Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

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stachlj958
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Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#1 » Wed Apr 20, 2016 5:36 pm

I know that playing burned games will break your dreamcast, but if it's a homebrew that you burn on a cd, will it?

Also, what format are new indie dreamcast games made on? i know it's not GD roms since those don't exist anymore.

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TacT
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#2 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 12:13 am

There are just too many factors to consider about burned discs and gd roms both wearing out the drive over time. There will never be any answer to this We will Not have this discussion again..lol
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scaryred24
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#3 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:22 am

stachlj958 wrote:I know that playing burned games will break your dreamcast, but if it's a homebrew that you burn on a cd, will it?

Also, what format are new indie dreamcast games made on? i know it's not GD roms since those don't exist anymore.

Burned discs are known to put more stress on the laser itself. It's a known myth that hasn't been fully tested, but I would have to say if your laser isn't well worn then I would have to say go for it. Other than that it may end up doing more harm than good if you keep on relying on burned disc (which I am not a good role model for anyways :lol: ).

Now onto the subject of newer indie games in general, they are in a Mil-CD format which is pretty much a dead format Japan used for Karaoke discs (CD-G+). All of the professionally pressed indie game are legitimate Mil-CD formatted discs and will not put much of a strain on your disc drive.
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Aleron Ives
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#4 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:57 pm

scaryred24 wrote:Burned discs are known to put more stress on the laser itself.

Lasers can't be "stressed". All they do is shine at a fixed intensity that decreases over time as the laser wears out. The laser doesn't have to "shine harder" when you use a CD-R or anything like that.

scaryred24 wrote:Now onto the subject of newer indie games in general, they are in a Mil-CD format which is pretty much a dead format Japan used for Karaoke discs (CD-G+). All of the professionally pressed indie game are legitimate Mil-CD formatted discs and will not put much of a strain on your disc drive.

This is nonsensical. MIL-CD is MIL-CD, and homebrew games are not "legitimate" MIL-CDs. There were a few pressed discs made back in the day in Japan, but homebrew games are exploiting the DC BIOS in the same way that bootleg commercial games are.

The only bad thing that can happen from using a CD-R is if you get a release that doesn't have a proper sort order and makes your DC go BZZ ZZT BZZ ZZT all the time as it tries to load files. This is a factor of the sort order alone and has nothing to do with the type of disc. Just try playing a GD-ROM of PSOv2, and you'll hear the same dreadful noises that bad bootlegs used to make. If a homebrew game has a bad sort order, it wears out the DC's worm drive, and if a retail game has a bad sort order, it wears out the DC's worm drive.

A GD-ROM can have a better sort order than CD-R, and a CD-R can have a better sort order than a GD-ROM (e.g. PSOv2 "fast load" discs). Your laser wears out over time, regardless of which disc type you use. The only way to prevent your laser from burning out is to not use your DC at all, which defeats the purpose of owning one. The idea that CD-Rs somehow break your DC is a myth perpetuated to try to stop piracy back when the DC was still relevant commercially.
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scaryred24
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#5 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:03 pm

I totally forgot the sort order. That I can say is the biggest problem when it comes to using burned games.
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krssn
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#6 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:19 pm

Aleron Ives wrote:
scaryred24 wrote:Burned discs are known to put more stress on the laser itself.

Lasers can't be "stressed". All they do is shine at a fixed intensity that decreases over time as the laser wears out. The laser doesn't have to "shine harder" when you use a CD-R or anything like that.

But they can be harder to read and may need to be re-read more, which makes the lens work longer for the same result. Thus putting extra strain on the lens.

Aleron Ives wrote:
scaryred24 wrote:Now onto the subject of newer indie games in general, they are in a Mil-CD format which is pretty much a dead format Japan used for Karaoke discs (CD-G+). All of the professionally pressed indie game are legitimate Mil-CD formatted discs and will not put much of a strain on your disc drive.

This is nonsensical. MIL-CD is MIL-CD, and homebrew games are not "legitimate" MIL-CDs. There were a few pressed discs made back in the day in Japan, but homebrew games are exploiting the DC BIOS in the same way that bootleg commercial games are.

Then why do bootleg commercial games not work on non-MIL-CD compatible Dreamcasts?...

Aren't homebrew games exploiting the DC BIOS by mimicking the MIL-CD format?...

Genuine question, what exactly makes a disc MIL-CD? Is it a form of code, or is there actually a physical difference between MIL-CD and other compact disc formats?...

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Aleron Ives
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#7 » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:18 pm

krssn wrote:But they can be harder to read and may need to be re-read more, which makes the lens work longer for the same result. Thus putting extra strain on the lens.

The lens can't be stressed. A CD-R is about 20% less reflective ("shiny") than a pressed disc, which means if your laser is weak, your DC may not be able to read a CD-R, even though GD-ROMs still work. This doesn't make CD-Rs worse than GD-ROMs, though, as your laser will get weaker simply from use, and the kind of use doesn't matter. As your DC ages, the laser will get too weak to read GD-ROMs, too. If the DC has trouble reading the disc, it will have to seek more to re-read the same data, which in turn will put extra wear on the motors and gears responsible for moving the laser assembly around. Eventually GD-ROMs will have this same problem, and once you pass below that threshold, your games will randomly freeze when the DC fails to read your discs (and eventually it won't let you boot games at all). You'll cross this threshold sooner with CD-Rs sooner than you will with GD-ROMs, because as your laser's output decreases, you'll pass the threshold where the laser doesn't have enough power to read a CD-R first, since it's less reflective than a GD-ROM, but as long as you have a strong laser, it will degrade equally fast regardless of which disc type you use.

krssn wrote:Genuine question, what exactly makes a disc MIL-CD? Is it a form of code, or is there actually a physical difference between MIL-CD and other compact disc formats?...

A genuine MIL-CD was created with Sega's permission back in 1999/2000 or so. The idea was that a music CD could contain special bonus content, much as some CDs come with screensavers, wallpapers, or music videos that you can watch on your PC. Sega wanted to make the DC an entertainment hub by putting special DC applications on music CDs, so you could play a game or watch a video on your DC while you listened to a CD, or something. The format never caught on, though, and much to Sega'd dismay, somebody displayed the ability to boot any unlicensed code on the DC by exploiting this format. Soon after, hackers discovered that they could use this exploit to release bootleg copies of commercial games.

MIL-CD uses a standard CD with specially formatted data. The first session contains audio tracks (the music), while the second session contains data -- specifically, a DC game. The problem is that a MIL-CD doesn't have the security ring of a GD-ROM, so you don't need a stamped disc to make one, and the "encryption" method Sega created was super easy to crack: a MIL-CD only requires the game's executable to be scrambled in a rather simple way that was easy to reproduce, and if you make your own disc using that format, you can boot your own code on the DC. By not doing anything to prevent burned discs from meeting the MIL-CD format's specifications, the DC had no way to block CD-Rs while allowing stamped officially licensed discs. Official MIL-CDs have actual albums on them along with their DC game content, but bootlegs and homebrew games usually include a single music track of the minimum length required to have a valid audio session, so that the rest of the disc's space can be devoted to storing game content.

Sega should have immediately halted DC production and made a new BIOS that wouldn't boot the MIL-CD format, but they waited a stupidly long time to do it, so the damage was done: almost any DC could boot unapproved discs without needing a modchip. Most DCs can also boot discs that contain two data sessions instead of one audio and one data session, but those are technically not MIL-CDs, since they don't contain CDDA; even so, they get lumped in with MIL-CDs, since the DC BIOS boots them in the same way as it boots MIL-CDs.

Homebrew game developers don't have the ability to stamp GD-ROMs, so they exploit the MIL-CD functionality to make their games boot, just as pirates exploit the functionality to boot their bootlegs.
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TacT
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#8 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 10:20 am

THAT'S WHY I SAID DON"T HAVE THIS CONVERSATION JUST DELETE THIS THREAD ALREADY XD

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Aleron Ives
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Re: Does homebrew break a dreamcast?

Post#9 » Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:39 pm

It is quite conclusive, actually. People just seem to enjoy perpetuating myths more than taking the time to understand the truth, which is certainly the more difficult road to travel.
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