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Turbo Software tape copier restored from Chile.


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#1 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:09 AM

Dear Atarians,

 

I am proud to announce that the Chilean Atari Community had finally restored the Turbo Software tape copier that was used in my country to distribute many atari 8-bit games.

 

For those who want to know, Turbo Software was an small company that distributed atari games in the whole country, even using retail stores in that time.

 

The innovation they implemented, due that the tape drives were widely spread in Chile and they were not very reliable in the loading process, is that they incorpored an small game prior the main game loading, so we can spare some time playing it before it completes the load. Also, it incorporated an error recovery routine, so in case it fails the loading, you can resume by rewinding an small amount of tape and continue, instead to load all over again.

 

It also contains some protection routines, for example: it uses FSK signals to code some verification routines. In case they are inexistent, the game doesn't load.

 

Once the load is completed, you just have to press start to play the main game.

 

We also took the chance to add some improvements, in this case:

 

- Added PAL support in the saving and loading process. also, the initial music score it was fixed for PAL timing.

- Improved the start routine.

 

The topic regarding this announcement is in the following link: http://www.retrogames.cl/foro/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=12931 It's in spanish, but you can google translate it. It also contains a link with the ATR files with the copier and sources, programmed in MAC/65.

 

I hope you like it. Here's also a WAV file with an example. You can use a real hardware configuration with this wav, and also can be executed on Altirra and Atari800 with a8cas support.

 

Best regards!!

 

GHFM

Attached Files



#2 baktra OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:05 PM

It is good to see such piece of software revived and enhanced. Impressive.

 

Out of curiosity, I copied few binary load files with this copier (tried with atari800-a8cas). Files without INIT vectors load fine, files with INIT vectors crash.

But I take it binary load files with INIT vectors were not meant to be (fully) supported by this copier.



#3 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:17 AM

Hi, Baktra!

Youre right. The copier doesnt fully supports INIT vectors. That is because the IRGs are fixed to 100 miliseconds (atari standard is 250), so the load could be faster. In fact, the copier has an option to disable that if necessary (mentioned as con subrutina in spanish).

To be honest, the copier has other limitations, such as:

- It only loads binary files below $C000. That is because it copies the OS into RAM
- occupies bytes between $3F0-$401 as buffer and block counter for resuming loading routines.

As a matter of fact, the example I posted its a patched cruncher 5.0 file that loads specially on the $b00-$bcff area, and waits until the end to copy the data in the right place. It was the only way to make It work with this loader.

Nevertheless, I personally find it cool that it has a pong-like game to play while its loading the game.

Best regards!

#4 baktra OFFLINE  

baktra

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:51 AM

Yes, the Pong-like game is a cool concept.

 

To be reasonable, a cassette is by no means a natural environment for binary load files. The binary load files were specifically designed to be used with media that allow random access.

Therefore one can expect limitations.

 

Anyway, it is either playing Pong or INIT vectors. A binary loader that fully supports INIT vectors by design must stop the motor when needed and keep a very low profile during the loading process. That means the E: device open, no custom loading screen, no sector counter etc.


Edited by baktra, Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:52 AM.


#5 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:05 AM

Totally agree. In fact, many games distributed by Turbo Software were specifically adapted to support the Pong game, as well as many European "newer" games (like Draconus), were never distributed by them.



#6 baktra OFFLINE  

baktra

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 8:32 AM

An archive of monolithic binary load files (just one DATA segment and one RUN segment) is available here: http://baktra.webown...s_monolithic.7z

These provide the best compatibility with this loader. The archive combines monolithic binary load files from Fandal's archive and from Atarionline.pl.

 

A courtesy of the DOS 2 Binary File Checker executed on both archives.



#7 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:51 AM

Thank you!. I will look into it.



#8 manterola OFFLINE  

manterola

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:15 PM

Thanks for this amazing job. Yesterday I tried it and it worked great. I got a 1010 which is giving me problems to load programs. Maybe it is the belt and my cassette drive needs a new one or it is the low quality cassettes you can get nowadays (generic brand from Wal-Mart).
But yesterday I was able to create and then load a Montezuma revenge turbo soft cassette. I totally forgot there were a musical intro, so that was pretty surprising. Then I enjoyed a little play time with 1 player pong. The error recovery feature saved the day twice. And finally I played Montezuma aka preliminary monty just like the good old days.
Thank you again for the great job.
Mauricio

#9 ijor OFFLINE  

ijor

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Posted Wed Dec 20, 2017 7:33 PM

Si alguno tiene contacto con Pedro, por favor mandenle saludos mios

 

Translation: If somebody still is in touch with Pedro, please send him greetings.



#10 baktra OFFLINE  

baktra

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Posted Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:20 AM

An archive of monolithic binary load files (just one DATA segment and one RUN segment) is available here: http://baktra.webown...s_monolithic.7z

These provide the best compatibility with this loader. The archive combines monolithic binary load files from Fandal's archive and from Atarionline.pl.

 

A courtesy of the DOS 2 Binary File Checker executed on both archives.

 

If you have no idea how to use this  DOS 2 Binary File Checker, but you would like to do so.

1. Download and install Java for your computer https://www.java.com/en/download/

2. Let Google translate this page to English.



#11 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:32 AM

New 2.0. version released. This time it operates at 800 bps starting at the 2nd block.

 

Link: http://www.retrogame...hp?f=21&t=12963



#12 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:25 PM

Si alguno tiene contacto con Pedro, por favor mandenle saludos mios

 

Translation: If somebody still is in touch with Pedro, please send him greetings.

 

Hola, lamentablemente, sólo tuve la oportunidad de conocerlo el 2005, cuando nos entregó el impreso de la versión alpha del Turbo Software. Pero si tengo la oportunidad de verlo nuevamente, lo mandaré tus saludos.

 

Translation:

 

Hi, unfortunately, I just had a chance to meet him once on 2005, when he brought us an alpha version source code from Turbo Software. But if I had a chance to see him again, I will send your greetings.

 

Regards!



#13 Atari_Force OFFLINE  

Atari_Force

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Posted Sun Dec 31, 2017 9:53 AM

Still not working with Altirra?



#14 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

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Posted Mon Jan 1, 2018 5:23 AM

Still not working with Altirra?

 

Not completely. Altirra cannot make FSK signals to CAS or WAV files yet, but it can load them. So, you can load a CAS or WAV file (like in POST #1 on this topic), but cannot create it. I use the A8CAS Atari800 patched version to do it.

 

I asked Avery if he can add support of creating FSK signals to Altirra. As I understood, he has it on his agenda, but doesn't know when it's going to implement it.

 

Regards!



#15 dogdark OFFLINE  

dogdark

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Posted Wed Apr 4, 2018 10:28 AM

Copier source codes, originals not modified

 

Corrector de errores

 

Grabación injektor limpio

 

Grabación Injektor

 

Injektor

 

Turbo soft 1(Limpio)

 

Turbo soft 1

 

Turbo Soft 2


Edited by dogdark, Wed Apr 4, 2018 10:29 AM.





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