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Why the "k" on boot?


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#1 Steve Mynott OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:30 AM

Over the last few decades when booting Atari games I've noticed many print a "k" to a blank screen while this happens.

 

Why?



#2 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:50 AM

They are packed ie crunched games, I forget which packer is used...

 

Edit: I should say its a compacted loader to be more exact..


Edited by Mclaneinc, Sat Oct 21, 2017 3:54 AM.


#3 brenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:10 AM

nice one Paul. you beat me to it ^^^

 

the "k" is kenfuser who is an AAge member.

think there's a post somewhere on here where he explains where the compactor originated - the late 90s?

 

the purpose was to shrink the files/disk images to a size that would not take up too much space on the comparatively minute HDDs of that time.

the "k" was added for ease of identification


Edited by brenski, Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:12 AM.


#4 Wrathchild OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:47 AM

That's not how I remember this... I used such a thing on the original Elite demo 
(that version didn't patch the key handler so will crash if a key is press, so just cycle screens using the Start key)

 

I believe it stems from a 3 block bootstrapper that sits at the start of a disk image that then loads a binary executable appended to it.



#5 brenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:28 AM

That's not how I remember this... I used such a thing on the original Elite demo 
(that version didn't patch the key handler so will crash if a key is press, so just cycle screens using the Start key)

 

I believe it stems from a 3 block bootstrapper that sits at the start of a disk image that then loads a binary executable appended to it.

not sure who you are replying to.

 

but i've managed to locate the original thread - which more or less confirms what Mclaneinc and myself have said

 

http://atariage.com/...-file-in-tosec/


Edited by brenski, Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:29 AM.


#6 Wrathchild OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:42 AM

You both mention compacting (compression) which is unrelated to the bootstrapper and not mentioned in the thread you've cited.

The original binary being converted to a k-file atr may itself be a self-extracting program but it is not a pre-requisite and so the two responses could be misleading for readers.


Edited by Wrathchild, Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:43 AM.


#7 brenski OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:57 AM

don't want to argue with you - how are:

 

my comment (above)

the "k" is kenfuser who is an AAge member.
think there's a post somewhere on here where he explains where the compactor originated - the late 90s?
the purpose was to shrink the files/disk images to a size that would not take up too much space on the comparatively minute HDDs of that time.
the "k" was added for ease of identification
 
and kenuser's comment (linked thread)
Windows 95 was the norm (well, actually I had a DOS versions of many of AtrUtil's functions before AtrUtil was created).
Emulators didn't support direct loading exe's.
I don't remember if APE/SIOPC supported PC Mirror (or equivalent) at that time.
Hard drives were smaller and most people were on the internet at 14.4-28.8 dial-up so the ATR's it made were non-standard sizes (small as possible).
I purposely added the 'K' to identify them, and made the program capable of restoring the original. 
The program has a few bugs here and there and was the first windows GUI program I made. Someone made a newer program (forget what is is called) with an almost identicalish interface. 
 
i really can't see any difference.

Edited by brenski, Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:04 AM.


#8 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:18 AM

(small as possible). does not mean compacted.

 

The ATR is the header + the 'k' boot loader + the XEX.



#9 Wrathchild OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:46 AM

rdea6 summarises it well. The Elite atr file is an example as it was ~28K whereas technically it is breaking rules as this doesn't match what the header declares... but it still works :)



#10 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:53 AM

The next letter to argue about is C as in compacted :)

 

I seemed to remember they were a compacted loader, if the compacted bits wrong then I shall cast myself off yonder mountain at dusk...

 

or perhaps not :)



#11 Standard User OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:38 PM

Ah. I just assumed it was doing an extended memory check and telling me everything was OK - k. ;)



#12 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:54 PM

I've booted many "k" files within emulators but I don't know that I've ever used one on real hardware.  Do they work just as well as an uncompressed file on a real Atari?



#13 José Pereira OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:00 PM

I remember on the 80s had some tapes with games loading on my 800XL with the k but not remember wich.
One I'm thinking that maybe was is Pole Position Race (or is it Road?) Designer. Anyone has it in this form/can confirm?

EDITED: It's Race...

Edited by José Pereira, Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:33 PM.


#14 mytekcontrols OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:17 PM

I've booted many "k" files within emulators but I don't know that I've ever used one on real hardware.  Do they work just as well as an uncompressed file on a real Atari?

 

They work for me on all the real hardware I have (65-130XE,600-800XL, XEGS, 1088XEL).

 

- Michael



#15 lbaeza OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:01 PM

Hi

 

Is kenfused the AA username for Ken Siders, the guy who recently died?

We all have to be thankful for his utilities and his K ATR standard...

 

I remember years ago reading a document from his webpage ( Currently at http://atari.kensclassics.org/) about the different Atari disk formats (atr, dcm, etc.), detailing its structure at the byte level...but now I cannot find it...anybody knows where can I find it?

 

Regards,

 

Louis BQ



#16 José Pereira OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:26 PM

Yes, I think it is: http://atariage.com/...siders-has-died

#17 Heaven/TQA OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:09 PM

Wasnt those K atr files which where non standard as they contained only data sectors and not empty ones?

#18 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:37 PM

I remember years ago reading a document from his webpage ( Currently at http://atari.kensclassics.org/) about the different Atari disk formats (atr, dcm, etc.), detailing its structure at the byte level...but now I cannot find it...anybody knows where can I find it?

 

Maybe you're referring to the information on this page: File Formats

 

It's actually on Jindroush's old site and linked to by Ken on one of the pages from the site you reference of his. The link is no longer good, though, because Jindroush no longer has his site up. The link I posted above is an archive of the site, hosted by Atarimax.


Edited by MrFish, Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:38 PM.


#19 Jinks ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:17 AM

Bekause.

#20 DGS-Atari OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:39 PM

A 'K' on a blank screen? Are you sure you're not booting a ZX81 by accident?! ;)  (Heck, I'm old! :P )



#21 CharlieChaplin OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 28, 2017 4:44 PM

a) 'kay (short form for okay, which means the disk is okay)

b) konfused (your are confused, the boot data comes from kenfused)



#22 lbaeza OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 28, 2017 8:45 PM

I remember years ago reading a document from his webpage ( Currently at http://atari.kensclassics.org/) about the different Atari disk formats (atr, dcm, etc.), detailing its structure at the byte level...but now I cannot find it...anybody knows where can I find it?

 

Found it! Here it is:

 

http://atari.kensclassics.org/dos.htm

 

Regards,

 

Louis BQ



#23 AHA OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:01 PM

I noticed the k appeared when i used atr util to create  autoboot disks from xexs etc


Edited by AHA, Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:03 PM.


#24 mechanerd OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 3:48 PM

Maybe the  "K" is for "Kompressor" in German?

 

I still am looking for a solution to load a .ROM or .car file, then boot Mydos, Dos, or RDOS on real hardware from an .ATR disk image.



#25 Stephen OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 6:18 PM

Maybe the  "K" is for "Kompressor" in German?

 

I still am looking for a solution to load a .ROM or .car file, then boot Mydos, Dos, or RDOS on real hardware from an .ATR disk image.

No - it's for "K"en Siders, who sadly passed away this year.






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