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drac030

SpartaDOS X 4.48

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So if I am using one of my stock 800xl's and I wanted to use SDX.. I can (or cannot) load SDX from a Floppy?

 

James

SDX has always been ROM only - whether cart or built in.

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So if I am using one of my stock 800xl's and I wanted to use SDX.. I can (or cannot) load SDX from a Floppy?

As already it has been already said, SDX is ROM-based. It requires a cartridge or a cart-emulator (IDE+, U1MB) to run.

 

But if you are asking if a SDX cart can be used with just a floppy, and if the CONFIG.SYS/AUTOEXEC.BAT/Toolkit utilities can be loaded from a floppy, then the answer is yes, they can.

 

A stock 800XL is a separate question. SDX runs on 64k machines, but it may be difficult to use its (SDX's) full potential on such a computer. At least 128k is highly recommended.

 

I myself used SDX 4.20 for quite a long time on a stock 65XE + a 1050. It cannot be denied though that this is an absolute minimum and SDX feels much better on more advanced configurations (128k RAM + HDD).

Edited by drac030
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PS: I haven't found a way to check (from a batch file) if ENV.SYS is loaded. I still have a little more looking to do, but I have a feeling there may not be a way without creating a software application to do so.

 

UPDATE: I cannot find a way for a batch program to determine if ENV.SYS (or any other one is loaded).

OK, np.. what about just adding a warning at the start of the .BAT with a required acknowledgment (keypress) of any an all items a newb might need to know ;)

 

James

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So I have a couple of questions.. not sure if this is a U1mb question or a SDX question.

 

I have an HD image ATR for my 1st drive.

 

When I boot with my U1mb 800xl if i hold the option for no basic.. it will not access the 1st drive to look for the config.sys - no option no problem .. except I have the basic loaded.

 

I would like to use the ED editor in 80col. I am willing to look at it myself.. but this would be learning again.. so could take me quite some time.. anyone want to do that?

 

For the last week I have been struggling with man pages or lack of info in a couple rc_gr8 and con.sys - can I modify them and submit them to the project? or just suggest the changes?

 

James

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Pertinent quotes from the SDX user manual:

 


It is never necessary with SDX to hold down the <OPTION> key to disable internal
BASIC while booting or to remove an external language cartridge. However, for
programs that would ordinarily require the removal of these cartridges, it is necessary
to use the X command. For example, 'DiskRx', from legacy SDTK, will not run with any
cartridges installed. To run it from SDX type X DISKRX or #DISKRX.

If you hold down <OPTION> when booting the computer, any CONFIG.SYS on media
will be ignored and the default configuration will be used. This is very useful if you
happen to forget to include SIO.SYS in your CONFIG.SYS or some similar fatal error
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The order in which the console as well as the sys files must be loaded are clearly stated in the manual but not where you might be looking for it.... I have flashed my carts with just such a config. so I can switch between 40 64 and 80 and use the ramdisk. etc... the order must be followed to make sure it all gets along and keeps memory low I think I loaded ramdisk last... you will do yourself a great favor looking at it in the download section of the sparta x project site. reading about it in the three sections won't just make it work but you will understand why.

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Yes, load the RAMDISK last, as it grabs up any available 16KB banks available... leaving none left for other things that could take advantage of them.

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Pertinent quotes from the SDX user manual:

 

 

I'm so sorry guys.. I will give the manual a complete read through again.. before I keep waisting peoples times with this stuff.. Its all in there I just need to find it.

 

James

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I would like to use the ED editor in 80col. I am willing to look at it myself..

The ED unfortunately only works in 40 columns and cannot be easily modified to work on 80 columns.

 

For the last week I have been struggling with man pages or lack of info in a couple rc_gr8 and con.sys - can I modify them and submit them to the project? or just suggest the changes?

Any suggestions about possible changes in the documentation are most welcome. You can just post them here.

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Use FJC's excellent LastWord for 80 col in SDX!

Obviously. I am doing that all the time to edit more complex text files. Under Sparta Commander you can define a macro which automatically invokes TLW (or anything else) to edit the file highlighted by the cursor.

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Obviously. I am doing that all the time to edit more complex text files. Under Sparta Commander you can define a macro which automatically invokes TLW (or anything else) to edit the file highlighted by the cursor.

 

Yepper. I did that too (make a SC macro to be the called editor). A lot of times though I just invoke it from the CLI with my targeted file as an argument. One needs to set some environment variables to make it work slick like that but it's easy to do.

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Tiny typo in user's guide on page 200:

Fortunately, there is 'CleanUp X' from the SDXTK. It provides file system repairs in a professional manor.

Slightly more concerning is that CleanUp X flags errors on directories on SpartaDOS 3.2 disks. Formatting a new disk with 3.2g with no DOS, creating a directory on it, and then rebooting into 4.48 and running CLX on it produces this error:

CleanUp X v.1.9c, (c) 2014 DLT

Sector count: 720
Bytes/sector: 128

Analyzing boot sector...

Mapping B:>

B:>FOO>

* Data sector 8 ($0008): status
  byte in directory header fixed (now
  $28, old $00).
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CLX is very picky and it has been written to be very picky. It also, being a SpartaDOS X utility, assumes the SDX format as standard. So it fixes the values which deviate from this standard.

 

Note that it does not really "produce an error": it just reports a difference and says it has been fixed. Does this fix impair the disk access from 3.2 in any way?

 

Anyways, thanks for pointing this out. I will consider modifying the CLX so that it silently accepts these values as valid.

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SpartaDOS 3.2 doesn't have an issue with reading or writing the disk after CLX changes the flags byte. I assume 3.2 simply doesn't use it (and for that matter, probably not SDX either). The reason I noticed this is that I tried to use CLX to repair the bitmap on a 16MB megadisk that used 3.2, and it reported hundreds of errors, such that I couldn't get through the run without allowing CLX to fix the directories.

 

CLX also reports a bitmap error due to the last sector not being marked as available by 3.2 XINIT. I didn't check whether fixing this causes problems on 3.2, but I'm guessing it wouldn't either.

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In regards to disk reads and writes. Does Sparta allow you to read a disk on a DD drive even if I would not be able to write to it??

 

I have lots of different drives for my Ataris - I have the Xf551 which would allow me to make a 720K disk.. which I can read and write in Sparta np.

 

But I have also been able to READ - I guess the disk header?? on that disk in a Rana 1000 and an Indus GT which are both supposed to be 90k/130k/180k

 

The interesting or scary parts is that I was able to write to a 360K disk on the Rana..

 

Sparta format will not allow me to format the Rana to 360K but it allows reads and writes? I am assuming this will be incorrect and corrupt??

 

James

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if it's a single sided rana....it will read the first side fine but fail to read files on the opposing side..... Sparta is reading the directory which is correct but if the file is located where the drive mech can not go the read will fail as will a write...

Sparta can build a directory to be for any valid drive config... it does not mean the drive is capable of that format though...

This can be both a curse and a blessing...

Edited by _The Doctor__

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As Bikerbob wrote, the SDX formatter should refuse to format when the requested drive configuration is not really possible on the drive mech in question. But this of course depends on the drive's firmware implementation: if the config requested (written to the drive) and the config received (read afterwards from the drive) match, the formatter will assume that the drive can do what was set and will allow formatting.

 

The SDX directory for a 360k disk fits completely on the track 0, side 0. Therefore it is always readable. The problems may arise only when the drive does not follow the XF-551 DS/DD format, but after writing the first track, changes sides rather than the track. A floppy formatted and written to by such a drive can probably be damaged when inserted into a single-sided drive. But SDX has nothing to do here, it is all in the drive's firmware.

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I decided to give SDX 4.49b a try. I have an SWP ATR8000 with one disk drive (at present). This is the only A8 drive system I own. SDX is on an Atarimax 8mbit flashcart and is installed in my 800XL.

 

If I boot the Atari without a disk in the ATR8000's drive then no disk is ever recognized later. I will always get a "Device does not respond" error.

 

Pressing RESET on the ATR8000 will not force a disk to be registered at this point.

 

SDX will only recognize that D1: exists if a formatted disk is in the drive at the beginning of the session. Disk can be single density or double density have a file system or not. It just needs to be there at the start.

 

I've tested with and without an SIO2PC-USB (connected to a Raspberry Pi B). There are no other devices connected to the SIO chain.

 

Once I get SDX to recognize D1: then disk operations run smoothly. I can copy files back and forth between the ATR8000 and sio2bsd (on the Pi). HSIO runs smoothly for the logical drives of sio2bsd. The ATR8000 has only 1X SIO

 

Does there exist a utility that will re-interrogate D1: and have SDX recognize the drive without the need for a reboot?

 

-SteveS

Edited by a8isa1

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If I boot the Atari without a disk in the ATR8000's drive then no disk is ever recognized later. I will always get a "Device does not respond" error.

 

Pressing RESET on the ATR8000 will not force a disk to be registered at this point.

 

SDX will only recognize that D1: exists if a formatted disk is in the drive at the beginning of the session. Disk can be single density or double density have a file system or not. It just needs to be there at the start.

At first glance, this looks like a problem with the ATR8000 firmware. The SDX does not do anything important with the drives at startup: when a drive has not been ever logged, any reference to it shall cause it to be probed for presence first, i.e. the drive is sent the status command. When this fails, the error is returned and the system assumes that the drive is not present.

 

The error 138 is timeout, i.e. the system ran out of time waiting for the drive's response on a command having been sent.

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At first glance, this looks like a problem with the ATR8000 firmware. The SDX does not do anything important with the drives at startup: when a drive has not been ever logged, any reference to it shall cause it to be probed for presence first, i.e. the drive is sent the status command. When this fails, the error is returned and the system assumes that the drive is not present.

 

The error 138 is timeout, i.e. the system ran out of time waiting for the drive's response on a command having been sent.

That was my first guess but neither a RESET or a cold start of the ATR8000 will wake it up.

 

I have no other ROM based DOSes so I did not know of this behavior for the ATR8000. In 34 years of owning it I have only used disk based DOSes, mostly MyDOS.

 

I think Steve Tucker has a composite cartridge image with various languages and MyDOS. I might give it a test. Before that I'll hook up (after cleaning the dust out of) the second drive. To see if D2: registers with/without a disk being inserted at boot.

 

-SteveS

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