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jacquesg

A MESS problem?

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I have now successfully set up MESS using a Horizon ram disk large enough to contain 7 folders running from DSK5 to DSK9 plus DSKA and DSKB. My real TI-99/4A consists of 3 HRD, supporting DSK3 to DSK9 plus DSKA and DSKB, and 2 floppy drives configured as DSK1 and DSK2. I was able to transfer all of the files on my real TI to the MESS emulation and all (except, of course, for any files accessing a serial connection) run properly using Funnelweb installed on DSK5.

 

My problem is if I try to copy a file from say DSK3 (a floppy emulation) to DSK2, the target disk becomes corrupted. The same happens if I try to run say the HRD CFG program on DSK8 and try to save the configuration file on say DSK1 or 2. Because of this I hesitate to try and set the HSGPL emulation or even simple assembly projects.

 

Has anyone else run into this problem?

 

Jacques

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Hi Jacques,

 

do you experience these problems without Horizon RD as well? What controller are you using - I suppose HFDC? What tool do you use to copy a file from DSK3 to DSK2? Maybe you can send me a sample disk image with instructions how to reproduce the problem.

 

Michael

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I am using BwG which I also use on my real TI. I am using Funnelweb DiskReview to run and to make all file transfers. The files that set all my directories on MESS were all originally PC99 disk images. I put DSK5 to 9 + A + B on the same Horizon ram disks on MESS and put my TI DSK3 and 4 on their respective floppies on MESS. Thinking that since all my disks originally from PC99 I used TI99DIR to convert all of the disks in the MESS\disks folder to v9t9 format. This did not help. Obviously I have not experimented very much because of having to reinstall the HRD emulation. Sometimes having the nvrom file helps. BTW at what point during the operation of MESS is nvrom updated. I have avoided writing into HRD files not wanting to corrupt this file and then having to set up a new configuration. BTW I only use QMC2 to set up configurations. I am not at all comfortable with using command line instructions.

 

What disk images should I send? DSK2,DSK3 and perhaps DSK5. Where do I send?

 

Jacques

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Hello Jacques, the default DIP setting for BwG is "DSK1 only". Have a look at the setting (ScrollLock, Tab, DIP switch settings). I just decided to change the default to DSK1-DSK4 since the "DSK1 only" default causes more trouble than necessary, so this will be available in subversion in a few minutes, and in the next MESS update.

 

MESS works perfectly with PC99 images. There could be issues for single-sided formats because PC99 seems to dump both sides, while only one side is expected in MESS, but if you use 360K disks (DSDD) there should be no problem.

 

NVRAM files are written when you stop the emulation.

 

QMC2 should work fine. Linux users generally prefer command lines because of the powerful shell environment.

 

You can send files to Michael.Zapf@mizapf.de.

 

Michael

Edited by mizapf

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Michael,

 

Dip switch is set for DSK1-DSK4. I always use DSDD. The corrupted disk contains a file with a size of 58854 and shows a date of 2014-15-05 with a time of 28:47:10. Back to the future. :)

 

I will also send this disk. It will be later this evening, My wife has just decided that we are going out for supper.

 

Jacques

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MESS works perfectly with PC99 images. There could be issues for single-sided formats because PC99 seems to dump both sides, while only one side is expected in MESS, but if you use 360K disks (DSDD) there should be no problem.

 

Michael

 

MIchael,

DSSD should work fine also as it uses both sides.

 

Hopefully some day your workload will be such that you can return to fixing the PC99 disk code to accept SSSD or SSDD.

 

Ernie

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OK, after some first tests my intermediate results:

 

Do NOT use the BwG controller but only the HFDC until this has been resolved. I already noticed some days ago that the original TI controller does not work properly anymore, so it is quite likely that the BwG has similar problems, since both controllers make use of the same controller chip family (WD17xx), while the HDC9234 chip only appears on the HFDC, so no one except me has been working on it.

 

The floppy system has been worked on by the other devs already some months ago, and I did not have the time to catch up. So we're running on some legacy code here.

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I have successfully installed all my TI folders on a MESS TI-99/4A configuration and switched from using BwG to HFDC. I also learned that the Super Space 2 cartridge could act as a Super Cart. If I run FW from the SS 2 cartridge I can successfully run the hand full of Super Cart programs on my FW menus.

 

My next step in developing my MESS configuration was to install the HSGPL emulation. This worked fine and the HSGPL emulation now contains all of the same cartridges that are on my real HSGPL card. I understand that the MESS emulation does not yet support the HSGPL CALL SCON command so I installed the Super Space 2 cartridge on my MESS HSGPL card. but SS 2 will no longer act as a Super Cart. I do not know why?

 

This raises 2 questions:

1 - Is there any other way of emulating a Super Cart when using the HSGPL emulation?

2 - What other HSGPL CALL commands are not yet supported in the MESS HSGPL emulation?

 

Jacques

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Hi Jacques,

 

you're right ... the supercard mode was never implemented by Raphael Nabet who originally wrote the HSGPL, and I just forgot to add it. The manual is not very verbose in that respect, so I need some more time for that. Apart from the supercart emulation, the rest should be available.

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The HSGPL manual explains CALL SCON this way:

 

"Turns on the SuperCart emulation. Unlike the normal SuperCart, the 6000 ROM area is twice available, i.e. on all even and odd GROM banks there is the same ROM area, respectively. When the 6000 area is needed, modules on other banks cannot be used as long as the SuperCart setting is active."

 

And CALL SCOFF:

 

"Turns off the SuperCart emulation. This is the default state after reset or power-up."

 

Finally, CRU >1B16 is used to turn on/off the SuperCart banking. This comprises what I know about the HSGPL SuperCart handling.

 

So my question is:

 

Is SuperCart banking the same as SuperSpace II banking? SuperSpace II contains an Editor/Assembler GROM and 32 K RAM as 4 banks of 8 K, mapped into 6000, and selected by CRU setting at 0800.

 

Michael

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So my question is:

 

Is SuperCart banking the same as SuperSpace II banking? SuperSpace II contains an Editor/Assembler GROM and 32 K RAM as 4 banks of 8 K, mapped into 6000, and selected by CRU setting at 0800.

 

Michael

 

Hi Michael,

No. The SuperCart and its clones use a single non-banked 8K SRAM. It sounds like the HSGPL is attempting to emulate something like Extended BASIC's ROM structure.

 

Ernie

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I understand that the MESS emulation does not yet support the HSGPL CALL SCON command so I installed the Super Space 2 cartridge on my MESS HSGPL card. but SS 2 will no longer act as a Super Cart. I do not know why?

 

I figured out a way around this problem. It is not the most elegant solution but it works. You have to insert a cartridge in order to disable the HSGPL card. I inserted the Super Space 2 cartridge, ran FW from the SS 2 cart and selected one of the Super Cart programs that I have on my menus. Once finished with running the SC program I remove the SS 2 cart and the HSGPL card becomes active again.

 

Jacques.

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OK, I think I have fixed the problem by updating the code of hsgpl.c. I do not have a simple way to check whether this works as expected, however.

 

You can pull the update from the subversion repository and rebuild MESS on your own, or you can wait until the next update is published.

 

Michael

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