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supercart v. ed assm

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what the heck is the difference between the super cart and the editor assembler and should I care?

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The super cart has 8k of ram mapped into the cartridge CPU space at 6000 hex, in addition to the editor assembler grom.

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Yeah, a supercart is a good way to develop cartridge software in assembly language. Would love to have one that handles multiple banks. Up to 64k would be great, thank you please :-)

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Yeah, a supercart is a good way to develop cartridge software in assembly language. Would love to have one that handles multiple banks. Up to 64k would be great, thank you please :-)

 

Me too, with an SD card reader built into the front of the cart. The SD card would host one file per 8K ROM page. That way I could cross assemble on the PC, write the binary ROM images to SD card and test on the real hardware without burning EPROMs, which is a PITA.

 

It would need some sort of BIOS that took over the console at power-up and loaded the RAM in the cart from the SD card files; or, a small co-processor (MSP430 would be perfect, as it would have enough flash space to hold the support code, so only a single chip would be needed). The MSP430 would read the SD card and populate each RAM bank.

 

Of course, that would mean that the RAM would have to be dual ported, or, the co-pro could somehow switch the RAM to/from the 9900 bus.

 

Does anyone know if it's possible to write a program in a uController that simply acts as a bus slave? In other words, the uController/processor is reading the signals on the cartridge port, and decoding them in software, and responding to read/write requests from/to the cartridge space directly? Could it be done? If the processor could respond and deliver the data (in the case of reads by the 9900) at full 9900 bus speed then the cart contents (from the 9900's perspective) could be hosted in the uControllers ROM/flash directly, loaded from an SD card.

 

I mention the MSP430 because it's a TI chip, but also, because it's available as a DIL chip.

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How about a new Super Space II with modern components. Just make it have 128K RAM (16x8K banks); E/A in GROM7 (E000-FFFF); and maybe GRAM in GROMS 3-6 (6000-DFFF). Could live with out the GRAM option, but would be nice to have. Mapping is done by CRU in the Super Space module so the beige QI consoles wouldn't work with it.

 

Any hardware buffs out there that can do this??

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I have a few of the 8k Supercarts. They're also useful for writing software that you need JUST a bit more memory than the 32k expansion provides.

 

The ideal, of course, is to have a Superspace II cartridge with multiple 8k pages that you could write a very large and complicated program in. I really REALLY wish I'd ordered one from the Triton catalog way back when... they're so super rare now that they NEVER come up on eBay. I'm pretty sure every 99'er who has one has it locked in a death grip.

 

Adamantyr

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How about a new Super Space II with modern components. Just make it have 128K RAM (16x8K banks); E/A in GROM7 (E000-FFFF); and maybe GRAM in GROMS 3-6 (6000-DFFF). Could live with out the GRAM option, but would be nice to have. Mapping is done by CRU in the Super Space module so the beige QI consoles wouldn't work with it.

 

Any hardware buffs out there that can do this??

 

My REA would be better as it also has built in Disk/Hard Cataloger and runs any type of program.

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How many 8K pages did the superspace II cartridge have ?

 

I still have my SuperSpace II

It has a real issue in that the same code to switch banks has to be in the same spot.

This forces the SS2 cart to only be limited to a small number of programs and mostly only SS2 ones.

 

I always thought the best method was like the XB cart or CaDD version of if you write to a even address it uses bank 0 and odd address bank 1

Or >7FFF as the byte that switched banks up to 256 banks of 8K.

Or add a DSR like the REA cart and access it from any input to change banks from programs or from outside programs.

 

Rich

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Does anyone know if it's possible to write a program in a uController that simply acts as a bus slave? In other words, the uController/processor is reading the signals on the cartridge port, and decoding them in software, and responding to read/write requests from/to the cartridge space directly? Could it be done? If the processor could respond and deliver the data (in the case of reads by the 9900) at full 9900 bus speed then the cart contents (from the 9900's perspective) could be hosted in the uControllers ROM/flash directly, loaded from an SD card.

 

Yep. Already doing it with GROM, in the case of GROM an 8MHz AVR running C code is 2-3 times faster than the real GROMs. However, the actual CPU bus is too fast for it. Rough calculations and measurements I've done suggest you need to be able to sustain about 1MB/s transfer. (Not that the machine will do that continuously, but just based on some of the turnaround times.) But all the memory busses also support the HOLD line, so as long as you can lean on that quickly enough, you can run at any speed you like. For example, the Speech ROMs are even slower than the GROMs. ;)

 

I'd estimate an ARM running at 80-100MHz could keep up with the bus.

 

 

 

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How many 8K pages did the superspace II cartridge have ?

 

I bought both versions of the Super Space from Tex-Comp back then. They both used the same boards, but the jumpers were pre-configured for 8K (Super Space I) and 32K (Super Space II). The jumpers can be set for 8K, 16K, 32K, and 64K ROMS/SRAMS. The manual only listed the settings for up to 32K SRAM chips, but will support 64K (installed in both of mine). Edgar Dohmann had an hardware hack/fix to support 128K. This was mentioned in Micropendium as a short blurb but not the full article. Hopefully some User Groups' newsletter has the full article on what to do. We just need to find it.

 

I had lots of fun with SoundFX with the Super Space. As it would automatically recognize and configure the extra memory as a large buffer. SoundFX allowed the TI's sound chip (SN76489A) to play various formats of sound clips.

 

These carts are meant to be used as expanded RAM carts. ROM bankswitching will not work, due to the need to write to the cartridge address space. You just need to keep this in mind when writing your bank switch routines.

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It has a real issue in that the same code to switch banks has to be in the same spot.

 

The solution to that is to put your bank switch code in pad ram at startup. That's how TurboForth works, it's just a few bytes of code.

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The modern term for that is apparently a "trampoline function". Jumps out and then jumps back. Had me scratching my head for ages when I first ran across that term in GCC. ;)

 

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I have a few of the 8k Supercarts. They're also useful for writing software that you need JUST a bit more memory than the 32k expansion provides.

 

The ideal, of course, is to have a Superspace II cartridge with multiple 8k pages that you could write a very large and complicated program in. I really REALLY wish I'd ordered one from the Triton catalog way back when... they're so super rare now that they NEVER come up on eBay. I'm pretty sure every 99'er who has one has it locked in a death grip.

 

Adamantyr

A guy is asking $105.00 for just the 8K original Super Space now! >> HERE <<

I don't know about you, but I'm happy with my Super Cart (not a brand name) for MUCH LESS. So yeah, I imagine a "REAL" Super Space II would be hard to get, even though no-name ones are still being built.

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The problem with the Superspace II is that you have to sacrifice space, (the exact address space) in all banks for the cart to switch banks.

This is great for custom programs but for running games sucks and makes it impossible to use for the 64K in the cart.

 

Well unless you use it to save the program and move it to regular 32K to run the program. But then it is just a bad version of a GPL Cart as that can save 40K with no bank switching.

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I have a few of the 8k Supercarts. They're also useful for writing software that you need JUST a bit more memory than the 32k expansion provides.

 

I knew I read this somewhere! I decided to re-visit a few threads to find this message....

 

Are there many programs like that out there, that use this 'extra bit' of memory?

If so, I'd like to know a couple of them.

 

THANKS.

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Why all the effort to make a cart that can not bank switch? Also even if it does it is only 64K compared to the SAMS 1 Meg!!!

 

1 Meg (Memory is dirt cheap at that size.) and with a SAMS we could really do some impressive stuff compared to manually switching only 64K.

 

Could we make a kit to just bypass the normal memory?

 

My game is almost done and 960K of map in memory kicks the crap out of 64K of map. (15 times more MAP!!)

Edited by RXB

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Why all the effort to make a cart that can not bank switch? Also even if it does it is only 64K compared to the SAMS 1 Meg!!!

 

1 Meg (Memory is dirt cheap at that size.) and with a SAMS we could really do some impressive stuff compared to manually switching only 64K.

 

Could we make a kit to just bypass the normal memory?

 

My game is almost done and 960K of map in memory kicks the crap out of 64K of map. (15 times more MAP!!)

That's like asking, "Why bother writing anything for that old RXB, because hardly anyone even uses it." Not cool, huh? Now, YOU get enjoyment from it, that in itself justifies it, right? So have fun, enjoy yourself, that is what this is all about.

 

This hobby is different things to different people, do we all have to conform to what one person thinks we should do because in his opinion it's 'better'? I do not believe so. Heck, I get a lot of enjoyment out of my "lame little 8K non-switchable Super Cart" (compared to other stuff).

 

Sure, IF you have the capability of running a SAMS card and, IF you had access to one, you possibly *COULD* do some stuff, but in the mean time, I'm enjoying myself NOW.

 

Now, I do not mean to be rude, I've already been called on the carpet once for being blunt, but I'm not going to buy a special card just so I can play a one game that, "...kicks the crap out of the 64K map".

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Kevan, there is one other advantage to Rich's humongous SAMS game--it adds another application to the list of programs that use that capability on the TI. Each additional program has the potential of changing the status of that device from a sort-of-nice-to-have thing to something people really want. The SAMS is a great piece of hardware that just never really got much traction in the community--and that is unfortunate.

 

Keep plugging aways at additional SAMS applications, Rich--we as a community really do need them (I have the Asgard 128K version, the SW99ers 256K type, and a couple from the first of the recent board runs). Once we get a copy of RXB onto one of the new cart boards, lots of people will be able to try out your software without needing to resort to a GRAM device.

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Kevan, there is one other advantage to Rich's humongous SAMS game--it adds another application to the list of programs that use that capability on the TI. Each additional program has the potential of changing the status of that device from a sort-of-nice-to-have thing to something people really want. The SAMS is a great piece of hardware that just never really got much traction in the community--and that is unfortunate.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you! I'm ALL FOR DEVELOPMENT & NEW STUFF, without ongoing development we would not have a lot of the cool toys we have to choose from now like the F18A, but the comment he made, "Why all the effort to make a cart that can not bank switch?" It rubbed me the wrong way, it was like saying," Why waste your time on that?" Well, because I want to! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will probably buy a lot of these new things stuff when they become available, but in the mean time I want to enjoy what is available now.

 

Rich carries some influence in the TI community, when his comments appear to belittle peoples choices, or make other items appear inferior, people may hold off from purchasing things and miss out on what is available now. The worse case scenario is that people, grow bored waiting and leave for greener pastures.

 

Sure, an 8K SuperCart can appear lame next to the possibility of a 1 meg card, but lets be realistic here, the TI is 30 years old! Next to my laptop's 1TB HD and 8Gig of RAM the TI is lame. To my understanding nobody is asking, "Why bother with the TI?" So why question or put down people choices in how they personally want to develop or enjoy their vintage system?

 

I've said enough and do not want to provoke a flame war.... I'm done.

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<My-two-cents> I think Rich has put together something great with SAMs and RXB, and is just excited to share about it :). I honestly don't think he's out to belittle anyone ;-) . I always appreciate his input even though I may not be able (at the moment) to take advantage of it. </My-two-cents>

Edited by RobertLM78

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I don't think Rich was out to cross swords. Written words can be taken the wrong way. It's a lot different to a conversation.

 

Anyway, both Classic99 and MESS support SAMS emulation, so even if your TI doesn't have a SAMS card, you can still enjoy software written to take advantage of it. RXB runs in Classic99 and MESS, too. So, have at it, and hack on brothers! :thumbsup:

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Don't get me wrong, I agree with you! I'm ALL FOR DEVELOPMENT & NEW STUFF, without ongoing development we would not have a lot of the cool toys we have to choose from now like the F18A, but the comment he made, "Why all the effort to make a cart that can not bank switch?" It rubbed me the wrong way, it was like saying," Why waste your time on that?" Well, because I want to! I've said it before and I'll say it again, I will probably buy a lot of these new things stuff when they become available, but in the mean time I want to enjoy what is available now.

 

Rich carries some influence in the TI community, when his comments appear to belittle peoples choices, or make other items appear inferior, people may hold off from purchasing things and miss out on what is available now. The worse case scenario is that people, grow bored waiting and leave for greener pastures.

 

Sure, an 8K SuperCart can appear lame next to the possibility of a 1 meg card, but lets be realistic here, the TI is 30 years old! Next to my laptop's 1TB HD and 8Gig of RAM the TI is lame. To my understanding nobody is asking, "Why bother with the TI?" So why question or put down people choices in how they personally want to develop or enjoy their vintage system?

 

I've said enough and do not want to provoke a flame war.... I'm done.

 

Not flaming you just stating a fact. Did not mean to rub you wrong way I was just being practical, maybe not the best choice of words to say it, I am sorry it came out that way.

 

Yea I got the Superspace 2 as soon as it came out back then from DATA Biotics and also picked up the non working Forth that came with it. (Never could get Forth to work with it.)

 

But when ASGARD gave me a AMS card to write software for it I just fell in love with it.

It is freaking fast and HUGE! When using the SUPERCART 2 I was always trying to figure out how to fit stuff in it, with the SAMS I have so much space I can not dream up enough to fill it.

Opposite results as how many times using a TI have you said to yourself "Wow ran out of memory!"

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I don't think Rich was out to cross swords. Written words can be taken the wrong way. It's a lot different to a conversation.

 

Anyway, both Classic99 and MESS support SAMS emulation, so even if your TI doesn't have a SAMS card, you can still enjoy software written to take advantage of it. RXB runs in Classic99 and MESS, too. So, have at it, and hack on brothers! :thumbsup:

 

Exactly thanks. I was just suggesting as a hardware project the best long term solution to all problems. A supercart is not the long term answer as far as I can see. 64K is 15 times smaller then 1Meg

 

Yes if you enjoy it use the Supercart, but for more software in the TI we really need more memory to advance the programs we can produce.

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What I would like to see is some good documentation on the support routines that come with the SAMS card. There are some very useful routines (apparantly) that take all the headaches out of the bank-switching, allowing you to (kind of) program transparently, as if the SAMS wasn't there (I'm talking about some routines accessed with BLWP). However when I read the docs (I have a 1MB SAMS from Mike Dudec) they didn't really enlighten me much.

 

Has anyone got those docs handy? If so, could someone post them in a new thread. I only have them on TI floppies. It could make a useful starting point for discussion. I personally am very interested in the SAMS card and would like to put it to more use. TF supports it via the >MAP word which is very flexible.

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