[hatari-devel] Serial port issue with windows

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I'm very new at Hatari usage but I think I've put the finger over a "bug" on serial port handling on windows systems. I've understood that support of this very nice emulator is mostly done on "pingu-based" environment.

I'm searching a good Atari emulator, running over windows (any version) and able to operate correctly with serial ports. I'm more experienced with Gemulator that I've been practicing since it's DOS version - but forget with that, I've just discovered Hatari and found that it suits all my needs except that I've been unable to have a proper serial communication on Windows. I was not so surprised as some posts there or there were warning about that it was not working ...

In fact, after hours of searching, I think that I've pointed out the issue what seems to be only on the file selector ! I explain : When one goes to the F12 menu and goes to the device submenu, you have to browse to select a file, what is an incorrect solution for windows as you'll never find any serial port in this way (and defaults to %homedir%\/dev/modem ... notice the \ /). Any selection will cause an error at reboot (logged in STDERR) and RS232 is disabled.

Then, I've went to the "hatari.cfg" for a little bit of hacking and I've finally found a setting that starts to work .. You need to have at least 2 physical serial ports, say COM1 and COM2. If you force usage of COM1: in szOutFileName nd COM2: in szInFileName, you have no more error at boot time and the emulation is about to work on serial port, sending data over COM1: and receiving data from COM2: .... that is far from perfect but could be usable ... if one byte over ten was not gardage.

After that, I've tried to use direct device names (\\.\COM1) instead of COMx: but it failled ... with an interesting message from STDERR showing that the name used was not the name provided in "hatari.cfg", the dot was removed as a "\", resulting in an invalid name ....

To sumarrize, there is
- One problem with the "device setup" box that always add something as "%homedir%"
- One problem with the parsing of hatari.cfg, removing dots and double \ [I would be able to setup something as \\.\COM1 or \\.\PIPE\VMWAREDEBUG or \\.\CNCA0]
- One problem with the handling of characters transmitted (may be file openned/closed repeatedly)
... and I suspect the same issue for MIDI emulation

I would be glad to help solving this - but unfortunately, I have no development environment allowing me to recompile and only very few programming skills. If someone is interested to work on the subject, I can make all possible testings and, with some guidance, setup a development environment on the subject.

Regards - Hervé

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