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The Missing Manual


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#1 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 8:32 AM

Since I just posted this in the Primer thread I'll post it here to capture any feedback for me about it.

 

I've been working on a manual for the 1088XEL for people that know how to use the original A8 hardware, but haven't been around lately watching the amazing stuff going around here.

 

 

https://www.dropbox....al-v1b.pdf?dl=0

 

 

Here is a very early rough-draft, I've only really started to document the disk setup process. I realize now that all the U1M parts are applicable to anyone using that device, even on classic hardware. I'll have to change the doc to capture this.

 

I've cribbed some pieces around the net and will properly attribute anything that I've not written myself. I realize that the docs are available but to someone just jumping in it's very hard to find all the relevant threads here and jump around to the original locations.

 

Hopefully this helps someone.

 

Please post any feedback and I'll incorporate it if improves the document.

 

 



#2 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 9:46 AM

This will become a great resource, thanks for taking this on, as well as freely sharing it. Looking good so far :).

One small correction. In the section: The People Behind the Machine, instead of mytec it should be mytek.

At some point I would like to provide a direct link to the manual from my website if that is ok with you?

#3 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 10:15 AM

At some point I would like to provide a direct link to the manual from my website if that is ok with you?

 

Thanks, and absolutely- please just paste exactly what link you want to have in the manual.

 

And I'd like to use your answers in the Primer..? thread - they are excellent summaries. I will attribute all directly quoted text back to the posting here.


Edited by massiverobot, Sun Aug 5, 2018 10:15 AM.


#4 gozar OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 12:41 PM

Since I just posted this in the Primer thread I'll post it here to capture any feedback for me about it.

 

I've been working on a manual for the 1088XEL for people that know how to use the original A8 hardware, but haven't been around lately watching the amazing stuff going around here.

 

 

https://www.dropbox....al-v1b.pdf?dl=0

 

 

Here is a very early rough-draft, I've only really started to document the disk setup process. I realize now that all the U1M parts are applicable to anyone using that device, even on classic hardware. I'll have to change the doc to capture this.

 

I've cribbed some pieces around the net and will properly attribute anything that I've not written myself. I realize that the docs are available but to someone just jumping in it's very hard to find all the relevant threads here and jump around to the original locations.

 

Hopefully this helps someone.

 

Please post any feedback and I'll incorporate it if improves the document.

 

 

 

Looks great! The only comment I can think of right now is that the screenshots would look better if you did them in Altirra, although I don't know if Altirra can use the 1088XEL U1M firmware. :-)



#5 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 12:55 PM

 

Looks great! The only comment I can think of right now is that the screenshots would look better if you did them in Altirra, although I don't know if Altirra can use the 1088XEL U1M firmware. :-)

 

Agreed- they are just placeholders now so I can get something there. I'll have to try with composite frame grabs or Atari800 which I use on my Mac... but yes the trick will be to see if an emulator can deal with a U1M BIOS which I'm guessing it can't.

 

I can also re-shoot them with my iPhone again and use a fixed point - I was just shooting and moving quickly thru the menus... never enough time....


Edited by massiverobot, Sun Aug 5, 2018 1:04 PM.


#6 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 1:25 PM

 

Thanks, and absolutely- please just paste exactly what link you want to have in the manual.

 

And I'd like to use your answers in the Primer..? thread - they are excellent summaries. I will attribute all directly quoted text back to the posting here.

 

If you want to put a link in the manual, feel free to use www.AtariBits.com, but I was really asking if it was ok for me to link to your manual.

 

And if anything I've written is useful to you, then please use it, but no attribution is necessary. However I did that quickly in the Primer thread, so it probably could use a bit of editing, and it might not be as complete as needed.



#7 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 1:56 PM

 

If you want to put a link in the manual, feel free to use www.AtariBits.com, but I was really asking if it was ok for me to link to your manual.

 

Ok, sure. I've created a new dropbox link that will always contain the most up-to-date version-- so use this link wherever you would like! It's the least I can do to try and give something back for all the amazing work you and flashcat have been doing.

 

 

https://www.dropbox....urrent.pdf?dl=0



#8 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 1:58 PM

I guess I can't edit the orignal post anymore-

 

This is the link that should be used to see the latest version:

 

 

https://www.dropbox....urrent.pdf?dl=0



#9 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 2:17 PM

 

Looks great! The only comment I can think of right now is that the screenshots would look better if you did them in Altirra, although I don't know if Altirra can use the 1088XEL U1M firmware. :-)

 

 

 

Agreed- they are just placeholders now so I can get something there. I'll have to try with composite frame grabs or Atari800 which I use on my Mac... but yes the trick will be to see if an emulator can deal with a U1M BIOS which I'm guessing it can't.

 

I can also re-shoot them with my iPhone again and use a fixed point - I was just shooting and moving quickly thru the menus... never enough time....

 

Oh, ye of little faith.  Behold! :)

 

Capture.JPG

 

I've been running Altirra this way since Jon's first 1088XEL-specific test builds, complete with a virtual XEL-CF hard disk interface. 



#10 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 2:50 PM

 

 

I've been running Altirra this way since Jon's first 1088XEL-specific test builds, complete with a virtual XEL-CF hard disk interface. 

 

Ok wow nice. I'll have to get Altirra sorted out on my Windows machine and get some better screen shots!



#11 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 8:39 PM

 

 

 

Oh, ye of little faith.  Behold! :)


 

I've been running Altirra this way since Jon's first 1088XEL-specific test builds, complete with a virtual XEL-CF hard disk interface. 

 

ok I have the altirra setup w/ U1MB and I've flashed in the newest FW, but I can't get it to recognize a virtual CF card. I've added in the XEL-CF device, and created a virtual 128M CF card for that...

 

But when I've booted into SDX and run FDISK it can't find any attached APT disks to init.

 

Any hints on how to get it to recognize the XEL-CF - and by it I mean Altirra/U1MB



#12 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Aug 5, 2018 8:55 PM

128M is sort of small for a virtual CF card.  Try up to 2Gig. CF.



#13 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 5:44 AM

 
ok I have the altirra setup w/ U1MB and I've flashed in the newest FW, but I can't get it to recognize a virtual CF card. I've added in the XEL-CF device, and created a virtual 128M CF card for that...
 
But when I've booted into SDX and run FDISK it can't find any attached APT disks to init.
 
Any hints on how to get it to recognize the XEL-CF - and by it I mean Altirra/U1MB


I’m not in front of my PC at the moment but just to be sure, in Altirra’s system configuration screen, you have an XEL-CF device added, with a virtual solid state hard drive connected below that, correct?

As I recall, I just booted SpartaDOS X and ran FDISK from the command line to allocate space, then the FORMAT command for each drive partition.

#14 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 7:02 AM

128M is sort of small for a virtual CF card.  Try up to 2Gig. CF.

 

128M is a huge amount for an A8- it will fit most of my files. Also w/ a 2G card that is about 62 32MB APT disks... too many to keep track of!


Edited by massiverobot, Mon Aug 6, 2018 7:02 AM.


#15 mytek OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Aug 6, 2018 10:19 AM

CF card size is not so much about fitting your files, but more about compatibility and reliability across the selection of IDE interfaces available for your A8. Generally speaking 25-30 MB/sec rated SanDisk cards work best, and even though an 8GB card seems extremely excessive for our needs, at 5 USD it doesn't matter, nor does it hurt. Besides nobody is forcing you to use the entire amount of storage :).

#16 grackle OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:07 AM

This is great! I just got a gorgeous assembled 1088XEL from MacRorie. Thank you to both them and mytek for the great design and work. I have it running through VBXE to a Sony PVM over SCART. It looks stunning.

 

I'm curious about the CF card formatting myself. MacRorie sent me a great video where he had partitioned a 4GB CF card into 4: 1GB each for FAT32, 1GB APT, and 2 1GB FAT16s. But this doc directly contradicts that, and says the APTs can't be more than 32MB? 

 

Also, a tiny thing: the doc mentions "SDX" which I had no idea what that was -- I do now, but it might be valuable to expand that into SpartaDOS X. 



#17 rdea6 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:40 AM

32MB per partition at 15*32 is less than 1 GB.  But I always leave 2 partitions empty for SIO D1:  D2:



#18 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 10, 2018 5:00 PM

This is great! I just got a gorgeous assembled 1088XEL from MacRorie. Thank you to both them and mytek for the great design and work. I have it running through VBXE to a Sony PVM over SCART. It looks stunning.

 

I'm curious about the CF card formatting myself. MacRorie sent me a great video where he had partitioned a 4GB CF card into 4: 1GB each for FAT32, 1GB APT, and 2 1GB FAT16s. But this doc directly contradicts that, and says the APTs can't be more than 32MB? 

 

Also, a tiny thing: the doc mentions "SDX" which I had no idea what that was -- I do now, but it might be valuable to expand that into SpartaDOS X. 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback. You are the first person who has benefitted from my Manual with a new 1000XEL. I'll take a look at how my partition section is, but that was written after a few emails back and forth with macRorie.

 

You may be able to create the partitions bigger but maybe the atari can't access more that the first 32Mb.



#19 scotty OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:07 PM

 

 

 

Oh, ye of little faith.  Behold! :)

 

attachicon.gifCapture.JPG

 

I've been running Altirra this way since Jon's first 1088XEL-specific test builds, complete with a virtual XEL-CF hard disk interface. 

Where can I get a copy of mentioned builds?



#20 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:15 PM

Where can I get a copy of mentioned builds?

 

From Jon's 1088XEL firmware page, of course. :)

 

Make sure you configure Altirra with an U1MB, then update the Alitrra machine's U1MB firmware as you would real hardware. When you're done, use Altirra's Save Firmware command (File -->Save Firmware --> Save Ultimate1MB Flash) to save your newly-updated firmware. The trick is, when you quit Alirra and launch it again later, unless you've overwritten your earlier firmware version using the same filename, the emulator will use the prior version. So then go to System --> Configure System. From that window, select Firmware, then click on the "Firmware manager" button and set the file you just saved as your default for U1MB.


Edited by DrVenkman, Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:16 PM.


#21 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:45 AM

Don't forget to enable Stereo Pokey when emulating the 1088XEL in Altirra.
 
Urgh... forget what I said about the 'missing manual' part of the title. I can appreciate that having 'U1MB firmware' in the title does not imply that there was no manual for the 1088XEL U1MB firmware. I was reading it wrong: sorry. ;)

Edited by flashjazzcat, Sat Oct 13, 2018 1:55 AM.


#22 DrVenkman OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:38 AM

Don't forget to enable Stereo Pokey when emulating the 1088XEL in Altirra.
 
Urgh... forget what I said about the 'missing manual' part of the title. I can appreciate that having 'U1MB firmware' in the title does not imply that there was no manual for the 1088XEL U1MB firmware. I was reading it wrong: sorry. ;)

 

Good catch. You remember well, I'm sure, that I was bitten by that oversight just last weekend. :)



#23 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:43 AM

Don't forget to enable Stereo Pokey when emulating the 1088XEL in Altirra.
 
Urgh... forget what I said about the 'missing manual' part of the title. I can appreciate that having 'U1MB firmware' in the title does not imply that there was no manual for the 1088XEL U1MB firmware. I was reading it wrong: sorry. ;)

 

Hello- yes, that implication was never the intention, and I can emphasize this (I did put big skewed banners on the U1MB section to point to your complete docs...) even more to make it clearer.

 

 

The genesis of the naming was more along the lines of a "Start Here..." type doc you get when you buy a computer. At least, what you used to get- now you don't.

 

Rather than dumping people right into the deep technical reference type documentation that is critical (and which you provide) but which may not be the best first thing to read when you crack open your box and pull out your 1088XEL... the intent of the Missing Manual was to go over a lot of things you'll need right away in the first day to effectively use the thing. It's not cheap (assembled), so this will help jump-start people using it for a variety of common tasks.

 

The Missing Manual started more focused more on the hardware you get in the 1088, but for better or for worse your amazing U1MB firmware is intertwined with the 1088 and really makes it so compelling to use and so more of the content was added to help sort thru the software side of the 1088.

 

But please I - I love feedback, good or bad to make the doc even better. Sometimes my point of view is not at all what other people have and so learning about the gaps help make it more usable across a wider audience.



#24 massiverobot OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 13, 2018 9:50 AM

Don't foget the link at the top of this older thread is very outdated- the current link is:

 

https://www.dropbox....urrent.pdf?dl=0

 

 

The current thread is here:

 

http://atariage.com/...ng#entry4128199



#25 flashjazzcat OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:00 AM

Absolutely: I quite understand. I got very little sleep last night (as evidenced by this morning's video), and after posting in this thread, a second scan through the manual revealed that I'd probably misunderstood the meaning behind the title.
 

I have further revisions to make to the firmware manual (as well as an 'un-bricking' guide to add to the arsenal of documentation), and in an ideal world there'd be no gaps at all, but in reality the whole business is enormously time-consuming. That's the real answer for anyone who complains about documentation for this or that device being 'less than perfect': the creation of comprehensive documentation can be as laborious as the development of the software or hardware being documented, and is similarly subject to frequent revisions, corrections, and version control. I have no doubt at all that because of this I can be touchy about complaints regarding inadequate docs, but at the same time I fully appreciate that the exhaustive, in-depth documentation isn't what's required in every situation.

 

Anyway: I'm up to date with the link; what foxed me this morning is the fact that the call-outs are not text-searchable. ;) I will try to invest some time in careful reading of the latest revision next week. :)






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