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CF7+ for TI99/4A


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#1 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:29 AM

Does anyone here have one of these and if so how exactly do you use everything involved with it? I bought one and received the emailed "instructions" and two programs, cf2disk.exe and dsk2cf.exe. These are both DOS programs. They are supposedly supported using XP. One of the problems is that there is no specific instructions on how exactly to do that. I never did anything with DOS so I really need step by step instructions on every aspect. Also, although I can get the CF7+ connected and "recognized" by the TI, I can't access any of the files/programs on it. A disk image entitled Vol.1 shows up but I can't access it at all. Am I supposed to be using either the Disk Manager II or Extended Basic carts in tandem or nothing at all? I really have no idea what I'm doing. :sad: Perhaps I have been spoiled by the simplicity of other flash carts like the Atarimax cars for both the 5200 and CV, VecFlash and Harmony cart which are a breeze to operate.
There are so many TI games I'm itching to try out but I'm just not making any progress what-so-ever.

#2 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:24 PM

Does anyone here have one of these and if so how exactly do you use everything involved with it? I bought one and received the emailed "instructions" and two programs, cf2disk.exe and dsk2cf.exe. These are both DOS programs. They are supposedly supported using XP. One of the problems is that there is no specific instructions on how exactly to do that. I never did anything with DOS so I really need step by step instructions on every aspect. Also, although I can get the CF7+ connected and "recognized" by the TI, I can't access any of the files/programs on it. A disk image entitled Vol.1 shows up but I can't access it at all. Am I supposed to be using either the Disk Manager II or Extended Basic carts in tandem or nothing at all? I really have no idea what I'm doing. :sad: Perhaps I have been spoiled by the simplicity of other flash carts like the Atarimax cars for both the 5200 and CV, VecFlash and Harmony cart which are a breeze to operate.
There are so many TI games I'm itching to try out but I'm just not making any progress what-so-ever.


You definitly need to check out TI99DIR in the Development Resources thread. It's a file manager for dealing with TI files & disk images and looks like Norton Commander. Anyway it's a very nifty program and has direct support for the CF7+, so no need for doing any cryptic DOS commands ;-)

Perhaps we can get Opry99er to do a youtube video tutorial on this.

#3 oracle_jedi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:49 PM

Step One - go to this link and scroll down the the Compact Flash Utility.

This is a graphical front end to the cfmgr.exe program and should help with using the unit.

http://www.avjd51.ds...x.com/ti/ti.htm



To use the disk image included, you need Extended BASIC, then the program should auto-load.

To make sure it is mounted, connect your CF7 to your TI and boot up, you should see the "CF7+ Installed" added to the opening screen.

Select TI BASIC and when you get the ready prompt enter this:

CALL MOUNT(1,1)


You mounted disk image 1 as DSK1. Now go back to the Master Title Screen and select Extended BASIC, the CF7 Manager Program should auto-load.



You can use the graphical front end at the link I gave you to add new PC99 and TIDisk images to your CF card on the PC, and use the CALL MOUNT (x,y) method to mount them on the TI as disks 1, 2, or 3.



Hope that helps

#4 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 25, 2010 10:54 AM

You definitly need to check out TI99DIR in the Development Resources thread. It's a file manager for dealing with TI files & disk images and looks like Norton Commander. Anyway it's a very nifty program and has direct support for the CF7+, so no need for doing any cryptic DOS commands ;-)

Perhaps we can get Opry99er to do a youtube video tutorial on this.



A Youtube tutorial would be great. Anyway, I dl'ed the program and started it up. It correctly reads all of the TI files on my PC. I select the "I" drive for the CF card and get a response that the drive is unreadable. I notice that "I" is still selected on the right hand side so I select Read CF7A+ Volume List option from the "Files" drop-down menu. Only then does the contents of the CF card display. Why is that? I've included a few pictures of the results. I still can't get at that volume on the TI though.

Attached File  TI99 Dir p1.jpg   737.56KB   75 downloads Attached File  TI99 Dir p2.jpg   1.24MB   88 downloads
Attached File  TI99 Dir p3.jpg   1.15MB   70 downloads Attached File  TI99 Dir p4.jpg   561.97KB   46 downloads

Step One - go to this link and scroll down the the Compact Flash Utility.

This is a graphical front end to the cfmgr.exe program and should help with using the unit.

http://www.avjd51.ds...x.com/ti/ti.htm



To use the disk image included, you need Extended BASIC, then the program should auto-load.

To make sure it is mounted, connect your CF7 to your TI and boot up, you should see the "CF7+ Installed" added to the opening screen.

Select TI BASIC and when you get the ready prompt enter this:

CALL MOUNT(1,1)


You mounted disk image 1 as DSK1. Now go back to the Master Title Screen and select Extended BASIC, the CF7 Manager Program should auto-load.



You can use the graphical front end at the link I gave you to add new PC99 and TIDisk images to your CF card on the PC, and use the CALL MOUNT (x,y) method to mount them on the TI as disks 1, 2, or 3.



Hope that helps



I followed your instructions with the Call Mount. It hesitated a split second then moved down a line. So I assumed it worked correctly. I preformed the "Quit" FCTN + +/= to get to the initial Master Screen and selected Extended Basic. Unfortunately the results were an error message of: Syntax Error in 0. Does this mean that the Volume is corrupted or perhaps the entire CF? I tried to read the CF with the CF_To_Disk_Transfer_Utility but every time I selected the appropriate drive number I received the following message:
Run-time error '68':

Device unavailable

Then the program would automatically shut down.

#5 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 25, 2010 1:03 PM

You can't copy single game files directly to the CF7A+, what you do is you copy a disk image to the CF7+, so you have
to make sure your files are already in the disk image.

Here is how you can first create a new disk image with TIDIR.

1. Files -> Create new DSK Image
2. Popup window appears, Enter a volume label, e.g. "GAMES"
and select radio button "CF7A+: 40 tracks 20 sectors/track 1600 sectors
3. Click on "Create button", a new image file "games.dsk" will be created
4. In the left window: select the directory that contains the PC files
4. In the right window: select the disk image file, it will be empty.
5. In the left window: select your files and press "F5", they will be copied into the disk image.


Once you have your files in the disk image, you can then copy the disk image to the CF7A+

1. In the left window: right-mouse click on directory path line and select "read CF7A+ volume list" from the context menu
2. In the left window: select a target volume
2. In the right window: select ".." to move outside disk image
3. In the right window: Press "F5" to copy the image to the CF7A+

:D

#6 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:02 PM

You can't copy single game files directly to the CF7A+, what you do is you copy a disk image to the CF7+, so you have
to make sure your files are already in the disk image.

Here is how you can first create a new disk image with TIDIR.

1. Files -> Create new DSK Image
2. Popup window appears, Enter a volume label, e.g. "GAMES"
and select radio button "CF7A+: 40 tracks 20 sectors/track 1600 sectors
3. Click on "Create button", a new image file "games.dsk" will be created
4. In the left window: select the directory that contains the PC files
4. In the right window: select the disk image file, it will be empty.
5. In the left window: select your files and press "F5", they will be copied into the disk image.


Once you have your files in the disk image, you can then copy the disk image to the CF7A+

1. In the left window: right-mouse click on directory path line and select "read CF7A+ volume list" from the context menu
2. In the left window: select a target volume
2. In the right window: select ".." to move outside disk image
3. In the right window: Press "F5" to copy the image to the CF7A+

:D


Thanks for the info. I have done everything you have listed and it appears that the TI dsk files I have on my PC and being transferred to the allotted empty dsk volumes. I'm sorry to say that I still can not get anything to run on the TI. Whenever I try to load anything through Extended Basic all I get is Syntax Error in 0 or 190. This is horribly depressing. :sad:

#7 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:49 AM

That is certainly weird. Are these Extended Basic programs you are trying to load ?

Just for verifying you have a valid disk image, try the below:

1. Goto http://tigameshelf.net/asm.htm and grab the "V9T9 .DSK image" of Pitfall.
You should be able to transfer the image to the Compact Flash using TIDIR.
2. Mount the volume on the TI and try if you can get to run #PITFALL using your Editor/Assembler cartridge
option #5.
3. Try if you can get the game to run using Extended Basic, it should automatically load.

If you like you can me a PM with the disk image and I'll give it a spin on my CF7A+.

#8 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:14 AM

That is certainly weird. Are these Extended Basic programs you are trying to load ?

Just for verifying you have a valid disk image, try the below:

1. Goto http://tigameshelf.net/asm.htm and grab the "V9T9 .DSK image" of Pitfall.
You should be able to transfer the image to the Compact Flash using TIDIR.
2. Mount the volume on the TI and try if you can get to run #PITFALL using your Editor/Assembler cartridge
option #5.
3. Try if you can get the game to run using Extended Basic, it should automatically load.

If you like you can me a PM with the disk image and I'll give it a spin on my CF7A+.



The Pitfall disk image from the game shelf is one of the files I have been trying to load. I created a blank dsk image titled Pitfall on the CF and then transferred the actual Pitfall dsk I dl'ed from the gameshelf to that blank image. Every time I try to load it I get the syntax errors. I've tried a couple other games from there as well. All result in the same errors.
I don't have a copy of the Editor/Assembler cartridge. I thought for certain I did but I just went through everything I own for the TI and didn't find one. Would reformatting the CF do any good? If so do I have to follow some odd procedure to format it for the TI?

#9 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 12:12 PM

Question: did you use a compact flash card that came with the unit ?

I have 3 CF7a+ units and they all came with a compact flash card. Until now I only used 1 of the compact flash
cards (a SanDisk 512MB card that works without any problems).

So, this evening I tried both other cards.

1) Test with "SimpleTech 64Mb digital media compact flash" card
a) Format card on the PC (Windows Vista, formatted it with "FAT" filesystem and left all default settings
b) Put card in CF7+ and go to TI-BASIC
c) CALL FORMAT(1)
d) Put Card back in the PC and copied pitfall disk image (from the Games Shelf) using TIDIR.
e) Mounted the volume on the TI and checked with Disk Manager 2. All files are present
f) Plugged in my Extended Basic module and waited for Pitfall to start, it didn't the TI got a green screen and locked-up
g) Tried EA#5 -> DSK1.#PITFALL in Editor Assembler, and it switched to TI-Basic, :ponder:


2) Test with "Sandisk SHOOT&SHARE 32MB compact flash card"
a) repeated steps 1a-1e
b) Plugged in my Extended Basic module and waited for Pitfall to start, it works :)
c) Tried EA#5 -> DSK1.#PITFALL in Editor Assembler, it works too.

Repeated both tests 2 times, with the same result.

So to make a long story short, I think you should try to use another compact flash card. SanDisk seems to work best.
To start from scratch you format the compact flash on the PC and then put the card in the TI and do a CALL FORMAT(1) to initalise a single volume.
At the same time the compact flash card will get a header that identifies it as a TI filesystem and that makes it recognizable in TI-DIR.

I don't recall the maximum supported compact flash card size. But I think that 1 gigabyte cards should work as well.
You might also want to get an Editor/Assembler module as it has the fastest EA5 loader (that's my opinion anyway).
But when using CF7+ Extended Basic should be ok too. Personally I don't like the Extended Basic loaders that mimic EA5 loaders though.

Hope this helps.

#10 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:10 PM

Question: did you use a compact flash card that came with the unit ?


Yes, the CF card that I'm using came with the unit. It's the Sandisk SHOOT&SHARE 32MB. Same as the second one you mentioned. So it's definitely not a matter of incompatibility. I'll try reformatting it and see how that goes. Thank you very much for the detailed instructions. :thumbsup:


EDIT:

Actually before I reformat it I thought I would try to run a disk catalog of what I have on there now. Here's what I got back:
Attached File  TI p1.jpg   921.03KB   64 downloads
Attached File  TI p2.jpg   816.61KB   403 downloads
Attached File  TI p3.jpg   821.5KB   55 downloads

By the looks of it everything is there that is supposed to be. They just won't load. :sad:

Edited by darthkur, Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:31 PM.


#11 remowilliams OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 5:01 PM

It looks like you've got the Pitfall disk image mounted as floppy drive 2 to the TI. For Extended Basic to 'autoboot' that, I believe you need to mount that image slot to the first virtual floppy. You should be able to accomplish that by issuing a CALL MOUNT statement from Basic.

Syntax is CALL MOUNT(<drive number>,<volume number>)

So to mount CF image slot two to TI virtual floppy one:

CALL MOUNT(1,2)

Just substitute whatever image slot number you have placed the Pitfall disk image onto the CF with TI99DIR.

Hopefully that doesn't further confuse you. :)

#12 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 6:24 PM

It looks like you've got the Pitfall disk image mounted as floppy drive 2 to the TI. For Extended Basic to 'autoboot' that, I believe you need to mount that image slot to the first virtual floppy. You should be able to accomplish that by issuing a CALL MOUNT statement from Basic.

Syntax is CALL MOUNT(<drive number>,<volume number>)

So to mount CF image slot two to TI virtual floppy one:

CALL MOUNT(1,2)

Just substitute whatever image slot number you have placed the Pitfall disk image onto the CF with TI99DIR.

Hopefully that doesn't further confuse you. :)


I typed in CALL MOUNT(1,2) then exited to the main screen then went into Extended Basic. Unfortunately I received the syntax error in 190 again. Even without doing a call mount shouldn't the first volume instantly start upon entering Exbasic? I would assume that it should. It doesn't though. Just the error message.

#13 oracle_jedi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 26, 2010 7:20 PM

Let's do a quick sanity check here.

Boot the TI and select TI BASIC, then enter

CALL MOUNT(1,99)



Now exit and go to TI Extended BASIC.

You should get a ready prompt.

Type:

>SIZE

11840 BYTES OF STACK FREE
24488 BYTES OF PROGRAM
SPACE FREE


If we get that the 32K is recognized and working.


Now go back to TI BASIC and remount any usable volume as DSK1, a blank one is preferred.

Then from TI BASIC write a hello-world program and save it to DSK1.

Load it back and check it works.



If that works repeat the load/save test for TI Extended BASIC.


You might have a bad Extended BASIC cart, you might a bad 32K expansion.

Are you sure your TI doesn't have an internal 32K upgrade or wait-state bypass?



Hope this sheds some light on what is going on.

#14 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 27, 2010 1:57 PM

Let's do a quick sanity check here.

Boot the TI and select TI BASIC, then enter

CALL MOUNT(1,99)



Now exit and go to TI Extended BASIC.

You should get a ready prompt.

Type:

>SIZE

11840 BYTES OF STACK FREE
24488 BYTES OF PROGRAM
SPACE FREE


If we get that the 32K is recognized and working.


Now go back to TI BASIC and remount any usable volume as DSK1, a blank one is preferred.

Then from TI BASIC write a hello-world program and save it to DSK1.

Load it back and check it works.



If that works repeat the load/save test for TI Extended BASIC.


You might have a bad Extended BASIC cart, you might a bad 32K expansion.

Are you sure your TI doesn't have an internal 32K upgrade or wait-state bypass?



Hope this sheds some light on what is going on.



I tried it out and all went well until I went into Extended Basic. At that point the CF7 locked up.
Thanks anyways. As it turns out the manufacturer informed me late last night that he'll send out a replacement unit. So that should take care of the dilemma.
Thank you to everyone that offered your kind assistance. :thumbsup:

#15 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 27, 2010 2:41 PM

Let's do a quick sanity check here.

Boot the TI and select TI BASIC, then enter

CALL MOUNT(1,99)



Now exit and go to TI Extended BASIC.

You should get a ready prompt.

Type:

>SIZE

11840 BYTES OF STACK FREE
24488 BYTES OF PROGRAM
SPACE FREE


If we get that the 32K is recognized and working.


Now go back to TI BASIC and remount any usable volume as DSK1, a blank one is preferred.

Then from TI BASIC write a hello-world program and save it to DSK1.

Load it back and check it works.



If that works repeat the load/save test for TI Extended BASIC.


You might have a bad Extended BASIC cart, you might a bad 32K expansion.

Are you sure your TI doesn't have an internal 32K upgrade or wait-state bypass?



Hope this sheds some light on what is going on.



I tried it out and all went well until I went into Extended Basic. At that point the CF7 locked up.
Thanks anyways. As it turns out the manufacturer informed me late last night that he'll send out a replacement unit. So that should take care of the dilemma.
Thank you to everyone that offered your kind assistance. :thumbsup:


Excellent news! Hope you get your replacement unit soon. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

#16 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 2, 2010 4:14 PM

I thought these things were out of production. Where can I get one?

#17 oracle_jedi OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 3, 2010 10:43 AM

I thought these things were out of production. Where can I get one?


Jaime is back and selling CF7s again:

http://cgi.ebay.com/...em=200428044512

#18 darthkur OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 5, 2010 5:59 PM

Just thought that I'd let everyone know that I got the replacement unit and it works great. (See blurry pic below :P )
Now I just need an Editor/Assembler cartridge
. Would anyone happen to have an extra one they'd be willing to part with?
Thanks again for everyone's help.

Attached File  TI pitfall.jpg   376.39KB   92 downloads

#19 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 6, 2010 1:59 PM

Excellent! Good to see you up and running.

Nice game you have on there :D

#20 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:50 PM

So I got my CF7+, and I could use a bit of help getting started. I don't have
an XB or EA cartridge yet, so I'm sticking with regular basic for now.

I went to TI Game Shelf and downloaded Ti Trek (Trek-arc.bin) in TIFILES format.
I used Ti99dir to open my dsk image and copy Trek-arc.bin to it. It truncated
to Trek-arc_b. I burned that dsk image to flash as volume 1.

Putting the CF card in the CF7+, I do the following:

CALL MOUNT(1,1)
OLD DSK1.CATALOG
RUN

I note that all the files I expect are in the listing. So I run:

OLD DSK1.Trek-arc_b

I get an I/O Error 57. With a little googling, I find that this is a file error, probably
a file type error. So I check the file type of Trek-arc_b. It's "int/fix". Is that what
it should be? If not, what should it be and how do I change it?

The TI-99 Game Shelf says that "All the download files on this site are in TIFILES format,
which means that they will run directly on a real TI 99/4A machine." So I thought it would
be straightforward, but no luck. I can't find any info on TI-99 file types at all.

Any advice? Links? All is appreciated.

#21 oracle_jedi OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 28, 2010 11:11 PM

Any advice? Links? All is appreciated.


I think the program you have is an Archive file, so you will need to UNARC it.

The Barry Boone un-archiver is the most common one and it seems to work really well.

Since you dont have a real XB cartridge, your best best is to un-arc the ARC file with something like the Win994a emulator, working with the TIDisk image. Once you have it working on the emulator, you can move it to the real TI on the CF card.

HTH

#22 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 1, 2010 12:29 PM

Geeze, I guess the "arc" in the filename could have tipped me off. I'll try that when I get home.
I had no problem getting the BASIC programs available as .dsk to run, so it should be straightforward.
This thread was a lot of help too, thanks.

#23 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:08 AM

Jaime has 3 CF7+ up for sale at ebay. They're the new slim model.

Check it out here

#24 vectrexroli OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:08 AM

So I got my CF7+, and I could use a bit of help getting started. I don't have
an XB or EA cartridge yet, so I'm sticking with regular basic for now.

I went to TI Game Shelf and downloaded Ti Trek (Trek-arc.bin) in TIFILES format.
I used Ti99dir to open my dsk image and copy Trek-arc.bin to it. It truncated
to Trek-arc_b. I burned that dsk image to flash as volume 1.


I have a CF7+ and I have Ti99dir.
As a collector IŽd like to see certain games on real hardware before IŽll buy the original modules.
I now have some .BIN files and I want to copy them on a formatted Volume on the Compact Flash card.
But how can I do that?

How can I open a disk image and copy the bin file to it within Ti99dir?
When I try to copy the binf file Ti99dir says it can only copy disk files to CF7+ and I couldnŽt find any other function to do that.

Any idea?

Thanks,
roland

#25 retroclouds OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 1, 2010 4:14 AM

Jaime again has 3 CF7+ "slim" models up for sale at Ebay.

Grab them while you can.

Check here: eBay Auction -- Item Number: 200467295711




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