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But we know that rumours about the next part of this announcement have made lots of arcade fans excited: IGS PGM2 software is showing signs of life. I’m sure at least some of you are wondering how this was achieved. Usual suspects Morten Shearman Kirkegaard and Peter Wilhelmsen (recently featured here in connection to their success in dumping Gaelco protection programs) have built another FPGA-based rig that allowed them to dump the internal programs from the ARM CPUs for Oriental Legend 2 and Knights of Valour 2 New Legend. On top of this, there are some nice performance improvements to MAME’s MPEG audio decoding that should benefit other systems as well.
In computer system emulation, we’ve got a number of graphical fixes for FM Towns, heaps of improvements for the Tatung Einstein, No-Slot Clock support for the Apple //e family, and support for some Brazilian CoCo clones from Prológica and Codimex. There are some big updates to the PC software lists, too. The ACI Destiny Prodigy, Mephisto RISC 1MB and Mephisto RISC II chess computers are now working. Finally, the Interpro drivers have numerous improvements, including preliminary keyboard/video support.
That’s just scratching the surface – there are far more bug fixes, newly dumped system and performance improvements. You can get the source or Windows binaries from the download page.
MAMETesters Bugs Fixed
- 00525: [Speed] (metro.cpp) bangball: When you finish a level, sometimes the game runs like slow-motion. (Angelo Salese)
- 02084: [DIP/Input] (saturn.cpp) sokyugrt: Emulation starts with 1 or more credits inserted. (Angelo Salese)
- 03719: [Graphics] (meritm.cpp) magat5, megat6, megat3, megat4 and clones: “Run21” missing graphics for black-suited cards. (AJR)
- 03804: [ColoPalette] (ssozumo.cpp) ssozumo: Wrong colors in the title screen. (Angelo Salese)
- 03805: [ColoPalette] (lasso.cpp) wwjgtin, photof: Wrong colors. (Angelo Salese)
- 04366: [DIP/Input] (saturn.cpp) shanhigw: The game starts with 2 credits inserted. (Angelo Salese)
- 04651: [Misc.] (gei.cpp) geimulti: Thirteen game ROMs are loaded, only nine are listed in-game and playable. (Osso)
- 05761: [Crash/Freeze] (dwarfd.cpp) All sets in dwarfd.c: [debug] Assert shortly after start. (AJR)
- 06193: [Speed] (shanghai.cpp) shanghai, shangha2 and clones: When playing, the gameplay and sound are very fast. (Angelo Salese)
- 06518: [Graphics] (metro.cpp) blzntrnd: Sprite layer disappears entirely after completing single-player game. (Angelo Salese)
- 06527: [Sound] (taitosj.cpp) elevator: Elevator Action sound balance is incorrect. (hap)
- 06694: [Sound] (midtunit.cpp) mk: Missing music. (hap)
- 06735: [Original Reference] (einstein.cpp) einstei2: Cursor not visible in 80-column B/W screen! (Dirk Best)
- 06736: [Original Reference] (einstein.cpp) einstei2: Character set selection (M004) in 80-column B/W screen! (Dirk Best)
- 06742: [Graphics] (pacland.cpp) pacland and clones: Sprite priority problem in invincible state. (hap)
- 06745: [Crash/Freeze] (marinedt.cpp) marinedt: MAME crashes when starting game. (Angelo Salese)
- 06747: [Media Support] (einstein.cpp) einstein: Formatting on double-density drive fails! (Dirk Best)
- 06749: [Graphics] (toaplan1.cpp) outzonecv: Screen is misaligned 16 pixels to the left. (hap)
- 06754: [ColoPalette] (zx.cpp) ts1000: Timex Sinclair 1000 screen displays black on cyan (should be black on white). (star2root)
- 06755: [Core] (zx.cpp) ts1000: The Timex Sinclair 1000 emulation only has the option of having 2k of RAM. (star2root)
- 06759: [DIP/Input] (seta.cpp) calibr50: Speed difference when rotating player. (AJR)
- 06766: [Sound] (spacefb.cpp) spacefb and clones: DAC sounds not working 100%. (Tafoid)
- 06771: [Compiling] (coco12.cpp) coco3, dragon, etc.: Genie fails to detect nested dependency of coco_t4426 on mc14411. (hap)
- 06772: [Gameplay] (dragon.cpp) Dragon machines run too fast! (hap)
New working machines
- Akai Katana (2010/ 8/13 MASTER VER.) [Bicycle Repairman]
- Pac-Eight [rod_wod, The Dumping Union]
- Player's Edge Plus (PS0239) Jackpot Jewels Slots [Brian Troha]
- The Big Joke (Version 0.00) [Coolmod, The Dumping Union]
New working clones
- '99: The Last War (bootleg) [ShouTime]
- Action Fighter (System 16B, unprotected, analog controls) [David Haywood]
- Action Fighter (unprotected) [David Haywood]
- Action Fighter (unprotected, analog controls) [David Haywood]
- Battlecry (Prototype) [ShouTime, progetto-SNAPS, Patrick Wheeler, Sean Sutton, Surgeville, Paul Vining, Marisol Nuñez Serrano, Rod_Wod, Jeffrey Gray, John Wilke, gamerfan, Smitdogg, The Dumping Union]
- Battlecry (Version C) [ShouTime, progetto-SNAPS, Patrick Wheeler, Sean Sutton, Surgeville, Paul Vining, Marisol Nuñez Serrano, Rod_Wod, Jeffrey Gray, John Wilke, gamerfan, Smitdogg, The Dumping Union]
- Bucky O'Hare (ver AA) [Bill D., The Dumping Union]
- Codimex CD-6809 [Felipe Sanches]
- Grudge Match (V00.90, Italy, location test?) [Vernimark, f205v]
- Gunbird 2 (set 2) [Hyid Choi]
- Head On N [ShouTime, Andrew Welburn, Rob Carr, Paul Vining, InsertMoreCoins, Smitdogg, The Dumping Union]
- Kaypro 10 - 1983 [rfka01]
- Otrona Attaché 8:16 [Al Kossow]
- Prológica CP400 Color II [Felipe Sanches]
- Prológica CP-500 (PVIII REV.3) [Felipe Sanches]
- The 26th Z [ShouTime, Paul Vining, The Dumping Union]
- Thunder Dragon 3 (bootleg of Thunder Dragon 2) [ShouTime]
- Troopy (bootleg of Mr. Kougar) [MikeMcBike]
Machines promoted to working
- ACI Destiny Prodigy [Edström]
- Cromenco MCB-216 [Robbbert]
- Flower (US) [Angelo Salese]
- Mephisto RISC 1MB [CB-Emu, RolandLangfeld, Sandro Ronco]
- Ping Pong King [Angelo Salese]
- Time Attacker [Angelo Salese]
Clones promoted to working
- Cromenco CB-308 [Robbbert]
- Flower (Japan) [Angelo Salese]
- Mephisto RISC II [CB-Emu, RolandLangfeld, Sandro Ronco]
New machines marked as NOT_WORKING
- Add Arbor Ambassador [Robbbert]
- ADDS Viewpoint 122 [Robbbert]
- ADDS Viewpoint 60 [Robbbert]
- Altos II Terminal [Robbbert]
- Ampex Dialogue 80 [Robbbert]
- AT&T 630 MTG [Robbbert]
- C.Itoh CIT-220+ Video Terminal [Robbbert]
- Convergent Mightyframe [Robbbert]
- Data General Dasher D461 [Robbbert]
- DEC VT-240 [Robbbert]
- DISER Lilith [Robbbert]
- Golgo 13: Juusei no Chinkonka (Japan, GLT1 VER.A) [Guru]
- Hazeltine Esprit [Robbbert]
- HP 2100 [Robbbert]
- HP-2622A [Robbbert]
- HP-700/92 [Robbbert]
- InterPro 2000 [Patrick Mackinlay]
- InterPro 2400 [Patrick Mackinlay]
- InterPro 2500 [Patrick Mackinlay]
- InterPro 2700 [Patrick Mackinlay]
- Kaypro 1 [rfka01]
- Kaypro 2/84 [rfka01]
- Kaypro 4x [rfka01]
- LSI M3 [Robbbert]
- Micro-Term 420 [Robbbert]
- Micro-Term 5510 [Robbbert]
- Milwaukee Computers MC-1200 [Robbbert]
- Motorola AMPS Car Phone [Robbbert]
- Motorola Powerstack II [Robbbert]
- Mushiking The King Of Beetles - Mushiking IV / V / VI (World) [Darksoft, f205v, MetalliC, rtw]
- Onyx C5000 [Robbbert]
- Qume QVT-102 [Robbbert]
- Qume QVT-103 [Robbbert]
- Qume QVT-190 [Robbbert]
- Qume QVT-201 [Robbbert]
- Qume QVT-70 [Robbbert]
- Relisys TR175II [Robbbert]
- Solbourne Series 5E Computer Workstation [Robbbert]
- Sony PlayStation 2 [Robbbert]
- Televideo TS-3000 [Robbbert]
- Televideo TVI-912C [Robbbert]
- Televideo TVI-955 [Robbbert]
- Televideo TVI-965 [Robbbert]
- Terco 4490 Mill CNC Control [Edstrom]
- Three Rivers PERQ 1A [Robbbert]
- TRS-80 DT-1 [Robbbert]
- Vectrix VX384 Graphics Processor Terminal [Robbbert]
- Visual 100 [Robbbert]
- Visual 102 [Robbbert]
- Wyse WY-50 [Robbbert]
- Xerox Alto I [Robbbert]
- Zentec Zephyr [Robbbert]
- Ziatech ZT-8802 SBC [Robbbert]
- unknown ACD computer [Robbbert]
- unknown TTI SCSI host adapter [Robbbert]
New clones marked as NOT_WORKING
- Action Fighter (FD1089A 317-unknown, analog controls) [David Haywood]
- Action Fighter (FD1089A 317-unknown) [David Haywood]
- Action Fighter (System 16B, FD1089A 317-unknown, analog controls) [David Haywood]
- Action Fighter (System 16B, FD1089A 317-unknown, set 1) [David Haywood]
- Action Fighter (System 16B, FD1089A 317-unknown, set 2) [David Haywood]
- Commodore PC 40-III [rfka01]
- Compaq Portable III [rfka01]
- Gran Trak 10/Trak 10/Formula K (older) [TTL] [Ed Fries, Tim Giddens, Andy Welburn]
- Hazeltine Esprit III [Robbbert]
- Kaypro 4/84 plus88 [rfka01]
- Kaypro New 2 [rfka01]
- Landing High Japan (Ver 2.02 O) [ShouTime]
- Martial Masters (ver. 102, 101, 101TW) [skate323k137, The Dumping Union]
- Sanyo MBC-28 [rfka01]
- Siemens PCD-2 [rfka01]
- Wyse WY-150 [Robbbert]
- Wyse WY-160 [Robbbert]
- Wyse WY-30+ [Robbbert]
- Wyse WY-55 [Robbbert]
- Wyse WY-60 [Robbbert]
- Wyse WY-85 [Robbbert]
New working software list additions
- archimedes: ALPS - Adventure Language Programming System, APEC Utils Disc v1.3, Archimedes Hard Disc Utilities Disc, Euclid v2.06 [Nigel Barnes]
- bbca_cass: 100 Programs for the BBC Microcomputer [Nigel Barnes]
- bbcb_cass: Fairy Tale, Instant Recall, Starter Word Splits, WestQuest 1847 [Nigel Barnes]
- Acornsoft Demo Disk v1.0, Revs Demo, Superior Software - Demonstration Disc, Tree of Knowledge [Nigel Barnes]
- BeebSID 18 - Club Hits [PitfallJones]
- electron_cart: Starspell, Starspell & Starword, Starspell & View, Stop Press [Nigel Barnes]
- fmtowns_cd: AnotherTOWNS - Anata~ Free Software Collection, Dragon Shock, NHK Jissen Eikaiwa, Okumanchouja II, Oshare Cooking II, Tom Snyder's Puppy Love 2, Toushin Toshi II [r09]
- hp85_rom: Mass storage ROM [F.Ulivi]
- B.A.T. (CGA/EGA/Tandy versions) (Quest & Glory Compilation), Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles: The Coin-Op! [ArcadeShadow]
- La Collection Amstrad PC - Arkanoid / Super Tennis, Oliver & Company [breiztiger]
- 4D Sports Boxing (Euro, Alt), A Line in the Sand, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - Curse of the Azure Bonds (V1.1), Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - Curse of the Azure Bonds (V1.2), Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - Pool of Radiance, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - Pools of Darkness, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons - Secret of the Silver Blades (1.10), Alpine Tram Ride, QNX Demonstration (Apr 17th, 1989), Word 1.15, Word 2.00, Word 5.0 (Swedish), Word 5.5 (3.5", German), Word 5.5 (3.5", Italian), Word 5.5 (5.25"), Word X1.06 (September 7, 1983 beta) [Justin Kerk]
- Ecstatica, Fables & Fiends - The Hand of Fate (German), Heart of China, LucasArts Classic Adventures, Rise of the Dragon [ArcadeShadow]
- WarCraft - Orcs & Humans [breiztiger]
- hal91 0.2.0, HAL91 0.4.5, PC Tools 7.1 (5.25" HD), PC-MOS Version 5.01, PC-MOS/386 Version 1.02, PC-MOS/386 Version 3.00, Photon microGUI Development version 1.10 for QNX 4.2x, Photon microGUI Runtime version 1.10 for QNX 4.2x, PicoBSD 0.41 (Dialup), PicoBSD 0.41 (Dialup) (Polish), PicoBSD 0.41 (ISP-alpha), PicoBSD 0.41 (Network), PicoBSD 0.41 (Network) (Polish), PicoBSD 0.41 (Router), PicoBSD 0.41 (Router) (Polish), PicoBSD 0.43 (Dialup), QNX 4.23, QNX 4.24, QNX 4.25, QNX Demo (Modem v4.00), QNX Demo (Network v400), QNX Demo Floppy (Modem Version V4), QNX Demo Floppy (Network Version V4), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (v1.0), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (v1.0a), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (v1.0a Beta), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (v1.1 - Russian), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (Modem v3.03), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (Network v2.0), QNX Internet Appliance Toolkit Demo (Network v3.03), QNX TCP/IP Runtime version 4.23, Serial Terminal Linux (0.1), Serial Terminal Linux (0.2), Serial Terminal Linux (0.3) [Justin Kerk]
- mtx_rom: MTX NewWord, Hisoft PASCAL [Nigel Barnes]
- px4_cart: Dialtext 4 [Robbbert]
Software list items promoted to working
- bbc_flop_arm: ARM Evaluation System Discs [Nigel Barnes]
- ibm5150: Ikari Warriors (alt) [breiztiger]
New NOT_WORKING software list additions
- dragon_cart: Dragon 32 Soak Test [Nigel Barnes]
- electron_cart: Advanced Plus 3, Advanced Plus 4, Click, Cumana Floppy Disc System, Pegasus 400, Sound Expansion v1, Sound Expansion v3 [Nigel Barnes]
- fmtowns_cd: Suikoden - Tenmei no Chikai [r09]
- ibm5170: 1830 - Railroads & Robber Barons, 5th Fleet, Alfalinux 0.3.1 -Laetitia-, Brutalware Linux 1.1, DLX Linux Demodisk V1.0, Phindows, tomsrtbt (1.7.185), tomsrtbt (2.0.103), Win32s (1.15), Win32s (1.15a), Win32s (1.25), Win32s (1.25a OLE), Win32s (1.30) [Justin Kerk]
- lynx: Alpine Games [anonymous]
- mtx_cart: MTX Node Ring [Nigel Barnes]
- mtx_cass: Demonstration Tape, MTX Draughts [Nigel Barnes]
- px8_cart: Clock, DAKComm, dBase II, Epson BASIC, Geneva Connection, Intext 1.0, Intext 1.1, Othello, Oval IRM, Portable Calc, Portable WordStar, SuperCalc, The Traveling Appointment Manager, The Traveling Expense Manager, The Traveling Time Manager, Turbo Pascal (unofficial ROM), CP/M Utilities [Nigel Barnes]
- vsmile_cart: Disney Cenerentola - I desideri magici di Cenerentola (Ita), Disney Il re leone - La grande avventura di Simba (Ita), Disney La sirenetta - Ariel e la crociera magica (Ita), Disney/Pixar Ratatouille - Le nuove ricette di Remy (Ita), Disney/Pixar Up (UK), Kung Fu Panda - Path of the Panda (UK), Scooby-Doo! - Avventura a Funland (Ita), Zayzoo: An Earth Adventure (UK) [tag2015]
Translations added or modified
- Dutch [Jos van Mourik]
- Greek [BraiNKilleRGR]
- Portuguese [Pedro Simoes]
- Spanish [A. Viloria]
- ygv608.cpp fixes and improvements: [Agiri]
- Fixed rotation and scrolling.
- Added scrolling-by-row (used in NCV1 Xevious Arrangement).
- Fixed scaling effect (used in NCV2 Pacman Arrangement staff roll).
- mice updates – boots into monitor now: [AJR]
- Generate Baud rate through 8155 (clock kludge required).
- Factory settings for DSW7 to configure baud rate, data bits and parity.
- Hooked up Rx and Tx interrupts.
- Split into separate sets for each CPU-specific monitor program.
- i8155: Substantially rewrote timer emulation. [AJR]
- ringking: Fixed misconfigured NMI gate – works again now. [AJR]
- isbc8030: Remove hacky and superfluous UI-configurable Baud clock. [AJR]
- n8080.cpp: Directly set 8035 IRQ line rather than generating fake pulses (restores some sounds in helifire). [AJR]
- Changed 9615 baud configurations to the nominal 9600 baud now that Z80SIO is more tolerant. [AJR]
- Made SDL input less eager to generate double-click events when mouse doesn’t move between clicks. [AJR]
- m68000: Reinstated registration of SR for debug expressions. [AJR]
- mc68901: Improved USART behavior for polled operation. [AJR]
- v9938, v9958: Converted to use RGB32 bitmaps, fixed V9938-onV9938 transparent overlay in meritm.cpp. [AJR]
- Improved wraparound handling for relative inputs. [AJR]
- Attempted to fix PPC DRC scheduling bug (MT06615). [AJR]
- mc68681: Distinguish SCN2681 and MC68681 DUART types. [AJR]
- vt220: Hooked up SCN2681 based on schematics. [AJR]
- stvvdp1.cpp: Fixed line/polyline drawing (Die Hard Arcade wireframe map). [Angelo Salese]
- dec0.cpp: Sly Spy updates: [Angelo Salese]
- Emulated sound protection state machine for Sly Spy and removed ROM patch.
- First pass at emulating Sly Spy RNG device at $31c00d – used extensively for randomisation, especially with bosses.
- marinedt.cpp: Rewrote driver from scratch, fixing multiple issues that persisted in previous implementation. [Angelo Salese]
- Added sea bitmap and flashing when shark appears.
- Improved sprite/tilemap colors – now more accurate to the references.
- Fixed priority – both sprite layers are actually above text tilemap.
- Added player 2 trackball inputs and global coin lockout.
- Streamlined and improved collision detection (still not perfect, so still marked NOT_WORKING).
- flower.cpp: Rewrote driver from scratch, fixing multiple issues that persisted in previous implementation [Angelo Salese]
- Fixed visible area to 288x224 – fixes leftmost columns (inside the big ship).
- Corrected background layer priority (outside and inside the big ship).
- Fixed zoom points for 32x32 sprites.
- gladiatr.cpp: Added preliminary sound emulation and MCU simulation for inputs in Pink Pong King. [Angelo Salese]
- cyclemb.cpp: Added preliminary audio for Cycle Maabou/Sky Destroyer. [Angelo Salese]
- Added/fixed HMC20 and screen raw parameters for multiple drivers. [Angelo Salese]
- bogeyman.cpp, chanbara.cpp, dec0.cpp, dec8.cpp, firetrap.cpp, mystston.cpp, ssozumo.cpp
- mainevt.cpp: Fixed sprite shadows for Devastators. [Angelo Salese]
- chqflag.cpp updates: [Angelo Salese]
- Improved shadow/highlight code – fixes black rain and lights at dawn.
- K051937 sets up a register when background should be dimmed – fixes start/end pouring event colors.
- Fixed dimmed screen condition bug after soft reset.
- amusco.cpp: Improved colors. [Angelo Salese]
- metro.cpp: Added sprite X/Y center point registers , and removed screen check hack. [Angelo Salese]
- Rewrote Imagetek i4100/i4220/i4300 video display processor family, and hooked it up to metro.cpp. [Angelo Salese]
- zx.cpp: Fixed ts1000 display and added extra RAM options. [Barry Nelson]
- attache: Added Attaché 8:16 ROMs, and revision H BIOS; added preliminary communications between Z80 and 8086. [Barry Rodewald]
- fmtowns: Separated palette into a 256-colour palette and two 16-colour palettes for each layer – fixes colours in Abel. [Barry Rodewald]
- r9751: Added more SMIOC commands – disktool is now able to print startup text. [Brandon Munger]
- mrisc: Fixed opening book. [CB-Emu]
- cosmac: Added WAIT/CLEAR input lines. [Curt Coder]
- cdp1852: Added DO read function. [Curt Coder]
- tmc600 updates: [Curt Coder]
- Added Euro bus skeleton, fixed printer handshake, and fixed RAM/ROM region sizes.
- Implemented video according to actual hardware and fixed cursor blink rate.
- Implemented TMC-700 real time clock.
- pgm2 improvements: [David Haywood]
- Fleshed out driver, creating devices for the Atmel ARM AIC and a derived IGS036 CPU.
- Emulated IGS037 video hardware – covers sprites (with zooming), tilemaps (including rowscroll), and the priority system.
- Still marked NOT_WORKING due to missing memory card emulation (requires simulation of undumped MCU).
- mpeg_audio: Use pre-calculated cosine table for DCT decoding – yields significant performance improvement. [David Haywood, Aaron Giles]
- arm7: Fixed BLX (LO) thumb opcode in ARM7/9 – return address was offset by one halfword. [David Haywood]
- dsk_dsk: Don’t segfault on empty tracks – fixes einstein 4game. [Dirk Best]
- deco146: Fully handle sound latch internal to the device. [Dirk Best]
- einstein updates: [Dirk Best]
- Created “Tatung Pipe” bus and converted 80 column device (use -pipe tk02 to use).
- Added cursor rendering, support for alternate character, and save state support set to the 80 column device.
- Removed redundant einstei2 driver.
- Added user port bus interface with support for speech cartridge and mouse.
- Corrected default floppy drive types, and added support for more types.
- Added ADC0844 device, emulated analogue joystick, and fixed minor issues with memory map.
- Marked Einstein 256 ROM dump as bad.
- Added support for the Silicon Disc RAM drive as a pipe device (appears as drive 3).
- Fixed Centronics port – printing now works.
- Hooked up RS232 port.
- Improved interrupts and add WIP Speculator support.
- px4: Fixed keyboard input from cold start. [Dirk Best]
- floppy: Added TEAC FD-30A 3 inch floppy drive. [Dirk Best]
- Added a generic Z80 daisy chain device, for use in drivers with non-Z80 peripherals. [Dirk Best]
- midvunit: Use ADC0844 device. [Dirk Best]
- micro3d updates: [Dirk Best]
- Use ADC0844 device and fixed throttle regression.
- Attached RS232 port to monitor port.
- adc0844: Added support ADC0848 variant and made some adjustments to differential mode. [Dirk Best]
- 74123: Use line handlers for single lines. [Dirk Best]
- wave: Look up speaker count and cassette device relative to owner – fixes cassette speakers inside devices. [Dirk Best]
- headonn: Fixed colors and added DIP switch info. [Dirk Best]
- headon2: Fixed colors and cleaned up. [Dirk Best]
- spacetrk: Marked as imperfect graphics due to missing star field and background gradient. [Dirk Best]
- via6522: Added some interrupt logging. [Edström]
- prodigy: Added clickable layout, making the machine playable; updated keypad logic to use ioport_array. [Edström]
- t4426: Replaced a bad dump caused by corrosion with a new verified dump. [Edström]
- epc: Fixed load order for newer ROM (now gives same error as older ROM), and set EGA as default as it works. [Edström]
- z80scc: Ported improvements from z80sio and cleaned up code. [Edström]
- hp9895: Fixed NMI handling and secondary addressing in PHI chip. [F.Ulivi]
- hp85: Added support for I/O slots and emulation of HP82937 module; added support for internal printer. [F.Ulivi]
- Fixed metadata fro Brazilian CoCo clones, and renamed LZ Color64 ROMs to document labels and PCB locations. [Felipe Sanches]
- Added Codimex CD-6809 FDC (1986) device. [Felipe Sanches]
- trs80dt1 updates: [Frank Palazzolo, Robbbert]
- Fixed keyboard key sense to fix key repeat.
- Switched refresh to 60Hz to match with 60Hz jumper setting.
- Added temporary hack to get the last three columns to display.
- i8275: Added check to avoid potential buffer overflow. [Frank Palazzolo]
- m68000: Added support for 68010/68020/68030 bus error stack frames formats – fixes common CPU type detection routine. [Jean-François DEL NERO]
- Fixed DS128X/DS1288X main frequency divider – output frequency must be fixed to 1Hz. [Jean-François DEL NERO]
- smc91c9x: Implemented SMC91C9X Ethernet controller connected mode with WinPcap or TUN/TAP tunnel. [Jean-François DEL NERO]
- cv1k.cpp: Demoted all sets to imperfect timing, set audio output to mono, and documented DIP switches. [MetalliC]
- ymz77x improvements: [MetalliC]
- Added pan, main volume level, and clip limit control.
- Emulated YMZ774 chip at feature level used by PGM2-platform games.
- SH3/4 DRC: Mark DRC cache dirty on reset. [MetalliC]
- arm7: Handle DP-commands ROR
case where Rs=32/64. [MetalliC]
- arm7: LDLDRM should switch to Thumb mode on ARMv5T. [David Haywood, MetalliC]
- ti99_8: Added Hexbus write timing logic. [Michael Zapf]
- bbcb: Added Computer Village 1797 FDC (LVL Dos) – not working. [Nigel Barnes]
- electron: Added Acorn Plus 1 expansion device, moved cart slots to plus1, and replaced OS ROM with good dump. [Nigel Barnes]
- bbc: Added ARM Evaluation System co-processor device. [Nigel Barnes]
- cfa3000: Added input devices on userport, analogue, and 1MHz bus. [Nigel Barnes]
- bbcm: Allow switching between internal and external tube ports. [Nigel Barnes]
- mtx updates: [Nigel Barnes]
- Fully implemented both ROM- and RAM-based memory maps.
- Added Finnish and Danish keyboard ROMs.
- Implemented ROM extension board and cartridge slot.
- Added support for ROM 2 subpages on ROM extension board.
- Implemented cassette motor control.
- accomm: Added CMOS RAM, serial and econet ports, implemented RAM/ROM switching according to manual, and documented full memory map. [Nigel Barnes]
- interpro updates: [Patrick Mackinlay]
- Added basic support for the system bus variously referred to as SR, SR bus, SRX and CBUS.
- Added initial GT graphics card implementation sufficient to boot the diagnostic monitor in graphics mode.
- Added high-level emulation of the InterPro keyboard with US English layout.
- Added support for InterPro 20x0, 24x0 and 27x0 systems.
- Added support for Ethernet, mouse, and serial DMA.
- Improved timer, interrupt and DMA handling.
- improved comments/documentation
- bt459 improvements: [Patrick Mackinlay]
- Added support for blinking (pixel planes and cursors).
- Fixed dual-cursor and X Window mode.
- Corrected screen output alignment.
- 28fxxx: Added device emulating 28F010 Flash memory and family (not compatible with JEDEC Flash protocol). [Patrick Mackinlay]
- Converted Interpro to use this device.
- clipper: Floating point improvements: [Patrick Mackinlay]
- Switched to softfloat implementation.
- Implemented floating point macro instructions.
- Implemented floating point exceptions and rounding.
- apple2: Added preliminary support for “SSB Apple” speech board. [R. Belmont, Apple II Documentation Project]
- apple2: Added preliminary support for AE TransWarp accelerator card. [R. Belmont, Apple II Documentation Project]
- apple2: Added No-Slot Clock support to //e, //c, and friends. [R. Belmont]
- apple2cp: Improved “MIG” custom chip handling for apple2cp. [mgcaret, R. Belmont]
- apple2cp: Corrected MIG RAM size to 2K (was 0.5K). [mgcaret, R. Belmont]
- apple2c: Fixed Slinky register return when no expansion RAM is present. [R. Belmont, mgcaret]
- ds1315: Added support for DS121x parts where the RTC sits in a ROM’s address space. [R. Belmont]
- arm7: ARM v5TE support improvements: [R. Belmont]
- Added support for high vector option.
- Fixed v5 BLX to save the return address in R14.
- Implemented BLX Rn form.
- Fleshed out ARM946ES model, added movable DTCM and ITCM support.
- nds: De-skeletonized driver: [R. Belmont]
- Added IPCSYNC.
- Added WRAM banking and more mirroring.
- Added timers, interrupt management, partial DMA, and ARM7 halt-until-IRQ.
- ibmpcjr: Added quiksilver fast-boot BIOS. [Robbbert]
- mmagic: Added sound samples. [Robbbert]
- Aristocrat MK5 updates: [Roberto Fresca]
- Redumped the following sets so they have correct checksums and boot: Adonis (BHG1508, US), Boot Scootin' (GHG1012-02, US), Bumble Bugs (CHG0479-03, US), Cash Chameleon (DHG4078-99, US), Enchanted Forest (JHG0415-03, US), Golden Pyramids (AHG1206-99, US), Magic Garden (AHG1211-99, US), Margarita Magic (EHG1559, US, set 1), Party Gras (BHG1284, US), Sweethearts II (PHG0742-02, US), Sweet Liberty Deluxe (AHG1575, US), The Gambler (EHG0916-02, US), Tropical Delight (PHG0625-02, US).
- Added BIOS / USA Set Chip v4.04.08.
- Reformatted the game drivers to be more readable.
- fmtowns: Fixed kanji ROM offset calculation and scrolling in 16-color mode. [r09]
- Kanji in fixed ROM font now displays correctly, making boot messages intelligible.
- Scrolling imperfect but better than before – fixes scrolling/positioning issues in multiple games.
- hcd62121 updates: [Ricardo Barreira]
- Made improvements based on experiments with hardware using a CFX-9850G.
- Fixed mistakes in CL flag calculations, and added more unknown instructions.
- CFX-9850G is now emulated just accurately enough for most of the RUN mode to work well.
- mrisc: Added PROM dumps and removed the ARM boot hack. [RolandLangfeld, Sandro Ronco]
- arm7: Added rudimentary instruction prefetch buffer. Fixes GBA NES Classics games. [Ryan Holtz]
- gba: Made GPIO ports pass ROM through on read by default – fixes Doom 2 and Duke Nukem Advance. [Ryan Holtz]
- e132xs: Reworked all opcodes to reduce runtime branches and unnecessary work – now considerably faster. [Ryan Holtz]
- sm7238: Implemented reverse video, 80/132 column switching, and alternate font. [shattered]
- vt240: Fixed palette and screen size fix. [shattered]
- monty.cpp: Wake Monty Plays Scrabble and Master Monty from HALT instruction using reset. [smf]
- z80: Implemented HALT output and clear HALT condition during reset. [smf]
- c65 updates: [smf]
- Reordered keys and renamed I/O ports to match system specification.
- Added caps key and two extra keyboard columns, although only one of them may have made it into hardware.
- Added support for switching between 40/80 columns with F1 and blink/underline/highlight/reverse attribute.
- Allow switching between upper case/lower case character ROM with shift+Commodore key.
- chdman: Use DeviceIoControl to get disk length – allows chdman to access physical drives on Windows 10. [Ted Green]
- Added 32- and 64-bit population count utilities. [Vas Crabb]
- Moved object finder resolution before device_start (github #2759). [Vas Crabb]
- Added an SDLC consumer device that logs SNA frame headers and data. [Vas Crabb]
- Replaced hacky Kaypro keyboard that bypassed the SIO with emulated Kaypro 10 keyboard. [Vas Crabb, rfka01, TeamEurope]
- kaypro: Switched from z80dart to z80sio, hooked up BRG to SIOs, hooked up direct connections from SIOs to RS232 ports. [Vas Crabb]
- z80sio updates: [Vas Crabb]
- Decoupled from device_serial_interface – it can’t support synchronous modes, on-the-fly register updates, and other features.
- Made asynchronous receive behave more like real device: check that start bit persists for half a bit interval, sample data bits mid-interval, handle invalid stop bit as described in Zilog manual, check parity and latch overrun and parity errors.
- Re-implemented break detection.
- Implemented SDLC transmission including bit stuffing, transmit CRC, abort, and underrun/end-of-message behaviour.
- Generalised synchronous transmission to other modes.
- Completely overhauled interrupt logic – vectors should be correct now.
- Improved handling of transmit and receive buffers and control lines.
- Implemented different auto-reset receive errors in MPSC vs SIO.
- Implemented enough of synchronous reception to pass uts20 loopback tests (not accurate, but helps understanding).
- Disabled automatic CRC transmission in 1-byte sync mode (necessary to pass uts20 loopback tests).
- e132xs: Templated most Hyperstone register-register and immediate opcode handlers to reduce code duplication. [Vas Crabb]
- Also fixed behaviour in some corner cases including privileged register traps and SR as source in subtraction.
- uts20 updates – all self-tests now pass without ROM patches: [Vas Crabb]
- Hacked in permanent loopback on SIO channel A TxD to RxD, and SIO channel B TxD to RxD and WAIT/READY to DCD+RTS.
- Implement parity poison and NMI on parity error feature.
- Corrected NVRAM width to four bits.
- namcops2.cpp: Added dump of Time Crisis 3 V291 I/O board. [Darksoft, Mitsurugi]
- naomi.cpp: Dumped WaveRunnerGP motor board. [Darksoft, Mitsurugi]
- skyskipr: Added DIP switch locations. [einstein95]
- vicdual: Added sound samples for tranqgun and bonus sound sample for depthch. [Jim Hernandez]
- Fixed some typos. [Martin Lindhe]
- pgm2: Dumped IGS036 internal ROMs for Oriental Legend 2 and Knights of Valour 2 New Legend. [Morten Shearman Kirkegaard, Peter Wilhelmsen]
- pntnpuzl: Added 8798 MCU dump. [Reznor007]
- Added Commodore PC 30-III BIOS v2.00 and alternative Ericsson PC BIOS. [rfka01]
- Dumped obj roms for Seibu CATS system. [ShouTime, Bill D., The Dumping Union]
- Redumped Taikyoku Base Ball (previously called Champion Base Ball Part-2 (set 2) and only partially dumped). [ShouTime, progetto-SNAPS, Patrick Wheeler, Sean Sutton, Surgeville, Paul Vining, Marisol Nunez Serrano, Rod_Wod, Jeffrey Gray, John Wilke, gamerfan, Smitdogg, The Dumping Union]
- Identified Lives and Demo Sounds DIP switches for Sky Destroyer. [sjy96525]
- Corrected years for Spikeout: Final Edition, Ehrgeiz, Golgo 13 Kiseki no Dandou and Daytona USA. [sjy96525]
- Fixed failure to boot for Tekken Tag Tournament (World, TEG2/VER.C1, set 2) and Tekken Tag Tournament (US, TEG3/VER.B). [sjy96525]
- Corrected inputs for CPS3 multi-game bootlegs – Street Fighter III games and Red Earth / Warzard require six buttons. [sjy96525]
- namcos10.cpp: Updated documentation. [Guru]
The Warez Scene: How it works
I found this post on revolt(dot)Group back in March 2017, Luckily I had shared this on another site. very educational.
Some of this info may be outdated, but this will give you an idea of the politics of it all. yes, even piracy has politics.The Warez Scene
Press Ctrl+F on your keyboard to quickly find a paragraph you need.
- The Scene
2.1.3. IRC Trading
2.1.4. FXP Boards
22.214.171.124. The Scanner
126.96.36.199. The Hacker
188.8.131.52. The Filler
2.1.5. Top sites
184.108.40.206. The Sites
220.127.116.11. The People
2.2. The Scene System
2.2.2. Credit System
2.2.4. Release Database
2.3. The Scene Rules
2.4. What is a Release?
2.4.1. Release Types
2.4.2. How does an original release look like?
2.5. About Release Groups in General
2.5.1. The Structure of a Release Group
2.6. Scene Art
2.6.1. ASCII art
2.6.2. ANSI art
Ever wonder what made release groups like SKIDROW and RELOADED so popular? It's because they are Scene groups. Scene groups exists for a long time and has a rich history. These type of groups are famous for their high quality and fast releases. However, the warez scene quite often seems to fail to achieve these expectations the last couple of years. The reason for this is the next generation games and group members, who don't always follow the strict scene rules. For more info (source: http://scenegrouplist.com/), read the next interesting paragraphs. Enjoy.
• • • • •
2. The Scene
The scene or the warez scene is the pretty unknown worldwide network where people trade pirated goods, like DVD's, movies, games, applications etc. Warez refers primarily to copyrighted material traded in violation of its copyright license. It does not refer to commercial for-profit software counterfeiting. First warez is released by release groups that are specialized in publishing warez. They copy a DVD or break the security of a game, and will make it available for other people, as a so-called release. When these release groups finish a release it will be uploaded to sites. These sites are very fast private FTP-servers, and the first stadium in the distribution of a release. Eventually, at the end of the distribution, the releases are available for everyone on P2P (torrent).
The speed of this worldwide network is enormous. Within minutes a release can be copied to hundreds of other sites. Within an hour, it's available on thousands of sites and FXP boards. Within a day or two it's available on newsgroups, IRC and in the end, on P2P. It's not all one big happy family. The warez scene consists of certain groups/layers. At the top we have the release groups and the topsites. These groups are the scene core. The other groups officially are not a part of the scene. Though, most people consider them as a part of the scene. Read more about the scene hierarchyin paragraph 2.1.
The Scene isn't just a distribution network, it's far more than that. There are the scene rules which are there to guarantee good quality releases. If not, a release will be nuked. This means it will be marked as bad. Nuked releases are not spread well and the release group will get a bad status. Read paragraph 2.2 to learn more about the how the scene works.
Security is an important issue in the scene. Since their activities are illegal the sceners have to secure themselves, to be safe from the anti-piracy organisations and avoid being caught in a takedown.
2.1. The Warez Scene Hierarchy
The scene is build up in a certain hierarchy. To explain the structure of this, here is a global overview of the piracy food chain. Not all these “layers” are considered as a part of the scene by everyone. The anti piracy organizations and most of the other parties which are not in the scene them self, do consider all these groups to the scene. In fact, the release groups and the people on the top sites hate these other groups. The reason for this is that FXP boards, IRC traders, and mostly peer to peer users bring the scene in danger. The sceners (people from the scene) want to keep the releases for a limited amount of people. Since everyone who knows how to use a computer most likely knows how to use P2P software, everyone is able to download releases. This causes big losses for record labels, movie producers etc, what leads to attention of anti-piracy organizations. On their turn, this brings the sceners in danger, so that's why they disapprove these groups. FXP boards consider themselves in the scene. IRC traders and newsgroups might now even know about the scene, and P2P-users definitely don't know about the scene.
Here is the hierarchy:
o Release groups - Groups of people who release the warez into the scene. Often linked with Site Traders.
o Top sites - Very fast FTP servers with people who trade the releases from the above groups to other (top)sites.
o FXP Boards - People who scan/hack/fill vulnerable computers with warez.
o IRC Trading - Users of IRC who download from "XDCC Bots" or "Fserves".
o Newsgroups - People who download from alt.binaries newsgroups.
o Peer-To-Peer - Users of P2P (peer-to-peer) programs like KaZaA, BitTorrent, uTorrent (etc) who share with each other.
At the bottom of the piracy food chain we have the peer-to-peer users. There seem to be two groups of peer-to-peer users. The first group are kids downloading some music now and then because they can't afford CD's. Second are the older P2P users who use P2P also for downloading games, programs, movies, etc. In the media, peer-to-peer are being labeled as dangerous pirates. They are a lot easier to bust and there are quite some of them who are being sued by the RIAA for thousands of dollars. The level of security is very low, and it's easy to get access to all warez. This is why they endanger the sceners. Most P2P users don't have a clue about what a long way a release has made untill it's available for download. It has been released, spread from topsites to FXP boards, then to IRC/newsgroups and in the end it's available for the mass via peer-to-peer.
A special kind of P2P system is BitTorrent. It uses a central location which coordinates the downloads but it doesn't host any downloads. The download itself consists of several pieces offered by various users. Such a coordinated group is called a torrent. BitTorrent is widely used, although it's rather insecure. The central distribution point is called the tracker. The tracker knows which users already have the file, and which users want to download it. The users who already have the download are called seeders, and the users who are downloading are called leechers. Every user who downloads a certain file, downloads a different part of the file. When the seeder goes offline, they can still download from each other and all complete the file.
Once upon a time when the internet was still young there were special interest groups that shared information and kept in touch by using a bulletin board type system. This system was designed to take advantage of the internet in a way an old bulletin boards couldn't; each location had a machine (news server) that would store all the messages of the newsgroups that were desired by it's users. A short time passed and the users of certain newsgroups thought that this system would be ideal to share files with each other. It's easy to access newsgroups but unless you are familiar with them, navigating and downloading files from the newsgroups takes more effort than P2P. You can download from newsgroups using a newsreader, for example: NewsLeecher and Xnews. There are also pay news servers, these are faster and can hold up the files longer than free news servers. Free news servers can be quite fast, and pay news servers are even faster.
2.1.3. IRC Trading
Not far up from peer-to-peer users we have the people who go to IRC for their warez. In general, these people intend to have a better knowledge about computers and the internet. Warez channels are often run by people who have access to a fair amount of pirated material.
There are generally two types of these channels. These can often feed by people from FXP boards or bad sites. First there are Fserve (user-to-user) channels. They mainly use the mIRC client's File Server function and some scripts to share their warez directly from their hard drives. Second there are XDCC (server-to-user) channels. These are usually run by people who are into FXP boards or in the scene. They have access to new warez. They employ people to hack into computers with fast internet connections and install XDCC servers (usually iroffer) which are used to share out pirated goods. There is a limited amount of people allowed to download a release at once, so when a release is popular you are placed into a waiting line. That way good download speeds will be guaranteed.
2.1.4. FXP Boards
FXP stands for File eXchange Protocol. It isn't an actual protocol, just a method of transfer making use of a vulnerability in FTP. It allows the transfer of files between two FTP servers. Rather than client-to-server, the tranfer becomes server to server. The PXP'er just gives a command to one server to send files to the other server. FXP usually allows very fast transfer speeds although it totally depends on the connection of the servers. Still it's usually faster since the hackers are able to hack very fast servers. The FXP boards layer in the piracy food chain is quite unknown and therefore rather safe. Though the hacker's activities are very illegal, and therefore dangerous. Security is important. The members are usually a lot smarter than IRC-traders/P2P-users and have a greater knowledge about computers and internet.
The boards usually run a vBulletin forum with custom hacks. The boards usually don't work with a credit system. Though the admins do a user cleanup once in a while. The board's members consist of scanners, hackers, and fillers. They each have their own tasks:
18.104.22.168. The Scanner
The Scanner's job is to scan IP ranges where fast internet connection are known to lie (usually universities, company's, etc.) for vulnerable computers. We're talking about brute forcing passwords from programs, or scanning on ports for certain programs which contain a bug. The scanner will often use slow previously hacked computers for his scanning (known as scanstro's), using remote scan programs. Once the scanner has gotten his results, he'll post this at the board. This is where the Hacker comes into play.
22.214.171.124. The Hacker
Hackers are the people who break into computers. There are many easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities. Hackers get in to a computer using an exploit to get in via a program's bug. An exploit is a script which uses the bug to get in the PC. The program/exploit he uses (of course) depends upon the vulnerability the scanner has scanned for. When in, the hacker runs his rootkit (a modified version of Serv-U usually). This rootkit is the server where other people can download from. Most likely he will also install remote administrator software (ussually Radmin), so he can get in to the computer easily. Once the server is installed and working he'll post the admin login data to the FTP server on his FXP board. Depending on the speed of the compromised computer's (in other words a pubstro or stro) internet connection and the hard drive space, it will be used either by a filler or a scanner.
126.96.36.199. The Filler
Now if the pubstro is fast enough and has enough hard drive space, it's the filler's job to get to work filling it with the latest warez. The filler gets his warez from other FTP servers hacked/filled by other people. Fillers sometimes have site access, and FXP releases from there to their pubstro. These people who are in sites and in FXP boards are considered corrupt, and if other sceners find out, they will be scenebanned (banned from all his sites). It is said that it happens quite often. Once he's done FXP'ing his warez, the filler goes back to the board and posts leech logins for one and all to use. Fillers (with site access) all try to post a release the first. It's kinda like a race, who ever wins it get the most credits. The speed of these pubstro's depend on how fast the hacked PC is. Hackers from these FXP boards are rather good, and are able to hack 100 mbit/s.
Pubbing is not so important anymore nowadays. These are the scan/hack/fill methods from the old days when many university and business FTP servers had write access enabled on anonymous FTP-servers. So instead of breaking into a computer, they would just upload their warez and give the IP address to their friends. This was very popular but died out for obvious reasons. It works like this; there is someone who scans for FTP servers with anonymous logins with write-access. Once found a pub would be tagged (a folder with the name "tagged.by." is created). The idea was that if a pub was already "tagged" other pubbers would leave it alone. This apparently worked for a while, with people respecting other people's tags and leaving the pubs alone. But it certainly stopped working in the long run.
A method against retagging is dir locking. This is used in pubbing to stop people which are not allowed to get into the directory of the tagger. There are a couple or dir locking tricks. The first and easiest is to make a maze. When you make a maze you just make a lot directories and other people would never know in what map your stuff is since you would have to try them all out. Second is UNIX tagging. That's about a the magical character, the ÿ (alt+0255) which is an escape character on UNIX machines. When give a directory a name containing that character, the name will be displayed different then when you typed it. The creator can get in by typing in the original name. Last is dir locking on NT systems. More about this and other dir locking here.
2.1.5. Top sites
Next on the list and pretty much at the top or near the top are the site traders. Site trading is basically sending releases from one site to another. Release groups publish their releases on these sites, so they are the first stadium in the distribution of warez. From there on a release will be spread all over the world.
188.8.131.52. The Sites
These sites have very fast internet connections. 10 mbit/s is considered the minimum, 100 mbit/s good, and anything higher pretty damn good. The sites have huge hard disk drives. 200 Gb would probably be the minimum, and they can get up to 5 terabytes. These sites are often hosted at schools, universities, people's work. These sites are referred to as being legit. This means that the owner of the computer knows that they are there and being run, which is the opposite of pubstro's. Fast connections mean a lot to some people. If you have access to a 100 mbit/s line (and are willing to run a warez server there), there are people who would quite happily pay for and have a computer shipped to you just for hosting a site that they will make absolutely no profit from. Commercial use of site access is not something common, most people do it just for fun, not to make money. Standard site software are GlFTPd and DrFTPd. As well as running FTPD, the sites run an eggdrop bot with various scripts installed. The bot will make an announcement on an IRC channel when a directory is made or upload completed. It will also give race information, since just like on FXP boards, the site traders try to send a release as quick as possible to another site. That way he will earn credits. The more credits, the more he can download. The speed between topsites can reach about 15 mbit/s.
184.108.40.206. The People
There are basically three ranks in site trading: siteops, affiliates and racers. Siteops (Site-Operators) are the administrators. There are usually between two and five siteops per site. One is often the supplier of the site, another the person who found the supplier and guided them through the installation of the FTPD. The other will be friends and people involved in the scene. One or more of the siteops will be the nuker. It is his job to nuke any releases that are old or fake. Affiliates are the release groups who post their releases there right after they are finished. Racers are the people who will race releases between sites. Usually they will have access to a number of sites and will FXP a release as soon as they're released. FXP'ing a release will gain credits. The ratio is usually 1:3, so FXP'ing 3 Gb will get them 9 GB credits on the site. The race is to upload the most parts of the release at the fastest speed.
2.2. The Scene System
In the scene hierarchy section (paragraph 2.1) we already explained what a topsite is. Here we'll provide some more detailed information about topsites and their system, and the scene system. Security of course is a very important issue. Topsites are very private. A typical topsite configuration will only allow users to login from a certain host (or IP range), with SSL encryption on all FTP sessions. FTP bouncers are commonly used to hide the topsite's real IP address, and to share network load. Most users will connect through proxy's. That way the sites won't see their real IP-addresses.
All site members are present in the site's IRC channel. These channels are mostly located on private or very secure IRC servers, and you'll need to connect via SSL. Apart from SSL there are more security measures. You cannot just join the channel, you have to invite yourself, by using a command line when you are connected to the site. That way people who are not a member of the site, will not be able to join since it's secured with invite-only or with a channel key (password). The channels are often protected with FiSH. FiSH is a IRC addon which encrypts the messages in a channel. That way people who don't have the proper fish key, won't be able to read the messages. In that IRC channel, the members and site ops can talk to each other. Also there is a site eggdrop bot present, which will make an announcements when a releasegroup publishes a new release on the site, or announces when a members starts to upload a release. Also most sites will have an announce channel. This channel automatically displays the latest releases just after they're prepared. More about that below.
2.2.2. Credit System
The site works with a credit system. Site-ops and commonly affiliated are exempt from this system, they have a free leech account. This credit system works according to a ratio. Most common is 1:3, this means when you upload 3 Gb, you can download (or FXP) 9 Gb. When a member doesn't pass the minimum monthly required amount of upload, he'll automatically be deleted. Credits can be lost by uploading a bad release which gets nuked. Nuke multiplier affects the amount of lost credits.
There are basically three ranks in site trading: siteops, affiliates and racers. Siteops (Site-Operators) are the administrators. There are usually between two and five siteops per site. One is often the supplier of the site, another the person who found the supplier and guided them through the installation of the FTPD. The other will be friends and people involved in the scene. One or more of the siteops will be the nuker. It is his job to nuke any releases that are old or fake. Affiliates are the release groups who post their releases there right after they are finished. Each affiliate has access to a private, hidden directory on the topsite. This directory is used for uploading new releases before they are made available to other users .When a new release has finished uploading on each of the group's sites, a command is executed to simultaneously copy it into a directory accessible by other users, and trigger an announcement in the top site IRC channel. This command is called the PRE-command. "To pre" refers to executing this command. Pre-releases may be also relayed to external pre-announce channels to inform other couriers/site members/users from FXP-boards that a new release is available for racing. The warez scene relies on strict release standards, or rules, which are written and signed by various warez groups. Racers are the people who will race releases between sites. Usually they will have access to a number of sites and will FXP a release as soon as they're released. FXP'ing a release will gain credits. The ratio is usually 1:3, so FXP'ing 3 Gb will get them 9 GB credits on the site. The race is to upload the most parts of the release at the fastest speed.
2.2.4. Release Database
When a group pre's a release, the release will automatically be registered in the pre-database. This is huge database which contains all the releases ever release into the scene. This release databases records release names and their release date & time, although fields vary from database to database. Examples of other common fields include genres, sections, and nuke details. Release databases are maintained to provide release groups with a service for checking existing release titles, to avoid a dupe (duplicate). Also users are able to check whether or not, for example, a game was already released, the release date, the status (nuked or not) and more. Release databases are updated by automatic processes that either recurse selected topsites searching for new releases (spidering), or catch pre-release announcements from site channels.
If a group publishes a release which already has been released by another release group, it's a dupe (duplicate). Then the release will be nuked. This means that it's marked as a bad release. Release groups try to avoid nukes, since this will give them a bad reputation. Except for dupe, releases can be nuked for other reasons too. There are 2 types of nuke:
o Global Nuke:
o Nuked because of the release itself. It is nuked because something is wrong with the release, for example: sound errors, dupe, freezing video, bad rip, etc. If a group will find out there is something wrong, they can request a global nuke.
o Local Nuke:
o Nuked because of the environment. Individual sites will nuke for breaking their rules, for example: no repacks allowed, no games with languages other than English and Dutch, etc. So there is nothing wrong with the release. Because of these releases are nuked locally, they can still be traded on other sites.
2.3. The Scene Rules
The scene rules are the standards in the warez scene for releasing warez. These standards are the minimum requirements for a release. The scene rules are defined by groups of people who have been involved in its activities for several years and have established connections to large groups. These people form a committee, which creates drafts for approval of the large groups. In organized warez distribution, all releases must follow these predefined standards to become accepted material. The standards committee usually cycles several drafts and finally decides which is best suited for the purpose, and then releases the draft for approval. Once the draft has been signed by several bigger groups, it becomes ratified and accepted as the current standard. There are separate standards for each category of releases. The scene rules can be updated anytime, though it is most likely that the rules won't change more than 1 or 2 times a year.
Why these rules? The scene rules may seem a little strict, but they certainly are not there to bother rippers. There are several reasons why these rules exist:
The rules enforce high quality releases only, so no worries about corrupted files, an error or other bad stuff. Because the releases are divided into small parts you don't have to worry about re-downloading the whole release if something goes wrong. You can control that everything has been downloaded correctly by checking against the SFV-file. Hence you will always know whether you've gotten a complete uncorrupt release of what you were downloading. The rules lead to a standardized way of sharing, which the people who download obviously benefit greatly from. You will learn to recognize a good release and be spared the inconvenient trouble/surprise of poorly ripped movies by amateurs. Scene releases always contain all the information about how it's ripped, what the quality is etc. This way you always know what you're downloading. You can find rule sets here.
2.4. What is a Release?
Original releases are rips of movies, programs, games and music, all released by groups specialized in creating these kinds of releases, so called release groups. A release is the full package of a ripped game, movie etc. These releases are all created in a standard way, according to the scene rules. That way the tag (directory name) and the included info file directly give you a lot of information about the release type, the source and so on.
First there is the actual content. Most big releases with the size of a CD or DVD are released as an image, mostly in .ISO or .IMG format. Basically an image is a complete backup of a CD/DVD. They can be burned (Nero, Alcohol 120%) or mounted (Alcohol 120%, Daemon Tools). The content it's often packed into compressed files for easy spreading. Also it contains an info file which will tell the downloader all about what's in the release, how it's created and what the quality is. More about how a release looks like here.
To ensure the quality of a release, there are the scene rules which are set up by the release groups. These scene rules exactly tell how a release should be prepared for the scene. This is the big advantage of scene releases, you'll always get high quality.
2.4.1. Release Types
All those scene releases have to be ordered in a clear system, so it's easy to look something up. Therefore the releases are categorized in the categories below.
The most important categories are:
o TVRip: A rip from a television show
o Movie: Movie in video format
o Apps: Applications
o Games: PC games
o Console Games: Games for consoles
o DVDr: DVDs
o MP3: Music albums/singles/vinyls/livesets/etc
o 0day: 0day refers to software, videos, music, or information released or obtained on the day of public release.
There are even more categories but they are less important. Such as: VHS (A VHS-videotape rip), PSP-movies, XVCD and previous generation console games like PSX (PlayStation 1), DC (Dreamcast games). MDVDr, XXX and Anime sometimes are also defined as a category. In fact it's a movie/DVDr, but since they are a little different from regular movies they are sometimes considered as unique categories. The same goes for MDVDr (Music DVDr) which is different from regular movies but it's still DVDr, and the same story for MViD (Music Video) but then video.
2.4.2. How does an original release look like?
The way a release is build up is in some ways dependent on what section it belongs to. Common, for all releases except music, is that the release (i.e. the game, program, movie etc.) is always archived in a number of RAR-archives. This has been done to facilitate the actual download of the release, and in some cases is also due to tradition.
A release always contains:
o A main directory:
o All the files from a release are placed into 1 directory. The name of this directory is equal to the release name. There are certain rules concerning the release names. This is done so that all necessary information will be included in all releases. Uniformity creates a clear distinction – imagine if all groups would have their own ways of naming releases. This is also done to ensure the release on different kinds of platforms. Some of these can't cope with special letters, as å, ä, ö or blank spaces. To prevent the risk of getting an error only a certain set of symbols are allowed. These are:
o SFV-file (.sfv):
o SFV stands for Simple File Validator and is used to check files if they became corrupt after transfer. It does this by doing a CRC (cyclic redundancy check). After the check it displays which files contain CRC-errors and therefore are corrupt. It's also used on FTP servers/sites to check the progress of downloads or uploads.
o NFO Info-file (.nfo):
o An NFO file is a text file with information about the release. The files are designed by ASCII artists and can be read with Damn NFO Viewer or simply with notepad.
o WinRAR-file (.rar):
o A RAR file is a data compression archive format. The actual content is packed into a RAR-archive. Usually they are split to multiple RAR volumes with a certain size (15 or 50 mb is standard). Scene releases are packed into RAR files, but they are not compressed.
Not all types of releases are created in the same way. There are a lot of resemblances between them, but there are also some differences. Some are essential for that type or release, other things are the way they are because of tradition. Let's have a look at the individual release types:
o The MP3 releases are the only ones which aren't tagged into RAR files. MP3 releases are tagged with _ to replace the spaces, instead of . with most types of releases. Most MP3 releases contain .JPG scans of the front/back/inside covers of the CD. MP3 releases contain MP3 files, and also M3U files. M3U playlist file (.m3u):
o An .m3u file basically is just a text file that lists all MP3 files. If the .m3u file is loaded to a media player, the player plays the list of media files in the order they are listed in the playlist.
o Movies – DVDr – TVRip:
o These releases are all in RAR archives. Most common, they are split into 15 mb RAR files. For DVD5 50 mb is standard, and for DVD9 100mb. These releases (can) contain:
o Sample in a subfolder "Sample":
o This folder contains a sample of the movie. This way it's easy to check the quality of a release. The size of the sample is most of the time the same as the size per RAR, so 50mb if it’s a DVD5.
o JPG Cover in a subfolder "Cover":
o This folder contains the scan(s) of the cover of the source, most common in .JPG format.
o Subtitles in a subfolder "Subs":
o This folder contains the sub(s) of a movie. This is only for DiVX, XviD etc and not for DVD. The subtitle files are text files which can be loaded onto the movie, using programs like BS Player. When a DVD is more than 1 disc, there are sub folders in the main folder: DISC1, DISC2 etc. Same goes for CD: CD1, CD2 etc.
o PC Games – Console Games – Apps:
o Nothing new about this, they contain the .SFV file, .NFO file and are in rar files. Most games and applications are tagged with . and most console games are tagged with a _, but 0day apps are a little different though. Most of them don't contain a .SFV file, but a .DIZ file instead. Also apps and games can contain subfolders like CD1/CD2.
.DIZ file file_id (.diz): o File_id.diz is a plain text file containing a brief content description of the archive in which it is included.
2.5. About Release Groups in General
A releasegroup simply is a group of people which releases warez such as movies, games applications, or music on the internet. IRC is the group's medium to stay in contact with each other. The size of a group varies, some groups have just 5 people, others maybe 20. Mostly the members of the group don't know each other in real life. Trust is a highly important issue. Since the group's activities aren't legal, the team members have to be able to rely on each other. If one member gets caught, the other ones are in big trouble too, so security has high priority. This means that for example they talk on private IRC servers or through a bouncer, and they connect to their sites through proxy's. In the group, every team member has his own task.
2.5.1. The Structure of a Release Group
o Leader: The leader decides the main directions for the group. The leader is not a dictator, he won't decide everything by himself. He also has to keep the group together, and keep the individual members satisfied.
o Supplier: The supplier is the group's source. He often has pre access to the game/movie/etc, but this is not necessary. It's also possible that this is someone who sneaks into the cinema and films the movie. The top groups have pre access. Their supplier might work at a DVD plant, a DVD review magazine, or a DVD rental store. The supplier gives the game/movie/etc to the other team members.
o Cracker: The cracker breaks the security. Not all groups have a cracker. Crackers are required to release games, applications and alike.
o Encoder: The encoder rips and converts the movie so it's suitable for the web. Encoders are just in movies/DVDr groups.
o Packager: The packager packs the release and adds the essential files and information.
o Courier: The courier pre's and spreads the release all over the world via FTP.
This is just a global overview, it's not the same for every group. Music releases for example are often quite simple to create and multiple tasks can be done by 1 person.
2.6. Scene Art
Scene art are digitally produced images. Of course they are not just created by release groups. As a result of the artscene's early affiliations with hacker and software piracy organizations, the digital art is quite attached to the scene. There are two types of art types used for the scene. First here is ASCII art and second there is ANSI art.
2.6.1. ASCII art
ASCII art is an artistic medium that are graphics pieced together from the 95 printable characters defined by ASCII. ASCII art is used in the release group's NFO file. The standard viewer for NFO files is Damn NFO Viewer, but you can also view them with Notepad.
NFO files were first introduced by the release group THG (The Humble Guys) with their release of the PC game Bubble Bobble. This NFO file was a replacement of the more common readme.txt files. Nowadays the NFO file is like a signature of the group, so it's important to have a cool and good-looking nfo. A typical modern day NFO file is elaborate and highly decorated, with usually a large logo at the top with all the release-related information below.
2.6.2. ANSI art
As computer technology developed, monitors were available that could display color. Eventually, text artists began incorporating this new level of flexibility to the existing medium of ASCII art by adding color to their text-based art, or animating their art by manipulating the cursor control codes. Quite simply, this is what is commonly referred to today as ANSI art.
The majority of the early created ANSI art were distributed as coded executables called loaders or intros/cracktro's. A crack intro, also known as a cracktro, loader, or just intro, is a small introduction sequence added to cracked software, designed to inform the user which release group or individual cracker was responsible for removing the software's copy prevention and distributing the crack. Cracking groups would use the intros not just to gain credit for cracking, but to advertise their bulletin boards, greet friends, and to give themselves recognition.
In the event that this wasn't enough reading for you, or for more up to date information on the warez scene, you can go here.(Thanks to @cuddle-buddy for the link)