MeGaBiTe1's Blog

Friday, December 31, 2004

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!!!!
May 2005 be full of good fortune, good health, prosperity and of course DS hacking!

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Metroid Model Viewer

mike260 from the gbadev forum has written a program to view the 3D models from the Metroid First Hunt dump.
First you must have the Metroid ROM. Then you should use DarkFader's ndstool (cygwin binary or source code) to extract the files from the ROM. Finally, go nuts with the viewer, checking out all the cool models.

Some Metroid models:
Samus's gun
Morphball
Multiplayer Level
Another multiplayer level

Monday, December 27, 2004

DarkFader at it again!

DarkFader has apparently been able to manipulate Metroid and insert his own text. These are his own words, describing the process:

The ARM7 code was copied from the romdump to the cartridge.
At startup, the same code from the DS cartridge gets loaded to the RAM, but I only changed the execution address.
Since both the flashcard and RAM contains the same code, both relative and absolute addressing works. But the[n] at one point there's an absolute jump, so that I can remove the flashcard again without hanging Metroid.
For more information, check out this thread at gbadev.org




The text reads, "DarkFader rules ! Nintendo DS is a very nice toy :)."
Image Source: http://themodgods.com

Sunday, December 26, 2004

DS ROMs Released

Yesterday, I was told of a website that had ROMs of Mario DS and Metroid First Hunt for download. I downloaded these files, 1 of which was 16 MB and the other almost 9 MB, and although there is no emulator to test them on, they seem a lot more legit. Most likely a dump that was released by DarkFader or other devs. I rather not post a link to the ROMs here, so if you would like them, add a comment with your email address.

UPDATE: Mario DS has been analyzed and proven to be a fake. Not this again.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Different Approach to Homebrewing

On the boards, a new member named ears brought up a possible method of executing your own code on the DS that I found interesting. His plan is very similar to the Mechassault Exploit for XBOX.
FTM is the acronym for the DS game Feel The Magic XY/XX
.

Here is what he said:

Apparently if you insert a GBA cart into the back along side FTM you unlock hidden features.. If some one was to get a unencrypted rom dump, we could see the file structure and how the DS calls up the GBA slot and what file it searches for/executes. Since we can Flash the GBA cart, when we find out what file the ds looks for we could write an expliot and flash the gba cart with it under the same filename that FTM executes for hidden content. Thus the game would execute the File and comprimize the game system, although i have no idea about the abilities of this system i just thought i might post this idea.




Saturday, December 18, 2004

DSLinux on IRC

Just to let everyone know. DSLinux has moved to a new IRC server.You can find us at:
irc.freenode.net #dslinux
It might also be worth it to stop by #dsdev sometimes and learn of other homebrew development. Thanks to Gamma-X for the chan.

Movies and Music on DS

Nintendo has announced that it plans to realease an adapter for the DS that can play MPEG4 and MP3 files. This device will function on both the SP and DS, and will retail for around $50 when released in Japan in mid-February. The "Play-yan", as it is called, runs on the DS like a GBA cartridge and has a slot to insert an SD card.
Too bad there is no actual conncectivity between the device itself and a PC. You will have to purchase a SD reader/writer if you plan to transfer any media files.
For some reason, this product doesn't strike me as new.

Some DS Mods

It's late and I haven't had much time today to seek out any groundbreaking DS news. So I leave you with a couple DS mods to check out.

Using a SP battery with DS
Using a mint box as a cartridge case
Building a USB power cable for the DS

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

DarkFader Making Big Progress

DarkFader has been able to decrypt the encryption on the DS cartridge. Data is transfered from the DS, to the board pictured below, and then to his PC via parallel port. It has been determined that the information on the cartridge is encrypted wih in XOR (learn more here) .
This is a big step towards running your own code on the DS.
DarkFader's DS code


Sunday, December 12, 2004

DSemu Revisited

My stubborness to work with this program seems to have finally paid off a little. It turns out that DSemu has trouble linking to a ROM that is buried in subdirectories. This is one of the factors that caused instant crashes for me and many others. If you move the DSemu folder and whichever ROMs to the C:\ directory it works. Well , maybe it works is stretching it.
The emulator is capable of running the test ROMs that accompany it, but I have not succedded in running a GBA ROM.


DSemu running a test ROM

Summary of the Interview

The interview with ChaosKnight in IRC was very informative. Thanks to everyone who joined in. Here are a couple questions of interest.For the entire log visit this thread

MeGaBiTe1: What do you think about marketing and distributing DSLinux to gaming companies?

Answer:As far as marketting and distributing DSLinux, I feel that it would have to be at a very mature level to be able to distribute it. As far as profit, that is out of the question completely. It would be nice to see a cart though. Although I doubt it would ever come to that level of maturity.

Blanks05: To upload software to your DS, don't you have to have a certain chipset for your wireless router in order to find the DS and then upload software to it? Or are people finding ways to get all chipsets to find the DS? do you think that eventually it will work universally?

Answer: The method they are using now works with (I believe) an Atheros based wireless NIC and a heavily modified version of AirJack. A driver would have to be written for each chipset to enable this functionality. But don't go and buy an Atheros based card just yet.

MeGaBiTe1:What do you think of Hoss's statement about an initial release of DSLinux being out in February?

Answer: I was not in total agreement with everything in the interview with Hoss, and that was one of the things. February may be overly optimistic.

MeGaBiTe1: Do you have any recommendations for the forums? Or maybe how we should devide ourselves to work on different things?

Answer: My only recommendation is for people to educate themselves. Nothing ever happened by waiting for it to happen. So learn some things and start taking an active part. In my opinion, you got Metriod free for a reason... to take it apart.





Saturday, December 11, 2004

ChaosKnight Available for Interview

ChaosKnight, DSlinux's leading hardware developer, will be on our IRC channel (DALnet #dslinux) to answer any questions you might have on his work. I'll be present as well. See ya there at 10:00 PM EST.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Leaked DS ROMs... Fact or Crap?

I'm leaning towards hoax, but hear me out.

I found this 47 MB torrent which claims to be a copy of Sonic DS leaked by Nintendo of Europe. The webpage, which linked to this torrent is not known for it's credibility (Some mishap with stealing DSemu and claiming it as their own). A guy in this forum thread says that the picture of Sonic below is a rip from the ROM. Although that doesn't seem to be the case.
The Sonic from Sonic DS has fingers.....this 3D model doesn't. :P

BlazeHedgehog wrote:

I've heard someone at the Sonic Cult has already admitted to Sonic NDS ROM being hoaxed, from within the Cult itself, even. After scanning through the ROM with a hex editor, it seems that's mostly true. Unless the ROM is either:

#1) Extremely encrypted or
#2) A bad dump or
#3) Extremely compressed

All that's in there is seemingly random data. They did a nice try at trying to simulate a "header" for the game, but the header for the Sonic DS ROM looks nothing like a typical ROM header - again, mostly random data with a few bits of text injected in to it (obvious stuff like copyright info).

And while I'm no genius when it comes to looking at stuff in hex editors, I've looked through NES, Genesis, GBA, N64 and SNES ROMs as a comparison as to how a normal ROM for dumped games looks, and it doesn't appear to match.

I guess since we have no way to test the ROM (no working emulator) we can't get a definitive answer, but right now crap is definitely outweighing fact.

DSLinux Wallpaper by DAn

Here is a very simplistic but cool wallpaper made by DAn. Personally, I like it and use it. I'm not into those wallpapers that are incredibly eye-catchy and annoying. It gets tacky after a while.

1024x768

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

DS Emulator = Waste of my Time

I checked up earlier today on DSemu, a program which hopes to someday be a DS emulator. Imran Nazar, it's author, states:

"Curently, since very little information about the DS is on public release, this is a Gameboy Advance emulator for Windows"

When I initially tried this program out (last week I believe) it did not function at all. I tried it on three different computers and all I got was an immediate crash! Right when you try to run a GBA ROM or even the test ROMs provided.....BOOM!

So, when I visited the project's webpage and noticed this news brief,
"First of all, the emu crashed a heck of a lot on customers' computers. I tracked the problem down to a stray line in the Pause menu option; all good now!"

I was anxious to download. Quickly, I executed the program only to see "dsemu.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close." As a last resort I tried to recompile everything with the included Makefile. Of course, that didn't work either.

So to end my ramble, I think it would be best to let this project mature some before trying to make any use of it.

Picture of Official DS Devkit

While wondering about the forums at Emuboards I came across the picture below, which seems to be an official devkit. The picture comes from the December issue of Edge Magazine.



First Day of Posting!

Welcome to my new blog! I hope to use it to organize information and research from DSLinux.org. I will try to keep this blog very up-to-date, so visit often. If you would like to contact me, email me here or post in the comments: megabite1 [AT] gmail [dot] com.