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Stella/2 updated to v2.2

June 18, 2006 by Paul Smedley

++ From the VOICE OS/2-eCS News Service http://www.os2voice.org ++

From: Paul Smedley

Now available from http://smedley.info/os2ports/

The Atari 2600 Video Computer System (VCS), introduced in 1977, was the most popular home video game system of the early 1980's. Now you can enjoy all of your favorite Atari 2600 games on your PC thanks to Stella!

Stella is a multi-platform Atari 2600 VCS emulator released under the GNU General Public License (GPL). Stella was originally developed for Linux by Bradford W. Mott, however, since its original release several people have joined the development team to port Stella to other operating systems such as AcornOS, AmigaOS, DOS, FreeBSD, IRIX, Linux, OS/2, MacOS, Unix, and Windows. The development team is working hard to perfect the emulator and we hope you enjoy our effort.

New in v2.2:
Stella release 2.2 for Linux, Mac OSX, Windows, WinCE and GP2X is now available. Ports to other operating systems will be released as they become available. A partial list of features is:

* Added new ROM browser option which works like a normal filesystem browser, allowing navigation throughout the filesystem. The old mode of browsing is still present, and can be toggled at runtime. Related to this, fixed bug whereby sorting in the ROM launcher sometimes didn't work.
* Integrated stella.pro properties into the application, resulting in faster startup time. Now Stella can be redistributed as a single binary; no external files are needed, but they will still be used if present.
* Reworked ROM properties files once again. The 'user.pro' file has been removed, and all user-defined properties are stored in 'stella.pro' instead. You should delete all properties files when upgrading to this version, to take advantage of the speed increases.
* Reworked settings files once again. Removed all references to a global settings file. Each user now gets a user-specific settings file only. If that file doesn't exist, the built-in defaults are used.
* Added 'conditional saving' of the cheatcode and settings files, so that these files are only written to disk when absolutely necessary. This doesn't really affect desktop systems, but is very useful for systems with flashram-based storage (GP2X, WinCE, etc).
* Reworked Settings class, hopefully fixing a bug whereby settings weren't being saved in certain cases (most evident in the OSX port).
* Added 'tiadefaults' commandline option, which can also be toggled from within the GUI. This option disables all TIA positioning 'tweaks' that typically make a game look better, and present the image exactly as it would appear on a real 2600.
* Added jitter-detection code for the paddle emulation, which should eliminate an annoying 'jittering' effect when using paddles with a Stelladaptor.
* Related to jitter-detection, added '-pthresh' commandline option and GUI entry, which sets a bound below which the emulation detects jitter.
* Fixed crash when adding one-shot cheats.
* Fixed bug in RAM comparitive searches in the debugger.
* Fixed bug with setting snapshot naming type from the GUI (it was always being set to 'romname').
* Re-added low compatibility CPU emulation mode, since it benefits some slower systems. This is activated with the commandline argument '-cpu low'.

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