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Stella 2.7.2 released (DON'T DOWNLOAD version 2.7.1)


stephena
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OK, here's a very quick bugfix release for a major bug in version 2.7.1; renaming files with the ROM Audit functionality would generate filenames without an extension. I'm really sorry if you were hit by this bug, and hopefully if you were, you have a backup of your ROMs.

 

As usual, Stella can be downloaded from the Stella homepage. Please report any bugs here in this thread, or directly to me by email.

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OK, here's a very quick bugfix release for a major bug in version 2.7.1; renaming files with the ROM Audit functionality would generate filenames without an extension. I'm really sorry if you were hit by this bug, and hopefully if you were, you have a backup of your ROMs.

 

As usual, Stella can be downloaded from the Stella homepage. Please report any bugs here in this thread, or directly to me by email.

 

Haven't tried an updated version of Stella in years. Maybe I'll give it a shot.

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Finally get around to downloading the update from 2.6... I like the new UI but I preferred the real small font I had in 2.6 ;)

 

Aside from that, all seems well on the 2600 playing front, aside from having to go back in and reassigning some games to PAL60 rather than auto-detect...

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Finally get around to downloading the update from 2.6... I like the new UI but I preferred the real small font I had in 2.6 ;)

The default font for the ROM launcher is 'medium'. You can set it to 'small' if you like. Unfortunately, this isn't configurable for the in-game UI (but it's quite easy to add it as a feature).

Aside from that, all seems well on the 2600 playing front, aside from having to go back in and reassigning some games to PAL60 rather than auto-detect...

Please forward the list of games that require this; the internal database should be properly updated.

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I'd like to somehow have the stella.ini file able to reside in the same directory as the executable.. like in 2.6

This is a good feature(for me) as I often back up my emulation directories and like to have each system assigned its own directory.

 

so I added the disable_profiles.txt to the app directory and it worked, but of course, not in 2.7.2

 

 

..from the 2.6.1 manual:

 

The settings file has a special name/location depending on which version of Stella you use, which is currently not configurable:

 

Linux/Unix $HOME/.stella/stellarc

Macintosh Not applicable; settings are saved in $HOME/Library/Preferences/StellaOSX.plist

Windows %MY_DOCUMENTS%\Stella\stella.ini OR

%CURRENT_DIR%\stella.ini (if a file named 'disable_profiles.txt' exists in the application directory)

Edited by Keatah
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I'd like to somehow have the stella.ini file able to reside in the same directory as the executable.. like in 2.6

I have to think about how to best address this issue. For better or worse, many Windows users want to have stella.ini in the app directory, even though this means you need to run with Administrator privileges (which is a bad idea, and is something Microsoft recommends against).

 

I can't go with the 'disable_profiles.txt' option again, as it was causing problems with multiple stella.ini files being generated, and hence people were losing their settings (and rightfully complaining). Perhaps I'll add the ability to edit the icon (ie, right click and change a setting) to specify the path to the INI file. Would this be reasonable?? The rest of the files/folders that normally appear in 'My Documents\Stella' can already be configured within Stella, so setting their location(s) isn't an issue.

 

EDIT: Actually, scratch that last thought. I can have Stella look for a file named 'ini_path.txt' in the application directory, and in this file would be the full pathname of the INI file (for example, 'C:\stella\stella.ini'). If such a file exists, and it specifies a valid path, then that's the INI file that will be used. Hopefully that will take care of the issue.

Edited by stephena
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Yes either of your last two suggestions would work just fine!

 

Thanks so much for making this emu, everytime we party we get the pc hooked up to the big-screen and sit crosslegged on the floor, just like kids! combat, air-sea battle, phoenix, adventure, chopper command, fishing derby, indy 500, missile command, asteroids, space invaders etc.. etc.. the ps3 often takes a back seat when it's party time!! simple graphics and beer seem to mash well together. Everybody knows what to do and you don't need 500 pages of instructions, nor long loading times. And you can go though a game in a few minutes. Just a little chit-card or 'keyboard overlay' of a sort to say that F2 resets and f1 selects, you get the idea.

Edited by Keatah
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Yes either of your last two suggestions would work just fine!

 

Thanks so much for making this emu, everytime we party we get the pc hooked up to the big-screen and sit crosslegged on the floor, just like kids! combat, air-sea battle, phoenix, adventure, chopper command, fishing derby, indy 500, missile command, asteroids, space invaders etc.. etc.. the ps3 often takes a back seat when it's party time!! simple graphics and beer seem to mash well together. Everybody knows what to do and you don't need 500 pages of instructions, nor long loading times. And you can go though a game in a few minutes. Just a little chit-card or 'keyboard overlay' of a sort to say that F2 resets and f1 selects, you get the idea.

OK, after further thought, I'm going to allow the whole base directory for Stella to be configurable (for Windows). So, you'd create a file named 'basedir.txt' in the app directory, and it would contain the full pathname where all Stella-related files should appear. By default (when the file doesn't exist) it will be 'My Documents\Stella', just as it is now.

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Hello Stephena,

 

 

I like how the text can now be smaller in Stella 2.7.2. I also like how it can now display the bankswitching it autodetects. Can you please break this from the visible scanline count?

 

 

The issue is that it is now to big. You see when I'm debugging a program I like to see the scanline count only. I just leave it running while I play the game. I know about breaks if the game goes over X number of scanlines, but I like to just leave it running anyhow. Now it's too big and covers the screen so I can't see the top corner.

 

Don't get rid of the autodetect, but please create a seperate switch for it. That way I can choose ALT-L for scanlines or ALT-D for detection. (I just pulled ALT-D out of nowhere, I don't know if that is used).

 

 

As for the detecting if the game is PAL or NTSC, I find that very unuseful as the scanline count is already there. It takes up more space under the scanline count that covers the screen. I prefer to see it not at all, but if you really like it how about giving it a seperate switch.

 

 

Is there now a way to hide all extensions except .bin or .a26 in the directory. I know we talked about it before, but I didn't see it.

 

 

 

 

Please keep up the good work!

Jeff

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Very nice job with the current version of Stella! Thanks!

 

One more suggestion here, I hope it's not too complicated. (meaning I hope I can explain this right)

 

At the top of the rom-list Stella always displays [..] which means move up 1 folder level.

We set the Rom path in the "Config Files" menu, would it be right in saying that this would be the "root-rom" folder and that no other rom files live above this level?

If so then maybe the [..] shouldn't be show while in the root folder.

 

 

While typing the above I had another idea, of maybe a keyboard command or maybe a command line option that would put Stella into a "Child-Proof" mode where non of the menu options are available except maybe "Select" & "Quit" in the launcher.

 

The only reason I suggested these are because my niece & nephew are always asking, "Where'd the games go?" and every time it's because they keep clicking "[..]".

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Hello Stephena,

 

I like how the text can now be smaller in Stella 2.7.2. I also like how it can now display the bankswitching it autodetects. Can you please break this from the visible scanline count?

 

The issue is that it is now to big. You see when I'm debugging a program I like to see the scanline count only. I just leave it running while I play the game. I know about breaks if the game goes over X number of scanlines, but I like to just leave it running anyhow. Now it's too big and covers the screen so I can't see the top corner.

 

Don't get rid of the autodetect, but please create a seperate switch for it. That way I can choose ALT-L for scanlines or ALT-D for detection. (I just pulled ALT-D out of nowhere, I don't know if that is used).

 

As for the detecting if the game is PAL or NTSC, I find that very unuseful as the scanline count is already there. It takes up more space under the scanline count that covers the screen. I prefer to see it not at all, but if you really like it how about giving it a seperate switch.

I'll have to think about how to address this. Having the NTSC/PAL info there is still useful, even if you could figure it out from the scanline count (but perhaps not everyone would know this?). I tend to use a 3x or 4x zoom level, and at that level, the info area doesn't take up much space (it always stays the same size, so it's quite smaller in a larger window). Perhaps I could make the info area font be smaller/configurable??

Is there now a way to hide all extensions except .bin or .a26 in the directory. I know we talked about it before, but I didn't see it.

It's associated with a right-click context menu in the launcher, in a UI item named 'Filter listing'.

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At the top of the rom-list Stella always displays [..] which means move up 1 folder level.

We set the Rom path in the "Config Files" menu, would it be right in saying that this would be the "root-rom" folder and that no other rom files live above this level?

If so then maybe the [..] shouldn't be show while in the root folder.

I guess it all depends on how you define this. I personally define it as the 'folder to start in', not the 'highest level folder' in the system. As such, the previous directory indicator should be there.

While typing the above I had another idea, of maybe a keyboard command or maybe a command line option that would put Stella into a "Child-Proof" mode where non of the menu options are available except maybe "Select" & "Quit" in the launcher.

 

The only reason I suggested these are because my niece & nephew are always asking, "Where'd the games go?" and every time it's because they keep clicking "[..]".

This is probably the more valid approach; having some setting where Stella operates what I call 'kiosk mode'. That is, turning on kiosk mode makes the launcher as simple as possible, disabling previous directory indicators, Options and 'Go Up' buttons, etc.

 

The problem is, this is a slippery slope. Which functions should be disabled? And I'm sure whatever choices I make, someone will say 'but I need that functionality, don't disable it'. :)

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OK. I'll say that I've been rather skeptical about this emulator for a while due to the odd troubles that I've had with it in the past, butI installed the latest version and...

 

WOW! It's almost like it's a different emulator entirely. No more config problems or anything. Officially consider me impressed.

 

...However, I would wonder if another feature couldn't be added... I would probably be one of the few people to use it, but how about an option to allow users to set all of their games to "stereo" and / or "no hm blanks" at once and have it saved that way? :ponder:

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OK. I'll say that I've been rather skeptical about this emulator for a while due to the odd troubles that I've had with it in the past, butI installed the latest version and...

 

WOW! It's almost like it's a different emulator entirely. No more config problems or anything. Officially consider me impressed.

It's great that things are working for you, and thanks for the support. A large part of the improvements is that people are testing and reporting bugs. You say that you've had odd troubles in the past. If you experience any issues from this point on, please report them. Stella couldn't have reached the level it's at now without timely and descriptive bug reports.

...However, I would wonder if another feature couldn't be added... I would probably be one of the few people to use it, but how about an option to allow users to set all of their games to "stereo" and / or "no hm blanks" at once and have it saved that way? :ponder:

Having 'stereo' always turned on can be accomplished right now with a commandline option. Unfortunately, since this isn't used for most ROMs, there will never be a setting in the UI for it. If you want to use it, pass the following as a commandline argument: '-channels stereo'. You could probably modify the Stella icon to accept such a commandline. But I really don't think this will have the effect you expect, since most games don't actually output in stereo.

 

As for the HMOVE blanks being disabled, unfortunately this is been removed as of version 2.7.1, and will definitely be gone for the next major release (which contains the TIA rework). The TIA code is moving to more accurate emulation, and since one couldn't disable HMOVE blanks on a real system, it won't be present in Stella either.

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It's associated with a right-click context menu in the launcher, in a UI item named 'Filter listing'.

Found it. Thank you very much! That is a great feature. :)

 

 

I'll have to think about how to address this. Having the NTSC/PAL info there is still useful, even if you could figure it out from the scanline count (but perhaps not everyone would know this?). I tend to use a 3x or 4x zoom level, and at that level, the info area doesn't take up much space (it always stays the same size, so it's quite smaller in a larger window). Perhaps I could make the info area font be smaller/configurable??

I'm using the default zoom level as my screen is quite large. At a higher zoom rate I feel like I'm sitting a couple of feet in front of my TV. I find the font size is the right size right now. I also have several windows tiled so I prefer a smaller Stella to fit in.

 

 

I use the scanline count ALT-L approximately 70% of the time when I use Stella. I change a few lines of code, recompile, test the game for a little bit, and continue. Having the scanline count on the screen is very convienent during this. The other feature of showing the detected bankswitching I find useful, but only in certain situations where I test a prototype rom to see if it uses the Superchip, etc.. I would use this feature maybe 2% of the time that I use stella. So there is a big overlap of time when the screen is much more blocked now for me.

 

 

So right now I'm still using the older 2.6.1 version of Stella because the block of text is too large. I like the default zoom rate of 2X, and changing font size won't help as it is pretty small already. The only thing that would help is either having each item as seperate switchs, or else have an all in one switch, plus a seperate switch that shows the scanline count only. I'm really hoping you can do something here, Stephena.

 

 

 

Jeff

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So right now I'm still using the older 2.6.1 version of Stella because the block of text is too large. I like the default zoom rate of 2X, and changing font size won't help as it is pretty small already. The only thing that would help is either having each item as seperate switchs, or else have an all in one switch, plus a seperate switch that shows the scanline count only. I'm really hoping you can do something here, Stephena.

I really don't want to add another key combo to use; Stella is started to get bloated in that area as it is. However, I guess an option can be added to specify what's shown in the stats area. I'll look into it for the next release.

 

I'm just wondering, though; the font in 2.6.1 was quite large anyway. To me, it seems like 3 lines of the new smaller text is roughly the same size as one line of the old larger text?? That's why I suggested that smaller font could make the 3 new lines roughly equal to the space used by the older font in 2.6.1.

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There is quite a bit of difference in size. See here:

 

Old:

post-7074-1233513435_thumb.jpg

 

New:

post-7074-1233513451_thumb.jpg

 

 

So you can sort of see what I'm getting at. Actually with the font size, I preferred the larger font of the older style in this one case because it grabbed my attention better when it bounced. I do love the smaller sized font in main menu though. :D

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So you can sort of see what I'm getting at. Actually with the font size, I preferred the larger font of the older style in this one case because it grabbed my attention better when it bounced. I do love the smaller sized font in main menu though. :D

OK, how about a compromise? I can move the NTSC/PAL text to the right of the scanline stuff, and shorten the text (it doesn't have to say 'Auto'; a '*' or something could suffice. This would make the whole thing two lines tall, which is only a few pixels larger than the old large font. And it will also give more room to the right of the bankswitching info, which I'll be using in the future for startup bank info. All in all, two lines of the smaller font can be made to take up roughly the same space as 1 line of the old font, while providing much more information.

 

Hopefully this will work for you, as it's the easiest to implement for me, and doesn't require any extra configuration.

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It would be a good solution as it leaves more of the screen visible. I guess I can get used to noticing smaller font if the scanline bounces.

 

 

How about shorting the length across like this?

 

262 @ 60.00FPS => NTSC

 

 

That gives all the significant info in a nice compacted space. :)

Edited by Omegamatrix
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It would be a good solution as it leaves more of the screen visible. I guess I can get used to noticing smaller font if the scanline bounces.

 

 

How about shorting the length across like this?

 

262 @ 60.00FPS => NTSC

 

 

That gives all the significant info in a nice compacted space. :)

Yes, I'm not opposed to changing it to look like this. I just used the current format since it's the same as z26, which I assumed most people were used to. And a '*' after the NTSC would mean that it was auto-detected.

 

EDIT: OK, how about something like this (the BS stuff is going to change before the next release):

 

post-1512-1233521249_thumb.png

 

I changed the text as you suggested, and also tweaked it a little to save a few lines/pixels.

Edited by stephena
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That is looking good. I personally find it easier to assimulate the information if it is written without the space between the frames per second and the value like this:

 

262 @ 60.00FPS => NTSC*

 

I think it makes it easier to distinguish the groups this way. What do you think? I like your idea with the star denoting autodetection too.

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That is looking good. I personally find it easier to assimulate the information if it is written without the space between the frames per second and the value like this:

 

262 @ 60.00FPS => NTSC*

 

I think it makes it easier to distinguish the groups this way. What do you think? I like your idea with the star denoting autodetection too.

Sure, no problem, it's not worth arguing about :)

 

EDIT: I'm going to make one change, though; if the FPS is right next to the number, I find it easier to read it when it's lowercase (60.00fps).

Edited by stephena
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I'm going to make one change, though; if the FPS is right next to the number, I find it easier to read it when it's lowercase (60.00fps).

 

I agree, that makes it easier to read. Thanks for your help and understanding in this, Stephena. I use this feature (visible scanline count) all the time, and now that the size issue is resolved it looks like it'll be even better then before. ;)

 

Visible scanline count is the best way to pick up if your program starts dropping to too few scanlines, and it is nice to know when you are altering code (and inadvertantely change the scanline count at the same time :ponder: ) without having to check with breaks all the time.

 

 

Jeff

Edited by Omegamatrix
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