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Interview with: Mark Grenilov


Date: 2002

The Interview

Wraggster: Can you tell us where were you born, where you live, your family details,etc.?
Mark Grilenkov: I was born 1977 in Germany and still live there. I'm not married.

Wraggster: What qualifications do you have?
Mark Grilenkov: None :-). But i am a Computer Science student at university. I hope to get my degree next year.

Wraggster: What made you get into computers?
Mark Grilenkov: My father bought an Apple II and while he was at work, i could use it after school. Then i learned my first programming language (Logo) and played my first computer games (Defender).

Wraggster: What projects/coding have you done previous to your PCSX-DC Emulator.?
Mark Grilenkov: I never released them to public, but i wrote two other emulators on my own (not just a port like PcsxDC). The first one was an AtariST emulator, the other one a Gameboy emulator. I never published them
because they were outdated (for example by Steem).

Wraggster: What made you choose to do an emulator for the Dreamcast ?
Mark Grilenkov: Actually i wanted to program a game for the DC. PcsxDC started as a test program for my cross-compiler. After i have invested a few hours of work, i thought it would be a pity to stop it now. I added the
recompiler and send the changes to linuzappz.

Wraggster: How did you start and what programs did you use to start coding PCSX-DC?
Mark Grilenkov: The main programs used are: GCC (as cross-compiler), KOS (KallistiOS) and Pcsx. I also modified some plugins. Especially to mention is the PeopsSoftGpu
video plugin.

Wraggster: Can you give us a status update on your emulator?
Mark Grilenkov: PcsxDC
- new recompiler with better register usage (80% done)
- new GTE opcodes (90% done)
- CD-Plugin with native PSX CD support (not yet started)
- BIOS loadable, i.e. CD change afterwards possible (needed for point 3)
- new and clearly arranged GUI (5% done :-))


- problems with paletted mode (PVR only supports 64 4-bit or 4 8-bit
- problems with blending (blending mode 1.0*B - 1.0*F isn't supported by the
PVR hardware. Does anybody know how to emulate this?)
- texture window not supported
- mask bit not supported
- 24bit mode not supported

Mainly point 1 and 2 of the PVR GPU list are the reason why i do not release a new version with hardware support.

Wraggster: How hard was it getting your PCSX-DC emulator to work and how can you improve it?Also how big a difference will getting it to Hardware render instead of Software render make?

Mark Grilenkov: Getting PcsxDC to work was easy. The difficult part is making it fast enough. Hardware render will play a big role in achieving this goal. Actually i tested some games using a hardware accelerated GPU. I didn't
measure the frames per second, but i think they're playable.
Of course there are still some render errors (see question before).

Wraggster: Do you have any new projects in the pipeline?
Mark Grilenkov: I still want to finish the game mentioned before.

Wraggster: The Dreamcast scene has already seen Bleemcast which even though it only supported one game, did run those games at full speed and with enhancements,
do that give you incouragement to get a faster working emulator?

Mark Grilenkov: No. Bleemcast is a commercial product. You must pay for it, so you can expect something working :-). Pcsx and its ports is written in the spare time of the coders. So making an emulator faster is more or less a personal attempt/goal of the coders. I myself don't want to compete against Bleemcast. Of course i made some calculations whether it is possible to achieve a reasonable speed before i started real work on the DC port and Bleemcast was a nice hint that it is possible.

Wraggster: Has anyone from the Dreamcast scene offered you their knowledge of SH4asm and more insight on how to squeeze the most out of the Graphics card.?

Mark Grilenkov: I don't know very much about the people involved in the Dreamcast scene, so i don't know who i should ask a question about a topic concerning the DC hardware. You can call me a total newbie to the DC scene.

Wraggster: What goal have you set yourself on how fast to get your emulator working and will you be going open source to see if help comes in from other quarters?

Mark Grilenkov: There isn't a timetable or roadmap for the further development of the DC port. I hope that i can fix the bugs in the PVR GPU plugin soon. After that i will release the GPU plugin source to public. Since it is based on PeopsSoftGpu (released under GPL), it will also be released under GPL. The rest of the source code will be included in the 1.4 version release of Pcsx (www.pcsx.net).
Wraggster: Whats your opinion of the Xbox and PS2 Emulation Scenes and which looks the most promising ?

Mark Grilenkov: I own a K6-350MHz. Emulating a Xbox or PS2 on this machine is worse than PcsxDC :).

A big thanks to Mark Grilenkov for a great Interview. :)