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AVGCART

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1 hour ago, tmp said:

i've tried some things to try to solve that (with @a8isa1 to actually do the tests since i don't own 800) but no luck so far

Can you instruct AVG to bring a 16KB image (fast enough) onto the bus, with diagnostic-cart flag active, so OS hands you control directly and before it initializes host HW? (just need to check if diag-cart flag is sensed before RAM-sizing, don't recall from the top of head)...

 

Once you get control at that point, you buy the time you need to continue with AVGs own initialization protocol, bring the cart-menu image (with appropriate cart. flags), and once everything is in place, vector through host's OS cold-start... and voila!

 

This could also help you go where no man has gone... like having AVG auto-sense if it is plugged on LEFT or RIGHT port (S4/S5/PHI2, etc.) allowing user to boot rare and precious$$$ carts like ACE80, etc. There is no cart out-there than can currently do that...

 

Just some food for thought...

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3 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

What is new in D021 please...

 

23 hours ago, tmp said:

nothing groundbreaking is enabled there, mostly some fixes (some side emu+atr combinations are fixed, atr/atx seeks beyond capacity fixed (bruce lee), changed s4/s5 handling due to 800 design (just in case), xex loader now loads xex files that have segments in $0800 page), max atr mounts were bumped to 8, sdx stacking (emulating both sdx cart and pass-through cart), that's probably all

 

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no resellers there, currently the only option is to order from europe

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On 6/23/2021 at 11:19 PM, Faicuai said:

This could also help you go where no man has gone... like having AVG auto-sense if it is plugged on LEFT or RIGHT port (S4/S5/PHI2, etc.) allowing user to boot rare and precious$$$ carts like ACE80, etc. There is no cart out-there than can currently do that...

 

Just some food for thought...

i can't say i understand what you're trying to achieve, can you give me some more specific example?

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5 hours ago, vinniet said:

Does anyone know if Avgcart is sold in USA, could not find reseller. 

I bought mine from tmp directly some time ago and while it took a little while to get, the cartridge is just amazing when paired with the SIO cable.  It loads everything I can throw at it on my 130XE.

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On 6/26/2021 at 6:44 AM, tmp said:

i can't say i understand what you're trying to achieve, can you give me some more specific example?

My apologies for the long hiatus, but I had been busy giving a good test-drive to your latest firmware release.

 

So far so good, in pretty much any aspect I could test / see. 

 

Anyhow, expanding here a bit the concept previously suggested:

  1. In the case of the 800, the right-cart port specifically works on $8000-$9FFF window, BUT also has access to /CCTL Cart. Control $D5XX
  2. The Pin-out differences between LEFT and RIGHT:
    • Pin-1: LEFT=/S4 Select, RIGHT= R/W Late 1
    • Pin-12: LEFT=/S5 Select, RIGHT=/S4 Select
    • Pin-14: LEFT=RD5 RAM deselect, RIGH=RD4 RAM deselect
    • Pin-A: LEFT=RD4 RAM Deselect, RIGHT=Phi2 Phase 2 Clock
    • Pin-R: LEFT=R/W (XL/XE), RIGHT=R/W Early
    • Pin-S: LEFT=bPhi2 (XL/XE), RIGHT=RASTIME
  3. Based on the above pinout, the end-goal would simple (these are just specific ideas, I have no idea of how AVG internally handles all this):
    • Have AVG cart quickly "auto-sense" any of the above port-differences (the easiest and most reliable to detect), during boot-time, in order to map / report itself correctly on the system bus (today, if you plug it on the 800's right-port, it locks-up the machine without even booting, whereas Ultimate/SD does not, for instance).
    • Once it learns about its working address-space (LEFT or RIGHT), take any additional steps to launch existing selector-menu, correctly (existing version could be just copied into $A000-$BFFF ram, as it will he not initialized by OS and will the "firewalled" as long as AVG's boot-image remains present on $8000-$9FFF)
    • Once there, enable booting RIGHT-cart images (e.g. must-have classics like ACE80, or Monkey Wrench II, or ANY other, even a user-developed one, for example).
    • And (optionally) enable access to internal-storage (IDE) even if plugged on right-cart port.

 

There is no cart out there (that I am aware of) that has such advanced capability (and flexibility). RIGHT-carts are rare, and usually EXPENSIVE, with a high market-value. By equipping AVG with this functionality, essentially any 800 user out-there would be able to add these rare and valuable carts to their existing image-collection.

 

Conversely, it may also be possible to achieve the same goal by simply booting right-cart images from LEFT-cart port (since RD4/S4 are there, too), BUT at the expense of killing the only-port available on the 400/XL/XE architecture (it would remain free if using the 800's right-port, instead). 

 

Some food for thought, though.

 

 

 

 

 

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can't you just emulate right cart in the left slot? or is it about two carts at once?

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39 minutes ago, tmp said:

or is it about two carts at once?

It's more about that (and the historical / preservation value).

 

FYI, OS/b boot-manager will FIRST attempt to boot a RIGHT-cart, and then a LEFT-cart (as long as Diagnostic flag is NOT set, which will only be checked on the LEFT port, and the O/S will do so before any other type of cart-flag).

 

I've also worked, and tested for years now a fully compatible XL/XE O/S load (based off latest XEGS r04 version) that restores the long-lost capability of reliably booting LEFT and RIGHT port images independently, and does so more reliably than OS a/b, because of the built-in checks and balances (I use it on my Incognito/800, but will also works on standard XL/XE single-port architectures). 

 

Anyhow, you know AVG's implementation better than anyone, so you can determine what is possible or not...

 

...but being able to select (say) ACE80 right-cart image from a menu, and booting it from the RIGHT-port (with a common cart), would be in my humble opinion, the pinnacle of multi-cart emulation... without mentioning SIDE2/HD support while being plugged there, too. 

 

 

 

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just to make sure, ace80 emulation currently works (standalone) with avgcart in the left slot, correct? (i can't test that myself since i don't own 800)

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26 minutes ago, tmp said:

ace80 emulation currently works (standalone) with avgcart in the left slot, correct?

There is ACE80 (the true original version, RIGHT-cart, self-dissappearing) and there is ACE80XL (from which a derivative version floats around with the right $D5XX registers for Atarimax MaxFlash 128K / 1Mbit carts).

 

The latter should work on AVG, without problems...  it it is the FORMER (right-cart version, with own $D5XX registers) the one I am talking about, and I have not ever attempted mounting it on AVG while being plugged on the left-port)

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i just realized i don't even have ace80 rom and i don't know how it's supposed to work, from what you're saying there's some logic that can disable the cart so it's apparently not any of those 2 right slot cart types that have type assigned for use in CAR format

i think i'll have to google to figure out how it's supposed to work and see what could be done about it

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25 minutes ago, tmp said:

i just realized i don't even have ace80 rom and i don't know how it's supposed to work

I believe @ClausB may help with these questions (if he's around...)

 

In the mean time, how exactly do you instruct AVG from selector to MOUNT an image in $8000-$9FFF address space? I have a working copy of MonkeyWrench II, for instance, we could test...

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if that's a standard 8kb right cart, converting it to CAR with type 21 should work

 

also concating it with some standard 8kb left cart (e.g. basic) to form 16kb standard rom and converting it to type 2 CAR could also work

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Huh, interesting conversation.  So could you feasibly have two AVGCarts and do some nifty dual cart software on the 800 (which out of all the 8bit line sure seems to be the most expandable from the initial design of it.)

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if i'm not missing something, there should be nothing special about the right cart slot that can't be emulated using avgcart in the left cart slot (and you definitely don't need two)

the question is, are there scenarios that are currently not possible to emulate (due to missing functionality in firmware) and are worthwhile to add (meaning more than one person in this galaxy would find them useful)

 

ace80 with another cart sounds theoretically useful but currently i know way too little about it to be able to assess the real usefulness of such combination (i need to figure out with what sw it actually worked back in the day, etc), if anyone got more info, flood me with it

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2 hours ago, tmp said:

if that's a standard 8kb right cart, converting it to CAR with type 21 should work

Ok, so what would be the 6-bytes header, then? My ROM-to-CAR browser-based utility does not seem to support it, unless I am missing something. I will test Monkey-Wrench II, as it is currently being mounted (as is) on $A000-$BFFF window.

 

Ideally, we would not want manual image concatenation and all of what is avoidable with the 800's two-ports architecture. If we can't make AVG auto-sense the differential L-vs-R port-lines, and it must be always held on the LEFT-port, then it should be able to dynamically concatenate via selector-menu, by simply designating which image is LEFT and which image will be RIGHT, before mounting. I presume .CAR format will be needed, to instruct what cart-emulation should be supported for LEFT image and which emulation scheme should apply to RIGHT-image.

 

Only in that case, we may be close (but not yet matching) the 800's L+R flexibility, which interestingly, appears to be the only platform on the entire line-up that can easily solve AVG's lack of Real-time clock... without any changes to AVG itself. 👍💪

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2 hours ago, tmp said:

if i'm not missing something, there should be nothing special about the right cart slot that can't be emulated using avgcart in the left cart slot (and you definitely don't need two)

the question is, are there scenarios that are currently not possible to emulate (due to missing functionality in firmware) and are worthwhile to add (meaning more than one person in this galaxy would find them useful)

 

ace80 with another cart sounds theoretically useful but currently i know way too little about it to be able to assess the real usefulness of such combination (i need to figure out with what sw it actually worked back in the day, etc), if anyone got more info, flood me with it

I bought an ACE80, haven't quite figured out how to use it yet, as AtariWriter 80 apparently uses some other method...

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magic dump II cartridges work with other carts (like basic) as well IIRC... MDII are right slot carts...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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30 minutes ago, _The Doctor__ said:

MDII are right slot carts...

Yes, sir!

 

...Without mentioning ICD's R-time-8 or compatibles, designed to be plugged on either left or right ports, and with the appropriate drivers, should give AVG the real-time clock it is missing... effortlessly, as an added-bonus of the 800 architecture.

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I think he means the AVG could be in the right slot and an r time 8 in the left slot which could also provide a pass through slot...

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