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ralphb

Flash ROM Cart

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Looks like an arc welder to me!!! If you try soldering chips with that monster...

I was thinking, I'm glad my soldering iron doesn't spark like that. Schmitzi has sounded hesitant to solder in the past, this must be why :) He's using too much power!

 

[email protected]

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I was thinking, I'm glad my soldering iron doesn't spark like that. Schmitzi has sounded hesitant to solder in the past, this must be why :) He's using too much power!

 

[email protected]

 

Yeah and it would give a whole new meaning to to the term FLASH ROM.

 

2JxNp.gif

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Hi guys, I recently ordered a cart from Ralph and I am eagerly awaiting!

 

I mostly collect computers/consoles for the gaming part of things, and this fits the bill perfectly.

 

Having said that, I also own that I bought some time ago from our "local ebay" from a user what would be I guess the nano peb/cf7+ ?

 

I am ashamed to say I haven't gotten around to playing with it ever yet...

 

I know that device can do a lot more things, but could someone tell me in a short summarized few sentences what the main things one can do with it would be..?

 

Trying to decide if I should keep it, or if Ralph's cart is enough for my needs and I should just sell the other one.

 

Thanks!!

Edited by walterg74

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Using the Flash99 is awesome! I did find a few games that would not work so far: Congo Bongo, Minesweeper and Sudoku.

 

I always have my 32k memory expansion on for all games. Do these games work for anyone else?

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Congo Bongo works for me (I've tested all the conversions I've done on real iron)

 

A handy side effect of spending some time to do the conversions was that I spent a bit to cobble a quick case together for the FlashROM. I used one of the ugly looking cart cases in case it went horribly wrong. Yes that reset button is in fact a toothpick bit :D

 

 

puoiwT.jpg

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Hi guys, I recently ordered a cart from Ralph and I am eagerly awaiting!

 

I mostly collect computers/consoles for the gaming part of things, and this fits the bill perfectly.

 

Having said that, I also own that I bought some time ago from our "local ebay" from a user what would be I guess the nano peb/cf7+ ?

 

I am ashamed to say I haven't gotten around to playing with it ever yet...

 

I know that device can do a lot more things, but could someone tell me in a short summarized few sentences what the main things one can do with it would be..?

 

Trying to decide if I should keep it, or if Ralph's cart is enough for my needs and I should just sell the other one.

 

Thanks!!

 

The nanoPEB and CF7+ both provide 32KiB expansion RAM, a Compact Flash “disk controller” and a serial port (nanoPEB) or parallel port (CF7+). The CF can be populated easily with 400KiB disk images on a PC using Fred Kaal’s TI99dir.exe (available here). There are many ROM images requiring 32KiB expansion RAM and diskette access that you can load on the FlashROM99; so, I would certainly not get rid of your nanoPEB/CF7+. You would, for example, need it if you wanted to load the fbForth 2.0 ROM image. :grin:

 

...lee

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I second Lee's comments. You would definitely need to keep the NanoPEB/CF7+ connected to your console (and powered with the right external power supply) when using the FlashROM, as a lot of the images (like those used in the various Games cartridges on Arcadeshopper's site) require 32K due to the way they were built. They were built to use it because they often simulate GROM, and that trick only works for some of the GROM cartridges, so not every one of them will eventually appear--just the ones that can be converted successully to the load-and-launch method.

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I've noticed some odd behavior in the menu selection with some things. Is it because of the way the FR99 will either display a direct cart list or present the image browser? Or perhaps a result of the menu selection and an artifact of the EA5 conversion?

 

As a direct example if I load Amazeing, it will list Hangman as well. They will both run, it just might seem a bit odd to a user. My FR99 always starts with the browser (lots of images :))

 

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Some of the games run from a GPL simulator from RAM. Remenants of previously loaded games can show up if RAM isn't cleared.

 

The Milton Bradley games have a few that were compiled to run from a different GROM bank.

Edited by Torrax

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Some of the games run from a GPL simulator from RAM. Remenants of previously loaded games can show up if RAM isn't cleared.

 

Yes I was pretty sure that might be the case, but I also thought I saw instances where RAM was cleared. Though I'm just monkeying around so who knows :)

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Yes that reset button is in fact a toothpick bit :D

 

Well I be dammed, it is a toothpick! :) I never would have noticed unless you mentioned it.

 

gallery_35324_1027_51544.jpg

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A question about how the Flash ROM generates the menu from the cartridge images:

 

With my Internet Browser, that has three menu items in the cartridge header so appears as three items in the Flash ROM menu. I've been trying to do a modified version for Omega where only one menu item is displayed, so I modified the linked list in the cartridge header and for the first menu item, changed the 'link to next program' field to >0000 to terminate the list, and set the 'number of programs' field to >01. In JS99er this works and only one menu item is displayed, but Omega is still seeing all three menu items in the Flash ROM menu. Is it still managing to find all three menu items even though the linked list in the cartridge header is terminated after the first item?

 

Stuart.

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I also have a technical question about the FlashROM 99. Since it's obvious that the cartridge can load all the different programs residing on the cartridge, I'm wondering, could a secondary program installed on the cartridge use the same protocols to load other individual files?

 

Looking to the future, this might be the perfect piece of hardware to build the long dreamed of GUI around. I imagine *IF* a main program is ever developed, and the standard solidified, new applications could easily be downloaded and installed. The "icon" for the new program would auto-magically appear on the desktop.

 

Of course now that the majority of users now have an F18A, I would hope that a desktop would be in the larger format for practicality and increased utility.

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With my Internet Browser, that has three menu items in the cartridge header so appears as three items in the Flash ROM menu. I've been trying to do a modified version for Omega where only one menu item is displayed, so I modified the linked list in the cartridge header and for the first menu item, changed the 'link to next program' field to >0000 to terminate the list, and set the 'number of programs' field to >01. In JS99er this works and only one menu item is displayed, but Omega is still seeing all three menu items in the Flash ROM menu. Is it still managing to find all three menu items even though the linked list in the cartridge header is terminated after the first item?

 

Well, no, I follow the chain of linked menu items, and stop at >0000, just like the TI menu does. Are you sure that your modified image does show three items? What do you see in the TI menu if you press FCTN-=? Have you modified the menu in all banks?

 

The "number of programs" byte is ignored, as most sources indicate that this is "optional".

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I also have a technical question about the FlashROM 99. Since it's obvious that the cartridge can load all the different programs residing on the cartridge, I'm wondering, could a secondary program installed on the cartridge use the same protocols to load other individual files?

 

You mean "load into the cartridge"? Yes, with a modified firmware that would be possible. Loading arbitrary files is almost as easy as bank switching. In fact, it's exactly the same mechanism ;), so bank switching and file loading may interfere with each other.

 

That's why loading an image is a one-shot operation; after loading is complete, it's only bank switching. But you could go back into "file listening" mode.

 

Loading can be done from assembly, but AFAIK you cannot provide new BASIC subprograms without GROMs (right?). This will make it difficult to provide a "master control program" that manages loading images.

 

In any case, you need to reprogram the 8515.

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Well, no, I follow the chain of linked menu items, and stop at >0000, just like the TI menu does. Are you sure that your modified image does show three items? What do you see in the TI menu if you press FCTN-=? Have you modified the menu in all banks?

 

The "number of programs" byte is ignored, as most sources indicate that this is "optional".

 

Modified in all banks. I can't test it myself on real hardware, but JS99er only shows one menu item with the modified version, which is what I expect.

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Modified in all banks. I can't test it myself on real hardware, but JS99er only shows one menu item with the modified version, which is what I expect.

 

Sorry, I was just checking. :) Besides, the cart looks at the first bank only.

 

Could you post the image (or send it to me)? Now I'm really curious ...

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Sorry, I was just checking. :) Besides, the cart looks at the first bank only.

 

Could you post the image (or send it to me)? Now I'm really curious ...

 

Ralph, sent you and Omega a PM. Omega has had some strange results replacing the old copy of the cartridge file with the modified file. Details in the PM.

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Problem solved! We were trying to use the 512K image for the UBERwhatsit, and the Flash Cart works with a max 32K image.

 

Thanks Ralph.

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I also have a technical question about the FlashROM 99. Since it's obvious that the cartridge can load all the different programs residing on the cartridge, I'm wondering, could a secondary program installed on the cartridge use the same protocols to load other individual files?

 

Looking to the future, this might be the perfect piece of hardware to build the long dreamed of GUI around. I imagine *IF* a main program is ever developed, and the standard solidified, new applications could easily be downloaded and installed. The "icon" for the new program would auto-magically appear on the desktop.

 

Of course now that the majority of users now have an F18A, I would hope that a desktop would be in the larger format for practicality and increased utility.

 

GUI? A GUI you say?

 

Back in the mid 80's when I had a C64 and was messing around with GEOS, my first thought about the experience was why the flock do I need a program to run my programs AND now I need to purchase some silly expensive REU on top of it all? :lol:

 

Needless to say, I never cottoned to GEOS. The Amiga I bought shortly after, of course - because it was designed that way from the get go.

 

But a GUI on the TI now? Okay, so I've got the 32k RAM and the FlashROM of course. Hmm, thinking about the possibilities with the F18A (not to mention the 1mb board)… would be pretty damned cool to monkey around with today. If only for the sake of monkeying around. :rolling:

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But a GUI on the TI now? Okay, so I've got the 32k RAM and the FlashROM of course. Hmm, thinking about the possibilities with the F18A (not to mention the 1mb board)… would be pretty damned cool to monkey around with today. If only for the sake of monkeying around. :rolling:

 

 

Yeah, monkeying around on the TI with all the goodies is half of the fun! But can you imagine all the NEW development something like that would inspire?

 

I was staring at this screen for a solid 5 minutes today, just soaking up the awesomeness of having a cartridge with all the really cool stuff on it.

 

gallery_35324_1001_75478.jpg

 

I can only imagine all the time I'd spend having fun... just for the sake of it with a GUI! As hobbies go, this one is getting more fun with each passing week. Now I'm thinking, "What do I put on next...."

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Some of you have never used 4A/DOS before, but now that many of you now have a copy of it to go with your FlashROM 99, I figured I'd pass along this tiny little batch file for you F18A users.

 

Put it on your "DSK1."

 

 

AUTO-BAT F18A.zip

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May I ask how you programmed the 8515? Most solutions presume an ISP setup yet there is no header on the PCB. I think I have found a workaround, but am curious if you had a specific method.

 

Thanks!

-M

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