Public release of LittleFM 0.4

November 9th, 2010

LittleFM 0.5 is out! Click here!

LittleFM 0.5 is out! Click here!

LittleFM 0.5 is out! Click here!

LittleFM 0.4 beta

It’s finally time for the release of LittleFM 0.4, which is an alternative file manager for LSDj that lets you store songs in the flash memory of the cartridge, for increased storage and security. I was going to make it feature complete before releasing, but since I haven’t been making any major improvements to it for months, I thought I’d release this version as it is, for the moment.

Download

Before using LittleFM, please read the description below to understand how i works and what it is and what it isn’t. (Better spend that extra time than do a mistake and lose data because you didn’t realize how LFM works…)

Description

LittleFM is an alternative file manager for LSDj that lets you store 8 “projects” (savs) in flash memory. These can be saved and loaded just like you would save or load a sav file from/to your computer.

In the long run, it’s also supposed to become a full drop-in replacement for LSDj’s own file manager, allowing you to load, save and delete files within a sav. To this end, LittleFM is not yet feature complete. Version 0.4 can only load files, not save or delete them. However, the load function is much faster, slightly more glitch resistant, and warns you when you’re trying to load a file that is corrupted. (Rather than loading forever or crashing as LSDj’s manager might do.)

Installation

LittleFM comes in the form of an IPS patch. To install it, you need a copy of the LSDj 4.0.5 ROM and an IPS patcher. WinIPS seems to work well enough on Windows. If you’re on some other OS, or want to try a different patching software, check out Zophar’s Domain. Simply use the LSDj 4.0.5 ROM as the source file and the IPS patch as the patch. This will output a patched ROM that you can use.

Compatibility

LittleFM can currently only save savs to the flash of cartridges based on the GB Flasher design, such as BleepBloop and SmartBoy cartridges.

This feature does not work on EMS cartridges, either the old blue ones or the newer EMS USB cartidges, because they don’t allow the Gameboy program to write to flash.

Other, more exotic cartridges might or might not work. If you have any other cartridge, or technical information on how to write to the flash of the white Nintendo Power cartridge, please contact me.

However, it’s still fully possible to prepare a ROM image that contains a number of pre-made savs and load those as needed, since that doesn’t require you to write to flash from the Gameboy.

Backing up

  • If you’ve stored songs in flash and want to back them up to your computer, make sure to choose 2048 kB as the size in the transfer program, or your song data won’t be backed up.
  • Clicking erase in the transfer program will (obviously) erase any files saved in flash. Think before you click!

Gameboy functionality

Flash operations

  • Provides backup to flash and increased storage.
  • load/save project loads/saves the FULL sav, including all the files
    files to one of 8 flash banks. However, it will not confirm that
    you’re saving to the right one, so be careful not to ovewrite a
    different project!
  • Flash/load song does not work yet.
  • Clear project: Obvious what it does, eh? ;) (Note: No need to
    manually clear a project before saving.)
  • Load song from flash does not work. Thus, you can’t load an
    individual song from flash yet.

RAM operations

  • Load song does exactly the same thing as the regular LSDj file
    manager, but faster and more securely. If you get an error message,
    there’s a small chance that there’s a bug in the program, but a
    greater chance that the sav is actually corrupt. Report what the error
    said to me and please attach the sav for analysis. (LFM will display
    an error where the regular manager would load forever or do something
    else strange.)
  • Save song. No workie in this version! :(
  • Del song. No workie in this version! :(
  • You also can’t create a new empty song with LFM. Use the regular
    manager for that.

General usage

  • The menu system should be self-explanatory for LSDj users.
  • You can press B at the main menu to exit to LSDj.
  • In LSDj you can also press a Tetris/Zelda style sel+start+B+A to get back to LFM. It works even if LSDj is hung up because of extreme table/vibrato/kit pressure. (Might be safer than turning the power of the Gameboy off.)
  • However keep in mind that this function will not do anything “special” about LSDj’s key handling. In other words it’s fully possible to hit B+A first and accidentally a chain or note. Something to look out for if you’re wondering where that chain went.

Planned features

  • Make LFM a feature complete replacement for LSDj’s file manager.
  • Various usability improvements.
  • Song trading over link cable.
  • Possibly even kit trading over link cable!
  • A “chkdsk” option that lets you verify that your songs are 100% free from corruption.
  • A super-duper patcher that program for computers, that lets you patch any LSDj version with LittleFM as well as do file management better than LSD-manager.

But, in all honesty, programming super-fast “spaghetti” assembly language takes time and effort. If you’ve fallen in love with LittleFM and you want to see the it evolve, you can encourage me by donating a dollar or three so I can keep my caffeine level high at all times. All donations of $2 or higher will be credited here with a name and link of your choice. Or, if you’d feel like it, buy me Flickr Pro. Or just say thanks and reports any bugs you encounter. :)

Donations

February 17, 2010 Herr Professor Peter Lewis Swimm 75 SEK
November 9, 2010 Battle Lava 42 SEK (Meaning of life, yay!)
November 26, 2010 Rei Yano 70 SEK

2 Responses to “Public release of LittleFM 0.4”

  1. TRUE CHIP TILL DEATH • Public release of LittleFM 0.4 says:

    [...] Gameboy Genius » Blog Archive » Public release of LittleFM 0.4. Share [...]

  2. Gameboy Genius » Blog Archive » Gameboy project week 5: LittleFM 0.5 (finally) released says:

    [...] also the previous post about LittleFM 0.4.The same basic precautions apply. Erase all in the Bleepbloop/Smartboy etc type flasher will delete [...]

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