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Concerto firmware thread

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On 4/3/2021 at 12:52 AM, groundtrooper said:


Right? I have lost track of how many people in different FB groups were having problems with ROMs. I asked if they were using Trebor’s Rom pack. Nope. They were downloading ROMs from AA other EMU sites and Archive. Ugh. emoji849.png


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What a bunch of dummies.. wtf would a atari guy be on facebook anyway? All the atari action is here or at least should be.  

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Just got my Concerto, and It’s rad! I have a few quick, rookie questions. Is there way to navigate back and forth between menus in the OS? Also, can you go back to the OS from a game, to play another game, or do you have to power off and on again? 
 

BTW, I’m using Trebor’s ROM pack, and it’s working great.

 

Thanks!

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On 4/24/2021 at 12:34 AM, electronicsibley said:

Just got my Concerto, and It’s rad! I have a few quick, rookie questions. Is there way to navigate back and forth between menus in the OS? Also, can you go back to the OS from a game, to play another game, or do you have to power off and on again? 
 

BTW, I’m using Trebor’s ROM pack, and it’s working great.

 

Thanks!

go to the start of the folder you are in, select the first file [xxxxx] that will take you back one folder

Power cycle is the only way to select a new game

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Finally got round to updating the fw on my Concerto to 0.95
Had to delete the drivers and reinstall them for some reason.

When I inserted the cart back in the 7800 (French one) the update logo span for an hour before I decided to turn it off, I didn't get a completed message

when I powered back on all is good an 0.95 is showing as the FW.

Couldn't play any of the Donkey Kong PK carts from the Trebor pack. 

 

 

 

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Got my Concerto! It already had firmware 0.95 installed For the most part it's working great, but I've found a few little issues. Apologies if these are already well-known - I haven't scoured all 25 pages of the thread!

 

1. If I try to scroll through the settings menu, it goes back to the file list screen. I can only highlight the first two options (play last game, and update BIOS).

2. My "Homebrews" directory (courtesy of the Trebor ROM pack) has pages 0-9, but page 9 is displayed as ? instead of 9.

3. The BonQ ROM from the Trebor pack doesn't seem to run. The Atari just hangs with a black screen.

4. I had a game crash on me once, but I think it may have just been a dodgy connection. Probably nothing.

5. Could the epilepsy-inducing screen flashing at power on be toned down/eliminated?

 

Also, out of curiosity, is the Concerto reflashing itself with the menu program every time it's turned on? Fred's description of the startup process makes it sound like it is. If that's what's happening, what are the implications for the flash RAM lifespan?

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1 hour ago, davidbrit2 said:

2. My "Homebrews" directory (courtesy of the Trebor ROM pack) has pages 0-9, but page 9 is displayed as ? instead of 9.

3. The BonQ ROM from the Trebor pack doesn't seem to run. The Atari just hangs with a black screen.

You're going to want to download the latest (v3_8) release of PROPack... http://7800.8bitdev.org/index.php/Trebors_7800_ROM_PROPack if you have not done so already, and delete the previous release/files.

 

Files are now better categorized with new folders added: Demos, Hacks, Homebrews, Prototypes, and Utilities.  Homebrews folder will no longer be 9 pages long. 

 

Additionally, in the "Hacks" folder there is a hack of b*nQ which eliminates an unnecessary POKEY init which fixes the issue you're experiencing...File name: BonQ (Final AtariAge) (No POKEY Init Hack) (20210403).a78

 

Besides the above benefits, there is a plethora of updates and new releases.

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15 minutes ago, Trebor said:

You're going to want to download the latest (v3_8) release of PROPack... http://7800.8bitdev.org/index.php/Trebors_7800_ROM_PROPack if you have not done so already, and delete the previous release/files.

 

Files are now better categorized with new folders added: Demos, Hacks, Homebrews, Prototypes, and Utilities.  Homebrews folder will no longer be 9 pages long. 

 

Additionally, in the "Hacks" folder there is a hack of b*nQ which eliminates an unnecessary POKEY init which fixes the issue you're experiencing...File name: BonQ (Final AtariAge) (No POKEY Init Hack) (20210403).a78

 

Besides the above benefits, there is a plethora of updates and new releases.

 

Ahh, okay. This was a ROM pack that I downloaded fresh on Friday, but I didn't realize BonQ would hang at the Pokey init (I haven't put one in my Concerto yet). I'll give the hack a try.

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5 hours ago, davidbrit2 said:

 

Ahh, okay. This was a ROM pack that I downloaded fresh on Friday, but I didn't realize BonQ would hang at the Pokey init (I haven't put one in my Concerto yet). I'll give the hack a try.

POKEY is actually not used by the game, but due to the erroneous reference, it consequently creates a write which causes an issue for cartridges that contain RAM, such as the Concerto.  Thanks goes to @RevEng for the discovery and fix.

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On 5/16/2021 at 12:45 PM, davidbrit2 said:

Got my Concerto! It already had firmware 0.95 installed For the most part it's working great, but I've found a few little issues. Apologies if these are already well-known - I haven't scoured all 25 pages of the thread!

 

1. If I try to scroll through the settings menu, it goes back to the file list screen. I can only highlight the first two options (play last game, and update BIOS).

2. My "Homebrews" directory (courtesy of the Trebor ROM pack) has pages 0-9, but page 9 is displayed as ? instead of 9.

3. The BonQ ROM from the Trebor pack doesn't seem to run. The Atari just hangs with a black screen.

4. I had a game crash on me once, but I think it may have just been a dodgy connection. Probably nothing.

5. Could the epilepsy-inducing screen flashing at power on be toned down/eliminated?

 

Also, out of curiosity, is the Concerto reflashing itself with the menu program every time it's turned on? Fred's description of the startup process makes it sound like it is. If that's what's happening, what are the implications for the flash RAM lifespan?

These are all being addressed in the next firmware release.

 

On a typical boot, Concerto loads the menu from flash into its RAM. The RAM is static RAM, not flash, and so it has an unlimited number of write cycles. It typically just reads the flash, with no flash writes being performed.

 

The only exception (which isn't actually implemented yet) are for the ARM-based 2600 games, like DPC+ and CDFJ. These will need to write to the flash in order to play the games, then reflash the menu back to flash on the next boot. Even such, the flash has a minimum 100,000 write cycle rating, which most likely nobody will ever see or get close to. if you played 5 different ARM-based 2600 games every single day, it would take 27 years to hit that limit. Also, even when flash is at that limit, it by no means means it is worn out, as the 100,000 is a minimum rating (most likely it will handle many more.)

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4 hours ago, batari said:

These are all being addressed in the next firmware release.

 

On a typical boot, Concerto loads the menu from flash into its RAM. The RAM is static RAM, not flash, and so it has an unlimited number of write cycles. It typically just reads the flash, with no flash writes being performed.

 

The only exception (which isn't actually implemented yet) are for the ARM-based 2600 games, like DPC+ and CDFJ. These will need to write to the flash in order to play the games, then reflash the menu back to flash on the next boot. Even such, the flash has a minimum 100,000 write cycle rating, which most likely nobody will ever see or get close to. if you played 5 different ARM-based 2600 games every single day, it would take 27 years to hit that limit. Also, even when flash is at that limit, it by no means means it is worn out, as the 100,000 is a minimum rating (most likely it will handle many more.)

Cool, thanks for the info. Sounds plenty durable then!

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On 5/19/2021 at 2:54 AM, batari said:

These are all being addressed in the next firmware release.

 

On a typical boot, Concerto loads the menu from flash into its RAM. The RAM is static RAM, not flash, and so it has an unlimited number of write cycles. It typically just reads the flash, with no flash writes being performed.

 

The only exception (which isn't actually implemented yet) are for the ARM-based 2600 games, like DPC+ and CDFJ. These will need to write to the flash in order to play the games, then reflash the menu back to flash on the next boot. Even such, the flash has a minimum 100,000 write cycle rating, which most likely nobody will ever see or get close to. if you played 5 different ARM-based 2600 games every single day, it would take 27 years to hit that limit. Also, even when flash is at that limit, it by no means means it is worn out, as the 100,000 is a minimum rating (most likely it will handle many more.)

Cool!

 

any idea on how far out you are from it being ready to test? I love breaking stuff!

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Received my concerto a couple of days ago and I am one of the unfortunate PAL owners where not one single 7800 game will boot *cries*

  • Sad 4

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I received my concerto some time ago. I haven't been able to start a game until today !!!
First I tried it on my well-functioning PAL-7800. Here I come into the menu. The games seem to load at first. The bar usually stays at 80%. If it goes to the end, a black screen appears. With some games the bar does not even start to run. Flashing the firmware worked again, but the problem did not change.
Because I was so annoyed about it, someone here in Germany converted a ProSystem (i.e. NTSC), which is expensive and difficult to obtain, with a UAV. It works without any problems with NTSC carts.
But now the hammer:
I can't even get to the menu with the same Concerto and the same SD cards! After flashing the firmware again, it is confirmed that the flashing of firmware 0.95 worked. If I then confirm the message with a fire button, the disk will turn for eternity.
If I then switch off the console with the on / off switch and restart it (this is the recommendation in the description for flashing!), This colorful screen appears, which at the end turns light blue, sometimes red.
If I do not flash and start the Concerto normally, this colorful screen also appears.
There are so many NTSC users around here, has anyone seen it in their home or has any advice?
It's depressing that not a single game works on both consoles.
With kind Atari greetings from Germany

Franky99

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Thinking of selling my Concerto-Cart as it won´t work with PAL-machines and there is no information if it ever will

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5 hours ago, panamajoe said:

Thinking of selling my Concerto-Cart as it won´t work with PAL-machines and there is no information if it ever will

I've heard you can cut the legs off and use it as a nice 2600 multi-cart :)

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, panamajoe said:

Thinking of selling my Concerto-Cart as it won´t work with PAL-machines and there is no information if it ever will

I've been thinking the same since mine won't play right with my NTSC machine either.  Been holding out for the eventual firmware update.  I knew when I bought it it was a work in progress, so I'm not trying to sound ungrateful.  In the meantime I've been playing mostly on the 7800 core on Mister which is quite good.

Edited by schnuth

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No ETA yet, but I will soon be posting some test firmware versions for those with loading issues to run, so that I might get some more information on possible solutions to the problem (particularly, the PAL loading issues.)

 

Since I don't have any problem consoles right now, the test versions I am working on are intended to try various ways to test or work around the loading issues, and I want to see the results on problem consoles so that I might find a proper solution.

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4 hours ago, batari said:

No ETA yet, but I will soon be posting some test firmware versions for those with loading issues to run, so that I might get some more information on possible solutions to the problem (particularly, the PAL loading issues.)

 

Since I don't have any problem consoles right now, the test versions I am working on are intended to try various ways to test or work around the loading issues, and I want to see the results on problem consoles so that I might find a proper solution.

Thanks for the update Fred. Happy to help out with any Pal testing you need help with 👍

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I have worked on several ideas (such as checksum/CRC checks, data redundancy, error correction and even just using the Harmony Encore method of loading.) I have partially implemented some of these ideas but before I get too deep in the more complex solutions, I should let people try the simpler ones.

 

This is the simplest I can think of. This version of the firmware blanks the screen during loading, to rule out the possibility that it's MARIA DMA interfering with the loading process.

 

To install, make sure you have 0.95 already, boot your Concerto and load the file from the menu as if it were a game. The automatic reboot after loading firmware doesn't work properly, so manually power cycle to try the changes.

hbios_concerto_0.95test_dmaoff.cbi

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I wish you can manage it, batari!
What if I can't get to the loading screen at all (see my thread regarding NTSC?)

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2 hours ago, Franky99 said:

I wish you can manage it, batari!
What if I can't get to the loading screen at all (see my thread regarding NTSC?)

It is just the NTSC console where you can't get to the loading screen, or the PAL console too now?

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After a first, fast check: the new test bios works with my PAL 7800!

That´s great, thank you!

 

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