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Thread: Dreamcast Hard Drive

                  
   
  1. #1
    Won Hung Lo wraggster's Avatar
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    Default Dreamcast Hard Drive

    I have at home one of those USB hard drives and was wondering if like the recent Axlen project, there could be a way of first connecting to the hard drive using axlens new cable and also if possible using the said drive as a proper hard drive for the dreamcast where we could somehow have a dreamcast virtual memory.

    Is that even remotely possible?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    Not through Axlen's cable.

    But Dan Potter is/was working on a USB project for such things.

    I'm not sure if he's still working on it, as he's bored with the dreamcast right now.

  3. #3
    DCEmu Coder pboese's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    I've given this subject some thought recently. The DC parallel port is not the way to go. Rather, the maple bus would appear better suited. I've spent some time reading the M Bus patent and I believe it could be used to attach a wide variety of mass storage devices. The basic idea is to create a hardware/software interface box that has USB ports on one side and a Maple-Bus (game port) connector on the other end.

    The Maple Bus data transfer speed appears to be around 2 megabits per second.

    I imagine the box could also be setup to allow attaching USB-Ethernet and wireless devices too.

    The basic idea is this:
    Code:
     
    
    |DC game port|<----cable----|Magic Box - 2-4 USB Ports|<------>Jump Drive; Ethernet; Harddrive; ...
    The Magic Box would consist of the Maple Bus interface hardware, CPU/Ram-Flash/IO and an embedded version of FreeBSD or Linux.

    For development I suspect and interface circuit for the Maple Bus and PC could be used.

    It's really a bit more complicated than this, but you get the idea.
    Axlen was here... or was he? Bwahha ha ha ha ha...

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    DCEmu Newbie RockGod's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    wow, something must be going around because I was discussing this very thing the other day with some classmates in college. (no, not the technical part) The idea of a hard drive for the DC is intriguing. I say we've got to try it. who's to say it can't be done. let's show the community the genius behind the coders who accomplish it and the video game world that this is THE machine. Dreamcast: the father of XBOX, PS 2, and the GC. they are all off-shoots of what the dreamcast is and was. especially Microsoft and they know it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    A Dreamcast interfaced to a USB PenDrive, is a very revolutionary idea!

    Then, using a specialized boot disc, to boot the Dreamcast off the pendrive!
    KallistiOS...DOS...SH-Linux...NetBSD...or, whatever!

    Dreamcasters could distribute and run software without any need to burn discs! Such a product would induce more coders to jump on the DC scene, no doubt!
    ;D

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    But what would I do with the spindles of discs I bought to burn the various versions of every emu on DC, /me considers burning bootleg discs and selling them on ebay.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    2 megabits is really slow. Yucky.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    Yes, 2 megabits is limiting. I remember booting my 286 PC from a 360k floppy drive. I wonder how that would compare to booting from a maple-connected device.

  9. #9
    DCEmu Coder pboese's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dreamcast Hard Drive

    [quote author=DreamDogg link=board=hardware;num=1105382064;start=0#7 date=01/21/05 at 23:31:50]Yes, 2 megabits is limiting. I remember booting my 286 PC from a 360k floppy drive. I wonder how that would compare to booting from a maple-connected device.[/quote]

    Yeah, it would pretty much be a toy to tinker with. The speed is not really suitable for a USB harddrive. As an interface for flash devices it might be okay. So the parallel port would be a better choice, though much more difficult to deal with.

    It would be painfully slow I'm sure.
    Axlen was here... or was he? Bwahha ha ha ha ha...

  10. #10

    Default Dreamcast Hard Drive

    Sounds like the Maple bus is the best method for interfacing the Dreamcast to more data.

    With so many competing memory storage formats (USB-Pendrives, SD-Cards, CompactFlash cards, Mini-SD and Memory-Stick cards) on the market now, the possibilities are vast.

    Consdering all of these competing memory storage formats, which type would be the easiest to interface to the Maple Bus ?

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