ParaJVE : Parabellum's Java Vectrex Emulator   

Official Home of ParaJVE ... A travel through the programming of a freeware Vectrex emulator in java!

Thursday, November 06, 2008  

Linux release uploaded

ParaJVE 0.6.0 Linux packaging has been uploaded.

I must say that I'm not that happy with the Linux version as it seems to be the OS where ParaJVE has the most problems (on my system at least). I've tested it with a standard Ubuntu 8.04.1 (freshly installed), and the problems I've noticed so far are :

  • Chopped sound output. I had to turn sound emulation off.

  • Major graphical problems when using the sun-java5-jre (empty or black windows and so on...). After installing the sun-java6-jre package and selecting it, most of these bugs vanished.

  • The GUI (the default that comes with ubuntu - I think it's Gnome) is sometimes acting weird, and I get many unexpected warnings in the console, unless I run ParaJVE with root privileges (which is not acceptable)

  • Fullscreen still doesn't seem to be supported by the JRE (java 6)
Needless to say, I'm quite puzzled at the amount of issues I'm having when using not so "advanced" java on a linux platform (unless you consider OpenGL and Sound an advanced java feature, that is). Switching from Windows to Mac OS X is nearly as painless as it could be, but switching to Linux is such an hassle!

Now, I don't pretend to be a Linux guru, so of course, my box was maybe not properly configured... But what the heck, I just installed Ubuntu, downloaded all the available upgrades, installed the java runtime engine. With that you would expect java to work as expected ... And you would be wrong!

So well, I've uploaded the Linux build as is ; I hope it will work correctly for most Linux boxes. If it doesn't run on yours then I'm truly sorry, but I can't loose time to fight these compatibility issues.

<end-of-rant>  ;o) 


Tuesday, November 04, 2008  

Mac OS X release uploaded

I have just built, tested, and uploaded the Mac OS X build for ParaJVE 0.6.0.

It was the very first time I had the opportunity to test it on a Mac platform, and I've just noticed a small problem right out of the box : the emulator loose the keyboard focus whenever you use its menu. So, after using the menu, you'll have to click once in the emulation window to give back the focus (otherwise ParaJVE won't intercept any keypress anymore!).

Also, on the MacBook I tested on, I had to disable the persistence option because it was preventing the emulation (both display and sound) to run smoothly. I'm not sure if it's because the Mac drivers weren't up to date or something... So if any Mac user has any idea, feel free to enlighten me! ;)

Other than that, everything went well ; the physical gamepad mapping behaved as expected, the sound and display rendering seem right... So all in all I'm quite pleased with the outcome! :)

So, enjoy! 


Saturday, November 01, 2008  

Release 0.6.0 is available

The announced release is finally ready, and can be downloaded on the official download site - try to clear your browser's cache if you cannot see this latest version... ;)

Please note that I hadn't had the time to build the Linux, nor Mac OS X packages yet ; only the Windows package is available at the time being. I'll make my best to upload the builds for the missing platforms in the next few days.

The major changes since version 0.5.0 have already been described in the previous posts, but here is an extract of the release notes history section:

  • Added several command line switches & parameters to ease offline invocation & integration in third-party launchers.

  • Fixed some errors in the 6809 CPU emulation core (flag V incorrectly computed by INC/DEC instructions)

  • Added VecVoice emulation, as well as a vecvoice aware game (Verzerk).

  • Added Lightpen emulation, and included the Lightpen enabled games (Animaction, Art Master, Melory Master, Engine Analyzer).

  • Implemented support for cartridge's onboard RAM (For Animaction).

  • Introduced automatic peripheral selection for games that have special requirements (lightpen, vecvoice).

  • Fixed a major frame timing problem when T2 was used by the program for something else than the standard use (frame timing).

  • Tweaked the rendering algorithm to reduce flicker in special cases (when frames are not T2-driven, like when Spike speaks for instance).

  • Updated the third-party native libraries (JOGL and JInput).

  • Written a basic User Guide documentation.

As you can see, this release also includes for the first time a basic User Guide (you can also access it online). It's a first draft of the guide ; if there are topics you'd like to see covered in a next version, feel free to tell me about it!

Have fun! :)