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tschak909

BlackBox emulation in Atari800

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Hi guys, I was futzing around with BlackBox emulation in Atari800, and I managed to make it work (once I remembered all the little geometry rules on partitioning), and it is fast..But, I seem to remember being able to BOOT from a black box, but I can't from Atari800 (MacX anyway), it just throws me right into the self test...am I missing something?

 

-Thom

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Hi guys, I was futzing around with BlackBox emulation in Atari800, and I managed to make it work (once I remembered all the little geometry rules on partitioning), and it is fast..But, I seem to remember being able to BOOT from a black box, but I can't from Atari800 (MacX anyway), it just throws me right into the self test...am I missing something?

 

-Thom

Ah, nevermind, gotta turn off all the SIO patching. :)

 

-Thom

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In Black Box emulation, what works? Do the pop-up menus work, assuming you have the rom image? Or does it just do a hard drive R/W (H emulation, IIRC)?

 

I don't use emulators much, but I had never heard of device-specific emulation of BB or MIO under a Atari800 emulator.

 

-Larry

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Basically, the hard disk emulation works. The ROM works, so I can set up and partition disks. This is the procedure I literally did to make it work:

 

* Grab 2.16 ROM from here: http://www.mathyvannisselroy.nl/bbrom216.rom

* place in your OS roms folder.

* Make a raw disk image, using a utility like 'dd' in unix.

 

dd if=/dev/zero of=blackbox_hdd.img bs=256 count=524288 (make a 120MB disk)
* edit atari 800 configuration to point to both the ROM and the Hard Disk image

* TURN OFF ALL SIO PATCHING! (or booting from BlackBox will NOT work!)

* Remove all disks, turn off all drives. (in Atari800MacX, you can do whatever equivalent in other versions)

* Insert a SpartaDos X ROM

* Turn on Atari, let it come up.

* Press CTRL-\ or (or Command-\ for Mac), to bring up the Blackbox menu

* In Port Settings, set partition start sector to 1

* In Device Configuration,

** Go into Partition list, and kill the partition list, to wipe it. Save.

** create a hard disk partition by pressing enter, until it gives you the hard disk partition option. Set the starting sector to 17 (the partition and configuration table takes 14 sectors, but it helps to start on an odd boundry.), and set sector length to 65534, Density to D, and Protection to N. Hit W while on the name, to write the partition.

** Change the PBI floppy drives to SIO drives, or add additional partitions.

** If you add additional partitions, YOU MUST REMEMBER TO SET THE START SECTOR VALUES! STARTING SECTOR MUST BE AN ODD SECTOR, AND YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE IT ISN'T A SECTOR THAT IS ALREADY USED. THE BLACK BOX WILL DO WHATEVER YOU TELL IT TO DO, AND CLOBBER YOUR DISK SPACE, IF YOU AREN'T CAREFUL!

** Save Changes.

 

                                        
        Drive Configuration Page        
                                        
                                        
  D:   Partition Ctl Start         Pro  
  #   Name:    ID #  Sector  Length  Dns
  --------------------------------------
  1 GAMES      1A A 17       65534  N D 
  2 UTILS      1B A 65553    65534  N D 
  3 Floppy Drv  # 3 US:Y     ------ - - 
  4 Floppy Drv  # 4 US:Y     ------ - - 
  5 Floppy Drv  # 5 US:Y     ------ - - 
  6 Floppy Drv  # 6 US:Y     ------ - - 
  7 Floppy Drv  # 7 US:Y     ------ - - 
  8 Floppy Drv  # 8 US:Y     ------ - - 
  9 Floppy Drv  # 9 US:Y     ------ - - 
                                        
                                        
                                        
        -Move Cursor   RETURN-Change    
    E-Exchange Drive   S-Save Config    
    W-Write Partition  P-Part'n list    
    C-Ctl List  F-FB Parms  ESC-Exit    
                                        
* Exit the Black Box menu. You should be returned to the SDX prompt.

 

Once here, you can use FORMAT, to format the disk appropriately.

 

Feel free to adjust for MYDOS, if you wish.

 

p.s. Disk Performance is _FANTASTIC_ ... easily the FASTEST option in emulation, just knocks the ever loving PISS out of any high-speed SIO:

 

 D2:RWTEST                            
                                      
 Read-write test v.3.8                
 (c) 1994-2011 by KMK/DLT             
                                      
 Testing disk D2:                     
                                      
 DOS writing: 31415.3369 B/sek        
 DOS reading: 37046.3878 B/sek        
 DOS average: 34230.8623 B/sek        
                                      
 Overall run-time: 0:0:4.40 (264)     
 Time spent in IO: 0:0:3.85 (231)     
                                      
 D2:  
:) :) :) :) :D :D :D :D

 

And game dos compatibility is nice, and all of the ... patched, boot loading stuff works just fine. All in all, a great solution.

 

-Thom

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* edit atari 800 configuration to point to both the ROM and the Hard Disk image

 

 

What's the configuration settings for atari800 to point to a hard disk image?

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...

 

*deep-breath*

 

If you downloaded the BIOS, I pointed to, above, you need to put this into the Atari800 configuration, for the blackbox BIOS file.

 

Once you do this, you also need to create a hard disk image. You'll want to use a tool like 'dd' to do this. Plenty of resources on how to do this via google, it's not atari specific, you're just creating a large file to hold the sectors of the hard disk. This will also have to be put into the Atari800 configuration.

 

-Thom

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I created the disk image and added the BIOS to the configuration file. It's finding the rom because I can start Atari800 with the -bb flag and bring up the BB configuration.

 

But, there isn't any setting in my .atari800.cfg to tell it about the hard disk. A quick grep through the source didn't turn up anything either, I'll dig deeper.

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Success! In the config file, the correct setting is:

BB_SCSI_DISK=/path/to/image

 

Once that's in there, you can start atari800 with the -bb switch to turn on Blackbox emulation, and can then follow tschak909's directions above. Unfortunately, on the Raspberry Pi, I'm seeing have the speeds he's getting. :-(

 

(On a side note, is there any documentation project for Atari800? I had to dig through the pbi_bb.c file to get the above setting.)

Edited by gozar

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Ok, my speed issue was because I accidentally set it to single density. Switching to double density doubled my speed. Is there a way to use 512 byte sectors?

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Last post for the night...

 

Using the myide.sys driver for SDX, you can start atari800 with the -ide disk.img and use it with 512 byte sectors. It's the fastest so far, 56KB/sec. I rolled my own SDX cart rom with the myide.sys driver and used fdisk to partition the disk, setting the boot drive to D3:.

 

My Pi800 project moves forward...

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It seems to be full speed. Today I tried to load an image in APE for it and wondered why it didn't mount... (I'm using the same 1701 monitor I use with my real A8s.)

 

I'll try it with the speed indicator turned on and let you know.

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You should be able to tell if it's running at full speed if the sound is good, or if not, it will probably be choppy. At least that's been my experience (albeit not with the Pi).

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I compiled Atari800 3.1.0 on my Pi since it seems like the 3.0.0 version won't show the speed (I'm assuming because of OpenGL or something because my new compiled version doesn't have OpenGL working...).

 

Any, stock speed of 700MHz atari800 runs at 100%. I loaded up Drop Zone and the Last Word and it stayed at 100%. Hitting F12 the speed in Drop Zone went to 130%. Over clocked to 1000MHz and Drop Zone went to 230%. The only time I noticed a drop in speed was in IceT. It still felt responsive, but at the stock speed atari800's speed dropped to 60%. Weird since I didn't see that drop in The Last Word.

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I compiled Atari800 3.1.0 on my Pi since it seems like the 3.0.0 version won't show the speed (I'm assuming because of OpenGL or something because my new compiled version doesn't have OpenGL working...).

 

Any, stock speed of 700MHz atari800 runs at 100%. I loaded up Drop Zone and the Last Word and it stayed at 100%. Hitting F12 the speed in Drop Zone went to 130%. Over clocked to 1000MHz and Drop Zone went to 230%. The only time I noticed a drop in speed was in IceT. It still felt responsive, but at the stock speed atari800's speed dropped to 60%. Weird since I didn't see that drop in The Last Word.

You might want to change a setting in Ice-T, for how often it polls the serial line.

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Bringing this thread back to life. I just tried tschak909's procedure to set up the Black box in Atari800MacX. I made the raw disk image and went into Blackbox config. I set partition start sector to 1, then go into the partition list and I get "unable to read partition information. press any key"

 

I am not able to do anything, nothing will read or write to the raw disk image. Under drive configuration, HD1 has question marks for ID.

 

I followed the instructions precisely.

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If you are using 512 byte sectors, the starting sector for a partition list needs to be even, you cannot start at 1.

 

The raw partition, what sector does it start with? If your partition list is at 1 (256 bytes sectors) or 2 (512 bytes sectors) your raw partition should start at 17+ in either case.

 

to get rid of the ?? for the partition, you have to 'w'rite the partition, but make sure the above is correct first.

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