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I am pleased to announce the release of version 3.10 of the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito and SIDE firmware, incorporating the recently released SpartaDOS X 4.49, and version 4.0 of the SDX 'soft-driver' for SIDE, MYIDE, and Colleen. Updated APT tools and user documentation are also provided. What's New As well as several minor bug fixes, this release brings with it numerous performance, stability and usability improvements. Some highlights: Loader's recursive search speed improved by 25 per cent. Optional keyboard/joystick acceleration feature in loader speeds up navigation of long directories Long filename extensions now remain on-screen even while filename is scrolling left to right Card hot-swap reliability improved Card compatibilty improved ATR swap button now works in loader Loader issue with SD/CF adapters fixed Stereo POKEY detection now compatible with SimpleStereo v3 ATR swap button can now be disabled on the Incognito Better boot drive handling (fixes issues with some boot loaders run from FAT-hosted ATRs) Improved DCB error checking in PBI BIOS and support for immediate-mode IO XF551 high-speed SIO bug fixed Regression regarding CONFIG.SYS boot drive setting fixed FDISK large volume/disk bug fixed Please see the changelogs for the main BIOS, PBI BIOS and SIDE Loader for a complete list of changes. To download the updates, please visit the atari8 firmware page. SDX 4.49 Thanks to DLT, we have the welcome release of SpartaDOS X 4.49. Unfortunately the ROMs hosted on the official SDX site were put together before I released the updated APT tools and SDX soft-drivers. As ever, however, SDX ROMs for all platforms are included in the new firmware release, with the extra tools I like to provide (notably the LSDEV and LSDSK utilities on the CAR: volume). Note the plethora of ATR disk images I provided in prior updates has been done away with; all ROMs for U1MB and Incognito are included on the corresponding 'FIRMWARE.ATR' disk image. This makes the preparation of subsequent updates a little less labour intensive. Please look at the updated README files in the ZIP archives for complete descriptions of the archive contents. I hope you enjoy the updated firmware and tools, and as always I welcome feedback including bug reports and feature suggestions (although we are rapidly reaching the end of the road when it comes to available code space on the existing hardware). Donations are likewise welcomed and appreciated, although they are by no means obligatory. Special thanks to Lotharek at lotharek.pl for his continued provision of Candle O'Sin's fabulous U1MB, SIDE2 and Incognito devices, and for offering my firmware pre-installed at the point of sale. Please continue to support his invaluable efforts and accept no substitute. As usual, please use this thread to discuss any issues so I can address them as efficiently as possible. Since there is barely any code space left, the idea here is to have a milestone release with no known bugs. All issues known about since version 3.02 have been addressed, but since there have been a fair amount of changes and additions, there's always the possibility of another minor point release. We shall see.
Following several months of development and testing and one year after the prior update (version 2), I'm pleased to announce the release of version 3.00 of the 'alt' firmware for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL/XLD, and SIDE/SIDE2. Please head over to the firmware page of my website to download the updates: https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/ New features: Number of BIOS configuration profiles increased from three to four Massively faster and more powerful loader search facility Loader’s built-in FAT DOS now supports subdirectories Loader now remembers the last accessed FAT folder Loader scripts may include paths Loader can now open the location of any already mounted image Usability improvements to the loader and BIOS setup menu Optional synthetic ‘IO sound’ with ATRs and hard disk partitions Improved loader compatibility Auto-booting banked cartridge conversions on SIDE/SIDE2 All hardware-specific HDD functionality moved to plugins Several important bug fixes This thread will cover any installation and usability issues, and discussion of any further updates and fixes. Documentation has also been heavily revised, and we have the exciting prospect of ebiguy's excellent OSS language cart conversions for SIDE/SIDE2. I will be making some quick-start videos when I get time; for now the task of simply getting everything prepared and uploaded was daunting enough. Thanks to the volunteers who tested the beta and release candidate versions, and I hope everyone enjoys the end result.
I'm pleased to announce the release of firmware version 3.02 for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL/XLD and SIDE/SIDE2. Since the update's primary purpose is to correct issues present in the version 3.00 and earlier released, it is highly recommended for all users. Please head over to the firmware page of my website to download the updates: https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/ New Features (over version 2.01) Include: Number of BIOS configuration profiles increased from three to four Massively faster and more powerful loader search facility Loader’s built-in FAT DOS now supports subdirectories Loader now remembers the last accessed FAT folder Loader scripts may include paths Loader can now open the location of any already mounted image Usability improvements to the loader and BIOS setup menu Optional synthetic ‘IO sound’ with ATRs and hard disk partitions Improved loader compatibility Auto-booting banked cartridge conversions on SIDE/SIDE2 Bug Fixes For users who previously updated to version 3.00 in July, the following fixes/changes have been implemented: Loader Fixed: Unnamed FAT entries missing from partition list Fixed: Selected entry not consistently tracked during search Fixed: SIDE2 displayed as 'SIDE1' in stand-alone loader's device menu Fixed: Logged directory cluster number corrupted after MAP file processing Changed: Boot drive override (to D1:) now issued on restart if a disk image exists on drive 1 (instead of immediately after mount operation) Changed: No boot drive override issued when 'Boot SpartaDOS X' is selected (allows easy booting from CONFIG.SYS drive after mounting ATRs) BIOS Changed: message and menu item wording Changed: progress bar code rewritten for brevity Added: L+RESET starts loader if SELECT+RESET coldstart hotkey is enabled PBI BIOS Fixed: SIO status command now reliably returns enhanced density bit in first byte (DVSTAT) for 130K ATRs Fixed: Dummy format command now returns error if enhanced density format attempted on single density (90K) ATR Changed: Boot drive override clears after first use Changed: SIO status command for device $20 now returns complement of controller error register in second byte (as per device $3x) Feedback If anyone notices any screw-ups, please let me know directly or via this thread. I sat on this update for several days purely because changing just one byte of code in the firmware necessitates the complete re-assembly of a many ROMs and ATR images, which is repetitive and even excruciating process, especially when one notices a bug while demoing the software on video. As usual: please use this thread to report your experiences, both positive and otherwise. Videos As mentioned above, I've made a couple of videos which attempt to demonstrate some of the more useful features of the SIDE Loader, both stand-alone and when used in conjunction with Ultimate 1MB. The same methodologies apply by and large to Incognito and the 1088XEL/XLD. I'll be making more of these videos, since there's still more to cover regarding advanced usage.