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flashjazzcat

Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL/XLD and SIDE/SIDE2 Firmware Version 3 Released

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Posted (edited)

Following several months of development and testing and one year after the prior update (version 2), I'm pleased to announce the release of version 3.00 of the 'alt' firmware for the Ultimate 1MB, Incognito, 1088XEL/XLD, and SIDE/SIDE2.

 

Please head over to the firmware page of my website to download the updates:

 

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

 

New features:

 

  • Number of BIOS configuration profiles increased from three to four
  • Massively faster and more powerful loader search facility
  • Loader’s built-in FAT DOS now supports subdirectories
  • Loader now remembers the last accessed FAT folder
  • Loader scripts may include paths
  • Loader can now open the location of any already mounted image
  • Usability improvements to the loader and BIOS setup menu
  • Optional synthetic ‘IO sound’ with ATRs and hard disk partitions
  • Improved loader compatibility
  • Auto-booting banked cartridge conversions on SIDE/SIDE2
  • All hardware-specific HDD functionality moved to plugins
  • Several important bug fixes

 

This thread will cover any installation and usability issues, and discussion of any further updates and fixes. Documentation has also been heavily revised, and we have the exciting prospect of ebiguy's excellent OSS language cart conversions for SIDE/SIDE2.

 

I will be making some quick-start videos when I get time; for now the task of simply getting everything prepared and uploaded was daunting enough.

 

Thanks to the volunteers who tested the beta and release candidate versions, and I hope everyone enjoys the end result. :)

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Thank you, Jon!  Successfully downloaded the new firmware from your website.  I look forward to upgrading and using your new firmware soon!

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I got the side2oss rom installed.  And just now starting investigate some of it's features ..

 

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For those of you who haven't noticed, Jon does all this out of the goodness of his heart, as a volunteer for the community. Please - if you haven't done so - consider a donation to help support his work. :)

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28 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

For those of you who haven't noticed, Jon does all this out of the goodness of his heart, as a volunteer for the community. Please - if you haven't done so - consider a donation to help support his work. :)

You beat me to it (post & donation).

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Posted (edited)

I'm not a user of Action!, MAC/65, or any of the other OSS languages, so I'll be interested to hear of the findings of Roy and others. Ebiguy certainly knows his way around those OSS ROMs, however; he did a marvellous job and I have every confidence in the implementation. Eric's ROMs, coupled with the new SIDE loader's ability to persistently default to the selected OSS cart, should be a boon for SIDE owners interested in these popular languages. There are a couple of unavoidable issues, such as minor glitches when using DDT (owing to the slower banking), but on the other hand, Eric made a couple of minor improvements too (The "DIR" command in one of the BASIC ROMs used to default to "D1:"; Eric patched that out so it's easier to use when the default drive is not "D1:"). Thanks again to @ebiguy for coming to the rescue when I found myself all fingers and thumbs attempting to the patch the ROMs myself. :)

 

One thing I forgot is the AVG SIDE Loader ROM: I'll get that done today and add it to the ZIP file.

 

PS: Many thanks @DrVenkman!

Edited by flashjazzcat
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all the side roms when very good.  But the BASICXE.OSS help file caused a crash so I renamed it xxxxxx.SOS so it doesn't get loaded.

I don't know if I have the proper BASICXE.OSS file it might be the help file for the MyBios MyIDE 2 cartridge ..

 

Now doing the Incognito bios roms.

 

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5 minutes ago, rdea6 said:

all the side roms when very good.  But the BASICXE.OSS help file caused a crash so I renamed it xxxxxx.SOS so it doesn't get loaded.

I don't know if I have the proper BASICXE.OSS file it might be the help file for the MyBios MyIDE 2 cartridge ..

I don't know if Eric will even have time to try and debug any issues; I'll certainly defer to him regarding anything specific to the ROMs. I understand basically how they work but I don't want to start tinkering with what he's done.

 

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Also the components folder in the zip file is some older files..

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12 minutes ago, rdea6 said:

Also the components folder in the zip file is some older files..

Ack... that shouldn't even be there. Sorry!

 

Fixed (re-uploaded U1MB ZIP). Thanks @rdea6:)

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Option 'L' shows only APT partition with the named partitions and no Fat system at all --- even with the incognito ..

 

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19 minutes ago, rdea6 said:

Option 'L' shows only APT partition with the named partitions and no Fat system at all --- even with the incognito ..

 

Do you have the PBI BIOS and Hard Disk options enabled?

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Just wanted to report another successful update here!

 

I'm sure that I use 0.1% of the firmware's capabilities as I only have an Ultimate 1Mb board - no pbi or side2 hardware here. However since I know what a pain in the butt it is to write, debug and support BIOS and utilities like these (I've done my fair bit on the Atari ST and compatibles) and since I've received some gratitude, what the hell, I've sent a small tip over to fjc.

 

Well done Jon! You're an inspiration to us all, keep it up!

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, rdea6 said:

Option 'L' shows only APT partition with the named partitions and no Fat system at all

If you can ZIP up a raw dump of your card (not partitions - raw image from sector 0 to the end), I'll take a look. The loader received a couple of FAT-related fixes relating to cards with no partition table and volume names generated by macOS, but I'd be interested to look at any MBR partition tables or FAT boot sectors which pose problems or point to any regressions.

 

Edited by flashjazzcat
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4 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

Do you have the PBI BIOS and Hard Disk options enabled?

This shouldn't make any difference; FAT partitions should be picked up regardless of the PBI BIOS.

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

If you can ZIP up a raw dump of your card (not partitions - raw image from sector 0 to the end), I'll take a look. The loader received a couple of FAT-related fixes relating to cards with no partition table and volume names generated by macOS, but I'd be interested to look at any MBR partition tables or FAT boot sectors which pose problems or point to any regressions.

 

I put the file of the raw dump of CF card in the messages folder.  I hope it helps fix my problem.

Edited by rdea6

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4 minutes ago, rdea6 said:

I put the file of the raw dump of CF card in the messages folder.  I hope it helps fix my problem.

Thanks Roy - greatly appreciated. Downloading now.

 

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Posted (edited)

Confirmed bug with unnamed FAT volumes. Thanks @rdea6. Remind me to send you more betas in future. :)

 

Will upload (very trivial) fix tomorrow. BTW: that 4GB disk image compresses down to a 668MB ZIP file. ;)

 

Workaround: name FAT volume via Windows.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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36 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

Workaround: name FAT volume via Windows.

okay now in the process if naming all my Fat32 CF cards..

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I have SIDE2+U1MB, and APT partitions starting at D3:, as boot, with a nice AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Not sure if this is related to your new firmware release, but I've noticed something now while playing with all the settings, etc. - when I reboot via CTRL-X, it looks like SDX forgets D3: as main boot drive, and never reads my AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

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Well this is great timing!  Last night I had disconnected my Vamped A500+ and wanted to play with my expanded 130XE, and was going to see if a new firmware had been released, and indeed there was!

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Fixed the loader issue Roy found, and I'll upload the fix this afternoon. Those who've already updated should flash the fix, and those who haven't updated yet may wish to hold off and flash the fixed version. This is all most upsetting, since I have to bump the version number already. :)

 

For those interested: it's a new bug (not present in most of the betas) caused by code refactoring, namely in-lining subroutines called in only one place in order to save four bytes (the JSR and the RTS). Things were that bad when it came to space... Anyway: the subroutine which looks for the FAT volume name in the boot sector if there's no volume name in the directory itself got in-lined and I clearly forgot to replace two RTS exit points with branches to the tail end of the parent routine which adds the actual FAT entry to the list of MBR partitions. Since presumably no-one who tested beta versions since June or so used any cards with no-name FAT volumes (I didn't), the bug went uncaught.

 

9 hours ago, Mrarkus said:

I have SIDE2+U1MB, and APT partitions starting at D3:, as boot, with a nice AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Not sure if this is related to your new firmware release, but I've noticed something now while playing with all the settings, etc. - when I reboot via CTRL-X, it looks like SDX forgets D3: as main boot drive, and never reads my AUTOEXEC.BAT file.

I can't replicate this; if I press CTRL+X in the loader, SDX boots from the drive set via the CONFIG.SYS setting in the main BIOS, just as it does when a restart is triggered in any other manner. Have you set the desired SDX boot drive using this setting? The 'B' (boot) flag set in the partition table itself is only observed when SDX is off and the 'Boot drive' setting is 'APT'.

 

CTRL+X is a new convenience feature in the loader, but all it does is select the SDX bank and restart the system. If I've missed something, please elaborate and I'll check it out further. :)

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4 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

I can't replicate this; if I press CTRL+X in the loader, SDX boots from the drive set via the CONFIG.SYS setting in the main BIOS, just as it does when a restart is triggered in any other manner. Have you set the desired SDX boot drive using this setting? The 'B' (boot) flag set in the partition table itself is only observed when SDX is off and the 'Boot drive' setting is 'APT'.

 

CTRL+X is a new convenience feature in the loader, but all it does is select the SDX bank and restart the system. If I've missed something, please elaborate and I'll check it out further. :)

 

Nothing to see here, all me :) Works fine now, thanks!

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Good to know. :)

 

Here's a fixed loader for those who've already installed the full update and don't care to unnecessarily re-flash the entire firmware:

 

Loader Fix.zip

 

Only Roy will probably notice the difference, and if he's named all his FAT partitions, even he won't notice anything. But if all is well, I will release updated firmware with this loader this evening. :)

 

Thanks everyone for the very useful and productive feedback so far.

 

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Me again, I thought I was OK, but apparently not...  I set the CONFIG.SYS drive to D3: in main BIOS (and put a valid file on the partition), and have SDX enabled, PBI enabled and hard disk enabled. I tried boot drive setting as D3:, boot flag on D3: and APT, or default - same issue below:

 

I boot the computer to SDX - everything is great. Go to U1MB menu via RESET-HELP, L for loader. I attach an ATR image as D1:, then hit CTRL-X. SDX boots and shows D1:, and my AUTOEXEC.BAT on D3: has not executed.

 

If I do NOT attach an ATR image, CTRL-X takes me through the boot process correctly, with my custom prompt being shown from D3:

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