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Old 03-26-2012, 02:19 AM   #16
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Can only run via telnet with kite installed

Hi,

This is a great SW.

I did not JB my K3G, but installed kite. I was able to run the fbgnuboy via kite usbnet and telnet.

However, when I unplug the USB, the program froze. Likewise, I tried to use a sh script using kite and it does not run.

Do you know why this is the case?

Thanks,
James
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:02 AM   #17
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Very cool. Thanks for sharing this! The emulator seems to play most games/roms tried so far.

Until I feel like making specific scripts for Launchpad shortcut use, I just run this in a Kindle terminator, such as myts. If you do it my way, you have to go to the home page for the buttons to work, and not in myts. But when you are finish you can merely go back into it and then turn off fbgnuboy.

I do have do questions/comments:

1. I know the smaller screen size is to boost the refresh rate and make it more usable, but for games such as othello, boggle, and etc, I think you can stretch the screen just fine to at least a square resolution the width of the Kindle. As such, is it possible to set some sort of variable to change the window size...if not to just test?

2. Anybody know of a nes emulator that could work in much the same way as this? Or perhaps a game gear one? Just random ideas I'd love to do.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:47 AM   #18
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Well, thanks a lot for the friendly feedback so far.

As geekmaster already mentioned: This application will eat your battery fast. On the one hand, constantly updating the display is expensive in terms of power. And then the CPU is running at 90-100%, too. Although the CPU is very efficient, this will eat battery, too.

I did not really intend to present this as a useful application. However, it was evolved far enough to justify publishing it - it's a nice show case. And I was reading about raster image interpolation and doing experiments with it. So I implemented a simple, 4bpp-optimized ordered dither - and thought of a use case. I played with gnuboy before, so I knew its code structure which is easily extensible.

What I also didn't mention before: It should do not only GameBoy ROMs, but also GameBoy Color (GBC) ones. Well, don't expect color to show up on your e-ink screen :-)

inameiname: regarding your first question: The current implementation is highly optimized in some regards. E.g., each GameBoy pixel is exactly doubled in both dimensions (2x2 e-ink pixels represent one GB pixel). It is somewhat harder to settle on fractional multiplication here since this would introduce some multiplication/division operands that are really slow on our CPU. Doing 3x3 pixels might be an option, the problem however is that the 4bpp framebuffer needs a very clever algorithm for that in order to deal with the "half bytes" that represent a pixel. Using only even factors (as opposed to odd numbers) is just much easier. That said, I have an algorithm in mind that would always look at two source pixels and create a factor-6 dither out of them. That would increase the resulting display to 480x432. Going to a 4x4 factor, the screen wouldn't be big enough. We would get a width of 640px, where the K3 only has 600px. Also, the update speed would suffer a lot.

As for the second question: There are lots of NES emus out there. However, the harder part is to find one that isn't optimized specifically for i386. I played once with InfoNES, it's not all that good in terms of compatibility, though. And most NES emulators are very timing critical, e.g. sync'ing on VRefresh and stuff like that. That's not going to work so well on e-ink.

What I thought about and would like to see, however, is a ScummVM port :-)
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawhill View Post
Well, don't expect color to show up on your e-ink screen :-)
Yeah, no color because the black and white eink is too slow.

You need a much faster refresh rate to see color on a black and white display:

EDIT: Back when color TV was very rare, Coca Cola showed a flickery advertisement during a Superbowl game (extremely popular televised American Football game), that was filmed using the Benham illusion, and so many people were shocked to see color video on their black and white TVs that it overloaded the long distance telephone networks with people calling the TV networks. This illusion is also sometimes called "subjective color" because the amount of color seen varies greatly between individual people. Some people can see bright colors, and others none at all. Personally, I see Dark-Blue, Brown-Red, and a Tan (dark yellow) color.

P.S. Although the applet at the above link lets you adjust the speed, the "standard" speed for subjective color is 10 Hz (which is also the blink frequency that can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, so please do not try this if you have epilepsy. Thanks.


Last edited by geekmaster; 03-26-2012 at 01:08 PM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:27 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmaster View Post

Also, you can simplify your script commands a bit with a "cd" (some programs may even require this):
I know, but I wanted to be sure that it wasn't a path issue.
It's strange. If I run fbgnuboy like this:

Code:
#!/bin/sh
cd /mnt/us/fbgnuboy
./fbgnuboy --help > gnuboy.log
I get the help text, but if I do this:

Code:
#!/bin/sh
cd /mnt/us/fbgnuboy
./fbgnuboy tetris.gb 2> gnuboy.log
Then I get:
cannot access /: Read-only file system

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Old 03-26-2012, 06:34 PM   #21
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Ah, I think I know what's going on. Gnuboy tries to store some configuration somewhere, I think after looking at the sources. I did not even notice this.

Well, the trick is to set a proper HOME. Since this stored data isn't important anyway (I think), I suggest to run it like
Code:
HOME=/tmp ./fbgnuboy tetris.gb 2>gnuboy.log
(for me, there was always a HOME set to a directory beneath /mnt/us, I think kite might not do something like this and leaves it or sets it to /)
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Old 03-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmaster View Post
P.S. Although the applet at the above link lets you adjust the speed, the "standard" speed for subjective color is 10 Hz (which is also the blink frequency that can trigger seizures in people with epilepsy, so please do not try this if you have epilepsy. Thanks.
Ah, a new use for the kindle product line, as a "brain pacemaker".
As in:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0072267/plotsummary
(That plot summary is a bit lacking, google the book title.)

But that was a late 20th century device that had a hard-wired connection to the brain and a basement filling (super for its day) computer.

Maybe a standard USB jack behind the left ear and a matching cable to the Kindle's USB connection?

For the KT - just use these smilies on the right of this edit box as the buttons for the mood (not mode, mood) selection.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:33 PM   #23
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(Off topic) This space reserved...

(Just a discussion about references to "The Terminal Man" movie and book).

Last edited by geekmaster; 03-27-2012 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:47 PM   #24
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I have at least two copies of "The Terminal Man" in my collection (with different cover artwork). It has been decades since I read it. Now we just need an ebook d/l URL for it.
http://www.epubbud.com/book.php?g=ZCCXJDNA

In addition to the 10Hz siezure testing, there is another "flicker rate" that impresses itself on the mind. I don't recall what the specifics are, I do know that it was tried (and out-lawed for use as advertisements) on early US television networks.

Probably around the same time as the "false color" test broadcasts that you mentioned.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:41 PM   #25
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(Off topic) This space reserved...

Last edited by geekmaster; 03-26-2012 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 03-27-2012, 03:41 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawhill View Post
Ah, I think I know what's going on. Gnuboy tries to store some configuration somewhere, I think after looking at the sources. I did not even notice this.

Well, the trick is to set a proper HOME. Since this stored data isn't important anyway (I think), I suggest to run it like
Code:
HOME=/tmp ./fbgnuboy tetris.gb 2>gnuboy.log
(for me, there was always a HOME set to a directory beneath /mnt/us, I think kite might not do something like this and leaves it or sets it to /)
This works well!

Thanks,
James
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:15 AM   #27
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(Off topic) This space reserved...
Indeed, we did get a bit carried away with unrelated information.

Perhaps we should both go back and clean up this thread by deleting our posts that are not game boy specific.
I am willing if you are.
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Old 03-27-2012, 08:22 AM   #28
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Nah. Those posts might be chatty, but they add to nice atmosphere here in the forums :-)
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Old 03-27-2012, 09:32 AM   #29
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inameiname: regarding your first question: The current implementation is highly optimized in some regards. E.g., each GameBoy pixel is exactly doubled in both dimensions (2x2 e-ink pixels represent one GB pixel). It is somewhat harder to settle on fractional multiplication here since this would introduce some multiplication/division operands that are really slow on our CPU. Doing 3x3 pixels might be an option, the problem however is that the 4bpp framebuffer needs a very clever algorithm for that in order to deal with the "half bytes" that represent a pixel. Using only even factors (as opposed to odd numbers) is just much easier. That said, I have an algorithm in mind that would always look at two source pixels and create a factor-6 dither out of them. That would increase the resulting display to 480x432. Going to a 4x4 factor, the screen wouldn't be big enough. We would get a width of 640px, where the K3 only has 600px. Also, the update speed would suffer a lot.

As for the second question: There are lots of NES emus out there. However, the harder part is to find one that isn't optimized specifically for i386. I played once with InfoNES, it's not all that good in terms of compatibility, though. And most NES emulators are very timing critical, e.g. sync'ing on VRefresh and stuff like that. That's not going to work so well on e-ink.
Thanks for the info on that. You are right; in the end it just isn't worth it, and is next to impossible on a Kindle 3 with the e-ink screen. It is very handy to be able to play any GameBoy or GameBoy Color games, mainly just for fun....and to show off. NES was just an idea, but I can see why it'd be an issue. Anything, I appreciate the info.
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Old 03-28-2012, 02:24 PM   #30
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To see how fast a video game can update the eink screen using ordered dither, check out this video of a kindle touch playing an old black and white movie clip:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho....php?p=2020810

We should be able to borrow code from that video player when it is published to use in video games.
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