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Gameboy Color Boot ROM Dumped After 10 Years

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the what's-a-decade-among-friends dept.

Emulation (Games) 124

An anonymous reader writes "Costis was able to dump the elusive boot ROM from the Gameboy Color by using various voltage and clock glitching tricks. The boot ROM is what initializes the Gameboy hardware, displays the 'GAMEBOY' logo and animation, and makes the trademarked 'cling!' sound effect. Even decapping the CPU had failed previously, but now the boot image and specifics on how it was dumped (along with many photos) are available for download."

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would it run... (4, Funny)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577449)

...win 7.
because otherwise this is a puny attempt at resurrecting obsolete tech.

Re:would it run... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577659)

...win 7.
because otherwise this is a puny attempt at resurrecting obsolete tech.

Eh.... Isn't that the same thing that Windows 7 all about? Resurrecting obsolete (Win XP) and utterly useless and annoying (Win Vista) tech?

Re:would it run... (1)

DuoDreamer (1229170) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580971)

There is a mod that can allow a GB access to an IDE device such as a hard drive, so technically, yes, it could run Win 7 in a super-slow-as-fuck emulation. For those of you who actually would like to KNOW what the boot ROM does, there is a link ON THE PAGE to a work-in-progress commented disassembly of the entire ROM, as has been previously been done with the GameBoy Mono and Super GameBoy.

Cool (5, Interesting)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577465)

I really love reading about the lengths enthusiasts go to when trying to do this kind of thing. For some reason I had assumed that this had been done already since there is already emulation for gameboy color, right? Can someone explain the significance of this development?

Re:Cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577467)

I fucked your dead great grandmother while taking a dump on a gameboy color.

Re:Cool (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577511)

I fucked your dead great grandmother while taking a dump on a gameboy color.

This says way more about you than about a game boy colour!

Re:Cool (3, Funny)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577621)

I fucked your dead great grandmother while taking a dump on a gameboy color.

This says way more about you than about a game boy colour!

Well, it does allow to infer that the Gameboy colour is now brown.

Re:Cool (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29578575)

Wait, I thought this about the GBC, not the Zune?

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29580065)

I fucked your dead great grandmother while taking a dump on a gameboy color.

This says way more about you than about a game boy colour!

Well, it does allow to infer that the Gameboy colour is now brown.

Perhaps the GGP was a bird.

Re:Cool (0, Offtopic)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577531)

I fucked your dead great grandmother while taking a dump on a gameboy color.

How dare you. The gameboy color is a valuable piece of history

Re:Cool (1, Funny)

RivieraKid (994682) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577665)

Dad, is that you?

Re:Cool (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578675)

I fucked your dead great grandmother while taking a dump on a gameboy color.

That's a neat trick considering his great grandmother was cremated and her ashes scattered in the Atlantic Ocean.

Re:Cool (3, Funny)

borizz (1023175) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581183)

Well no. Basically, he masturbated in the ocean and called it fucking a woman. It's the closest most slashdotters can get, right?

Re:Cool (5, Informative)

Xeon3D (828863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577533)

I really love reading about the lengths enthusiasts go to when trying to do this kind of thing. For some reason I had assumed that this had been done already since there is already emulation for gameboy color, right? Can someone explain the significance of this development?

The gameboy bios was also "emulated" before, so this makes the emulation more "realistic". It happens the same with the GBA. While you can emulate games for the GBA without the need for a BIOS file, if you have one, they'll run better \ more accurately (or in some cases, they run instead of not running).

Re:Cool (5, Interesting)

byuu (1455609) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580095)

It happens the same with the GBA. While you can emulate games for the GBA without the need for a BIOS file, if you have one, they'll run better \ more accurately (or in some cases, they run instead of not running).

It really just displays the logo and validates that the Nintendo copyrighted startup logo is present in the ROM. It was a trick to try and prevent third-party publishers from making their own releases. As soon as the Game Boy cartridge is started, the boot ROM is locked out completely and no longer needed. The GBA BIOS is quite different, it has tons of functions like various decompression routines, and without it you tend to have far less accurate timing and you may miss potential edge cases. Think of it as low-level emulation with the BIOS, and high-level emulation (in the vain of N64 graphics emulation) without it.

Re:Cool (5, Informative)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577599)

This allows Game Boy Color emulators to display an authentic intro before running the game, including the palette selection available when running a non-color game. There's otherwise no benefit that I can see. This includes initial register values, since those could already be determined via software. Some of the other initial state, like sound registers set by the boot ROM, is more difficult to determine, so this helped there.

When reverse-engineering hardware, it's nice to figure out every detail, and this was one of the much harder ones to figure out. Decapping usually reveals all, but even that failed here.

Re:Cool (1)

AstrumPreliator (708436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577763)

Are you sure decapping failed here? Without any other sources to go by than the article it seems that the decapping was a success despite what the summary says.

Even decapping the CPU had failed previously...

There was great news in the GB scene a short while ago, when Neviksti from CherryRom forums announced that he had been able to extract the BIOS image from the original GameBoy by decapping the chip, staining the ROM, and using a really powerful microscope to individually resolve and read out each bit one by one.

Although it is late and I may be misreading that.

Re:Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577803)

I think Neviksti did it for the original GameBoy, not the color

Re:Cool (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578901)

GameBoy Color != GameBoy. So yup, you're tired.

Re:Cool (1)

Jurily (900488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577615)

Can someone explain the significance of this development?

The same as fixing a 33 year old bug [slashdot.org] .

What the ROM does (2, Informative)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577541)

So I took a stroll through the binary and here is what it does in a nutshell.

- Catch the wake interrupt
- Resent the CPU
- Power on the LED
- Power on the LCD
- Power on the audio codec
- Copy the Nintendo graphic to VRAM
- Play the Clang WAV
- Initialize the buttons
- Copy game binary to memory
- Jump to game image

Re:What the ROM does (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577579)

Truly a powerful piece of technology if it's resenting CPUs.

Skynet's not far away now guys!

Re:What the ROM does (4, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577595)

- Resent the CPU

The ROM resents the CPU? This is astounding. Nintendo have had hard AI in the lowliest of their handhelds for years, and never even told us!

Re:What the ROM does (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577623)

Well, how do you think you would feel if you were dumped after 10 years?

Re:What the ROM does (2, Funny)

fuzzix (700457) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577671)

Well, how do you think you would feel if you were dumped after 10 years?

My kingdom for a mod point!

Bravo, sir.

Re:What the ROM does (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577709)

debugged

Re:What the ROM does (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577863)

After 10 years of not having a dump I would be very, very relieved!

feels like .... Chicken! (1)

freaker_TuC (7632) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577869)

Or Super Mario Bros ... wasted ...

Re:What the ROM does (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578019)

If you liked it you should have put a 'ring 0' on it.

Re:What the ROM does (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578213)

You forgot "read the buttons and change the palette around for non-GBC games", which is what the dumpers were really after. Besides, I don't think the battery LED is software controlled.

Re:What the ROM does (1)

ID000001 (753578) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580023)

Also, on the boot up screen, if you press button or direction pad, you can set your own palette to one of the preset.

Re:What the ROM does (2, Informative)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578723)

NO! There is no "Copy game binary to memory" Stage! These are ROM cartridges which code is executed directly off of, it's not a RAM system which loads games like the NDS.

Re:What the ROM does (1)

ToasterMonkey (467067) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581845)

ROM/RAM != execute in place

Re:What the ROM does (2, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579891)

I doubt it powers on the LED. The LED on a GBC turns on even without a clock crystal, before the CPU runs any instructions. It may just be redundantly enabling an already enabled LED though. There's also no such thing as the clang "WAV": this is fixed-function sound hardware, so all it does is configure it to output the two notes. And it certainly doesn't copy the game binary to memory, since this is a system that uses ROM cartridges with in-place execution.

Re:What the ROM does (3, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580627)

I like how this is modded +5 Informative when it is entirely made up.

Methinks (0, Redundant)

s1lverl0rd (1382241) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577583)

I have just one question - Why?

Re:Methinks (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577617)

Why not?

Re:Methinks (1)

Aklyon (1398879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579219)

Indeed.

Re:Methinks (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581087)

Are you asking me?

Re:Methinks (3, Insightful)

adrianwn (1262452) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577781)

Because he can.

Re:Methinks (3, Insightful)

Razalhague (1497249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581079)

And because nobody else could.

Re:Methinks (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577939)

What a dumbshit question to ask.

Re:Methinks (0, Offtopic)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578001)

Correct, sir. "Why?" is a dumb shit question to ask. "Why not?" is not as dumb but twice as rhetorical. "How much bigger did your cock get?" is the correct question to ask.

Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (5, Interesting)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577667)

Here's my summary of how he did it, since the linked blog posting is quite long:

When the Game Boy Color powers up, a small internal boot ROM is enabled inside the CPU. This displays the logo, verifies that the game ROM is "genuine", then starts executing it. Just before it starts executing user code, it disables the boot ROM by writing to an I/O register. Once disabled, there is no way to re-enable it, thus user code can't easily read the ROM.

Costis found that if he stopped the CPU clock for a few seconds, then restarted it, many of the CPU registers (including the program counter) would take on random values. So he placed NOP instructions in all external memory, along with a small dump routine, then stopped and restarted the clock just before the boot ROM wrote to the I/O location to disable itself. This caused the program counter to take on a value outside the boot ROM, and execute all the NOPs until it hit his small dump routine.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (3, Informative)

tangent3 (449222) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577769)

I believe he also had to short the 3.3V rail to ground during the time the clock is stopped, to randomize the registers values.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578051)

Argh, you're right, and he even has a nice 1...2...3 list describing dropping the 3.3V supply.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577817)

Thanks for that excellent summary. Just one addition - he didn't just stop the clock, I believe he also had to briefly remove power from the chip in order to get the random values in the registers/ program counter.

I have to say I have nothing but the greatest respect for the guy. I'd love to be smart enough to manage something like this.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577913)

he didn't just stop the clock

I'd love to be smart enough to manage something like this.

Look on the bright side - even a stopped clock is right two times a day.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

amias (105819) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578073)

and even a slashdot poster uses an incorrect quote twice a day

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580053)

Let's see someone try that with the Xbox 360 boot ROM.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29580255)

I'm afraid I can't quite follow your summary attempt. Could you please rephrase it as a car analogy? Thanks in advance.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29581893)

I'm afraid I can't quite follow your summary attempt. Could you please rephrase it as a car analogy?

Imagine a car with fully tinted windows, with something inside you want to see. The driver won't roll down the windows for you, so you set off a gas grenade that causes him to become incoherent. He rolls down his window at some point, and you get to see inside.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

CityZen (464761) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581957)

Well, let me try. Imagine you're chasing a car (the Gameboy Color), and you want to know what's in the trunk (the ROM). The driver (the CPU) isn't talking. However, you've got a remote control button that can jam on the brakes (stop the clock). This by itself doesn't let you see what's in the trunk. But you find that by hitting the driver with a large blunt object (shorting the 3.3V to ground), you can daze him (randomize the registers) and eventually get him to do what you want, like listen to your request to open the trunk (run your code to dump the ROM).

It's a pretty old technique, but sometimes it permanently disables the driver and it often doesn't give you what you want. The devil is in the details.

Re:Very short summary of how ROM was dumped (1)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581383)

So it took us 10 years to find a reset button. Good job guys, I have real hope for the future now. On a serious note thanks for the rundown noidentity, this acctually makes me want to read the full article more then the summary did.

Idle hands (-1, Troll)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577675)

GBC Boot ROM dumped? After 10 years?

I don't know anything about Boot, but if they kept trying to get it for ten years, it's must be a pretty good game!

Re:Idle hands (3, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578335)

GBC Boot ROM dumped? After 10 years?

It's more likely than you think.

Re:Idle hands (2, Funny)

Dogtanian (588974) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579405)

GBC Boot ROM dumped? After 10 years?

It's more likely than you think.

Can you play Centipede on it? :-)

Smells Like Primer... (2, Interesting)

Xin Jing (1587107) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577691)

This reminds me of the epiphanic moment during the garage scene in Primer:

"I did not remove any of the bypass caps on the mainboard for the 3.3V rail and it seems like a few seconds are actually required for the internal logic to discharge appreciably (anything less and the system continues running just fine afterward.)"

Why a few seconds, why not an exact time?

Re:Smells Like Primer... (3, Informative)

mpoulton (689851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577765)

Why a few seconds, why not an exact time?

Because that's the degree of precision necessary when working with analog electronics that aren't intended to function as timing devices. Anything more precise would be unnecessary, anything less would be insufficient.

Re:Smells Like Primer... (2, Informative)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579939)

Basically, costis attempted the precise method (clock glitching during ROM disable), which didn't work. So he pulled out the sledgehammer (massive clock and power glitching to randomize CPU state). You don't need much accuracy with a sledgehammer.

Re:Smells Like Primer... (1)

jsebrech (525647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580337)

Computer science is not an exact science. Vagueness is to be expected, even in the little things.

Why can you not just read the rom?? (3, Interesting)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577731)

Why can't you just take the rom chip out of the gameboy, put it in a socket on a computer and just read the rom 1 byte at a time?

I am just a software guy, with no real lowlevel knowledge of hardware, but I would think you could just take the chip out*, solder the legs from the rom chip, on any kind of socket that take a rom chip, and then just read it from there. But I guess there is a reason you can't just do that. So what reason is that?

*Might take som magic, but when thinking about how the *&#*$ surface mounted chips serial/io chip were changed on the Amiga 500, it can't be that impossible.

ASIC? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577747)

Isn't it because the CPU and ROM are together in an ASIC package and the ROM can't be accessed directly externally through the pins? I could be wrong. If the ROM is a seperate chip then I've no idea why you couldn't do this.

Re:Why can you not just read the rom?? (2, Informative)

eclectro (227083) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577959)

I am not familiar with the specifics of gameboy hardware. But increasingly (like with cellphones) the rom is melded with the cpu and has no external bus exposed. This method worked with the gameboy because it read an external cartridge at some point. Nonetheless, it certainly is an interesting method that certainly would have use elsewhere. He should get some kind of award.

Re:Why can you not just read the rom?? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577993)

He should get some kind of award.

Don't worry... Nintendo's lawyers are already working on it.

Re:Why can you not just read the rom?? (5, Informative)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578379)

Why can't you just take the rom chip out of the gameboy, put it in a socket on a computer and just read the rom 1 byte at a time?

Because the boot ROM is built into the custom CPU. The data bus to this ROM isn't exposed on any of the pins; when enabled, it bypasses whatever is being sent to the external data bus pins on the CPU, so that its contents are never seen by the outside world.

A close comparison is the L1 cache inside a modern CPU. When the CPU is reading from it, you can't know what is in it, since the data isn't output to the bus.

Re:Why can you not just read the rom?? (2, Informative)

Nobo (606465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578829)

The ROM is not on a chip, it's burned into the CPU die itself. There are no memory access lines which reach it. It's only able to be read from within the CPU itself, and there is a CPU register which permanently disables that data path, once that specific register is written to. The last instruction in the boot ROM writes to that register, the boot ROM eats the poison pill, and the next instruction is the start instruction of your cartridge ROM.

The ROM was read out by beating the hell out of the processor electrically, during the exact clock cycle that the poison pill register is written, such that the write gets lost or scrambled, therefore the boot ROM remains accessible for readout.

Next time, RTFA before you ask stupid questions. "+4, Interesting"? Give me a break. Lazy idiot.

Re:Why can you not just read the rom?? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580427)

Next time, RTFA before you ask stupid questions

Welcome to Slashdot!

Original GB Boot ROM (2, Informative)

NorQue (1000887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577813)

Great, been waiting for that for ages. So now we might finally get those original GBC colors for GB games in emulators (and especially the coloring for Metroid 2!). For reference, if anyone is interested, here's the story how the original GB ROM got dumped by decapping the chip holding it and reading out the values with a Microscope: http://www.cherryroms.com/forums/copier-and-hardware-forum/manually-extracting-rom.html?page=2 [cherryroms.com] (two thirds down the pge, the post by nevikisti from Wed, 05/18/2005 - 10:26). Thread itself deals with how they tried to dump the SNES DSP1 chip, but ultimately failed to do so. Currently there's some effort underway by the creator of bsnes to do the same thing: http://byuu.org/ [byuu.org]

Re:Original GB Boot ROM (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577855)

You are referring to Game Boy Color's Super Game Boy Support. Someone may have to dump the rom of the Super Game Boy to do that.

Re:Original GB Boot ROM (1)

NorQue (1000887) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577925)

Nope, GBC didn't have SGB support. Those colors you see in ie Metroid 2 are selected in the GBC boot process. And that guy already dumped the SGB Boot ROM, too.

Re:Original GB Boot ROM (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579963)

The same guy (costis) already dumped the SGB ROM a few days earlier, using a simpler clock-glitching-only techique. See the site [fpgb.org] .

Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (4, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577821)

Does this mean that we will be able to colorize Non-Super Gameboy Game Boy Games?

When a Gameboy Color starts up with a Super Gameboy boy game is put into a Super Game Boy, it uses the Super Gameboy Palette with the border that would normally be used on a TV omitted.

Examples of this:

Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow
Donkey Kong

Alot of people thought that Pokemon games were Gameboy Color games, and some are, like Pokemon Crystal, but alot of the games are actually Super Gameboy Games.

Classic Gameboy games such as Tetris, Super Mario Land, and Metroid II had no colorization, so the Gameboy color and Super Gameboy would color them based on an alogorithm. No emulators exist that can colorize a non-Super Gameboy game. They are displayed in Gray Scale.

My question is, will the dumping of this Bios lead to a better understanding of how Non-Super Gameboy Games are colorized on the Game Boy Color?

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578189)

My understanding is that there's no "algorithm", rather the GBC has preset palettes for recognised Gameboy games such as Metroid II and a single palette for the remainder. Could be wrong though, it's not like I have the most extensive retro collection to test it out with. At any rate, having the ROM dump should finally be able to set the matter to rest.

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29578333)

With non-Gameboy Color games you could change the palette when booting the game by pressing different buttons. There was stuff like "negative black and white", everything a bit green, everything in red colors etc. I can't test it, but this is how I remember it with my (German) Gameboy Color and numerous non-color games I played on it.

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578569)

Sure, but it defaults to a colour scheme which seems game-dependent.

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578331)

Does this mean that we will be able to colorize Non-Super Gameboy Game Boy Games?

We were already able to. An emulator can do whatever it pleases, including giving colors to things. Most simply, it can give each of the four shades of gray (green?) different colors. Going further, it can use one set of colors for the background shades, and another for sprites. Even further, it could divide sprites and background into multiple groups.

The colorization the GBC did for non-GBC games was the second described above, having one set of colors for the background, and another for sprites (and a few custom palettes for particular games, like Metroid II). The dump of the GBC ROM just allows an emulator to colorize these games in a fully authentic way, rather than in its own way; the end-result is identical.

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578413)

Neither Mednafen, nor sdlmess will colorize a non-Super Gameboy Game.

Mednafen fails to activate the Super Game Boy Feature set of Super Game Boy Game.

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578693)

The Super Game Boy isn't the only way to colorize monochrome games. For Mednafen, it seems you'd use the -gba.colormap [sourceforge.net] command-line switch. Other Game Boy emulators are sure to have a way to do the same. At the very least, you can modify their source code (the original point was that these games coulds still be colorized by emulators before this recent GBC boot ROM dump was made, even if some emulators didn't provide a UI to do so).

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29578785)

Neither Mednafen, nor sdlmess will colorize a non-Super Gameboy Game.

MESS does now. [bannister.org]

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29581181)

Neither Mednafen, nor sdlmess will colorize a non-Super Gameboy Game.

Mednafen fails to activate the Super Game Boy Feature set of Super Game Boy Game.

That's an incorrect statement. If you download the latest version of the MESS source code from the MESS Suberversion tree, it will colorize non-SGB games if you run the Game Boy Color driver with a Game Boy Mono game.

Re:Super Gameboy Support and Emulators. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29580587)

Not only does it lead to "better understanding", it leads to colorization that Just Works: If you download the latest MESS (http://www.mess.org/) SVN tree and compile it yourself, you can play GB Mono games on the GB Color driver, and they will be colorized as appropriate using the GB Color's "internal algorithm", which is just a default set of values for certain games, and also the ability to select the palette by holding down a direction on the D-Pad during bootup.

Who even remembers the GBC? Who cares? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29577927)

This is a perfect example of useless, wasted effort.

Re:Who even remembers the GBC? Who cares? (5, Funny)

LoonyMike (917095) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578115)

This is a perfect example of useless, wasted effort.

I agree, you should have posted on Digg instead.

Re:Who even remembers the GBC? Who cares? (3, Insightful)

tpwch (748980) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578181)

I care.

There are many great games for gameboy color, I had a gbc and about 10 games, but I haven't been able to play them for a while becuase I lost my GBC. I want to re-play them again some day.

Sure, this rom isn't needed for re-playing them, but its also a bit of preserved history. Thats one of the main reasons for dumping roms, its not all about piracy, its preserving a bit of history for future generations.

Re:Who even remembers the GBC? Who cares? (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579325)

Thats one of the main reasons for dumping roms, its not all about piracy, its preserving a bit of history for future generations.

Son.. You're old enough now to become a.. Pokemon master!

We spent year reverse engineering the technology, but now you can become a Pokemon master thanks to advances in modern pirate technology.

I smell double standards (5, Insightful)

netpixie (155816) | more than 4 years ago | (#29577961)

"Copyright 2009. Costis Sideris."

So copyright law is good enough for you, but not for Nintendo?

Re:I smell double standards (1)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578435)

That is a bit hypocritical, well spotted. (I suppose he could argue it's an artistically creative work vs a piece of software, but I don't buy that argument personally even though it convinces some.)

Re:I smell double standards (0)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578485)

The GBC was released almost 11 years ago. That means there's a good chance Nintento didn't (or soon won't) renew their copyrights on some of it and it is public domain.

Besides, the boot rom is hardly something that they would even bother to copyright--since it is so inaccessible they probably kept it as a "trade secret" which means there is no automatic protection under the law. I would be extremely surprised if they bothered to do anything about this at all, since the GBC and GBA are both ancient history by now.

Of course, I too find claimed copyrights on hack data to be very dubious, but one can only assume the author expects others to ignore that copyright as much as he ignores everyone else's. But technically, is it even copyrighted if he didn't submit it to the Copyright Office, or is it just a banner he put there to scare people?

Re:I smell double standards (3, Informative)

daid303 (843777) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578551)

Copyright lasts 70 years, not 10. And you don't need to add a copyright notice to get copyright. If you made it it's yours, under your copyright. If something has no notice/license at all, then it's copyrighted. And then you shouldn't go and copy it.

http://inventors.about.com/od/copyrights101basicsfaq/f/secure_copyrigh.htm [about.com]

Re:I smell double standards (1, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580167)

Ahhh common ignornace.

Your location on the globe (what your countries laws are) and what type of material you are dealing with (print, versus audio, versus other artwork) play into the length of copyright.

Just because Disney has fucked up your country doesn't mean those rules apply to anyone else.

Re:I smell double standards (5, Informative)

Mr Z (6791) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581257)

I assume you refer to the United States. The US was actually late to the party. The Berne Convention [wikipedia.org] got the ridiculous-copyright-term ball rolling... Disney just gave it an extra push. In particular:

The Berne Convention states that all works except photographic and cinematographic shall be copyrighted for at least 50 years after the author's death

The Berne Convention is also what gives us the rule that daid303 stated, that you don't need to add a copyright notice to get copyright:

Under the Convention, copyrights for creative works are automatically in force upon their creation without being asserted or declared. An author need not "register" or "apply for" a copyright in countries adhering to the Convention. As soon as a work is "fixed", that is, written or recorded on some physical medium, its author is automatically entitled to all copyrights in the work and to any derivative works, unless and until the author explicitly disclaims them or until the copyright expires. Foreign authors are given the same rights and privileges to copyrighted material as domestic authors in any country that signed the Convention.

The US didn't sign on to Berne until 1988. The EU's been on board for awhile, as have many, many other countries. [wikipedia.org] So, yes, you're technically correct that there are some people that are unaffected by the US's copyright protections (or in the case of Nintendo's IP, Japan's). But, a great many places have similar restrictions.

Re:I smell double standards (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581359)

+informative Never a mod point when I really need one!

Re:I smell double standards (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29579143)

That means there's a good chance Nintento didn't (or soon won't) renew their copyrights on some of it and it is public domain.

This is complete bullshit. Nintendo is one of the most enthusiastic defenders of their copyright properties. Watch these guys get a C&D letter as soon as Nintendo notices their existence. I'm guessing no later than the end of this week.

Re:I smell double standards (4, Informative)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29581365)

This article is a classic example of why you shouldn't take legal advice from slashdot posts.

Note, I am not a lawyer, but that doesn't mean I can't find credible sources/links which show this guys doesn't know jack nor shit about what he's talking about.

First, yes, as someone pointed out, copyright laws vary somewhat from country to country. However, thanks to treaties, like the Berne Convention [wikipedia.org] , which has been signed by most of the world's countries (although, not all the countries necessarily enforce it vigorously) they have become fairly standardized.

For the following statements, I've referenced wikipedia articles (which, I suppose might be wrong, but I have a fair amount of confidence in the accuracy), as well as the US Copyright Office website:

1) Copyright is longer than 10 years in most countries, and particularly, in the US, Europe and Japan (50 years for Japan, 70 years for US and Europe). So there is no way this is public domain (note: I am, personally of the opinion that copyright on software *should* be about 10 years, maybe renewable for another 10, but want you or I want, and what is law, are two separate things, and you'd do well to remember that).

2) You don't have to bother to copyright something. In all Berne Convention copyright regimes, copyright is *automatic* at the moment a work is put in a fixed form. So,

"But technically, is it even copyrighted if he didn't submit it to the Copyright Office, or is it just a banner he put there to scare people?"

Yes, to the extent that something he claims copyright on is actually his original work, it *is* copyrighted. Whether he'll enforce the copyright or not, is a different question, which I cannot answer.

Re:I smell double standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29579441)

No, not unless he's distributing the ROM dumps.

Re:I smell double standards (1)

marcansoft (727665) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580033)

He is. But seriously, this is a 4kB dump of an 11-year-old boot ROM. Copyright or no copyright, I'd say the historical significance and the usefulness for preservation efforts outweighs concerns about copyright violation.

Copyright law is grossly overreaching. At some points, such as small, old, historical works, you have to draw a line.

If GBC has been dumped after 10 years... (0)

madenglishbloke (829598) | more than 4 years ago | (#29578455)

I think he will suddenly have a lot of spare cash to spend on beer and hookers...

DMCA (0)

Alioth (221270) | more than 4 years ago | (#29579523)

I'm just wondering when he's going to receive his DMCA takedown notice.

Re:DMCA (0)

_Shad0w_ (127912) | more than 4 years ago | (#29580487)

And how many people will have mirrored it before then?

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