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flashjazzcat

New (alt) BIOS for Ultimate 1MB/Incognito

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Well, that was it. I was typing "Uflash" instead of "Uflash.xex". Who would've thought it would fire up some old version of Uflash when called without the xex extension? Definitely a learning experience. Anyway, everything detected and flashed perfectly when I used the proper version of the flasher. Many thanks to all who helped.

 

FJC, you really are an amazing programmer. This new BIOS is a thing of beauty.

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A generous appraisal: thanks. If you want to download the SDX imager from the SpartaDOS upgrade site, you can get rid of the old flasher from the SDX ROM. I'll update the ROMs on my site when I get time (removing the old UFLASH version, which is really not relevant for those using the new firmware).

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Would it be possible to put the new UFLASH into the SDX ROM (clearly labelled as NEW)?
Or 3 choices:

1) SDX with old uflash
2) SDX with NO uflash
3) SDX with new uflash.

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Yes, but the old version is irrelevant now since the new one is backwards compatible with the old firmware. As I say: what's preventing me from propagating the new version in ROM is that it isn't finished (Sic! flashing is broken and firmware versions need displaying, for example).

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Not a big deal, but does anyone know why I would get an error in SDX Imager when trying to add updated programs to the image? Yes, there is supposedly enough space. I probably should try to post this over in the SDX thread, but customizing SDX files was recently mentioned in this thread if memory serves, and I know FJC and maybe others here probably would have a good idea about it

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Are the files you're adding over 8KB in size? If so: that's why.

 

Bingo. That must be why you do the .OVL files for your programs?

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Correct. CAR: files have a (8KB) bank number and address offset in their directory entries and there's no way for a file to cross banks.

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I can't figure out why, but my Ultimate 1MB does not seem to like this at all. Running uflash.xex and updating with bios47.rom, loader32.rom, and upbi152.rom, or any other versions of these, results in either a blank green or yellow screen upon trying to start up. I even tried using the old Ultimate.rom image from the first post, with the same result. It just doesn't like me.

 

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I can't figure out why, but my Ultimate 1MB does not seem to like this at all.

I know of at least one other machine which exhibited problems. Eventually issues were traced to (you guessed it) Phi2 stability, but it was quite a saga nevertheless. As always, it would be informative if we could somehow diagnose the issue in this case.

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How does one test Phi2 stability?

In the case I'm talking about, the machine ended up attached to an Oscilloscope.

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How does one test Phi2 stability?

 

When I was suffering what turned out to be Phi2 problems I cured them by replacing the SN74LS08 chip with a brand new SN74F08 chip. Whether swapping the original 'Low-Power Schottky' unit with a faster 'Fairchild' variation did anything or if the first one was just in some way dodgy... I don't know. Whatever the case, that cured it for me. The IC's are super cheap though and you could give it a go as a potential fault-tracing measure without damaging anything. If it doesn't work, no worries. If it does then its chicken-dinner time!

 

Obviously, I am merely reporting what I tried in a similar flaky Phi2 situation and not a guaranteed cure by any means - take it for what it's worth.

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I once had a stereo board with a dry solder joint which made me completely abandon a motherboard until I discovered the culprit and fixed the issue (after a second motherboard inherited the same troubles).

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I'm glad I didn't get that far before isolating the problem! I'll examine the board and get it working. I didn't drill holes in the back of my chassis and add RCA jacks for nothing!

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I have it working now, but the stereo board is currently disconnected.

 

I had exactly that fault pattern - exactly!

 

I installed the Ultimate1MB and then did the Lotharek Stereo board, however after the stereo board the Phi2 issue manifested. If I removed the stereo board it stopped. I did a bit of native chip swapping from my other XL motherboards and managed to get things working with both mods, but Phi2 struck once again when I fitted the VBXE! The only way I could get them all to work properly was replace as many of the old 'LS' logic chips with new and faster 'F' or 'AHCT' units as possible. Unfortunately not all the IC code numbers that the A8 motherboard uses are currently produced so I could not pull them all. There were suggestions this in itself could cause problems, but I never encountered any. Again, this is just my experience and my opinion.

 

There is a 100% fix for the entire weak Phi2 problem on all 'XL' units - a direct, tiny mod that is a plug in replacement board for the '08' logic. The page is in I believe Polish, but can be goggle-translated pretty well: http://www.atari.org.pl/forum/viewtopic.php?id=12727. Sadly however I believe it is not currently being sold.

 

To be totally transparent; the actual Phi2 problem that occurred for me was that the SIDELoader could not see the FAT32 partition on my CF card and therefore couldn't launch *.XEX or *.ATR images. Not therefore precisely your Ultimate1MB issue, but that business you describe with adding/removing the stereo addon sounds very persuasive.

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It need not be Phi2 related: in my case it was down to poor connectivity. Symptoms included intermittent lock-ups and screwy SIDE operation. All the Phi2 mods in the world won't help if you have an intermittent connectivity issue, but hey... that's just my experience of having installed twenty odd Ultimates.

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It need not be Phi2 related: in my case it was down to poor connectivity. Symptoms included intermittent lock-ups and screwy SIDE operation. All the Phi2 mods in the world won't help if you have an intermittent connectivity issue, but hey... that's just my experience of having installed twenty odd Ultimates.

 

Very good point FJC! I only have four datapoints and the Phi2 situation can be extremely intractable from what I have read. Simian's device sounds like it is a real magic bullet though - for confirmed latency and signal propagation issues.

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Update for Ultimate (Incognito to follow).

 

Ultimate 1MB Beta BIOS.zip

 

This includes the scrolling long filenames and the ability to disable joystick input or change the port (thanks to Kyle Dain for the suggestion, made in light of his Corvus experiments). The loader now also handles an APT spanning the whole hard disk (without protective MBR) or an MBR partition table containing just an APT. This is necessary since the loader has to handle partition mounting even if the user doesn't use any FAT partitions.

 

There's still room to add some kind of screen-saver (most likely simple colour cycling) and possibly a key-click option prior to a v.1.0 release. Not room for a great deal else at the moment, so it's just a case of catching bugs and polishing up what's already there.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Update for Ultimate (Incognito to follow).

 

attachicon.gifUltimate 1MB Beta BIOS.zip

 

This includes the scrolling long filenames and the ability to disable joystick input or change the port (thanks to Kyle Dain for the suggestion, made in light of his Corvus experiments). The loader now also handles an APT spanning the whole hard disk (without protective MBR) or an MBR partition table containing just an APT. This is necessary since the loader has to handle partition mounting even if the user doesn't use any FAT partitions.

 

There's still room to add some kind of screen-saver (most likely simple colour cycling) and possibly a key-click option prior to a v.1.0 release. Not room for a great deal else at the moment, so it's just a case of catching bugs and polishing up what's already there.

 

 

 

FJC, this is great! I was tooling with this today for a brief moment and was noticing that the user cannot enable/disable the stereo pokey. It seems to be mirroring the status last set from the old BIOS which is good.

 

Is there something I am forgetting? Or is this scheduled to be updated at some later time?

 

Thanks

-M

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Update for Ultimate (Incognito to follow).

 

attachicon.gifUltimate 1MB Beta BIOS.zip

 

This includes the scrolling long filenames and the ability to disable joystick input or change the port (thanks to Kyle Dain for the suggestion, made in light of his Corvus experiments). The loader now also handles an APT spanning the whole hard disk (without protective MBR) or an MBR partition table containing just an APT. This is necessary since the loader has to handle partition mounting even if the user doesn't use any FAT partitions.

 

There's still room to add some kind of screen-saver (most likely simple colour cycling) and possibly a key-click option prior to a v.1.0 release. Not room for a great deal else at the moment, so it's just a case of catching bugs and polishing up what's already there.

 

As ever Jon - many thanks for some very impressive work. I was thinking about turning in, but instead its 866 time!!!

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