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Last updated on Oct-18-2019 Download

PowerPak "GUI"

PowerPak "GUI"
by on (#94248)
Got myself a Powerpak a few days ago. A cool piece of hardware. However, the GUI (well...) I guess it's functional but it's pretty unattractive. Are there ways to modify the look of the PowerPak's so called "GUI" without having to reprogram the cart itself?
Some sort of API would be cool. ;)

by on (#94259)
Unfortunately, most of the GUI is in the firmware, and you'd need to reflash it if you wanted to change anything (even the font!). Thank goodness the mappers are stored on the card instead, since I think that's a little more important. :P

by on (#94280)
Drag wrote:
Unfortunately, most of the GUI is in the firmware, and you'd need to reflash it if you wanted to change anything (even the font!). Thank goodness the mappers are stored on the card instead, since I think that's a little more important. :P

This is not entirely true, a lot of the GUI code is on the CF and is loaded as needed at $400-7FF as modules. The firmware (at $8000-FFFF) contains some often used routines like stuff for reading from CF etc. As far as I can remember it also uses CHR-RAM (at least it would make little sense to have a separate CHR-ROM chip on the cart for the firmware...) so it's definitely possible to write a module to load a different font.

It would, theoretically, be possible to replace the entire GUI just by modifying the files on the CF as well. The firmware always starts by loading a certain module from the CF card, so replace that with a module that loads a new FPGA configuration and the PRG-ROM (really RAM) from the CF (similar to how games are loaded), and you have got a replacement menu. However nothing about this stuff is documented, and personally I don't feel it's worth the trouble. You would pretty much have to rewrite everything.

by on (#94287)
I find the font of the super power pak worse than the font on my power pak, which is okay.

The real problem is the cursor moving so slowly and that goes pixel-by-pixel instead of switching directly to the next line of text like you'd except it to.
Also the cursor is way too close to the edge of the TV and partially hidden on my PAL TV.

Fortunately you can reload the last used ROM with the start button so this makes things easier.

by on (#94298)
Bregalad wrote:
I find the font of the super power pak worse than the font on my power pak, which is okay.

The real problem is the cursor moving so slowly and that goes pixel-by-pixel instead of switching directly to the next line of text like you'd except it to.
Also the cursor is way too close to the edge of the TV and partially hidden on my PAL TV.

Fortunately you can reload the last used ROM with the start button so this makes things easier.


Do you know you can use left/right instead of up/down to move the cursor faster?

by on (#94314)
The "GUI" is plain and simple yes, it would be nice to see something a little fancier. My biggest complaint though is the lists being too high and too close to the side. If it could be brought down a few lines and over would be nice. Centred would be even better.

It is still an excelant piece of hardware none the less.

by on (#94325)
If someone were to go all SMBDis on the menu, I'm sure I could do something to improve its look and feel.

by on (#94326)
I'd like that, I could probably trace out the menu code outside of reading the CF Card as I don't have any experience with that kind of stuff. I'd help. Although I'd need a ROM of the PP because I don't have one.

by on (#94327)
I like the GUI of the old copiers (Super Wildcard for SNES etc.), atleast back in the days. :)
Would be cool(?) to be able to embed some kind of boxart for the ROM's on the CF. Imagine a custom 4K CHR-bank attached with "nametable" for the front coverart, being loaded when you "hover" the pointer over a ROM. :-)

by on (#96002)
Was anyone able to come up with anything?

by on (#96003)
Bunny has the source up on his page...it'd be a pain to mess with unless you rewrote a large part of it. It's not adding the GUI would be hard, it's be simple once you understood the existing program. But, he didn't use jump tables for routines and each routine basically HAS to be in the same spot for each update. Makes it 10x harder to work with it, so I have up the thought of attempting it, especially without a PP to begin with.

by on (#96006)
I mentioned having a go at it in #nesdev more than once. I'm still working on it.

by on (#96016)
3gengames wrote:
Bunny has the source up on his page....


URL?

by on (#96017)
http://nespowerpak.com/powerpaksrc/ has the source code for the loader

by on (#96018)
I know 3gengames meant to post a link but in the meantime here's my guess:
http://www.nespowerpak.com/

oops.. Tepples beat me to it.. :p

by on (#96026)
tepples wrote:
http://nespowerpak.com/powerpaksrc/ has the source code for the loader

Just want to clarify that "loader.asm" is the firmware (ROM on PowerPak), the other single letter files are the 2K modules that are loaded from the CF card.