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Jurai29

Basic XEX question

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Hi all,

 

Hopefully a very quick question. I found a bunch of .ATR images and found a utility to convert them to DCM so I can use them on a real 8bit. What can I do to use XEX files on a real 8bit? I haven't tried them before and I'm not sure if it just needs renaming to .exe or some conversion is required? Until recently I had not downloaded any 8bit stuff for quite a while, last time was from a bbs.

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For starters, WTF would you want to convert ATRs to DCMs? Programs like APE support ATR straight up for disk images and it's the "standard" for most emulators and other hardware addons like SIO2SD.

 

.XEX are just binary load files. Remembering here that most DOSes don't really care what file extension you use (some automatically assume .COM).

 

So, they load from DOS, or for most XEX games, you use a disk image or real disk with one of the hundreds of binary boot loaders written to it, with the assortment of files as well.

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Rybags don't you read? I made it quite clear I'm wanting to run the software ON A REAL 8BIT! please do read before you make comments like "WTF would you want to convert atrs to dcms". Really man, it was a simple question and your insulting comments are uncalled for.

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WTF would you want to ... is hardly an insult. It's a perfectly valid question.

 

I assume here you're running APE or similar? If that's the case, then you just mount the ATR on a virtual APE drive and do a full disk copy.

Or you can pick and choose files through DOS on the real machine.

 

For XEX, you can just mount a directory containing them in APE as an ImageDrive and pick and choose and copy them to a real disk from there.

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Rybags,

 

Your ignorant tone is most unwelcome. As I have stated twice already I am NOT using an emulator but a real Atari 8bit! I am not insulting your use of an emulator even though I choose not to. My question is can I use the XEX on a real 8bit with or without converting it. I am not asking for your condescending attitude. Since you cannot behave in a mature fashion then either grow up or leave me alone. I am here to enjoy my hobby not as your whipping boy.

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Hi all,

 

Hopefully a very quick question. I found a bunch of .ATR images and found a utility to convert them to DCM so I can use them on a real 8bit. What can I do to use XEX files on a real 8bit? I haven't tried them before and I'm not sure if it just needs renaming to .exe or some conversion is required? Until recently I had not downloaded any 8bit stuff for quite a while, last time was from a bbs.

DCMs and ATRs are just image container files for raw disk data. DCMs don't have a header so sizes are limited. ATRs can be any size.

 

To convert an ATR to a DCM, for standard size images only (I'm pretty sure), 90K, 130K, 180K, and 360K images, you can just strip the first 16 bytes and rename the output to a .DCM file. That's all.

 

ATRs are more universal these days and DCM are considered antiquated, even obsolete. Anway, any disk emulator (not Atari computer emulators for this example) like APE (Windows or DOS), Atari810 (Windows), AtariSIO (linux), or Mac2OSX (Mac) recognizes ATRs. Just connect an SIO2PC cable from the appropriate machine to your Real 8bit, mount your favorite image(s), and you are good to go. Your Atari sees these as real disk and you can do anything you want. Run programs. Load DOS. Duplicate "disks". Whatever.

 

"XEX" is just a rather recent and convenient naming convention for any 8bit binary load file. In BBS days they might have had the extensions .BIN or .EXE but they are all the same thing. COMs are similar but they might also be SpartaDOS [X] specific executables.

 

Using XEX files on your real Atari requires much the same method as using images. In general it's preferable to add them to ATRs but not absolutely the only way. Here are some options for using disk images and XEX files on your machine.

 

- SIO2PC cable between 8bit and a PC. APE (mentioned above) has a virtual drive feature with a custom binary loader. mount the virtual drive as D1: and your 8bit boots to a menu to load programs (usually games).

 

- similar scenario AtariSIO (linux) lets you mount "XEX" files is faux disk images (with MyPicoDOS loader)

 

- SDrive (an SIO attached SD card reader for 8bits) can mount XEX files or ATRs. Just copy either onto an SD card stick the card into SDrive and your Atari sees the file like a real disk. SIO2SD, another SD card interface can mount ATRs (not sure about XEX files directly).

 

- SIO2IDE was designed to connect an IDE hard drive to your Atari but can be used with a IDE to CompactFlash adapter giving similar functionality to the previous example (just with CF instead of SD)

 

- SIO2USB is another option. From what I've read the typical usage of this device is to connect a USB thumbdrive to your Atari.

 

- if you have an old PC with a 5.25" floppy drive kicking around and you have an Atari with a true double density disk drive (indus gt, rana, US doubler upgrade 1050, XF551) you can use a program on the PC (DOS) to port ATRs directly to the floppy (again double density only). This is my favorite method to make real disk. Sadly I know of no similar option for single density disks.

 

These are the methods that I can recall for using ATRs and XEX files directly (more or less) on your real 8bit Atari.

 

- Steve Sheppard

Edited by a8isa1

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My first inclination is to stay out of this...

 

but you are getting a bad rap here...

 

then I thought "Rybags doesn't need my support in this"...

 

but, you did show admirable restraint and that should be recognized.

 

I still use SIO2PC, myself, so I don't know APE, either.

 

Bob

 

 

 

WTF would you want to ... is hardly an insult. It's a perfectly valid question.

 

I assume here you're running APE or similar? If that's the case, then you just mount the ATR on a virtual APE drive and do a full disk copy.

Or you can pick and choose files through DOS on the real machine.

 

For XEX, you can just mount a directory containing them in APE as an ImageDrive and pick and choose and copy them to a real disk from there.

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Steve,

 

"XEX" is just a rather recent and convenient naming convention for any 8bit binary load file. In BBS days they might have had the extensions .BIN or .EXE but they are all the same thing. .COMs are similar but they might also be SpartaDOS [X] specific executables.

 

Thanks for the info, that is what I was asking. The ATR is less of an issue though I do have some of these. I do have a PC with a 5 1/4" drive and a doubled 1050 so the one method you suggested will work on my setup. Another slower method that would work is using an RS232 connection provided the PC has it as does the Atari (ie 850, PR connection). That would indeed be slower but would work for those who don't have the hardware for the other methods you suggest. I must say your answers ARE accurate I just don't have all that hardware available here right now.

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Steve,

 

"XEX" is just a rather recent and convenient naming convention for any 8bit binary load file. In BBS days they might have had the extensions .BIN or .EXE but they are all the same thing. .COMs are similar but they might also be SpartaDOS [X] specific executables.

 

Thanks for the info, that is what I was asking. The ATR is less of an issue though I do have some of these. I do have a PC with a 5 1/4" drive and a doubled 1050 so the one method you suggested will work on my setup. Another slower method that would work is using an RS232 connection provided the PC has it as does the Atari (ie 850, PR connection). That would indeed be slower but would work for those who don't have the hardware for the other methods you suggest. I must say your answers ARE accurate I just don't have all that hardware available here right now.

Here's a link:

 

http://www.horus.com/~hias/atari/ (hmm, WriteATR seems to be an older version. You might wish to PM Hias Reichl for and inquire about the latest).

 

For people with the right need and the hardware the program I mentioned but forgot to identify, WriteATR, is the fastest method to convert an ATR to real disk. It will produce a 180K disk in just 40 to 50 seconds. It will work with a 1.2 MB drive on your PC and hopefully your doubled 1050 can read it (just don't try to write back to the disk from the Atari, because of the old PC 360K vs 1.2MB compatibility issue). Having a 360K drive (PC XT era) would be better but not essential as long as you are aware of the issue with the 1.2MBs.

 

BTW, I do consider Atari emulators a useful tool here. Mount a variety of image types. move files onto double density appropriate ATRs, then make real disks.

 

- Steve Sheppard

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If he thinks I've been either immature or offensive, then he'd do well to steer clear of the Atari vs Commodore 64 thread.

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From what I read, Rybags wasn't suggesting running your .XEX files on an emulator. He was merely stating that .ATR files are the standard. It is beyond me why you'ld convert .ATRs to .DCMs in the first place to run on a real machine as they both image formats. Or does your transfer method to an 8bit require that a disk image be less than 90k? That's the only reason I could see for you converting in the first place...

 

I'd just recommend putting your .XEX files into an .ATR that has a bootloader or no. Then convert that to a .DCM and there you go.

 

You can use command line tools like franny, or Windows based tools like ATRUtil95 to create your .ATR... You could do it in an emulator too...

Edited by dwhyte

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Dwhyte, The whole point about rybag is not just what he said but his negative attitude. Arrogance and immaturity just don't wash with me, nor in the real world in general. That aside I don't use an emulator. Also as I previously stated I have a doubled 1050, and a normal 1050 there is no reason to limit the disk images to 90k. As a8isa1 said there are several methods that would require hardware not everyone has. I don't have the equipment for them all. As I also stated on a minimum I (or many 8bitters) could dump them across a serial connection with a minimum of hardware and extract on my 8bit. Diskcomm will extract the files just fine without any extra steps.

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Dwhyte, The whole point about rybag is not just what he said but his negative attitude. Arrogance and immaturity just don't wash with me, nor in the real world in general. That aside I don't use an emulator. Also as I previously stated I have a doubled 1050, and a normal 1050 there is no reason to limit the disk images to 90k. As a8isa1 said there are several methods that would require hardware not everyone has. I don't have the equipment for them all. As I also stated on a minimum I (or many 8bitters) could dump them across a serial connection with a minimum of hardware and extract on my 8bit. Diskcomm will extract the files just fine without any extra steps.

 

I figured that's what it was... You really should invest in APE and a cable. It would make your A8 life a whole lot easier... Or, if you prefer, I have an Atari program kicking around somewhere that will convert an .ATR file to a standard Atari floppy disk. You would be accomplishing the same thing only skipping the convert to .DCM step. When I find it I'll post it here for you...

Edited by dwhyte

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I am interested to know how you transfer the files across. What are you going to do when you get a 180K image?

 

Personally, if you can use a soldering iron and can follow a small schematic + instructions, it would be much easier to roll your own sio2pc interface.

The hard bit is where to/what to sacrafice, to get it going, ie what cable to cut or where to put the interface.

If you have an old clunker pc that has dos or win 98, the dos freeware version of ape is the way to go. I personally haven't looked at the windows version so cannot comment on it.

 

James

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I use the registered version of APE for Win2000/XP and I recommend it to folks time and time again. I'd recommend the registered version, not for the extra features but because I think AtariMax deserves it for the support and the great product. Seriously, once you've gotten Ape going with an SIO2PC connection you'll wonder why you wanted to create floppies in the first place and if you still want to Ape is pretty much the easiest way to go anyway.

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Hi all,

 

Hopefully a very quick question. I found a bunch of .ATR images and found a utility to convert them to DCM so I can use them on a real 8bit. What can I do to use XEX files on a real 8bit? I haven't tried them before and I'm not sure if it just needs renaming to .exe or some conversion is required? Until recently I had not downloaded any 8bit stuff for quite a while, last time was from a bbs.

Hi Jurai29. Here's my two penneth ;) I've been an Atari user for over 20 years and have recently purchased APE (the USB verison) and have had great success transferring games to real 1050 floppy disks (Yes, I play from real disks :) ). I recommend this. Once you have a file down to the Atari you can load a (binary/executable) file with any extension depending on the menu system you use... yes you may need to rename the xex extension to exe in order for some of the old DOS format menu's to recognise the files. With APE you can access the PC with the ATR image as if it was a drive plugged into the Atari itself or access the PC's folder to transfer the files... I use my 1050 as drive 1 and the APE/PC as drive 2 and cust copy the files with (My)DOS or use a disk copier and duplicate an ATR image to a real disk. Hope this helps.

Edited by therealbountybob

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I use the registered version of APE for Win2000/XP and I recommend it to folks time and time again. I'd recommend the registered version, not for the extra features but because I think AtariMax deserves it for the support and the great product. Seriously, once you've gotten Ape going with an SIO2PC connection you'll wonder why you wanted to create floppies in the first place and if you still want to Ape is pretty much the easiest way to go anyway.

Ditto.

SIO2PC and APE are an essential part of an Atari 8bit set up IMO

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Yep,

on the other hand, I remember the early 90s when I did not have SIO2PC, SIO2USB and other SIO2xxx devices nor any emulators - even no floppy emulators. And at that time, some friends came by and said "hey, I found some A8 stuff on the net, here it is" and they gave me a 1,44MB diskette with some ATR images on it.

 

After some thoughts, how I might convert them to a real A8 disk, I used the (then) most insane way:

 

- my PC had a 1,2MB drive but it was fully compatible with Ataridsk by HiasSoft, so I copied these ATR images like normal files onto a 180k A8 formatted disk...

 

- the A8 floppy drive cannot read or handle ATR images in any way (no DOS, Gamedos, or Bootloadersoftware could run an ATR file/image), so I searched for utilities to convert them to real disks on the A8 itself...

 

-after some searching I found various A8 utilities like XFD2DSK, ATRConv, Diskformer, Unimage and others which could convert an ATR or XFD image into a real disk (or vice versa, a real A8 disk into ATR or XFD); some of these utilities support even modems, so there is no need to have the ATR or XFD on an A8 formatted disk (just transfer them from the PC to your A8 via modem)...

 

These insane things can still be done today, so there is no need to buy Ape or SIO2PC or build any kind of extra PC or A8 hardware to transfer ATR/XFD images from/to the A8. All you need then is a) a PC 5,25" drive that works with Ataridsk (not all of them do, you have to test it!) and b) an A8 floppy (or enhancement) that can read/write 180k. Instead of Ataridsk you may also use WriteATR, but I am unsure if it works in both directions (ATR<=>real A8 disk) or if it is limited to one way only (real A8 disk=>ATR image)...

 

Anyways, attached are some of the old and maybe obsolete/redundant A8 transfer and convert(er) utilities I have used then to transfer or convert ATR/XFD files to a real A8 disk (and as said before, often the ATR/XFD images were already written as a 90k or 130k file on an A8 formatted 180k disk, sometimes this is a must for the converter utilities to work)...

 

Nowadays with SIO2PC, Ape, various emulators, PC tools and all the SIO2xxx stuff, transfering ATR/XFD images to a real A8 disk is much easier... but its your choice, how you like to do it... -Andreas Koch.

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