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Commodore is hard!


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#51 Arkhan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 28, 2011 3:48 PM

Cleaning/adjusting a 1541 is a lesson in patience.

I really suggest you get a X1541 cable of some variety that will let you hook your 1541 up to a parallel port computer. OpenCBM is great. You can use RPM1541 to do on the fly RPM tweaking. Alot of times the 1541 wont load right because the motors being a retard. You can fire up RPM1541 and adjust VR1 on the board until the RPMs are as close to 300 as you can get (I think thats the number).

As far as cleaning.... use alcohol and a cotton swab and gently clean the head. clean the rails as well, making sure no cottony fuzz gets there. DONT use an WD40 as some morons suggest, to help smooth the rails up. WD40 will get all dirty and sticky, and make a frikking mess. A bad one. Use a bit of lithium grease. A TINY bit. you dont want slipping.

Alignment programs are hit/miss. You really need an alignment utility thats been written to a clean 5.25" disk... and the catch is, it has to have been written on a perfectly aligned machine.... otherwise you just align your current 1541 with the alignment of the drive that wrote the disk... Which may be misaligned too...

Usually the motor RPM adjustment fixes most loading issues.

Once your drive is working right again, you can then use OpenCBM to write .d64s back to disks and use them on the real machine. There is some drag/drop disk image creator out there too. I wish I could remember the name of it.

http://www.d64editor.com/ This looks similar. There was another one. It worked on Linux too.

When alls said and done though, my real advice is to throw the 1541 out the front door and buy a 1571. They are WAY more sturdy. I've never had to realign a 1571, even after dropping one down a flight of steps

#52 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:25 PM

What Arkhan said... that, and/or just get a 1541-Ultimate-II (or uIEC) if you can, and be done with messing with the drives/cleaning/adjusting/maintenance forever. I know I keep saying that, but it really is by far the best long-term solution.

As for why you have to load the dir then list it... well, once you get a fast load solution of some sort in place, whether that be a Final Cart, an Epyx Fast Load cart, or one of those built into an SD device, you won't have to worry about it. You'll just hit a button or 2 and load.

As for why no auto run... I don't know why it's like that, but I honestly like it that way a lot better than I like the Atari 8-bit autorun. I can't explain that logically, I'm pretty sure it's just because it's what I grew up with and what I'm used to. As much as I do love the A8, it just seems weird to me. Maybe I'm just a control freak, I don't know.

#53 Nukey Shay OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 28, 2011 4:53 PM

Autorun files have advantages and disadvantages.

Loading commercial games is usually pretty simple...since a game's initializing program is often the first one in the directory (so you can just LOAD"*",8 or LOAD"*",8,1. If you have a Fastload or Action Replay cartridge, this has been assigned to a function key (so is pulling up a directory), so it can be done with a single keystroke.

I recommend tracking down an Action Replay cartridge anyway...since it features a "freeze menu" which is accessed by pressing a button on the cartridge - breaking out of any running program so you can view or modify the program...or store the computer's current state with the running program intact as a "warp speed" disk file that loads in a couple of seconds. It's just like using save states with emulators :)

#54 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:17 PM

So if I were sitting at the old 'ready' prompt and wanted to filecopy everything from drive 9 to drive 8, what's the syntax for doing that?

I've 'loaded' single-file games from 9 and 'saved' them to 8, but I'd really like to avoid having to do that with every file on this disk image (there are so many they scroll off the screen). I tried a few disk copy programs that a previous owner had left on floppy, and found one that supported 2 drives, but it really didn't like that sd drive.

#55 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 1:40 PM

Unless it's just BASIC programs that you're LOADing and SAVEing, you're best using one of those filecopy programs. If they don't like your SD device then you may be S.O.L. (not the 64's or programs' fault, but the SD device design's fault). Just keep in mind, that usually if you just try to filecopy all the visible files on a disk, the copy isn't going to work, for most commercial games/programs. There are a lot of hidden/special files, and other data in the disk structure (not to mention copy protections) that will mean you should usually be using a whole disk copy program. Unless, like stated, it really is just a bunch of programs saved to a floppy, then a regular filecopy program will work fine.

#56 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:12 PM

It's a cracked version, so I'm somewhat hopeful that all the files are visible. Is it likely that this isn't the case? I'm trying for little computer people and space rogue.

Thought I'd throw in a quick shot of my current retro computing setup too.
Posted Image

Edited by Reaperman, Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:14 PM.


#57 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:17 PM

Nice setup! I have the same A/V switcher too. Poorly designed, but hey... it was cheap! Posted Image

#58 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:19 PM

It's a cracked version, so I'm somewhat hopeful that all the files are visible. Is it likely that this isn't the case?


Not necessarily, no. But you can try, maybe it will work on whatever you have. If it's a disk with single-file cracked games, like ones saved out of a freezer for example, then it may work. I'm just saying that filecopying stuff like that generally isn't the most reliable method, or even the best/easiest way, and often it won't work, so don't be surprised the times that it doesn't. You obviously have to work around whatever the limitations of your SD device are though. I still don't really understand all the limitations, but they're probably the reasons that people were telling you it's "crap". That wasn't a very nice way of putting it, but I think they were just seeing the technical and usability limitations that it seems to have.

#59 desiv OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 2:53 PM

Might be able to try a file copy (as opposed to a disk copy) utility..
Something on here might work:
http://www.zimmers.n...copy/index.html

Just a thought..

Good luck.

desiv

#60 TMR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:19 PM

It's a cracked version, so I'm somewhat hopeful that all the files are visible. Is it likely that this isn't the case? I'm trying for little computer people and space rogue.


Looking at the versions of LCP and Space Rogue at Gamebase, both appear to be file-based so you should be okay.

#61 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 30, 2011 6:22 PM

Thanks for all the help with the filecopiers--in the end it turned out that they generally won't work. They either try to copy files using methods my device doesn't support (command channel stuff?), or need my source to be writable (why?), and a surprising number only support one drive.

I managed to survive though, thanks to a little german-language pc program called d642m2i. Basically turning multiple d64 files into a single m2i file that my device just loves to death. M2i's have unlimited size and unlike d64's, my device can write to them. The sofware was easy to use too, even for an english speaker. Because of that I'm currently basking in the glow of space rogue. It only asks for disk swapping about half as often too, and all I do is hit any key when it does. I've still got to make sure things like saving work, but so far so good. Now I've got to google up some instructions for it.

I'm one happy c64 user tonight.

edit: there may still be some issues, but this still seems like the way to go

Edited by Reaperman, Sun Jan 30, 2011 7:05 PM.


#62 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 31, 2011 4:27 AM

Nice setup there reaperman...your missing a 1050 or '551 though, i am guessing your 800xl has some sort of ram upgrade and that thing on the top of the machine is one of those sio2xxx widgets

Have you thought about getting one of those slimline c64 shells to make the c64 c64c alike

#63 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:51 AM

Nice setup there reaperman...your missing a 1050 or '551 though, i am guessing your 800xl has some sort of ram upgrade and that thing on the top of the machine is one of those sio2xxx widgets

Have you thought about getting one of those slimline c64 shells to make the c64 c64c alike

The Atari's sio2sd emulates so many drives at once, and does it so well, that I can't think of a use for keeping a 'real' drive out for it. I do agree that a 1050 would look good up there next to the commie drive, though. I think what I eventually need to do is get rid of the 1541 entirely and fit another 8-bit machine on that shelf. Maybe a TI-99, or Apple product. I also need to make cases for my SD devices--they deserve better than the treatment I give them.

I actually bought a c64c back when I was a kid. I've never been a huge fan of the c's styling, but next time I swing past the parents house (thousands of miles away) I'll probably grab it. There was a monitor with that setup IIRC, and I could really use it.

Various cracks of Space Rogue are still crashing at different points for me. The interior of the first starbase is a common spot for it. Even if it doesn't work for this game, making m2i files will probably pay off eventually. Battletech, Countdown to Doomsday, Pirates!, wasteland--I'll get at least one of the big games working this way. It's still so much work that just maybe I'll start up a penny jar for one of those 1541 ultimate units. Either that or just break down and learn to accept emulation.

Edited by Reaperman, Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:59 AM.


#64 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 31, 2011 10:43 AM

Glad to hear you got something sort of working. So you're currently running Space Rogue off of an M2I file on an SD drive? If that keeps crashing I have one more idea for you.

There's a tool 'd64it'. It can take a .d64 image and write it to a real disk. I didn't suggest this earlier, since I didn't think you had a device that could hold a d64 file for the C= to read. But if you can get a .d64 file into an .m2i file, you can use it to create a real disk. That might run more stable for you. Have you checked the .d64s in VICE to see if they crash there?

And while you're dreaming of a 1541U, it's worth pointing out that it does a lot of other stuff besides just being a drive. The freezer cartridge emulation is fantastic. It also acts as an REU, and eventually will support USB-Ethernet adapters. Also has a built in reset switch. :) If you were to try to buy all that separately, you'd spend just as much.

#65 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 31, 2011 5:06 PM

Thanks for all the help with the filecopiers--in the end it turned out that they generally won't work. They either try to copy files using methods my device doesn't support (command channel stuff?), or need my source to be writable (why?), and a surprising number only support one drive.

I managed to survive though, thanks to a little german-language pc program called d642m2i. Basically turning multiple d64 files into a single m2i file that my device just loves to death. M2i's have unlimited size and unlike d64's, my device can write to them. The sofware was easy to use too, even for an english speaker. Because of that I'm currently basking in the glow of space rogue. It only asks for disk swapping about half as often too, and all I do is hit any key when it does. I've still got to make sure things like saving work, but so far so good. Now I've got to google up some instructions for it.

I'm one happy c64 user tonight.

edit: there may still be some issues, but this still seems like the way to go







sounds like you need one of those better floppy emulator devices (like the ones Mirage mentioned), until then you'll just have to stick with single disk games and the A8 for company

Hope you get it sorted soon (or a better floppy emulator)

#66 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 31, 2011 7:05 PM

The commodore and I are really having a good time even with my device limitations. I like c64's Shadow of the Beast more than my lynx or genesis copies. Mario 2, outrun, elite, sim city, star glider, moonfall, super cars, ninja turtles--I've been playing some really neat stuff. I'm going to try out APB and The Train next.

It's a shame A8 didn't get more of this software. These are huge titles.

Then it'll be time to work on space rogue some more. I'm so close.
That c64-based .d64 copier might work. If not out of the box (direct file access), then maybe from d64 files inside larger d81 or m2i images if I wanted to be a real sneak.
I've also never tried the filecopiers on my m2i's (which my device seems to like more than d64's)
Also there are still a lot of cracked space rogues I haven't tried yet. If it's a fast loader or drive timing issue one may be better. Yes, I suppose an emulator would tell me that more quickly than my machine testing.

#67 carmel_andrews OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 6:13 AM

is there not a way to update/upgrade the firmware of your sd device thing (your floppy emulator), so you can do more things with it

Check on the manuf's site and see if there's an firmware upgrade/update thing you can download

Having not seen these things in the fleshy i wouldn't know, i am guessing thoug you should be able to update or upgrade the firmware (like you can do with some of the sio2xxx devices)

#68 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 6:18 AM

is there not a way to update/upgrade the firmware of your sd device thing (your floppy emulator), so you can do more things with it

Check on the manuf's site and see if there's an firmware upgrade/update thing you can download

Having not seen these things in the fleshy i wouldn't know, i am guessing thoug you should be able to update or upgrade the firmware (like you can do with some of the sio2xxx devices)


He mentioned the issues with upgrading the firmware in post #44, though I admit I don't really understand the issue, having not read the update instructions etc myself.

#69 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 10:33 AM

I was playing around with the new firmware for the 1541u-II last night and discovered it now has a way to mount and automatically run a file from inside a .d64. That pretty much takes care of the autorun issue that folks seem to have, at least when using the 1541u. I'm thinking it may DMA load the selected file as it seems to work a bit quicker than normal, but it could just be the images that I was playing with were quick to load normally.

#70 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 11:01 AM

Yes, it does indeed DMA load single files into memory. I'm not sure if the "mount & run" function for disk based games uses DMA though. For those I've been using the included fast load cart images, since they help in game loading for some games as well. JiffyDOS is the best solution in that case though.

#71 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 11:07 AM

I was actually reading a thread the other day on the Ultimate website where some were saying that the Retro Replay cart is actually faster in many cases than JiffyDOS. I'm not sure whether that's true or when, because they're both pretty fast. Also there is something called, I think, sJiffyDOS (?) that is faster than regular JiffyDOS.

#72 Reaperman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 11:22 AM

is there not a way to update/upgrade the firmware of your sd device thing (your floppy emulator), so you can do more things with it


On the firmware for my mmc2iec.

After a whole lot of research, Unseen's SD2IEC firmware v0.6.6 is the absolute best firmware I can run. The thing of it is that I can't find it anywhere. I also cannot run the current, easily obtainable version of that firmware on my device because of firmware storage limitations.

With the new firmware, I'd gain long filename support, support for a disk change button (I'd have to research that more), .d64 "direct sector access"(?), and support for jiffydos/final cartridge iii

I may take a trip over to lemon and see if anybody has an old copy of it around.

Edited by Reaperman, Wed Feb 2, 2011 11:24 AM.


#73 Hatta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 12:54 PM

I was actually reading a thread the other day on the Ultimate website where some were saying that the Retro Replay cart is actually faster in many cases than JiffyDOS. I'm not sure whether that's true or when, because they're both pretty fast. Also there is something called, I think, sJiffyDOS (?) that is faster than regular JiffyDOS.


I've actually not been able to get the Retro Replay fastloader to run on my C128. It just crashes when I try to run anything. Other features (freezer) work fine. The Action Replay loader works fine though, dunno how big the difference is. Mostly I'd want Jiffy for compatibility, I hear it's really good. The Action Replay loader causes some problems e.g. graphical issues with King's Bounty. I've been using the Epyx Fastload cart with that one. Gives me 50-100% speedup with great compatibility, as opposed to the 200%-300% I got with the AR. Still enough to make a difference.

But if I could just put JiffyDOS in the computer and forget about fastloaders, I'd be delighted.

Edit: There's also the issue of in game loading. Some times fast loaders will speed up in game loading, and some times they won't. Not sure what the difference is, but I hear JD works consistently.

Edited by Hatta, Wed Feb 2, 2011 12:58 PM.


#74 98PaceCar OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 1:01 PM

Yes, it does indeed DMA load single files into memory. I'm not sure if the "mount & run" function for disk based games uses DMA though. For those I've been using the included fast load cart images, since they help in game loading for some games as well. JiffyDOS is the best solution in that case though.


Yea, single filers have been DMA for a while now. I'll need to do some testing on speeds for multi load. I think he could DMA the initial file and as long as the disk is mounted, it should just pick up reading from disk as normal. Probably won't give a whole lot of speed as most of the initially loaded files are nothing more than a boot program, but anything to save some time!

#75 Mirage OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 2, 2011 1:01 PM

I've actually not been able to get the Retro Replay fastloader to run on my C128. It just crashes when I try to run anything. Other features (freezer) work fine. The Action Replay loader works fine though, dunno how big the difference is. Mostly I'd want Jiffy for compatibility, I hear it's really good. The Action Replay loader causes some problems e.g. graphical issues with King's Bounty. I've been using the Epyx Fastload cart with that one. Gives me 50-100% speedup with great compatibility, as opposed to the 200%-300% I got with the AR. Still enough to make a difference.

But if I could just put JiffyDOS in the computer and forget about fastloaders, I'd be delighted.


I agree from experience that JiffyDOS is overall the best for compatibility, and I think it's overall the best solution. You pretty much install and forget about it. On mine, I had a switch, but extremely rarely ever had to switch it off. As soon as I go back to a working 64 (from the 128 I'm using now), that's what I'll be using. The AR/RR are closer than anything else I've tried though. Lately, I've actually been using the Epyx Fast Load just to be nostalgic, but it's not nearly as compatible with other fastloaders.




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