DC-LOAD...howto?

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Corbin
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DC-LOAD...howto?

Post by Corbin » Mon Feb 08, 2016 11:11 pm

Hi all,

I finally got my Dreamcast Coders Cable, so I'm starting to set up a debugging environment that doesn't involve burning a billion CDs (also, the serial console is pretty damn vital).

I burned dcload 1.0.3 to a CDR, which loads on the Dreamcast:
dcload 1.0.3
idle. . .
My PC is communicating just fine (tested this communication with DC-TOOL GUI).

So, now that I have this set up, I'm wondering how this works exactly.

Looks like I can either load a BIN, ELF, or SREC. That's totally fine (I have the ELF, and the 1st_Read.bin from the program ready to go).

However, I'm not entirely sure what I need to do here. Uploading and Executing the ELF/BIN is fine, but it needs gamedata to run (or it crashes, predictably). I can generate both a CDI and ISO, but transferring all of that over the serial interface takes FOREVER, and doesn't work to boot.

What is the ideal way to do this? It would be nice if I could tunnel through to the PC somehow to read off the gamedata that it needs to. Otherwise, I'm at a loss how to run my 1st_Read.bin + the gamedata. I can generate an ISO/CDI with Data2CDI_KOS.bat, but this doesn't work.

Any guidance here would be GREATLY appreciated. I saw some options for CDFS redirection or Chroot, but I have no idea what those do exactly.

Thank you all so much!! =)
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Re: DC-LOAD...howto?

Post by BlueCrab » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:51 am

First off, I'd recommend grabbing a new version of dcload. That version is REALLY old. Of course, you'd have to compile it yourself, but being that you have the KOS toolchain setup in the first place, you've got most of what you need already. You can grab the current source from Git over here: https://sourceforge.net/p/cadcdev/dcloa ... ster/tree/ .

It's not a terribly big deal if you don't get a newer version, it's just easier to debug things if they break and you're on a more current version. :wink:

As for game data, you have a couple of options. CDFS redirection is certainly one option -- you build an ISO of your game data and specify that to the dc-tool program when you run your code. The ISO just needs to contain the files -- it doesn't need to be made specially like you would for selfbooting. You shouldn't need to change anything in your code to make this work if the files are being searched for on /cd. I've not worked with any GUIs for dc-tool to really be able to give much more information on that option.

Your other option is to simply burn your game data to a disc and just use dc-tool/dcload to run the binary. If you're lucky, a CD-RW will work in your console for this purpose, so you can overwrite the data at will as needed. However, you can always fall back on a multi-session CD-R as well. You'll only have to burn a new disc when you change data files, rather than for every little code change you make in your program. Once again, the CD doesn't have to be formed in any special way, since you're not booting off of it -- just put the files in the data session and go.

I'd highly recommend that if you have any significantly large assets in your game data that you burn a CD-R (or CD-RW if your console can read it) with the data. Transferring large amounts of data over the serial link (as you've already discovered) is painfully slow.
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Re: DC-LOAD...howto?

Post by Corbin » Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:39 pm

Just wanted to say thank you again for taking the time to get me set up! I really appreciate it! :D
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