MAME: A potential path?

A project log for Reverse Engineering The Weather STAR 4000

The Weather STAR 4000: A Journey of reverse engineering the hardware to an iconic machine of the 1980s/90s.

techknighttechknight 03/15/2021 at 17:180 Comments

I am posting this completely out of order, but it's something that needs to be said. I have been seeing some comments pop up about MAME and how there is co-development on reverse engineering the 4000 going on. 

This isn't true. Well, partially isn't true. I did get the ball rolling though. Getting it working in MAME vs Reverse Engineering the hardware are two very different things here. 

I got a MAMEdev involved for what I thought was to help me develop software and be able to debug/trace it without trying to do something wonky on the original machine. But I was mistaken here, I actually contacted the MAMEdev to see if it was possible to make a 4000 emulation inside MAME, so I could attempt to step-through and trace the ORIGINAL ROMs. I was still very new to 68K. Kinda still am, but I have the basics down.

It was easier at the time for me to figure out what each instruction was doing in the ROM to get a better understanding of what is going on, but eventually I decided against persuing that avenue for now. Maybe I would circle back around to it later. 

Plus, I still didn't know all the fine details yet to finish up the emulation driver for MAME. I still don't "entirely" know how the framebuffer works, but I know what all the commands do now. (I will get into these later).

I would actually like to circle back around eventually and get MAME working. Someday..... my projects list is getting more full by the minute :-/

I know this may sound like I am feeding the trolls, but it must be said. Here is my conversation with a MAME developer on the subject, including me sending him all my notes and schematics so he could write the MAME driver:

Sorry for all the drivel, but I had to clarify the data here, and the real information as to what went on. Why? I suppose to try and prevent as much mis-information as possible. 

For accuracy purposes. I stand by my decision for letting MAME in on this as well, I think it will be a useful tool to messing with the 4000's ecosystem. 

Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...