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#1 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:22 PM

The short and sweet of it is this:

 

The developer of Flashfloppy firmware for GoTek is also interested in supporting the TI DSK format after I sent him a request. The same DSk format we use in classic99, JS99er, Win994a and Mame.

I don't know how they might differ from each other (the dsk file extension for our images) but he asked me for any technical docs or information on the format.

Can I get some volunteers to point me to the sources he may need in order to implement this?

 

I'm going to point him to whtech for dsk images as a start to get the ball rolling.

Here is his direct request - "Point me to some DSK images, and if there is tech info on the file format then all the better."

 



#2 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 12:36 PM

I know that actually the Gotek can support TI-99/4A disk format updating it with the Modified HxC firmware. I know that someone already use it with success.



#3 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:07 PM

I have a Gotek with HxC in my PEB. I never heard of a modified HxC for DSK files on TI. I'd be interested in checking that out. But also, flashfloppy is free as opposed to HxC which isn't and needs to be ordered from a site in French - which I cannot read, i got my HxC direct from Jeff before he moved the ordering process to the French language only site. So I went with flashfloppy on my Amiga. Very happy with the options and such. Would love to see it developed to support TI's DSk format. I think many others might like to see that as well. It would become the least expensive virtual floppy option for us. If there is no interest then I guess no one will help me find the info I need to keep the ball rolling.


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:08 PM.


#4 fabrice montupet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:12 PM

I confirm. I also have a Gotek with HxC, it works fine on the TI-99. Successfully tested with a TI Disk Controller and a Corcomp one.



#5 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:18 PM

I have a Gotek with HxC in my PEB. I never heard of a modified HxC for DSK files on TI.

 

No of course i meaning that the Gotek works already on TI-99/4A using the HxC firmware. 
No i understand that you would like to have a Gotek that ready .DSK directly without the need to convert them before in .HFE. 
Yes it could be interesting too.


Edited by ti99iuc, Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:18 PM.


#6 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:18 PM

I confirm. I also have a Gotek with HxC, it works fine on the TI-99. Successfully tested with a TI Disk Controller and a Corcomp one.

Using DSK files or HFE?

I use a gotek with my PEB just fine but I cannot use DSK files and I did upgrade to the latest version of HxC. Also, I have been in contact with the developer of HxC also who told me he may add the support in 2018.

Native support for DSK files so no more having to create HFE files and double storage.



#7 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:29 PM

DSK are sector dumps in linear order from sector 0 to sector n-1, with n being the number of sectors. For the floppy emulation it is important to note that the tracks start on the outer rim of head 0, continue towards the spindle, change to head 1 at the spindle, continue towards the outer rim.

 

You may suggest to allow for three formats: SSSD (90K), DSSD (180K), and DSDD (360K).

 

The single density formats have this sector sequence: 0-7-5-3-1-8-6-4-2, next track starts with +6. The double density formats have the sequence 0-11-4-15-8-1-12-5-16-0-2-13-6-17-10-3-14-7, next track +0 (same sequence)

 

Please point him to ninerpedia where we have all this information available (https://www.ninerped...ts#File_formats)



#8 ti99iuc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:42 PM

Yes, i remember that with HxC at starting we had some issues on reading/writing disks formats. 
HxC SD was good with use of SSSD (90K) floppies and not with others.

I remember that me and Jon Guidry helped the Developer of the HxC Firmware to find a solution, so i agree with Mr. Zapf


Edited by ti99iuc, Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:42 PM.


#9 RickyDean OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:49 PM

I have a Gotek with HxC in my PEB. I never heard of a modified HxC for DSK files on TI. I'd be interested in checking that out. But also, flashfloppy is free as opposed to HxC which isn't and needs to be ordered from a site in French - which I cannot read, i got my HxC direct from Jeff before he moved the ordering process to the French language only site. So I went with flashfloppy on my Amiga. Very happy with the options and such. Would love to see it developed to support TI's DSk format. I think many others might like to see that as well. It would become the least expensive virtual floppy option for us. If there is no interest then I guess no one will help me find the info I need to keep the ball rolling.

As would I. 



#10 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:16 PM

Well, it looks like the ball is rolling. I've sent Kaffer the link to this topic direct as well as your response mizapf. Thanks!

"Thanks, I see a response and it looks like these DSK files are also known as *.v9t9? Also they are single density and I don't support any SD sector formats yet. But I'm about to add support for the BBC B. Anyway this sector format I can definitely support once SD support is committed. I will get you your v9t9/dsk support but it might be a few weeks minimum."

Whoo Hoo!


Edited by Sinphaltimus, Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:17 PM.


#11 fabrice montupet OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:29 PM

Using DSK files or HFE?

.HFE files. The conversion of TI .DSK files to .HFE format is so quick and easy that, I have never felt the need of a native .DSK compatibility for my Gotek drive. But I understand that it can be useful for some people.

That said,  more than 80% of the time when I use floppy disks, I use real ones.  Nostalgia :-)



#12 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:47 PM

Well, it looks like the ball is rolling. I've sent Kaffer the link to this topic direct as well as your response mizapf. Thanks!

 

For a start, he may try DSDD (which is MFM). I noticed that the explanation of the sector dump format in Ninerpedia is a bit terse, but it is what it says, just a concatenation of sector contents from sector 0 to sector n-1.

 

@schmitzi (e-Mail): We have some more combinations, e.g. SSDD (single sided, double density) or DSSD80 (80 tracks), but the problem is that the file size/format detection may be ambiguous. For example, when you have a 360K file, it could be DSDD40, but also DSSD80. Or maybe SSQD40 (quad density)? In such cases, in MAME I peek into sector 0 to find out how the geometry should look like, which only works for formatted disks, of course. This may become difficult for the GoTek.

 

Thus I suggest to offer the typical SSSD, DSSD, and DSDD formats (40 tracks). Maybe one could add 80 track formats like DSDD80 (720K), as long as the detection is easy.



#13 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:57 PM

What are the majority of existing dsk files at? I'd focus on mimicking the most popular. I'm not sure the focus on every dsk format available is a good idea if there are little to no DSK files that currently exist in that format. I guess I'm an average TI PEB owner, I can only do 3.5" DSSD 80 track, 5.25" DSSD 40 track on real floppies myself. And then of course hfe for gotek. Which, will not get lost. flashfloppy currently supports hfe.  



#14 Lee Stewart ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:10 PM

What about the nanoPEB/CF7+ format of 1600 sectors or 400 KiB?  This is the maximum capacity of a diskette with the TI spec, which uses all of the 400-bit, sector-allocation bitmap of the Volume Information Block (sector 0).  It computes as DSDD with 20 sectors/track.

 

...lee



#15 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:01 PM

But the Gotek/Lotharek floppy emulator connects to a (real) floppy controller, and I am not sure whether the controller knows what to do with 20 sectors/track. Also, the original TI floppy controller cannot cope with MFM encoding (DD), so which controller do you have in mind?



#16 Sinphaltimus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:19 PM

But the Gotek/Lotharek floppy emulator connects to a (real) floppy controller, and I am not sure whether the controller knows what to do with 20 sectors/track. Also, the original TI floppy controller cannot cope with MFM encoding (DD), so which controller do you have in mind?

 

 

Yeah, that's my thoughts as well. If a GoTek can read DSK files, which DSK file formats make the most sense? right now, the only thing to compare a GoTek to is another GoTek or the industrial Lethorak drives. Both of which can do HFE without complaints. So what DSK format(s) would be best to add to GoTek? The most bang for the buck so to speak.



#17 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:43 PM

From what I understood (I don't have such a floppy emulator), it pretents to the real controller to be a floppy drive. If you connect such a floppy emulator to a standard TI controller, it should only be possible to read up to 180K (DSSD), since the FD1771 is not capable of decoding MFM (360K if you modified the DSR to support 80 tracks). If you use a DDCC-1, Corcomp, BwG, or HFDC, you should be able to use MFM as well. So I would guess the disk formats you can use depend on the controller the GoTek/Lotharek is connected to.

 

The HFE does not immediately define the capacity. It is a cell image of a floppy disk, so depending on the recording, it can contain from 90K to 360K, and even more for 80 tracks.

 

The DSSD format would be safest for all users, since FM (=SD) can be read by all. The DSDD is for the people with advanced floppy controllers.



#18 acadiel ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:45 PM

I confirm. I also have a Gotek with HxC, it works fine on the TI-99. Successfully tested with a TI Disk Controller and a Corcomp one.


Works fine here too. The only time I’ve had it fail is running a copy with COPY-C from a copy protected MG Explorer disk to the HxC GoTek. It really screws up the image file.

I’m getting a KyroFlux next to deal with that....

#19 acadiel ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:47 PM

Well, it looks like the ball is rolling. I've sent Kaffer the link to this topic direct as well as your response mizapf. Thanks!

"Thanks, I see a response and it looks like these DSK files are also known as *.v9t9? Also they are single density and I don't support any SD sector formats yet. But I'm about to add support for the BBC B. Anyway this sector format I can definitely support once SD support is committed. I will get you your v9t9/dsk support but it might be a few weeks minimum."

Whoo Hoo!


There’s two types of images. The V9T9 is a sector by sector dump. The PC99 DSK format is a track dump. Make sure he understands there are two different kinds. Michael probably has them both documented at ninerpedia.

I’ve converted a lot of mine over to HFE to work with the GoTek HxC firmware.

#20 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:50 PM

It's about time to kill that silly copy protection. (Even if it's simply because it's there.)



#21 Opry99er ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:53 PM

SSSD DSSD. I think that covers TI controllers.... would there be any real demand for DSDD capacity on a GoTek?

Not making a statement, just curious.

Edited by Opry99er, Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:54 PM.


#22 Lee Stewart ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 6:56 PM

But the Gotek/Lotharek floppy emulator connects to a (real) floppy controller, and I am not sure whether the controller knows what to do with 20 sectors/track. Also, the original TI floppy controller cannot cope with MFM encoding (DD), so which controller do you have in mind?

 

Obviously, one that can at least handle DD.  The one I use is CorComp.  I do not know whether it can handle 20 sectors/track.  I was seduced by the question about format types for floppies and did not think it through to the type of controller the GoTek might actually be able to be attached to.  I am sure it cannot be attached to a nanoPEB controller—so—never mind.  |:)

 

...lee



#23 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:09 PM

SSSD DSSD. I think that covers TI controllers.... would there be any real demand for DSDD capacity on a GoTek?

 

Sure, for all people who have DD controllers. There are indeed some, and the efforts to add the DSDD format are minimal.

 

(Trying to speak for others, since I don't have a GoTek.)



#24 Opry99er ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:21 PM

I suppose what I meant is, * is there enough software out there that can only reside on a DD diskette to warrant the additional work to implement the double density emulation.

But if the additional effort is nominal, then it doesnt really matter. :)

#25 adamantyr OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:21 PM

I have a DSDD controller so yes, definitely interested.




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