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Emulator Texas Ti 99-4/A Bin files format


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Interetingly, even the "other firmats" (ZIP, RPK, TICart, etc)  all seem to be repackaging of the basic binary files...  in the case of RPKs, with some additional metadata stuff.  And it seems that many BIN files are identical to GRM (grom image) files, while other BIN files are consolidated in part or in whole from the material in the native grom and rom images.   You'll also find some "c", "d," and "g" files, which again seem to simply be those raw captures under different names.


"BIN" merely means "binary file," and they work equally well if they have no extension at all 


The trick I've found with BIN files is that, as I mentioned, the come in three diffetent forms... one file for every chip, one file for every chip type, or one consolidated file.   So, not every BIN file (or group of BIN files) is recognized and usable by every emulator.  By contrast, the other "packaged" formats all seem to be consistently functional for whatever emulator they target...  even if they still contain binary files inside of them.  Note, though, that RPK files...  used msinly for MAME  and MESS... contain binary files, but the metadata format seems to exist in two significantly different forms, for every file I've checked...  so some may target older emulator builds and some may target more recent builds.  Someone else may be able to explain the differences better than I can... 


I'm commenting, not because I'm an expert...  but because I'm currently exploring and learning about all this myself.   So, anyone who wants to add to or correct znything I've ssid dhould know I'll actively aporeciate it, rather than being offended or anything like that! 

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The MAME zip files contain the plain dumps of the single ROM chips, that is, for each ROM chip there is one dump file. The RPK files take a higher-level view and offer a dump of the CPU memory space of that cartridge and a dump of the GROM space, and sometimes another dump file for the second layer of ROM as used in Extended Basic.


The background for the MAME zip files is that people should be enabled to dump their own ROMs without any knowledge about the mapping of the ROMs into the address space. This is, in turn, implied in the RPK files and many other dumps. Also, MAME contains fingerprints of the files to verify that the dump is authentic and not later modified (e.g. to remove the autostart feature).

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