Podcast #128: We chat with Kent C Dodds about why he loves React and discuss what life was like in the dark days before Git. Listen now.
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How does the Sonic & Knuckles cart detect another cartridge? It checks the serial numbers of games; they can be found in the ROM's header. It probably detects all preceding Sonic the Hedgehog games since they all result in specific effects when locked-on. Are the game ROMs merged in some way when connected? It seems both games are simply mapped onto ...


37

It varies machine to machine; at the simplest end is the Neo Geo — its 68000 and Z80 have completely independent buses. You write one program for the 68000 and one for the Z80 and a single pipe of communication joins the two: post a byte to the Z80 and it'll trigger an NMI; the Z80 can read the command byte from a certain port and write a response to another,...


26

... the Motorola 68000, was a 32-bit processor. As already written in Raffzahn's answer, Motorola itself said that it is a 16-bit processor. And as far as I know, the reason is not the external 16-bit bus but the inner architecture of the 68000: The 68000 only had a 16-bit ALU, which means that it could only perform 16-bit operations. The CPU executed 32-...


19

The [pre-AGA] Amiga: uses a planar frame buffer, stored in memory that is shared with the CPU (and which therefore reduces the CPU's speed); provides dual-playfield hardware scrolling, but the total bit fetch total per output byte doesn't stretch beyond six, so you end up with e.g. a 7 colour foreground and an eight colour background; provides 8 hardware ...


13

The Super NES (SNES) has a much different hardware architecture than the Sega Genesis, and is built around the custom Ricoh 5A22 ASIC. As opposed to the discrete, stock, Motorola 68000 CPU employed in the Sega Genesis/MegaDrive, the SNES ASIC contains multiple components that internally operate at different clock speeds. The ASIC has the 65C816 CPU core, ...


12

Short answer: No. At least not for display purposes. The pixels shown are artefacts when the VDP is operation in modes with more than 224 lines (NTSC). These lines were usually not displayed on real TV boxes. Nonetheless, the VDP did generate the lines from whatever tiles it did find at the proper locations. Depending on the game they where uninitialized, ...


10

There are two basic techniques: shared memory and dedicated communication ports. Shared memory simply allows both processors to access the same memory bus. There are some issues, as the bus has to be shared and one CPU has to get priority so code must be designed to take unpredictable extra delays into account. The Megadrive is a good example of that, with ...


10

the Motorola 68000, was a 32-bit processor. I'd say 16 Bit - likewise Motorola did (*1). The bitness of a processor is and always will be up for discussion, as various features may not operate at the same size. An 8088 can be (an has been) called an 8-bit CPU as well as 16-bit. Similar the 68000 with its 32-bit registers but 16-bit bus. Beside data bus and ...


9

It's usually the width of the system data bus that determines the "bitted-ness" used to describe the system. While the Motorola 68k CPU used as a component in the Sega system certainly has some internal 32-bit capabilities, most notably the width of the register page, and is designed for upward compatibility with full 32-bit CPUs (like the 68020), the ...


9

Depending on the platform we're talking about, you've got a few choices. As the best platform for editing images at the time was the Amiga with its 4096 color palette in HAM mode on OCS/ECS (Original ChipSet/Enhanced ChipSet), and even better modes if you had an AGA (Advanced Graphics Architecture) machine, I'll talk about this computer. The best choice on ...


8

There was a relationship between Sony and Nintendo starting in 1988 and into the early 1990s as someone in Sony was looking to get into the video game business after seeing how successful the Famicom was. Agreements were made with Nintendo to produce a CD-ROM technology add-on and work was started. Prototypes were demonstrated in the early 90s which were ...


8

Have you tried cleaning the pin connector inside the Mega Drive? It's fairly simple to remove the shell and access the pin connectors. (don't forget to remove the LED wires for model 1) I got a second hand genesis and used toothpicks to clean up the immense dust buildup in my console. Early Mega Drives did not have BIOS - they boot directly from the ...


6

The color RAM in the Genesis video chip is single ported such that at any given time the color RAM data bus either contains the data being read out of it for display purposes, or the data being written into the RAM by the CPU or by DMA. Outside of the active display area the overscan color can be defined by software. The video chip shows this color for each ...


5

It's an issue of integration. On the early Genesis systems the custom chips and CPU were physically separate from each other so it was easy to isolate the various clock signals and replace the CPU with a part rated for faster operation. The SNES has a more tightly integrated design where an ASIC contains both the CPU and other components, making it harder ...


4

TL;DR: For all of this it might be helpful and take a step back from bits and bytes and take a step back to look at the whole process of Game development. Doing so will show that quality is much more dependant on the budget available than the hardware to be used. Budget can buy time to create quality and pay for creativity. The market for Mega Drive games ...


3

DGEN emulator has a starscream 68k core with a builtin dissasembler and debugger . ` might be the key to break into it once rom is running. It's also easy to recompile with SDL as the gfx/audio interface so you brew your own debug focused emulator, slap on a Python interface or similar and you got yourself a stew!


3

In the video you linked (at 01:12), I notice that this device has the standard yellow and white connectors for composite video and audio. Many cheap portable LCD TVs support this kind of input, and are often battery powered, too.


3

The Megadrive comes from an arcade machine lineage, it's cut-down Sega arcade machine hardware. The Amiga comes from a computer lineage, it's an evolution of the Atari 800, same designer, and many of the same features, just expanded. Particularly, the Amiga, like most computers, deals with pixels. Better for things like line drawing, proportional text, and ...


2

Let's assume your assumption "MegaDrive games are generally 'better' than Amiga games" was true - Which is a statement hard to prove and very probaby only backed by opinion: Games Console vs. Home Computer - Marketing goals The main (rather: only) selling point for consoles is the quality of games available for the platform. There is absolutely no other ...


2

Developers did occasionally use the overscan color as a profiling/debugging tool. By setting the overscan to a different color at the start of each major section of the game loop code, it was possible to see what proportion of a frame period was taken by different sections of game logic. You could also see how much time margin you had at different points in ...


1

According the the German Wiki there was no game successor but a rather rare fan-manga called "Landstalker 2 - Heart of Diamond". Maybe thats where your memory is based on? There where several games based on the same engine/principles on other systems, but no direct follow up. Another candidate may be a revival in 2006, called "Landstalker 3D", for the ...


1

Start by not confusing 16-bits consoles and 16-bits graphics. 16-bits consoles would usually use 8-bits graphics (256 simultaneous colors) or less (96 colors, 64 colors...). 16-bit graphics would not be used on a 16-bits console (Imagine a super Nintendo managing 65000 simltaneous colors, that's crazy talk). Note: when I say "simultaneous", I mean "as ...


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