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SIDE 3/SDX/SD Card/APT Partitioning for Dummies

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Hi Jon, I never said it was mis sold i said my thoughts on the cart was that everything was built in to prepare an sd card and then start loading stuff on to use. So with you saying now 64k is not enough that was not mentioned in the description of the cart? what was put is that its more usable with the 1mb ultimate which i am now planning to buy but in the meantime the 64k was enough to get going? So now i have ordered the ready prepare sd card it should have the drivers etc to format another blank card?

Yes i did read your reply on you tube but that just threw me right off. 

So i'll go read your 3 links to gain more knowledge but in the meantime i was hoping to use 64k atari with the car which i will i think once the sd card arrives? 

I'm not arguing with you or being defiant im just totally peed that the cart comes and i try a 2gb sd card i load the spartados and nothing thats whats got me. Ive read other ppl giving instructions which ive tried to follow up until typing fdsik and if i type format i cant choose anything for the unit? I tried C drive does not respond! the only thing i did try was A and B but thats when the sd drive max is connected.

Ive never really used spartados properly ive only every used the XINIT to format a disk and the COPY.

 

Anyway i'll go read but it wont changed anything by the looks of it until i get the 1mb ultimate fitted ? Im hoping when the sd card arrives i will be able to plug in and try the demos games etc thats already on there and then may i can swap out the card for this blank one if the apt tool kit or what evers needed is on the sd card? Thats if my thinking is correct and not misled LOL

 

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Hi wrathchild so please tell me how do i go about getting this Altirra and how do i load this whilst the cart is in? do i put the Altirra on sd drive max as an atr? Do you have a link for Altirra?

 

Anything that gets me up and running is much appreciated at this moment the cart is nothing is just a fancy menu and no action. Sorry for being so down about it but excitement the cart arrives and i cant do anything with it as of yet ? :( 

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Soory to winge but another gripe is the clock on the cart i set the time and after a few reboots or the atari standing doing nothing i go back to the clock and its out by 2 mins ?? The clock does not seem to keep a correct accurate time?

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It sounds like you're approaching the problem with scant understanding of concepts like MEMLO, etc, which is why I referred you to some documentation. Pragmatically speaking, 64K is quite enough to 'get going' with if you want to use the device's loader to run games and emulate cartridges, but if you find it surprising that SpartaDOS X requires a lot of RAM in the context you want to use it, perhaps the vendor could add some notes to this effect on the product page. That's about as much as I can suggest here, since I already developed the firmware, wrote a 100 page firmware manual and an APT partitioning guide, made instructional videos on how to use the thing, and routinely respond to usability enquiries via emails, on this forum, and on social media.

 

I have no control over how the device is promoted on the vendor or the reseller's website.

 

I'm sure others will chime in with ideas as Wrathchild has already done, anyway. This might be more informative than my regurgitating the same precis of parts of the manual for the 1,000th time. :)

 

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John maybe the vendor should have pointed this out not everyone knows how to use spartados or more in depth use of the atari xl ex range! Thats why i put my knowledge of spartados is limited. Please dont bother regurgitating anything on my account if its too much trouble. I totally appreciate you have put lots of work in to this and thats what pushed me also to buying the side3 apart from nearly venturing in to the side2 once upon a time but as i use atarimax cable and sd drive max and the 8mb flash cart from atari max i did not bother to go in to the side2 but now time has passed and lots of exciting stuff is there for the atari xl xe computers i am now going in that direction but as a noob and theres plenty of them out there i would have thought a bit more help from the experts who know what there doing would push this side3 to high levels. I hope this side3 is not for the elite of the atari users and stuff the noobs

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According with one vendor:

"Abilities:

Loads XEX, CAR, ROM
Limited ATR support
Occupies the Cartridge slot 
Uses SD card as a HDD device
On board Real Time Clock
On board SDX"

I guess you should start with the first part "Loads XEX, CAR, ROM" before moving to the more advanced SDX (Sparta) parts or the HDD part.

Put some XEXs, and CARs files in the SD Card you have by using your Windows PC or Mac  and try your Side3 again.

Edited by manterola
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so why can't i find the fdisk on the cart ???   Run fdisk.  It is on the CAR: device but at this point your PATH contains only CAR: so you don’t need to do anything special to find fdisk and format and such.

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All I can say is that these old systems can be a big learning curve and no-one can do the learning on your behalf. Having an inquisitive mind and using the forum search facility can reap rewards. If you want something which just works with minimal effort, I recommend a Chromebook or Apple Mac. :)

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33 minutes ago, Back2skooldaze said:

Hi wrathchild so please tell me how do i go about getting this Altirra and how do i load this whilst the cart is in? do i put the Altirra on sd drive max as an atr? Do you have a link for Altirra?

A quick Google would have told you this is an Atari emulator?

http://www.virtualdub.org/altirra.html

Along with many topics on AtariAge, e.g.

 

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you need some actual 8-bit Atari  software to run. If you don't have any, it'll be a pretty boring experience.  I like that LOL 

 

I do like Altirra is really nice :)

Edited by Back2skooldaze

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Hi Manterola yes thats exactly why the side3 appealed to me to use an sd card as an hdd on the atari xl

 

You know atarimax Steve sold me a small ide hard drive and a myide cart that links to the hdd via an ide cable and i got 2 floppy disks with it which i was able to format and partition the ide hard drive and that was fun to use but thats now been packed away so using an sd card for the same purpose is what i was looking for ie the side3

 

it was the myide before the myide carts he started selling back in the late 90's early 2000

Edited by Back2skooldaze

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very funny jazz ive never been an apple fan 

what im expecting from the side3 is similar to the myide hard drive/cart setup but better as its got the menu etc...So im not that dim

 

I dont expect anyone to learn on my behalf but when 1 person gets stuck and help can lead to others knowing what to do without asking thats what the forums are for aren't they ????

Edited by Back2skooldaze

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well reading your APT software manual you do say I will focus here not on the IDE Plus 2.0 toolkit disk, but on the APT tools distributed with the U1MB, Incognito, SIDE, MyIDE, and IDEa APT drivers  Its obvious that your working with the side3 is with the u1mb which you have already pointed out but you have to see where my confusion came from as this mentions nothing on the vendors site! I know the 1mb ultimate is an advantage to the side3 but from another forum member he has a stock 65xe so without you having a go at me and thinking im so dim and stupid i think the advice is best from Wrathchild as he suggests using Altirra to set up the sd card then transfer to the side 3 so instead of the pompus attitude why did you not just say set the card up using Altitrra as this has more than plenty of memory to use spartados ?????

just like using winaue for the amiga to setup a cf card as hdd you do this first on winuae then when your done just pop it in the amiga and voila you have a hard drive partitioned which is what this side3 boils down to at the end of the day a working partitioned hard drive for all your xex cars atr roms am i not correct?

 

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Jon ive just watched your video again on using the side3 now you have the 1mb in the atari 600xl but in the video you turn that OFF so the 600xl is stock!!! You then pop the sd card in and you load spartados which load the drivers but then also loads all the files on the sd card which is already partitioned and setup !!! So  you then take that sd card out and pop another in which is not formatted or partitioned!!!! So you then type FORMAT which brings up the spartados formatter and you then tap away and your formatted and partitioned OK! So thats on a STOCK 600xl NO 1MB INVOLVED! So can you please tell me how i get those files you have on the sd card you first typed DIR: then of course because all those files are already on there your able to use spartados formatter? this is something i am asking and have trouble with! If i load spartados i type DIR i get 138 Device does not respond which i presume is because theres nothing on the sd card or the side3/spartados is not seeing the sd card at all until setup?

When you first boot your atari up the side3 shows more on screen like partitions and boot drive and also side3 clock installed which i dont get all i get is side 3 driver v.4.0 

Someone else has done a guide and said the fdisk is already in the cart? which that confused matters as im now thinking apart from the spartados driver on the side3 the other stuff regarding fdisk etc is all on the APT Toolkit? but ive tried the APT Toolkit atr on the sd card which is listed TOOLKIT.ATR 360K  So after pressing enter i get atr too big 180k max so this is what your saying now that the U1mb is now needed in order to progress to setting up an sd card from fresh? 

Ive checked the vendors site and all it states about the side3 is Ultimate cart for atari 8bit - atr, xex, ROM/Cartridges load capable .. All features of SIDE2 and direct competition to ULTIMATE CART

Theres no mention of it being mandatory for use on the atari xl/xe 

Ive already tried a rom image on the sd card but thats just another dumping cart for roms exe cars files i want to set the sd card up like you have shown in the video hence why i bought it. This is not something im about to complain to the vendor because i will get there in the end and the U1mb will be ordered as well as some other bits and bats for the atari. Im all for supporting the 8bit atari scene and nothing is broken so its not the vendors fault its the technical support of the cart itself. If there was more information in the package explaining a few things or how to or go here for help and support that would have been great. 

I have your 3 links which i shall be going over and i can follow instructions which ive been doing with other guides on this forum but with no luck!

 

It would be better to drop the hatchet and start again. I know you have put a lot of work and effort in to this for everyone to enjoy but please dont hit the noob down on not fully understanding everything all at once with new information that more memory is required. when others are using stock ataris and you also in the demonstration video!

Why if the atari needed more memory than stock to run spartados then why not include the extra memory in the cart to use all the spartados functions required on a stock machine? Im going to dig out the myide floppies i have that set a pc hard drive up on the atari and go over that and refresh my memory on how i went about setting up a 100mb ide hard drive on a stock atari xl of course there was no fancy menu's once the hard drive was formatted and partitioned all i had was a number in the top right corner for each partition and in those partitions was a multi list of games and there was lots of partitions each being 16mb but with no menu you was blind as to which game you wanted you had to write down the partition number and the list of games to go direct to them unless you had a good memory.

So can we please stop the bitching and i'll read your links over and over and over and if you feel you have washed your hands of me then thats it final i shan't bother you again!

how comical this sounds to all other members of the atariage  and how ridiculous this has started off over someone not knowing how to set up an sd card on the side3 and not knowing extra memory was involved even in your video you use a stock 600xl ? 

 

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1 hour ago, Back2skooldaze said:

Why if the atari needed more memory than stock to run spartados then why not include the extra memory in the cart to use all the spartados functions required on a stock machine?

You don't upgrade the RAM in a machine by using a cart on these systems.

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3 hours ago, Back2skooldaze said:

Jon ive just watched your video again on using the side3 now you have the 1mb in the atari 600xl but in the video you turn that OFF so the 600xl is stock!!!

I've never seen FJC partition the SD or SF card (SIDE2/3) with U1MB off, ever, it's not possible as far as I'm aware as you're not going to be able to even boot a stock 600XL with just SIDE3 inserted - I know, I tried.

 

You need at least an internal 64k upgrade with 128k being ideal as far as I'm aware.

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5 hours ago, Wrathchild said:

Could / have you tried the image on post #11?

Let me echo this suggestion - try that.  Post 11 in this thread.  I made that image for just this sort of situation, where one wants to get started with nothing but a stock machine + SIDE 3 + a 2 GB card.  I think it will work as is with a 64k machine.  If not, I'm having a senior moment.  That should let you get up and running with SpartaDOS and a basic APT setup.

 

The other easy thing you could try is to format your card FAT on your PC (or Mac) and fill it with files from one of the popular archives, such as Homesoft.  You can locate the Homesoft Collection using google or whatever search engine you prefer.  You want only XEX, CAR, and ROM files to start with.  Then put the card into SIDE 3 and boot, and you should be able to run those files from the nice SIDE 3 menu.  I believe either FAT or FAT32 will work for this, but not exFAT or NTFS.

 

So that's EZ mode.  As you have correctly detected, there is a lot to learn for more advanced usage.  On the bright side, all the info is out there, and the vast majority of it is freely and legally downloadable.

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8 hours ago, Back2skooldaze said:

Its obvious that your working with the side3 is with the u1mb which you have already pointed out but you have to see where my confusion came from as this mentions nothing on the vendors site!

I've read this sentence three times and I still don't understand what it means.

8 hours ago, Back2skooldaze said:

I know the 1mb ultimate is an advantage to the side3 but from another forum member he has a stock 65xe so without you having a go at me and thinking im so dim and stupid i think the advice is best from Wrathchild as he suggests using Altirra to set up the sd card then transfer to the side 3 so instead of the pompus attitude why did you not just say set the card up using Altitrra as this has more than plenty of memory to use spartados ?????

If you had bothered to do some research - particularly if you'd done so on this forum - you might have noticed that you'll get absolutely nowhere with me by exhibiting this kind of lazy, entitled attitude. I took the trouble to explain how you could get FDISK running on real hardware by booting CONFIG.SYS from an externally mounted ATR, but you chose to completely ignore that as far as I can tell, asking instead how one might put the Altirra emulator on an SD card and launch it on the Atari.

 

Your shrill, cry-baby attitude and pig-ignorant disregard of almost everything I suggested rapidly ran out my patience, and now you're just digging a deeper hole for yourself by lecturing to me how I should mamage support enquiries.

7 hours ago, Back2skooldaze said:

It would be better to drop the hatchet and start again. I know you have put a lot of work and effort in to this for everyone to enjoy but please dont hit the noob down on not fully understanding everything all at once with new information that more memory is required. when others are using stock ataris and you also in the demonstration video!

The 600XL isn't stock at all. :DYou're just making the assumption it is, in exactly the same way you just made assumptions about everything else before purchasing SIDE3, instead of doing a bare minimum of homework.

 

I am the last person here to 'hit the noob' down unless said noob is frankly resistant to help. Everything implemented was designed to be as easy as possible to use and set up, and the reception - among users of all ability and knowledge levels - has been 99.9 per cent great. I have remarkable patience with those prepared to listen, learn, and offer constructive crtiticism not engendered by outright ignorance, but absolutely no patience at all with people like you. If you think that informing the user that SpartaDOS X requires extended RAM on this setup is a technical support responsibility wholly outside the remit of the vendor, I strongly disagree, especially having already conveyed this information to you myself several times. But if I have been enrolled by the vendor to provide technical support and/or product advertising in a formal capacity, this is the first I heard about it, and I had better hurry up and work out some kind of remuneration scheme, since currently they simply purchase from me the firmware to put on the device they're selling, and that is all.

7 hours ago, Back2skooldaze said:

So can we please stop the bitching and i'll read your links over and over and over and if you feel you have washed your hands of me then thats it final i shan't bother you again!

I'll refrain from explaining why some of your suggested 'solutions' are impractical, and since you do seem more concerned with trying to prove a point here, it would definitely be a waste of my time to attempt to engage you any further. I'm only sorry I can't reclaim the time last night I already spent attempting to help, which is now sadly lost.

7 hours ago, Back2skooldaze said:

how comical this sounds to all other members of the atariage  and how ridiculous this has started off over someone not knowing how to set up an sd card on the side3 and not knowing extra memory was involved even in your video you use a stock 600xl ? 

There you go again. Although you would actually be surprised at the way in which some observers view this encounter, I have to agree that turning up here and complaining that SDX needs extra memory after clearly having done zero research before purchasing the device is indeed the very definition of 'comical'.

 

Usually what happens in cases like this, anyway, is that other, even more patient observers gradually realise that the person is absolutely impervious to help. I'm just going to gamble on that being the case anyway, since the markers are pretty clear. If you had spent half as much time on the forum asking questions and doing research before purchasing the device as you've spent spouting on about things you clearly still don't understand here after having bought it, you might be better off.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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@ Jazz I took the trouble to explain how you could get FDISK running on real hardware by booting CONFIG.SYS from an externally mounted ATR

 

Jazz i never ignored what you said i just did not know where to get this config.sys atr from otherwise i would have been straight on with it!

You said stock 600xl in your video i know its a 64k machine not 16k so you demonstrating the side3 on a 64k atari and doing all the formatting and partitioning is what got me so i buy one and try to do and its not doing. Also i did not need to do research on the side3 as i have been following you on you tube and the 2 part video was good and interesting enough to want a side3 but id like to also know what does the side3 is in competition with the U1mb mean??? 

Im not ignorant im not a pig and im an honest person who supports atari ever since my teens and your biting back then im biting back thats why its getting frustrating as im trying to find help and guidance theres no paper work with the cart no links suggested to go to for tech help or advice the cart comes in a box with nothing! i have an sd cart i go to do what ive seen in the demonstrating video and then dead!!! nothing only to be then told i need the U1MB which is on my list anyway but as a stand alone cart the differences should have been pointed out which is not your fault maybe the vendor/site? 

So whilst im waiting on the U1MB ive been reading the sparta dos x and the APT information you sent me and im going to play around with sdx and a 1050 to get a feel of using sdx then when the U1MB is here i can hopefully get going.

 

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OK - let's draw a line under this and move on. I am telling you that a lot of your amply vocalised frustration would be eased by becoming thoroughly acquainted with the hardware and software. You can reference the videos as much as you want and while I may not perfectly enunciate every pertinent detail while improvising a narrative on camera, the caveat shown above is on my website for all to see. I have no control over whether the vendor or reseller choose to put the same information on their websites (which it appears they currently do not, as I pointed out to Lotharek this morning), and short of taking over editorial control of other people's web presences, there is not much I can do.

 

As to the frustrations which come with personal research and learning in general: a strong desire to understand things can sometimes manifest itself as impatience, as well as other less agreeable characteristics. I already experienced last week two individuals whose impatience and frustration at not being able to make other people do what they want got the better of them, resulting in some fairly memorable outbursts. I am sufficiently busy that I need to filter out signal from noise, and when I see nothing but noise, I am prone to simply tuning it out.

 

I think the way you intend to proceed now should bear fruit, anyway. You're unlikely to break anything by 'playing around' and you might get the hang of things before you know it. Sorry for any misunderstandings.

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