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Nathan's Journal

Created by nkeynes on Sat 06 of Mar., 2010 18:52 PST
Last post Mon 08 of Mar., 2010 20:33 PST
(1 Posts | 806028 Visits | Activity=2.00)

Sun 13 of Aug., 2006 06:24 PDT

General update

Today was fairly quiet - I got Tymbrimi Mk 2[0] up and running, with a fresh install of debian-testing[1], although I haven't finished setting up all the services. At least the hardware is fine now though, and my pile of "surplus-to-requirements" hardware just gained another 4 boards...

Yesterday, on the other hand, was pretty hectic, owing primarily to our signing away our lives on a nice 10-year old place in Kuraby. Which, if everything goes according to plan, we'll be moving in to in mid-September, with Lan, party, and anime to follow cool.

[0] Same case, same hard drives, but pretty much everything else has been replaced. It's not going back in service as a prod web server though, might do time as a dev one.
[1] After replacing the mainboard and cpu, it POSTed fine but the (somewhat dated) kernel on it refused to boot in a rather pointed fashion. Figured I may as well reinstall as stuff around trying to fix it.

Thu 10 of Aug., 2006 01:41 PDT

Downtime

Unfortunately the main server here decided to pack it in on Monday morning, with a blown power supply and (it now appears) a fried motherboard as well. I've moved the websites to my webhost account[0] where they seem to be working nicely. With the added advantage that they'll probably be more stable now too.

In dreamcast news I've finally closed off bug #3 (external link) (TA implementation) by the simple expedient of opening a new bug with all the unimplemented corner cases that noone is really going to care about[1]. There's some performance issues remaining (in the renderer, oddly enough), but otherwise it's all as good or better than it was before. I've started putting together a renderer test framework, and have already hit the incredibly annoying "it works in emu but not on actual hardware" problem, which is usually a result of not understanding the system well enough. Oh well. I'm planning to write up some moderately extensive doco on the TA in the near future (which will go on the currently mostly empty wiki), but am not sure when I'll get the time. We'll see.

Updated: No, actually I just had a really bone-headed bug in the test case... both DC and emu like it a little better now.

[0] Dreamhost (external link), who rather refreshingly don't give a damn how many domains/users/databases/etc you need as long as you stay within your bandwidth and (generous) disk space allocations.
[1] Well it still needs to be done, but priority is rather lower than many other things.

Wed 26 of July, 2006 20:27 PDT

TA update

Tags: lxdream

TA core is nearly ready to go now (although not committed yet until I update the renderer side as well). Outstanding issues:

  • grow list size isn't being set correctly, nor is it obeying the limit
  • tile matrix isn't obeying the limit either (correct behaviour TBD)
  • Error recovery strategy isn't 100% (also TBD)
  • tile clip not implemented (not fully understood either...).
  • TA re-init not implemented.
  • Premature-end-of-vertex-list "bug" not implemented.
  • A couple of known "bad input" cases don't currently raise errors
  • Behaviour of vertexes between lists not implemented

It's also not particularly optimal atm, but that's a (potential) M3 issue cool

Update: Nearly have the renderer back in one piece now, probably polish it off and do a tidy up tonight, and then start on the fabled New Functionality(tm). Rendering tests will be... interesting.
Fri 21 of July, 2006 00:15 PDT

Tile Accelerator

Tags: lxdream

I've primarily been putting together a nice big batch of test cases for the TA over the last week or so, with the result that I've answered most of the questions I had about it now, and will probably sort out the few remaining sticky points as I go. The nice part is that it also forms a great test suite for the dev work too. Mmm... Test-driven reverse engineering. I should write a paper or something biggrin Aiming to get a prototype up by mid-next-week, and probably finish porting the renderer over to it end of the week after that.

And then write some doco perhaps cool

Thu 06 of July, 2006 16:33 PDT

Test harness

Tags: lxdream

I've successfully wasted a couple of days fighting with newlib and the dcload patch in an attempt to get it to build and run cleanly without KOS[0]. Not that I have anything against KOS (it's really quite nice), but I don't want it doing stuff in the background of my test cases. In any case, after much hackery and jiggery-pokery, I finally have a working test target, with libc and assorted niceities, and just need to write some more tests.

[0] The KOS patch, unlike the dcload patch, applied cleanly and worked pretty much straight off.

Sun 02 of July, 2006 00:17 PDT

And we are go

www.lxdream.org (external link) is live as of about 5 minutes ago, along with the M1 release of the emulator formerly known as DreamOn. Unfortunately things got a bit delayed, primarily due to Joker screwing me around with the domain name (in all fairness, this is the first time I've ever had any trouble with them, but still...) The website is a little scrappy at the moment... I'm open to suggestions for improvement. I also still need to add a real news/blog thingy, rather than the current straight html

In any case, yay! Ok, so noone should really care too much about this release considering it doesn't really run much for real, but a lot of the hard slog has been done now, so I'm hoping to get it to the point of being usable for end-users in 6-12 months. We'll see anyway. I may take a break from it for a little while to work on one of the many other irons I've had waiting their turn in the fire...

Tue 27 of June, 2006 02:54 PDT

Pending launch

Just a quick update, I'm in the process of getting a (basic) website together for launch, which will hopefully be at the end of this month (if there aren't too many snags in the way).

I've also added preliminary CDI support, just for the hell of it, but I'm not planning on adding any other features in the next few days biggrin

Mon 19 of June, 2006 19:23 PDT

Nearly there

Fixed the last lingering RC bugs over the weekend, which only leaves only a couple of small (primarily administrative) issues between cvs and milestone 1 release:

  • Finish release notes
  • Setup project site

I also need to decide on a new project name - www.dreamon.{com,org,net} are pretty much all taken, and it's been used for other dreamcast-related projects (even though I think I had it first cool ), so I'm looking for something that's both available and at least semi-relevant. Hrm...


Thu 15 of June, 2006 05:56 PDT

It boots...

Tags: lxdream

'Nuff said. A small handful of outstanding issues but the core is there now. As it turned out my IDE DMA implementation was wildly wrong but almost working in spite of itself anyway.

Tags: lxdream

Suffice it to say, the release is not going to happen in May at this point. I only have one real issue outstanding, but unfortunately it's being a bit of a pain (and it's kind of a blocker). I'm currently putting together a more-or-less full featured direct IDE "driver" for the DC, which will double as a nice big test case (and hopefully let me sort out the corners of the thing that are currently a bit fuzzy). I'll probably release the driver separately if anyone actually wants it[0]

Either way the release should still be soon (week or two) if nothing massively untoward comes up in the meantime.

[0] Or you could just go through the BIOS like everything that isn't an OS currently does, but where's the fun in that cool.

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About me

Nathan is a full-time software engineer and part-time maintainer of several pieces of open-source software that noone has even heard of (most notably lxdream and elr). His interests include programming language design, distributed systems, emulation, Japanese, and go.