Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

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Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Steven Seagal »

Yes! A new version of the Steem SSE emulator will soon be released. This thread is a sort of teaser.

First, for those who don't know, a reminder that a v3.3 is already available here:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/steemsse/
http://ataristeven.eu5.org/Steem.htm

(many improvements, some rare regressions)

SSE stands for Steven Seagal Edition, a pompous but cool name. This is a version based on the source of v3.2 of Steem, as released by Steem authors Hayward bros.

V.3.4 does away with the funny Hatari integration hack. Still being a hacker, I couldn't help using other peoples code in Steem, many thanks for their unwitting contribution (both in C):

- Some DSP code by Maverick (Fabio Bizzetti). DSP? That's right, it was about time that Steem emulated the STE ultra-cheap Microwire hardware, after all Steem is a STE emu foremost. It does a good job on demo Beat, for example. While I was at it I also changed the STF sound filter for "soundchip" tunes (YM2149). The sound is more open now, and notes that are supposed to scream do, like in the BIG demo. I also noticed that samples play clearer, at least on my computer, most noticeably in Mortville Manor. I did nothing special for that, it could have been a compiling issue in v3.2.

- sim68xx by Arne Riiber, especially 6301. 6301? The Hitachi HD6301V1 was the keyboard controller (IKBD) in the Atari ST, it was a full-fledged 8bit processor. In the current version of Steem, it is (very well) emulated on an input/output basis.

Image
A picture of the beast.

We should get HD6301 true emu in Steem 3.4, as an option! It's not as good as in SainT, the emu itself is fine but the timings are hard to guess right, yet it runs some notorious cases already, but maybe in a buggy way.

Image
Here the GEM. Steem could already do this but not that way! The mouse moves are actually still rather sketchy.

I wouldn't have got far without some precious doc written by a French dude (Stephane Catala - Belzebub / ST Connexion STMagazine No 53 - 55). He explained how the ST inputs are interfaced with the 6301... how he knew I wonder and it provided my most fascinating and funniest hacking yet. Now I feel full of pride and self-satisfaction, really Seagalesque.

Needless to say, both improvements require CPU cycles, DSP because it uses float maths, 6301 because it's another CPU fully emulated. I saw no problem with it, but it will remain optional. Generally, SSE is more demanding than Steem 3.2.

Other improvements, from the amazing to the silly, will be showcased in subsequent posts.

Edit: links
Last edited by Steven Seagal on Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Dal »

Thanks for your continued work on STEem, it's already made a huge leap in a very short amount of time. Well done!
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by StickHead »

Nice work Mr Seagal! Any new on the Linux build?
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Cyprian »

wow, thats great news Steven.

could you please publish on your website developer version with boiler?
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Steven Seagal »

Yes Steem is on its way to regain its rightful place, #1 ST emulator!
The Linux build stalled due to technical problems. I'll make another attempt after the Windows build of v3.4 is released.
A boiler version will be available, "as is". The problem is that I use a conditional (compiling switches) 'TRACE' system instead of the boiler log. Maybe you don't need that? I do this because the traces can go either in a file, or in the IDE, and because the log logs too much.

I promised 'amazing' so here's an exceptional plasma demo running in Steem SSE:
Image

The RGBeast aka RGB Ruler. It has a vertical message that didn't surprise me much, and the horizontal scroller isn't quite readable. It's the demo that's amazing, not the fixes to make it run. I would point out though that one of the fixes was the vertical overscan, and I'm sure the timing didn't work on all STE's.

Coming soon!
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by maergrey »

Great work with Steem :)
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Avanze »

Looking good. Nice to see work on Steem continues...
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by FedePede04 »

Nice work, looking forward to download it.
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by xtenbombx »

Very much looking forward to getting my hands on this. :-) I have a facebook page dedicated to STeem that I've not updated in a while. I shall sort that very soon and post some links if I may. :-)
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by leglod »

Hello, great new version of Steem, preferre my emulator!
I like St. too, but it emulates the STE wrong I think.
In fact what I regette on STEEM, is having to hack to capture the video! With FRAPS, it crash, for example: (
I hope that there will be ways to make easy video capture in this version!
Sorry for my English, Google helps me :)

-------------------------------------------

Salut, super une nouvelle version de Steem, mon emulateur preferer !
J'aime bien Saint aussi, mais il emule mal le STE je trouve.
En fait ce que je regette sur STEEM, c'est de devoir bidouiller pour faire des capture video ! Avec FRAPs,il plante , par exemple :(
J'espere qu'il y aura moyens de faire des capture video facilement dans cette version !
Desolé pour mon anglais , Google m'aide bien :)
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Steven Seagal »

Video recording is certainly a feature to consider for a future version.

Now announcing some dubious features...

First, the options are regrouped in an apart 'SSE' tab, to showcase new features, for clarity and for space. I hope everybody will recognise the icon, I made it myself!

Image

As can be seen, the ST model option has been expanded with two more models. Falcon and TT? No, STF (wake up state 2) and Mega STF (with blitter)!
The wake up state has been discussed in this forum. It's very technical, but one implication is that the effect of writing in video hardware registers isn't the same at the same timing in state 1 or 2. This gives us the satisfaction of having the Forest demo working in modes STE, STF(1) and STF(2):

Image

Even more uselessly, we can now enjoy the Nostalgia menu in state STF 2, all broken:
Image

The demos Death of the Left Border and Omega Full Overscan require STF wake up state 2 but it's just a wild guess. It can't hurt.

The Mega STF option enables the blitter and sets the memory to 4MB, that's all it does. Normally the Mega STF blitter is faster than the STE one but it's not emulated (the exact difference being unknown):

Image

Now we can work like pros!
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by MrMaddog »

Steven Seagal wrote:

The Mega STF option enables the blitter and sets the memory to 4MB, that's all it does. Normally the Mega STF blitter is faster than the STE one but it's not emulated (the exact difference being unknown):
O RLY? Never knew that... :D

I knew the Mega ST's were made for the pro market while the STe's for the home. Which one does the Mega STe use? (Just wondering...)

And thanks for the new upgrades on Steem! :cheers:
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by BoNuS »

BTW the original V.3.2 (on your site) doesn't seem to work anymore, correct ?
http://bonus.home.xs4all.nl/
( I have just to much Atari stuff)
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Cyprian »

MrMaddog wrote:
Steven Seagal wrote:

The Mega STF option enables the blitter and sets the memory to 4MB, that's all it does. Normally the Mega STF blitter is faster than the STE one but it's not emulated (the exact difference being unknown):
O RLY? Never knew that... :D

I knew the Mega ST's were made for the pro market while the STe's for the home. Which one does the Mega STe use? (Just wondering...
both blitters (STf/STE) are the same and have the same speed. T
he only difference is that in Mega STE blitter needs additional 4 cycles per one blit
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Steven Seagal »

BoNuS wrote:BTW the original V.3.2 (on your site) doesn't seem to work anymore, correct ?
Thx for reporting this, I just checked and it isn't there, I uploaded it back (or for the 1st time?)
Cyprian wrote: both blitters (STf/STE) are the same and have the same speed. T
he only difference is that in Mega STE blitter needs additional 4 cycles per one blit
About the blitter, what I said comes from the STE doc by Paranoid:
? Is it just my imagination or is the Blitter in the Mega ST really a bit
faster than the Blitter in the STE ?

! Actually, this is true. Due to the fact that the Blitter is a sole chip in the Mega ST and has been combined in a chip named COMBEL in the STE, it is really very slightly slower in the STE than it was in the Mega ST.
This however is almost invisible.
But notice it isn't mega STE (which also would be fun, but not projected, to emulate: 16mhz, different hardware, etc)
BTW, a remark you made in another thread about 64 NOP cycles for "blit mode" was useful, it made me correct two compensating bugs in Steem.
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Cyprian »

Steven Seagal wrote:About the blitter, what I said comes from the STE doc by Paranoid:
? Is it just my imagination or is the Blitter in the Mega ST really a bit
faster than the Blitter in the STE ?

! Actually, this is true. Due to the fact that the Blitter is a sole chip in the Mega ST and has been combined in a chip named COMBEL in the STE, it is really very slightly slower in the STE than it was in the Mega ST.
This however is almost invisible.
that's interesting, I have no Mega ST therefore I'm not able to verify that.
That part of Paranoid's doc is to generic for me and it seems that they missed the point because early STE no integrated blitter but external chip (I have a such STE)
But that's true that MEGA STE has a bit slower (only 4 cycles per blit) blitter than STf/STE

If needed I can provide small blitter test (I have prepared some).
Steven Seagal wrote:
But notice it isn't mega STE (which also would be fun, but not projected, to emulate: 16mhz, different hardware, etc)
BTW, a remark you made in another thread about 64 NOP cycles for "blit mode" was useful, it made me correct two compensating bugs in Steem.
that's cool, thanks.
but to be honest that 64 NOP cycles for "blit mode" is not so correct. I did some more detailed tests and split Blitter/CPU is in bus cycles/NOPs:
- STF/STE: 65 Blitter / 64 CPU;
- MSTE: 66 Blitter / 64 CPU.

Interesting is that blitter needs some cycles for bus mastering, therefore in case of :
- STF/STE: 65 Blitter's cycles contains 2 for bus mastering, 63 for memory access;
- MSTE: 66 Blitter's cycles contains 3 for bus mastering, 63 for memory access.
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Cyprian »

Cyprian wrote:but to be honest that 64 NOP cycles for "blit mode" is not so correct. I did some more detailed tests and split Blitter/CPU is in bus cycles/NOPs:
- STF/STE: 65 Blitter / 64 CPU;
- MSTE: 66 Blitter / 64 CPU.

one remark regarding that split. I found out that "64 CPU" (In NON HOG mode) means that blitter waits 64 memory accesses (NOPs) USED by CPU.
Therefore CPU can delays next blitter pass (more than 64 memory NOPs) by using "long" instruction (rotation, muls, divs). I need to verify how long CPU can delays blitter
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by coy »

is it safe to swap Steem 3.2 for Steem 3.3 (and possibly 3.4) ? Is this -unofficial - release stable ? I happened to fire up the 3.3 version at some times and was quite impressed with the fact some games and demos that had some issues with 3.2 now run perfectly with your version. Just wonder if all of the originals functions were preserved ?
Steven Seagal wrote:Yes! A new version of the Steem SSE emulator will soon be released. This thread is a sort of teaser.

First, for those who don't know, a reminder that a v3.3 is already available here:
http://ataristeven.host898.net/Steem.htm
(many improvements, some rare regressions)
sorry to be a bit fussy :roll: , just need to make sure there won't have any new bugs..
leglod wrote: In fact what I regette on STEEM, is having to hack to capture the video! With FRAPS, it crash, for example: (
I hope that there will be ways to make easy video capture in this version!
agreed, a video recording function would be great :cheers:
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Steven Seagal »

Oh yeah it would be nice if we could all code bug-free, but it's not like that.
The best is to keep various versions around, because:
- Regressions are always possible. I know of a few in v3.3 (vs. 3.2), hopefully fixed in v3.4.
- Later versions are more resource-hungry.

Here are some more screenshots of programs running better in the next version:

Image
Cool STE, with fine music and a nice concept, but borderline timings

Image
3615 GEN4, the scroller in one piece now, an easy fix that unfortunately made the competition mad

Image
The Big Wobble, it's just a hack but this little cat is so cute

Image
Leavin' Terramis, the overscan text was missing in 60hz mode

Image
And Extreme Rage, a rare blitter fix in Steem's tight emulation
And like they say, even worse will be released!
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Steem SSE: http://sourceforge.net/projects/steemsse
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by paulwratt »

.. { delete this - double post } ..
Last edited by paulwratt on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by paulwratt »

can we get a stable pre-release/alpha/beta please

just what u have done atm would be cool, and by stable I mean if I turn off all the new stuff (presuming thats the stable part) - ie dont do extra work to make it stable etc - just a reliable version you consider to be a milestone of sorts

cheers (hopefully)

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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Steven Seagal »

paulwratt wrote:can we get a stable pre-release/alpha/beta please

just what u have done atm would be cool, and by stable I mean if I turn off all the new stuff (presuming thats the stable part) - ie dont do extra work to make it stable etc - just a reliable version you consider to be a milestone of sorts

cheers (hopefully)

Paul
Hi, hopefully the current beta build is stable. There can be no public beta due to GPL restrictions (sounds crazy), but if you will just send an email to another.steven.seagal@gmail.com (some jerk stole my name) and I'll send you a link to the latest beta, so you become a beta tester.
In fact up to now, there's only one beta tester, Dizzy, and he found a lot of issues, so anybody interested is welcome.
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Ato »

Steven Seagal wrote:There can be no public beta due to GPL restrictions (sounds crazy)
Do you care to elaborate on this? I thought the GPL is about source code being available on request and such?

Cheers,
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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by npomarede »

Ato wrote:
Steven Seagal wrote:There can be no public beta due to GPL restrictions (sounds crazy)
Do you care to elaborate on this? I thought the GPL is about source code being available on request and such?

Cheers,
T.
Yes, I'd like to know what prevents you from releasing your modified sources ? Your phrasing suggests that GPL forbids public beta, which is absolutely not the case.
Maybe you don't want to release sources before everything is fixed and bug free (which I can understand), but don't mix this with the GPL.

The GPL (which Steem's authors choose to use) says (amongst other things) that if you distribute a binary based on GPL work (whether it's a public or private distribution), then you must send the corresponding source code to any of those persons requesting it.
So, beware, even sending privately your binary, could mean someone who received it could ask for the source.

It's not crazy, it's a choice. I don't think it's the good place to discuss the benefits/disadvantages of such and such licence, as this often leads to lenghtly discussions, but once someone decides to release his work with a specific licence, using his work implies to use the same licence and to respect all its clauses.
Something that could be broadly phrased like "you can fork my project and reuse my code if you respect the same rules I used before ; if you want to use different rules, write your own project from scratch"

Not that I really care about "enforcing" it, or the cops will bust your door :) but it's about respecting the spirit of the decision made by Steem's authors who decided that GPL was the best for the emulation community.

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Re: Coming soon! Steem SSE 3.4

Post by Zorro 2 »

Hi mister Steven Seagal,

Amazing web page and snapshots. (Unknow screens ?)

I'm very impatient to see your next release.

Great work :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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