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Convenience & Storage Format


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Poll: Convenience & Format (34 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you own a FlashROM 99?

  1. Yes (22 votes [64.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 64.71%

  2. No (12 votes [35.29%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.29%

  3. N/A - Other (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

Do you also own other storage devices like: Disks, HxC, HD, etc.?

  1. Yes (30 votes [88.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 88.24%

  2. No (3 votes [8.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.82%

  3. N/A - Other (1 votes [2.94%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.94%

Are you more apt to try or play a game if it's in FR99 format?

  1. Yes (17 votes [50.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 50.00%

  2. No (14 votes [41.18%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.18%

  3. N/A - Other (3 votes [8.82%])

    Percentage of vote: 8.82%

Are there any games you like that have not been converted yet?

  1. Yes - (Please comment below) (5 votes [14.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.71%

  2. No (16 votes [47.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.06%

  3. N/A - Other (13 votes [38.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.24%

What is your preferred storage format for games?

  1. FR99 (16 votes [47.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.06%

  2. Disk, HxC, CF, HD (13 votes [38.24%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.24%

  3. N/A - Other (5 votes [14.71%])

    Percentage of vote: 14.71%

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#26 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 9, 2017 9:42 PM

 

 

Fred’s Module Creator 2.0 pretty much does that.  It is not a command-line tool, but it is very simple to use—and its conversion of E/A5 programs to ROM binaries is straightforward and automatic.

 

...lee

 

 

Ii's not automatic for the beginners who have limited exposure to E/A5 programming and ROM binaries. When you suggest "...it's very simple to use..." you speak from a position of elevated TI knowledge. 



#27 Airshack OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 9, 2017 10:02 PM

any program that saves to an external device (word processors, spreadsheets - or heck, Tunnels of Doom or  Space Station Pheta) is still not usable without a tape or disk drive.

 

This probably should be subject for another poll but do y'all actually use TI word processors and spreadsheets anymore? When I look upon the TI software library I see the game category standing the test of time above all. The 99/4A keyboard is better than the 99/4 Calculator-Overlay Chicklet nightmare but it still clearly sucks. Commodore did the keyboard right back in the day, and TI dropped the ball BIG TIME -- TWICE!

 

Maybe one small step better than an electronic typewriter? Maybe not. I'd mod my keyboard for fun if Classic99 didn't exist. Classic99 frees me from the horrible TI keyboard (only TI Joysticks are more horrific) and liberates me from the archaic editors available on the TI. Isn't the 40/80 column conversation really academic by now? I can type all 140 characters in a maxed-out XB line on one line using PC's NotePad++ or OS X Text Wrangler. 

 

The thought of word processing on the TI keyboard seems so Yesterday's News to me. And spreadsheets? Really? Anyone still using the Home Budget Management cart? There's a program called Quicken you need to check out. 

 

Wondering if the good old Atari 800s, Commodore 64s, TRS-80s, and TI-99/4s have simply become programmable retro gaming consoles? 



#28 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 9, 2017 10:16 PM

I have the sense this has been argued over here before, but can someone summarize why the desire for floppy images? or disk images? and not a desire for FIAD?

I'm working on a TIFILES based FIAD DSR. I'd like to know what the barrier is to transitioning to FIAD? Is it just conversion time? Would FIAD be adopted if conversion was automated?

-M@

We know that many challenges can be overcome as proved by Classic99 and the HDX device. 

 

Personally, if FIAD over ethernet/wifi was available, even without disk image support, I would certainly find it extremely useful.  However, there are still some advantages to images when it comes to programs that require disk or sector access, or particular filenames, stringent disk# / path.filename limitations, or low-level access beyond simply opening/reading/writing/deleting. (and in the case of the Geneve, sector-based IO is the foundation of the entire DSR).

 

Since there is quite a lot of existing software in disk images, an automated conversion might be helpful.  Also, if the TI-based DSR could mount a different host folder as a FIAD disk (1-9) through a CALL or subprogram, that might ease a transition. I personally wouldn't want to manage the file structure on the PC every time I wanted a different program to respond as DSK1. 

 

MESS/MAME use disk images exclusively so for me they are logical and necessary.   Of course, if a new FIAD device were to materialize, I suspect it could be emulated ;) 



#29 Lee Stewart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 9, 2017 10:26 PM

How about a WinDOZE program that would 'automagically' convert any E/A 5 program to FR99 format?  :D

If something like that was to arrive on the scene, I imagine more people would hop on the compiler bandwagon because almost anyone can program in BASIC.  Maybe even a quick PDF titled, "TI Extended BASIC compiler for Dummies" with easy to follow steps, 1, 2, 3, etc.

 

See my post #11 above.  You must have missed it.  :P

 

...lee

 

[Edited]



#30 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:02 AM

"If you build it, they will come."  Seriously, after using the FIAD format with the HDX, I much prefer that over the limitations of the DSK format.


I've been pushing it for over 17 years, some people don't want to come. ;)

#31 jedimatt42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:34 AM

I've been pushing it for over 17 years, some people don't want to come. ;)


Cool. It's a hobby. I want to do new things, not old things. So maybe floppy drives are for the old things :)

Tursi, while you are here, do you remember the name of the paper you wrote up on proposed standard for FIAD file handling?

-M@

#32 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:36 AM

FIAD>DSKImage
  • RXB likes this

#33 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:53 AM

Cool. It's a hobby. I want to do new things, not old things. So maybe floppy drives are for the old things :)

Tursi, while you are here, do you remember the name of the paper you wrote up on proposed standard for FIAD file handling?

-M@


(Answered via pm - yes, still have this ;) )

#34 RXB OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:37 AM

I've been pushing it for over 17 years, some people don't want to come. ;)

Really? 

 

I much prefer the Hard Drive access of 640 Meg per Hard Drive,  with this format you can have mulitple directories and subdirectories and 127 x 640 = 79 Gig of hard drive space in total.

 

And unlike HDX you never have to run something else to switch to load something.

 

From any module or program type:

 

WDS#.Directory.SubDirectory,File

 

This is one hell of a lot more TI like structure then the HDX way of doing it.



#35 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:25 AM

Oh, and since it was one of the poll questions...

 

More educational carts!!

 

Educational software is nearly half of everything TI released (and supplemented by the likes of Scott Foresman), yet we only have 20 or so BIN's. Of course nothing is stopping ME from converting a few, so really this isn't bitching, but just an observation.

 

When the kids come over with friends and siblings, I usually unplug the FR99 and go back to using individual carts. (although I will admit, the fact that I have still not put the flashROM in a case has a lot to do with not wanting it used by little people.)

 

This, or educational stuff, is maybe something that made TI stand out, but also, on a larger scale, gaming was much more important to sales (to TI and other "home computers"). Yes, parents may have been convinced, but the kids then and now is going for something else, and the educational developers know it. Educate while having fun. And that boils down to games - as in having fun. Both luckily recognized by TI then, but also generally to this very day.

 

These days, as I'm more of a TI developer than a TI gamer, I think the audience for educational games (for the TI) is a fraction or much less than that of games. Sorry.

 

;)



#36 sometimes99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:39 AM

Although it does use an sd card to store cart images, I don't consider a flashrom99 to be a storage device since it cannot save/load miscellaneous data.

 

In my mind, it's a cartridge emulator, nothing more.

  

It has potentiale to be more, or so much more than that. And I'm confident in ralphb being determined to, both be backward compatible (cartridge emulator), but also be visionary about allowing thoughts out of that box (cartridge emulator).

  

;)



#37 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:40 AM

I've been pushing it for over 17 years, some people don't want to come. ;)

 

You're a man ahead of your time Tursi!  Most visionaries are.  Sadly, sometimes we have to wait on hardware to catch up, and even then enough people to make an interest viable.  I believe we've finally entered that magic zone. 

 

 

Cool. It's a hobby. I want to do new things, not old things.
 

 

Ditto!  With the awesome crew here at Atari Age, and all the new goodies, it's a major reason for the TI's continued growth and why many of us have planted stakes here.



#38 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:09 AM

Really? 

 

I much prefer the Hard Drive access of 640 Meg per Hard Drive,  with this format you can have mulitple directories and subdirectories and 127 x 640 = 79 Gig of hard drive space in total.

 

And unlike HDX you never have to run something else to switch to load something.

 

 

Some things would be nice to have for sure, but lately the hard drive route has not been a viable option for many of us due to lack of availability and the expense of that classic hardware.  The last time I saw the asking price of a TI-99/4A compatible hard drive controller on Ebait... (well, this is a family thread so I better not tell you what word came out of my mouth)

 

At the time, for me, the HDX gave me the capability I needed at a fraction of the price.  I suspect that's one of the reasons the FlashROM 99 is currently so popular, it gives people the ability to easily and cheaply get stuff off the Internet and onto their TI so they can have some fun.

 

My excitement level is growing as I hear rumblings of something new and cool in the works... (to be continued)! ;-)  



#39 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:05 AM

A disk image is a convenient way of distributing and storing multiple files because it forms a container (or a name space if you will) for related files. A zip archive of TI files would serve the same purpose, and I would prefer that to disk images if emulators could open them directly, e.g. by mounting them as disks.



#40 PeBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:45 AM

  

It has potentiale to be more, or so much more than that. And I'm confident in ralphb being determined to, both be backward compatible (cartridge emulator), but also be visionary about allowing thoughts out of that box (cartridge emulator).

  

;)

 

If you read my follow up post, you'll see that I agree completely and have already chided myself for using "nothing more"



#41 PeBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:22 AM

 

This, or educational stuff, is maybe something that made TI stand out, but also, on a larger scale, gaming was much more important to sales (to TI and other "home computers"). Yes, parents may have been convinced, but the kids then and now is going for something else, and the educational developers know it. Educate while having fun. And that boils down to games - as in having fun. Both luckily recognized by TI then, but also generally to this very day.

 

These days, as I'm more of a TI developer than a TI gamer, I think the audience for educational games (for the TI) is a fraction or much less than that of games. Sorry.

 

;)

 

Invention is the mother of necessity.

Unlike today where a digital device of some kind has become ubiquitous, back in the late 70's/early 80's, computer manufacturers had to come up with reasons why you NEEDED to make a large ticket purchase of a computer. It would seem that TI decided that educational titles would fill that role (along with the fact that the educational software developers seemed to have bought into the TI's licencing model more readily than the big name game developers of the time.)

The point is, the 4A has a very full catalog of educational software and, if one of the purposes of devices like the FR99 is to assist in the archiving and maintaining of a vintage computer's software library, then that catalog should be proportionately represented. I didn't suggest more FR99 compatible BINS of educational software because these titles would be as popular or more popular than regular games, but because a cartridge emulator should have as diverse a library as possible of every type of software.The poll question was "Are there any games you would like to see that have not been converted yet" and I simply stated a genre for which I personally would like to see more titles converted

While you are 100% correct that Parsec and Robotron 2048 have a much wider audience appeal than Meteor Multiplication or Word Invasion, they are still an important part of the 4A story. (and don't be too quick to discount the current attraction of the latter...there's a lot to be said for software that allows kids to learn and be entertained without the distraction of the internet or intuitive operating system interfaces. There are actualy a couple AtariAge members who use the TI and educational software to supplement the home schooling of  their kids)

And no need for "Sorry"  for having a differing opinion. Good thing too, or I'd spend my whole life apologizing.
 



#42 PeBo OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:28 AM

 

This probably should be subject for another poll but do y'all actually use TI word processors and spreadsheets anymore? When I look upon the TI software library I see the game category standing the test of time above all. The 99/4A keyboard is better than the 99/4 Calculator-Overlay Chicklet nightmare but it still clearly sucks. Commodore did the keyboard right back in the day, and TI dropped the ball BIG TIME -- TWICE!

 

Ya, you're right, probably not the best example to use, but I was trying to define "storage device" as I see it in my own mind, and used Word processors and spreadsheets since they both use storage devices for data. I should have simply stuck to Tunnels of Doom and/or Scott Adams/Infocom as more acceptable examples. Any software that uses disks and or tape for storage of data, whether it be high scores, or game progress still needs a separate storage device to the FR99.

 

Sorry, I thought people would pick up on what I was trying to say rather than the ill-chosen samples I used to make my point.



#43 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:54 AM

What I want is the Plato Interpreter on cart and all the Plato disks on 3.5 floppy.

Then, I will consider my journey complete.

#44 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:36 AM

What I want is the Plato Interpreter on cart and all the Plato disks on 3.5 floppy.

Then, I will consider my journey complete.

 

uh i can do that.. plato on a ubergrom and all the plato disks are available 



#45 Opry99er OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:46 AM

Yes, that was one of the things that excited me about the UberGROM when it was being developed.... :D

#46 RXB OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:28 PM

 

Some things would be nice to have for sure, but lately the hard drive route has not been a viable option for many of us due to lack of availability and the expense of that classic hardware.  The last time I saw the asking price of a TI-99/4A compatible hard drive controller on Ebait... (well, this is a family thread so I better not tell you what word came out of my mouth)

 

At the time, for me, the HDX gave me the capability I needed at a fraction of the price.  I suspect that's one of the reasons the FlashROM 99 is currently so popular, it gives people the ability to easily and cheaply get stuff off the Internet and onto their TI so they can have some fun.

 

My excitement level is growing as I hear rumblings of something new and cool in the works... (to be continued)! ;-)  

Not true MESS and WTI994A have Hard Drive support. 

I do not understand why they use that goofy CALL MOUNT in HXD to when a format of Hard Drive is much more TI like and compatible.



#47 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:57 PM

Really? 

...

This is one hell of a lot more TI like structure then the HDX way of doing it.

 

I'm talking about FIAD, not necessarily how HDX implements it. I don't have an HDX. ;)



#48 Tursi OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:01 PM

A disk image is a convenient way of distributing and storing multiple files because it forms a container (or a name space if you will) for related files. A zip archive of TI files would serve the same purpose, and I would prefer that to disk images if emulators could open them directly, e.g. by mounting them as disks.

 

ooh, I like that idea. Stealing it. 



#49 mizapf ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 1:47 PM

A disk image is a convenient way of distributing and storing multiple files because it forms a container (or a name space if you will) for related files. A zip archive of TI files would serve the same purpose, and I would prefer that to disk images if emulators could open them directly, e.g. by mounting them as disks.

 

Zip archives of TI files do not preserve particular allocations of sectors on the disk; for that reason I disagree with your assertion that it serves the same purpose. MAME relies on real DSRs and thus to low-level sector access. It is certainly possible to create a special image format, but this would mean you have to add the missing information like allocation maps and so, and you would end up in nothing but a complicated way to represent a DSK image by a ZIP file. Does not sound reasonable to me, at least for MAME, rather like a nightmare.



#50 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:47 PM

Not true MESS and WTI994A have Hard Drive support. 

I do not understand why they use that goofy CALL MOUNT in HXD to when a format of Hard Drive is much more TI like and compatible.

 

Rich, it appears that you might have the NanoPEB & CF7 confused with the HDX.  There is no "CALL MOUNT" used with the HDX.  The HDX uses a tree structure... just like a HD, albeit slightly abbreviated.   Of course I'm not talking emulators, I'm referring to obtainable stuff for real hardware.

 

I know the HDX will not appeal to everyone, but for the price, in my book it's pretty good alternative for those with a P-Box and an RS-232 card.

 

For newbies or newly returning TI'ers, who may not know about the HDX option, this short video might be of interest.

 






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