Jaguar Developer Software
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Jaguar Developer Software

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The low-down on Developer Software.

What do I need, computer software wise?

You need assemblers and maybe a 'C' compiler for your chosen computer platform, Atari ST or IBM PC compatible. To get the software visit the Jaguar Server Home-Page, there are links to software from there, and of course there is more software on the Just Claws Developer Site. Software available comprises tools, assemblers for the 68000, GPU and DSP processors on Jaguar, and there is an illicit copy of the Atari 'C' compiler for the PC too. Most binaries are for the Atari ST.

Of course, I would also say that you need a GOOD operating system... and being an OS/2 user since version 2.0, I'd recommend IBM OS/2 Warp 4, Merlin. Microsoft software tends to say "Windows 3.1 or better required." Warp is better... miles better. You can run multiple independent DOS sessions for your development code, and you can also run Windoze 3.1 and Win32s applications, and of course, all the really EXCELLENT 32-bit native OS/2 applications. Get serious. Get OS/2.
(OS/2 Warp 3.0)

What do I need, graphics wise?

For bitmap image creation, you will need to create your graphics using some tool which can save them in .RAW format, or write your own code for the Jaguar to decompress JPEG or similar format files. That is difficult, and the code is large, so I'd recommend .RAW format. That means every byte is stored uncompressed, sequentially, and the palette details are stored in a separate file. The Jaguar has no built-in means of displaying bitmap images, the object-processor displays bitmaps, but there are no library routines available to do that.

For 3D graphics, DO NOT expect to create a 3D model is something like Real-3D or AutoCAD, and then download it magically onto the Jaguar and get a 3D image. There are no libraries for you to use. You need to write the code to draw lines, polygons, use texture-mapping, and more. If you cannot create 3D polygon code on your PC or Atari, don't expect to do it easily on the Jaguar. Everything is up to you. The machine can easily do 100,000 polygons a second, 10,000 with texture mapping, but the code to achieve that is far from easy. If you can do the code in 'C', good, but you really need to use assembler...
(Go buy yourself some decent 3D programming books for a start...)

What do I need, sound wise?

By now you will not be surprised to read that generating sound is not easy either. The Jaguar DSP can generate an UNLIMITED number of sound channels, but the DSP is a processor and requires a program. You cannot just write a value to a register and then get that sound. You need to write a piece of code which hooks onto a regular interrupt, (and you decide the frequency), and then output a wave form to the left and right sound outputs. You can use .WAV files from Windows if you write a suitable routine and strip off the header. You can generate NO SOUND AT ALL from the 68000 CPU, you need to call the DSP.