Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Struggling with Fuse or trying to find an emulator with a specific feature. Ask your questions here.
Hernan
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Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by Hernan » Sat Dec 22, 2018 1:13 pm

Now for Windows and Linux! (besides the usual Mac version)

http://www.retrovirtualmachine.org/
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djnzx48
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by djnzx48 » Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:46 am

Wow, this looks really nice. I'm impressed by the wealth of TV emulation options, and the tape deck is a nice touch too.

For some reason the AY chip is clocked around 5% faster than normal, but otherwise it seems to be quite accurate.
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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:38 am

I’ve been using RVM for a few years now, and by using I mean I’ve kept it on the hard drive and launched it occasionally—Fuse has always been my main emulator after I switched to it from zxsp.

RVM is a neat “me too” attempt. It was great to see another Spectrum emulator on Mac OS, but aside from really, really, and I mean, really great CRT TV effects, it’s a mixed bag at best.

My biggest gripes with RVM (in no particular order):
—no tape acceleration (the warp effect doesn’t count)
—poor keyboard mapping (some settings just don’t stick)
—horrific UI (flashy, but ultimately cumbersome and counterproductive); doesn’t feel like a native Mac OS app
—it’s a CPU hog (mostly due to the various screen emulation effects, I presume)
—virtually non-existent control over peripherals (e.g. the Kempston Joystick interface is always attached)

Version 2.0 brings a couple more issues:
—sound lag (almost as bad as ZesarUX)
—kudos for attempting to emulate the floating bus on the +2A/+3, but it’s way off, and so is useless for development


Good points:

Going back to the CRT TV effects, the new shadow mask effect is brilliant. I’ve been dreaming of something like that for years now. I’d be even more exited if they added a delta dot pattern, which was us it most smaller, lower-resolution TVs, but I guess it’s not feasible on anything other than a Retina display.

Another point to RVM’s advantage, though. It’s the only emulator that does a passable approximation of the ULA snow effect. It’s not very accurate, but it’s there. For the most part, that’s all that’s needed—just an indication that the effect is present. (I’m not aware of any emulator on any platform that can pull it off accurately, although SpecEmu comes pretty close.)

Sorry, can’t comment on the Amstrad emulation (and whatever else was added in v 2.0), because I have little experience with those machines. Also, I couldn’t care less. :)
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

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Ast A. Moore
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by Ast A. Moore » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:49 pm

My apologies, the above assertion about the laggy sound is incorrect. It’s the entire input-output lag that is pretty high.

I wrote a quick program that toggles the color of a single cell on the screen, plays a short click, and awaits for a keypress before it loops.

Visually, I didn’t notice any lag between the color change and the onset of the click. However, I did notice a lag between a keypress and the color change/click, so I decided record the audio of my pressing a key and the click generated by a few different emulators via a microphone. I then measured the delay between each sound. Here are the results for comparison:

1. Fuse 1.5.6: 78 ms
2. RVM 1.1.7: 78 ms
3. SpecEmu 3.1.b160318 (running in Wine): 147 ms
4. ZEsarUX 7.2: 165 ms
5. RVM 2.0b1: 171 ms

Keep in mind that my keypresses were not super consistent, although I tried to press as fast as was feasible.
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Every man should plant a tree, build a house, and write a ZX Spectrum game.

Author of A Yankee in Iraq, a 50 fps shoot-’em-up—the first game to utilize the floating bus on the +2A/+3,
and zasm Z80 Assembler syntax highlighter.

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jcgamestoy
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by jcgamestoy » Sun Dec 23, 2018 10:56 pm

Ast A. Moore wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:49 pm
My apologies, the above assertion about the laggy sound is incorrect. It’s the entire input-output lag that is pretty high.

I wrote a quick program that toggles the color of a single cell on the screen, plays a short click, and awaits for a keypress before it loops.

Visually, I didn’t notice any lag between the color change and the onset of the click. However, I did notice a lag between a keypress and the color change/click, so I decided record the audio of my pressing a key and the click generated by a few different emulators via a microphone. I then measured the delay between each sound. Here are the results for comparison:

1. Fuse 1.5.6: 78 ms
2. RVM 1.1.7: 78 ms
3. SpecEmu 3.1.b160318 (running in Wine): 147 ms
4. ZEsarUX 7.2: 165 ms
5. RVM 2.0b1: 171 ms

Keep in mind that my keypresses were not super consistent, although I tried to press as fast as was feasible.
I'm sorry to hear that and I'm surprised, because the rvm2 lag was supposed to be smaller than the rvm1 lag.

I assume you are testing the macos version. Is it a laptop? with intel graphics? I have a problem with this gpu and is that it consumes cpu directly proportional to the size of the window.

Apparently when using the system memory as video memory, the cpu and the gpu have some kind of contention (memory contention returns in the 21st century). I have tested other programs that use opengl. Maybe with Metal the thing improves

Anyway I find the test you did super interesting. Could you send me the program to do tests? there is supposed to be a lag of about 2 or 3 frames at most but +100ms is an eternity. I will try it on several computers I have and on several operating systems.

As for the floating bus, yes, I have implemented it at the last minute and by request of a tester and still is not accurate at all, do you know any software with which to test it properly?

Thanks for everything
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jcgamestoy
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by jcgamestoy » Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:00 pm

djnzx48 wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:46 am
Wow, this looks really nice. I'm impressed by the wealth of TV emulation options, and the tape deck is a nice touch too.

For some reason the AY chip is clocked around 5% faster than normal, but otherwise it seems to be quite accurate.
:shock:

What game have you noticed this in?. RVM 1/2 works a little faster at exactly 50hz when a ZX128 works at 50.02 or so but this difference should not be noticeable barely in the sound.

Maybe I've messed up something else.
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by AndyC » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:07 am

Excited to finally get to try this out now it's on Windows. Unfortunately I'm visiting the folks right now and the "broadband" is like a very flaky 56k dial up modem and downloads pretty much time out every time. :-( Will definitely give it a go once I'm back in the modern world!
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djnzx48
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by djnzx48 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:32 am

jcgamestoy wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:00 pm
djnzx48 wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:46 am
Wow, this looks really nice. I'm impressed by the wealth of TV emulation options, and the tape deck is a nice touch too.

For some reason the AY chip is clocked around 5% faster than normal, but otherwise it seems to be quite accurate.
:shock:

What game have you noticed this in?. RVM 1/2 works a little faster at exactly 50hz when a ZX128 works at 50.02 or so but this difference should not be noticeable barely in the sound.

Maybe I've messed up something else.
The frame rate seems to be fine. What I mean is the AY on a 128 should be clocked at 1.7734 MHz (according to this page) but here it seems to be a little faster, say 1.85 MHz, making everything about a semitone higher in pitch. This could affect demos such as this one that mix samples and regular tones, but that particular demo requires TR-DOS to run anyway so I can't try it here.

Thanks for a great emulator. I haven't noticed any major lag in the short time I've been testing this. I would love to see proper tape acceleration be available though. ;)
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jcgamestoy
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by jcgamestoy » Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:09 am

djnzx48 wrote:
Mon Dec 24, 2018 12:32 am
jcgamestoy wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:00 pm
djnzx48 wrote:
Sun Dec 23, 2018 8:46 am
Wow, this looks really nice. I'm impressed by the wealth of TV emulation options, and the tape deck is a nice touch too.

For some reason the AY chip is clocked around 5% faster than normal, but otherwise it seems to be quite accurate.
:shock:

What game have you noticed this in?. RVM 1/2 works a little faster at exactly 50hz when a ZX128 works at 50.02 or so but this difference should not be noticeable barely in the sound.

Maybe I've messed up something else.
The frame rate seems to be fine. What I mean is the AY on a 128 should be clocked at 1.7734 MHz (according to this page) but here it seems to be a little faster, say 1.85 MHz, making everything about a semitone higher in pitch. This could affect demos such as this one that mix samples and regular tones, but that particular demo requires TR-DOS to run anyway so I can't try it here.

Thanks for a great emulator. I haven't noticed any major lag in the short time I've been testing this. I would love to see proper tape acceleration be available though. ;)
This demo is supperb!!!! :o :o :o

And yes it works on rvm2.

Steps.. you need to make a ZX-Uno it is compatible with the pentagon timing.

At boot when you see the zxuno logo you need to press break (esc) be fast ;)

You will see a menu to select the rom. the first option is the pentagon.

Drag and drop the trd file in the sd card.

load it through the nmi menu. (pressing the END key).

Enjoy. (By the way i don't notice the pitch difference between rvm and the youtube video, but is late and my ears are tired).

If you want to boot the zxuno always as a pentagon select the pentagon rom as default, when you see the logo after a power on or a hard reset press the EDIT key (TAB in my emulator) you will enter the BIOS and set a lot of things
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djnzx48
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Re: Retro Virtual Machine 2.0 beta 1 released

Post by djnzx48 » Mon Dec 24, 2018 2:23 am

Thanks, I got it working now. (I guess you meant to say to use the HOME key for an NMI?) The Pentagon timings are fine, but the samples are out of tune on a standard 128K, which doesn't happen on other emulators (e.g. Fuse). So it's just the 128 timings that are too fast.
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