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scandy
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Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby scandy » Sun Aug 26, 2018 12:41 pm

Hello!
I was a (happy) Minimig user until few years ago: I sold it with the intent to buy a MIST board, but now I've discovered MISTer and I'm eager to "jump in". :D

I am not an engineer but, being a retrogaming and retrocomputing aficionado, I observe and follow the FPGA world with great interest (and respect).

Now, I understand that MISTer is an open project without focus on sales (unlike Analogue Super NT or Polymega) but before making any purchase I'd like to know which cores are actually "mature" to the point of offering an experience faithful "enough" to the original hardware.
I remember that at the time of the Minimig the Amiga core (at least for the OCS / ECS part) was already quite advanced, while I understand that the Genesis core, despite rapid advances, still shows visible graphic and/or sound inaccuracies.

I understand that it's rather "relative" and obviously I do not ask for objective evaluations, but I would like to hear from those who already use MISTer at what point of fidelity and usability are the other cores (NES, 486 etc.).

Thank you very much!

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby mattsoft » Tue Aug 28, 2018 12:03 am

Hi scandy - This is my opinion only, but the MiSTer cores vary in terms compatibility and development. I mainly use MiSTer for the Amiga (Minimig) core and it is pretty fantastic. For perspective, I have never used a MIST but instead was running UAE on Pi (I also have several real Amigas). Minimig on MiSTer has become my daily driver for Amiga. It's quite good.

Other stuff I've tried is really hit and miss. I've dabbled with the C64 and Atari800 cores and they are OK, but have limitations (like no dual SIDs or POKEYs) and compatibility issues. I will probably stick with the real things for these computers just because of compatiblity.

Not sure how good the console cores are, but they don't seem very active. I think if you're looking for a turnkey FPGA for a SNES or something, I'd probably either stick with the real thing, dedicated devices like the Analogue NT thing, or software emulation.

Good luck!

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby scandy » Tue Aug 28, 2018 7:08 am

Hi mattsoft and thank you very much for your feedback. :cheers:

My primary focus would be on Amiga OCS/ECS and MS-DOS (early '90s), everything else would be a "plus".
What about ao486core? I'd like also to hear comments about NES and Donkey Kong cores.

I've got yet a Raspberry Pi 3, but I'd like to understand if MISTer could be a superior alternative to the various UAE, SCUMMVM etc.

Thank you!

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby PhantombrainM » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:23 pm

NES runs pretty well. I've got a real Amiga 600 and feel no difference to the real one.
486 is a little bit slow. Doom runs barely (stuttering) older games like commander keen, leisure suit larry etc. are working fine.

The main difference is that there is no input lag. It plays and behaves like the real thing. Softwareemulation ist not able to do that.
Try Pinball Games on Amiga with software emulators and you will notice the difference. Try Super Mario Bros (or Donkey Kong;) ) and it's feeling like....i jumped!! Why did I felt into the ground? .....(because of the latency...lol).
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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby scandy » Tue Aug 28, 2018 2:26 pm

OK thank you very much!

Another question: do I need to buy different SDRAM daughterboards for Amiga, 486, NES ad Arcade cores?

Thanks

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby mattsoft » Tue Aug 28, 2018 3:36 pm

PhantombrainM wrote:NES runs pretty well. I've got a real Amiga 600 and feel no difference to the real one.
486 is a little bit slow. Doom runs barely (stuttering) older games like commander keen, leisure suit larry etc. are working fine.

The main difference is that there is no input lag. It plays and behaves like the real thing. Softwareemulation ist not able to do that.
Try Pinball Games on Amiga with software emulators and you will notice the difference. Try Super Mario Bros (or Donkey Kong;) ) and it's feeling like....i jumped!! Why did I felt into the ground? .....(because of the latency...lol).


Maybe its less lag, I dunno, but you're right, FPGA does "feel" more accurate than software emulation. I'm not putting software emulation down by any means, I love Lakka on my Pi, but the MiSTer running the minimig core definitely feels very close to a real Amiga compared to UAE. It is just amazing.

As for the ao486 core, I've tried it, and it's slow and not super compatible -- at least for the games I've tried. Plus there appears to be no joystick "emulation" so you have to play those old games using the keyboard. :)

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby mattsoft » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:47 pm

scandy wrote:OK thank you very much!

Another question: do I need to buy different SDRAM daughterboards for Amiga, 486, NES ad Arcade cores?

Thanks


Yes, the SDRAM board is essential.

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby PhantombrainM » Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:31 pm

486 may work without. Haven't tested it.

Here is a list: https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_Mi ... t-by-cores

I don't know if it's up to date. Some cores work without SDRAM Board. I remember from the early days without ;)
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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby hubersn » Fri Aug 31, 2018 10:08 am

scandy wrote:Another question: do I need to buy different SDRAM daughterboards for Amiga, 486, NES ad Arcade cores?


You only need one SDRAM board. There are even cores where no SDRAM is needed at all.

Have fun
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Newbie questions

Postby Windfisch » Sun Nov 11, 2018 1:22 pm

Hello!

I am planning to get a retro machine, and I primarily want to run old Amiga software and games on it. Basically, I want to recreate the A1200HD I had back in the day however I don't want to pay the skyrocketing prices for original old hardware but get new stuff instead. I read about MiST, FPGA Arcade and the upcoming Vampire V4 standalone which is a much more sophisticated beast altogether but since it is not open source, it is not as hackable as MiST and MiSTer. So I will likely get a MiSTer.

What I basically want to achieve is to recreate my old A1200 as I wrote earlier, but also run some Atari 8bit games and maybe do even some ST stuff. I chose the MiSTer over the MiST as I suppose it is the newer, more actively maintained project (am I right?) and it also has a 486 core for old DOS stuff if I ever want to re-experience Windows 3.11 and Turbo Pascal 7.

I could not figure out some things which are possible newbie questions, so if they have been answered before, a link to the answer is sufficient for me. However, I ask them here anyway.

First question is about the keyboard. The MiSTer uses USB keyboards and mice which is nice. However, how well do the cores support non-US keyboards? Several UAE variants, e.g. Amiberry on Raspberry Pi, have a bit of a problem with some keys being at exotic places on a German keyboard. For example, pressing the "#" key yields the backslash, and I can't get the "#". I could use a US keyboard but then I'd have difficulties getting Umlauts (ä, ö, ü, ß).

Second question is about the keyboard, too. What type of mapping do most cores use? Positional mapping or symbolic? Or can they all be set to symbolic mapping? Because nearly all keyboards today have a layout derived from the IBM MF2 standard and I don't want to guess what I get when I press which key.

When I open the MiSTer page on Github, I see no Atari ST core. Is there currently none, or can I use the official one from the MiST? (I can live without it if there is none)

Since the MiSTer uses HDMI and I want to either connect it to my living room TV or an LG monitor which has HDMI ports and supports all SD modes like 576i, 480i, 480p etc. at 50 and 60Hz, all PAL and NTSC modes should be working, right?

And finally about joypads. I have INNEXT SNES replica joypads and when I browsed through the "show your setup" thread I saw someone using them so I reckon they are supported. Since the Atari 8bit, C64 and Amiga used the Atari 2600 style 1-button controllers, Jump&Runs often used "up" for jumping. Can I remap one button on the pad to be "up" to have traditional joypad control for e.g. Giana Sisters or Turrican?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby DrOG » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:25 pm

Windfisch wrote:...
When I open the MiSTer page on Github, I see no Atari ST core. Is there currently none, or can I use the official one from the MiST? (I can live without it if there is none)...

It's called FX CAST (Cycle Accurate Atari ST core), and can be downloaded from here:
viewtopic.php?f=28&t=34554

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby mattsoft » Sun Nov 11, 2018 6:36 pm

Windfisch wrote:And finally about joypads. I have INNEXT SNES replica joypads and when I browsed through the "show your setup" thread I saw someone using them so I reckon they are supported. Since the Atari 8bit, C64 and Amiga used the Atari 2600 style 1-button controllers, Jump&Runs often used "up" for jumping. Can I remap one button on the pad to be "up" to have traditional joypad control for e.g. Giana Sisters or Turrican?


I use the INNEXT SNES replica joypads and they work perfectly fine so you should be good there.

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby Windfisch » Sat Nov 17, 2018 11:18 am

Good to hear about the INNEXT pads. Is it possible to remap the buttons on the Amiga core so that I can assign one button to be "up"?

About the keyboard, I found the answer (sort of) myself by browsing through the readmes of some cores. The Atari 8bit core e.g. uses a positional keyboard layout, so I figure I have to try all the cores.

Now I still have one question about the I/O board. It is an optional accessory, but is there a list which cores use which features of the board and which ones really require it for full functionality? Can the Amiga and ao486 cores use hard disk images from the main SD card or do I have to use the second one on the I/O board for them?

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby widge » Sat Nov 17, 2018 1:05 pm

Windfisch wrote:Can the Amiga and ao486 cores use hard disk images from the main SD card or do I have to use the second one on the I/O board for them?


Hello, I have not tested a hard disk image with the Amiga yet but it should read it from the main SD card. ao486 uses hard disk images from the main SD card. Second SD card is only required for Sharp X68000 and is supported by some cores. See this page: https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_Mi ... ry-SD-card

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby hyperterminal » Sat Nov 17, 2018 2:01 pm

Windfisch wrote:Now I still have one question about the I/O board. It is an optional accessory, but is there a list which cores use which features of the board and which ones really require it for full functionality? Can the Amiga and ao486 cores use hard disk images from the main SD card or do I have to use the second one on the I/O board for them?

Only the Sharp X68000 requires an SD card in the secondary slot of the I/O board. The other cores support VHD images which are loaded from the primary slot on the DE10-Nano.

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_Mi ... ry-SD-card

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2 MiSTer config.ini newbie questions

Postby randyvicious » Sat Nov 17, 2018 3:31 pm

Hi All,

Is it possible to autoload a core through config.ini and also config the 5 little on board de10-nano push buttons?

Did a search on autoload options here and on GitHub but didn't get any info hits back...

Sorry if i missed it.

Randy

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Re: 2 MiSTer config.ini newbie questions

Postby witchmaster » Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:28 pm

randyvicious wrote:Hi All,

Is it possible to autoload a core through config.ini and also config the 5 little on board de10-nano push buttons?

Did a search on autoload options here and on GitHub but didn't get any info hits back...

Sorry if i missed it.

Randy

You might be able to autoload a core by naming the core something like boot.rbf or main.rbf, I can't remember, but I think I read about it here on the forums.

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby Windfisch » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:30 pm

hyperterminal wrote:
Windfisch wrote:Now I still have one question about the I/O board. It is an optional accessory, but is there a list which cores use which features of the board and which ones really require it for full functionality? Can the Amiga and ao486 cores use hard disk images from the main SD card or do I have to use the second one on the I/O board for them?

Only the Sharp X68000 requires an SD card in the secondary slot of the I/O board. The other cores support VHD images which are loaded from the primary slot on the DE10-Nano.

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_Mi ... ry-SD-card


That is good to know - The Atari 800 core readme states the secondary SD card is required. So that means I can use an image instead?

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Re: Some newbie questions - Atari ST, supported joypads, keyboard etc.

Postby hyperterminal » Sun Nov 18, 2018 12:50 am

Yes you can!

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby scandy » Sun Nov 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Thank you very much for all your feedback! :D :coffe:
Another question: it is in Genesis and NES cores possible to "save state" (also for games that on real hardware do not have this option))?

Thank you!

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby widge » Sun Nov 18, 2018 8:01 pm

scandy wrote:Thank you very much for all your feedback! :D :coffe:
Another question: it is in Genesis and NES cores possible to "save state" (also for games that on real hardware do not have this option))?

Thank you!


There is no save option in the menu of these two cores. For the NES, in the Legend of Zelda, it keeps the name I registered in game but that's it I no longer have my sword. I wonder where my name is saved since there is no new file in the NES folder...

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Re: Newbie questions

Postby Newsdee » Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:40 am

I think you need to provide a blank .sav file for the save to work. There should be one in the same folder as the release binaries.

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Re: Greetings from a new user, with some questions

Postby PhantombrainM » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:47 pm

widge wrote:
There is no save option in the menu of these two cores. For the NES, in the Legend of Zelda, it keeps the name I registered in game but that's it I no longer have my sword. I wonder where my name is saved since there is no new file in the NES folder...


There is a blank.sav file on Github in the NES folder.

Just put it in your roms folder and rename it to zeldaxyz123.sav (the same file name as your rom).
Save will now work.

P.S.: If you add this .sav file, there is a new GUI Option "Save and Restore Backup Rom" and Slot 1,2,3,4. I don't remember if it automatically saves or if you have to do it by hand... so if it doesn't work have a look at the GUI.
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Re: Newbie questions

Postby BlockABoots » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:49 pm

Is there a way to get the MiSTer menu to appear each time you load a core without having to press F12 on a keyboard?

On that note would it be at all possible to add a 'Toggle' button in the MiSTer game pad configuration menu?. Say for when your using an 8BItDO SNES pad and want to bring up the MiSTer menu in game without the need to reach for the keyboard each time. For Example you could set the 'toggle' button as the 'Left Bumper' button on the SNES pad and then set the MiSTer menu as 'Toggle' button + 'Select' button that way pressing the 'Select' button or the 'Left Bumper' button on their own wouldn't bring the menu up but as soon as you held down 'Left Bumper' button and then 'Select' button it would bring the menu up??

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Re: Newbie questions

Postby Sorgelig » Mon Dec 03, 2018 9:29 am

BlockABoots wrote:On that note would it be at all possible to add a 'Toggle' button in the MiSTer game pad configuration menu?. Say for when your using an 8BItDO SNES pad and want to bring up the MiSTer menu in game without the need to reach for the keyboard each time. For Example you could set the 'toggle' button as the 'Left Bumper' button on the SNES pad and then set the MiSTer menu as 'Toggle' button + 'Select' button that way pressing the 'Select' button or the 'Left Bumper' button on their own wouldn't bring the menu up but as soon as you held down 'Left Bumper' button and then 'Select' button it would bring the menu up??

Assign OSD button in Menu core and it will open OSD in any core by this button. 8bitdo has additional sunk button below B button. You can assign it for OSD.
So i don't understand the whole question - it's implemented from the first version of MiSTer.


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