Category Archives: NGPC Software

Neo Geo Pocket Cartridge Protection Information Database

You guys are great! You really make this NGPC homebrew community work.

After my last post explaining some technical details about NeoGeo Pocket SaveGame Backups, we got a little dialog going. Loïc chimed in with a proposal to build a database of information about known cartridges. The idea is that, when the information would not be retrievable from the cartridge, a database lookup could supply the necessary information about the cartridge.

Well, not only was this a good idea, but Loïc took it several steps further. He effectively built a database of NGPC cartridge identification and protection information. He was able to obtain information about almost every cartridge. From his data, it seems that he’s only missing data on 12 cartridges. Of these 12, some can be inferred from other data or dumped by someone else.

At the moment, I’m working on other things, but I need to come up with the best way to store and parse this data. Then it can be integrated into future builds of NeoLinkmasta.

If you are interested in working on adding this (or any other feature) to the software, please get in touch with me.

Thanks guys!

New GUI Build and Other Stuff

About a week ago, Mr. Spiv released the GUI he has been working on. Thanks to your feedback, we’ve been making improvements to it. Just now, I added a newer build to the downloads page. Go check it out. I hope it addresses any problems you may have had with the previous release. If not, or if you have something else to add, please leave a comment. If you don’t speak up, we may never know there’s a problem.

In other news, you may have seen that the purchase page lists the Neo Linkmasta and Neo Pocket Flashmasta as sold out. I’m working on getting a bunch of new bundles ready. My goal is to have at least 20 full bundles all ready to go when they go back up for sale. The experimental bare and uncut options were interesting for me to know what people want, but most people just wanted the full bundle. Not only have I have been refining my process and getting some help from people like Xian Xi, Mr. Spiv, Gerry, etc., but, thanks to the orders I’ve received up to this point, I have been able to make some more bulk purchases of parts.

In my opinion, things are progressing quite well, and I am very pleased with the project as a whole. When the product is once again ready for orders, I hope to feel ahead of the game and better prepared to serve the community. I might need some help, though. If you know anybody or any forums/websites/communities that should know about this project, please let them know. If you want to wait until sales re-open, that’s understandable. I just think it’s you guys that will help grow this whole thing. The Neo Geo Pocket has a lot of owners, but most of them don’t know about the Neo Linkmasta and Neo Pocket Flashmasta. Maybe you can help change that.

GUI Test Version For Windows/Mac

I know it’s been a while, but I’ve been building hardware. There have been several new users over the last month, and I’ve been plugging away and refining things. The latest development that I want to mention is something that Mr. Spiv has been working on. There is an early version of the GUI available. It definitely needs fixing and testing, but I thought that you guys might want to check it out.

Please try it, and let us know what you think. If you think there is an error, be sure to mention it. Those will, of course, take priority over “wish list” sort of items.

Also, there are things that just haven’t been implemented, yet. For example, the “/u” option from the command-line version is not yet available in the GUI. This would speed up writing on Flashmasta cartridges, so writing will be a bit slower at first. This sort of thing is still worth mentioning, though. If you used the command-line version in a certain way that is not available on the GUI, mention it. This will help me better know what people want and how they’re using it.

So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the DOWNLOADS page, and check out the “Windows GUI Early Test” or “Mac GUI Early Test.”

Units Available, Artwork Coming, Reviews, etc.

Savemasta Socket On Neo Linkmasta

Units Available: If you didn’t notice, there are bundles available on the Purchase Page. I put them up as I make them, but my next push (after this set) may be different. Soon, I am hoping to have a whole bunch ready. They are still being hand made and hand cut, but I ordered more parts this time. I also have been refining my process, and I hope to be able to have a larger group ready all at once instead of just a few here and there like in the past.

Video: I think I currently have 35 LIKEs on my video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTkt11HlMa0 I still need more. If you have a Google/Gmail/YouTube account, I think you can hit the Thumbs-Up LIKE button. If you didn’t realize, I’m trying to win a competition.

Artwork: Thanks to Scaramouche over at Consolas Portatiles, I think that the Linkmasta and Flashmasta are going to have accompanying artwork. The plan is to have labels made for those two items and boxes made for packaging. Scaramouche is overseeing the entire project, and the Argentinian comic artist, Federico Mazza, is being commissioned for the drawings. Check samples of his work at http://mazzartproductions.com/. I have no idea when this will come to fruition, but I am very excited about the development.

Reviews: I’m compiling a list of reviews/posts from people that have received a Linkmasta/Flashmasta. If you got a bundle from me, and you posted something about it, leave a comment. I’ll add it to the list. At some point, I will probably make a separate “reviews” page with quotes and such.

SaveMasta: I finally got around to adding a NeoSaveMasta socket to one of the Neo Linkmasta units for testing. If you don’t know, the Neo Geo MVS and AES can use a memory card for saving scores and such. NeoTurfMasta currently sells these NeoSaveMasta V2 on his website. If you didn’t notice, that’s where I got my naming scheme from. The Linkmasta can read and write these memory cards, but there hasn’t been much work on this feature yet. Essentially, it can backup/dump them and restore a backup. In the future, I envision some sort of online score database that gamers can interface using the Linkmasta and their SaveMasta. Oh, and let me make this clear. The unit shown in the picture is just a prototype. It’s not how they come when you get a Linkmasta. Maybe someday that may be an option, but not now. Also note that the Linkmasta has another expansion port on it. If you’re curious about that, check the Linkmasta expansion port pinout.

That’s it for today. As always, leave a comment. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Oh, and do you think we need a forum for any reason, or is the comment section good enough?

Mac Software, Uncut Linkmasta, Bundle Options, etc.

8 Partially Populated Linkmasta

Alrighty! It seems like things are picking up. More people are getting interested in the project, and that’s great. Some people are wondering when there will be new bundles available. Some are wondering if they can get part of the bundle without the other parts. Some people want to know how they can help. All of these are positive, and I really appreciate the enthusiasm.

One guy that has already been helping is Mr. Spiv. You may know him from the old days of NGPC, GP32, GP2X, etc. Spiv has been helping with some of the software portability, and today he has sent me a Mac binary for those of you that use OSX. I believe that a Linux version may be close at hand, also. Check out the Download area if you have a Mac and a Linkmasta. Try it out and leave a comment about how it works. Spiv also said that he wouldn’t mind if I mentioned that, “an eyecandy GUI is on the way!” Thanks, Spiv!

The Uncut Bundle

Some people have asked if it would be possible to get the Flashmasta/Linkmasta bundle without me cutting the plastic case. Of course, I promptly went to my room and cried my eyes out. How could they not want my hand cut case? Each one is uniquely crafted with love for you. Okay, enough with the fake story. I’m losing no tears or sweat over this request. I would like to gauge interest on this one, and I already have 3 bundles that are entirely ready (with 7-8 ready in the next few days). I’m listing them on the Purchase Page with some new options. I will offer a full bundle and a bare bundle, and both will be available “uncut”. With only 3 currently available, I probably won’t see a “trend”, but I think that this is the best way to see which options people prefer.

Keep the feedback coming. I’ve already seen people posting impressions and reviews elsewhere. If you have written anything, please leave a comment and link to it. Maybe I’ll get a page of those sorts of links made up at some point.

New Faster Software Available

Monkeymasta

On the software downloads page, you can now find Firmware v0.12 and the PC-side software to go with it. I am considering this a TEST release at the moment. If you would like to try it and report any problems, please do.

This software has some significant improvements, but it may also bring new issues. For example, one nice thing about the old version was that it did not require any Operating System drivers. You just plugged it in, and you were able to run the PocketLinker.exe. The new version uses a completely new technique for accessing the USB functions, and it now requires a driver under Windows. That driver can also be found on the software downloads page.

The main upside is speed. Writing a full 32mbit now takes about 8 minutes. Reading the full 32mbit is about 45 seconds. Try it out and see if it works well for you. Leave some feedback.