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Sorting out the CV & ADAM Utilities

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COLECOVISION & ADAM COMPUTER UTILITY CARTRIDGES

 

A number of CV & ADAM utilities were created by Coleco and Nuvatec for testing purposes. The ColecoVision utilities were easily copied and good dumps were made, but the largest majority of ADAM utilities were only properly dumped using an ADAM CP/M 2.2 Cart Copier and assembled on self-booting ADAM CP/M disks as *.COM executable files. I have included three different disk images of these utility compilations, 2 of which load a menu for choosing the cart dump (actually an executable CP/M *.COM file) and the last requiring the user to type the filename (minus the extension " .com " ) after displaying the directory with the " DIR " command. Following is a listing of what is contained on each disk image with the 2nd and 3rd disk contents only list unique programs (these disk images are contained in the "1 - ADAM Computer Disk Images" directory):

 

1 - Coleco In-House Test Cart Utilities (ADAM CP-M Format).dsk

ZZ-BASIC.COM - SmartBASIC DDP Restorer Rev. 1.4

ZZ-BLANK.COM - Blank DDP Restorer Rev. 1.4

ZZ-BLOCK.COM - Z80 Disk Alignment Program v1.0 (not a cartridge dump)

ZZ-BUCK.COM - Buck Rogers DDP Restorer Rev. 1.4

ZZ-BURN.COM - Data Drive Burn-In DDP Test

ZZ-DEMO.COM - ADAM Demonstration Cartridge

ZZ-MENUT.COM - ADAM Final Test

ZZ-MUSIC.COM - ColecoVision Music Demonstration

ZZ-TEST.COM - ADAM Diagnostic (1982 copyright notice)

 

2 - Coleco In-House Test Cart Utilities (ADAM CP-M Format).dsk

UTIL/R22.COM - TapeUtl Rev. 22

 

3 - Coleco In-House Test Cart Utilities (ADAM CP-M Format).dsk

FINALTES.COM - ColecoVision Final Test

NEWREV.COM - ADAM Final Test (Newer revision)

PRINTER.COM - ADAM Printer 1 Hour Cycle Burn-In Test

SA-CONTR.COM - Super Action Controller Tester

TESTCART.COM - ADAM Diagnostic Cartridge (1981 copyright notice)

 

I proceeded to convert these to PC format files with 22Disk, a CP/M to MS-DOS file conversion utility, and they are contained in the "2 - ADAM CP-M Cart Dumps converted to PC Format with 256 byte header". As some of you will notice, the file sizes are 256 bytes larger than a proper good dump. This is because the ADAM CP/M Cart Copier adds a 256K byte header, used to make the rom image an ADAM CP/M Executable file, at the start of the file. If you want to play around with these files, the cartridge code starts at address: 00000100h and continues to the end.

 

In the directory "3 - PC Format Rom Images with 256 byte header stripped", you will find all the properly sized PC format rom images files... the 256 byte header has been stripped. These files can now be used with CV & ADAM Emulators or transferred to the AtariMax USB or SD Cart for further testing... but before you do read the next paragraph as I have gone through this process already and no need for you to waist your time trying to use some of the utilities that still won't work properly. You can also play around with the first 2 bytes of the file (in HEX) in order to display the ColecoVision BIOS Title Screen or not:

 

CV BIOS Title Screen DOES Display: AA 55

CV BIOS Title Screen DOES NOT Display: 55 AA

 

In the directory "4 - Good Rom Images for CV, ADAM or Emulators", I have copied the rom images that do work on a real ColecoVision, ADAM Computer or through an Emulator. At the end of this article, I list each utility and have given some further details on what they are and how to use these them.

 

In the directory "5 - Previously available rom images", I have placed all the rom images that were made by other people and have been floating around the web for years. Some of them are actually GOOD DUMPS or ALTERNATE GOOD DUMPS [a1], but others are BAD [b1], OVERDUMPS [o1] and UNDERDUMPS [u1]. These are just for reference and comparison.

 

In the final directory "6 - ScreenShots", I have supplied screenshots of all the utilities for your pleasure.

 

Finally, here are some details about each rom image, even if they are noted not to work, they still may be good dumps as the ADAM Utilities have given numerous people fits in getting to work as rom images. All work properly when run using the ADAM Disk Images in an ADAM Emulator or on a real ADAM Computer.

 

:arrow: ADAM Diagnostic (1981 & 1982 Copyright notices) - This is a 32K file that contains numerous diagnostic tests for the different components that make up the ADAM Computer. The title screen says "ADAM Checkout Cartridge - SmartPACK Software Series" and I have two different versions with copyrights of 1981 and 1982... 1981 doesn't make sense unless the ADAM was in development a lot earlier than any of us realize just like the ColecoVision's start dates back to 1979. There also has been available a 32K rom dump for years, but this one and my two additions will not work on the AtariMax Carts or in any emulator that I tried as a rom file... you can only run it via the ADAM Disk Image. There was an actual cartridge version of this made available to dealers, service centers and numerous ADAM User's Groups with a Coleco style label.

 

:arrow: ADAM Demonstration Cartridge - This is a 24K file that contains a self-running and looping demonstration of some of the ADAM Computer's capabilities and planned software. There was an actual cartridge version of this made available to dealers as well as numerous ADAM User's Groups with a Coleco style label. The cart was programmed by Carol Baldygay. The rom image that has been available for years is actually an OVERDUMP (25K), and my new dump is the correct size. It will work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts on a real ADAM Computer and the MESS Emulator, it will not work with ADAMem as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: ADAM Final Test - This is an 8K file that contains a series of tests for all devices that make up the ADAM Computer. It displays a generic green text menu screen from which options are offered to perform tests. Numerous dumps of this have been available as well as my included dumps to rom image format, but none of them work... you will have to use the ADAM disk images to try it out. I have come across an actual cartridge version and will try dumping via different means soon.

 

:arrow: ADAM Printer 1 Hour Cycle Burn-In Test - This is an 8K file that shares code with the "ADAM Final Test" rom image. I have not used it, but would assume by the name that it continuously prints a test loop to the ADAM Printer. It does not work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or any emulators as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: ADAM Resident Debugger Rev. 2.0 - This is a 24K file that I came across last year and have had no success with getting to work via any means. I think it was part of the same prototype score that was found in California and included the Dragon's Lair CV proto and the Cabbage Patch Kids Atari 2600 protos.

 

:arrow: ADAM Tape/Disk Verification - This is a new cartridge that I just came across from a former Coleco employee. It looks like a block verification tool and the name suggest as much. It will not dump properly via the ADAM Computer, but this is being worked on so that it can be shared with everyone.

 

:arrow: Blank DDP Restorer Rev. 1.4 - This is an 8K file that shares code with the "ADAM Final Test" rom image. I have not used it, but would assume it re-writes the Boot Block (block 0) of a Storage DDP or it zeroes out a DDP in the case that bad blocks exists. It does not work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or any emulators as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: Buck Rogers DDP Restorer Rev. 1.4 - This is an 8K file that shares code with the "ADAM Final Test" rom image. I have not used it, but would assume it re-writes the Boot Block (block 0) of a Buck Rogers DDP or it zeroes out a DDP in the case that bad blocks exists. It does not work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or any emulators as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: ColecoVision Final Test - This is an 8K file. It is, as the name suggests, a final test utility for ColecoVision systems that tests the BIOS, RAM, Video, Sound and Hand Controllers. There were three rom images available previously (a correct size, an overdump (16K) and an underdump (7K)) and I have also provided a good rom image. It works on the AtariMax Carts and all emulators.

 

:arrow: ColecoVision Monitor Test - This is a 16K file that I am not sure is an actual Coleco made program.

 

:arrow: ColecoVision Music Demonstration - This is a 24K file that contains song and sound samples from numerous released and unreleased Coleco games spanning two menu screens. There have been two good dumps available for years that go by the name "MusicBox" and I have included my good dump as well. It will work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or any emulators as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: Data Drive Burn-In DDP Test - This is an 8K files that shares code with the "ADAM Final Test" rom image. I have not used it, but would assume that Coleco used this cart to test Digital Data Drives after they were manufactured or repaired. It does not work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or any emulators as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: SmartBASIC DDP Restorer Rev 1.4 - This is an 8K file that shares code with the "ADAM Final Test" rom image. I have not used it, but would assume it re-writes the Boot Block (block 0) of a SmartBASIC DDP or it zeroes out a DDP in the case that bad blocks exists. It does not work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or any emulators as a rom image file.

 

:arrow: Super Action Controller Tester - This is an 8K file. It was developed by Nuvatec in order to test the Super Action Controllers. The dump that has been available for years is actually a bad dump and 16K in size that does not work on the AtariMax USB and SD Carts... it freezes up with a garbled screen display. My new dump works on both AtariMax Carts and in emulators.

 

:arrow: TapeUtl Rev. 22 - This is an 8K file. It is a bare bones Data Pack and Disk copy utility with some verification options. It will work with the AtariMax USB or SD Carts or but not any emulators as a rom image file.

 

 

If anyone has working versions in rom format or on ADAM EOS format Disks or Data Packs of the utilities listed as not working as rom images, please post then here.

 

 

Enjoy!

Jim N.

post-25956-0-49407800-1313376524_thumb.jpg

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ADAM Utilities.zip

Edited by NIAD
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Thanks for another generous contribution to the ColecoVision community.

 

+1

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Thanks for another generous contribution to the ColecoVision community.

 

+1

I was inspired to tackle this little project after I received the large lot of CV & ADAM items from the former Coleco employee. He had four of these utilities in unlabeled cartridges (CV Final Test, ADAM Final Test, TapeUtl Rev. 22 and ADAM Tape/Disk Verification) as well as 2 Proms of the unreleased Nuvatec Go/No/Go program which we will be trying to get proper dumps done of the ones that aren't already available as good/working rom images.

 

Gotta admit, as well, that I'm hoping that someone has figured out how to get some of the utilities to work as rom images or has patched them to work and will share them with everyone on here. :D

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Finally got lucky and was able to get good working dumps of:

 

:arrow: ADAM Final Test

:arrow: ADAM Tape/Disk Verification

:arrow: ADAM Tape/Disk Verification Rel. 1

 

don't even want to try and explain the back and forth I had to go through between an ADAM and old PC Laptop with an even older Hex Editor program to get these working... so I won't! I'm just glad it's over with. :D

 

The only way to use these rom images is by placing them on the AtariMax USB or SD Carts and loading them on a real ADAM, they will not work through emulators like the other ADAM utilities.

 

The last rom image I am including is the Go/No/Go rom image dump I made from the Prom that I received from the ex-Coleco employee. This is a good dump (8,192 bytes = 8K) that I made by placing the Prom on a socketed PCB board and then dumped with the ADAM. However, like the original Prom/PCB when plugged into a ColecoVision or ADAM, the rom image does not work via any means. I am uploading it here in the hopes that someone can take a look at it and see what it really is... I'm thinking a program like the "ColecoVision Final Test" if not an earlier version of it.

 

Please post any findings you may have in this thread.

ADAM Final Test (198x) (Coleco).zip

ADAM Tape-Disk Verification Rel. 0 (198x) (Coleco).zip

ADAM Tape-Disk Verification Rel. 1 (198x) (Coleco).zip

Go-No-Go (1982) (Nuvatec).zip

Edited by NIAD
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So you managed to dump Go-No-Go ?! Awesome! :thumbsup:

Now we need someone to figured it out how that work.... :roll:

This is an early CV Utility nonetheless.....

Yep, I dumped Go-No-Go before I sent it to you. It took me some time to figure out why it wasn't converting from an ADAM file to a PC file without becoming corrupted.

 

I think I know the perfect person for the job, but he might be a little tied up in creating music and sound effects for an upcoming game... and that takes precedent!!!

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I did a small analysis of the Go-No-go ROM, appears that it requires an external hardware connected in the expansion port as it writes to 2000H and 4000H, then it waits for automatic response from Controller Port 2 (no human could do it fast enough). It tests ROM, RAM, audio, video RAM, even some things that probably emulators would not do correctly (like reading A000H and waiting ro read A0H, C000H - C0H and so).

At the end I found a final routine, at 8835H (using BlueMSX, pause emulation, change PC, unpause emulation; for ROM change start address in bytes 800AH / 800BH), then it will play a small music, then puts colour bars in screen and some messages.

This missing external hardware probably has four digits leds and a cable to connect it to Controller Port 2.

I hope this info is useful for everybody.

Edited by nanochess
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I second that "Thank You", nanochess! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

 

A BIG +1

Edited by NIAD

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More information about Nuvatec test board. Probably cartridge should be 32K (with A000 reading A0, C000 reading C0 and E000 reading E0). The 4 digit decimal counter of board is reset probably by power-on, it is incremented using address 2000, it will stay quiet on test failure, I'm sure about this because the access' count equals hardcoded ROM value. Still to decipher eleven writes to 4000, one read to 4000 and readings of controllers ports.

 

Counter display

0000-0003 = ??

0004 = Main BIOS checksum failure

0005 = Main RAM failure (FF filled)

0006 = Main RAM failure (00 filled)

0007 = Main RAM failure (70-73 filled per page)

0008 = Main RAM failure (upper 4 bits)

0009 = Main RAM failure (lower 4 bits)

0010 = Cartridge ROM failure at A000H (doesn't read A0)

0011 = Cartridge ROM failure at C000H (doesn't read C0)

0012 = Cartridge ROM failure at E000H (doesn't read E0)

0013 = Cartridge ROM failure at 9000H (doesn't read 90)

0014 = ??

0015-0022 = Test controller 1

0023-0030 = Test controller 2

0031-0036 = ??

0037 = Doing test of VRAM (00 filling)

0038 = VRAM failure bit 0

0039 = VRAM failure bit 1

0040 = VRAM failure bit 2

0041 = VRAM failure bit 3

0042 = VRAM failure bit 4

0043 = VRAM failure bit 5

0044 = VRAM failure bit 6

0045 = VRAM failure bit 7

0046 = Doing test of VRAM (FF filling)

0047 = VRAM failure bit 0

0048 = VRAM failure bit 1

0049 = VRAM failure bit 2

0050 = VRAM failure bit 3

0051 = VRAM failure bit 4

0052 = VRAM failure bit 5

0053 = VRAM failure bit 6

0054 = VRAM failure bit 7

0055 = VRAM failure (0000-00FF doesn't read 00)

...

0118 = VRAM failure (3F00-3FFF doesn't read 3F)

0119 = VRAM failure (bits 7-4 fail at 0000-000F)

...

1142 = VRAM failure (bits 7-4 fail at 3FF0-3FFF)

1143 = VRAM failure (bits 0-3 fail at 0000-000F)

...

2166 = VRAM failure (bits 0-3 fail at 3FF0-3FFF)

2167 to 2176 = related to NMI testing

2177 = PSG channel 1 failure

2178 = PSG channel 2 failure

2179 = PSG channel 3 failure

2180 = PSG channel 4 failure

2181 = Success!. Colecovision working fine

 

At the end the Colecovision Final Test is better as it doesn't require an external hardware.

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FINALLY!

 

After acquiring an original "ADAM Diagnostic Cartridge" the other day, I was finally able to re-explore trying to get a GOOD dump of this ADAM only cartridge... all dumps of this that have been previously available were bad. So with a little help with some modern hardware, I was finally able to make a good and working rom dump for all to enjoy!

 

This new rom dump WILL NOT work in ADAMem, but it will work in M.E.S.S. using the ADAM emulation option... not ColecoVision emulation. Also, you need to skip the Digital Data Drive Read/Write Test seeing as M.E.S.S. does not emulate the Digital Data Drive yet.

 

You can also copy the rom dump to an AtariMax USB or SD Cart and use it on a real ADAM Computer... it works perfectly.

 

Enjoy!

ADAM Diagnostic Cartridge (1982) (Coleco).zip

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Thanks for making the rom available. I tried it out on my ADAM and it works great.

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You're welcome Ed.... hopefully I will have further news coming soon on some other very interesting items.

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Out of curiosity then, what is the purpose of that device? Have you seen one before?

There are two of these Adam Final Test devices known to exist and a manual was found, but never shared by the owner.

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Big update coming soon thanks to a former Coleco employee! Sorry for the early bump, just got tired of searching for this thread.

 

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Attached is the complete collection of Coleco In-House Utility Test cart rom images. Unfortunately, I do not have the time to put together more detailed information about each and prefer to just get these out. A short Readme.txt file ins included in the Zip archive as well as additional pictures of accessories attachments for the infamous ADAM System Final Test Module, an unknown ADAM hardware test unit, etc. If you have any questions, post them here and I'll do my best to answer them.

 

 

ADAM System Final Test Module - #05.jpg

Unknown ADAM Test Hardware (Polish Computer) - #01.jpg

Coleco In-House Utility Carts.zip

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On 6/24/2021 at 9:21 PM, NIAD said:

Attached is the complete collection of Coleco In-House Utility Test cart rom images.

Hello NIAD,

 

Let me be the first to say a hardy THANK YOU for this wonderful zip file!  Your work couldn't be MORE APPRECIATED OR TIMELY since my recent return to the ADAM community after 30 years away.  I'm looking forward to diagnosing (to the best of my ability) a recent problem child ADAM purchase.

 

10 PRINT "THANK YOU!   ";

20 GOTO 10

30 REM LOL : )

 

     Shawn Merrick

     Vintage Developer, ADAMCastle BBS (1986) - The ONLY entirely RAM-based CP/M BBS written exclusively for ADAM - The ColecoVision Family Computer System.

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14 hours ago, Shawn Merrick said:

10 PRINT "THANK YOU!   ";

20 GOTO 10

30 REM LOL : )

👍🏼
 

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6 hours ago, NIAD said:

👍🏼
 

Yep!
 

Thanks Jim, for all of your input and contributions. No worries that you didn’t have time to perfect all of the deliverables. We appreciate your hunting this stuff down and sharing it with the community! Don’t know how I missed this, so I’m a little late, but thanks all the same!

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On 6/24/2021 at 9:21 PM, NIAD said:

Attached is the complete collection of Coleco In-House Utility Test cart rom images.

I am SO HAPPY to say that portions of these testing utilities have already given me possible diagnostic results.  I have a standalone 2410 memory console that entirely black screens on the ADAM side ("Gamma" board) boot and/or reset, but the ColecoVision side ("Delta" board) seems to work perfectly with ROM cartridges and game controllers.

 

The failure is severe enough to prevent running all DDP or disk-based diagnostics.  However, the ROM-based diagnostics were cleverly designed to bypass most of these type of failures.  After copying the ROM image to a wonderful ATARIMAX Ultimate SD Cartridge, I obtained various bits of information by trying several of the test ROMs.

 

Identified a likely bad RAM chip at location U17:

1811069444_ADAMRAMCellTest.thumb.jpg.17a3150a779bef9db57b33f78c7a71e7.jpg

 

Video RAM appeared OK in ColecoVision operations and other tests, but the ADAM keyboard test really shows the consequences of this problem.

Yes, the keyboard works : ) and pressed letters eventually DO appear, but the screen is badly corrupted throughout:

602246350_ADAMKeyboardTest.thumb.jpg.78ef7f6a42615f683305e904252fe62b.jpg

 

Anyone recognize U22 ROM checksum 251F by chance?  I can't find any reference to this,

but get the same results on a fully operational ADAM console and think it is fine.

The other checksums here are documented:

1341962072_ADAMROMChecksums.thumb.jpg.c72e7450a8c082f7503913834789ffbf.jpg

 

Attempts to run Final Test Rev 3.3 on the bad console don't get

anywhere, but display only these green lines and hang:

925624500_ADAMFinalTestHangswithLines.thumb.jpg.919c18a0e214f0780a7e9118e554eb63.jpg

 

It will be some time before I attempt to remove the soldered

U17 RAM module with my amateur skills.  I will say this was

almost as much fun for me as a GAME ROM cartridge!

I do hope to recover this hardware to operational status in time.

 

THANKS AGAIN for making these available unadulterated!

 

     Shawn

 

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