It took 8 days for the XGS to finally arrive from the US. Reading the forums and documents on the XGS site helped pass the time.

Below is a picture of the XGS along with joystick, user guide, e-book and SX programming manual. Not shown is the expansion module, sx key programmer, logic exploration kit and logic probe.

XGS contents

XGS contents

XGS motherboard

XGS motherboard

Now the moment of truth, time to hook it up to a TV. The demo pre-loaded on the XGS was NTSC, fortunately my tv supports both NTSC and PAL and heres the result.

XGS TV out demo

XGS TV out demo

Once I’ve managed to produce something with the XGS I’ll get it hooked up through my PC’s capture card then I can take a few screen shots rather than photos of the TV.

Now to upload some custom code.

To get this working in Linux I needed to download SX-IDE from Rainer Blessing’s web site1. This requires QT4 to install and Wine for the assembler to work. It uses gsxprog so you need an SX-Key as well.

Since SX-IDE requires an assembler and the only one available at the moment is for windows, it will run the assembler via wine. To get the assembler installed in the first place, just run the XGS cd install.exe under wine. Then copy the s.exe from your wine folder into your sxide directory. The README for SXIDE covers the setup, it’s very straightforward.

After connecting the SX-Key to the XGS header pins, programming was as simple as flicking a switch, then clicking assemble and program in SX-IDE.

Now I know everything works I guess it’s time to unwrap the manuals and start learning how to program for the sx chip, the xgs hardware and then the details on how the underlying hardware actually works, which after all is the reason I bought this.

A quick thank you to Rainer Blessing for creating SX-IDE for Linux. Even though it’s only at version 0.7 it can run the windows assembler, communicate with the sx-key and program the device as well as support syntax highlighting within the IDE. I’d also like to thank the gsxprog team without who I guess we wouldn’t have an SX-IDE, or at least not so quickly :)


  1. Site appears to be down. Old URL was http://www.rainerblessing.com/ [return]