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U1MB Rom Builder v1.0


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#1 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 19, 2012 3:53 PM

Here's something I am working on, I am only half-way through so this is just a preview of what it will look like. I am not in competition with anybody so I will not release this publicly. Whoever is interested with the final product can PM me and will send them a copy. I will welcome their input, suggestions and criticism to make the final product better. There is no release date set due to the current unavailability of the flashing software (which unfortunately makes the excellent U1MB only half Ultimate for me, I just hope Candle will release one soon so that we don't have to buy a programmer just to flash the ROMS).

The software will be multi-platform and is being developed using QtSDK 4.74, so far only English and Turkish languages are supported.
If you want to customize the GUI for your language of choice please let me know.

Ray

Attached Thumbnails

  • U1MBRomB Preview.png

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Aug 19, 2012 4:02 PM.


#2 Fratzengeballer OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:10 AM

I could give you a hand on the German gui

#3 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:24 AM

That would be great, I'll ask for your help when I am done then. Thanks Frat...

#4 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 25, 2012 9:51 AM

Some changes to the GUI and some additional work done....

Attached Thumbnails

  • U1MBRomB Preview (2).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (3).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (4).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (5).png

Edited by atari8warez, Sat Aug 25, 2012 10:02 AM.


#5 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2012 4:42 PM

Here's a couple more mockups.

After some thought I decided to release this software into the wild, after all it would have been against my Atari software philosophy to keep it proprietary and inconsistent with my views on this subject as I expressed them here before. It still needs some work but what I have so far looks good as far as the functionality goes.

Attached Thumbnails

  • U1MBRomB Preview (7).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (6).png

Edited by atari8warez, Mon Sep 3, 2012 4:49 PM.


#6 Firedawg OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 3, 2012 5:33 PM

Nice work Ray. It shows your commitment to this community is very unselfish. Thanks!

Mike

#7 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012 10:14 AM

hey mike, the same goes for you too, even though I wasn't one of the purchasers, i really appreciated your efforts on the SIDE issue.

#8 spookt OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012 10:19 AM

Hi Ray

Interesting work you've got going on and thumbs up for releasing it into the community. I haven't played with Qt for a number of years, but for me you really need to ditch the gradient backgrounds in every window and dialog. They're simply terrible on the eye.

#9 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 4, 2012 10:28 AM

Thanks spookt, Actually it doesn't look so bad in person :) , but of course it's a matter of individual preference, if i have time left after i finish coding, I'll add an option to turn it off so it's easier on your eyes ;)

As for Qt, I've first started with it when I decided to get my hands on AspeQt. In fact I didn't have any serious C++ experience before either, so this is as much a learning process for me as anything else. I like Qt, it's a very nice IDE and the libraries are terrific. Hopefully this little project will help improve my skills for AspeQt work.

Edited by atari8warez, Tue Sep 4, 2012 10:33 AM.


#10 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 3:28 AM

A preview version of U1MB Rom Builder is now available for download. There is no source yet, and the binaries are for Windows only. It runs on Win 7, and should run in Vista and XP (haven't been tested yet). The make ATR feature is in development right now so the button will not do anything yet, other features are functional. I will add some more UI convenience features and complete the ATR before releasing the source code.

One note about the reserved ROM slots is that they are represented as RSVD1, RSVD2 and RSVD3 on the UI (this is in line with the currently available U1MB official documentation - verbal commitments to rom authors notwithstanding). However these slots can be renamed permenantly on the UI. Just double-click RSVD1, RSVD2 or RSVD3 and the labels will be enabled for input, you can then rename them and the software will remember those settings for future launches. See the help screen for more info...

Any and all feedback are welcome, so are the bug reports...

and this is the link to the download (bottom/right of the page)

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Sep 9, 2012 4:01 AM.


#11 candle OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 6:08 AM

it doesn't work (files missing)

#12 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 7:06 AM

Sebastian: is the PBI slot reserved for alternative use as stated above? The PBI ROM seems closely tied in with the BIOS menu... unless the BIOS menu itself is also optional. I think the "official" documentation needs updating in that respect at least... surely anyone making "contributions" to the project should be singing off the same hymn-sheet. Rather confusing for the end user as well. Clarification required, please.

Edited by flashjazzcat, Sun Sep 9, 2012 7:06 AM.


#13 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 11:09 AM

it doesn't work (files missing)


What exactly doesn't work?, is a library missing or is there a bug?.

Maybe I should have explained a bit more. The archive has the program, some ddls and a folder called roms. The archive must be extracted with the recursed folders, meaning the folder roms must exist in the application folder. Roms folder contains the base rom for U1MB and is the default save/load folder for the Rom builder. For the program to start the default rom file must exist there. The default folder can be changed through the options menu once the program is launched.

In any case I will test it on my XP machine and see..

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Sep 9, 2012 11:10 AM.


#14 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 11:34 AM

Programs asks for 'U1MBV2.ROM' and it is not available in the ROM folder.. Just rename the one in the ROM folder and it will start...

#15 lemiel OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 11:35 AM

Dialog window :
Unable to open default Rom file
Please make sure the default rom file --> U1MBV2.ROM <-- exists in the application's directory under subdirectory ROMS, and re-launch U1MB Rom Builder


There is file:
U1MBRomB_win32_v1.0\roms\MyU1MB.rom
but not this mentioned in message.

Maybe if default rom file not found open dialog to choose a good one like after pressing Load U1MB is good idea?

Renaming MyU1MB.rom -> U1MBV2.ROM does the job but it is not the point.

Navigation with cursor keys on roms tree upwards from bottom stops on first branch (Slot 1 under XL/XE OS 16k)).

Downwards from the top to bottom works ok.

Oh, Windows XP.

#16 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 12:32 PM

Dialog window :
Unable to open default Rom file
Please make sure the default rom file --> U1MBV2.ROM <-- exists in the application's directory under subdirectory ROMS, and re-launch U1MB Rom Builder


There is file:
U1MBRomB_win32_v1.0\roms\MyU1MB.rom
but not this mentioned in message.

Maybe if default rom file not found open dialog to choose a good one like after pressing Load U1MB is good idea?

Renaming MyU1MB.rom -> U1MBV2.ROM does the job but it is not the point.

Navigation with cursor keys on roms tree upwards from bottom stops on first branch (Slot 1 under XL/XE OS 16k)).

Downwards from the top to bottom works ok.

Oh, Windows XP.


Thank you for the feedback, I will implement your request about opening a dialog to load a suitable rom and check that problem with the cursor movement.

The missing file problem stemmed from the fact that I included the wrong default rom in the archieve. :) The archive is now updated.

I also attached the file to this message. Please download and replace your default rom image with this one. In the future releases I will make this file read only so that it never gets overridden by mistake as it is the original rom image from the device as shipped.

Attached Files


Edited by atari8warez, Sun Sep 9, 2012 1:06 PM.


#17 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 12:43 PM

I also forgot to implement one feature for this release and that's the BIOS Rom signature check. It was on my mind before I released it but forgot.
So the next release will include:

- Lemiel's suggestion above.
- BIOS Rom signature check.
- Selectable skin background for users who don't like gradient filling.
- Make the default (base) rom file read only.
- ATR file creation.

I do have one note about the Make ATR feature though. Since there is no officially available flasher software yet (or is there one??), that feature may need revising when one finally becomes available. Although Make ATR is more of a convenience feature, and one can always create an ATR separately once the flasher is available, I would like to include it as part of the Rom builder.

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Sep 9, 2012 1:06 PM.


#18 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 1:29 PM

Programs asks for 'U1MBV2.ROM' and it is not available in the ROM folder.. Just rename the one in the ROM folder and it will start...


Please don't use that file as your base. It was my test rom, I attached the right one on the message 2 messages above this one.

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Sep 9, 2012 1:30 PM.


#19 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 9, 2012 2:09 PM

The PBI ROM seems closely tied in with the BIOS menu... unless the BIOS menu itself is also optional.


I can't speak for Candle of course but here's my take on the subject:

BIOS Slot obviously is not optional as the BIOS is the core of this whole hardware, on the other hand I can't see how and where the PBI Rom is closely tied into the Setup Screen. The only mention of it is where one sets the SIDE PBI Id, but that's SIDE and not the PBI itself. My understanding is that the PBI BIOS might and can be loaded outside of U1MB unless of course the PBI ROM is also included in and controlled by the BIOS of U1MB (which does not seem to be the case)

Technical documents leave a lot of questions unanswered, and as of this date U1MB Upgrade IMO remains to be in the realm of hardware hackers as far as updating the Roms are concerned. I tried this software to be as user friendly as possible with minimum possible damage to the device when one tries to upgrade it. For example checking for the BIOS signature when loading a BIOS Rom is IMO mandatory to prevent bricking the device. I haven't seen that check done in other ROM Generators. This may be due to the lack of documentation and/or the lack of communication between Candle and other developers (myself included). We need more info on how a "Guaranteed" signature check can be done (I have some ideas that will work unless the whole BIOS is rewritten but of course we still need offical approval). A developer's Guide would have been a invaluable asset to all involved. Bits of information is available here and there but a serious work can not be based on heresay.

One other thing is the availability of the flasher software, again we have never heard an official announcement other than that "it should not be released as it is, seeing that people can screw things up". But that's what happens when information is not readily available and people are left to draw their own conclusions. I simply hope that this great device gets it's well deserved Technical Support very soon.

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Sep 9, 2012 2:17 PM.


#20 Frankie OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:40 AM

How about when loading a ROM it opens the folder you last used, this way if you have an archive of ROM files you don't need to go browsing for the folder each time you load a rom.

It says "FILE NAME / PATH" for the roms you select, but I only see the FILE NAME when I select and load a rom

What about a way to save the path/filename for the ROMs you selected. This way when you load the main rom back in you can see where you selected your roms from.

#21 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:29 AM

How about when loading a ROM it opens the folder you last used, this way if you have an archive of ROM files you don't need to go browsing for the folder each time you load a rom.

It says "FILE NAME / PATH" for the roms you select, but I only see the FILE NAME when I select and load a rom

What about a way to save the path/filename for the ROMs you selected. This way when you load the main rom back in you can see where you selected your roms from.


Folder last used...., ok, I will add a check box to the options window to choose whether you want to save the last path you used for loading a rom.

As for seeing the path, just move the cursor over the file name and it shows the path as a tool tip, I chose to do it that way to make it easier to see it, otherwise a long path would require you to scroll to the very end to see the file name.

One other note to Windows XP users. When I tested the program on my Windows XP PC, I noticed that the TreeView that let's you select the rom you want to load (the column on the left with the header ROM NAME) is rendered differently on Windows XP then on Win 7 or Vista. That causes the rom descriptions to go out of alignment with the Rom Names. There isn't much I can do about this as the TreeView is a windows widget I have no control over. There are solutions for that but they would require me to redesign either the whole main window or my code and I am not about to do that, at least not at this point.

Edited by atari8warez, Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:32 AM.


#22 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:37 PM

Ok, I've implemented some of those suggestions. New in this release is:
  • if the program fails to load the base rom file when it's first starting, it will now show a message and let you choose a valid Rom file from the computer to be used as your base file. It will also ask you whether you want to designate this file as your permanent base file.
  • Rom tree navigation with keyboard problem has been fixed.
  • The program will now make the base rom file READ-ONLY so that it can not be overriden by mistake.
  • Signature checking is added for the BIOS Rom and the program will not load a file which fails the check. This is important as an invalid BIOS rom could and most likely will brick your U1MB when it's flashed to the device. You can probably reflash and recover but why bother when there is a way to prevent it.
  • New options added to the Roms section of the Options dialog:
  • The directory ROMS in the application's home directory is the built-in default folder from where the program loads it's base rom,
    The default rom file name and directory can be changed.
  • A new option is added to keep a separate Load/Save directory name for other Roms:
  • It can be set to use the built-in default directory, or
  • can be set to use the last "loaded from / saved to" directory, or
  • can be manually set to be a specific folder on the computer.
[/list]Still to come, skin colors and the Make ATR option. For the changes above just download and replace the .exe file from the attachment.

Attached Thumbnails

  • U1MBRomB Preview (8).png

Attached Files


Edited by atari8warez, Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:39 PM.


#23 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2012 2:54 AM

This release:
  • Some minor UI and code changes
  • 2 additional background color styles
  • Options to select/set background styles
Also attached are new executable and screen captures from Altirra v2.20 running U1MB emulation with the ROM customized by U1MB RomBuilder v1.0

Still to come, Make ATR functionality.

Attached Thumbnails

  • U1MBRomB Preview (9-1).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (9-2).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (10).png
  • U1MBRomB Preview (11).png

Attached Files



#24 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:36 PM

I could give you a hand on the German gui


Hi Fratz, i emailed you the two files for German translation. Hope you still have the time to do it.
Thanks

Ray

Edited by atari8warez, Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:36 PM.


#25 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012 3:51 AM

Ok folks, here's the final version of my Rom Builder. This one adds MAKE ATR functionality. Allows you to select a flasher executable and adds the U1MB Rom Image that you customized to create a SpartaDos X file system (2.1) compatible 720K HD image in .atr format. The .atr has a valid directory structure so you can simply mount it with Altirra or AspeQt and view the files, or run the flasher from the command line. Files on this atr are protected and the disk image is marked full, so you can not add/change files. You can however always re-create a new atr through U1MBRomB. I did not include an AUTORUN.BAT file on the disk so the flasher will not auto-run if SDX is enabled. You would run it with X FLASH.COM

Make sure you read the readme first!!.txt file for important information about the flasher included with this archive......

A video is also included to show you the atr in action in Altirra.

Well this is my final take on this piece. It was fun and a real learning experience for me, hope some of you will enjoy using it.
I haven't included an Incognito version even though adding it would be easy as most of the code would have been re-purposed for that functionality. However I do not own that particular hardware so I decided to leave that to someone else who may want to further enhance this code, which by the way can be downloaded from here along with the Windows binaries.

Now it's back to AspeQt for me... lots of stuff to do there.....

Edited by atari8warez, Sun Oct 7, 2012 3:59 AM.





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