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Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL and SIDE/SIDE2 Firmware Update Released

U1MB Incognito SIDE SIDE2 1088XEL XEL-CF

95 replies to this topic

#26 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:45 PM

Interesting. The two loaders are 99 per cent identical. I agree that the partition table is unlikely to be the culprit. I'll double-check tomorrow. The U1MB loader is well tested, but you never know.

#27 Frankie OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:12 PM

Interesting. The two loaders are 99 per cent identical. I agree that the partition table is unlikely to be the culprit. I'll double-check tomorrow. The U1MB loader is well tested, but you never know.

 

The U1MB loader works, it's the SIDE2 loader that doesn't like it.



#28 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:14 PM

Yes I realize that. I meant to imply that since the loaders are almost identical and the U1MB version has been in circulation for a while, a problem with the SIDE version is puzzling but not out of the question. ;)

#29 Frankie OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:35 PM

 

The U1MB loader works, it's the SIDE2 loader that doesn't like it.

 

Oh this can't be good. The same SIDE2 cart and loader works in another machine (1200xl), but not in an 800XL.  I need to find another 800XL and see what it does. 


Edited by Frankie, Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:36 PM.


#30 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:02 PM

 

Oh this can't be good. The same SIDE2 cart and loader works in another machine (1200xl), but not in an 800XL.  I need to find another 800XL and see what it does. 

 

Just to help narrow things down, what kind of CF card are you using? Or are you instead using an SD card in an adapter? 



#31 tuf OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:34 PM

FJC, any chance this release has the ultra-awesome MIO style sector load noise?  I'm still missing that when running apps from my U1MB/SIDE2 :)

 

Slow loads be damned!



#32 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:14 AM

 

Oh this can't be good. The same SIDE2 cart and loader works in another machine (1200xl), but not in an 800XL.  I need to find another 800XL and see what it does. 

 

It's good in one sense, since it suggests this is not a bug. But it's bad in the sense that the issue appears to fall into the smoke and mirrors category of weird CF card issues. We spent a LONG time combating that stuff on the 1088XEL when testing the XEL-CF and this eventually resulted in an entirely new version of the XEL-CF. SIDE is not immune from these anomalies, however. I have a couple of XLs here which had issues with all SIDE loaders until I replaced 74LS08 with a faster F08 part. Annoyingly, symptoms can even vary depending on which ROM or external device is active at the time.

 

If you download the APT toolkit disk, you'll find a utility on there called IDEDIAG.COM which works with all the PBI and SDX soft drivers. It performs some basic read stability tests on the card and can occasionally flag up issues in a useful way. The trouble with the loader is that it does not always read entire physical sectors in one go; rather, it treats the IDE controller's data register as a sector buffer. This removes the need for a sector buffer in the Atari's RAM, reducing the memory footprint of the XEX loader. Candle's loader exploited the data register in a similar manner but any communication issues will manifest themselves in an entirely different way. Unfortunately the bottom line is that if the hardware works stably, the loader will work. 

 

FJC, any chance this release has the ultra-awesome MIO style sector load noise?  I'm still missing that when running apps from my U1MB/SIDE2 :)

 

Slow loads be damned!

 

I'd forgotten all about this although I'm sure it was mentioned a year or two back. And after I completely rewrote the loader so it loads segmented binaries at twice the speed of the previous version. :)

 

I think there's room for this, so I might see about adding it as an option in a future revision.

 

BTW: Thanks to Slor for pointing out that the GOS ROM was completely missing from the default AIO Incognito ROM. I'll get a fixed version uploaded shortly.

 

Slor also remarked on the fact that the DLT flasher boots regardless of whether one wants to use UFLASH to perform the update. I'll probably remove the ATR flasher from those images since it's clearly just causing confusion. The ATR flasher remains useful in those situations where extended RAM is not guaranteed to be available (when updating a stand-alone SIDE cart, for example).

 

EDIT: Missing Incognito GOS fixed, and I removed the auto-running DLT flasher (ULTIMATE.COM) from the ATRs:

 

https://atari8.co.uk...ware/incognito/


Edited by flashjazzcat, Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:25 AM.


#33 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:40 AM

A question concerning updating firmware for the SIDE2 cart using a standard 130XE (128K) ram and using Sio2SD, external 180K Speedy 1050 or Sio2USB connector (to laptop). Is the procedure described in the PDF manuals ?

 

Would it be also possible to create several 180K ATR images for the SIDE2 firmware upgrade, so anybody that has a SIDE2 but NOT SIo2SD or other external loader hardware (Except of course a 180K DD 1050 drive) can still upgrade the firmware ?

 

PS: I am able to download ATR files from the internet and use an old Pentium 2 with USB,5.25 floppy to write the ED/DD ATR to floppy and then use the 5.25 inch floppy in my Speedy 1050 Atari drive.

 

PPS: If it is too much work, then I will simply buy a Sio2USB adapter from Lotharek to use in conjuction with the SIDE2.


Edited by Stormtrooper of Death, Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:42 AM.


#34 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:43 AM

Yeah, I can do that. The SIDE flasher is supposed to autorun from the SDX prompt, so minimal user interaction is required.

#35 SS ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:05 AM

So my question is - I have a new Ultimate 1MB arriving any day now. Would it be best to start with the firmware that comes with it or would it make more sense to immediately jump into this alternate version?

#36 JR> OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:41 AM

Immediate jump, and don't look back!



#37 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:16 AM

So my question is - I have a new Ultimate 1MB arriving any day now. Would it be best to start with the firmware that comes with it or would it make more sense to immediately jump into this alternate version?


First thing I do after every installation is verify the machine boots, then update. Don’t even hesitate. :)

#38 xrbrevin OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:25 AM

A question concerning updating firmware for the SIDE2 cart using a standard 130XE (128K) ram and using Sio2SD, external 180K Speedy 1050 or Sio2USB connector (to laptop). Is the procedure described in the PDF manuals ?

 

Would it be also possible to create several 180K ATR images for the SIDE2 firmware upgrade, so anybody that has a SIDE2 but NOT SIo2SD or other external loader hardware (Except of course a 180K DD 1050 drive) can still upgrade the firmware ?

 

PS: I am able to download ATR files from the internet and use an old Pentium 2 with USB,5.25 floppy to write the ED/DD ATR to floppy and then use the 5.25 inch floppy in my Speedy 1050 Atari drive.

 

PPS: If it is too much work, then I will simply buy a Sio2USB adapter from Lotharek to use in conjuction with the SIDE2.

 

For my first attempt, i used the ATR file via SDrive2 but it failed to load in.

I then used it via SIO2PC (Lotharek version) and it worked first time.

 

Salutations to FJC for his sterling work!



#39 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:00 AM

A couple of further thoughts on smaller ATRs. The SIDE loader ROM is only 16K long (although it's usually padded to 256K), so it's no problem even to create a 130K ED ATR for that. The SDX module is 256K long, however, and the entire flash image is 512KB long, so the large ATRs are still required there.

 

Anyone wishing to update the SIDE/SIDE2 from a floppy disk - subject to size requirements - need only copy FLASH_SE.COM (SIDE) or FLASH_S2.COM (SIDE2) and the desired ROM to a formatted disk. Boot SDX from the SIDE cart, run the COM executable, and follow the prompts.

 

Note also that you can use UFLASH to update either component of the SIDE/SIDE2. Providing SDX is booted from the cart itself and there is sufficient RAM on the host machine, you may simply launch UFLASH.XEX from the SDX command prompt and it will auto-detect the cartridge.


Edited by flashjazzcat, Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:03 AM.


#40 spudmanno5 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:10 PM

Just flashed my Incognito with this latest update. Went/works just fine. Many thanks for your good work. £5er donation just sent via your paypal link :)



#41 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:15 PM

MYIDE ROMs are up:

 

https://atari8.co.uk/apt/myide/

 

Note that the SDX drivers for the original MYIDE, Internal MYIDE and XEL-CF support dual (master/slave) configurations, and that slave polling is activated by including the /S switch. For example, in CONFIG.SYS:

 

DEVICE MYIDEINT /S

 

With the slave activated, partition tables will be read from both physical disks. You can also suppress the usual partition/boot drive notice via the /Q switch. All this is described in the APT Toolkit manual (linked on the MYIDE page). One user bugged me for some time for a slave-only version of the internal MYIDE driver, and since any unrecognized partition table on the master drive will be ignored, perhaps this slave-enabled version will fit the bill. :)

 

Those wishing to use the internal MYIDE driver (MYIDEINT.SYS) will need to retrieve it from the DRIVERS folder of the toolkit ATR, since it's not included on any of the ROMs. With that in mind I should probably make a ZIP file just containing all the drivers...

 

The SDXM2RAM.ROM image is a soft-ROM intended for the MYIDE 2 cart. The SDXM2ROM.ROM image is intended to completely replace the original ROM content of the MYIDE 2, meanwhile, turning it into a dedicated SDX cartridge with APT support.

 

If you're wondering what XEL_CF.SYS is for, it's simply intended for HDD access from SDX on the rare occasion the user happens to be running some OS which for some reason doesn't support the PBI driver.

 

 

Just flashed my Incognito with this latest update. Went/works just fine. Many thanks for your good work. £5er donation just sent via your paypal link :)

 

Many thanks!


Edited by flashjazzcat, Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:18 PM.


#42 tuf OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 1:34 PM

 

I'd forgotten all about this although I'm sure it was mentioned a year or two back. And after I completely rewrote the loader so it loads segmented binaries at twice the speed of the previous version. :)

 

I think there's room for this, so I might see about adding it as an option in a future revision.

 

Fantastic - I'll be holding my breath for this one :)



#43 Frankie OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:44 PM

 

It's good in one sense, since it suggests this is not a bug. But it's bad in the sense that the issue appears to fall into the smoke and mirrors category of weird CF card issues. We spent a LONG time combating that stuff on the 1088XEL when testing the XEL-CF and this eventually resulted in an entirely new version of the XEL-CF. SIDE is not immune from these anomalies, however. I have a couple of XLs here which had issues with all SIDE loaders until I replaced 74LS08 with a faster F08 part. Annoyingly, symptoms can even vary depending on which ROM or external device is active at the time.

 

 

 

I swapped out the 74LS08 with a 74HC08 and it started working!



#44 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jul 25, 2018 7:55 PM

I swapped out the 74LS08 with a 74HC08 and it started working!


Although that's good and pointing out that the original 74LS08 is the issue, the HC part is not much faster than the LS device. It would be better still to use a 74F08 as Jon suggested.

#45 Stormtrooper of Death OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2018 2:50 PM

Thanks FlashJazzCat for your quick reply.



#46 flashjazzcat ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:03 PM

Thanks FlashJazzCat for your quick reply.

 

Regarding your earlier post: SIO2PC (as it's called, no matter whether it uses a USB connector at the PC end) is a highly recommended purchase regardless. That particular device has turned out to be the single most used peripheral I own along with the SIDE cartridge.


Edited by flashjazzcat, Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:03 PM.


#47 morelenmir OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 8:09 PM

I am having a little bit of trouble wrapping my head around the new *.ROM files.

 

When considering the Ultimate1MB, are there no longer separate files for the PBIBIOS, Main BIOS and SIDELoader? I usually keep them all separate and flash them individually with uFlash rather than do the whole lot with the modified SDX flasher. I have a pretty customized installation of SDX4.48 with quite a few different things in the user-area and so do not want to overwrite my existing SDX data since it seems 4.48 is still the most current.

 

I have probably missed something somewhere!



#48 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 8:37 PM

I am having a little bit of trouble wrapping my head around the new *.ROM files.

 

When considering the Ultimate1MB, are there no longer separate files for the PBIBIOS, Main BIOS and SIDELoader? I usually keep them all separate and flash them individually with uFlash rather than do the whole lot with the modified SDX flasher. I have a pretty customized installation of SDX4.48 with quite a few different things in the user-area and so do not want to overwrite my existing SDX data since it seems 4.48 is still the most current.

 

I have probably missed something somewhere!

 

Just flash the FIRMWARE.ROM file and you won't affect your SDX installation.



#49 morelenmir OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Aug 3, 2018 8:46 PM

 

Just flash the FIRMWARE.ROM file and you won't affect your SDX installation.

 

So 'firmware.rom' now holds the combined SIDELoader, PBI and main bioses?



#50 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Aug 4, 2018 12:12 AM

So 'firmware.rom' now holds the combined SIDELoader, PBI and main bioses?


Yep :)





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