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New (alt) BIOS for Ultimate 1MB/Incognito

Ultimate 1MB Incognito APT PBI

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#1501 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:55 AM

One thing which will hopefully be considered an improvement, at least in terms of flexibility, is the ability to use the ROM of the SIDE/SIDE2 cartridge alongside the U1MB PBI hard disk. This will be at the expense of the ATR swap button (which still works just the same when the external cartridge is turned off), but will allow the use of the previously redundant 256KB of banked cartridge ROM while the hard disk is in use. Not that there's much to put there yet, but hopefully some conversions will be forthcoming. We'll see.

 

Anyway: the only thing that worries me is that having the ATR Swap Button 'Enabled' is now ESSENTIAL to preventing the SIDE cartridge's loader from booting instead of U1MB's SDX ROM or a disk-based DOS on a partition. Leaving the swap button disabled has never previously served any practical purpose whatsoever, since the external cart ROM was always suppressed by the PBI HDD regardless. But now that disabling the button allows whatever is on the cart to boot while the HDD is active, I worry about people becoming hopelessly confused by the fact they must enable the ATR Swap Button in order to stop the loader on the SIDE cart from booting instead of SDX or an attached disk or HDD volume.

 

I do not have a SIDE2 cart, nor do I plan to get one, so none of this has much effect on my system.  What I do wonder, though, is if the ATR SWAP changes will have any adverse effects on UNO Cart or Ultimate Cartridge operations?  



#1502 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:44 AM

 

I do not have a SIDE2 cart, nor do I plan to get one, so none of this has much effect on my system.  What I do wonder, though, is if the ATR SWAP changes will have any adverse effects on UNO Cart or Ultimate Cartridge operations?  

 

None at all. Unless SIDE2 is connected, the HDD is enabled, and 'SIDE Cart ROM' is set to disabled, all cartridges work 100 per cent normally.



#1503 Mr Robot OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2019 7:44 AM

On the 1088XEL build there as a short delay in the boot process to allow the keyboard to become enabled before the machine starts up. Would it be possible to have the delay time configurable by the user? I ask because I have a Raspberry Pi0W powering up at the same time and I'd like to get it to start up and be offering drives in RespeQt before the XEL starts looking for the drives.

 

If this time were settable I'd put some effort into getting the pi to boot as fast as possible, which is apparently something like ~4 seconds. To me, a ~4 second delay would be fine but I know I'm in the minority.



#1504 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 1, 2019 8:28 AM

On the 1088XEL build there as a short delay in the boot process to allow the keyboard to become enabled before the machine starts up. Would it be possible to have the delay time configurable by the user? I ask because I have a Raspberry Pi0W powering up at the same time and I'd like to get it to start up and be offering drives in RespeQt before the XEL starts looking for the drives.

 

If this time were settable I'd put some effort into getting the pi to boot as fast as possible, which is apparently something like ~4 seconds. To me, a ~4 second delay would be fine but I know I'm in the minority.

 

The existing delay appears to be in the ~4s range and if you enable the splash screen, it's ~7s between power-on and OS boot. Surely this is more than adequate?



#1505 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Yesterday, 4:37 AM

 

The existing delay appears to be in the ~4s range and if you enable the splash screen, it's ~7s between power-on and OS boot. Surely this is more than adequate?

 

Well, whether it turned out to be adequate or not, I have added further control to the splash screen. Now it's possible to have it display only at power-up, so it may be used to prolong the power-on delay without getting in the way later on. Of course the option to display it at every BIOS restart or not display it at all remains.

 

Apologies for the delay with the U1MB/SIDE/Incognito firmware update in general. The time seemed right to make major improvements to the loader as more ideas suggested themselves, and although space was limited and there was some indecision over what should go in, I am reasonably happy with the result. And I have other neglected projects - both old and new - to focus on. :)

 

In any case: simply testing everything and preparing it for upload will take long enough, so please bear with me.



#1506 Mr Robot OFFLINE  

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Posted Yesterday, 5:16 AM

Well, whether it turned out to be adequate or not, I have added further control to the splash screen. Now it's possible to have it display only at power-up, so it may be used to prolong the power-on delay without getting in the way later on. Of course the option to display it at every BIOS restart or not display it at all remains.


Apologies; I haven't had time to build a fast booting Pi and mess with timing to see how long it takes to get from power on to RespecQT enabled, I have a few other projects I am working on which have taken up my time. You are correct (as ever) the delay as it stands is longer than 4 seconds so should be sufficient but RespecQT requires a working X environment, which potentially adds significantly to the boot time. A headless RespecQT with a web interface would be a much quicker proposition but that isn't currently available. 

 

I totally understand the delays, too many projects, too little time. I'm interested to see what features you have decided to add to the loader!



#1507 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Yesterday, 5:35 AM

No problem. ;) If the delay still isn't sufficiently long, a custom BIOS plugin could be made to arbitrarily delay OS initialisation yet further. More granular control over the presence of the splash screen should be useful regardless.







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