Tue, 04 Sep 2012

Drag'n'Derp gets its own site
Tags: cart hardware photos As release nears, the site emerges! Get your latest news from derpcart.com. An RSS feed is provided for your lazywatching pleasure.

posted at: 08:58 | path: /gameboy | permanent link to this entry

Sun, 01 Apr 2012

Drag'n'Derp: coming soon to an internet near you!
With the first hand-built carts in the wild for some time now, large-scale release is approaching. There's still a couple of manufacturing issues to sort out, but I'm hoping to offer the first batch of 100 carts in mid-May. Stay tuned for details!

posted at: 06:22 | path: /gameboy | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 30 Jul 2011

I'm Not Dead
and so neither is the cartridge project - I've just been really busy. I'm currently assembling resources for batch fabrication. The latest batch of PCBs is AWOL, and I'm waiting on various other things. Nonetheless, aiming to have a batch out around the end of October. Also, adding a firmware feature to support drag'n'drop firmware updates. Stay tuned!

posted at: 02:27 | path: /gameboy | permanent link to this entry

Wed, 11 May 2011

Drag and Drop?
Tags: cart hardware Just to clarify what "drag and drop" means, here's a video of writing a ROM (LSDJ with custom sample kit) and RAM (songs using the kit), at the same time.

posted at: 12:55 | path: /gameboy | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 09 May 2011

Cart Sneak Peek
Tags: cart hardware photos Microelectronic porn!

Yes, that is a micro USB jack on top, so unlike mini-USB carts, the connector actually fits into the case properly...

posted at: 13:59 | path: /gameboy | permanent link to this entry

Drag'n'Derp lives!
Tags: cart hardware So, no update on this for a while; real life has been keeping me busy. Nonetheless, I have found some time recently to get another tranche of work done on the cart design, to the point of having a couple of working prototypes now in testing.

What is it? I'm building a new Gameboy cartridge. Not GBA, not DS, original Gameboy. Why? Because a lot of people still use them, in particular for creating music with software like Johan Kotlinski's LSDj. And to do this, you need a flashable cartridge.

Why? Currently available carts need custom drivers to talk to a computer, and for many types, a cart reader device. This limits their compatibility, and the drivers tend to be poorly maintained after release, too.

Another issue is that all current carts use battery-backed RAM to save user data to - read: music that artists have spent many hours on. These batteries can last ten years in a well-designed system - from the date of manufacture, putting a lifespan on the cartridge and leading to scary reliability issues as they age.


  • 24MBit (3MByte) flash ROM
  • 1MBit (128KByte) Ferroelectric RAM
    Instead of battery-backed SRAM, the cart uses F-RAM, which maintains its contents in the absence of power, and has a data retention span on the order of a hundred years.
  • USB mass storage emulation
    The cart appears similar to a thumb drive, allowing ROM and RAM contents to be copied via drag and drop. No drivers are required, and supports all USB-capable platforms.
These features are provisional. This is not a multi-boot or multi-file cartridge.

So some prototypes are up, and being tested; this cart is real, and it is coming.
And here's a video of the fabrication of one of the prototypes, courtesy of Tom Gilmore!

posted at: 03:42 | path: /gameboy | permanent link to this entry

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