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phaeron

Altirra 3.10 released

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Just to confirm - my issues were indeed caused by my resetting Altirra's configuration to the defaults, which disables stereo. Enabling stereo allows my XEL/XLD emulation to behave properly. Whew. :)

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Hi Phaeron,

 

Has it always been the case that if you are running a fully emulated Disk drive that the D&D bas files stop working, well only work by the conventional way of loading?

 

(I'd go back versions but I keep forgetting to back up my settings (will do it now)...

 

Also saw that the SPeedy 1050 which used to use the speedy 1.33n rom no longer recognises that one, just an update to use other / correct rom? (found one that works in the set, speedy-140724)

 

You'll have to be more specific as to the specific titles that are having problems, but the Speedy 1050 is notably a track buffering drive, so some copy protected software may have problems.

 

Speedy OS 1.33N.rom [A991769B] doesn't work as a Speedy 1050 ROM because it is actually an XL/XE OS ROM, meant to work with the Speedy 1050 drive at high speed. speedy-140724 is actually a Mega Speedy 1050 ROM, but it works because it happens to have a Speedy 1050 compatible ROM in the first 16K. It appears to be v1.4, which is the last version for the original Speedy, but not NTSC compatible for fast writes.

 

Random feature request: is it possible to add 1020 plotter emulation as well as the P: device? Yes, I know I'm obsessed with 1020s :)

 

I'm a big fan of the 1020 emulation in APE so would be very cool to see something similar in Altirra!

 

Not opposed to the idea, but there's a bit of work involved in doing this due to the graphical display.

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Hi Avery, its any bas file that you d&d on to altirra, if its the stock emulated drives it enables basic and runs the bas file but If I have a Happy fully emulated inc firmware / any of the ones tested real drive emulations then it ignores the bas files when d&d'ed and boots the drive...I'm talking .bas files rather than images that need basic..

 

I can't remember if this is how it always was but it means at the moment that if you run real drives you lose that little perk, I imagine its because on a real machine that once a real drive is on then it expects to boot an image or errors.

 

I just tend to run real drives because its what the system would be doing in the wild so getting a more realistic boot seems the way to go.

 

I know than me asking for a bas file perk is then ironically unrealistic but otherwise you have to go in and disable the real drive and boot them via a dos image the old fashioned way.

 

As with all my asks, if its a pain then ignore it..

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Hi Avery, its any bas file that you d&d on to altirra, if its the stock emulated drives it enables basic and runs the bas file but If I have a Happy fully emulated inc firmware / any of the ones tested real drive emulations then it ignores the bas files when d&d'ed and boots the drive...I'm talking .bas files rather than images that need basic..

 

I can't remember if this is how it always was but it means at the moment that if you run real drives you lose that little perk, I imagine its because on a real machine that once a real drive is on then it expects to boot an image or errors.

 

I just tend to run real drives because its what the system would be doing in the wild so getting a more realistic boot seems the way to go.

 

I know than me asking for a bas file perk is then ironically unrealistic but otherwise you have to go in and disable the real drive and boot them via a dos image the old fashioned way.

 

As with all my asks, if its a pain then ignore it..

 

Oh, you meant drag and drop... not Dungeons & Dragons. That makes a bit more sense.

 

You're correct that this is due to the actual Atari behavior: when D1: is detected, the OS will continuously try to boot from it instead of dropping to BASIC/self-test/memo mode. With standard disk drives, the UI automatically turns off a disk drive when a disk is removed from it. With the full disk drive emulators, however, they're always on, because there's no precedent for connected devices that are off, and some disk drives do interesting things on a boot without a disk (Speedy). If you do have a disk inserted that boots to BASIC, the .bas load will occur once BASIC loads and is ready to accept input.

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Avery,

I've spent the past few days installing RetroPie on a a few Raspberry Pie systems and really appreciate how great Altirra runs Atari 8-bit programs. The sound emulation is what places Altirra above the other emulators. Fruity Pete version 1.1, with stereo sound enabled is spectacular. Altirra, running under Wine Stable 4.10 on my Mac Mini is every bit as good as running on a Windows 10 machine.

 

My ranking of Atari 8-bit emulator sound performance is:

1. Altirra version 3.10

2. Atari800 version 4.00

3. lr-Atari800 version 3.00

 

For you RetroPie users running on the single core Raspberry Pie B+ 512MB, there is a loud buzzing with lr-Atari800. This can be eliminated in RetroPie by doing the optional core install of Atari800 and switching your emulator from the default lr-Atari800 to Atari800. I mentioned this on the RetroPie forum today.

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I'm glad that you rank the sound quality highly.

 

My understanding is that some of the symptoms you describe are the result of a DC bias in the sound output of some emulators, which is the result of directly simulating POKEY's unbalanced audio output. This is because the raw output signal from summing the channels is biased in only one direction from zero level, which then causes a bias by the average volume output. DIfferent systems react to this differently; on WIndows, it can cause the audio mixer to overestimate the global volume level and force ducking of other audio. In Altirra, the DC bias is removed using a high-pass filter with a very long time constant (very low cutoff), which simulates an AC coupling on the audio output.

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Oh, you meant drag and drop... not Dungeons & Dragons. That makes a bit more sense.

 

 

 

 

Yeah, sorry for the confusion, d&d has always been drag and drop in the circles I've dealt with in the UK...

 

Thanks for confirming it was the default action and I was miss remembering it working before...

 

I guess an over ride to allow the bas files with real drive emulation is out of the question?

 

If you don't reply I'll understand its a no and leave you to get on with important stuff, like life etc :)

 

Thanks Avery..

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Yeah, sorry for the confusion, d&d has always been drag and drop in the circles I've dealt with in the UK...

I'm in the UK and 'D&D' has always meant Dungeons and Dragons to me, and I don't even play it. I tried cursorily Googling 'D&D Windows', 'D and D Windows' and 'D and D GUI' in case there was some commonly used acronym of which I'm unaware, but could find no results pertinent to Drag and Drop. 'DnD', however, does yield a few relevant results and kind of rings a bell. Perhaps that's the abbreviation you're remembering.

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Oh wow, we had a Games Workshop near the Maplin (not that I was in to it) and yes I heard the er folks say D&D but I'd always heard and said it in computing company regarding dragging and dropping files.....

 

I'll remember to just say drag and drop next time.....Thank you for the heads up Jon, appreciated....Confusing people like Avery etc, not good! :)

 

The other abbreviation I heard and used was Q&D which equated to quick and dirty ie coding in a messy undocumented way often using bad hits on the OS...

 

Edit 2...

 

And another, 'banging the metal', again a coding reference meaning to code not using the shadow registers...

 

Probably all local created bs but I heard them a lot..

Edited by Mclaneinc
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Usage may vary from place to place, and 'DnD' sounds exactly like 'D&D' when spoken, so for all I know such a subtle disambiguation may be of no help at all. :) Obviously there are many canonical acronyms and not using them would be a contrivance in itself, but when in doubt, I just write stuff out in full. I remember once being totally bewildered for a full day by an acronym someone wrote in a bug report, and no amount of Googling helped at all. The person eventually said: 'Well, I mean this,' and I was like: 'Oh'. :)

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Lol.....Yup, localised shorthand seems to be an issue...Will keep it as per the book next time...

 

I guess that at the time I could hear these folk who were decent coders helping my not so decent coding and using words that sounded 'tech' so I remembered them...Bad practice... :)

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Jargon changes not only by location but by the circles folks travel in... It's fun but can be infuriating at the same time. Old school versus new school jargon is like that as well.
Makes for some interesting disconnects and arguments that really shouldn't exist, as it can all become embroiled and lead to a path that eventually becomes a conflict of styles and personalities. The crazy part is that all parties might actually be in agreement!
Multiply that by the entirety of the world as brought to us through the internet and we can have some real chaos :)
Let's hope for the best!

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Yes I can see how it can open good exchanges as well as causing negativity and worse. Some folks are set in their ways and don't like being told that its awkward / wrong and others understand when its brought to their attention as Avery and FJC did that its more confusing, I'm hopefully always in camp 2. If both FJC and Avery, both hardened coders look at it and go "huh" then something is wrong, if the abbreviations used were so common place I'm sure they would have heard of them..

 

Here to try and help..

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Well, that was a tangent....

 

Regarding a feature to allow .bas files to start when a full disk emulator is active on D1: without it booting DOS off a disk... yeah, I'm afraid the feature check failed. It'd be weird to disable the disk drive to bypass the disk boot or put in a temp disk to trigger the BASIC load, since the disk drive still wouldn't be doing anything. Running full disk drives unnecessarily is also not something I'd like to encourage as they eat a bunch of time to run their drive CPUs. I'm not going to say no saving throw for this feature request, but you're gonna have to roll 18 or higher when making a case for it.

 

Mind you, there is also a use case for not bypassing the full disk drive, when you want to run a BASIC program while having DOS loaded for access to D1:.

 

I do want to go back at some point and tune the standard disk emulators to have some more of the fluff behaviors of the real disk drives, particularly the 810 bumping the heads on no disk, and maybe simulating track buffering for some of the specialized modes.

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Sorry for the tangent but it was a small and useful one to make sure what gets to you guys is at least semi intelligible from me :) (shouts of "that will never happen" will be ignored :) )

 

Yep, didn't expect the bypass as it goes against the way it works but you don't find out if you don't ask..

 

And, I'm sure all of us love the detail of things like the 810 no disk head bump and other small but nice(?) modes..The more real the emulation, the more real the experience...Thank you.

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Altirra supports using firmware files for OS rev B NTSC and OS rev B NTSC (patched). Is there any information out there about the differences? What exactly was the patch for? I assume it's unofficial and the unpatched version is dumped from the actual hardware.

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13 hours ago, dukdukgoos said:

Altirra supports using firmware files for OS rev B NTSC and OS rev B NTSC (patched). Is there any information out there about the differences? What exactly was the patch for? I assume it's unofficial and the unpatched version is dumped from the actual hardware.

No shit, Sherlock.

 

How could we (or anyone) know what patch / patches that may refer to?

 

If you have both files, then compare them. What are the differences? That will indicate what was patched.

:)

 

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Calm down, Beavis. 😀

 

The patched version is from Xformer. It's so tagged because it is so ubiquitous as ATARIOSB.ROM that everyone assumes it is the actual OS-B even though it is slightly modified:

  • RAM test has a hard limit of 52K.
  • PIA initialization is modified to work in emulators that don't implement the PIA data direction registers.

Current emulators don't require these workarounds and will run unmodified OS-B.

 

The vast majority of programs work on the Xformer OS-B, including ones that require OS-B and don't work on the XL/XE OS. I think the community has found only one or two titles that actually require the 100% verbatim OS-B.

 

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4 hours ago, Kyle22 said:

No shit, Sherlock.

 

How could we (or anyone) know what patch / patches that may refer to?

 

Funny that phaeron knew exactly what I was referring to... 🙄 Why reply with a snide, unhelpful comment if you don't understand the question?

 

Anyway, thanks phaeron for the accurate and complete answer!

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I don't like vague descriptions. There was NO mention of Xformer ROMs on this page prior to my post.

 

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True on both points, while phaeron immediately ascertained what you were talking about (he lives and breathes in this environment) , most others do not.

Many are unaware of the xformerb.rom and it's patches.

 

Kudos for the explanation, and subsequent information.

 

In all honesty, kyle was correct to point out the ambiguity and his humor came off as strong... Captain Obvious wouldn't have quite fit the bill- but the always hilarious "No sh*t Sherlock, where'd you leave your cop car" rendition of years ago seemed apt. Though I did admittedly chuckle when I read it.

     It's just one of those things, depending on where you're from. As this one is solved-  I'm getting in my patrol car to track down some more clues on other cases!

:)

 

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Okay, to clarify I was referring to the two different OS-B NTSC ROMs that Altirra detects with CRC checks (hence "supports"). There are 30 or so such supported firmwares.

 

phaeron, a small number of those ROMs are referred to as "Specific" firmware... what does that mean exactly?

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11 hours ago, _The Doctor__ said:

Phaeron, is there a way to make sure the internet modem is always a completely raw connection?

Sort of, it depends on what's on the other side.

 

If the other side is just expecting a raw socket connection, then all that's required is to turn off the Telnet option. Altirra will establish a plain TCP/IP connection and transfer data unmodified between the socket and the emulated serial device.

 

If the other side is a Telnet server, then things are more complicated. Plain Telnet has a number of options that can change data particularly CR-LF handling. To transfer binary data cleanly, the other side needs to request the TRANSMIT-BINARY option; if Altirra receives this, it will reciprocate and set this option on its side for two-way binary mode.

 

In all cases, modem emulation of some kind is still required, either a smart modem that accepts AT commands or a dumb modem (1030). There is currently no support for just plain serial emulation over TCP/IP since without modem emulation there's no interface to tell the emulator to make or break the connection.

 

21 minutes ago, dukdukgoos said:

Okay, to clarify I was referring to the two different OS-B NTSC ROMs that Altirra detects with CRC checks (hence "supports"). There are 30 or so such supported firmwares.

 

phaeron, a small number of those ROMs are referred to as "Specific" firmware... what does that mean exactly?

This is used when the emulator needs to find an exact ROM match because of a match in the compatibility database that says that the title being booted only runs on OS-B or the XL/XE v2 OS. Most of the other entries are just used to autodetect the ROM type and provide the name, otherwise it's up to the user to select them.

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1 hour ago, phaeron said:

Sort of, it depends on what's on the other side.

 

If the other side is just expecting a raw socket connection, then all that's required is to turn off the Telnet option. Altirra will establish a plain TCP/IP connection and transfer data unmodified between the socket and the emulated serial device.

 

If the other side is a Telnet server, then things are more complicated. Plain Telnet has a number of options that can change data particularly CR-LF handling. To transfer binary data cleanly, the other side needs to request the TRANSMIT-BINARY option; if Altirra receives this, it will reciprocate and set this option on its side for two-way binary mode.

 

In all cases, modem emulation of some kind is still required, either a smart modem that accepts AT commands or a dumb modem (1030). There is currently no support for just plain serial emulation over TCP/IP since without modem emulation there's no interface to tell the emulator to make or break the connection.

 

This is used when the emulator needs to find an exact ROM match because of a match in the compatibility database that says that the title being booted only runs on OS-B or the XL/XE v2 OS. Most of the other entries are just used to autodetect the ROM type and provide the name, otherwise it's up to the user to select them.

I was looking to have the internet modem only use the AT commands like a modem to set auto answer pick up (ata), make a call etc, not respond to +++ etc., and of course respond to dtr drop, and provide CD etc.

The emulation has improved towards Plato etc. when making calls, but appears to want to telnet handshake or some such thing with incoming calls then switch modes or something this won't work for raw devices like perle serial to lan, putty in raw, syncterm in raw, a multitude of cheap chinese devices, or when trying to call in to a bbs on the emu and automatically pass a few carriage returns followed by an automatic L-modem download or the same scenario followed by an old Atari BBS networking handshake to download a few message base packets.

 

currently it looks like the emulated system calls out and knows to switch no problem, but the incoming call not so much.

 

I do know that putty requires echo off in a raw connection and line at a time to be off, otherwise hiding of passwords will not take place and the flow would be wrong (not metered).

 

If it's possible, perhaps a method to force binary mode on connect would work as well. My worry is some file of atacii combo might pull it back out of binary mode. This is why I hoped for a raw pass it all as it is mode.

 

I am currently able to upload and download just about anything amongst differing devices in raw mode on real hardware, but when going to the internet modem there are a couple files that won't make it (must be characters that perturb telnet or whatever ). Altira to Altira appears to be more well behaved but that's to be expect. Real to Real works ok.

 

Typically we know whatever is being called requires raw or telnet by either the handshake appearing (if you see it you know to hang up switch modes and call back) or if you see nulls (atascii hearts indicating telnet padding on returns). A veteran internet BBS caller instantly knows what they are seeing on sight with real hardware, the only exception being if the device is set to do telnet padding off or telnet pad stripping. (you might not see the nulls or it might strip an intentional atascii control m control , of  it's control ,)

 

I know you've dedicated a fair amount of time getting the modem to meter the data and get it to function by intelligently figuring out what is expected of it. A way to force it to one mode or another on connect/answer as a default will go a long way towards helping deal with all the different Terminals being cast at it, whether it be PLATO or any number of BBS's and the pile of translations/protocols they now serve.

 

I'd rather not clutter up the topic with all of this so if you have the time or are willing there are at least five of us trying to nail this thing down.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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