Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Trying to get homebrew running on your PSP? Want to add a screen light to your Game Boy? Trying to figure out how to work your GP2X? By popular demand, discuss it in here! (This forum is for pre-built handhelds, NOT custom made portables!)

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NND8
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Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by NND8 » Tue Sep 25, 2012 3:55 pm

I have no experience at all in modding, before I try to do anything I want to know if the following things that I want to do are possible:
- Ability to display a text document from some sort of storage.
- Ability to scroll through it.
- Ability to have a CD/DVD drive connected to the game boy.

ProgMetalMan
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by ProgMetalMan » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:38 pm

By yourself?
-No
-No
-No

Through 3rd-party accessories?
-Maybe
-Maybe
-No
ShockSlayer wrote:Proggy's right.
ttsgeb wrote:mfw prog was not only right, but 100% so.

NND8
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by NND8 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:49 pm

Well then, the first two are most important anyway. I've got a few questions though:

1. How would I go about doing this, in general?
2. What 3rd party devices do you mean (if you can give specifics.)
3. Why can't it read a CD/DVD?
4. If this doesn't work out could you tell me what I might do to achieve the same results? As in, possibly a device in which modding in this way might be possible.

Diminuendo
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by Diminuendo » Thu Sep 27, 2012 5:10 am

you could shove a raspberry pi in a GBP chassis.

NND8
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by NND8 » Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:42 am

its

ttsgeb
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by ttsgeb » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:36 am

If you can write software for it, it would not be much of an issue to build something to scroll through text. You would likely need to recompile with every change and store everything on a flash cart. You would have a very real limit on how big of a text doc you could put on it. If you happen to be REALLY good at this whole modding thing, you could potentially build a flash cart with a ability to read what it equates to save games from a modern interface, but even then the size limits will be a pain.

As far as hooking up a CD/DVD drive to it, if you have to ask, you're probably SOL. It's pretty damn unlikely. The gameboy *might* be able to run a cd drive, but I HIGHLY doubt it has the processing power to effectively use a DVD drive. On top of all of this, you would need to change the firmware to allow for recognizing the extra peripheral.
Basically, If you're dead set on a CD drive on a gameboy, you should start with a simpler and more era appropriate interface first, like maybe a floppy drive. Even that will be a hella challenge.

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armarares
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by armarares » Sat Sep 29, 2012 9:22 am

You should look into this.I know that it is a gameboy color but it has a .txt reader and a floppy drive.Seems like a good place to start.


Also,consider the GBA.
I never give up. But I always fail.

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eagle5953
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by eagle5953 » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:33 pm

armarares wrote:

Also,consider the GBA.
This.

I have the Gameboy Advance Movie Player (GBAMP), which includes an integrated .txt reader function, among other things.

maxd
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by maxd » Thu Oct 11, 2012 6:16 pm

ttsgeb wrote:If you can write software for it, it would not be much of an issue to build something to scroll through text. You would likely need to recompile with every change and store everything on a flash cart. You would have a very real limit on how big of a text doc you could put on it. If you happen to be REALLY good at this whole modding thing, you could potentially build a flash cart with a ability to read what it equates to save games from a modern interface, but even then the size limits will be a pain.

As far as hooking up a CD/DVD drive to it, if you have to ask, you're probably SOL. It's pretty damn unlikely. The gameboy *might* be able to run a cd drive, but I HIGHLY doubt it has the processing power to effectively use a DVD drive. On top of all of this, you would need to change the firmware to allow for recognizing the extra peripheral.
Basically, If you're dead set on a CD drive on a gameboy, you should start with a simpler and more era appropriate interface first, like maybe a floppy drive. Even that will be a hella challenge.
My head hurts just from reading this. You are telling a poster with no modding experience he *could* build a flashcart, or reprogram the Gameboy's "firmware?" You must not know anything about the Gameboy family.

About the disc drive idea: The Gameboy Pocket, specifically, like the DMG and Color models, has a serial port with 6 pins. Typical serial ATA optical drives have 7 pins (given you only need 5 pins really if you ditch two of the three ground connections, but it's not safe), and parallel ATA drives have 40. The Gameboy can't handle either of that through the cartridge slot or the serial link port. These drives operate on voltages on multiple cables that are higher than the Gameboy can put out while operating (4 easy to access 5V points, specifically). Drives would have to be powered externally and would require their own power supply. Even then, you could not really interface with them.

And for the text reader idea: There is no "firmware" to modify, and size limits are not an issue. The code to load text and display it with scrolling would be mere kilobytes. The entirety of most books will fit on 4 megabits, or roughly half a megabyte. Most flash cartridges could readily deal with such a size (standard flashcarts are typically MBC5 models with 32 megabits of memory with SRAM). In fact, just about all that have ever been produced could handle such a ROM size. With some memory magic, a text document could be banked and fragmented within SRAM like a LSDJ save (songs are all actively edited/scrolled in SRAM). It would be a dog to program, but possible.

My suggestion - go do something easier for a mod. Something like wiring in a backlight (not exactly easy, but one at http://www.store.kitsch-bent.com), prosounding, or if you want to write software why not try learning how to program homebrew for the Sega Genesis then migrating to Gameboy later? The Genesis and Gameboy both operate on C or Assembly language (the Genesis also uses a sound processor that is almost identical to the main processor for the Gameboy). Check out http://www.spritesmind.net for that stuff.

And for you, ttsgeb, don't talk about stuff you don't know about. Sometimes it is better to provide suggestions for an alternate activity for a new guy.

ProgMetalMan
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by ProgMetalMan » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:49 pm

Well, technically it is possible if you have multiple degrees from MIT and/or have lots of inside Nintendo knowledge :) .
ShockSlayer wrote:Proggy's right.
ttsgeb wrote:mfw prog was not only right, but 100% so.

ttsgeb
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by ttsgeb » Sun Oct 14, 2012 3:07 pm

maxd wrote:don't talk about stuff you don't know about. Sometimes it is better to provide suggestions for an alternate activity
And these two things are exactly how you prevent innovation and new ideas. Go figure.

How about rather than singling out someone, you politely provide the proper information? You can say someone is wrong without being an ass about it.
maxd wrote:My head hurts just from reading this. You are telling a poster with no modding experience he *could* build a flashcart
Yes, I told him he could do it, but not that it is likely or even plausible. You need to work on your reading comprehension. No modding experience means we don't yet know what he's capable of doing, and reaching for the stars may not get you there, but it sure as hell can get you to the moon if you're driven enough. I also clearly suggested it as something you would need to be really good at modding to accomplish, and suggested a less complicated way of managing the same thing as well. The whole reason for the custom flash cart suggestion was to show him a way he could merge his ideas together into something more compact and portable.

So, if we're keeping track here:

My method:
Give him some ideas on how he could accomplish his goals, and tell him what he may want to look into to do it

Your method:
First, insult the people trying to help, then tell him all the ways his idea couldn't work. Finally, suggest that he is certainly too inept to learn to do things, and tell him an easy and only vaguely related mod he should do instead.

Really, how in the hell do you expect a prosound mod to help him know how to write software?

armarares and eagle5953's methods:
Show closely related things being done on slightly newer, but still very similar systems with both commercial and homegrown hardware/software.

maxd
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Re: Game Boy Pocket Text Document Reader.

Post by maxd » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:37 am

ttsgeb wrote: How about rather than singling out someone, you politely provide the proper information? You can say someone is wrong without being an ass about it.

Yes, I told him he could do it, but not that it is likely or even plausible. You need to work on your reading comprehension. No modding experience means we don't yet know what he's capable of doing, and reaching for the stars may not get you there, but it sure as hell can get you to the moon if you're driven enough. I also clearly suggested it as something you would need to be really good at modding to accomplish, and suggested a less complicated way of managing the same thing as well. The whole reason for the custom flash cart suggestion was to show him a way he could merge his ideas together into something more compact and portable.
Did you not poke around the site I linked to? If you've ever been to spritesmind, the community there is amazing. They have done tons of research between inter-device communication for things such as the Sega Channel (which featured a lot of text-reading features for downloadable games, etc), the Sega 32X, the Sega CD, and the original Genesis/Megadrive. These guys have to work in Assembly and C language, the same languages the Gameboy uses. These guys are dealing with the same sort of processor. The Gameboy modding community has only a few sites of reference such as http://www.reinerziegler.de/readplus.htm the site of students who made the main page on producing Gameboy flashcarts, http://www.loirak.com/gameboy/gbprog.php loirak's site which contains outdated tools and methods, as well as some inaccurate information on the Gameboy's internal functions. The most current and useful site is http://www.devrs.com/gb/, they are pretty tight knit with the demo scene. Even as good as it is, it's no spritesmind.


No modding experience probably also means no tools such as a soldering iron, or an FPGA or anything. A custom cart? Probably deems the need for EagleCAD, seeing as soldering your own chips in place of the original ROM is tough enough. Rome wasn't built in a day, neither is anyone's modding ability. Your intentions were good, but for someone who has registered on these forums, and judging by his profile, is only 14 years old OP shouldn't attempt anything at this level yet. Of all the script kiddies, want-to-be-modders, and hackers I know, there is only one who made anything of himself. That kid is now working on porting Sonic 1 entirely to the Sega CD in Assembly language. OP might have that level of determination and grit. But if he really had it, he would check on his post and reply even to the people who were "nice." This thread is now active again, and OP should probably check back once in a while for answers if he cares about his post.
ttsgeb wrote: So, if we're keeping track here:

My method:
Give him some ideas on how he could accomplish his goals, and tell him what he may want to look into to do it

Your method:
First, insult the people trying to help, then tell him all the ways his idea couldn't work. Finally, suggest that he is certainly too inept to learn to do things, and tell him an easy and only vaguely related mod he should do instead.

Really, how in the hell do you expect a prosound mod to help him know how to write software?
maxd wrote:prosounding, or if you want to write software why not try learning how to program homebrew for the Sega Genesis then migrating to Gameboy later? The Genesis and Gameboy both operate on C or Assembly language (the Genesis also uses a sound processor that is almost identical to the main processor for the Gameboy). Check out http://www.spritesmind.net for that stuff.
Might want to work on your reading comprehension skills, bro.



Want to know how I found all of those links earlier in my post? I visited those sites 5 years ago, and discovered them by using Google and crawling through 8bc.org and countless other sites. You can still do it today, nearly 5 years later.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=gameboy+programming
Every single site I linked you to can be found on the first page of search results. The first page.

It's not hard to get into this stuff, and to use the tools you already have. I'm surprised you couldn't use Google to offer more help in your other post. Then again, I probably should have provided the links, seeing as I do know what I am talking about.

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