The Net Yaroze (which means, Let’s do it in Japanese) is was an official hobbyist programmable Playstation from Sony (SCEE).
It was launch in 1997, and I remember reading about it in a Playstation magazine, it was $750 US about $1400 AUD.

At that time I just started programming part-time, and I wasn’t sure I could do it.
In 1998 I started a Diploma in programming and in March 1999, I had a Net Yaroze! (I still have my acceptance letter in my CV!)

I remember study the small user guide (200 pages).
I did some 3D programming in my Diploma with OpenGL, so it wasn’t all new to me.
The guide is a high level introduction, with a bit explanation on the basics programming and setup required.
At times it’s a difficult to read because of the Japanese translation, but that’s very few.

So I tinker’ed mostly after getting it, I was busy with finish my Degree (RPL’ed from the Diploma).
I graduated at the end of 2000 and then I spent 2 months straight programming on it!

I used a small, crappy, black and white TV with an RF cable to ‘debug’, until I got a TV tuner card:

What I got was this:

jim.jpeg CAP05.jpeg
Click to see more info.

Block people walking around with bad animations, not much but for one guy in a bedroom, that’s pretty good back then!

The idea was a scrolling beat’em up, like double dragon from the arcades.
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I had a crude world editor, with a brackground and it all scrolled.. right mostly.
The textures I made using a gameboy colour camera, and I could change the colours in the program.
I didn’t create many sets of colours, so it looks bland.
For the heads textures, I took photos of the front, top, side and back and it looked okay.
The playstation, with limited memory (2 MB main, 1 MB video) you had to do tricks like that to make the most of textures.

Unfortunately, through the years I lost the code and other stuff :(

2016 New Beginning

Fast forward to 2016 and I’ve taken it out of the box again!
Firstly the development software was mostly built for Windows 95 (GNU toolchain) and it doesn’t work in windows XP or above.
Fortunately, a few people on the newsgroup posted their compiled version of g++.
However, there’s still no gdb (debugger) that I have found that works in winXP+

The Net Yaroze needs a serial port on a PC, these are being phased out now but still available.
But there are a few people that make the serial cable for USB, called PSXSERIAL USB Cable:
I’m not 100% sure if it works with Net Yaroze though, most likely not.

So, the ideal setup in 2016 is to use a PC from late 1990’s (pre windows XP) or if you have a working Com1 port, use an emulator like Virtual Box or VM Ware.

My setup video:

I’ll put more up on my Youtube in this play list here:

More to come soon!!
To chat, I’m on twitter, @mgarcia_org