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kerszr

The Acorn Electron and the GamesDB

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Okay, this is a bit psycho, I know. But I plan to get every single Acorn Electron game in the Launchbox games database. As of writing this of July fifth, the year of our lord two-thousand and seventeen there is exactly 2600 different video game programs for the Acorn Electron. That includes: 1955 Games, 403 utilities or programs, 155 game demos, 283 educational games, and 27 music demos. This is known games and programs. There are most likely hundrends more that has been lost to the sands of time. This is why we at the GamesDB find it is so important to catelog every single video game that we can find, especially the mostly forgotten ones.

Here is what I imagine to some FAQ's

Q:"Why bother?"
A: Launchbox, in my opinion is the premier service for what could be the greatest way we can preserve the artwork of important pieces of history and technology. Video games are massively underappreciated for their value, not only culturally but how they communicate ideas delighting us and asking us to engage in someone elses creative expression. 

Q: "Oh goody, can I help?"
A: You don't even have to ask. 

Q: "What's your source?"
A: http://www.everygamegoing.com/landing/machine_types/electron/games.html

 

Q:There are certain screenshots that I cannot transfer to launchboxDB? What in God's green gravy is going on?
A:The image must be converted to a jpeg, or png format you can do this easily by pasting it into a paint document and saving it. Repeat this ad infinitum.

Q:How far have you gotten with this lunatic stunt you are pulling?
A:AS OF JULY 8TH 2017 there are roughly 250 GAMES ACORN ELECTRON GAMES I SUBMITTED

Q: Don't you have something better to do?
A: No, I find it relaxing. Here I am going to post my blog, updating the status of this lengthy and tedious journey.

 

Q:How many are there in the games database now?
A: As of writing this on July 8th 2017, there are  209 GAMES (MANY ARE PENDING AFTER TONIGHT Ive been since 6pm and it's 4 in the morning now)

Q: Can I see a list of games that you cateloged?
A:https://pastebin.com/e0fkRA0L

Q: Where is this (one game)?
A: I probably havent putted in yet. If not, it was most likely released on a compilation cassette and therefore I cataloged the compilation cassette and not the game on it. Im trying to get the Front box art first. If you see a missing item put it in immediately!

Edited by kerszr
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Okay, Im going to take a break from this Im going to get back to it tommorow. So far the gamesdb has 142 electron games! That means roughly 2,458 games to go.
Things as of note this evening: Got all known "Alligata Software" games.
There seems to be missing artwork for the game "Cops" by "Alpine Software", although game-play screens are available. If anyone by some miracle can find this please add the artwork I searched for alpine software and they seem to be defunct. I looked at old software magazines as well. I cant see jack squat.
Well anyway, thanks for the support you guys and if you where to help me it would be much appreciated.
458008.png.0303f4d1e1489ebead1775578a7117f5.png

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On 2017-07-06 at 6:29 AM, kerszr said:

A:The image must be converted to a jpeg, or png format you can do this easily by pasting it into a paint document and saving it. Repeat this ad infinitum.

I don't know if you have a lot of images in the wrong image format.

If you do, you could use an image batch converter software. That would save you a lot of time.

Edited by Norfair

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49 minutes ago, Norfair said:

I don't know if you have a lot of images in the wrong image format.

If you do, you could use an image batch converter software. That would save you a lot of time.

What would I do to go about doing that?

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On 7/6/2017 at 5:29 AM, kerszr said:

Okay, this is a bit psycho, I know.

What is the best Emulator for this system, in your opinion?

I read that there is four:  ElectrEm, Elkulator, ElkJS and MESS. I'll probably go with MESS. What do you think?

Edited by JamesBond@ge

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2 hours ago, JamesBond@ge said:

What is the best Emulator for this system, in your opinion?

I read that there is four:  ElectrEm, Elkulator, ElkJS and MESS. I'll probably go with MESS. What do you think?

I just tried ElectrEm loads fine, but need to figure an escape script for it.

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2 hours ago, JamesBond@ge said:

What is the best Emulator for this system, in your opinion?

I read that there is four:  ElectrEm, Elkulator, ElkJS and MESS. I'll probably go with MESS. What do you think?

It's been awhile since I emulated any Acorn games, believe it or not I am not that into the system. I am just doing this for games preservation. But when I was playing them, I was playing them on  the Elkulator and it seemed fairly accurate and I never had a crash. MESS seems to be a last resort if you ask me. When MESS is compatible with something it is only compatible with fifty or so some odd games. And the Acorn Electron has a library of thousands.
So in short, try your hand on different emulators. But I personally disagree with your MESS assertion. I have not tried ElkJS though. 
Also, thanks for checking out my thread, we can always use helping hands here!

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im using mess to emulate the acorn electron but it dosnt mount and load the game automatically . 

I have to type: 

*tape (return)

chain"" (return)

is there a command line to automate this proccess ?

my commandline atm is : electron -cass 

2017-12-17_233140.png

Edited by harryoke

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On 12/17/2017 at 11:45 PM, harryoke said:

im using mess to emulate the acorn electron but it dosnt mount and load the game automatically . 

I have to type: 

*tape (return)

chain"" (return)

is there a command line to automate this proccess ?

my commandline atm is : electron -cass 

2017-12-17_233140.png

Did you ever fine a way to fix this?

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12 hours ago, Plastron said:

Did you ever fine a way to fix this?

Maybe my solution might be of help, I'm using the autoboot command in many Mame/Mess computers, BBC Micro etc. ('cause I can't always remember the proper loading commands xD) for this I use:
electron64 -skip_gameinfo -autoboot_command "*tape\nchain""""""\n" -cass


In some cases the autoboot needs a delay like for the Sharp X1. This works for me for that platform:
x1 -skip_gameinfo -autoboot_command "CHAIN”“\n" -autoboot_delay 9 -cass

Edited by kurzih

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@kurzih this is super interesting. I emulate the electron using mame in retroarch. My commandline for launching roms is:

"electron -rp \"L:\LaunchBox\Games\Acorn Electron\" -cass \"%romfile%\"" -c "config\mame_CLI_ON.cfg"

the last part with the -c is for using an alternative config file, so i guess it's not important, so this is basically it:

"electron -rp \"L:\LaunchBox\Games\Acorn Electron\" -cass \"%romfile%\""

Now, how would I go about adding your autoload command into my existing command line?

I've tried this, but it didn't work:

"electron -rp \"L:\LaunchBox\Games\Acorn Electron\" -skip_gameinfo -autoboot_command "*tape\nchain""""""\n" -cass \"%romfile%\"" -c "config\mame_CLI_ON.cfg"

 

Any ideas?

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I don't know if the retroarch core has the autoboot implemented and how to use it with that setup.

I'm using the latest Mame exe with Launchbox from https://www.mamedev.org/release.html

https://docs.mamedev.org/commandline/commandline-all.html :

 

-autoboot_command "<command>"

Command string to execute after machine boot (in quotes " "). To issue a quote to the emulation, use """ in the string. Using \n will issue a create a new line, issuing what was typed prior as a command.

This works only with systems that support natural keyboard mode.

Example: -autoboot_command "load """$""",8,1\n"

-autoboot_delay [n]

Timer delay (in seconds) to trigger command execution on autoboot.

-autoboot_script / -script [filename.lua]

File containing scripting to execute after machine boot.

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Thanks for the reply. I found an easy workaround fix. In my "electron.ini" for mame in retroarch, I just added the autoboot like so:   

# SCRIPTING OPTIONS
#
autoboot_command          "*tape\nchain""""""\n"
autoboot_delay            0
autoboot_script           
console                   0

Works perfectly. However, this only works for tape games. SOme electron games are floppy disks however, which need a different command. I cannot get these to work. Upon resreaching, I found this: ""*mount 0\n\n\n\n\nch.""""run""""""\n"""""

So I tried: 

#
# SCRIPTING OPTIONS
#
autoboot_command          ""*mount 0\n\n\n\n\nch.""""run""""""\n"""""
autoboot_delay            0
autoboot_script           

I also tried reducing the amount of "" since they semmed a bit off to:

#
# SCRIPTING OPTIONS
#
autoboot_command          "*mount 0\n\n\n\n\nch.""""run""""""\n""""
autoboot_delay            0
autoboot_script  

No matter what I do, I get a "Syntax error" after theis line: nch.""""run""""""     

Edited by SiriusVI

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No prob!

I tried with the few floppy images I have on Electron and put this custom line for floppies; seems to do the work so far (as long at there is a !boot in the disk):

electron -skip_gameinfo -autoboot_command "*cat\n\n\n\n\n\n*run !boot\n" -flop

I put a lot of returns (\n) so that it could have time to load the catalogue and execute the command after that.

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Just tried that, but I get a "no directory" message. Does that mean there is no "!boot" in the disk? 

If I use electron64 instead of electron, the message reads "searching" instead of "no directory".

Edited by SiriusVI

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27 minutes ago, SiriusVI said:

Just tried that, but I get a "no directory" message. Does that mean there is no "!boot" in the disk? 

If I use electron64 instead of electron, the message reads "searching" instead of "no directory".

You should see the content of the disk after the *cat, since it will show the disk's directory.

There's plenty of ways to load disks, that one just worked with the three I tested them on. You had the -flop in the end, right? Since that would put Mame to mount the disk first, otherwise there's no catalog to load.

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Hmm, I don't see the content of the disk after *cat... 

I tried with and without "-flop". I don't think I need that, because I have "flop1" in my commandline in retroarch. I didn't need "-cass" to load cassettes. But anyway, I tried both versions.

Which games have you tested? Maybe I should try your method on those first.

 

EDIT: I just realized that the "*cat" doesn't appear on screen at all. So I thought that maybe I needed to add an autoboot delay. So I added a delay of "2" and now *cat appears on ycreen, but I get a "disc error 50".

Edited by SiriusVI

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Definitely need the delay.

classarc.zip  & crazeeri.zip work.  Both have a .afd file in the zip.

So, if doing it straight from the command line

mame64 electron -autoboot_delay "2" -autoboot_command "*cat\n\n\n\n\n\n*run !boot\n" -flop D:\MAME\software\electron_flop\classarc.zip

or simply add autoboot_delay / _command in the electron.ini file, nice find @kurzih!!

egghead.zip does not work (with this command) and has a file ext (inside the zip) of .ssd

 

 

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