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jacquesg

Setting MESS using QMC2

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Extract from RXB thread:

Hello Rich,

QMC2 is not within my responsibility, and I cannot fully elaborate on its usage. What I can say, though:

The system you want to start (TI-99/4A) is on the very left. Your video looks as if you clipped the left edge.

Only consider the systems without a "D" in the blue disk. D means device, but don't ask me why QMC2 offers to start sub-devices.

For you, "TI-99/4A Home Computer" should be the correct choice.

Right-click and choose "To favorites". There is a tab "Favorites" so you don't have to look for it next time.

You can directly start the emulation by right-click on the favorite and "Play".

However, you usually want to start up with cartridges or disks inserted. So you should define one or more suitable configurations. Look at the right half of the window. There is a row of tabs. One of them reads "devices".

Enter a name for your configuration, like "Config 1". Once you type into the field, the "save" button on the very right becomes active.

Choose the sub-tab "Device mappings". You can use the buttons to open a file chooser. For example, to launch RXB you should insert the path to the RXB RPK file in the "cartridge" line.

Go to the next sub-tab "slot options". In slot 8 you should now insert a disk controller. I recommend the HFDC controller. You can select further peripheral cards in the other slots.

Save the configuration. The name of the new configuration should show up in the "Stored device configurations" field. You can now launch the emulation by double click on the configuration name.

Always keep in mind that if you want to swap disks or change cartridges you should use the OSD menu that you activate by first changing to partial keyboard mode, then press TAB. QMC2 is only used on startup; it cannot replace the internal menu system.

-----------------------------------------------------

With much help from another member of this forum about a year ago I set 4 configurations of MESS. Two configurations under each of TI-99/4A Home Computer and two configurations under TI-99/4A EVPC. The difference between each of the two configurations is that one uses HSGPL and the other does not. All use a HRD configuration.

I would like to restrict comments under this thread to those that use QMC2. I have set up Mess on an Acer 32 bit NetBook running Windows 7 Starter version. I am not an expert on using QMC2 but I would like to share some comments on the comments quoted above.

1 - In the MESS folder there is a sub-folder called nvram which is updated whenever you exit MESS. It is prudent to make a copy of the contents of nvram.

2 - I have never used the 'file chooser' tab because I could not understand how it worked. Instead each line under "device mapping' has two buttons on the far right. One button clears the field while the other allows you to go directly to the folders containing cartridges or disks files.

3 - It may be a personal preference but I usually first select the slot options, then I access the various options or switches when the TAB key is pressed. Finally, I fill in the various cartridge and disk selections.

4 - MESS does not send data directly to a printer when you select a slot option of tirs232. you must send this data to a notebook file and print it out after you exit MESS.

5 - If you decide to set up a ram disk you need only one because this ram disk file can contain a large number of directories.

6 - Finally the OSD menu results only in a temporary changes while you are running MESS. Permanent changes are made by using QMC2. Remember that you can make different configurations under each computer (standard TI-99/4A or 80 column EVPC configuration).

Please offer your own suggestions to implement problems raised and raise your own problems. Try and limit your comments to using QMC2.

Jacques

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I can get it to load but am forced to use TAB to reload all settings. The configuration seems to ignore everything I do.

Then get stuck as how do you load a Floppy?

 

From MESS the only menu for Floppy or HFDC or CART does not give me anything but RETURN TO PREVIOUS MENU?

 

Then only thing has even remotely worked so far is this script in the RUN box:

 

C:\Users\Rich\Documents\mess\mess.exe ti99_4ev -skip_gameinfo -peb:slot8 hfdc -window -nomaximize -natural -cart carts/rxb_2012.rpk -flop1 disks/XHI.dsk

 

But when I change -flop 1 to disks/YAPP.dsk it does not see that disk at all. Jeez this is going to take awhile to learn to fix. Any attempt to change a floppy does not work.

 

And how do you get the HFDC or SCSI or IDE to work?

 

After I learn this stuff I am going to put out a video as good gawd does this beg for some help out there.

Edited by RXB

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I can get it to load but am forced to use TAB to reload all settings. The configuration seems to ignore everything I do.
Then get stuck as how do you load a Floppy?

I might be wrong, but maybe you don't have a mess.ini?
 

From MESS the only menu for Floppy or HFDC or CART does not give me anything but RETURN TO PREVIOUS MENU?

Are you sure you're going to the right place (i.e. the 'File Manager' in the MESS UI)? It could be that missing .ini file, too, that it says RETURN TO PREVIOUS MENU.
 

Then only thing has even remotely worked so far is this script in the RUN box:
 
C:\Users\Rich\Documents\mess\mess.exe ti99_4ev -skip_gameinfo -peb:slot8 hfdc -window -nomaximize -natural -cart carts/rxb_2012.rpk -flop1 disks/XHI.dsk
 
But when I change -flop 1 to disks/YAPP.dsk it does not see that disk at all.

I use the complete path for the disks and carts in my MESS scripts. 

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So the link that says download MESS from here on AtariAge:

 

This topic does not exist yet

 

You've followed a link to a topic that doesn't exist yet. If permissions allow, you may create it by clicking on “Create this page”.

 

 

(Well that was totally useless as a web link!)

I did get a download a file called Category but where the hell do you download MESS from? And I do not see a .ini file so is Category the one I need?

If not for the copy I received from you I would not even have MESS. Abysmal support for starting to use MESS. We really need a starters package for the TI99/4A

 

So much to learn from scratch.

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Cool found the Downloads on the MAME page as a MESS download page does not exist.

 

Again thanks for the help.

Edited by RXB

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So the link that says download MESS from here on AtariAge:

 

This topic does not exist yet

 

You've followed a link to a topic that doesn't exist yet. If permissions allow, you may create it by clicking on “Create this page”.

 

Can you point me to the location of that link? Where is it on AtariAge?

 

 

Abysmal support for starting to use MESS. We really need a starters package for the TI99/4A
 
 
Rich, you are welcome to collect some text that you deem be suitable for starters. Maybe I'm too deep in it to see where the tripwires are.
 
I actually tried several times to set up a starter's manual, but it always ends up in a much too long text, repelling all possibly interested people. It's as if you wanted to write a manual to a toolbox and explain all applications for a hammer, the pincers, the screwdrivers etc.
 
Also, QMC2 is not really a user interface that makes it much easier; it simply arranges all the complexity in a proper window. For that reason I don't use it, I have my own start scripts in Linux, but I admit that people who want to stay away from command line operations should get some more help here.
 
We have some plans for enhancing the OSD menu (ScrLock/Tab) to become a web service. For us this means we can build a TI-specific UI for MESS which could make handling much easier.

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Can you point me to the location of that link? Where is it on AtariAge?

 

 

 
 
Rich, you are welcome to collect some text that you deem be suitable for starters. Maybe I'm too deep in it to see where the tripwires are.
 
I actually tried several times to set up a starter's manual, but it always ends up in a much too long text, repelling all possibly interested people. It's as if you wanted to write a manual to a toolbox and explain all applications for a hammer, the pincers, the screwdrivers etc.
 
Also, QMC2 is not really a user interface that makes it much easier; it simply arranges all the complexity in a proper window. For that reason I don't use it, I have my own start scripts in Linux, but I admit that people who want to stay away from command line operations should get some more help here.
 
We have some plans for enhancing the OSD menu (ScrLock/Tab) to become a web service. For us this means we can build a TI-specific UI for MESS which could make handling much easier.

 

Well go to AtariAge and click the Resources and then  look at Emulators and click MESS Section of Nerderpedia.

 

Currently will not load so can not get this to repeat. Sorry with the page down can not duplicate what happened last night.

 

I think that http://www.mamedev.org/release.html

Should be on the AtariAge Resources as then you can do a down load rather then try to figure out where it is on the MESS Wiki page.

 

I did find the download on the MAME page and that was not very intuitive to uses something I did not want to find what I did want.

It would make more sense to be like Classic99 or the others that have a download on the first page you go to without finding a additional page to look for a download.

 

Not my call, just pointing out what happened to me. I could very well be worse case possible.

Edited by RXB

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Well long term I hope to give you some help.

And plan to post some HOW2 Videos as tutorials and grow the USER Base.

I think this might have helped Classic99 when I did that.

I will still use Classic99 as pasting text from Notepad is so much faster to create programs.

 

But as Classic99 does not have the Harddrive or Disk like Real Iron this presents programming options I no longer have on the project list.

Thus the reason for learning MESS is needed.

Edited by RXB

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Well go to AtariAge and click the Resources and then  look at Emulators and click MESS Section of Nerderpedia.

 

Currently will not load so can not get this to repeat. Sorry with the page down can not duplicate what happened last night.

 

The name is ninerpedia. :-)

 

I noticed the information there is outdated, as usual ... I moved to link from the MESS to the MAME download page.

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Well long term I hope to give you some help.

And plan to post some HOW2 Videos as tutorials and grow the USER Base.

I think this might have helped Classic99 when I did that.

I will still use Classic99 as pasting text from Notepad is so much faster to create programs.

 

But as Classic99 does not have the Harddrive or Disk like Real Iron this presents programming options I no longer have on the project list.

Thus the reason for learning MESS is needed.

 

Have you tried the Java 4A emulator? (Note: Java, not Java Script)

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Have you tried the Java 4A emulator? (Note: Java, not Java Script)

 

Yea I have but the files I send it do not work. Some do and some do not.

 

Besides it does not support GRAM or Hard Drive or RAMDISK or EVPC yet. And MESS does.

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Ok have checked and I have the MESSUI.ini and MESS.ini files set up but when I hit SCROLL LOCK and attempt to select a CART or DISK  nothing shows up or can I select anything?

 

I check the cart folder and it has everything there including RXB 2012 that previously loaded when using QMC2 and the disk folder has disk that previously worked.

 

But now neither work?

 

I did the set up per MESSUI but got a little lost when it did not describe what to do with Directory set up. Jeez can not load a cart or disk!!!!

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My MESS emulator was set up using version 148 and whatever was the current version of QMC2 at the time. I would now like to update to current versions of MESS and QMC2. 

 

Do I start from scratch by setting up new folders for v 153 of MESS and the corresponding version of QMC2. Then I would proceed to do what I did to setup v 148 or is there some way to apply the new updates to my original setup? I think that my preference would be to start from scratch with new folders because I then have a fall back position and it is an opportunity to refresh my knowledge of the set up procedures. .

 

Jacques

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Ok got QM2C working great:

 

But how the hell do you make a hard drive on MESS?

 

It errors out when I attemp to make a SCSI or HFDC with TI Image tool!

 

Using TI Image Tool results in a Java error but it does create the file?

 

Anyway here is the video and I accidently stopped it attempting to get MESS to respond to a FCTN key.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K1F3B8ZIZ0A&feature=youtu.be

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TIImageTool is what I've always used for creating a hard disk image.  I'd recommend not changing any of the parameters when creating the disk - see the attached images. 

 

Edit: in case you're still having problems, but just want to jump right in, I attached an empty hd image.

 

Edited by RobertLM78

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Rich - as for your keyboard problem, try using ALT+9 (which is the same as FCTN+9, "Back", on the TI) instead of your keyboard's normal function keys.  The rpk file in your disks probably just got misplaced into the same directory as your disks - just move it to your cart folder and you'll be fine there.  I'm not sure what to make of the BATCH conversion you made, since I haven't used that utility, but it's strange that it created a whole new directory for it on the image.

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Hello Rich,

 

@2:45: chdman is a command line tool. If you double-click it, it opens a new window, prints out some usage help, and terminates, which also makes the window disappear. You must use chdman in a command line.

 

But, as Robert already said, there's the feature in TIImageTool to make life a lot easier here. Don't bother with chdman. The same is true for imgtool (see why I called my tool "TIImageTool").

 

@3:30: How did you create the harddrive image?

 

The reported "IOException: Negative seek offset" is a consequence of an unwanted result while calculating the track to read. I am not entirely sure where and why it occurs. Maybe you can upload that HARDDRIVE1.hd so I can try it myself. I'm quite sure that there is either no file system on it, or the file system is invalid. Sorry if my tool does not catch all possible cases of broken images.

 

@4:00: I don't quite see the point here. However, I don't know what is actually in the BATCH.dsk file and how you created it. To TIImageTool it looks as if there is a directory, which itself contains the text file. The directory listing you are showing in the background, when you used your RXB/REA, agrees with that. So both are telling there is a directory on the disk. Maybe they are right?

 

@4:34: Rich, please be aware that TIImageTool was primarily written by me to help me with my own working with images. Everything it contains is something I felt necessary to make image usage easier. Of course, I am happy to see if other people do enjoy its features as well; for that reason I am offering it for free download. I'm certainly willing to help where needed, but I can only invest a limited amount of my free time, since there are many other things waiting for completion. If you complain that the manual is written by someone who already knows the tool, you are pretty close. The manual was never intended as a tutorial, only as a reference. It was neither intended to guide you out of trouble. And it was never intended to be a "good manual". Just complete.

 

@7:00: The funnelweb80.dsk does not have anything to do with MESS. You may have picked it up somewhere, but it certainly is not part of the MESS distribution. That is, I don't know who it created, and how. It looks quite large to me, having 2812 free sectors and 2948 used ones, which makes 1.4 MiB. I am not sure this format is properly supported on the emulated HFDC or BwG (must be 2 sides, 80 tracks, with 36 sectors each).

 

@7:40: Concerning the F keys, it depends whether you are using the "emulated" or the "natural" keyboard. For the emulated keyboard, the case is clear: The TI console does not have F keys either. The TI console has a FCTN key (mapped to Alt on the PC keyboard), and you press it together with the number keys. For natural keyboard there are indeed mappings of FCTN-x to Fx. I just tried, and in Extended Basic I get the last line by pressing F8. (I don't like the natural mode because of its latency.)

Edited by mizapf

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Hello Rich,

 


@7:00: The funnelweb80.dsk does not have anything to do with MESS. You may have picked it up somewhere, but it certainly is not part of the MESS distribution. That is, I don't know who it created, and how. It looks quite large to me, having 2812 free sectors and 2948 used ones, which makes 1.4 MiB. I am not sure this format is properly supported on the emulated HFDC or BwG (must be 2 sides, 80 tracks, with 36 sectors each).

 

The only device which properly supports 1.4MiB disks formatted to full capacity (5760 sectors) is the Myarc HFDC used together with the Geneve.  There is no other configuration that can properly manipulate the bitmap or the clusters, which means the high density format is essentially useless for the TI.

 

Additionally, cluster allocation at this capacity is flawed within all but the latest informal release of the Geneve OS.  Version 7.0 will include the corrected routines.  Until then, there is risk of data corruption as the disk fills beyond sector 4095 (which can occur quickly due to bitmap pre-allocation and the sector-per-cluster ratio at this capacity).

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TIImageTool is what I've always used for creating a hard disk image.  I'd recommend not changing any of the parameters when creating the disk - see the attached images. 

 

Edit: in case you're still having problems, but just want to jump right in, I attached an empty hd image.

 

Yea for some reason even if I do exactly what you show TI Image tool makes the Harddrive or Floppy,  but then will not work when selected from Mess or a GUI interface.

 

What I get in MESS is "RETURN TO PREVIOUS MENU" so that makes it impossible to use as it does not see that file selected.

I have no idea why this is happening or how to fix it. Will try a reboot as last time that fixed the issue.

 

WOW without a reboot now it sees the Funnel Web 80 disk and I can catalog it. But I will not load anything at all.

Also even from MESS the SAM Memory is selected but does not respond at all like any expansion memory exists.

 

I have to admit these are some goofy problems I never expected at all.

Edited by RXB

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OMG this is such aggravation.

 

Anyway this shows the problems.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVaF13SMIH0&feature=youtu.be

 

 

I would be very willing to use ZOOM to get some help setting this up.

Much like Skype but a very small footprint and easy to host or join.

We use it in a debate site.

 

https://zoom.us/support/download

Edited by RXB

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Rich:

 

@1:37: You are obviously using the natural keyboard. This has the (minor) glitch that keystrokes in the partial mode also slip through to the emulation. This does not happen with the emulated keyboard. For that reason, when you press TAB in the partial mode in order to show the menu, this is translated to FCTN-7, and the emulation reacts. This is a known issue, sorry.

 

@4:07: I cannot reproduce this problem on my system. I always get a directory list for DSK2 as well as for HARD1. We should make sure you are using a current MESS release. Can you find out, possibly using the output in the log window of QMC2?

 

@4:24: Please only use one disk controller, either HFDC or TI FDC - not both! GROM port should be "single", and you should probably remove either the SAMSmem or the Horizon. I'm wondering why this config looks like this. It does not look that way in QMC2. What about simply starting with a minimum config like single gromport, evpc, and HFDC in slot8?

 

You may complain that I don't explain why it's not working, but how could I, considering the fact that I never ran into the trouble you're showing in the video clip? I can try to collect the experience from users and then see what needs to be explained...

 

@6:09: If the QUIT key does not work, first check it works on the master title screen (maybe you have to check the key mapping). I don't know whether the Box demo allows interrupts, so QUIT may not be working anyway. You can always exit by resetting the emulation: Go to partial mode (ScrLock), press F3.

 

@6:55: Why are you using GRAMKracker? Are you sure that it is properly configured? Check the configuration on the right.

Edited by mizapf

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Thanks I am using the latest release of MESS.

 

The configuration I had in real hardware was

GRAMKRACKER or PGRAM or GRAMULATOR (I am a GPL programmer so I absolutely have to have a GRAM DEVICE to load and test GRAM programs)

SCSI Controller with 3 Baracuda 5Gig drives and 4 smaller ones of various sizes. (Yea I know the Barracuda drives were 90% wasted space)

Corcomp or Myarc or TI Floppy controller

Horizon 4000 RAMDISK

RS232 with Serial Mouse

TIM card (EVPC would double for that one)

Super AMS card (1024k)

 

I figured that MESS was the best choice for getting my TI994A programming back on track if I could re-establish my old hardware configuration.

On the real TI I never had a issue using the SAMS and Horizon RAMDISK with the SCSI card and any Floppy controller in the same system?

What is the issue? Why can I not use them together like on a real TI99/4A?

 

I will try the Scroll Lock F3 trick maybe that will work thanks.

Also I will attempt to just get one thing working at a time.

 

By the way no change MESS locks up and finally the only way to start mess is with the mess short cut with no GUI program and selecting 

RXB 2012

32 Mem

HFDC 

Does not see any floppy or Hard drive and only option is "Return to Previous Menu"

But the good news it sees the 32K memory. So other then RXB 2012 and 32K memory nothing works.

Edited by RXB

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