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Welcome aboard Simon original Daydream developer, thank you

 
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
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Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 521
Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:17 pm    Post subject: Welcome aboard Simon original Daydream developer, thank you Reply with quote

Hello Simon: I approved you so hopefully you will see this post I went ahead and posted your correspondence here as well as it will be a great help having you on this project as the original developer your help is invaluable and much appreciated! Best Regards Rob Blessin I'll also add this to the existing thread!


Hi Rob,

I came across your project to reverse engineer daydream. Back in the 90's, Andy Grawehr did the hardware, marketing, sales, legal, run the company, etc. I was the guy who wrote the entire software (NeXT Step launcher, DSP, MacOS device drivers, etc). It was basically just a two-men company those days. I left Quix a very long time ago and do not have any records (for legal reasons). But I will try remember as much as possible.

For a start: the 8-pin chip is an (512 byte?) EEPROM. It holds the MacOS NVRAM/PRAM as well as a decryption key for the daydream kernel. I think we also kept some statistical information around in that chip as well as the name of the customer that bought it. Reading the content back should be fairly simple.

While the GAL isn't that complicated (basically generating the chip selects), reverse engineering the protocol we talk over the DSP port is a different story. There is quite some bit fiddling going on and I would have to spend some time with a scope to get that back.

As far as I remember, I first read the entire EEPROM, run some sanity checks on the content and then start reading the Apple ROMs. On shutdown, the EEPROM is written back from am memory copy that is kept around in the daydream kernel. So this might be a good starting point because much less data is involved on shutdown compared to the startup. There is also a background task in the kernel while running MacOS that reads from time to time from the DSP port to check if the daydream box is still plugged in. That's also worth a try since only a few bytes are transferred each time.

A different approach would be hacking the software. We were really proud of our copy protection back then (as far as I know, daydream never got hacked) so that's a challenge of it's own. But we had a version that was able to read the Apple ROM images from disk an that code might still be around in the daydream kernel.

BTW, if you plug in the daydream box without Apple ROMs, you should be able to play Tetris (built into the daydream kernel) instead of booting MacOS Smile

I registered on the forum and await the ok from your admin.

Bests,

Simon Cool Cool Cool
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Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay sales@blackholeinc.com http://www.blackholeinc.com
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Last edited by Rob Blessin Black Hole on Fri Jul 24, 2015 3:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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mikeboss



Joined: 07 Dec 2011
Posts: 363
Location: berne, switzerland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 24, 2015 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

a very warm welcome simon! BTW: one of the cubes used at quix ended up being in my NeXT collection Wink

regards,
michael
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October 12, 1988 Computing Advances To The NeXT Level
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