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Full Version: nkeynes, the author of lxdream
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Hi nathan! this is emunewz.net. First of all, congratulations for lxdream which imho has a really special touch as an emu project.

Second of all, the penguine logo kicks a$$. It's not that shiny but it does make an impact Tongue And off course the linux all the way philosophy and the properly maintained site/source/forum makes lxdream emu one of my personal favorites. I've been following lxdream for quite some time now and I really have some questions that I believe many other observers of the project have as well.

So here goes.

Are you working alone on the project? I mean I think I saw somewhere on the site something "us" or "we" I'm not sure.. Off course I don't think that you never ask for help by any1, officially how many people are on the project.


There's been a couple of people who have contributed code, especially Wahrhaft who's done a lot of work to support GUI-less environments, but mostly it's been just me so far. I would like to build up a broader development community around lxdream, but it's been difficult to find people who both have the skills and are interested in working on it.

How old is this dream and what does that "lx" on the front mean? oh wait.. I think I just got it! linux?Big Grin

If I recall correctly, I first started looking into it sometime in 2004, and the earliest code would have been late '04 or early '05. At the time no one appeared to be (publicly) working on Dreamcast emulation, and there weren't many open source emulators in general (which still surprises me to this day). There had also been a lot of work done on dynamic binary translation in recent years that hadn't made it into production emulators, so it looked like there might be an opportunity to advance the state of practice there.

Originally the emulator was titled 'DreamOn', but since that was taken by the time of the first release in mid '06, it became 'lxdream' for (as you've guessed) linux.

Did you work on other emu related projects before or side ways with lxdream?

I've worked on binary-translation systems professionally, (not gaming related), but lxdream is the first full-system emulator I've been involved with.

Do you plan on having a windows port for lxdream? And if so, is the source in a good shape for win porting? My point is whether lxdream is too linux committed or not.

I don't have any plans to do a windows port myself, but if anyone else thinks it's worth doing, I'll certainly accept patches for it. I don't expect it would be particularly difficult - I've built it successfully under cygwin in the past - so it's mostly just a matter of adding native support where needed.

This could be the most stupid question but I can't get it out of my head and it was the first thing that struck me when I came accross lxdream in the first place. When lxdream gets polished enough and runs like hell, can I make a bootcd/bootusb that loads live linux and converts my pc into a dreamcast? I mean how cool could that be? (don't shoot me please)

Unfortunately as far as I am aware there's no way to get a PC CD/DVD drive to read GD discs (except perhaps by hacking your drive's firmware), so that would tend to limit the uses of such a thing, but otherwise I don't think there's anything stopping you from doing that from a technical pov.

lxdream has a very good status in terms of com games compatibility, sound, speed. Although you have not yet given the version 1.x.x yet. So how close is lxdream getting to version 1.x.x?


It does? That's news to me ^_^.

In any case, it will be 1.0 when all of the hardware is fully emulated, preferably at full speed. There's still quite a few pieces missing at the moment, some fairly substantial - they just aren't necessarily used by every application/game out there. At a very rough guess I'd expect it to be at least one to two years before we reach that point.

I can't compare lxdream to other dc emulators since I think there is not emu for dc for mac and linux, is there? (and 64bit support as well) So could you compare lxdream to lets say demul and nulldc, in any possible way. (I leave out chankast since it is
the first bang and nothing compares to big emu bangs)


I believe Makaron and nullDC have better audio support at the moment (I know nothing about demul) - otherwise they are generally fairly similar in term of capabilities, at least to my knowledge. I agree that portability is definitely an advantage for lxdream, and of course there's also the fact that it's the only one that's open source.

Do you enjoy working on lxdream? This is not another stupid question. Let me explain. You can't work on an emulator and hate it. You would have stopped long before of that. But judging by the release frequency of lxdream, things kind of slowed down a bit. Don't get me wrong Im just poking here. Did this dream become a nightmare for the developer?


Of course, as you say I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't. The unfortunate reality though is that I simply have far less free time these days than I did even a couple of years ago, so I have to fit coding time in where I can. So of course, if there's any programmers out there who'd like to join in and help move things along a bit faster... that'd be awesome too ^_^.

Dc was a console that lived fast and died young. Emulation for dc had some ups and downs too, I remember about icarus and all the fuss back then. What are your goals and plans for lxdream?

As I said above there's still much that needs to be done in terms of both completeness and performance. Myself, I'm particularly interested in experimenting with more complex translator techniques (e.g. hotspot optimization, trace compilation), and both the audio and video subsystems still need quite a bit of work.

I'm also interested in generalizing the framework to be usable for general-purpose emulation + virtualization (a lot of the code nowadays is not at all DC specific), but that's probably a bit further down the track.

Thank you nathan! emunewz.net wishes you the best for your emu project as much as your real life Smile

Thanks for the kind words Smile




Visit lxdream official site for news and releases at www.lxdream.org
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