Wednesday, December 31, 2008

December 31st 2008 - GameCube WiiKey SD Adapter

Broadcast message from user@localhost

Today I got the WiiKey SD Adapter for gamecube, this device allows to connect a SD card to the gamecube memory card port this adapter is used with the SDLoad application to launch DOL executables to the GameCube

The GameCube Linux page has links to DOL files which can be uploaded using the SDLoad+SDAdapter method

I'll edit this post with photos soon

init 0

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30th 2008 - GameCube Broadband Adapter (GC-BBA)

Broadcast message from user@localhost

Today I received a couple of GameCube Broadband Adapters, they are very rare to obtain (and a little too expensive for a 10/100 Mbps ethernet adapter).

One of them is detected in the gamecube but I'm unable to connect with it. The other works fine

There is a DOL-Loading method called PSOLoad, with this method we send a DOL file to a game called Phantasy Star Online which uses the BBA to play online. As far as I know this is the only "online-playable" game for the GameCube

The BBA also serves to rip games, but I'm not focused in that, since I only play one game (Phantasy Star Online, I hope to get it soon ^-^)

init 0

Saturday, November 29, 2008

November 29th 2008 - XenoGC up and running on GameCube

Broadcast message from user@localhost

Today my friend Ricardo soldered the XenoGC chip I bought some days ago.

The chip works great. I have only tested it with a game backup yet, but I intend to use it to boot custom made GNU/Linux miniDVDs

I post below some photos of the chip soldered and the nice lights it has to indicate operation mode.

The guide used to chip soldering

The chip is soldered on cube DVD board, it's final location is here

Red Light = The chip is patching the drive's firmware

Green Light = The chip has done it's job

I'll post some photos later

init 0

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

August 26th, 2008 - I have the GameCube on my hands

echo hi

Today my friend Memo sold me a nice black GameCube in very good conditions, he is also giving me the Metroid Prime disc next tuesday. My objective is to add this console to the cluster after installing a modchip on it to boot gcLinux miniDVD's and I will also buy the GameCube Broadband Adapter (GC-BBA for short) to connect this node to the cluster's network.

As I have seen the GC-BBA is rare in ebay or in other sites, but I'm still geting one in good condition to plug it to the GC and add Network connectivity to it

I believe that's all for this post.

byte[] && EOT

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

August 13th 2008 - This blog is not dead !!!


Whoa, It's been so long since I haven't posted anything on this blog.

As many of you know we just started classes again, during the vacations period I used the PS2 like a normal user (I had a lot of fun playing Resident Evil, Need for Speed and Metal Gear Solid on it) I booted up a couple times in linux and (finally) installed the BlackRhino distribution on it.

The kernel is still being quite (too) old here in BlackRhino, there is no X server leaving the system in console mode, it is no as bad as it sounds (if you got ued to console mode installing gentoo or if you've rescued your system when you accidentally removed the X server lol)

I did some research of running GNU/Linux on other game consoles:
  • Sega DreamCast: Runs its LinuxDC distro
  • Nintendo GameCube: stable release gcLinux
  • Microsoft XBOX: stable releases Xebian, gentooX and some others...
  • Nintendo Wii:
  • Microsoft xbox360: testing releases debian-etch, ubuntu7.04 and 7.10
  • Sony PlayStation 3: Well what can I say about this super computer... it runs Linux (YellowDog,Ubuntu,Debian,Gentoo,...)
I also learned some gimp while making a poster for the project's home page, give me some feedback if you like it or not

After seeing the videos hosted on the free60 project's page I was a little disapointed of knowing the PS2 is not a very good platform to run linux on. In fact I realized of this the time when I saw no updates to the system, leaving it in a 2.2 kernel based system WITH NO USB MASS STORAGE DRIVER, NOR AN ALTERNATE NETWORK DRIVER such as pegasus-II, the drivers may be ported, but as I read in some pages it's too difficult to make a new kernel for the ps2, starting with the cross-compiling part.

Given the fact the PS2 is the only game console which runs a pre 2.6 kernel I deceided to drop its integration into the cluster processing, I'm not dropping the entire support on it, it can be a web server or something else and still be integrated in other parts of the project.

Well, this large post is the synthetized part of what I did related to this project during summer vacations.

byte[] && EOT

Thursday, May 22, 2008

May 22nd 2008 - PS2 showcase

echo hi

Today we had the PS2 Linux showcase on the networking lab
I was carring the chubby PlayStation 2 together with my 5 inch B/W TV which I used as a monitor because the console has a non standard VGA output called SyncOnGreen (SoG) which is not recognized by many of the monitors.

I introduced myself and I begun to set up the environment (put cables, connect devices together and power everything up), after powering up the devices I almost forgot to put a little fun into the presentation with two litthe penguins, one is a PenPen figure (from the Evangelion Series) and the other was some other penguin I found in a store some day xD.

I booted up the PS2 Linux System from the Memory Card and since there is no xinit script the system started into the expected state (console mode) I made my custom scripts to show the different window managers prestent in this distribution. Basically the scripts just write some string into a file (using echo and output redirection to a file, nothing special, basic stuff actually) and with the xsession file we may call startx and the selected window manager is loaded.

After this scripting and loading proceess I showed the (very old) gnome desktop environment, executed a little few programs (gnome-terminal, gimp, mozilla and gedit) Then I realized the system uses GTK1 (the system is old xD) I havent seen that square-shaped menus since the time I read some Fedora installation handbook back in highschool.

After the presentation of the programs I wrote a program in C, the most basic program (hello world) to test the gcc compiler, it worked as expected. after this my friend Luis asked me if the system had python console, since I don't code in that language (at least not yet) I wasn't aware if that module was present, then I told him to give it a try.

He tried it and yes there was a python console, he also wrote a program and runned it.

What follows from here?... Well the next thing to do apart from keep resarching is getting the other nodes for the system and plenty +/-R media in case +/-RW media doesn't work with the console drives.

I want to thank my networking lab teacher Tania Arteaga for giving me the chance to show the work I've done, I also want to thank Luis for the photos he took of the showcase and to everyone who attended the event.

(this is the top of the iceberg, it might not be an impressive ammount of work since it was basically a installation of the system, but there are more things to come).

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

May 6th 2008 - PS2 showcase announce

echo hi

Today I agreed with my network lab teacher to bring the PlayStation 2 two weeks from now to the lab for a Linux system demo. The date time are as follows:

Thursday May 22nd 2008 11:00 AM (GMT-6).
Laboratorio de redes y seguridad
Edificio de posgrado. Facultad de IngenierĂ­a CU
Primer piso edificio de posgrado frente a Unica

Everyone is invited to assist to the live demo of the PS2 Linux

Hope I can get the system configured to that time in order to run Gnome as the default window manager instead of the default WM.

I also want to configure and compile a couple of things like C/C++ and OpenGL programs (glxgears would be nice). To show that even if the kernel is old (kernel v2.2) and there isn't quite much memory space (32MB total system RAM) the ps2Linux embedded system can do many things

While I "play" and prepare the PS2 for the showcase here are a couple of related links

lol both have http://something/ps2linux/

Hope everyone can be there

byte[] & EOT

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20th 2008 - PlayStation 2 Linux Up and Running

System.out.println("hi") ;

After the successful installation of PlayStation2 Linux another nice set of photos comes when the PS2 boots up Linux

Boot the PlayStation without disc, just with the MemoryCard inserted

And then it appears our very good friend Tux

This MemoryCard save file has the kernel itself and the initrd ready to be loaded from the RTE disc

Details screen

File copy/delete menu

Then I inserted the RTE (DISC1) into the PlayStation disc tray, and then the usual load screen came up

(be sure to press and hold Select+R1 to boot the RTE disc into NTSC mode, otherwise it will boot in VGA mode)

Then highlight the "Boot" icon

After it appears the kernel, initrd and root device settings
(stored on MemoryCard)




Linux DISC

I selected MemoryCard to load the kernel and initrd with the default options using as root device /dev/hda1

After selection the kernel and initrd are loaded into memory

The busy box stuff when loading modules and detecting hardware

(ugly screenshot. I know, but it's the only one I have)

Here we can see the so expected message "Welcome to PS2 Linux"

(Another bad screenshot, but that screens came so fast I could only take that picture of them)

Checking root device (/dev/hda1) ounting filesystems and bringing up network interfaces

PlayStation 2 Linux login prompt

(Bad screenshot because of the window light)

Login as root and doing the classic uname -a to see the kernel version, hostname and machine architecture

It can be seen that PlayStation 2 has a mips processor

After doing startx without parameters I realized it goes into VGA mode with no params.
So I had to reboot the bad way (power unplug) and reboot to start the X server into NTSC mode

(to view it on my TV since any of my VGA monitors support SyncOnGreen)

X starts with the WindowMaker window manager ( I want to change this since I preffer gnome)

After fooling around with the WindowMaker and with the system, I shut down the PS2

And the PS2 behave more like a PC than a game console

Well this firs boot was nice since I waited so long to see it and handle a game console like the PS2 with a GNU/Linux operating system.

This is not the end, but the beginning of a long jounrey of installing and configuring GNU Linux in several consoles (DreamCast, GameCube, X-Box and even a PlayStation 3 if my budget allows me to)

Thanks for reading and wait for the next post.

April 20th 2008 - PlayStation 2 Linux FINALLY installed


So this weekend I came up with the idea...
The dell usb keyboard is a usb 1.0 device and the ps2 linux driver is for usb 1.0 devices, so there is most likely the problem is not there.

So I decided to take a look to my server

I have several hard disks on it (yes the 4th hard disk is a 400MB HDD)

I'm currently using a 30GB Quantum HDD. So I deceided to change the HDD for a 20GB Seagate

Big was my surprise when the ps2 linux loaded faster with seagate hdd, and DOUBLE CHARS GONE AWAY !!!

but the seagate hdd had some data on it (nothing important, only MY WHOLE SERVER INSTALATION lol)

first back up the Seagate HDD

it was around 3 or 4 AM and one pf my 3 cats was sleeping at the chair

I backed up the seagate hdd into the quantum hdd with
# dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdc bs=64M

And it took a couple hours to finish ( I sleep during that time )

After the backup and the suprise I tried all the steps for installation
(I show the images 'cause some minor settings changed in this installation)

installation type screen

disk druid partition layout for /dev/hda (seagate)

Partition format screen

(please do not check for bad blocks 'cause it took HOURS to finish)

I mean it. It even warned about taking several hours to complete bad block check

After the extensive bad block check (and several hours of dreams) I resumed the installation

Hostname: PlayStation2

Network configuration: Use BOOTP/DHCP

Time Zone Selection: ETC/GMT-6

root password FINALLY typed EQUAL passwords xD

Add user

User list

Autentication configuration

[*] Use Shadow passwords
[*] Enable MD5 passwords
[ ] Enable NIS // By the time i don't have NIS server

Reading package information

Package group selection

[*] Everything //xD

X probe ressults

Nice, I have the PlayStation 2 GS video card for X server

Memory card (PS2) for PS2 Linux start up

swap space activation screen

Installation log location

Formatting filesystem

alt+F5 and we have the format log

Package installation progress screen

During the package installation time I took a couple nice pics of the ps2
(I had homework, but this was mmm a little bit more attractive ...xD)

Nice pic blue plus green lights

Perspective ps2 console logo and linux box

And after almost an hour the 660 package installation finished

lol I catched this picture in some anaconda screen change

(btw anaconda is the installer program)

Performing Ppost install configuration

The installation took about 1.6 GB of the 10GB partition, so I have plenty space to work with

Insert PS2 MemoryCard to create start up configurations on it

Creating initrd and kernel image in memory card
(and applying PS2 memory card format to make them appear as a game save in PS2 Browser)

alt+F4 = kernel messages screen

And after one month of having ordered the kit and about 18 days of having it on my hands the installation was COMPLETED

Installation complete screen

Installation completed at 20 / April / 2008 3:31:39 PM GMT-6

Well that's all in this post (after 36 screenshots)
The next post will have the first run screenshots

Thanks again to everyone for they support. Specially to Tonejita, 'cause nothing of this could ever be done without her kind support and her endless trust in my dreams...