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Atari 7800 Rewritable Multigame Cartridge

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#226 Dauber ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 2, 2017 7:09 AM

Okay, I think I'm on to something.

 

Tried a virtual machine (again, host is macOS Sierra). Tried using both Ubuntu and XP (not at the same time, of course :) ) as virtual machines to copy ROMs over. Result: didn't help. It looks like if Sierra is involved in any way, it doesn't work.

 

Now, here's what I discovered when futzing with Disk Utility:

Screen Shot 2017-07-02 at 8.01.50 AM.png

 

Some oddities:

1) It shows up as a 265k device...which is odd because it should be, what, 144k when I have the switch to 144? Anyway, this is nothing new -- it did that before I upgraded.

2) It shows that 134k are used -- which is odd because, well...there's nothing on it. It does correctly do the 265-134 math and show 132k free, though.

3) The big thing: it's showing up as a FAT12 volume.

 

I think #3 is the key here. Is this indeed FAT12?? If so, that might be the problem. Do a Google search for osx fat12 or macos sierra fat12, and...well, not much there. I'm wondering if Sierra knows how to handle that. I think in terms of MS, Mac can only natively read and write to FAT and FAT32, and with the proper 3rd-party drive, NTFS. So that it's FAT12 might be throwing things off.

 

Juan - have you made any progress since you upgraded to Sierra?



#227 jfmateos OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 2, 2017 10:53 PM

Dear Dauber,

 

I am working on it.

 

Regarding your observations:

1) Yes, it is a 256kb device. When you select the 144k position, two 128kb slots are merged to create a single 256 kb slot.

2) Yes, I have this problem too (134k used by nothing).

3) Yes, it is a FAT12 device because it is impossible to create such a small drive with FAT 16 (minimum 4MB).

 

Will keep working on this.



#228 Dauber ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jul 3, 2017 6:48 AM

Thanks, Juan! Heh. I never heard of FAT12 until I started poking around with this thing. :)



#229 iesposta OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 1:10 AM

I'm using Sierra with VMWare Win 7 Ultimate.
144K 8-slot position.
Pokey installed.
Mine is the first model that doesn't play large Pokey games

No problems loading games.

#230 Dauber ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 5, 2017 6:26 AM

Hmmm....so maybe VMWare somehow can bypass the Mac's interaction with the card then. (I was using VirtualBox.)

 

I did find in my DVDs a copy of the consumer preview edition of Windows 8, so I installed it via Boot Camp onto a small partition. If nothing else, I can just use that if I need to.



#231 Dauber ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2017 6:18 PM

AHA!!

 

On a whim, I figured out that *this* method with Sierra works. It's a bit roundabout and not the most convenient thing in the world, but it does work:

 

1) Boot into the RECOVERY partition.

2) Connect the Mateos cart.

3) Make sure it's completely empty, including hidden files, using "rm" and "rmdir" commands as necessary. (Using the command "ls -a" will show you *all* files, including hidden ones.)

4) Copy the ROM via the terminal -- probably easiest to CD your way to the directory that has the ROMs. use the command "cp nameofrom.32K /Volumes/Drive_Name/"

5) When the prompt comes back, do another "ls -a" and see if there are any hidden files that made their way there. Most likely you'll see two files: nameofrom.32K and ._nameofrom.32K. Delete every file that's NOT the ROM you copied, which means you'll have to type "rm ._*" or something.

6) Disconnect the burner from the cartridge.

 

That should do it!



#232 -^CrožBow^- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2017 10:17 PM

AHA!!

 

On a whim, I figured out that *this* method with Sierra works. It's a bit roundabout and not the most convenient thing in the world, but it does work:

 

1) Boot into the RECOVERY partition.

2) Connect the Mateos cart.

3) Make sure it's completely empty, including hidden files, using "rm" and "rmdir" commands as necessary. (Using the command "ls -a" will show you *all* files, including hidden ones.)

4) Copy the ROM via the terminal -- probably easiest to CD your way to the directory that has the ROMs. use the command "cp nameofrom.32K /Volumes/Drive_Name/"

5) When the prompt comes back, do another "ls -a" and see if there are any hidden files that made their way there. Most likely you'll see two files: nameofrom.32K and ._nameofrom.32K. Delete every file that's NOT the ROM you copied, which means you'll have to type "rm ._*" or something.

6) Disconnect the burner from the cartridge.

 

That should do it!

 

 

Very interesting that what you described is very similar to what happens with Windows 8 and Windows 10. Basically any external device be it an SD card or flash drive etc. Will have some hidden files written to it automatically by the OS. The files are there so the OS knows how to talk to the device and likely for search index operations etc. The batch file I created does nearly the exact same steps you described, only with MS-DOS commands. You state to type in ls-1 to see all files and we use the attrib command to see and change the files attributes so they aren't hidden, set to read only..etc. And delete them. 

 

So wow... I had no idea such similarities were there between such different OSes.



#233 Dauber ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Jul 8, 2017 11:02 PM

That's the thing, though..if you fully load Sierra, deleting the files doesn't help. There's gotta be something else done that corrupts that whole space.

 

When Sierra loads, the Mateos cart will have a hidden directory called ".fseventsd" and sometimes another one called ".Trashes". Deleting those doesn't help. It did in earlier versions of the OS, but not with Sierra. But connecting the Mateos cart when opening the Terminal in the Sierra recovery partition doesn't put those files on it..and it's a fairly clean copy when you move a ROM over.

 

It's just...puzzling.



#234 Mayhem OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jul 9, 2017 5:37 AM

I use a program on my Macbook called InVisible to show up hidden and invisible files on disks and devices.



#235 Jouster OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:31 AM

I decided to follow Crossbow's lead, here is the result:

(thanks Crossbow!)

 

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • IMG_1117.JPG


#236 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:59 PM

Windows 7.  It seems there's a game.bin file on slot 0, 2, 4, 7,  that never deletes, plus it only shows 64 K on that slot.  I cannot seem to get this corrected.

When I select slot A, windows doesn't detect the device.


Also, I am an idiot, and have accidentally inserted the card into the 7800 wrong, label side facing me, not towards the back, like a regular cart. Could this be the cause of my issues?



#237 Dauber ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:24 PM

Probably not; I've done that before with no bad results.

#238 tep392 ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:39 PM

Windows 7.  It seems there's a game.bin file on slot 0, 2, 4, 7,  that never deletes, plus it only shows 64 K on that slot.  I cannot seem to get this corrected.

When I select slot A, windows doesn't detect the device.

Also, I am an idiot, and have accidentally inserted the card into the 7800 wrong, label side facing me, not towards the back, like a regular cart. Could this be the cause of my issues?

I don't know about facing the wrong direction, but you definitely don't want to put the programmer on the wrong end.  That will let the magic smoke out.  Don't ask me how I know.



#239 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:58 PM

I don't know about facing the wrong direction, but you definitely don't want to put the programmer on the wrong end.  That will let the magic smoke out.  Don't ask me how I know.


I definitely did not do that.

Edited by Inky, Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:59 PM.


#240 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:58 PM

...

Edited by Inky, Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:59 PM.


#241 jfmateos OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 5:22 AM

Dear inky,

When you insert the card into the burner and connect the burner to your PC, it should be detected as an empty drive with 256kb avialable.

The game.bin file indicates that the burner is not identifying the rewritable card properly.

Does any slot appear as an empty drive?



#242 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:53 AM

Yes, all the other slots appear fine.



#243 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:08 PM

OK, this is weird.  If I slide the switch to 144K, it sees slot A with a GAME.BIN file.  Windows will not detect slot A in 128K mode

EDIT:  It works in both modes now.  I think at this point I have either a bad USB cable, or a bad USB port, as I went to use a different USB port.

EDIT 2: I'm going to see if I can't get together with Dauber and see if maybe it's my PC now.  Grrr.

EDIT 3:  I'm going to look at it on my work PC.


Edited by Inky, Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:21 PM.


#244 jfmateos OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:25 AM

Ok inky, please let me know the result of your test...

 

I though it could be a cold solder joint in the flash ic :-(



#245 Inky OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 7:12 PM

I'm pretty certain I got it figured out.  I think it was my USB cable.  I went out and bought a new one, and lo and behold, no errors! I loaded a few roms on it, and so far it works fine.



#246 jfmateos OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:46 AM

Nice Inky, I wish you'll enjoy it a lot.







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