A few days ago, I found a Flickr group thread that was practically begging for my input. It read something like “Hey Everett, you’re surprisingly enough not the only person out there with these two interests (one obscure and the other semi-so). Would you be willing to help out quite possibly the only other person in the world who cares about these things?”
Not only was I like, “Heck yeah!,” but I decided that this was worthy of blogging, in case a third individual happens to develop these interests. (If this is you, welcome!)
So, in case you find yourself wanting to get crappy photos—a term I use most affectionately — like these:
off of one of these:
and you use Linux:
…like I do, read on.
The hardware I’m using to download photos over USB is SmartBoy USB cartridge reader (which is made by these people). And there just so happens to be a great open-source program for facilitating this task using this device (or a similar cartridge reader): gbcflsh.
So what’s the problem? gbcflsh is only distributed as source, and the source fails to compile under recent releases of Ubuntu. I contacted the developers of gbcflsh, and one gave me some suggestions for fixing the source code. They have yet to publish the fixed source, so I’ll document how I got it to compile.
- Download and extract the source code.
- Install the following packages:
gcc 4.3.3, qt4-dev-tools, libftdi-dev
- Focus on the following files:
- Add the following to the bottom of the #include section of each file:
- That’s it! Compile it like you already know how to do (which I won’t get into here).
If all goes well, you’ll end up with the contents of your camera’s RAM in the form of a .sav file. Great! The hard part is behind us, but we’re not quite done yet.
Next, you’ll need a program that will extract photos from the save file. I believe there are a few, but they all seem to be for Windows. Fortunately, the one I use works perfectly under Wine. It’s called GBCameraDump.exe, and it can currently be found here. Download it, run it via Wine and select the .sav file you got from gbcflsh. You’ll have something that looks like this screenshot (except hopefully with better photos).
I would also advise you to — if this sort of thing matters to you — check the order of the saved images. They’re likely to be out of order due to, it seems, the way Nintendo decided to handle the saving of images to the cartridge. (Also, you’re likely to find some photos you thought were deleted, which may come as a surprise.)
So there you have it: how to get photos off of this camera of the past, using the operating system of the (sigh) future.