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In development - SD card based Multicart

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I'll buy 2 or 3 if the "Bounty Bob Strikes Back" Rom is directly supported.

That's the only complaint I have on "The!Cart" cartridge. It supports all other Rom types.

 

Doug

The disk version runs so what is the big deal about The!Cart not supporting the ROM version ?

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Not a reset for the atari but for the cart! I dislike powercycles of my atari. So pressing reset makes the cart go to bank 0 so after pressing the atari reset button it restarts the cart to power up state (with the menu)

 

I love myide 2 and from the start I have been telling that one of the important things missing on this thing is a reset key.

 

Please think it over.

I use this types of carts for coding purposes and then a reset button is my friend. There are situations where a power cycle of the atari would kill the ramdisk data. ... that's another reason for me to have that button :)

Why don't you use a modded OS which allows a hard reset with shift-Reset ? I have this and it's brilliant :)

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Robin first of, big respect for you starting another multi-cart project. First of all for having the technical skills which are way beyond me. But also because there are already quite a few options in this field, in a (let's face it) small market.

 

Most users here seem to be extremely technically knowledgeable and interested whereas personally I am probably more one of the "lazy guys" who want only 1 thing:

 

All A8 games on 1 cartridge with a VERY easy way to start them.

 

See it as a Harmony cartridge for the A8 platform. Another BIG reason why I would like a solution like this is because I am trying to convince retro-gaming fans who have 2600's, NESses etc. to also get an A8. But what they want and need is a plug and play multi-cart that is EASY EASY EASY.

 

I first thought that MyIDE could deliver this. However, I found this cartridge too complicated to manage and use on the A8. I mean, I got it working for a lot of games, but it's.....complicated and I don't need any fancy features and people without A8 knowledge will be lost after 1 minute.

 

Then I read about The!Cart and much more importantly about the software for it. First of the Studio software is very comfortable and recognizes a lot of games right away and makes sure they work.

But for me, the very very most important thing is how The!Cart works once it's in the machine. It goes straight into a nice looking and easy to navigate selection screen, most importantly you can start typing any kind of game name and it will find it almost instantly, hit return and BAM there's the game.

 

Now The!Cart also has it's flaws:

- the case. Seriously this is an issue. First of all it doesn't look very nice but much more important: it just doesn't fit well. The board extends very far on the bottom and I have already had crashes because I touched the cartridge while it was running something. This would be OK if it's just for me, but if I'm thinking about the "friends who want to play games" market, this is not acceptable.

- needs to be flashed on the Atari. It's not really a big thing IMHO but whichever way you look at it, simply dragging files onto an SD card on your computer of choice will always be simpler and faster.

 

Now, I wouldn't mind to pre-flash carts for friends so they even don't have to worry about that and looking at it that way The!Cart is the ideal platform.

 

What I'm trying to say....don't get lost in too technical stuff, adding too many options that only a single person wants....there is a whole market out there of people only interested in the gaming part. Maybe it would be possible to have a "Locked" and "unlocked" version, one for the "players" one for the "hobbyists/experts" ?

If you can manage to get a selection menu like The!Cart (and not how it looks now, type A for game X, type B for game Y) you probably have the ultimate cartridge for the A8 in hands....

 

Anyway, put me on the interested list !!!! :)

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The disk version runs so what is the big deal about The!Cart not supporting the ROM version ?

 

IIRC it was candle who found it unneeded that Side would support ROM emulation, since all games were already converted into disk or xex versions. I did (and do) disagree with him about this point, because some titles require special upgrades on their atari, like more memory (Barnyard Blaster, Karateka, Commando etc. need more memory to run as an XEX file), while on MyIDE 2 all these games can be played since that device acts like a cart.

 

In this particular situation of Bounty Bob, I have not investigated the differences between the rom and the disk version, but perhaps the ROM version also runs on 16K computers? Or OS B? And wouldn't it be cool if this gadget simply supports the format?

 

Why don't you use a modded OS which allows a hard reset with shift-Reset ? I have this and it's brilliant :)

 

I have been using that too. Indeed brilliant. But I want to keep my Atari's 100% original. A solution in that case could be the SysCheck II which I bought, and is VERY cool too, so there are solutions… but that leaves the issue with the power cycle. The!Cart does have the reset button, and it's one of the most used features of The!Cart in my case. It's an amazing feature, so I hope it will come on this SD cartridge too.

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1) All A8 games on 1 cartridge with a VERY easy way to start them.

 

2) I first thought that MyIDE could deliver this. However, I found this cartridge too complicated to manage and use on the A8. I mean, I got it working for a lot of games, but it's.....complicated and I don't need any fancy features and people without A8 knowledge will be lost after 1 minute.

 

3) Now The!Cart also has it's flaws:

- the case. Seriously this is an issue. First of all it doesn't look very nice but much more important: it just doesn't fit well. The board extends very far on the bottom and I have already had crashes because I touched the cartridge while it was running something. This would be OK if it's just for me, but if I'm thinking about the "friends who want to play games" market, this is not acceptable.

- needs to be flashed on the Atari. It's not really a big thing IMHO but whichever way you look at it, simply dragging files onto an SD card on your computer of choice will always be simpler and faster.

 

4) What I'm trying to say....don't get lost in too technical stuff, adding too many options that only a single person wants....there is a whole market out there of people only interested in the gaming part. Maybe it would be possible to have a "Locked" and "unlocked" version, one for the "players" one for the "hobbyists/experts" ?

If you can manage to get a selection menu like The!Cart (and not how it looks now, type A for game X, type B for game Y) you probably have the ultimate cartridge for the A8 in hands....

 

1) But you already have that, it's The!Cart.

 

2) What problems do you have with MyIDE 2? It's simply dragging binaries to the FAT32 partition, and when the Atari is switched on you select the Fat32 loader and you are ready to go. It supports 99% of all XEX games, and with the amazing amount of available .R16 files it runs another .9% games extra. So with XEX and R16 you have covered almost any game for atari 8bit, from Fat32. Then there are a few disk-only games that do not run from Fat32, but might run from AtariMax image loader. You just give me the advice to use a custom OS. When you use MyBIOS in ROM you cover 99.999% compatibility with any game; and it's extremely easy to use (for the 99.9% of the games through FAT32, and the few games left need the MyBIOS and some knowledge yes).

 

3) I totally agree with these flaws; the case will be fixed soon, and the flash part… well yes, but that still doesn't change anything in your wish at point 1)

 

4) Although I feel with what you write, I disagree with this point. This cart is in development state, and we already have SO MANY alternatives, this is THE moment to come with wishes and ideas. When people did not give their wishes or ideas the compatibility of this cart would not have been this big as it is now. And then people will start complain about the fact that it lacks compatibility. Next to that, once the device is on the market, it is much harder to make huge changes, since you want to keep compatibility with the already existing users. For me (personally) The!Cart is amazing, and when a new device (this one) is here to purchase, it needs to be as good as The!cart, but I hope it will be better, so I have a reason to buy it. I don't see the hurry. We already have The!Cart with really ultimate compatibility. So when developer(s) of this new project take some more time to make this new gadget really good, I encourage that.

 

I really understand your point, and I agree some ideas might be 'too much' … we still do not have the ultimate solution; this cart will not be the ultimate solution btw, since it will not run (all) ATR files, just like The!Cart does not run ALL ATR files. So as long as it is in development stage, I hope it will improve as much as possible.

 

On one thing we 100% agree. I hope Robin does not get LOST in all the requests and ideas.

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ProWizard (your avatar name already suggest so) you are what I call a "power user". You know a lot of technical stuff about the A8 platform. I know some stuff from BITD. I had the system for years and I understand quite a bit, but on some parts my knowledge fails, like handling the MyIDE cart. I more or less stopped using the platform when I got an ST in the mid 80s (had to sell my XL set to co-finance the ST) so whatever developments there were between, let's say 1986 and 2010 I missed....even though I have had A8 systems around almost all of that time I only used it like I had it in the 80s....with floppies. Only when I found out about SIO2PC I made my own interface (built into a 130XE) and learned a bit about the more modern things.

 

Anyway, the entire text you wrote in reply 2) will go over the heads of console gamers who'd might want to try the A8 platform. Also, the way you have to select programs on the MyIDE is way too uncomfortable.

 

Yes in an ideal world we could buy a pre-loaded cartridge with ALL A8 games ever released on it and have a menu to select them like The!Cart.

I understand that because there were disc and tape versions AND smart bank-switching schemes on more recent carts that this is almost impossible to realize.

 

Again, I am trying to explain that there is a "market" out there who people who have released multi-carts have "forgotten" about because they got lost in their (own) technical skills and desires and desires from likely technical oriented power users and their requests, the people who tend to be speaking out loud on this forum, which is of course great because without them none of this stuff would exist, but there is also this huge pool of "casual" users who are completely frightened by any technical stuff....you should have a look at Atari Facebook pages and people are still connecting their 2600's using RF because they lack the skill to mod them or (like you ProWizard) want to keep their machines 100% original, anyway, these people I am talking about...

 

See it as how Steve Jobs looked at the computer....someone needs to realize that all that technical stuff is fantastic, but somehow you need to open it to the casual user who is not interested in bits and bytes and formatting discs and bank-switching schemes etc. etc. but simply wants to USE the system.

I realize there are still the power users who want all the technical wizardry, and thus a "locked" and "unlocked" version is not that bad of an idea IMHO...

 

But it's all up to the developpers here, I just tried to point out something and I think a LOT of people feel the same way but don't dare to say it here.

 

IMHO the way The!Cart works is getting close to the ideal solution, but having this hardware combined with that kind of software manu on the A8 would be one step closer :)

Edited by Level42

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Anyway, the entire text you wrote in reply 2) will go over the heads of console gamers who'd might want to try the A8 platform. Also, the way you have to select programs on the MyIDE is way too uncomfortable.

 

 

A bit offtopic perhaps here, but is there anything I can do to let you have more fun with your MyIDE 2 cart. I'm pretty sure (serious!) that you can use this cart 100% as easy as of what you expect from the new coming SD cart. Seriously, this is not a joke, and believe me, which what I have in mind, it is as easy as what you want it to be.

 

I am going to send you a PM, in Dutch, that is easier, but if people are interested, PM me...

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Why don't you use a modded OS which allows a hard reset with shift-Reset ? I have this and it's brilliant :)

This still won't accomplish a cold reset of the cartridge, which is why the button is required. The cart needs to be placed in a power-on state.

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Level42,

 

Don't worry - while it's great to have a flurry of ideas for what this hardware could be used for, I'm not planning to get distracted from the aim of making an easy to use SD card based multicart (and fairly soon - this is taking up a lot of my spare time!). However, I doubt the menu will be as good as The!Cart's one, my 6502 skills just aren't up to it.

 

My aim with this was mainly to see if I could, and because nobody else had done it before. So I'm not really interested in making any money from the exercise, though I will make as many of the boards as I can be bothered to, with the aim of getting back at least a bit of the development cost.

 

PCB is now half finished, and looks like its going to fit inside a cartridge shell. I've managed to fit a full sized SD card slot which is something I wanted. MicroSD is great from a space point of view, but it requires an adapter to plug into PC/laptop, and would be fiddly to insert and remove. I've always regretted fitting one in my homemade SIO2SD.

 

Robin

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The disk version runs so what is the big deal about The!Cart not supporting the ROM version ?

Hi,

This is in response to Bounty Bob Strikes Back support for Rom.

 

The "big deal" to me are 2 things(bugs?).

 

All the ATR and file versions of BBSB I have do not let you activate the cheat that Bill Hogue(author) put in the original "Big Five Software" Cartridge.

http://www.digitpress.com/eastereggs/a48bountybob.htm

Specifically the 61800 cheat.

Miner 2049er also had a cheat that Bill Hogue programmed by typing in the phone number of his company.

This cheat for BBSB was a closely guarded secret. Bill even went so far as to make another cartridge for dealers to insert first, then remove, then put in BBSB cart in and the cheat was activated. He didn't want to supply the 61800 code number even to the dealers in fear it would leak out.

MrFish figured this all out in this post. http://atariage.com/forums/topic/198222-big-five-activator-cart/page-3?do=findComment&comment=2865197

 

All my versions but one have a second bug. When you press SYSTEM RESET, then start a game. You can not get past the second level without it locking up.

But even this one version I have will not activate the cheat(61800) in the original BBSB Cart.

 

These bugs are not "The!Cart" fault. I just can't find any versions that mimic the original BBSB Cart.

Maybe your disk version runs without any problems, if so please post it.

 

Thanks,

Doug

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Aha ! Thanks for that clear reply Doug, didn't have a clue about that...

 

Well it just so happens I had two versions of BBSB on my first test workbook on The!Cart and the first version indeed.....not working.....but the second......WORKS !!! :)

 

It's a copy from the Aackosoft release. Aackosoft was the official distributor in the Benelux area.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aackosoft

 

In Dutch: (game listing:)

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aackosoft

 

 

I'm pretty sure that Aackosoft released this not as a cartridge.

 

I found an entry on Mr.Atari's website that he has it on tape.

 

I'm not sure if they also released a floppy version.

Bounty Bob Strikes Back! (1985)(Big Five).atr

Edited by Level42

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Mmm, been reading up about BBSB a bit. What I understand so far is that it was released in the US as cartridge only and over here on tape (maybe floppy ?).....and that there are "protected" PAL/NTSC versions. The one I posted might be a PAL version (at least it runs on my PAL machine here). I don't have my NTSC 800XL here right now (in storage) so I can't check it at the moment :(

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Mmm, been reading up about BBSB a bit. What I understand so far is that it was released in the US as cartridge only and over here on tape (maybe floppy ?).....and that there are "protected" PAL/NTSC versions. The one I posted might be a PAL version (at least it runs on my PAL machine here). I don't have my NTSC 800XL here right now (in storage) so I can't check it at the moment :(

Hi,

 

Thanks for the download but it won't work on Atari's with memory over 64k like a 130xe.

 

Also if you press SYSTEM RESET then press START, you can't get past the second level because the Atari won't let you move the Lift up or down, so your stuck.

 

It does work with the special code and on a NTSC Atari.

 

I think I might have a good file after all. I need to test it better. I got it a few months ago here on AtariAge. At the time though, I didn't think the Special Code worked.

 

Doug

Edited by FULS

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Ah.....at this moment I'm testing on a stock 600XL with a 1064. Indeed it crashes the utility host at the 2nd level but indeed only after a reset, if you start the game right away it works.

 

I'm very interested in a 100% working file and can and will test if needed. BBSB is one of my top 3 games on the A8 :)

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Hi Andre,

 

I have two Bounty bob cassette tapes. One from Aackosoft (NL) and one from Americana (UK). I don't have the equipment/knowledge to make fileversions from them, but when you are in the neighbourhood I am happy to lend them to you.

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That is awesome Fred !!!

 

I have tape drives and A8 machines....what more would I need to convert these ? From what I've read they are encrypted and/or copy protected....and I'm not a hacker either :D

I do realize we are drifting off a lot now ...sorry about that :)

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LOL,

 

I have also a lot of tape drives and A8 machines :-) But I lack the knowledge how to do it. In the eighties I used transdisk to convert tapes to disk.... But I think a lot of other Atarians can tell us what to do ;-) BTW I saw on Atarimania that there is also an US Gold tape version and the Americana version is not up there. In the US Gold entry is mentioned that it was also included in the tape compilation "Platform Perfection" and I also have that one. But the US Gold version is on Atarimania. Maybe you can try that one out first.

Edited by Fred_M

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Well,

 

I do have two tape versions of Bounty Bob, one comes from US Gold, the other one from Americana. Copied both versions to diskette, using Howfen Tape to Disk transfer program, the US Gold version worked (loaded ok from disk) the Americana version did not. Attached you can find this US Gold version copied to disk, not sure it it is of any help. But there was a fixed BBSB fileversion a few weeks ago here on atari age...

 

P.S.: The US Gold version runs fine on my 576k Atari 800XL (PAL)... but if you press Reset, the game is gone and you are left with a blue screen and a locked up computer. But why do you want to press Reset ? I do not read anywhere that the special codes require one to press Reset...

BBSB_US_Gold.zip

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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Hi Level42 ,

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/236195-issues-with-bounty-bob-on-a-modified-130xe/?do=findComment&comment=3198155

This file seems to run flawlessly on Altirra, but special code 61800 doesn't seem to work with Atari800Win PLus.

Could you test this on "The!Cart" on real hardware to see if special code 61800 and reset work.

 

Thanks,

Doug

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I have now built the first copy of the finished version. Seems to work perfectly, and fits in a grey atari cartridge case (after a bit of snipping and filing). Pics attached (there is a reset button, but I took these photos prior to soldering it on).

 

I will open a pre-orders and technical thread in a few days.

 

Regards,

 

Robin

 

post-41252-0-48550800-1439709734_thumb.jpg

post-41252-0-53925000-1439709782_thumb.jpg

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