September 2002

Win an RCA DRC300N
9/30/2002 by K3V

Here's a heads-up for our Canadian readers - and Five Alive have a contest going where you can win an RCA DRC300N DVD player. Here are the details from the site:

Welcome to Five Alive Top 5 on The Score Tonight

Here is your chance to win great prizes and get your name in lights on The Score Tonight. Get your creative juices flowing by watching the Five Alive Top 5 list each night on The Score Tonight Monday to Thursday. Or take a look here. Then, give us your wittiest sports-related top 5 you can muster below. If your entry is deemed worthy of glory by our esteemed panel of sports junkies, your name will be in lights on the Friday edition of The Score Tonight. You will also be the owner of a brand new RCA DRC300N DVD Player! (approximate retail value $349.00) One prize will be awarded every week for eight weeks starting September 23rd as part of the Five Alive Top 5 contest. Keep your entries PG-rated and of course - spelling counts!
Click here to get to the entry form.There is no purchase necessary and the contest opens September 23rd and closes November 8th. Open to residents of Canada, excluding Quebec. Good luck!

DragonShadow Releases Updated Sprite Library
9/24/2002 by K3V

DragonShadow Industries today released an update to the NUON sprite library for the public SDK. It can be downloaded here. Below is the information that was provided from the DragonShadow website:

After some minor bug squashing I'm happy to make the updated sprite library available for download. Grab it here. Copy "libsprite2.a" into your "C:\vmlabs\lib\" directory and "sprite2.h" into "C:\vmlabs\include\nuon\" (substitute your path as appropriate). You will also need to change your makefile to use "-lsprite2" rather than "-lsprite". See the readme file for details on the changes.

You will need to change your call to SPRInit() to include one extra parameter at the end. Simply pass in zero for now. This is the "flags" parameter and is used to enable some new features in the library.

Straight away you should see some speed-up without any changes to your code. The removal of the PACKED attribute allows more efficient C-to-assembly translation. The next easiest way to get a boost is to make the renderers handle the clearing of the screen rather than the C code. To enable this, pass in SPR_FLAG_CLEAR_FAST in the final parameter to SPRInit(). This will only help if you make the library clear the screen for you (the first parameter to SPRDraw() does this).

The next big boost will require some modification of your main loop. The way the original library worked you could not touch any of the sprite structures after calling SPRDraw() or else risk corrupting the sprites being drawn. By turning on SPR_FLAG_DOUBLE_BUFFER you force the library to make a copy of the sprites and pass those to the renderers. You are then free to muck with the originals. This means that your program can execute normally without you having to tip-toe around the sprite structures. If you previously called SPRWait() after SPRDraw() then you will see a big benefit from this option. It basically allows the renderers to run in parallel to your main program.

The last flag is SPR_FLAG_ADD_REVERSE. This is only really useful when you do lots of calls to SPRAddSprite() and SPRRemoveSprite(). This is the case for my Yaroze translation, but isn't the way a good program would be written from scratch.

As always, mail me with questions, problems, or suggestions.

N501 Firmware Archived Locally
9/19/2002 by K3V

It seems as though Samsung has finally pulled the N501 firmware update from it's site, so I've added the text and files from their old page to a new page here on NUON-Dome. You can access it from the Download page or get to it directly here.

Site Update: Codes, Hacks and Glitches
9/13/2002 by K3V

There were a few updates around NUON-Dome today - first up is a few new Merlin Racing codes submitted by marklar that involve the unlocking of bosses for play. Check those out on the Codes page.

Then there were a few updates on the Info page, where links to region code hacks for the Samsung N501 and N2000 have been added. Also a new feature of the site has been added - the DVD Movie Glitches section shows a list of DVDs known to have issues on certain NUON DVD players, along with solutions and workarounds to those problems where applicable.

UPDATE: High Crimes has been reported to have the same FBI Warning Screen lockup as seen in Shallow Hal. The glitches page has the new information added.

Enjoy the updates!

D-Pad Support Added to Breakout
9/13/2002 by K3V

Stephen Anderson has just released the latest build of Breakout which includes D-Pad support now, important to those of you who may not have controllers with Analog sticks. The D-Pad support is also speed configurable.

Other recent additions include and analog controller calibration/configuration screen which allows you to tweak the speed of the paddle when using an analog stick. IR Remote support is the next planned feature for the game, so N505 and DRC300N users can try the game out without the requirement of a NUON controller.

Under consideration for future releases is paddle acceleration (i.e. the longer you hold left, the faster the paddle will move left) MAY be added.

Email Stephen if you are interested in seeing paddle acceleration or any other features added into future releases of Breakout. You can download the latest version from our Breakout page, or from the official site.

NUON emulator 0.1.4 released
9/2/2002 by K3V

Riff has released the latest version of his NUON Emulator - this version now has Chomp and the VM Balls demo running, and can run other libsprite programs (although with some graphics glitches) as long as MPE0 is not used in the rendering chain. Here's the latest on the NUON Emulator from Riff himself:

Zzzz. Getting sleepy. I've just released the latest version of my Nuon emulator and there is no doubt that it is a must-have. Tons of errors have been fixed and features added including interrupts, CommSend routines and VidSync. Of course the most important part of all is that libsprite programs now run in the emulator (with some graphics glitches) as long as MPE0 is not used in the rendering chain. Emulation has now been sped up by a good 250% or more just by allocating the 32 megabytes of local MPE memory on the heap instead of having the memory be statically allocated. Playing off of this speed increase, I have doubled the number of cache entries to 1024 per MPE (which stores a minimum of 2K of Nuon instructions, and a maximum of 16K) and have modified the video display timer to redraw the screen at a full 60 fps (was 30 fps) in order to reduce latency in programs that use VidSync.

I've included custom builds of Chomp and VMBalls4 in the emulator zip file. These are built from the SDK source code files but with slight modifications. The emulator does not yet support the MINIbios. The sprite library uses the MINIbios version of CommRecv if MPE0 is used in the rendering chain. LibNISE may also use MINIbios functions. For this reason, Chomp and VMBalls were modified to use only MPE1 and MPE2 for rendering. All LibNISE calls were also removed. This general workaround is necessary for all programs that use the MINIbios and libsprite.
The latest version of the emulator can be downloaded from it's usual location at