Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A lot has changed since I last downloaded MESS

Cartridge image formats have changed a bit over the years.  MESS went from sharing the V9T9 format (*c.bin, *d.bin, *g.bin) to using a new RPK format (same files with some XML metadata in a zip archive) to a new zip archive format which looks to contain something akin to the gram cracker cartridge images used by PC99.  Going to a single file per cartridge is definitely an improvement, but having two different image formats makes mixing and matching emulators more difficult than it used to be.

I was happy to see that the MBX expansion system is now supported in emulators, I have a few more Milton Bradley games to try out which I've never seen before.

After looking around a bit a seeing what is out there I was a little surprised to see that nobody has really made the entire TI-99/4a emulation process "easy".  I guess it isn't too surprising since those working on emulators are a more technical than your average TI-99/4a user was back when they were new.  I will definitely hunt around a bit more before I do anything about it, but I'd like to see emulation be as easy, or easier, than just turning on the TV, shoving in a cartridge and turning it on.  Seems like a good project to take on in my lack of free time.


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