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INVISIBLE

UberGROM - vs - FinalGROM - Application(s)

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When the UberGROM first came out, I bought a number of them, plus extra chips, a burner, a fancy IC extractor, well basically the whole works.  I was ecstatic.  As time marched on and technology improved, the TI hobbyist geniuses came up with ever better gadgets.  At first the UberGROM held it's own for a specific task or program, but on the software side of things, the geniuses again figured out how to overcome the auto-booting limitation and some other stuff that the UberGROM could do that the FinalGROM could not.  

 

Now, I'm left wondering what to do with my UberGROM stuff.  Is there anything the UberGROM can do, or a program it can run better, than the FinalGROM?  As a classic computer hobbyist, I don't like to discard neat things that still function, like my TI-99/4A, but sometimes changing perspective or re-tasking one or two items and bundling them TOGETHER can give new life to older stuff and in some cases MAKE THEM BETTER AS A WHOLE.

 

I'm personally out of ideas, so...

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Although, I don't have/haven't used an UberGROM MODULE, my understanding is that it can "cold boot" to a state of your choosing, whereas the FinalGROM will only boot to the TITLE SCREEN.:ponder:

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There's not much it can do (with existing software) that the FinalGROM can't, save the projects that make use of the serial port. But, you could use the ones you have to make some permanent cartridges - the XB2.7 suite and RXB are good ones to have. 

 

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19 minutes ago, Tursi said:

There's not much it can do (with existing software) that the FinalGROM can't, save the projects that make use of the serial port. But, you could use the ones you have to make some permanent cartridges - the XB2.7 suite and RXB are good ones to have. 

 

Yep, have the XB2.7S, fantastic cartridge by the way, even if some program versions on it are getting a little dated.

Have the RXB 2015 cartridge, but never seem to get around to using as it's easier to use the BASIC on the FinalGROM without swapping cartridges.

Then of course the one you helped me with, the auto-booting 4A/DOS, which still gets some use, but Force Command is slowing taking over in my TI life.

The Rasmus 8-N-1 Arcade is good...

... as is the Atarisoft Games Collection.

Heck, I still have Version 1.8 of the F18A upgrade and really should re-task that cartridge, but have no idea of (existing software) that I'd want to put into it.

 

Now you mention (existing software).  There is one program I've been waiting nearly three years for, while enjoying the updates as they come along.  I WILL be making a dedicated cartridge for that baby when it's finally released.  I'm crossing my fingers that it'll be be completed before the end of 2020.

 

At this point, the 4A/DOS and Gazoo's XB2.7S are going to remain with me until I die, the others, with FinalGROM versions on hand could possibly still give my burner some future action.

 

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53 minutes ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

Although, I don't have/haven't used an UberGROM MODULE, my understanding is that it can "cold boot" to a state of your choosing, whereas the FinalGROM will only boot to the TITLE SCREEN.:ponder:

 

Actually there is a work around for that too.  For example the 4A/DOS version for the FinalGROM only requires seeing the title and selection screens only once, until power is reset.  So yes the 4A/DOS for the UberGROM is better in that you NEVER have to see them.

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AFAIK the UberGROM is the only cart that supports multiple GROM bases.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

Although, I don't have/haven't used an UberGROM MODULE, my understanding is that it can "cold boot" to a state of your choosing, whereas the FinalGROM will only boot to the TITLE SCREEN.:ponder:

To be clear if i still have good memories, i remember that if you will put only on title into the SD card of the FG99 it will start like a standard Cartridge without boot the FinalGrom Menu.

It is also tha same until an amount of games, maybe 6? or 8? i do not remember... anyway it will show a the standard TI menu with multi choises, if so the FinalGrom menu should boot only when files are a good number not for few. 
 

Edited by ti99iuc

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Posted (edited)

Hmmm, I might consider buying another auto-starting 1284P from Tursi in the future.  Now that I think about it, having Force Command in an UberGROM might be kind of neat and since programming the 49F040 is a piece of cake.  All it would take is an up-to-date version in a BIN.  Maybe I should start thinking about what would make an appropriate cartridge label?

Force Command.jpg

Edited by INVISIBLE
Added Image

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I considered this today myself, but I really need access to the gobs of memory on the FGROM's SD CARD, I need cold booting because, no HOME AUTOMATION ...no(safe secure) home! Occasionally, due to hardware or software glitches a TI may CRASH, LOCK-UP, RESET, or otherwise misoperate.:thumbsdown: By having the console software, send periodic signals to a RESET BLOCK, the system can be restarted automatically upon the absence of these signals. I've considered a few methods to accomplish this, including adding a CRU switched DSR ROM to the sidecar-chain. These solutions  all seemed somewhat preclusive.:roll:

 

So, I put a little time/effort in on this today. I believe, I have successfully tested, parts of a concept to "cold boot" the previously loaded cartridge image on the FGROM, holding down a key during power-up to return to the FGROM's selection menu or to the TITLE SCREEN! This entails, wrapping the FGROM's current selection menu itself, within a cartridge image(.bin), and replacing it with some "patches".:twisted:

 

Still, I believe the UberGROM can "override" the CONSOLE's GROMs!:o

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1 hour ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

Still, I believe the UberGROM can "override" the CONSOLE's GROMs!:o

Two limitations - One is that as shipped, it deliberately prevents you from programming that range for a variety of reasons. Two is that the address counter readback code is not in that version (I didn't have it working right at that point in time, although at some point I did), so you would still need at least one real GROM somewhere in the system to run. Mostly I was worried that when I released MPD, two TTL GROM replacements both fighting for the console address space would damage one or the other.

 

The source code shows you what to change to enable the space, though.

 

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7 hours ago, HOME AUTOMATION said:

I considered this today myself, but I really need access to the gobs of memory on the FGROM's SD CARD, I need cold booting because, no HOME AUTOMATION ...no(safe secure) home! Occasionally, due to hardware or software glitches a TI may CRASH, LOCK-UP, RESET, or otherwise misoperate.:thumbsdown: By having the console software, send periodic signals to a RESET BLOCK, the system can be restarted automatically upon the absence of these signals. I've considered a few methods to accomplish this, including adding a CRU switched DSR ROM to the sidecar-chain. These solutions  all seemed somewhat preclusive.:roll:

 

Do you need more than 512K for this specific task?  If not, the UberGROM with Tursi's start code might be perfect for your application.  Because with Tursi's cold boot routine in the 1284P it can load whatever is programmed onto the 49F040.  In the case of the photo below, it's 4A/DOS, but you could put nearly any program in there.

 

I've not done it personally, but within the confines of Classic 99 it's my understanding that one can load up a software program run it to any point and then make an image of it, and have it being execute from that set point on a real TI.  So, if you lose power, no problem, when power comes back, voila the program will start WITHOUT HUMAN INTERVENTION at that specific place in the program.

 

START.thumb.png.050d69648b846bab3c5f7a2dd2007e24.png

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Hmm GPL power up does the same thing, restart computer and it starts automatically and I had this is RXB as a option with GRAM devices as then you could turn it off.

It was only 2 bytes to change so you could do it from RXB CALL POKEG(24580,0,0) or use a tool to turn off Autostart power up.

 

 

Edited by RXB
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I like the grom-based serial port of the ubergrom ;)  Coupled with a nanopeb, I can have both an HDX connection to the PC to transfer files via DM2K and a nano serial connection to the 'outside' world for telnet and troubleshooting applications.  

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On 4/3/2020 at 6:00 PM, INVISIBLE said:

Hmmm, I might consider buying another auto-starting 1284P from Tursi in the future.  Now that I think about it, having Force Command in an UberGROM might be kind of neat and since programming the 49F040 is a piece of cake.  All it would take is an up-to-date version in a BIN.  Maybe I should start thinking about what would make an appropriate cartridge label?

Force Command.jpg

this is designed for finalgrom.. it has finalgrom cart loading routines..  

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On 4/3/2020 at 9:00 PM, INVISIBLE said:

Hmmm, I might consider buying another auto-starting 1284P from Tursi in the future.  Now that I think about it, having Force Command in an UberGROM might be kind of neat and since programming the 49F040 is a piece of cake.  All it would take is an up-to-date version in a BIN.  Maybe I should start thinking about what would make an appropriate cartridge label?

Force Command.jpg

 

Perhaps Yoda would be more appropriate, as a Jedi rather than a Sith?

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On 4/4/2020 at 6:19 AM, INVISIBLE said:

 

Do you need more than 512K for this specific task?  If not, the UberGROM with Tursi's start code might be perfect for your application.  Because with Tursi's cold boot routine in the 1284P it can load whatever is programmed onto the 49F040.  In the case of the photo below, it's 4A/DOS, but you could put nearly any program in there.

 

I've not done it personally, but within the confines of Classic 99 it's my understanding that one can load up a software program run it to any point and then make an image of it, and have it being execute from that set point on a real TI.  So, if you lose power, no problem, when power comes back, voila the program will start WITHOUT HUMAN INTERVENTION at that specific place in the program.

 

START.thumb.png.050d69648b846bab3c5f7a2dd2007e24.png

 

 

 

The way I feel, these days, you could automate my life with less than 1k ...however, there was a time when the sky was the limit. In the spirit of the latter, I think about leaving something behind for others to ...hopefully enjoy and appreciate in some future manner. I would hope to afford my application and it's poetential users, generous room for growth. I consider TIPI/FinalGROM to be a comfortable ceiling for now. Looks like, I missed the 512k era, I'm sure it was good, if not long lived!

 

As for crashes... starting back up exactly where the program left off could be undesirable at times, even though that might take only 1-2 seconds, due to switching-time considerations. I intend to use log checking, to resyncronize things during "crash-restarts".

 

I believe, I have overcome the power-up routine issues on the FinalGROM, at least to my own satisfaction ...and I must say, without the inspiration from this thread, I might well have missed it altogether.

 

        Thanks.

 

Now: Who said, you could re-use OMEGA's pics? Just because he hasn't been around, in a while...  we... have not forgotten him. So you just, mind your manners!

 

    P.S. Please forgive me for being brash, I was once...

                                                                                   INVINCE.JPG.4c0535f6fa1e723029cda3fe03d82aec.JPG

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Different audiences, different capabilities.

 

  • I've been making UberGROM images of all the proto GROM carts.  That way, people can make single use dedicated carts - like the three Disney games, Plant Genetics, Germ Patrol, etc.
  • Dedicated games like Breakthrough that used GROM are also an ideal dedicated use for an UberGROM
  • UART: UberHDX from Fred - with a serial dongle, or a Bluetooth radio (which I use to talk to my laptop via a Bluetooth COM port)
  • Unused capabilities:
    • GROM bases (in 8K banks, supports 16 access bases)
    • RAM - 15K (8K and 7K)
    • EEPROM - 4K
    • GPIO - 4 pins
    • Analog to Digital Converter - 4 pins

- So yeah, we're thining of using the GRAM part for the BASIC Support Module... so add that one to the list of "cool new use of an UberGROM."

- The GPIO is just waiting for someone like Vorticon to measure/test/do something with general purpose pins

- The ADC is just waiting for an analog to digital converter use case - like an analog joystick

 

There's tons of cool uses that we haven't even thought about with this cart yet.  We've just scratched the surface with UberHDX (and TIMXT - kinda works) with the DB9 serial and Bluetooth serial.

 


 

 

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5 hours ago, acadiel said:

Different audiences, different capabilities.

 

  • I've been making UberGROM images of all the proto GROM carts.  That way, people can make single use dedicated carts - like the three Disney games, Plant Genetics, Germ Patrol, etc.
  • Dedicated games like Breakthrough that used GROM are also an ideal dedicated use for an UberGROM
  • UART: UberHDX from Fred - with a serial dongle, or a Bluetooth radio (which I use to talk to my laptop via a Bluetooth COM port)
  • Unused capabilities:
    • GROM bases (in 8K banks, supports 16 access bases)
    • RAM - 15K (8K and 7K)
    • EEPROM - 4K
    • GPIO - 4 pins
    • Analog to Digital Converter - 4 pins

- So yeah, we're thining of using the GRAM part for the BASIC Support Module... so add that one to the list of "cool new use of an UberGROM."

- The GPIO is just waiting for someone like Vorticon to measure/test/do something with general purpose pins

- The ADC is just waiting for an analog to digital converter use case - like an analog joystick

 

There's tons of cool uses that we haven't even thought about with this cart yet.  We've just scratched the surface with UberHDX (and TIMXT - kinda works) with the DB9 serial and Bluetooth serial.

 


 

 

 

Nice to see this thread bearing some fruit!

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Posted (edited)
13 hours ago, INVISIBLE said:

 

Nice to see this thread bearing some fruit!

I'm one of the developers of the UG - Tursi, Ksarul and myself.  There were a lot of thoughts bandied around about what we could do with these features after Tursi implemented all these ATMega functions.  The original was expansion terminal program showing Linux running via the attached serial port (demo'd at the TI Faire).  Tursi also had plans for the UG to support his Multiple Personality Distorter (which lets you run a /4 GROM on the /4A), but had concerns about TTL overdriving and hurting the GROMs in the console.  IMHO, the GK, Gromulator, and other devices did that without issue by "shouting" over the TI GROMs and didn't seem to hurt anything.

 

Kudos to Fred Kaal for coming up with the first good idea for the expansion pins:  http://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99hdx/ti99hdx_ubergrom.html - others have followed the serial port lead, and I've even experimented with XBee, Bluetooth and other things using TTL serial.  :)  I believe someone also tried a MIDI program over the serial port (InsaneMultitasker?)

Edited by acadiel
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You misremember my concerns slightly. I disabled the UberGROM overriding the console GROMs because the MPD will use the same tech, and then you'll have two TTL devices (one in the console, one in the cartridge port) both driving the bus at the same time if you try to overload the console GROMs. That /will/ damage one or the other. 

 

I tested the UberGROM overriding real GROMs without issue. IMHO notwithstanding, I did that test. ;)

 

I'm still deciding how to deal with that anyway since the same problem would occur with GRAMKrackers, and I don't want to cause issues for those. The MPD will probably just need resistors on the outputs so it can be overridden.

 

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11 hours ago, acadiel said:

Kudos to Fred Kaal for coming up with the first good idea for the expansion pins:  http://www.ti99-geek.nl/Projects/ti99hdx/ti99hdx_ubergrom.html - others have followed the serial port lead, and I've even experimented with XBee, Bluetooth and other things using TTL serial.  :)  I believe someone also tried a MIDI program over the serial port (InsaneMultitasker?)

If I updated MidiMaster for use with the Ubergrom UART I have no recollection of doing so, though it is on my wishful thinking list. You might be remembering the modification for nanopeb serial port compatibility?

 

Uberhdx wasn't the first application to use the Ubergrom Uart/serial port though to me (and IMHO) it is the most useful. ;)

 

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5 hours ago, Tursi said:

You misremember my concerns slightly. I disabled the UberGROM overriding the console GROMs because the MPD will use the same tech, and then you'll have two TTL devices (one in the console, one in the cartridge port) both driving the bus at the same time if you try to overload the console GROMs. That /will/ damage one or the other. 

 

Gotcha, thanks for the correction!  

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3 hours ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

If I updated MidiMaster for use with the Ubergrom UART I have no recollection of doing so, though it is on my wishful thinking list. You might be remembering the modification for nanopeb serial port compatibility?

 

I know someone did in here.... I’ll have to do a power search ;)

 

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