MythTV Project update – Bad card, Good games!

26 11 2005

I had chalked this weekend to put in some work on the MythTV Project. As of mid-day Saturday, it’s been a mixed bag of results.
I received my replacement MX4000 AGP card from Newegg right as scheduled, and proceeded to install it into my system. The problem happened when I tried to remove the old card which had gotten pretty badly wedged into the slot. I believe I ended up cracking the slot (an AGP card is a ‘double-depth’ card, which means it goes pretty far into the motherboard). I installed the new MX4000 card, and apparently didn’t quite get it in place properly, because after 5 minutes of use, I was getting noise on the screen and corrupted video. No amount of swapping, reseating, fiddling, or whatever has solved the problem, so I’m RMAing the card back to Newegg, and trying a new one. Alas, I’ve had to go back to my old nVidia card in the meantime.
On the good side, I did some more work with MythGame the plugin for MythTV that acts as a front end to XMame, a wonderful arcade emulator. After populating the machine with the ROMS I had (all legally, natch), it took some noodling to get MythGame and XMame to configure properly. I’ve narrowed down a lot of the problems to the fact that the KnoppMyth folks rolled a ‘mid-development’ version of Myth out with their last ISO image, so many things are only half completed. I won’t be able to use the new ROM SQL database stuff yet, but ‘big browsing’ (using just filenames) -is- working.
I also picked up a pair of Thrustmaster (yes, thats really the name) USB joysticks from CompUSA ($9 each. Cmon), and Debian Linux picked them up automatically. I had to tell XMame to use the joystick (putting ‘joytype 1’ in /etc/xmame/xmamerc), as well as some other minor tunings (always run fullscreen, here’s where the rom dir is, etc etc), but after that it’s been working great. I have to decide whether the handheld controllers would be best, or if something like an X-Gaming controller is needed. However, in the time it’s taken to write this article, my friend and my wife and my son are now gathered around said system playing Gauntlet II on the handheld controllers. That may have answered my question for me.
Minor update – Something is amiss in my USB setup. The joysticks have a tendency to disappear off the bus and not reinitialize. A hard reboot seems to fix it, but not exactly an optimal situation. Stay tuned.
“Wizard is about to die!”. Ahhh.

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