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APT update for Ultimate, Incognito, SIDE and compatibles

Ultimate 1MB APT Incognito SIDE SIDE2 MyIDE IDE Plus 2.0 MyIDE2 FDISK

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#1 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:50 PM

Please find a major update to the APT soft-drivers, PBI BIOSes, and partitioning and hard disk management tools here:

 

http://atari8.co.uk/apt/

 

All drivers are updated, with brand new tools provided on customised SDX 4.46 builds and an APT Toolkit ATR if you prefer to run them from disk or with another DOS.

 

Existing tools like FDISK have been heavily revised, while most other tools are brand new. The tools are:

  • FDISK
  • MATR
  • APTDISK
  • APTDEV
  • ATRMNT
  • MOUNT
  • CHECKAPT
  • UFLASH

General documentation is provided in PDFs, while detailed coverage is included in text files on the toolkit ATR, which also includes all the soft-drivers and both PBI ROMs.

 

SDX soft-drivers (pre-installed on custom SDX ROMs) are provided for the following hardware:

  • MyIDE / MyIDE+Flash
  • MyIDE 2
  • SIDE
  • SIDE2
  • Colleen

Most important, perhaps, are the major updates to the Ultimate 1MB and Incognito PBI BIOSes. These updates provide very greatly improved compatibility with SpartaDOS 3.x, MyDOS, RealDOS, as well as many, many ATR-based game titles and demos. Non-standard ATRs are now supported, and a raft of efficiency and stability improvements have been made. Several bugs have been fixed, and useful new enhancements implemented. See the BIOS changelog for details.

 

I won't say too much more, since it's getting late and preparing these updates has taken almost a month of intensive work. I must express my thanks to AA member ProWizard for inspiring the recent frenzy of development and assisting me so ably and generously via testing and bug reports. Thanks also to Candle for his work on the latest SIDE loader and his provision for UFLASH support direct from FAT32.

 

If you find bugs, experience issues or just discover broken links, etc, please let me know and I'll fix anything as soon as possible. There is such a lot of material here that I could hardly expect perfection, but at least I guarantee any problems will now be easy to rectify and probably caused by my own stupidity or tiredness. ;)

 

Ultimate and Incognito users my simply want to flash the PBI BIOS update and SDX 4.46 build and then read the manuals later on. :)

 

PS: IDEa BIOS to follow... just ran out of time and steam tonight.

 



#2 Ripdubski OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:36 PM

Thanks for all your contributions to the community!

#3 Aking OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:49 AM

thank you so much for all the corrections!



#4 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:41 AM

Is anyone else having a problem with the Incognito...   Fdisk shows garbage in the name field of partition D9: I renamed it and then wrote( ^W) to disk exited and DIR I: gets a bad response until a cold boot.  This did this on both of my Incognito 800's..   Very minor glitch... Just wondering if did something wrong..

 

5 stars for this great software..



#5 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:37 PM

Looks good Jon, Thanks!



#6 w1k OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:41 PM

everything updated :) thanks :)



#7 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:54 PM

Thanks all, and special thanks to Greblus and Roy for their kind donations. I was expecting a flood of bug reports and was almost afraid to look at the thread today. ;)
 

Is anyone else having a problem with the Incognito...   Fdisk shows garbage in the name field of partition D9: I renamed it and then wrote( ^W) to disk exited and DIR I: gets a bad response until a cold boot.  This did this on both of my Incognito 800's..   Very minor glitch... Just wondering if did something wrong..

 
I'll have a look at this tomorrow, Roy, but it sounds a bit random if it's just the one partition. But thanks for bringing it up, and the same goes for other users: any problems, let me know, because I want to send the new PBI BIOS and SDX images to Lotharek soon so that he can include them on new Ultimates and SIDE carts.

#8 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Feb 26, 2014 8:18 PM

Managed to easily update U1MB with PBI and new SDX, awesome.

Question, how do I do the update for the SIDE2 SDX? If I mount the ATR and try to boot it I just get a "no DOS".
Related question, did Candle release the fixed SIDEloader for U1MB or not yet?

#9 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:04 PM

I haven't noticed anything from Candle yet.

The SIDE2 flasher is supposed to be run from SpartaDOS X, so you'll need to boot SDX (most usually the one already on the cart). Put the SIDE2 switch in the "SDX" position (i.e. towards the front edge of the cart).

#10 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:51 PM

That would likely not work for me.
If I use SDX on SIDE2 then I cannot boot ATRs and within the onboard SIDE2 SDX I don't think it is yet possible to mount ATRs from the FAT32 partition of the CF.
I guess if I had another SIO device it would be a no brainer.

Any chance for a self flashing XEX?
SideLoader updates had been distributed that way at least once in the past, but I understand being an easier task due to the smaller size of it all.

I wonder if uflash can be "updated" and support SIDE2 flashing as well ;-) [only 2 banks [SDX, SideLoader] for now but the same 512K of flash available], kidding, I hope Candle/Lotharek would release an updated ROM for SIDE2 so I can use the EPROM burner.

#11 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 3:09 PM

Yes, the lack of an SIO device would seem to be the issue here. The SIDE2 flasher requires access to the SIDE2's SDX base register, and this requires SIDE's SDX to be ON. However, the SIDE cart must be in "loader" mode for the ATR mounting to work. So it follows that the existing SDX ATR flasher for SIDE and SIDE2 is only useful when you have an SIO drive handy.

Self-flashing XEX is doable, but as you correctly point out it's a slightly less trivial proposition than the existing self-flashing PBI BIOS update, and the previous self-flashing updates for the BIOS and SIDE loader. Nevertheless if something like this is required, I could prepare it. The bulk of the work would involve splitting the 256KB ROM into 16KB segments which will self-load into extended RAM.

UFLASH could certainly be modified to update SIDE, and it's something I already considered. In those circumstances, you'd require the (forthcoming) updated SIDE loader with FAT DOS; run UFLASH from the loader, then browse to the SDX ROM image in the FAT.

#12 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:22 PM

Let's say I could dump the SIDE2 ROM content, which portion of the 256K should I overwrite with the one in your ZIP file?
The first 256k or the second 256K.

I'm proposing that I update the ROM file overwriting the first (second) 256K with your zip file SDX ROM content and then flash back the whole 512K to SIDE2.

Would that work?

EDIT:
I managed, I just overwrote the first 256K of the SIDE2 dumper EPROM with your ROM inside SIDE2 zip, awesome.

Thanks for the awesome work.

PS (not that important, just a data point):
Once more the SIDE2 soft driver (ver 3.0) is perfectly able to detect the "bad" CF while U1MB PBI hits the already reported snag.
I was secretly hoping that with the new drivers from the unified code base I would have gotten a uniform behavior (the "bad" CD should just never work, soft SIDE2 driver or PBI), but it's not the case.
It's a very minor point, I report it only as a curiosity, no point in beating this dead horse anymore.

EDIT2:
Attached the BIN file that I used to flash my SIDE2 flash chip (in my case an AM29F040B).
It has the latest SideLoader (the loader than can "run" rom files) as well as SDX 4.46d (straight from fjc http://www.atari8.co...SDX446SIDE2.zip.)

Attached Files


Edited by phoenixdownita, Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:10 PM.


#13 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:25 PM

Exactly correct - the supplied ROM file replaces exactly the lower 256KB of the ROM content.

Should have a stand-alone SDX flasher by the weekend: not difficult, since I found that the HxD hex editor splits files into numbered 8KB chunks for me. :)

Edited by flashjazzcat, Thu Feb 27, 2014 4:45 PM.


#14 phoenixdownita OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 5:11 PM

I attached the full content of what I flashed to my previous post.

Thanks for the support.

#15 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:46 PM

Nice one - thanks. ;)

#16 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:30 AM

Something to test for ULTIMATE 1MB ONLY:

Attached File  ultsdx.xex   259.81KB   246 downloads

This is the same SDX 4.46 build included in the update, but as a stand-alone XEX. Tested (briefly) with 4KB and 64KB sector chips. Enable at least 576KB and run from the SIDE loader, or from SDX. You can put the XEX on a FAT16 partition and run it from SDX via the FATFS.SYS driver (see the recently released updated APT documentation for details). If using SDX, the tool appears to work with or without the "X" command.

Ensure you have a means of recovery before testing this. It look 20 minutes to write but it will only take you 2 minutes to find a bug. ;) That said, my 600XL and 800XL updated without problems. Older versions of the ROM-based SIDE loader appear not to initialize the display correctly, so if you get a single column of text when running the tool, quit and update your SIDE loader.

If this works reliably, it's a short step to amending the base register so it will flash SIDE, SIDE2 and probably other things as well. The only pre-requisite is at least 320KB of RAM, with no particular preference to the kind of RAM upgrade. With 576KB, the entire ROM can be flashed via an XEX.

Lastly, the flasher was quickly adapted from the PBI BIOS XEX updater, so I don't need to hear about what happens when it's run without the required hardware present or that prompts aren't worded correctly, etc: just whether or not it works.

Edited by flashjazzcat, Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:32 AM.


#17 Aking OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:51 AM

Something to test for ULTIMATE 1MB ONLY:

attachicon.gifultsdx.xex

This is the same SDX 4.46 build included in the update, but as a stand-alone XEX. Tested (briefly) with 4KB and 64KB sector chips. Enable at least 576KB and run from the SIDE loader, or from SDX. You can put the XEX on a FAT16 partition and run it from SDX via the FATFS.SYS driver (see the recently released updated APT documentation for details). If using SDX, the tool appears to work with or without the "X" command.

Ensure you have a means of recovery before testing this. It look 20 minutes to write but it will only take you 2 minutes to find a bug. ;) That said, my 600XL and 800XL updated without problems. Older versions of the ROM-based SIDE loader appear not to initialize the display correctly, so if you get a single column of text when running the tool, quit and update your SIDE loader.

If this works reliably, it's a short step to amending the base register so it will flash SIDE, SIDE2 and probably other things as well. The only pre-requisite is at least 320KB of RAM, with no particular preference to the kind of RAM upgrade. With 576KB, the entire ROM can be flashed via an XEX.

Lastly, the flasher was quickly adapted from the PBI BIOS XEX updater, so I don't need to hear about what happens when it's run without the required hardware present or that prompts aren't worded correctly, etc: just whether or not it works.

 

 

tested great on 2 xegs ntsc, 1 pal 130 xe , 1 pal 800 xl



#18 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:03 AM

Thanks for the quick feedback! More goodies to follow, then. :)

#19 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:32 AM

Worked okay here...

But I swapped back to My modified SDX446 for the items I like to put into the CAR: area.

Seems reasonable fast ..... I like the dots going across the screen. :thumbsup:



#20 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:03 AM

Yeah, it's mainly intended for those who can't use the official ATR updates or UFLASH for whatever reason. Thanks for the confirmation Roy. :thumbsup:



#21 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:56 AM

Yeah, it's mainly intended for those who can't use the official ATR updates or UFLASH for whatever reason. Thanks for the confirmation Roy. :thumbsup:

Didn't I hear you say that stand-alone flashers were not usefull,  guess you can be wrong at times, huh? :grin:



#22 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 12:52 PM

Didn't I hear you say that stand-alone flashers were not usefull,  guess you can be wrong at times, huh? :grin:

 
OK. I'm going to ignore the smiley for a moment, like it or not. I don't think I asserted that stand-alone flashers were useless (and this would have been an odd thing to assert anyway, given that stand-alone PBI BIOS installers have been available on my website for six weeks), although I may have questioned the usefulness of another member's offline ROM editor in response to his continued attempts to pick holes in a different project of mine. To assert that stand-alone updates are not useful would also be to dismiss Candle's SIDE loader or Incognito BIOS update as surplus to requirements, and clearly this is not the case either.
 
However, if you can find evidence to the contrary, I would still wonder why this is important, and indeed what it is supposed to prove. I would also like to know how producing a useful and requisite tool constitutes an assertion of infallibility, especially when reference to or comparison with other, extant tools was not made until their respective authors decided they weren't happy with the way things were going and began picking holes in what I was doing, and given that I publish betas, ask for bug reports, and respond to user requests and suggestions.
 
Whether intentional or accidental, and whether accompanied by smileys or not, this nit-picking is starting to look like sour grapes. There are currently only two forum members here who seem to be indulging in this kind of thing, and oddly they are both authors of ROM editors for the Ultimate 1MB. Get over it. Both "offline" editors are very good, and on those occasions when the task at hand requires them, one could do no better than use them. Great. I heartily endorse them both (although I can only assure "compatibility" with Atari8Warez's editor, for tiresome reasons I won't revisit here) if that's what you want to hear - although it's impossible to absolutely compel people to use them. But I find it really amazing that I can be accused of being "precious" about software when I had to defend it in the face of contrived bug reports from one of the two forum members, and pleas (from the other of the two forum members) to ensure compatibility with one of the existing tools by making a change which I considered to be a blatant regression. Meanwhile, I was busy making improvements to the application in response to sensible suggestions (or what we might even describe as "constructive criticism") put forward by Kyle, Candle and others.
 
But of course I should not find the current state of affairs surprising at all. I should absolutely have expected this reaction from the pair of you. Silly me.
 
So: apologies for not appreciating the excellent humour, and apologies for producing software tools which have apparently engendered such lingering resentment among two individuals that no task is more important than watching me to see if I contradict myself. Guess what: I will do so frequently, since like everyone else, I am fallible. :)
 
BTW: 36 downloads in a couple of hours earlier today, and only two test reports? Some self-styled proponent of stand-alone flashers simply can't get enough of the stuff. :D

Edited by flashjazzcat, Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:43 PM.


#23 atari8warez OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:04 PM

Another useless rant if you ask me (I know you don't... :grin: )



#24 AtariGeezer OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:28 PM

Just pointing out that when I said that I will be including options to create a stand-alone flasher option in The ROM Generator, using the whole ROM or in part, you replied that "you couldn't see a reason for doing so".  But now with the advent of  the U1MB SDX stand-alone flasher, you have found it to be useful...

 

We all forget things at times, even with you young whipper-snappers :)  Apology accepted ;)



#25 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 1, 2014 12:35 PM

Last BIOS update uploaded (for the IDEa interface):

http://atari8.co.uk/apt/idea/

Enjoy!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Ultimate 1MB, APT, Incognito, SIDE, SIDE2, MyIDE, IDE Plus 2.0, MyIDE2, FDISK

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