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ColecoVision/ADAM Ultimate SD Wafer Drive (Up to 32GB of storage space)


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#1 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:20 AM

There is a product on the market for ColecoVision/ADAM owners that is called the “Ultimate SD Wafer Drive” by ATARIMAX (also known as Ultimate SD cartridge on its old style label name). The Ultimate SD Wafer Drive has been produced in huge QTY’s and can be purchased directly on Amazon and EBAY. It ships with both a fully licensed version of Mario Brothers (64KB) and Mr. Chin (32KB) ColecoVision/ADAM games on a 16GB SDHC media. One’s entire ColecoVision/ADAM cartridge rom image collection can fit on one SDHC wafer card.

 

The following are only a few advantages of the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive

 

1. It allows game developers to distribute games on low cost SD media. Blank 2GB size SD wafer cards can be purchased from online venders for only around $2 each (blank 8GB SDHC for around $2.50 each). Low cost 32GB SDHC wafer cards can be purchased from many different venders for under $10 if one needs that much space to distribute games. If the Coleco game developers back in the 80’s would have had the ability to create Supergames with 32GB of storage space for under $10, the quality of the games would have been something the world has never seen before. With 32GB of storage space programmers do not have to worry about trying to fit their games in a small amount of space. Now having a full 32GB of space for games has become a reality.

 

2. A future firmware update for the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive will offer full support for up to 2TB SDXC wafer cards with exFAT file support.

 

3. Current firmware supports up to 32GB SDHC wafer cards for programmers that want to create huge Supergames and programs (The actual capacity of the current hardware is to allow up to 4MB of data to be loaded at any moment. A game developer can page data in and out from the 32GB SDHC wafer cards as needed, which means a programmer can literally make one large ColecoVision/ADAM videogame that takes up the entire 32GB of space on the SDHC wafer media). ADAM owners could create a completely new operating system that would install with a cartridge reset and look similar to Windows.    

 

 4. Distributing games on SD wafer media is much more cheaper and powerful than game cartridges.    

 

5. There are over 1.25 billion Windows PC’s in the world that can play ColecoVision games with a software emulation program. An internal or external SDXC card reader can be purchased for under $5 that allows over a billion people to play the ColecoVision SD Wafer rom images. Therefore distributing ones ColecoVision games on SD Wafer media allows over 1.25 billion people to have the potential to play the game. Releasing the game on a physical cartridge limits the sales to a small amount of people with a 1982-1985 ColecoVision game system.     

 

6. SD Copy protection technology: Making a quality game for the ColecoVision/ADAM can take several months or years. There is technology that makes it impossible to copy a SD card so that the ColecoVision game rom image cannot be duplicated with a simple copy and paste technique on a Windows PC. Game developers that want to protect their hard work from being copied can release all their games on copy protected SD media. Cartridges released today do not use copy protection, so SD media with copy protection is more secure to protect peoples hard work.

 

7. A future third party firmware update could make SD media 100% secure from being copied: Videogame developers that want to protect their hard work from being copied, could in the future release secure encrypted Supergames onto SD media. With a third party firmware update to the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive, it would be possible to make an encryption system with a digital serial number key that would marry the SD card wafer Supergame to only one Ultimate SD Wafer Drive.  

 

Making videogames is a time consuming process. In the 21st Century game programmers now have better tools to create videogames when compared to the technology Coleco used in the early 80’s to create videogames. If research and development was spent with Supercomputers, it would be possible to create state of the art tools that would allow game developers to speed up the game developing process. Using a touchpad onscreen drawing interface and a supercomputer one could greatly speed up the ColecoVision game code development time. If greater tools were created for 8 bit videogame systems like the ColecoVision/ADAM then amazing large 32GB size games could be created by a team of programmers in a few months instead of years. Opening up the games to be sold to a potential customer base of 1.25 billion people or more would create an entire new market for classic 8 bit videogames even if only less than 1% of those people were to purchase the game, one is looking at lot of ColecoVision SD wafer game media being sold. A talented programmer could create games more popular than even Pacman and Donkey Kong by using their creative imagination.

 

More detailed information

 

To help make things more clear I am creating this add on post that hopefully will answer everyone’s questions.

 

1. Distributing games on SD media and using copy protection has nothing to do with ATARIMAX and their cartridges: There are different types of copy protection technologies and encryption technologies that keep data secure on SD cards. There is secure and so far unbreakable encryption technologies like 256 bit AES and 448 bit blowfish technology that keeps data secure. Now I understand that once one uses an authorized key to unlock that encryption and to covert the file to a standard unencrypted file, that the file or rom image can be copied and read once its back in its unencrypted state. Therefore, the purpose of the first post was to bring people’s attention that some different types of copy protection and/or encryption technology can be used on the SD media itself that would protect the media from being copied with a simple copy and paste in Windows, MAC, or Linux machine. Preventing the copy from occurring on the Windows PC, MAC, and Linux computer is the most important place to protect the SD Wafer rom image from being copied and not the cartridge SD wafer drive.  

 

2. The existing firmware in the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive is designed to read Atari 5200 or ColecoVision/ADAM videogames on cartridge that do not use any encryption or copy protection technology (Which is 100% of all current ROM images): Currently many people use the ATARIMAX Ultimate SD Wafer Drive to play classic public domain rom images for ColecoVision/ADAM and ATARI 5200 games that they have downloaded from various websites. In addition, some commercial ROM images are for sale on various third party websites that people purchase and can play with a PC with emulation program, or with the ATARIMAX Ultimate SD Wafer Drive on a real console. Game developers also use the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive to play their homemade videogames on an actual console.

 

 

3. ATARIMAX firmware update information: ATARIMAX is currently working on an Official firmware update that will offer exFAT file support. Once that firmware update is released consumers can use up to 2TB SDXC wafer cards in theory. Currently in the year 2017 512GB SDXC cards are the largest available on the market; however in the lab 1TB and 2TB SDXC cards are being worked on for a future release in the years to come. So one day a 2TB size videogame for the ColecoVision/ADAM and ATARI 5200 system could become a reality if one had the time in their lifetime to make a videogame that size (Using Super computers with specially made software, one could greatly reduce the development time since the computer would write automated code with a graphic interface).

 

4. A Possible future firmware update from a third party programmer can make copy protection and/or encryption technology possible in the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive cartridge: With my communication with ATARIMAX it was my understanding that anyone can make a special firmware update for the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive that would allow a game programmer to use copy protection and/or encryption technology with a digital serialized key that is unique to each cartridge. This means a SD wafer game can be serialized to run on only one Ultimate SD Wafer Drive. This would most likely be a third party firmware update only. However, it is my understanding that if enough videogame developers want this copy protection technology inside the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive cartridge, then ATARIMAX would consider maybe writing a firmware update to offer that feature.

 

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Edited by HDTV1080P, Sat Sep 2, 2017 4:26 PM.


#2 MiniRPG OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:19 PM

Fascinating. I'll definitely have to get one.

 

From a developer POV, I'm curious about how the bank switching works within a game. I'm sure there's documentation about this somewhere on the Atari Age forums.


Edited by MiniRPG, Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:23 PM.


#3 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 2, 2017 4:21 PM

More detailed information

 

To help make things more clear I am creating this add on post that hopefully will answer everyone’s questions.

 

1. Distributing games on SD media and using copy protection has nothing to do with ATARIMAX and their cartridges: There are different types of copy protection technologies and encryption technologies that keep data secure on SD cards. There is secure and so far unbreakable encryption technologies like 256 bit AES and 448 bit blowfish technology that keeps data secure. Now I understand that once one uses an authorized key to unlock that encryption and to covert the file to a standard unencrypted file, that the file or rom image can be copied and read once its back in its unencrypted state. Therefore, the purpose of the first post was to bring people’s attention that some different types of copy protection and/or encryption technology can be used on the SD media itself that would protect the media from being copied with a simple copy and paste in Windows, MAC, or Linux machine. Preventing the copy from occurring on the Windows PC, MAC, and Linux computer is the most important place to protect the SD Wafer rom image from being copied and not the cartridge SD wafer drive.  

 

2. The existing firmware in the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive is designed to read Atari 5200 or ColecoVision/ADAM videogames on cartridge that do not use any encryption or copy protection technology (Which is 100% of all current ROM images): Currently many people use the ATARIMAX Ultimate SD Wafer Drive to play classic public domain rom images for ColecoVision/ADAM and ATARI 5200 games that they have downloaded from various websites. In addition, some commercial ROM images are for sale on various third party websites that people purchase and can play with a PC with emulation program, or with the ATARIMAX Ultimate SD Wafer Drive on a real console. Game developers also use the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive to play their homemade videogames on an actual console.

 

 

3. ATARIMAX firmware update information: ATARIMAX is currently working on an Official firmware update that will offer exFAT file support. Once that firmware update is released consumers can use up to 2TB SDXC wafer cards in theory. Currently in the year 2017 512GB SDXC cards are the largest available on the market; however in the lab 1TB and 2TB SDXC cards are being worked on for a future release in the years to come. So one day a 2TB size videogame for the ColecoVision/ADAM and ATARI 5200 system could become a reality if one had the time in their lifetime to make a videogame that size (Using Super computers with specially made software, one could greatly reduce the development time since the computer would write automated code with a graphic interface).

 

4. A Possible future firmware update from a third party programmer can make copy protection and/or encryption technology possible in the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive cartridge: With my communication with ATARIMAX it was my understanding that anyone can make a special firmware update for the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive that would allow a game programmer to use copy protection and/or encryption technology with a digital serialized key that is unique to each cartridge. This means a SD wafer game can be serialized to run on only one Ultimate SD Wafer Drive. This would most likely be a third party firmware update only. However, it is my understanding that if enough videogame developers want this copy protection technology inside the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive cartridge, then ATARIMAX would consider maybe writing a firmware update to offer that feature.



#4 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 3, 2017 1:19 PM

Hmmm. Why is the name different from the atarimax ultimate sd cart I have from a few years ago. Is it different? Is this one from steven tucker as well.?

 

At present the largest rom size I can program is 512kb as far as I know using bank switching. It would be nice to be able to go beyond that somehow for video or large scrolling options or digital sound.



#5 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 1:11 AM

SD media is a lot cheaper then cartridges. Sometimes 8GB sizes can be found as low as $2.50. Releasing the game on SD wafer media results in a lower price for the consumer while at the same time being able to play the game on both a real system and PC.

You do not need to purchase another cartridge if you already own a SD version from ATARIMAX. The “Ultimate SD Wafer Drive” by ATARIMAX is also exactly the same as the “Ultimate SD cartridge”, the only difference is the new style label. Since the cartridge operates like a solid-state wafer drive for SD media, the new label is just a more clear meaning of what the cartridge really is. Also with my communications with ATARIMAX, if anyone prefers the new label they can contact ATARIMAX and one can arrange to send their existing Ultimate SD Cartridge in to be relabeled to say “Ultimate SD Wafer Drive”.

 

Current firmware supports up to 32GB SDHC wafer cards for programmers that want to create huge Supergames and programs (The actual capacity of the current hardware is to allow up to 4MB of data to be loaded at any moment. A game developer can page data in and out from the 32GB SDHC wafer cards as needed, which means a programmer can literally make one large ColecoVision/ADAM videogame that takes up the entire 32GB of space on the SDHC wafer media).



#6 digress OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 11:44 AM

Ok so i got it. You are suggesting we sell sd cards with the colecovision rom on it that has been encrypted.

This would essentiall be the new cartridge format.

 

So that makes sense.

 

I think most people that have the sd cartridge would prefer just to download the rom at that point. Seems like too much trouble to encrypt a sd card and mail it out for such a small number of potential clients. 50-100. Someone would for sure un encrypt it anyways and even if they don't the sd cards are really corrupted easily and they would want  a backup.I think anyone buying a physical copy would prefer the normal cartridge and they can back it up to their sd cartrdige if they have 1 anyways. And of course some people don't have the sd cart and never will so but might still want the game on regular cartridge.

 

 

But the ultimate sd cartridge is awsome and every coleco owner should have 1. I like the idea of a giant game beyond 512kb so perhaps that would be the one area where sd card distribution would make sense.



#7 HDTV1080P OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 2:12 PM

With my email communications with Steven J. Tucker at ATARIMAX. It is my understanding that his purpose for the original Ultimate SD Cartridge was for ColecoVision/ADAM game developers and ATARI 5200 game developers to be able to distribute videogames on SD media. The advantage of SD media is that it’s cheaper, faster, and offers much more storage space when compared to actual game cartridges. The option of using copy protection and being able to use the SD media on an emulation program on a real PC was my idea.

 

I mentioned to Steven Tucker that Coleco Industries back in 1983 originally planned on coming out with a high-speed wafer tape drive for Supergames because developing a cartridge that used more than 32KB was too expensive back in the 80’s. Therefore I made the suggest that his product should be called an “Ultimate SD Wafer Drive” instead of an “Ultimate SD Cartridge”. Steven at ATARIMAX agreed to try the new style label on his product, since he always had a vision of his product being used by game developers to distribute games on SD media instead of cartridges. The ColecoVision/ADAM version of the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive is currently being used for people that own the OPCODE Supergame module. ATARIMAX has made some custom labels for both the ColecoVision/ADAM and ATARI 5200 systems with the words “Ultimate SD Wafer Drive”. Again the only difference between the “Ultimate SD Wafer Drive” and the older label called  “Ultimate SD Cartridge” is the label. 100% of the electronics are exactly the same. The Ultimate SD Wafer Drive can be purchased on Amazon and EBAY websites. People can also purchase the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive directly from ATARIMAX.

 

Current firmware Supports MMC, SD, and SDHC wafer cards. Both the FAT and FAT32 Filesystem is supported (full long filenames are support also). The FAT filesystem is needed for older SD cards under 2GB in size. The FAT32 filesystem is for native SDHC cards with 2GB to 32GB capacity. ATARIMAX is working on a firmware update for the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive so that the exFAT file system can be used on the latest SDXC cards with a 32GB to 2TB capacity (512GB SDXC cards exist in retail stores in 2017. 1TB and 2TB sizes are planned to be released by SD card manufactories in the future). One day having a ColecoVision/ADAM videogame and ATARI 5200 videogame up to 2TB in size will become a reality if a programmer needs that much space. It should also be mentioned that blank SD media under 2GB in size is no longer being manufactured. Today consumers have a choice between SDHC and SDXC cards. Sometime in future years most likely blank SDHC cards between 2GB to 32GB will one day be going out of production as the demand for consumer storage capacity increases for 4K video camcorders built into Smartphones and other massive storage needs for apps in future generations of tablets and Smartphones. Therefore, ATARIMAX is working on a firmware update for exFAT file support and SDXC card support just in case one day blank SDHC cards between 2GB to 32GB go out of production. The SD card industry keeps increasing in capacity size while at the same time the price per GB keeps falling in price.

 

More information on bank switching 4MB at a time for up to 32GB capacity under the current firmware (The text below in blue are word for word quotes from Steven Tucker at ATARIMAX)

 

“The limit of the current hardware is 4mbit for flat ROM images.”

 

Question: If One installs a 32GB SDHC card into the Ultimate SD Wafer Drive, could a game developer use the entire 32GB of space to make a super large game that is 32GB in size?

 

Yes, you can go beyond 4mbit by using the onboard CPU to load and save data as needed to and from the card.I'm not aware of any ColecoVision titles that use these

functions at the moment, however there are a couple games on the 5200 cartridge that do use it for

loading levels and saving high scores.”


Edited by HDTV1080P, Mon Sep 4, 2017 2:17 PM.


#8 youki OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 1:15 AM

I have an ultimate SD Cartridge  and also the old one (i don't remember the name , the one without SD).  They are fantastic harwdare, and a must have.

 

but i have to admit despite i had already think to distribute homebrew on SD Card and came to the conclusion it is not a good idea. I think people doing retro and buying homebrews on colecovision want expect something more authentic.   A SD card is not retro.  there is a kind of anachronism to sell a game on a SD card for a Colecovision.

 

Of course for a game of 32giga.... it would make sense... as anyway a 32 giga game is no moret retro!!






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