Jump to content

Photo

ATX File Support - Call for Coders!


22 replies to this topic

#1 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Thu Jun 28, 2018 4:10 PM

So, the Atari 8-bit Software Preservation project has done some amazing work over the last few years using Kryoflux and SCP devices to make magnetic-level disk images of copy-protected floppy disks, creating disk image files in ATX format and distributing them via a periodic torrent seed. The current seed is over 700 megabytes and something like 1,500 individual titles. 

 

Besides use in current versions of Altirra, there are a few options to use these files on real hardware - if one has something like an SCP device and a proper 5-1/4" disk drive, the ATX files can be written back to magnetic media and run like an original. I understand as well that use of AtariMax APE software with the VAPI.DLL file plugin will allow use of most/all of these ATX files on real disks, but of course APE requires use of a Windows machine or something like WINE or CrossOver. Such a solution is probably beyond using APE on low-budget hardware like a Raspberry Pi. Apparently there is also some new-ish hardware in work coming out of Europe called the SDrive-MAX that has firmware that allows use of these file from an SD card device plugged into the SIO port.

 

However, most of us using RespeQt obviously have and prefer using something on a separate box for our disk image loading/saving and general file manipulation purposes. To that end, one of the main participants in the 8-bit Preservation movement, ijor, has offered to assist people working on RespeQt to understand the file format and help add ATX file support to RespeQt. If I had basically ANY real understanding of C and Qt, I'd be all over this as my summer project. Alas, I have never used C of any kind, so trying to add support for an entirely new file format is well beyond me. 

 

So I'm throwing out to wider Atari world. If anyone can help, please contact ijor! Please and thank  you.  :)



#2 JoSch OFFLINE  

JoSch

    Moonsweeper

  • 440 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:40 AM

Yes, great idea.

But the project seems futile, if the RespeQt maintainer is not available to integrate all the different work in progress to the main repo.



#3 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2018 5:43 AM

Anyone can create pull requests. I think JoeyZ isn’t so much missing as just incredibly busy with school and life. And if he doesn’t respond to pull requests, the project can always be forked again if necessary.

#4 JoSch OFFLINE  

JoSch

    Moonsweeper

  • 440 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:02 AM

Peter, I know all that. But the question is: Who is the authority in the meantime?



#5 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

_The Doctor__

    River Patroller

  • 4,804 posts
  • Location:10-0-11-00:02

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:14 PM

catch him on IRC and ask him if need be..



#6 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2018 3:24 PM

Peter, I know all that. But the question is: Who is the authority in the meantime?

 

Well, that's the glory of open-source. No one needs authority, as such. Anyone can fork, make changes, create test builds (like your prior printer test build) and create pull requests. If Joey doesn't get back to you in some reasonable time, just rename the project, create a new Master branch and a release build for people to play around with and see how it works. 

 

 

catch him on IRC and ask him if need be..

 

I PM'd him this evening here on the forum. He hasn't been online here since February but hopefully he'll get a forum email or something letting him know.



#7 JoSch OFFLINE  

JoSch

    Moonsweeper

  • 440 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 8:12 AM

catch him on IRC and ask him if need be..

I did that and PMed him here. I didn't answer.



#8 JoSch OFFLINE  

JoSch

    Moonsweeper

  • 440 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 8:16 AM

 

Well, that's the glory of open-source. No one needs authority, as such. Anyone can fork, make changes, create test builds (like your prior printer test build) and create pull requests. If Joey doesn't get back to you in some reasonable time, just rename the project, create a new Master branch and a release build for people to play around with and see how it works. 

Well, you are dodging the answer. Somebody has to do the "official" or we keep splintering the product and floating around packages, which have some feature, but not all.

I mean, I can just put out some packages with printer support, but without ATX support. I'm not thinking that particularly glorious.


Edited by JoSch, Sun Jul 1, 2018 8:16 AM.


#9 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 8:41 AM

Well, you are dodging the answer. Somebody has to do the "official" or we keep splintering the product and floating around packages, which have some feature, but not all.

I mean, I can just put out some packages with printer support, but without ATX support. I'm not thinking that particularly glorious.

 

Actually, not at all. That's what open-source and permissive licensing is all about. This isn't Linux with some committee of old Unix graybeards lecturing the kids on how to code, and Linus sitting on high making pronouncements because he's the boss … There  is no boss at all, just a project maintainer. And when the project maintainer goes MIA due to illness, death or just getting too busy and losing interest, you fork it, take over and run with it.

 

Create a new branch, name it whatever you want and voila. You're now "officially" the maintainer of whatever you want to call your new project. If enough people like it and use it and give feedback, we'll get a Moderator here on AtariAge to archive this section or unpin it or whatever and the New Better-Than-RespeQt project will be pinned in its place. 

 

The reality is Joey Z. is MIA - I PM'd him last week and got no response. I guess I could try to leave a project note on GitHub or something and see if that gets his attention but it probably won't. His last activity on GitHub was 13 months ago when he made the last commits to RespeQt. Maybe he'll transfer the project to a new maintainer but if not, you use the open-source nature of the project and do what you need to do.


Edited by DrVenkman, Sun Jul 1, 2018 8:42 AM.


#10 _The Doctor__ ONLINE  

_The Doctor__

    River Patroller

  • 4,804 posts
  • Location:10-0-11-00:02

Posted Sun Jul 1, 2018 2:34 PM

I'll be fishing for Joey Z... school, summer break, you know it could be a couple weeks, life happens you know :)


Edited by _The Doctor__, Sun Jul 1, 2018 2:34 PM.


#11 JoSch OFFLINE  

JoSch

    Moonsweeper

  • 440 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Mon Jul 2, 2018 1:21 AM

I'll be fishing for Joey Z... school, summer break, you know it could be a couple weeks, life happens you know :)

It was a couple months ago, multiple times. So no summer break.


Edited by JoSch, Mon Jul 2, 2018 1:31 AM.


#12 JoSch OFFLINE  

JoSch

    Moonsweeper

  • 440 posts
  • Location:Germany

Posted Mon Jul 2, 2018 1:30 AM

 

Actually, not at all. That's what open-source and permissive licensing is all about. This isn't Linux with some committee of old Unix graybeards lecturing the kids on how to code, and Linus sitting on high making pronouncements because he's the boss … There  is no boss at all, just a project maintainer. And when the project maintainer goes MIA due to illness, death or just getting too busy and losing interest, you fork it, take over and run with it.

 

Create a new branch, name it whatever you want and voila. You're now "officially" the maintainer of whatever you want to call your new project. If enough people like it and use it and give feedback, we'll get a Moderator here on AtariAge to archive this section or unpin it or whatever and the New Better-Than-RespeQt project will be pinned in its place. 

 

The reality is Joey Z. is MIA - I PM'd him last week and got no response. I guess I could try to leave a project note on GitHub or something and see if that gets his attention but it probably won't. His last activity on GitHub was 13 months ago when he made the last commits to RespeQt. Maybe he'll transfer the project to a new maintainer but if not, you use the open-source nature of the project and do what you need to do.

My question was, who we want to be the maintainer for the time being. I don't want to fork another clone. That only leads to fragmentation.

But, since nobody wants to answer that, we will want until such time.


Edited by JoSch, Mon Jul 2, 2018 1:31 AM.


#13 Larry OFFLINE  

Larry

    River Patroller

  • 4,000 posts
  • Location:U.S. -- Midwest

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2018 7:15 AM

"Besides use in current versions of Altirra, there are a few options to use these files on real hardware - if one has something like an SCP device and a proper 5-1/4" disk drive, the ATX files can be written back to magnetic media and run like an original. I understand as well that use of AtariMax APE software with the VAPI.DLL file plugin will allow use of most/all of these ATX files on real disks, but of course APE requires use of a Windows machine or something like WINE or CrossOver. Such a solution is probably beyond using APE on low-budget hardware like a Raspberry Pi. Apparently there is also some new-ish hardware in work coming out of Europe called the SDrive-MAX that has firmware that allows use of these file from an SD card device plugged into the SIO port."

 

Is that true -- that you can WRITE out an ATX to a real disk from APE using the VAPI dll?  I was thinking that you could load and use the ATX, but there was no method to actually write it out?  Last I remember there was no way to write it out using Atari hardware.  The only way that I recall is the writing the magnetic flux image to a disk with a PC drive.  That was always the Holy Grail -- to use a Happy or Super Archiver to write out the ATX.

 

But maybe I've missed something here (or misunderstood what you wrote)?

 

-Larry



#14 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2018 7:26 AM

Is that true -- that you can WRITE out an ATX to a real disk from APE using the VAPI dll?  I was thinking that you could load and use the ATX, but there was no method to actually write it out?  Last I remember there was no way to write it out using Atari hardware.  The only way that I recall is the writing the magnetic flux image to a disk with a PC drive.  That was always the Holy Grail -- to use a Happy or Super Archiver to write out the ATX.

 

But maybe I've missed something here (or misunderstood what you wrote)?

 

-Larry

 

There was definitely a misunderstanding. No, there were two separate thoughts in my original post. As I wrote, you can use an SCP and a compatible drive/software to write the flux image files back to media for use on real disks. Alternately, you can load the ATX files to real hardware via APE + VAPI.dll, but that requires a Windows machine and a paid version of APE.

 

Anyway, I haven't heard back from Joey Z., and none of the coders who've forked and/or contributed to the RespeQt project have volunteered to take over. That's disappointing but not too surprising, I guess. It's the downside to open-source in a very niche hobby.

 

(As an aside, I plan to build an SDrive-MAX Arduino-based device in the next week or two to allow loading ATX files on real hardware - I've got an Elegoo touchscreen display and another clone Arduino UNO board coming this weekend. I just wish there was interest in adding ATX support to RespeQt - file manipulation and folder navigation is bound to be easier with a real screen and mouse than on a tiny touch screen).


Edited by DrVenkman, Sat Jul 7, 2018 7:26 AM.


#15 Larry OFFLINE  

Larry

    River Patroller

  • 4,000 posts
  • Location:U.S. -- Midwest

Posted Sat Jul 7, 2018 8:56 AM

Thanks, got it!

 

-Larry



#16 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Mon Jul 9, 2018 6:56 PM

At any rate, I've gotten an SDrive-MAX Arduino-based device mostly assembled and the firmware flashed, I've stripped apart the conductors on a spare SIO cable I've got that had a broken connector on one end, and once I get in some diodes (tomorrow) to isolate the Atari's DATA-IN line, I'll solder up the connections and give it a run. 

 

If anyone has actual interest in adding ATX file support to RespeQt, the SDrive-MAX code is GPL'd, and it's on Git, so here you go:

 

SDrive-MAX code on GitHub


Edited by DrVenkman, Mon Jul 9, 2018 6:56 PM.


#17 ebiguy OFFLINE  

ebiguy

    Chopper Commander

  • 117 posts
  • Location:Paris, France

Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:35 PM

Hi DrVenkman,

 

I just read your post today. I do not read forum very often.

I had the same idea one month ago and get the RespeQT v4 sources to add some enhancements.

I wanted to get some results before sending back the code to the current maintener (or merge with a future r5).

But, reading your post, I don't want someone else to start doing the same job.

 

Here is what I added to the r4:

- better .PRO emulation (95% of my .PRO file set is now working) in read/write mode

- add .ATX file support in read/write mode (90% of my .ATX is now working)

- emulation of the CHIP 810 at SIO level so that Archiver 1.0 or 3.03 can read/write disks with custom format (working with .PRO and .ATX).

- add an option to display track layout for protected disks

- add an option to dump the data exchanged between Atari and RespeQT

- add a button to open/close door lever

- add support for firmware emulation if you provide the ROM file. It emulates all the hardware chips found in the 810 or the 1050 :

  * 810

  * 810 with the Chip

  * 810 with Happy

  * 1050

  * 1050 with Super Archiver

  * 1050 with Happy

  * 1050 with Speedy

  * 1050 with Turbo

  * 1050 with duplicator

- add several trace options to understand what is happening in the firmware (dump FDC commands, Index pulse,...)

 

The firmware emulation is a work in progress. All the drive types (810, 810 with the Chip,...) are working for normal operations (read/write sector, format, status)

But there are still some bugs I have to track down for other operations.

Right now, the firmware emulation does not support

- MFM encoding (Enhanced or Double density)

- weak bits

- accurate timing to make protected softwares based on timing work.

 

I would like to add these features (not started yet) :

- add .SCP support in read/write mode

- add BitWriter support in firmware emulation

 

The goal is to be able to use BitWriter software to write protected .ATX or .SCP images back to real disks (just a dream at this step - don't know if it is possible).


Edited by ebiguy, Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:29 PM.


#18 DrVenkman ONLINE  

DrVenkman

    River Patroller

  • Topic Starter
  • 3,371 posts
  • Back off, man! I'm a scientist.
  • Location:KMBT

Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:40 PM

Hi DrVenkman,

 

I just read your post today. I do not read forum very often.

I had the same idea one month ago and get the RespeQT v4 sources to add some enhancements.

I wanted to get some results before sending back the code to the current maintener (or merge with a future r5).

But, reading your post, I don't want someone else to start doing the same job.

 

Here is what I added to the r4:

 

Wow, that all sounds fantastic! 

 

Have you considered forking the project on GitHub so people can examine the code and/or help improve it? Or better yet, also submit your changes as a pull request to the main RespeQt repository? That could get Joey's attention to accept and merge the changes. 



#19 ebiguy OFFLINE  

ebiguy

    Chopper Commander

  • 117 posts
  • Location:Paris, France

Posted Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:57 PM

 

Wow, that all sounds fantastic! 

 

Have you considered forking the project on GitHub so people can examine the code and/or help improve it? Or better yet, also submit your changes as a pull request to the main RespeQt repository? That could get Joey's attention to accept and merge the changes. 

 

I will try a pull request. But right now, I want to fix all things that do not work.

 

options.png



#20 Wilheim OFFLINE  

Wilheim

    Chopper Commander

  • 171 posts

Posted Fri Sep 7, 2018 10:08 AM

Hi! any news regarding this topic?



#21 ebiguy OFFLINE  

ebiguy

    Chopper Commander

  • 117 posts
  • Location:Paris, France

Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 1:48 AM

Still under (very active) development as I work on it every evening after work and the week-end.

I will post more information in a few weeks when I have completed and tested some features.

BUt don't worry, it will be released !


Edited by ebiguy, Sat Sep 8, 2018 1:48 AM.


#22 MrFish OFFLINE  

MrFish

    River Patroller

  • 4,875 posts
  • Location:1010-1010

Posted Sat Sep 8, 2018 10:22 PM

Still under (very active) development as I work on it every evening after work and the week-end.

I will post more information in a few weeks when I have completed and tested some features.

BUt don't worry, it will be released !

 

Good to hear you're still at it. I appreciate your hard work on this important feature.



#23 morelenmir ONLINE  

morelenmir

    Stargunner

  • 1,519 posts
  • Location:West Yorkshire, Great Britain

Posted Today, 7:39 AM

Still under (very active) development as I work on it every evening after work and the week-end.

I will post more information in a few weeks when I have completed and tested some features.

BUt don't worry, it will be released !

 

This is absolutely AMAZING work and something I have hoped for since getting back in to real A8 hardware--I have a bit of an enthusiasm for drives and disks so this is right up my street!

 

I know I am only echoing any number of other chaps, but nonetheless please do accept my heartfelt thanks for all your work!  I look forward to giving it a whirl when the programme is ready for public consumption.

 

Would you mind linking to where that torrent for the ATX files can be found?


Edited by morelenmir, Today, 7:41 AM.




Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users