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#1 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 6:14 PM

For some of you who do not know there is an IDE card available for the TI. In fact it is arranged so that it can use a 1 gig CF as 4 partitions. Fred Kaal has written a stable DSR for the card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization. So essentially what you have is 1 gig of storage space located completely in the PEB.

Here is the Good news. The card layout is in a Gerber file on T. Nouspikel's site and he has more or less made it available for use so having a run of cards made is simple. The DSR and file managers are all ready in place.

Here is the bad news.... The card is 90 percent surface mount. This counts me out as a builder as I can barely see .6" dip anymore. Also the clock chip it uses is getting hard to source (Not impossible but difficult.)

Now I don't know if there would be any interest in this but if there were it could be a valuable asset to those still using TI gear.

Any thoughts ?

#2 unhuman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 6:42 PM

For some of you who do not know there is an IDE card available for the TI. In fact it is arranged so that it can use a 1 gig CF as 4 partitions. Fred Kaal has written a stable DSR for the card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization. So essentially what you have is 1 gig of storage space located completely in the PEB.

Here is the Good news. The card layout is in a Gerber file on T. Nouspikel's site and he has more or less made it available for use so having a run of cards made is simple. The DSR and file managers are all ready in place.

Here is the bad news.... The card is 90 percent surface mount. This counts me out as a builder as I can barely see .6" dip anymore. Also the clock chip it uses is getting hard to source (Not impossible but difficult.)

Now I don't know if there would be any interest in this but if there were it could be a valuable asset to those still using TI gear.

Any thoughts ?


I don't have a PEB (I have a CF7+) but the true directory layout certainly sounds preferable to a SWAP-in-disk methodology. Of course, it'd be incompatible with anything I use anyway - since all existing software is DSKx based.

#3 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 7:39 PM

For some of you who do not know there is an IDE card available for the TI. In fact it is arranged so that it can use a 1 gig CF as 4 partitions. Fred Kaal has written a stable DSR for the card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization. So essentially what you have is 1 gig of storage space located completely in the PEB.

Here is the Good news. The card layout is in a Gerber file on T. Nouspikel's site and he has more or less made it available for use so having a run of cards made is simple. The DSR and file managers are all ready in place.

Here is the bad news.... The card is 90 percent surface mount. This counts me out as a builder as I can barely see .6" dip anymore. Also the clock chip it uses is getting hard to source (Not impossible but difficult.)

Now I don't know if there would be any interest in this but if there were it could be a valuable asset to those still using TI gear.

Any thoughts ?


I don't have a PEB (I have a CF7+) but the true directory layout certainly sounds preferable to a SWAP-in-disk methodology. Of course, it'd be incompatible with anything I use anyway - since all existing software is DSKx based.


I'm confused as to the last sentence.

#4 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 7:39 PM

Are there clock chips which can be used to replace the one called for?

#5 unhuman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 8:16 PM

For some of you who do not know there is an IDE card available for the TI. In fact it is arranged so that it can use a 1 gig CF as 4 partitions. Fred Kaal has written a stable DSR for the card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization. So essentially what you have is 1 gig of storage space located completely in the PEB.

Here is the Good news. The card layout is in a Gerber file on T. Nouspikel's site and he has more or less made it available for use so having a run of cards made is simple. The DSR and file managers are all ready in place.

Here is the bad news.... The card is 90 percent surface mount. This counts me out as a builder as I can barely see .6" dip anymore. Also the clock chip it uses is getting hard to source (Not impossible but difficult.)

Now I don't know if there would be any interest in this but if there were it could be a valuable asset to those still using TI gear.

Any thoughts ?


I don't have a PEB (I have a CF7+) but the true directory layout certainly sounds preferable to a SWAP-in-disk methodology. Of course, it'd be incompatible with anything I use anyway - since all existing software is DSKx based.


I'm confused as to the last sentence.


Me too, and i wrote it. My confusion was based on "card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization" - but since all "major" TI stuff uses DSK (and no directory facility), I can't imagine it being easy to use.

#6 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 8:36 PM

Not having a CF interface for my TI, as well as not having spent time fully understanding TI's DSR system, I am ignorant in this regard. So, I wonder, would it be possible to access DSK images on a CF card using a diskname-type facility like what is found in the TI disk controller?

For instance, given a CF card with the following structure
/
+- TIDISKS
|   +- STRIKE3.DSK
|   +- BERYL.DSK
+- DM2K.DSK
+- COMPILER.DSK

Access to the individual files residing in each would be done by
DSK.TIDISKS.STRIKE3.GAME
DSK.TIDISKS.BERYL.LOAD
DSK.DM2K.LOAD
DSK.COMPILER.CLOADER

The first example loads the file "GAME" from STRIKE3.DSK, in the TIDISKS sub-dir; second example is similar. The third example loads the file "LOAD" from DM2K.DSK, in the root; fourth similar to third. And so on as desired.

Each DSK file is treated as a sub-directory, accessed by simply chopping off the DSK extension. Sub-directories are accessed and DSK files within treated similarly.

Is this desirable, or even feasible? I certainly do not have the programming skills to do this, but it seems a worthy venture. It would supplant the need to mount and unmount images, and allow a virtually unlimited number of "disks" available to the system.

#7 Vorticon ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 8:41 PM

Marc, what exactly are you suggesting? A new run of cards or an updated version of it? I can vouch that these cards are incredibly finicky because of the difficulty in achieving high quality surface mount solder joints.
My card has recently become unreliable for no particular reason, and I'm seriously considering switching to a SCSI card from SNUG...

Edited by Vorticon, Mon Mar 7, 2011 8:46 PM.


#8 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 8:57 PM

Marc, what exactly are you suggesting? A new run of cards or an updated version of it? I can vouch that these cards are incredibly finicky because of the difficulty in achieving high quality surface mount solder joints.
My card has recently become unreliable for no particular reason, and I'm seriously considering switching to a SCSI card from SNUG...



I am just trying to take the pulse here.... Not suggesting anything... Yet ;-) What happened to your card ?

#9 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 9:03 PM

For some of you who do not know there is an IDE card available for the TI. In fact it is arranged so that it can use a 1 gig CF as 4 partitions. Fred Kaal has written a stable DSR for the card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization. So essentially what you have is 1 gig of storage space located completely in the PEB.

Here is the Good news. The card layout is in a Gerber file on T. Nouspikel's site and he has more or less made it available for use so having a run of cards made is simple. The DSR and file managers are all ready in place.

Here is the bad news.... The card is 90 percent surface mount. This counts me out as a builder as I can barely see .6" dip anymore. Also the clock chip it uses is getting hard to source (Not impossible but difficult.)

Now I don't know if there would be any interest in this but if there were it could be a valuable asset to those still using TI gear.

Any thoughts ?


I don't have a PEB (I have a CF7+) but the true directory layout certainly sounds preferable to a SWAP-in-disk methodology. Of course, it'd be incompatible with anything I use anyway - since all existing software is DSKx based.


I'm confused as to the last sentence.


Me too, and i wrote it. My confusion was based on "card that gives you complete directory/sub directory organization" - but since all "major" TI stuff uses DSK (and no directory facility), I can't imagine it being easy to use.




OLD IDE1.DIR.SUBDIR.GAME works just fine. The DSR is in the card itself so the TI only looks for device IDE1 and then the card takes over. Unless the software is specifically bound to DSKx then the structure is accessible as...

IDE1. (device name)
and a string of directories separated by periods and terminated by the file name.
Only caveat is that the device/path can be only 29 characters long. followed by a "." and then a 10 char filename.

#10 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 7, 2011 11:08 PM

Yeah, subdirectories work in quite a few programs. You can also use them in Classic99 (although you have to use a backslash for now rather than a period). I wish more software would have been written without the assumption that the TI disk controller was the only game in town, though. ;)

#11 unhuman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 7:43 AM

Yeah, subdirectories work in quite a few programs. You can also use them in Classic99 (although you have to use a backslash for now rather than a period). I wish more software would have been written without the assumption that the TI disk controller was the only game in town, though. ;)


Really? This is another secret trick that's good to know. I'll try it! Should work great with categorizing XB games.

#12 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 10:17 AM

Yeah, subdirectories work in quite a few programs. You can also use them in Classic99 (although you have to use a backslash for now rather than a period). I wish more software would have been written without the assumption that the TI disk controller was the only game in town, though. ;)



I think that most of that issue has been overcome. For example FW supports directories for the E/A system. XB and BASIC support it. I would imagine TF will support it. As you know the TI is set up to be very flexible in it's usage of new devices. DM2K (Fred's) & DU2K can handle all the formatting and file management

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head that is DSK bound is TIA and some games (SSA comes to mind ;-) out of about 6 that are on my system) I even want to say that Insane-o hacked Archiver for directory access but he will have to speak up on that. Any thing else that is DSK bound has the potential to be hacked and easily made more flexible. A PC based smart Disassembler would be really handy (smart guys ???)

At any rate I use my system quite a bit and really only use the Floppies for transferring from the PC to the TI anymore, or running SSA (Quite underrated BTW.) :-)

I don't know if there will be any general interest for a new run of IDE cards. If there is then I would suggest that the card be redesigned to use regular through hole components as the surface mount stuff is a stumbling block for most, especially for the inevitable repairs. We have the talent pool to do just that.

Any how before this thread dies off if you guys have any interest then speak up now or forever hold your piece (pun intended.)

#13 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 12:29 PM

Marc,
I think I'm just not quite 100% sure what the IDE card does... It sounds like some kind of hard floppy device that can be used for Megabytes of storage and makes transfers simple. Is this correct? What would the benefits be of using an IDE card versus a CF7 or nano-PEB?

Sorry for sounding like a noob... I've never seen an IDE card before

#14 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 1:40 PM

Marc,
I think I'm just not quite 100% sure what the IDE card does... It sounds like some kind of hard floppy device that can be used for Megabytes of storage and makes transfers simple. Is this correct? What would the benefits be of using an IDE card versus a CF7 or nano-PEB?

Sorry for sounding like a noob... I've never seen an IDE card before


The IDE card is a hard disk controller card for IDE hard drives and/or up to 1 GB CF cards in 4 256 MB partitions.

The benefits of the IDE cards VS the CF7 ? Depends on your point of view. Mine is....

1) True directory/ sub directory structure with Fred Kaal's DSR. None of that call mount stuff. You can navigate the directory tree so if you are like me and you like to have a cold barley pop when TI'ing you don't have to stay sharp enough to remember what's where etc ;-) ....

2) It works and play's well with other devices such as floppy drives, RS232 and PIO. It is a PEB card that works with other PEB cards and not against them. Don't get me wrong, the CF7 is a pretty cool device until you get to the part where you cannot use it with the other peripherals and the goofy disk organization. If the CF7 or NPEB could get along with everything else and it's file structure had a little more sophistication then I think it would be ideal.

3) More storage than there is available TI software (i think ;-)... Seriously is there 1 GB of unique TI stuff out there ?

Some draw backs perhaps......

1) Currently it's surface mount component design makes it a bit of a PITA. I am sure this could be redrawn using through hole connections (provided Thierry OK's it...) I know just the person/people capable of doing this.

2) It requires a PEB to operate which some have and some don't. If you are a don't and you do not want to get one then this obviously is not for you. If you have a PEB and missed the boat on SCSI and the last run of IDE boards then perhaps this Bud's for you (sorry it's PBR...)

Perhaps Walid can offer some more insight. He has used on for quite a while as I understand it.

Hull.

#15 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 2:03 PM

So I assume the CF card could be easily read on a PC and added to/subtracted from/edited using TI-99Dir? If so, that sounds pretty great.

Anyone know what a typical price has been/will be?

#16 OLD CS1 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 2:52 PM

Okay, I will chime in with, yeah, I am interested. As much as I like this SCSI card, it has proven to be not as useful as I had expected -- for my purposes, anyway. I would be interested in the IDE card if we could do things like use a CF card to move data between the TI and a PC, as well as mount a hard drive of 1GB or more. A lot of drives older than that are either very loud or dying, or both, or in short supply. I am not worried about losing 19GB of space on an eight year-old 20GB drive.

Hole-through would be great. How involved is surface-mount soldering?

My last thought, and this would be a matter of design... I would really like to be able to mount a 2.5" drive on the card.

#17 matthew180 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 3:41 PM

Hole-through would be great. How involved is surface-mount soldering?

My last thought, and this would be a matter of design... I would really like to be able to mount a 2.5" drive on the card.


SMD (surface mount devices) are not that hard to deal with for hand soldering until you get in to the fine-pitch 0.8mm and 0.5mm stuff. The problem with through-hole devices are that they are becoming rare, some manufacturers are not offering components in through-hole packages any more, through-hole parts typically draw more power than the SMD part, and through-hole are usually more expensive than the same SMD part. Also, smaller SMD parts means smaller boards, and that means cheaper boards. Anyone who has not tried to solder SMD will tell you it is hard. I have done 0603 (0.6mm x 0.3mm part) SMD soldering and it was not that big a deal. I'm and SMD proponent, but that's just me. If you all like and want to stay with through-hole, go for it.

Also, why is everyone so interested in a physical disk interface? As long as something is being redesigned or created new, it seems to me that a USB drive kind of interface would be the best. That way you could use a real hard disk USB drive, or a USB thumb drive (flash based device). USB chips are cheap, and plenty of micro-controllers have USB interfaces built in to them now.

Last, I can't agree that a PEB based card does many people much good. For those that have them, sure, but I think the majority do not. And anyone getting in to the 99/4A will have a hard time getting one for less than $100 (or more if you are outside the U.S.) But I realize the CF7 is also lacking.

Matthew

#18 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 3:51 PM

Okay, I will chime in with, yeah, I am interested. As much as I like this SCSI card, it has proven to be not as useful as I had expected -- for my purposes, anyway. I would be interested in the IDE card if we could do things like use a CF card to move data between the TI and a PC, as well as mount a hard drive of 1GB or more. A lot of drives older than that are either very loud or dying, or both, or in short supply. I am not worried about losing 19GB of space on an eight year-old 20GB drive.

Hole-through would be great. How involved is surface-mount soldering?

My last thought, and this would be a matter of design... I would really like to be able to mount a 2.5" drive on the card.


Don't know how that would go. You would probably need a separate power supply but I'm sure it's do able. Why would you go that route out of curiosity ?

#19 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 5:45 PM

Sorry I don't think I was clear on this point......

The IDE card can use a CF card directly so there is no need for a physical disk. The CF plugs right into the back of the card. Sorry for any confusion...

#20 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 5:53 PM

Hole-through would be great. How involved is surface-mount soldering?

My last thought, and this would be a matter of design... I would really like to be able to mount a 2.5" drive on the card.


SMD (surface mount devices) are not that hard to deal with for hand soldering until you get in to the fine-pitch 0.8mm and 0.5mm stuff. The problem with through-hole devices are that they are becoming rare, some manufacturers are not offering components in through-hole packages any more, through-hole parts typically draw more power than the SMD part, and through-hole are usually more expensive than the same SMD part. Also, smaller SMD parts means smaller boards, and that means cheaper boards. Anyone who has not tried to solder SMD will tell you it is hard. I have done 0603 (0.6mm x 0.3mm part) SMD soldering and it was not that big a deal. I'm and SMD proponent, but that's just me. If you all like and want to stay with through-hole, go for it.

Also, why is everyone so interested in a physical disk interface? As long as something is being redesigned or created new, it seems to me that a USB drive kind of interface would be the best. That way you could use a real hard disk USB drive, or a USB thumb drive (flash based device). USB chips are cheap, and plenty of micro-controllers have USB interfaces built in to them now.

Last, I can't agree that a PEB based card does many people much good. For those that have them, sure, but I think the majority do not. And anyone getting in to the 99/4A will have a hard time getting one for less than $100 (or more if you are outside the U.S.) But I realize the CF7 is also lacking.

Matthew



There is a USB card available for the TI from the same T. Nouspikel. As far as I understand it though the problem with Using different devices on USB is that each device needs a driver for the device. Hardware is done.... knock yourself out with the DSR's ;-).

As far as the PEB card goes. I don't see your point. How can new stuff that meshes with the old stuff flawlessly not do people any good ? Before you use words like most maybe you should check the facts..... I recall that you yourself own a PEB (unless I am mistaken....) I imagine most TI users who are still around now a days have a PEB.

#21 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:14 PM

It sounds like a very cool item. =) I would say that (depending on the cost) I would be interested in one... Especially with a through-hole design. =)

BTW, I've disassembled my first TI. It's really a thing of beauty once you get it down to the motherboard. =)

#22 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:35 PM

For what it's worth, the Myarc HFDC, SCSI, and IDE cards all support hard drive devices. What people often forget is that the HFDC also has the ability to emulate a floppy using the "DSK1 emulation" feature. If this feature was written into the SCSI and/or IDE DSRs, and expanded to emulate DSK1-4, you'd get the best of both worlds. The emulated disk image is simply a sector copy of a physical disk into a file on the hard drive.

As for some interesting storage, here is a chip that I was working toward integrating on-board the Geneve or TI. Real life and the inability to obtain the developers kit stopped my effort. Coupled with a hard drive DSR (or in the Geneve's case, the existing DSR) would give you some pretty cool storage.

http://www.alibaba.c...n_Chip_DOC.html

tim

#23 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:55 PM

I want to note, too, that my so-far vaporware Linux device (which I do intend to work on this summer) is also intended primarily as a file-system device, which will be a more flexible way to attach storage to the TI (at least, if I get my way, but since it's all software, I believe I should). The IDE card was nice, but I had problems with assembly and reliability as a result. In addition, Thierry's firmware had some catastrophic bugs. I haven't tried Fred's, but I've heard all good. I don't mean to cast blame, it was really cool to have IDE on the TI (I used a Disk-on-Chip device on mine!), but it didn't work for me. MY goal is to be able to do all the file system access of Classic99 on my real machine, but for everyone else you can mount disk images, too, that's why Classic99 is finally getting that code.

One advantage to using Linux -- and the major reason for using it -- is that all the device drivers are already written, so the TI DSR can be abstracted to the file level and yet still access everything that the Linux board can connect to. USB, NFS, SAMBA, IDE, SATA, whatever, it doesn't matter.

Hmm, and it's coincidence that Tim mentioned the Disk-on-Chip DOC in the previous thread, hehe.

Edited by Tursi, Tue Mar 8, 2011 6:56 PM.


#24 unhuman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 7:56 PM

I want to note, too, that my so-far vaporware Linux device (which I do intend to work on this summer) is also intended primarily as a file-system device, which will be a more flexible way to attach storage to the TI (at least, if I get my way, but since it's all software, I believe I should). The IDE card was nice, but I had problems with assembly and reliability as a result. In addition, Thierry's firmware had some catastrophic bugs. I haven't tried Fred's, but I've heard all good. I don't mean to cast blame, it was really cool to have IDE on the TI (I used a Disk-on-Chip device on mine!), but it didn't work for me. MY goal is to be able to do all the file system access of Classic99 on my real machine, but for everyone else you can mount disk images, too, that's why Classic99 is finally getting that code.

One advantage to using Linux -- and the major reason for using it -- is that all the device drivers are already written, so the TI DSR can be abstracted to the file level and yet still access everything that the Linux board can connect to. USB, NFS, SAMBA, IDE, SATA, whatever, it doesn't matter.

Hmm, and it's coincidence that Tim mentioned the Disk-on-Chip DOC in the previous thread, hehe.


Ok, so if we're gonna live in a fantasy land... I'd love a TI device that connects wirelessly via samba to my Linux box. That way I could swap files around on my PC and they be in DSK1. I could have useful conventions on the PC to make it quick and easy to find stuff and "insert" to the TI over a wireless connection. No more goofy notations / handwritten notes / blah blah blah. Oh - and it can't go in the PEB, but it would certainly get me to dump my CF7+.

#25 marc.hull OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 8, 2011 8:25 PM

If you are interested in helping in this endeavor with legwork and or useful ideas then PM me please.




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