than likely that the closed-source STeem and SainT will have gone the way of PaCifiST (STeem seems to be on it's way already). MESS you'll be able to run native on the newest OS/CPU and the others you will likely have to run via the windows emulation part of MESS ;-)
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Postby ijor » Tue Dec 18, 2007 6:25 pm

Pugsy wrote:On a purely selfish note I'd love to see MESS ST emulation as it brings 2 things that ST emulators have lacked so far.... A world-class debugger which blows all the current frankly piss-poor ST emulator debuggers clean out of the water.


Really? What MESS debugger has that Steem's one doesn't?

I'm not familiar with MESS debugger, but checking its wiki I don't see too much. Yes, it has conditional breakpoints and scripting that Steem's debugger lucks. That is nice and very welcome. But I wouldn't qualify this as "blowing piss-poor debuggers clean out of the water".

Furthermore, Steem's debugger has many features that doesn't seem to be available in MESS debugger because they are ST/68000 specific.

I know that MAME has got a bit of a reputation as slow emulator when compared to the far smaller dedicated arcade emulators, but lets be honest a fairly basic 8Mhz 1980s computer is not going to cause too many emulation speed issues when faster and more complex multi-cpu arcade machines run at full speed on fairly bog-standard PCs.


Faster and more complex doesn't mean at all more difficult and/or slower to emulate. Some processor are much more difficult to emulate than others. A given video or audio system could be much slower to emulate than a more advanced/faster one.

E.g., the sound chip on the ST is rather simple and easy to emulate. But emulating "just" the chip is not enough for high quality emulation. You need to emulate the analog characteristics of the motherboard audio connections. That would be much more difficult than emulating a modern sound codec chip that process PCM data (very convenient for sound emulation).

I'm not saying MESS won't be fast enough on a modern PC. I am just saying that emulation speed depends on lot of factors, and not just on the speed and power of the emulated system.

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Postby Pugsy » Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:55 am

ijor wrote:
Pugsy wrote:On a purely selfish note I'd love to see MESS ST emulation as it brings 2 things that ST emulators have lacked so far.... A world-class debugger which blows all the current frankly piss-poor ST emulator debuggers clean out of the water.


Really? What MESS debugger has that Steem's one doesn't?


Well apart from the conditional breakpoints and watchpoints it is also blessed with a powerful TRACE that doesn't stop working after it's traced X number of instructions...from what I recall the TRACE in Steem only traces the first 10,000 instructions and then just stops - pretty damn useless for anyhing meaningful that I would need it for. The fact that is every time I've had to use the Steem debugger I've had to use it in conjuction with MonST to achieve what I wanted to, and I know from experience that with the MESS debugger what would be a 5 second job takes a few hours of hard graft.

ijor wrote:I'm not familiar with MESS debugger, but checking its wiki I don't see too much. Yes, it has conditional breakpoints and scripting that Steem's debugger lucks. That is nice and very welcome. But I wouldn't qualify this as "blowing piss-poor debuggers clean out of the water".


Well I am very familar with the MESS/MAME debugger and I've also used the STeem debugger and I stand by my original comments - the MESS/MAME debugger is well respected, powerful, easy to use AND well documented. The STeem debugger from what I can tell is not well respected as lots of old schoolers who know what they are doing still seem to prefer the ST native debuggers even when using STeem - if STeem's debugger was powerful and easy to use then this would surely not be the case?


ijor wrote: Furthermore, Steem's debugger has many features that doesn't seem to be available in MESS debugger because they are ST/68000 specific.

There are no 68000 specific features that the MESS debugger can't handle, there may well be some ST specific functions like some of the functions under the browser menus that MESS may not implement in the same way - but all the memory locatons in the browser menus will be viewable and most likely editable in the MESS debugger. Also most of this added ST specific functionality in the STeem debugger I would consider only to be useful for the emu-authors, that coupled with the fact there is ZERO documentation and a statement along the lines that there never will be any documentation doesn't really give me any warm feelings for it either.

I know that MAME has got a bit of a reputation as slow emulator when compared to the far smaller dedicated arcade emulators, but lets be honest a fairly basic 8Mhz 1980s computer is not going to cause too many emulation speed issues when faster and more complex multi-cpu arcade machines run at full speed on fairly bog-standard PCs.

ijor wrote:Faster and more complex doesn't mean at all more difficult and/or slower to emulate. Some processor are much more difficult to emulate than others. A given video or audio system could be much slower to emulate than a more advanced/faster one.

E.g., the sound chip on the ST is rather simple and easy to emulate. But emulating "just" the chip is not enough for high quality emulation. You need to emulate the analog characteristics of the motherboard audio connections. That would be much more difficult than emulating a modern sound codec chip that process PCM data (very convenient for sound emulation).


Thanks, for that emulation 101 insight though I'm quite aware of the various issues with emulation Eg. the C64 is a much more complicated platform then the spectrum due to custom chips and the analogue nature of the SID chip. Even the best C64 emulators are still not 100% compatable and some people are never going to be happy with the SID emulation or the palette.



ijor wrote: I'm not saying MESS won't be fast enough on a modern PC. I am just saying that emulation speed depends on lot of factors, and not just on the speed and power of the emulated system.


I know the issues that emulation speed depends but regardless of that, technically the ST is not a complicated hardware platform when compared with the Amiga that MESS/MAME emulates though these are mainly compatability issues rather than speed issues. It's possible that some major core changes will be needed to do ST emulation (and other systems) justice.

I know from the above that it looks like I love MESS unconditionally, that is not true. I love the debugger and cheat engine as they are indentical to MAME's but I despise the GUI and the difficulty in setting MESS up which will put up most users very quickly (I always compile my own debug commandline only build).

STeem is a better emulator and will likely always be a better emulator for playing games/demos with far higher compatability but MESS emulation is still in the early days and given time and help it's likely that MESS emulation along with a decent GUI will be respectable and for those of us interested in the more technical side the debugger will make it the no. 1 choice. I actually prefer making cheats/trainers than playing the game - and a decent debugger/cheat engine just makes that a far more satisfying/rewarding experience.

And like I said above, MESS is more likely to still be updated in 10 years time than a closed source/single platform emulator like STeem.
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Postby ijor » Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:25 am

Pugsy wrote:Well apart from the conditional breakpoints and watchpoints it is also blessed with a powerful TRACE that doesn't stop working after it's traced X number of instructions...


Ok, so one another extra feature. And I'm sure there are probably some more I missed. This is still very far from "blowing piss-poor debuggers clean out of the water".

The fact that is every time I've had to use the Steem debugger I've had to use it in conjuction with MonST to achieve what I wanted to ... The STeem debugger from what I can tell is not well respected as lots of old schoolers who know what they are doing still seem to prefer the ST native debuggers even when using STeem - if STeem's debugger was powerful and easy to use then this would surely not be the case?


And surely it is not the case. Where you got the idea that Steem's debugger is not well respected? Where you got the idea that most "old schoolers" use Monst under Steem for debugging? Do you want to make a poll and see how wrong you are?

I debug under Steem as much as anybody else. And I hardly ever use Monst under Steem. The only times I do is when I want the symbolic debugging produced by Devpac, or also sometimes for reassembling. In almost every other possible case I do use Steem.

There are many people that prefer to debug under real hardware. And obviouslly they would use Monst (or some other debugger). But very few people would prefer Monst under Steem (I think you are the first I heard). It is actually ridiculous to compare a software intrusive debugger as Monst with Steem's debugger.

So please speak for yourself if you don't respect Steem's debugger well.

Also most of this added ST specific functionality in the STeem debugger I would consider only to be useful for the emu-authors,


Please, again, speak for yourself. There are many more ST specific features than the browsers. And they are not (IMHO) only useful for emu authors.

that coupled with the fact there is ZERO documentation


Oh, come on. So now the problem is lack of documentation. Yes, documentation would of course be nice. But lack of it won't stop anybody with enough knowledge and experience (who are the main users of the debugger in the first place). Surely lack of documentation shouldn't be a problem for "piss-poor debuggers".

And like I said above, MESS is more likely to still be updated in 10 years time than a closed source/single platform emulator like STeem.


May be, may be not. Many open source emulators died long before closed source ones. Open source doesn't guarantee it would be updated for ever. I agree, it does give more chances though.

I know from the above that it looks like I love MESS unconditionally, that is not true.


Well, I think there is nothing wrong in being a MESS fan (regardless you are or you are not). But I think it is not a nice attitude to come here to a Steem subforum and speak so ... let's say ... not too friendly about Steem. Especially when Steem's authors are not here to defend themselves. And if they would be here, they wouldn't actually attempt to defend Steem. They are too nice people and too modest.

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Postby christos » Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:30 am

All I can say in this thread is that the STEEM debugger is loved by many crackers and patchers and I know a crew that uses it to falcon fix stuff. So it can't be that bad can it? I believe that almost all recent cracks were done using STEEM debug. BTW if someone wants to help on ST emulation why don't they lend their support to Hatari? Now if you want a really "piss poor" debugger try the UAE one.
On another note I didn't even know MESS existed before this thread. I guess it would be better for ST emulation to focus our efforts on improving the current ones. The MESS and any other project can be useful in that respect and I am not dissing it in any way, I think they are doing a great job but if I would put my money somewhere, it would be Hatari.
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Postby Klapauzius » Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:43 pm

I can only speak for myself, but about 90% of my recent stuff was done using the Steem debugger. IMO it's a great tool and has got almost every feature you could wish for. I guess you have seen that installing Pasti.dll will further expand the debug functionality on Steem?
Yeah, conditional breakpoints would be nice, but frankly, if you can't achieve what you want to, using Steem debug, I think you're a piss-poor hacker. ;-) (no offense meant Pugsy. :-) ).
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