ParaJVE : Parabellum's Java Vectrex Emulator   

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2007  

Error in the Linux packaging

Just a quick note to inform you that there's an error in the Linux packaging, that prevents ParaJVE from working (it terminates silently as soon as you click "Run Game"). Thanks to Jörg for reporting this bug!

If this happens to you, all you have to do to fix the error is to edit the launch script (called "ParaJVE") and add the following string as the first argument on the command line :

Thus, once edited, the launch file should read (one single line):
java -Djava.library.path=libs/natives
-cp libs/ParaJVE.jar:libs/jogl.jar:libs/gluegen-rt.jar
ParaJVE "$1" "$2"

If you feel lazy, the fixed launch file can be downloaded here: ParaJVE's linux startup file.

There have also been several reports of ParaJVE hanging at startup on Windows. Although I cannot reproduce the problem on my machines, I'll try to work out a fix for the next release (well, hopefully).
If you experience this problem, please contact me as I need as much feedback as possible on this issue... Thanks!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007  

Version 0.4.0 released

I've just finished uploading the latest release, so you can now jump to the download site, and grab your version! :)

Most of the additions were already listed in the previous posts, so let's just review them quickly...

First come the major changes and additions:

  • Updated the JOGL library embedded within ParaJVE, in order to make the emulator work with the latest 1.5 java runtime (update 10).

  • Alex of kindly allowed me to add one of his game, Star Sling 4K (Turbo Edition), within the distribution. This game, coded in 2006, features a mode with two simultaneous players, and makes a perfect use of the analog joysticks, in as few as 4 kilobytes ... so don't miss it! And by the way, if you like cool homebrew Vectrex productions, then by all means, be sure to check out Vectorzoa's site.

    A small reminder about analog mode within ParaJVE : to enter analog mode, simply double click the game area with the left mouse button (click the button again to exit this mode).

  • I completely rewrote the way the game ports are handled. You can now plug and unplug different peripherals into both game ports (through a special menu). For now, the only available peripherals are the Joystick and the Keyboard Adapter (see next point), but more devices should be implemented as the versions come out...

  • Added emulation of a new peripheral : the PS/2 Keyboard Adapter. This new device, realised in 2006 by Richard Hutchinson, let you connect any PS/2 keyboard to the Vectrex! Since it's a brand new hardware, there is not any application making use of it yet, but ParaJVE is now ready for the developers who want to have a go at it (don't forget to set it up through the "Key Mapping" menu). If you're interested, you can find more information in this discussion.

  • Implemented direct DAC write to Sound Resistive Network (as described in this post), to complete sound emulation.
And finally, this release comes with a few minor fixes:

  • Implemented VIA6522 SR Mode 101.
  • Fixed a regression introduced in 0.3.2 where the command line argument -GAME=xxx was not handled correctly.
I hope you'll have fun with this version!


Thursday, January 04, 2007  

Broken with Java 5.0 update 10

Right, the holidays are now over, and it's time get back to vectrex emulation coding (a task I completely put on hold during the past 3 weeks - hence no progress).

Well, 2007 starts with a bug report from Samuel - thanks for the report, dude! :)

The emulator window would not open once the game has been chose and the selector dialog has been validated by clicking the "Run Game" button. For the technically inclined, the log file in data/temp is also filled with an exception stack explaining the problem...

After a few investigation, it appears that this problem is due to an incompatibility between JOGL (the OpenGL library) and the latest java 5.0 update 10 (that was released about a month or two earlier). If you're interested, you can find more about the issue in this thread at the javagaming forum.

Long story short, ParaJVE + Java 5.0 update 10 = NO GOOD

I'll try and correct this problem with either a new library or a code fix (this should give me the incentive to build a new release by the way), but till then, I see only two options for you to keep ParaJVE running:

  • Either you stick (or get back) to an update 9, or earlier - An official Java 5.0 update 9 download is still available at Sun's website,

  • Alternatively, You could download and install the brand new Java 6.0 runtime. ParaJVE has been tested with this JRE, and apparently it works correctly. Should you want to grab the latest JRE, here's a link to Sun's main download page.
Stay tuned, and Happy New Year! :)