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jacobus

Disk Explorer

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This is a program I've been writing on and off for quite a while now. It started out as a way to visualize graphic data stored on the disk and morphed into an editor and disk mapping tool. The documentation is bit weak, but I'm sure a few minutes of playing around will give you an idea of what it's capable of. I have tested it on real hardware, but thanks to Altirra's mouse support I find it works much better in an emulator.

 

Quick instructions - start the program and then insert another disk (with a game or two on it). Press START to flip between Explorer and Editor, press SELECT for the selector.

 

Did I mention a mouse? Yes, it's required for this program!

 

I expect to be knee-deep in poo (work) for the next while so I thought I post this now, even though it isn't quite finished. If anyone is interested I can include the Quick source code.

 

post-11281-0-14468500-1440086349_thumb.pngpost-11281-0-95673600-1440086350_thumb.pngpost-11281-0-05294700-1440086347_thumb.png

 

 

 

enjoy!

 

 

EDIT: Old links removed - new ones can be found in most recent message

P.S. Does anyone know of a nice easy tool that can take a regular executable (such as this one) and convert it to a boot disk. Since Disk Explorer does not need DOS, it would be better suited as a boot disk.

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You can use the code I posted here to make boot disks from XEX files. Here's your DE.COM as a boot disk:

 

de-bootdisk.atr

 

And here's the source:

 

de.zip

 

Basically you just put ins 'FILE.xex' at the bottom of boot.asm but you have to make sure there is an INIT segment since the boot loader doesn't support RUN segments.

 

 

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Very nice! Thanks for sharing, jacobus. And yes, I am interested in the Quick sources (while I'm learning it).

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Thanks! A very useful tool. I did a quick hack of Mario Bros, to get the bricks in level one to look closer to the arcade.

 

I actually used a hex editor in Windows for the editing and used your program to find the graphical data. But I'll try doing some editing using your program as well later.

 

I did have one problem. It always freezes when I click on the first row of "Antic 5" or "Antic 5 High Contrast" graphics.

 

post-6369-0-14383800-1440197447_thumb.png

 

[Note: I'll post a binary up later for everyone, once I've done a few more hacks on the various other brick graphics.]

Edited by MrFish
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Ohh awesome! I loved playing with disk editor stuff on my Apple II+ in 1980.

 

I wanted to point out (NPI) that the mouse is not sensitive enough in Altirra. I was able to adjust Altirra to get most of the way there. And was wondering where the base of the problem is. In Altiraa? Or in Disk Explorer?

 

See this and few subsequent postings:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/236488-altirra-260-released/?p=3305411

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Quick update...

 

I rewrote the editor to be a little more conventional in appearance. You can switch between hex and decimal views, it shows ascii at the end of each row, and in keeping with the entire project, it shows a character and player visualizations at the bottom of the screen. As well you can click anywhere on the first line of graphics to highlight the actual byte. Edits are dynamically displayed as you type.

 

Additionally I fixed the issue that Mr Fish found when clicking on the graphic characters.

 

As per Bunsen's request I am including source code.

 

Xuel - thanks very much for the help, unfortunately my assembler skills are minimal. Could I ask you to create another boot disk with this new version?

 

Keatah - Sorry, the mouse driver is part of the development tool (Quick). I have thought about writing one myself, but nothing for the moment.

 

Thanks to everyone for the feedback!

 

post-11281-0-02793100-1440519445_thumb.pngpost-11281-0-44894600-1440519443_thumb.pngpost-11281-0-80907100-1440519439_thumb.pngpost-11281-0-76481800-1440519504_thumb.png

 

DiskExplorer v2.atrDisk Explorer v2.pdf

 

FE.TXTFE.LIB.TXT

(rename FE.LIB.TXT to FE.LIB)

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Hey Jim,

 

even when your Diskexplorer program does not require a DOS to load, it is still nice to have it as a file version. How about using a disk without a DOS, your Diskexplorer program file and just a bootloader on it ? Your program can still be a file then and the disk behaves like a bootdisk...?!?

 

All you have to do is a) format a disk, b) copy your Diskexplorer on it and c) write the bootloader onto that disk. Then you can boot the disk without any DOS. You can find some bootloaders here:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/239798-what-auto-loader-is-this/?do=findComment&comment=3265632

(post nr. 5, bootload.zip).

 

But if you really, really want to have it as a bootdisk, try Supercopy, which you can find e.g. here:

http://atariage.com/forums/topic/168018-new-demo-by-bits-1504-for-xl/?do=findComment&comment=2085968

(post nr. 14, super-copy.zip)

All you have to do is 1) load, 2) as EXE file, 3) save, 4) as bootdisk (onto a new disk).

 

Luckily, Super-Copy is able to reverse the process and turn the bootdisk into a file again... the file version e.g. has the advantage, that you can put the manual (e.g. converted from PDF into TXT) onto the same disk or you could put the file version onto a flash-cartridge or ...

Edited by CharlieChaplin

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Here you go:

 

de-v2-bootdisk.atr

 

Though, as CharlieChaplin rightly points out, my method doesn't use a DOS filesystem so you can't easily extract the executable once it's made into a bootdisk like this.

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Andreas - good points, I will include both versions in the next release (likely last, as the only thing I want to add is the ability to output the sector(s) as CSV). I knew there must be a tool like Super-Copy, seems that most of the disk tools are boot to binary converters only.

 

Thank you very much Xuel - much appreciated!

 

Doc - thanks ... Just call me Thomas :-)

 

Ryan - not surprising, only so many ways to represent disk structure using a character based system. Hmmmm, that brings up a good point ... I wonder if I should switch to a graphics mode in order to represent the disk sectors? I could use Antic $0D - four colours would give me enough to show normal, empty and directory sectors and one more colour to indicate the current file. This would also allow me to show an entire ED disk... (pretty sure I want to stay away from DD disks - the 256 byte sectors would break the Explorer and Editor screens). Then again, considering the mouse sensitivity issues, this might not be such a great idea. I'll have to play around a bit.

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...

 

(pretty sure I want to stay away from DD disks - the 256 byte sectors would break the Explorer and Editor screens). Then again, considering the mouse sensitivity issues, this might not be such a great idea. I'll have to play around a bit.

 

Some disk editors handle DD sectors by splitting them and displaying 128 bytes at a time.

 

Also, is there any possibility of adding hotkeys on the menus and cursor movement with arrow keys for those who do not have a mouse?

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The screenshots got me all nostalgic and I had to go home last night and fire up my WIndows 3.1 machine just so I could runk scandisk and watch it haha.

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Some disk editors handle DD sectors by splitting them and displaying 128 bytes at a time.

 

Also, is there any possibility of adding hotkeys on the menus and cursor movement with arrow keys for those who do not have a mouse?

I suppose joystick support would not be out of the question - would you be OK with that?

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Just in time to miss MrFish's request here is version 3.0. :-)

 

Joystick support, and now the Editor has the ability to output (via print) either the current sector or a range. This feature is really intended for emulator users to copy and paste with. I've also messed with the interface a little, START brings up the Explorer exclusively, SELECT still shows the Selector and now OPTION selects the Editor.

 

MrFish - An option to close up the columns is certainly possible, it will cause some pain with the hot spots so it might take a few days. Just of out interest, would you prefer closing the spaces, or doubling up the current chars (ABC or AABBCC)?

 

Thanks again for the feedback!

 

 

Boot, Autorun and file versions attached, as well as current source code.

 

Program:

DiskExplorer Boot v3.atrDiskExplorer v3.atrDiskExplorer v3.XEX

 

Manual:

Disk Explorer v3.pdf

 

Source:

FE.LIB.TXTFE.TXT

 

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Just in time to miss MrFish's request here is version 3.0. :-)

 

No problem, I'm not in any hurry. :)

 

 

MrFish - An option to close up the columns is certainly possible, it will cause some pain with the hot spots so it might take a few days. Just of out interest, would you prefer closing the spaces, or doubling up the current chars (ABC or AABBCC)?

 

Thanks for the consideration. I think closing up all the space would prove more helpful in some situations, although doubling up would cover a majority of cases.

 

It would also help to be able to shift bytes up and down, but I could see that being a headache to code up...

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Nice thing about Quick is the very rapid development time :-)

 

OK, so now you can use the < and > keys to roll the bytes up and down (within the sector), as well as press the "S" key to double up characters in the Explorer (I'll revisit closing the the space later). Images here are from Necromancer, before and after rolling the sector with a good chunk of the character set. Both of these features only work in the Explorer.

 

post-11281-0-73252500-1440815374_thumb.pngpost-11281-0-21327300-1440815374_thumb.png

 

and the spacing option invoked:

post-11281-0-21563800-1440815375_thumb.png

 

 

Program

DiskExplorer v4.atrDiskExplorer Boot v4.atrDiskExplorer.XEX

 

Docs

Disk Explorer v4.pdf

 

Source

FE.TXTFE.LIB.TXT

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Nice thing about Quick is the very rapid development time :-)

 

OK, so now you can use the < and > keys to roll the bytes up and down (within the sector), as well as press the "S" key to double up characters in the Explorer (I'll revisit closing the the space later). Images here are from Necromancer, before and after rolling the sector with a good chunk of the character set. Both of these features only work in the Explorer.

 

That was quick. Nice job, and thanks for working in the suggestions!

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The next logical step -- if you're interested in carrying things that far -- would be to have the ability to edit individual pixels in a zoomed grid of some sort. That would relieve a lot of hand conversion currently necessary, and make the program more accessible to the less technical.

 

Something similar to the upper portion in the editor for the program "Macro Edit" would be ideal. I think Macro Edit uses Antic mode 2 with GPRIOR set for GTIA mode 10, but you could also just use mode 10 normally. Either way you have access to all the color registers and their associated colors on all mode lines. This Macro Edit screen gives you editing of the pixel data relative to three modes, Antic 4, Antic 2, and GTIA 10 (in that order on the screen shown). Antic 4 and GTIA 10 display their proper colors and Antic 2 is just represented using the color register currently set to light green in this display.

 

post-6369-0-81608700-1440903620_thumb.png

 

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