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Geneve PC in software.


hloberg
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this is an on again and off again project I been doing for a while and I think I got it where I want it. It's a Geneve in software. I used a Win 7 core, stripped it and installed MAME on top. The simulation starts up in about 9 secs due to the SSD drive I put in the machine and the very stripped Win 7 I use. I removed all the badging from Win 7 so, as you see, it boots straight to Geneve. Hard part was finding a PC that didn't have a huge DELL or HP logo when the PC started that wrecked the illusion. this PC has just some script that quickly goes away.

It runs off 3 Geneve VHDs I filled with latest & greatest Geneve goodness. I have the rollup of all the files (minus MAME) link to my TI99resources page on emulators. just download the Geneve (FYI, it's big). https://ti99resources.wordpress.com/emulation/

I plan to create a detailed howto on my blog of how to strip down Win 7 and creating this Geneve simulation .

By the way, the mouse works, the joystick works, it reads floppy disk (but you have to go to the OSD menu to swap the disk. WOULD be nice if MAME let you swap disk without going to the OSD menu and just read the disk new on each request, just sayin'). ;)

Oh, and forgot to mention, best thing cost=$0.0. used and old PC someone gave me and software, nothing.

here are some pics and a very amateurish video of the start up.

 

VIDEO:

https://youtu.be/85P65s2DKNg

Pics:

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20221105_123512.thumb.jpg.eac032728ec3014dd0b7104da51e0b0a.jpg

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thanks all for the nice comments.

design wise, notice my ancient IBM keyboard. :) I also replaced the CDROM with a workable floppy drive, changed the HP logo to a TI logo and covered over the front sound and USB ports plus painted it all black to give it that computer of the 80s look. 

 

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1 hour ago, Shift838 said:

when will the 'HOWTO' guide be published to get this done?

by this weekend. holdup is i'm trying to do a video. may not work out though.

UPDATE: OK, the recording of VM & video editing is going a little better than I thought. 1st time I have ever tried this. now if lay over of sound goes OK I just might have a howto video and instructions this time.

I'm doing this all again in VM so it'll be fresh.

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this is a extremely detail free howto of setting up the Win7 Geneve. It's just show how easy it is. I promise a full detail howto in a week or so on my blog. 

Anyway,

1.) install win7 & update patches (duh)

2.) set theme to high contrast black. this removes a whole lotta stuff and makes the background black.

3.) in System set advanced to fastest and least memory use

4.) msconfig turn gui off. no more win7 startup graphics

5.) also in msconfig turn off all startups and services not needed (I even turn off all network as win7 takes a moment to check if net is available)

7.) set taskbar to small and invisible when not in use

8.) remove all desktop icons

9.) create new windows pointer with invisible pointer. (i'll upload pointer in blog)

10.) use program (included in blog) to change light blue startup and shutdown screens to black

11.) install MAME Geneve pacakge and put shortcut batch in Win7 startup

that's it. as I stated i'll have a lot more details in the blog soon.

if you use the supplied MAME setup then the mouse and joystick 'should' work.

that all it takes.

just for those who were wondering, I tried this in Win10, XP and Linux and found Win7 to easiest and cheapest to setup.

now a little about the PC you choose. this the tricky part. It must be old enough to be able to remove the HUGH splash screen DELL, HP or whatever logo in BIOS. the newer PCs seem to not allow to to do that anymore. but must be new enough to have enough power to run MAME. the PC I choose was just powereful enough. also, if you want to complete the look remove the CD and install a floppy.

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1 hour ago, hloberg said:

now a little about the PC you choose. this the tricky part. It must be old enough to be able to remove the HUGH splash screen DELL, HP or whatever logo in BIOS. the newer PCs seem to not allow to to do that anymore. but must be new enough to have enough power to run MAME. the PC I choose was just powereful enough. also, if you want to complete the look remove the CD and install a floppy.

 

To test, you should add the parameter "-bench n" (e.g. n=10 or 20) to your MAME command line and check the speed result. This will show you the performance reserves of your PC. You should have at least 150% (since the benchmark runs without graphics output).

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1 hour ago, mizapf said:

 

To test, you should add the parameter "-bench n" (e.g. n=10 or 20) to your MAME command line and check the speed result. This will show you the performance reserves of your PC. You should have at least 150% (since the benchmark runs without graphics output).

thanks. i be sure to add that to the detail blog.

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I think this should be a recommendation for all. I'm not sure whether every MAME newbie knows that a stuttering sound is an indication of a too slow host CPU. Neither do I think everyone is aware of that performance output on the console after shutting down the emulation and how to interpret this output ("Average speed: xxx.xx%").

 

"Before you dive deep into the emulation, run this benchmark to make sure your machine is powerful enough. Be aware that the following symptoms may indicate performance issues: ..."

 

I'll surely put that on Ninermame in some way.

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OK this is going to take longer than I thought. I totally forgot how I managed to remove the spinner cursor. got everything else but that. I know it's something simple I'm missing as it only took me a few minutes to do it the 1st time. ugh. it'll come back to me. my bad for not writing the steps down in detail the 1st time instead scribbling notes over different pieces of paper.

 

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what idiot made these notes! Oh wait, it was me. 😉😁

if you're wondering, the spinner I'm talking about is when the word WELCOME appears at startup the Aero cursor spinner & pointer appears for about 1/2 sec. I previously figured out how to remove it. I 'thought' by redefining the aero cursor set but it's not working. I must be missing something. i'll figure it out eventually. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

got it. welcome removed, cursors removed, mostly(more later), startup screen black and this time I documented it. still have a split sec pointer then wait before what was welcome. But, I think on a faster machine (I doing this in VM so as to record it for video) and SSD it's so short i't doesn't show. I don't have it on my PC with SSD. still, if I get rid of it I will.

next steps, simplify the process and little more and do it all over again to record it for a video.  then write docs of how to.

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working on this project I learned a lot about Microsoft's development theory. It's defiantly 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'. I be willing to bet some of the startup probably goes back to Windows NT if not even Windows 95 which you can see in that the startup procedure is spread over; the registry, startup files, .DLLs, .MUIs, EXEs and multiple directories of WINDOWS. Each time something new was needed they just tacked on top of whatever was there. I don't know how much of it made it past Windows 8 though into 10. But from what little I saw testing if 10 would work better, it's not a whole lot different than 7. And that's been the beauty and genius of Windows, backwards compatibility. I've got software from Windows 95 era that will still run on Windows 10. That's almost 30 years.

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doing this I found I'll never be a Youtube star. I hate video editing. I have no problem writing a detailed, step by step how-to booklet covering pages but find video editing, well, boring. go figure. what I ought to do is hire one of my art students to do the video editing for me but I'm just too much of a cheap ass. 😁

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FYI:

I have ported over about 80 games from TI99 to the Geneve; 25 of the games are Adv. Int and infocom text adv., others are cart games or XB and BASIC games converted over to AdvBASIC. got about 20 more XB games in the pipeline to convert to Adv BASIC.

some note-able games on cart that won't run well on the Geneve are; Parsec (it sometimes leaves a line on the screen from the laser), Moonpatrol (some characters are messed up), Defender (won't work unless you use a true joystick in emulation) & frogger (seems to use joyst 2 as default). Oh, some of the games need to be slowed down in myGPL (SHFT+SHFT+CTRL then F4=1) but not all (such as text adv.).

go here https://ti99resources.wordpress.com/emulation/

then scroll down to Geneve to get the latest roll up including HD FDRIVE which has the games.

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