Worked out the bugs from porting the rpat utility into my engine as a BFD based .pat generator. Basically, during the "can engine parse format" check I created, there was a faulty if block along the lines of:
abfd = bfd_openr("in.obj");
if( abfd != NULL )
Which obviously isn't correct as it should be error if we *didn't* get a bfd pointer. Second error was related to mixing up a constant I defined for the leading signature length, which is fixed at 0x20, versus the total signature length, which is somewhat fixed at 0x8000. I don't know the exact reason for this limitation at this time, but I've seen it mentioned several different sources.
Submitted an abstract to the URP symposium. We'll see how that goes. I'm a bit annoyed that they wanted .doc instead of say .pdf or raw text, but at least it wasn't docx in which case I probably would have skipped the whole thing out of convenience and principle. I have a Signals and Systems exam that day, but the symposium isn't until the afternoon, so should be fine.
I've also made some progress on better EPROM rippers. Most images I have I've got by breadboarding an 8051 based MCU circuit using the LITEC 8051 dev kit as a base. I have layout for a board, but need time to etch it. Alternatively, I could (and should) just solder up a perf board based ZIF socket reader using the expansion module on the LITEC compatible boards. Also, I got an EPROM programmer/reader in the mail today. Its a Prompro 7:
It seems a bit unstable at first work. Maybe needs some old filter caps replaced and such as the unit is fairly old. I'll try to do it a brief service this weekend if the two midterms on Monday don't keep me busy. And, as further reason to make the 8051 expansion module, I obviously can't rip its EPROM using the Prompro 7. Finally, I have a lot of EPROMs it came with if anyone needs any.