Information Gathering For Gp2x Review


Gamers Galaxy

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Hey fellas. Well my GP2X replacement review unit arrived today after the unfortunate death of the first one for no real reason. I've only had a bit of time to play around with it, hopefully I can use it more when I'm back home tonight.

Initial impressions are good. If someone can provide me a bit of info to the below that would be great. I've been reading a lot on these boards and some things I don't understand. Feel free to not answer some of the questions if they've been answered before, I just haven't had the time to search.

1. So what's up with USB does it work or not? (I haven't had a chance to try it yet) Or is the only way to transfer files with a card reader?

2. The long booting of the GP2X. Can this be fixed with firmware updates? Or will it ever be possible to quick launch apps or something?

3. I have firmware 1.2.1 the newest one is 1.4.0 or something? Any big differences?

4. I've been reading about automatic firmware updates or something and they brick GP2X's if you don't have the firmware update on your SD card. How does this happen?

5. I'd like to review using DrMD as a showcase. So can someone give me the quickest steps to get started. EG, format SD card with gp2x or card reader?, put DrMd and roms in x folder? etc. Just so I can get into it quickly as this review is delayed by many weeks.

I've got a card reader if neccessary and a 512mb SD. I'll do my best to provide an indepth assessment of the unit. I know all the specs etc.

Regards
Gamers Galaxy
 

chimpoid

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Gamers Galaxy posted on Feb 10 2006 at 06:29 AM said:
Hey fellas. Well my GP2X replacement review unit arrived today after the unfortunate death of the first one for no real reason. I've only had a bit of time to play around with it, hopefully I can use it more when I'm back home tonight.

Initial impressions are good. If someone can provide me a bit of info to the below that would be great. I've been reading a lot on these boards and some things I don't understand. Feel free to not answer some of the questions if they've been answered before, I just haven't had the time to search.

1. So what's up with USB does it work or not? (I haven't had a chance to try it yet) Or is the only way to transfer files with a card reader?

2. The long booting of the GP2X. Can this be fixed with firmware updates? Or will it ever be possible to quick launch apps or something?

3. I have firmware 1.2.1 the newest one is 1.4.0 or something? Any big differences?

4. I've been reading about automatic firmware updates or something and they brick GP2X's if you don't have the firmware update on your SD card. How does this happen?

5. I'd like to review using DrMD as a showcase. So can someone give me the quickest steps to get started. EG, format SD card with gp2x or card reader?, put DrMd and roms in x folder? etc. Just so I can get into it quickly as this review is delayed by many weeks.

I've got a card reader if neccessary and a 512mb SD. I'll do my best to provide an indepth assessment of the unit. I know all the specs etc.

Regards
Gamers Galaxy

1. USB works. I had to format my sdCard before it would pick up though.

2. Boot times are not that bad in my opinion. I don't really notice it.

3. 1.4 isn't officially out yet. Let it settle and wait for a stable version to be released.

4. I think you might have the wrong end of the stick here. There are scripts to help update the firmware safely. There is nothing that I am aware of that causes the GP2X to auto-update and then brick if the updates are not available.

5.Format the card with the reader for easiness. Unzip DrMD and then pop the folders in the root of the card (drmd, DrDMx, and roms.) THere should be a folder megadrive inside the roms folder, if not pop one in there. Drop a rom into the megadrive folder.
Boot.
Select "Games" - "DrDMx" - "DrDMx".
Then "select rom" - "Update roms" and your ready to go.
 
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yaustar

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1. USB works but quite honestly, you be saving a lot of hassle using the card reader.
 

foft

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Gamers Galaxy posted on Feb 10 2006 at 05:29 AM said:
2. The long booting of the GP2X. Can this be fixed with firmware updates? Or will it ever be possible to quick launch apps or something?
I believe this will be fixed. Once the GP2X modified kernel source is released in a few weeks this kind of thing becomes easier. There are techniques used to make booting faster on other embedded Linux devices.

There are also plans for a non-linux mode (called HH!). That should allow running non-linux apps almost immediately on switch on.

Thanks,

Mark
 
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donny662

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chimpoid posted on Feb 10 2006 at 01:09 AM said:
1. USB works. I had to format my sdCard before it would pick up though.

2. Boot times are not that bad in my opinion. I don't really notice it.

3. 1.4 isn't officially out yet. Let it settle and wait for a stable version to be released.

4. I think you might have the wrong end of the stick here. There are scripts to help update the firmware safely. There is nothing that I am aware of that causes the GP2X to auto-update and then brick if the updates are not available.

5.Format the card with the reader for easiness. Unzip DrMD and then pop the folders in the root of the card (drmd, DrDMx, and roms.) THere should be a folder megadrive inside the roms folder, if not pop one in there. Drop a rom into the megadrive folder.
Boot.
Select "Games" - "DrDMx" - "DrDMx".
Then "select rom" - "Update roms" and your ready to go.
1. USB doesn't work for everyone. Also, you can't use USB to store files directly on the NAND memory, only the SD card, but that is kind of a blessing because it isn't recommended that you store files on the NAND. NAND memory only has a certain amount of writes to it before it fails.

Some people have had good luck with USB1.1 hubs if USB connectivity doesn't work right off the bat.

Anyway, the best method is to use a SD card reader because you can't really on the GP2X.

2. The boot time of about 30 seconds does get tedious. Hopefully, it will get better with future releases. GamePark Holdings (GPH) and the company they contract for the firmware coding don't seem to be very experienced at Linux programming.

edit: foft mentioned some good things about this while I was typing :) .

3. Yes, 1.4.0 is a beta firmware that was "leaked." GPH has had some problems with the fact that they use GPL software, but they haven't released all of the source code they modified as required by the GPL liscense. From what I've read, GPH used some code in their mplayer (video and music? player) implementation that can't be released under the GPL, so that has delayed source code and firmware releases. I wouldn't review the unit based on the 1.4.0 firmware.

4. There have been instances where the GP2X has tried to update without the firmware update files on the SD, and it flashes with no data. I think this is pretty rare, but most people that have had that happen to them announce it. I haven't heard of it happening to anyone recently, though.
 
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Gamers Galaxy

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Great thanks. DrMD is fantastic also I threw on an divx file and it played straight aaway no problem. Great. Scan lines seem to be an issue though.

I have one final Q. What is the tv-out quality like? I wasn't sent a tv-out cable.
 

donny662

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You can tweak the LCD settings so the scan lines aren't quite as displeasing with this utility: http://archive.gp2x.de/cgi-bin/cfiles.cgi?0,0,0,0,8,1000

The tv-out quality is fairly good. You can watch movies at up to full 720x480. Most apps probably render at 320x240, but that is close to the native resolution of most of the games anyway. The problem is, though, that some of the apps don't work right yet (not the native movie player, pic viewer, etc. but homebrew titles).
 
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