VU1 Microcode tutorials - Summary

Summary |  Forums |  Bugs |  News |  Files | 

Project Description: If you want to enter a VU1 demo competition, like the amateur comp from 2003 (congrats to Kazan!) but have no idea how to get started, you need this microcode tutorial series! Alternatively, if you just want to learn beginners VU coding without the hassle of integrating VU code with EE code, the VU harness might be just what you're looking for. The on-line version has moved! It seems that my website has disappeared, so the VU tutorials are currently at my own site - As a bonus, all of the separate chapters of the VU tuts are now available as PDF files - there is a link on each page.

Package Latest Release Files    [ View all project files ]
Email me when this package is updated Bonus resources 0.1 defines.h (38 KB)
gen_data_fixed.c (3 KB)
packet.cpp (3 KB)
packet.h (2 KB)
vcl_sml.i (45 KB)
Email me when this package is updated Harnesses 0.1 README.harnesses (2 KB)
Examine archive contents sauce_eratos_harness_src.tar.gz (42 KB)
Email me when this package is updated Homework answers 0.1 Lesson2.txt (2 KB)
Examine archive contents (6 KB)
Email me when this package is updated Sample Code 0.1 Examine archive contents eratos.tar.gz (43 KB)
Examine archive contents (3 KB)
Examine archive contents texcube.tar.gz (38 KB)
Email me when this package is updated VU1 microcode tutorials 0.61 Examine archive contents (137 KB)

Public Areas
Forums Public Forums ( 44 messages in 2 forums )
Bugs Bug Tracking ( 0 open bugs, 4 total )

Latest News
Online tutorials moved!
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2004-Jul-22 03:57
The on-line version has moved! It seems that my website has disappeared, so the VU tutorials are currently at my own site - As a bonus, all of the separate chapters of the VU tuts are now available as PDF files - there is a link on each page.
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Oct-23 04:12
I've just started a Maths PhD a the University of Exeter, and as a result I'm going to have to learn a documentation style sometime soon, I figured DocBook is the way forward. As an exercise, I'll be translating the VU tutorial webiste into DocBook format. So, if you can't get to the tutorials at my website for a bit, or you notice them changing shape somewhat, don't panic!

The latest web release is available (as always) in a tarball in the Files section of this project, I imagine I won't get to updating the content just yet as learning Docbook takes precedent for me right now.

However, once I've DocBooked the whole kit and kaboodle, I'll start the first round of updates to the tutorials - long needed!

BTW, if you're on the lookout for decent PS2 tutorials, check out Dr Henry S Fortuna's website at
Geommath tools removed
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Oct-08 08:01
Seeing as the Geommath files have been uploaded to the SPS2 project sites under a separate section (SPS2Tools or such like) there seemed to be little point in re-hosting them here. Thus, to remove the clutter, they've gone. Besides, if they ever get updated you'd probably be landed with out-of-date versions here.

Anyway, shouldn't you all have SPS2 by now? :)
GIFer moved to it's own project
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Aug-07 07:43
If you're looking here for my GIFtag disassembler - it's gone. But not for good - it's gone to it's own project - detagger! Look for it on the main projects page, or follow this link:

Have fun!
GIFer released
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Jul-31 06:25
I'm still waiting on separate project space for the GIFer to be approved, but until it is, I've uploaded it here.

What is the GIFer?

It's a tool which allows you to analyse GIFpackets, which comes in handy in 2 distinct places. Firstly, you build a .dat file that gets placed in VU memory at the beginning of your demo - this file usually contains pre-built GIFpackets which you can analyse to make sure they're doing exactly what you intended.

Secondly, Sauce's modified harness (and my modified harness derived from it) allows you to dump the contents of VU memory to a file whilst the demo is running. This .dmp file will more than likely contain several GIFpackets too, each of which can be analysed to ensure again that they are doing their job properly.

The GIFer will give some warnings about possible GIFtag abuse - such as trying to use the PRIM field in REGLIST mode - I believe this is one of the most useful parts to the program.

New harness
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Jul-27 09:00
This *UNOFFICIAL* harness has some added extra capabilites -

First of all, Sauce made some improvements to the harness which added 2 controls whilst a demo is running:

Hold down SELECT and press L1 to dump the contents of VU mem to a file - perfect for use with my GIFtag disassembler (soon to get it's own project)

Hold down SELECT and press START to reload all demos - handy if you've just compiled a new version of the one you're working on.

Then, I added a performance bar that shows you how busy the VU is per frame. You should see a green bar starting at the top of the screen, and working it's way down the side.

That bar is measures how busy the VU is. If the screen is mostly black, then the VU is sitting still, happily waiting for the screen to update every frame. If it's mostly green, then the VU is working hard to keep up.

If the VU works so hard that it can't complete execution in a single frame then you'll start to see flashing green/black - this is bad!

The competition is over...
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Jul-20 15:40 about 52 minutes anyway :)

I've uploaded my offering to this site in the Sample Code category of the Files section - the tarball includces earlier sample cube code, then contains the actual entry for the compo - not that I'm going to beat Kazan's entry.

I hope that my series helped somebody get into this competition, if not I'm sure there will be more competitions to come - heck, if there aren't then I'll organise one!

I'm really looking forward to seeing everyone's offerings, that's the best part of the competition in my estimation :)

Happy demo-watching :)
FTP sorted
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Jul-18 10:22
For anyone in the future who installs Firewalling software / a broadband connection, note that theres an option in Internet Explorer, in
Tools->Internet Options->Advanced that says something like use passive mode for FTP. That needs to be enabled to work through firewall software (at least through Norton Firewall on default setup)

Took me a while to figure that one out. Anyway, the good news is that the on-line version of the site has caught up with the latest .ZIP release.

Now, stop reading this, you've only got 54 hours to get your VU demo handed in...
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Jul-17 13:32
OK, an archive of the website is up in the files section of this site, I guess the on-line version will have to lag behind a little until I sort my firewall problems out.

I wonder when I'll be happy enough with the tutorials to finally call them version 1...
Sauce does a clean up
 VU1 Microcode tutorials - eratosthenes - 2003-Jul-17 13:14
Thanks go out to Sauce for spotting some problems in the texture uploading code, and spotting a paragraph or 2 that needed a little more clarification.

I've fixed the errors on my local copy of the site, but I'm having hellish trouble FTPing it to my website since the computers in my house have had Norton Personal Firewall installed... it's a real bummer!

Sauce is part of the SPS2 project, an excellent project which makes programming the PS2 through Linux a breeze, and comes with some nifty example code. He will be shortly starting up some SPS2 tutorials, so when you've finished with what I've got to say, please check his project out. Hopefully he'll make less typos than me...

Related Projects
GIF/VIF/DMAtag disassembler

Project Admins

[View Members]

Find projects in similar categories: