SofaRun 8.0 has been released

SofaRun 8.0 has been released

por ro en 06-02-2021, 13:32
Tema: Software
Idiomas:

Nothing better, than to park on the couch and start playing MSX games. That's what Louthrax, inventor of the Sofa-series, must have thought. Sofarun takes care of just that; select and play. Recently version 8.0 has been released by that same gentleman.

Louthrax has designed a whole suite of Sofa-apps (or software, as we liked to called in the old-days), which makes gaming on a retro machine like the MSX, a breeze. Sofarun being one of the family members.

SofaRun is an native MSX tool designed to run disk (.DSK), cassette (.CAS) and cartridge (.ROM) images. Various settings can be set and stored for each game. It can also be used to launch normal MSX-DOS 2 and BASIC programs. It features a joystick controlled file browser, ZIP files support, options to map JoyMega buttons to keyboard and "soft reset", allowing you to play MSX game, lying on your sofa just like a lazy penguin. Or hedgehog.

The latest version of Sofarun, version 8.0, is now available. Here's what's up:

  • Support for "jump to" in file and ZIP browsers. Just press a key and SofaRun will jump automatically to the file starting with that letter. [HOME] and [INS] can also be used to jump to start and end of files respectively. As this feature was not "sofa-compliant" by requiring a keyboard, a new "Jump to" menu entry has been added (with a "virtual keyboard"), allowing you to do the same with a joypad.
  • Improved support of MiSTer. MiSTer MSX is currently not supporting yet the "linear" mappers ROMs. This was a big problem as the other "ESE SCC" mappers that could be used instead were requiring to "forget the last flash rom" everytime, because the MiSTer (and also OCM) "Flash rom" is volatile. The fix here handles correctly that, only the LinearC roms (like Arcomage) can't be launched.
  • Fix in SofaSet to update the display of RTC time (this has been accidentally frozen in previous release).
  • [ESC] key now allows again to exit the splash screen directly to MSX-DOS 2.
  • Corrupted settings files do not cause anymore garbaged display or crash, but are now displayed as "**Invalid**", allowing you to reset them to restore them to the default state.
  • Simplified code to launch external tools.
  • Fix an issue with ASCII 16 mapper support for Carnivore 2 (fixes "Hole In One Special (1987)(Hal)" and maybe some other ASCII 16 games).

If you are a regular user, just a fan, or supporter, why not make use of the donation button on Louthrax's site to show your gratitude? It might encourage future development of this great piece of software.

Meanwhile, let it roll!

Relevant link: Download Sofarun

Comentarios (36)

Por The Apeman

Master (144)

Imagen del The Apeman

06-02-2021, 14:37

I think I have grown completely dependent on this. Awesome.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

06-02-2021, 16:08

Thanks Ro, nice finding (as usual) with the "8" snooker ball Smile

Por ro

Scribe (4451)

Imagen del ro

06-02-2021, 16:58

all credits for pixels go to Hamlet, I'm just a poor word-juggler. Smile

Por Gloriou

Master (204)

Imagen del Gloriou

06-02-2021, 17:21

Louthrax thank you for your usual hardwork Smile

Por albs_br

Champion (317)

Imagen del albs_br

06-02-2021, 22:10

Is there a setting to make the file manager screen 40 columns instead of 80? Thanks.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

06-02-2021, 22:30

Check the SofaRun and default settings (something like “40 columns forced”)

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

07-02-2021, 08:12

The bug that I reported and explained to fix at thread below is not fixed ! Sad
https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/software/sofarun-70-relea...

Another oversight, the version number displayed in the options menu has not been updated.

Por Pippo

Champion (505)

Imagen del Pippo

07-02-2021, 08:13

Very, very cool! Big smile
You are always great, Louthrax! Smile
Thanks really a lot.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 10:49

gdx wrote:

The bug that I reported and explained to fix at thread below is not fixed ! Sad
https://www.msx.org/forum/msx-talk/software/sofarun-70-relea...

Hi GDX,

Yes, it's not. The problem you reported only happens with your version of JoySNES, so I can't test it myself. I had some serious doubts about your fix proposal, because it does not restore the joystick registers to a usable state (do not forget that the game itself can modify them before the "hook" is called). I asked you to check if your fix proposal was working with some specific games in the same thread, but had no reply. I'm willing to investigate this problem, but I'll need some help from your side first (it could also be that this has to be fixed in the JoySNES firmware if we can't restore the registers fast enough).

gdx wrote:

Another oversight, the version number displayed in the options menu has not been updated.

Thanks, this has been fixed!

Por MajorTOM

Master (146)

Imagen del MajorTOM

07-02-2021, 10:59

Thank YOU!! Laurent

You definetelly set the new Standard of MSX retro gamers!!

Please keep deep diving into the Carnivore2 compatibility issues! this is a fabolous piece of hardware but still many ROMs compatibility issues ( Aleste2, Pointless fighter, Strategic Mars, Penguin Wars 2, Higemaru, Mambow2 etc.. etc..)

Best Regards!
:D

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

07-02-2021, 12:35

Louthrax, look MSX technical documentations! As I explained your routine writes in the PSG register once for nothing. That is the problem with all JoySNES of the same version, not just mine. The routine has been tested for years. It works perfectly. The Bios uses the same method. I am 100% sure of what I say. No need to test.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 12:33

Hi MajorTOM,

Thanks Smile About some of the remaining issues:

  • Strategic Mars: set the ROM type to ASCII16.
  • Penguin Kun Wars 2: same thing, set the ROM type to ASCII16.
  • Higemaru: seems that this one has been fixed with SofaRun 8.0, at least it works here.
  • Manbow 2: this one has a special mapper (supported by GR8Net and not by Carnivore 2 maybe). That could be fixed maybe with some patching.
  • Pointless Fighting and Aleste 2 ROM version: both are working here with "Carnivore 2 - Flash". The problems is more likely related to RAM detection routines, the games will need to be patched.

Let me know of your results !

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

07-02-2021, 12:48

gdx wrote:

your routine writes in the PSG register once for nothing

Moreover, it writes a bad value. This doesn't cause a problem with simple controllers but it may be the case with more advanced joystick (like the JoySNES).

Anyway, thank you for the trust. Big smile

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 12:55

gdx wrote:

I am 100% sure of what I say. No need to test.

So you ask me to take hours debugging and don't want to spend a few minutes testing your own fix on your side (and remember, I don't have your JoySNES version here) ? No cooperation from your side, no efforts on my side, sorry Smile

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 12:59

gdx wrote:

Anyway, thank you for the trust. Big smile

You're welcome. The more I read you the more I understand you've been banned from MSX village.

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

07-02-2021, 13:17

Louthrax wrote:

No cooperation from your side, no efforts on my side, sorry Smile

What?! Shocked!
Unbelievable, I debugged SofaRun for you, I give you a corrected routine ready to use and you dare say that? You have nerve! Moreover, I'm not banned from MSX village. So don't talk about things you don't know.

Por hamlet

Scribe (3623)

Imagen del hamlet

07-02-2021, 13:49

Boys!

Por sd_snatcher

Prophet (3453)

Imagen del sd_snatcher

07-02-2021, 14:08

Louthrax, I never get tired of saying this, but SofaRun has become one one of the most important softwares for the MSX, side-by-side with Nextor.

On any MSX meeting I went before the pandemics, I saw the duo Nextor+SofaRun being used everywhere. And it's a very frequent topic on any social App MSX group these days.

Congratulations for this new version. It's an immense amount of work that deserves my deep respect!

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 14:53

Ah, sorry sorry GDX, my apologies for that, communication on forums only does not help Smile

Anyway, let me know if you plan to test your own fix. If it works on your side, I'll test that it works also with the previous firmware on my side. Other option for me is to buy myself a new JoySNES (hopefully with the same firmware as you), and test that myself, but it will take more time !

Edit: GDX, it could be better to exchange by other means than this forum ? You speak French too right ?
Edit2: Aaaargl, the JoySNES is no longer available on ebsoft!

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 14:34

Thanks sd_snatcher and others for the nice words here Smile

The Sofa tools might be a "never ending story"! Compared to other consoles, the ecosphere on MSX is so various and still evolving with new hardware. It's a real challenge to support, maybe not everything, but most of the things that have been created recently, while still fitting in MSXs with only 128KB of RAM, but that's the fun Smile

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

07-02-2021, 15:17

Louthrax wrote:

sorry sorry GDX, my apologies for that, communication on forums only does not help

Thanks, I no longer understood.

Louthrax wrote:

Anyway, let me know if you plan to test your own fix.

I use SofaRun 7 patched since I released it. So I test for almost two months without problem.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 15:51

Louthrax wrote:

I use SofaRun 7 patched since I released it. So I test for almost two months without problem.

You should just have said that first Smile I guess you tried the classics (Metal Gear and Maze of Galious, with patching to use the function keys), and that it worked ? Those had issues with my version of JoySNES without some extra joystick ports setup (the instructions that could be discarded).

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

07-02-2021, 16:36

In fact, in two months, I tested only a few games patched by SofaRom because I thought my patch only worked for the SofaRun interface. I have only tried 2-3 Konami games (16/32kB). I did not think SofaRun and SofaRom were linked to this point. So, we did not understand each other.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 17:28

Wait wait, I checked your code change proposal : this part is related to the browsing in SofaRun, not to the in-games extra keys support right ?

I checked again then the code for browser joystick reading, it indeed has a workaround for Kevin Mount mices (not required for other devices):

JOY2KEY_ucReadJoy:	ld	a,0x0F	; Kevin Mount mices need that to refresh buttons state
	out	(0xA0),a
	ld	a,d
	out	(0xA1),a

	ld	a,0x0F
	out	(0xA0),a
	ld	a,e
	out	(0xA1),a
	
	ld	a,0x0E
	out	(0xA0),a

	in	a,(0xA2)
	or	11000000b
	ld	l,a	
	or	0xF0
	cp	0xF0
	ld	a,l
	ret	nz
	
	or	0x0F
	ret

GDX, can you confirm that the problem is only for game browsing (not in-game / extra buttons) ?

I was assuming from the beginning that the problem was "in-game" (so that for example you can't use the SNES button for "F1" key), as this is the only JoySNES specific code.

The joystick probing is not so simple "in-game", that's why I asked you to test specific games (which sure makes no sense if the bug is only in the browser / SofaRun), and what caused the misunderstanding here.

Also, I checked the entire thread and did not find the original description of the problem (except "my JoySNES does not work")... It was maybe reported in another thread months ago, but anyway...

II'll see if I find way to have both the Kevin Mount mices and the new firmware Joy2SNES working happily. Preference might go to the JoySNES, for compatiblity sake and as I'm maybe the only user to launch Might & Magic without wanting to use keyboard or joystick...

Sorry again GDX for the misunderstanding - I should have asked you to describe your problem more precisely (that's usually the first thing I do, but I was pretty sure the problem was in-game).

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 18:56

gdx wrote:

In fact, in two months, I tested only a few games patched by SofaRom because I thought my patch only worked for the SofaRun interface. I have only tried 2-3 Konami games (16/32kB). I did not think SofaRun and SofaRom were linked to this point. So, we did not understand each other.

Yeah... they are not, see my previous post. We had a real "dialogue de sourds" on that subject, but everything is clear now I guess Smile

BTW: fix has been promoted (support for Kevin Mount mices has been removed, and your fix for the Code key has been added). You can just re-download.

Por Sebbeug

Champion (318)

Imagen del Sebbeug

07-02-2021, 19:41

Nice update !
Jump by pressing a letter into a list of games is so powerful !
Thanks for your work.

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

07-02-2021, 19:50

I was a bit reluctant (not Sofa-compliant, requires keyboard...) and coded that "Jump to key" function only because it was asked several times , but I must say that I'm also using it a lot now that it's available!

Por gdx

Enlighted (4630)

Imagen del gdx

08-02-2021, 02:34

Louthrax wrote:

can you confirm that the problem is only for game browsing (not in-game / extra buttons) ?

Yes, I confirm. I don't know the Kevin Mount mices but it makes sense now.

Por Manuel

Ascended (18082)

Imagen del Manuel

08-02-2021, 08:39

Remaining feature requests (also not sofa compliant): single key "move one dir up" and "change drive". Tongue

Por Pencioner

Scribe (1464)

Imagen del Pencioner

08-02-2021, 11:38

Louthrax wrote:

Manbow 2: this one has a special mapper (supported by GR8Net and not by Carnivore 2 maybe). That could be fixed maybe with some patching.

There exists RCP configuration file (register presets) for Manbow2

P.S. Carnivore has very flexible mapper configuration with special registers (so you can make an configuration profile file with .RCP extension and use together with rom). As an example, recently user wbahnassi created such file to use with Quran rom which has non-standars mapper.

Por MajorTOM

Master (146)

Imagen del MajorTOM

09-02-2021, 18:55

Pencioner wrote:

Carnivore has very flexible mapper configuration with special registers (so you can make an configuration profile file with .RCP extension and use together with rom).

Sometimes even with RCP I have not been able to run the ROM . for example despite a specific RCP file exits to patch the Aleste2.ROM it does not work with my Carnivore2
I have other cases when YES I´ve been able to run the ROM thanks to the specific RCP file ( for example this is the case for Metal Gear 2. ROM)

Por Louthrax

Prophet (2406)

Imagen del Louthrax

09-02-2021, 21:56

For Aleste 2 ROM, it needs a specific "RAM detection patch". This patch has to be created, and is related to your MSX machine.

Metal Gear 2 should work with SofaRun with no patches (and you should be able to save to your SD card). Does it not ?

Por MajorTOM

Master (146)

Imagen del MajorTOM

12-02-2021, 23:30

Ummmmm.... probably I am not using the right MG2.ROM version (as it happened to me with the Aleste2.DSK wrong versión with disk swapping errors)...

Could you please send me the right MG2.ROM and I will test to save to my CF+SD card and let you know the results ..

Thanks Laurent

Por MajorTOM

Master (146)

Imagen del MajorTOM

13-02-2021, 21:08

Files received!
I will make the tests of the C2 + FS-A1 and will share the results soon...
Best Regards!
Big smile

Por MajorTOM

Master (146)

Imagen del MajorTOM

14-02-2021, 20:26

Louthrax wrote:

Hi MajorTOM,

Thanks Smile About some of the remaining issues:

  • Strategic Mars: set the ROM type to ASCII16.
  • Penguin Kun Wars 2: same thing, set the ROM type to ASCII16.
  • Higemaru: seems that this one has been fixed with SofaRun 8.0, at least it works here.
  • Manbow 2: this one has a special mapper (supported by GR8Net and not by Carnivore 2 maybe). That could be fixed maybe with some patching.
  • Pointless Fighting and Aleste 2 ROM version: both are working here with "Carnivore 2 - Flash". The problems is more likely related to RAM detection routines, the games will need to be patched.

Let me know of your results !

Thanks Laurent!!

YES it works now!! I followed your directions changing the AUTODETECT ROM type to ASCII16 in the ROM SetUP menu...
(for some strange reason the Sofarom originally autodected those ROMs as KONAMI SCC type..)

Best Regards!

Crazy

Por suww37

Supporter (2)

Imagen del suww37

26-03-2021, 04:32

Vaxol: Heavily Armed Storming Vehicle (1987) (MSX) not woking for sofarun


Until now, I tried running romload.com for roms that could not be run on sofarun, and if it still did not run, finding and running modified roms ran almost all of them. This rom is abandonment. I've been looking for a dsk version, but it doesn't work as well.

The symptom is a problem that only the arrow keys on the keyboard and the fire keys do not work. The joypad does not work at all.