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Dreamcast GDrom repalcement upgrades!

#1
ok for those that don't know, flash media is any kind of non CD based media based on such things as ram and memory storage rather than disk platters and the like such as SD cards, usb drives, Solid state hard drive's etc.

in particular what I want to mention is not one but two projects which came out this year, both which replace the CD drive in the sega dreamcast with a flash media adaptor.

both have their advantages and disadvantages which I will go over as I talk about each one, and I know what you are thinking, why would you want to buy a sega dreamcast let alone pay extra money on such an old console?



Well there are two reasons, the first is that there are still games coming out for it, in fact 5 came out this year if I recall correctly.

The second is that it was the last console made by Sega and honestly it has a kind of cool factor to it.



Now onto the two new options for flash based media.



Keep in mind both of these are small projects and there are waiting lists as of now for getting them, though the dreamcast has no copy protection persay so you can always go the burn a backup disk and play it route.



The first of these is the GDEMU, now what it is, is a replacement for the game console's GDrom drive (a proprietary format though it can read CD's for games and music and such).



[Image: gdemu-v5-11.jpg]



on the underside is a serial connector which is compatible with the port where the dreamcast's GDrom drive normally goes.



[Image: gdemu-v5-1-inside-dc1.jpg]



the advantages to any form of non disk media replacement are readily obvious.

1. you can preserve your games to keep them forever

2. faster load times

3. replace a dead disk drive

just to name a few.



now this one is the first one of the two to come out, they were secret hobby projects by their developers, this one being made in europe the other in russia.



now since it uses SD cards it has some disadvantages that devices like the everdrive does not have.

the first is that GDroms are big, 1gb in fact, GD stands for Gigabyte Disk, and the SD cards for it are limited to 32GB so it's limited to about 40 games per sd card.



now I know what you are thinking, that's a lot of games, but the dreamcast has well over 1,000 games, with more coming out even now, so that's just not practical unless you either don't mind loading times to copy 1GB files or have a bunch of SD cards.



the second issue is the way the file structure works, it's a bit odd honestly, but it's completely hardware based too.



basically your folder structure has to look like this, the main directory has to have a bunch of folders labeled 01 through 40, up to 40 folders but the number can vary.



then within each folder your files have to be named as such.

track01.bin

track03.bin

disc.gdi

track02.raw



you can toss a blank file to label it for archiving purposes but for the most part this is a big hassle.



over all though it's a brilliant idea and up until recently the only device of it's kind, now a contender shows up from a russian guy by the username of MNEMO called the USB GDrom controller.

[Image: P1011807_2.jpg]

[Image: IMG_0086_3.jpg]

similar in concept except for one important bit, it uses USB drives rather than SD cards with an upper limit at 2TB.



this means that like with the ever drive you can have every game in one place, no hassle, it even comes with a menu for navigating (another flaw in the GDemu) much like the everdrive.



here's the catch, it's not for sale right now, the guy has only made Eight of them and is currently looking to setup production so it's on hold but successful so far.



same setup as the GDemu, you remove the GDrom drive, connector's on the bottom, in this case there's a minor modification to the case for the USB port but that's about it.



other than that, same advantages as the former, faster loading times, all your games in one place, maintain said games in their cases (dreamcast game prices are going up btw) and over all just keep the console running for another 15 years or so.



anyway I hope this has been informative, I'll link to both sites in case anyone is curious about these devices.



also I'm going to say it now, yes you can use these devices to pirate games but I would highly recommend you didn't, there's just something special about owning a disk really and there are easier and cheaper ways to pirate games, as such I do not condone the use of any of this information for piracy nor will I ever link to websites where you can download pirate games, your're on your own there.



and a big shout out to adam koralik who does a retro console show on youtube and covered the first device in detail as well as it's installation, the link will be below.



SpookyZ, Out.



GDemu: http://gdemu.wordpress.com/



USB GDrom: http://renovation-3do.narod.ru/USB-GDROM_Controller.htm



Adam Koralik's video on the GDEMU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtOC9_Nq-s8
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

[Image: 5.jpg]

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#2
Quite the informative article here, Leo



thanks a bunch !
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