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Archive of entries posted on April 2009

Powerful S60 phones and Maemo tablet coming to markets this year

The new Samsung i8910 is coming to stores at summer.  You can see a review at allaboutsymbian. Samsung i8910 will be S60 5.0 based device with capacitive touch screen and OMAP3 chipset. The OMAP3 chipset is very powerful platform with OpenGL ES 2.0 and ARM cortex processor. It will probably be a lot faster than iphone. Also a new Maemo device with OMAP3 is coming, take a look at Maemo roadmap.

Long waited Nokia N97 is also coming to markets at summer, but there is no information about the CPU inside the phone. Nokia 5630 XM will have 600MHz ARM processor, so that’s also very interesting release. Unfortunately the 5630 has a small screen, so I’m really not eager to buy it. I really hope that the Nokia N97 has better processor than 5800 xpress music, so I could run AntSnes with better performance. The Nokia N97 style full qwerty keypad + OMAP3 platform would be the dream phone for gaming and emulation. The touch screen( even capacitive) isn’t so well suited for emulators, since the player want’s to use more than 1, or 2 (with capasite touch) buttons at same time.

Update: The Nokia N97 will have ARM11 with only 437Mhz clock rate. There is also no sign about Opengl ES accelerated 3D graphics. I think that it should be in the speks close to the processor like it was for example with N95. I’m so disappointed. The N97 will be dissapointment for all gamers. It just doesn’t have the juice that phones should have at year 2009. How long we’ll have to wait for 5th edition device with keyboard, fast processor and 3d acceleration. Now the Samsung’s i8910 looks a lot more appealing. I hope that the prize will go down fast.

Update: Nokia has also announced Nokia E52, which is a S60 3.2 phone with 600MHz ARM11 processor. The E52 will also be quite cheap, around 245 euros in Europe. It’s kind of hard to decide which phone to buy next, when there are cheap and powerfull phones with old S60 3.2 and weaker phones with new S60 5.x wiht homescreen etc.

I think that the new Samsung i8910 could emulate even ps1 pretty well. See what ZodTTD did with Pandora, which is also OMAP3 based device. ZodTTD already ported the psx4all to the iphone, and I think it could probably be ported to Opengl ES 2.0 enabled S60 device, like Samsung i8910. The psx4all would be very interesting project to port, when new phones arrive.

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MinGW Symbian Build Chain

I saw harry Li’s blog post about generic symbian makefile, and I found it very interesting. The makefile seems to be a very good tool for porting software from other platforms into Symbian OS.

The MinGW in also nice build solution, since it doesn’t modifiy existing environment, so it can be used in parallel with old build setup. My version of the generic makefile is using newer GCCP and it supports assembly files and static libraries. This is a nice setup for building asm optimized sources in Symbian environment. If you also want to use newer version of GCCE you should see forum.nokia wiki page about the update process( changes in header files etc).

The MinGW makes it easy to modify the build, so we have a better control of the build process than mystical Symbian OS buildchain. It took less than 10 minutes to add the support for assembler. It’s also very fast to change between two GCCE versions with this.

I made some small modifications for my own purposes. Here are the instructions to use this environment.

  1. install SVG2SVGConvertter. The installation file can be found under EPOCROOT\S60tools\svg2svgt\installer\
  2. The script should be executed from \gms directory. The script also expects to have \dist\gcce and \obj\gcce directories under the gms directory, so you should also make these folders.
  3. The OS_HRH part doesn’t seem to work in the defines.mk. I solved this my replacing the include statement in epoc32\gcce\gcce.h to
    #if defined(__PRODUCT_INCLUDE__)
     #include  //for MinGW
     //#include __PRODUCT_INCLUDE__ //quick hack
     #endif
    

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AntSnes release 0.5 : It’s still silent

AntSnes is taking small steps to improve quality and get the audio working. I really have no idea why the audio isn’t working with current version, but it already has some nice updated, so I decided to make another small step. The 0.5 release is ready :)

The audio isn’t working in 0.5 release ( if you get it working with some phone/configuration please let me know too).  I’m saying that I’m outsourcing the testing of this SW to the users :) I did not get the audio working, so I’m hoping that someone will.

However I made a special 0.4 build for you to hear that you are not missing much. The 0.4_audio version has hard coded audio, so you can listen what the audio should sound like in 0.5 version. As you can probably hear, the audio is really not high priority for current phones.

Whats new:

  • FPS counter (works currently only with direct screen access)
  • User can adjust frame skipping
  • remembers last rom directory

TODO’s for next release

  • Battery saves
  • Fix audio

Installation:

Just download and install

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