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flashjazzcat

Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL and SIDE/SIDE2 Firmware Update Released

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I'm pleased to announce the release of the v.2.0 'alt' firmware for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL and SIDE/SIDE2. The update had been slated for release late in 2017, but the emergence of the 1088XEL and the requirement for custom U1MB firmware for the new motherboard heralded a prolonged period of firmware development and redesign for all supported devices. Since the 1088XEL's XEL-CF compact flash adapter can handle dual physical disks, I redesigned the U1MB PBI BIOS to accommodate primary and secondary devices, which in turn prompted significant alterations to the XEX loader. Many useful changes and augmentations were carried back to the 'standard' firmware builds (targeting the SIDE cartridge).

 

Since releasing the 1088XEL U1MB firmware here a couple of weeks ago (which has been subject to a minor fix pertaining to DracOS compatibility since then), I realized that the SDX "soft drivers" (for SIDE, MYIDE, Colleen, etc, which hadn't been updated since 2014) could also benefit from some fixes and augmentations. Likewise the various APT tools (FDISK, ATRMNT, MOUNT, etc) on the 'toolkit' disk, many of which required amendments in order to work with the updated PBI BIOS. Then I remembered that the APT Toolkit manual and the APT API Programmer's documentation hadn't been updated in years either...

 

It seemed imprudent to relase - say - the new SIDE/SIDE2 ROMs with old versions of the soft-drivers and outdated documentation, so the past couple of weeks have been spent on documentation and toolkit/driver updates. I finally started assembling the ROMs and ATRs a few days ago, and even this was a painstaking process. I closed my website down imagining that the site updates and media uploads would be completed within twenty-four hours... five days later, it was still closed. :)

 

In any case, I completely underestimated the sheer volume of software, firmware and documentation, so I can only apologise to those who have recently been gently pestering me for the U1MB update via email. :) Many complain of poorly documented hardware and software products in the A8 community, so I hope the time I've spent on four fairly lengthy PDF manuals has not been wasted. :)

 

Not everything is complete. The MYIDE SDX ROMs and drivers are not yet uploaded and many download sections have placeholders for the moment. But U1MB, Incognito, SIDE and 1088XEL owners may download the latest firmware and tools and consult freshly updated documentation:

 

Download here:

 

https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/

 

Installation instructions and readme files will be updated in due course. I reached the stage this evening where not uploading everything would delay release by another week or more.

 

As usual, please use this thread to discuss any installation or usage issues. The updates to the SDX soft-drivers (SIDE.SYS, COLLEEN.SYS, etc) have not been subjected to testing by anyone but myself, so if any early adopters encounter problems, please let me know.

 

Also released is the RAPIDISK driver (which allows faster HDD transfers at 20MHz) and Rapidus-specific BIOS plugins for U1MB (also on the 1088XEL).

 

I hope to make some 'quick-start' videos and general guides over the coming days/weeks, but as usual it's all a question of available time.

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Wandering, wondering- will soft drivers be... for AVG IDE... would be... could be?... should be..

Edited by _The Doctor__

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The ROM folder inside the .zip is empty.

 

?

 

Edit: The Incognito one is the only one I tried, and the important files are also in the ATRs. No biggie.

Edited by Kyle22
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Jon - thanks for the hard work you put in on this. When you get a chance, would you post the default plugin source code like you had in the prior release (unless it's in one of the zips and I missed it)?

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Beautiful user experience so far as Incognito goes.

 

Thanks again.

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Plugin sources will be forthcoming soon: forgot to mention that. ;) Will check the empty ROM folder as well. Might have known I'd screw something up.

 

Since AVG emulates SIDE closely, the standard SIDE.SYS driver should work?

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The new incognito BIOS doesn't detect my simple stereo board. It displays correctly in 1.25

Edited by Frankie

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The new incognito BIOS doesn't detect my simple stereo board. It displays correctly in 1.25

Good spot. This does appear to be a bug and you appear to be the only Incognito owner with a stereo POKEY in the machine. :)

 

Try this when you get a chance and please let me know if it works (I have no means of testing stereo detection here):

 

Incognito_BIOS_Stereo_Fix_test.zip

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Good spot. This does appear to be a bug and you appear to be the only Incognito owner with a stereo POKEY in the machine. :)

 

Try this when you get a chance and please let me know if it works (I have no means of testing stereo detection here):

 

attachicon.gifIncognito_BIOS_Stereo_Fix_test.zip

 

That fixed it! Thanks,

Frank

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That fixed it! Thanks,

Many thanks for confirming. I'll update the Incognito ZIP on the site this evening (will take a while, since there are several ATRs and AIO ROMs which all need changing). ;)

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That is a massive amount of work sir, thank you incoming... :)

Thanks for being the first to donate since the firmware's release, and for being so generous. It's very genuinely appreciated. :)

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yes, you really should take a nap, even sleep for a day, come back all rested and refreshed...

I got about two hours last night owing to the exceptionally hot and humid weather here in the UK. Definitely paying for it now.

 

We've had about four weeks of almost unrelenting heat now. This was me yesterday after working on the firmware uploads spending an hour vacuuming the house:

 

post-21964-0-53616900-1532461734_thumb.jpg

 

:)

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
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I have a strange APT partition problem (I think) with the SIDE loader on my SIDE2 cart. It doesn't seem to be able to read the partition table. It shows all messed up.

If I take the same CF card and use the U1MB side loader it reads it fine. If I take a SIDE1 card, the SIDE loader reads it fine.

If I put it in an Incognito, the SIDE loader reads it fine.

 

Something about the SIDE loader on my SIDE2 cart isn't happy. Is there something I can use to re-write the APT partition table?

 

Frank

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If it works on all other devices, it's probably not the APT partition table.... it would be messed up across the range of solutions would it not?

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