Jump to content
Dr Memory

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

Recommended Posts

35 minutes ago, Back2skooldaze said:

@ 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.

 

My friend, first of all, chill...Please. I say that in as friendly a context as possible.

 

FJC is a very busy person, not only with the Atari projects and repairs he has on the go, but also with other transitions I won't go into - A polite approach with some patience and understanding goes a long way. Honestly, I have never seen a person as patient and helpful as FJC - His patience and time for others with everything else he does astounds me TBH.

 

As it seems you've figured, at least 64k base ram is a must have in your 600XL, without it you won't even get the machine to boot with SIDE3 installed - Having said that, your experience regarding SDX (SpartaDOS-X) is going to be...Well...Pretty limited. It's for this reason I cannot recommend the U1MB enough, the U1MB and SIDE3 were (literally) made for one another. An additional 1MB of memory (configurable in a variety of ways) is just one of the benefits of the U1MB, the U1MB is capable of so much there's just too much to mention in one simple post (besides, it'll just overwhelm you) - But the main benefit is the U1MB provides you with the PBI BIOS, which allows you to use SIDE3 as a PBI based hard drive. The PBI, or Parallel Bus Interface was vastly under utilized in the day, with the advent of devices like U1MB it's advantages are now being utilized and the usage benefits are quite impressive.

 

Basically, under 64k of ram, as stated your SDX install is going to be very minimal - You probably won't have fdisk by default on such a minimal install, therefore you have to work out some other method to get access to fdisk to partition your SD card and the only real way to do that is to make use of any one of a number of SIO based virtual floppy drive alternatives (even a real floppy drive will probably suffice). The reason you need fdisk is because you need to partition your SD card for an APT partition and a FAT partition, APT is used by SDX, FAT is used by the SIDE3 loader (it can also be accessed by SDX, but that's for another day, you also use FAT as it makes it easier to drag and drop images onto your SD card from your PC). Once you have your SD card partitioned to your liking you have to stick the SD card in your PC and format the FAT partition to FAT16, as fdisk simply creates a blank unformatted partition. Ignore any warnings to format the unrecognized partition, that's just Windows (possibly Linux) having a fit over the APT partition it cannot read. If using MacOS, I believe there is a trick you need to use to format the FAT partition via the MacOS disk utility - I do have a Mac here, I packed it away to put my Pi400 in it's place.

 

If I could offer some advice as someone that owned a 600XL for most of my childhood but never used it, and therefore came into the A8 scene as a fairly fresh individual willing to learn. Install Altirra on your PC, configure it with the hardware you'd like to own (I assume U1MB and SIDE2, there is no SIDE3 support under Altirra ATM, but SIDE2 will give you the same basic grounding needed for SIDE3) and configure the device to your liking before lashing out on expensive hardware and installing expensive hardware. This will give you a basic understanding of just how an A8 works, which appears to be what you're lacking. Look at the link below for my journey setting up Altirra the way I liked. When I did finally get a 600XL and all my hardware, I hit the ground running with a good grasp of all concepts under the A8 as a platform.

 

 

Furthermore, you are still going to need help. Remember, respect is the key - Treat others the way you would like to be treated and you may find you get more help, respect is earned. This is a learning curve and the A8 is a fairly developed platform that's gone well beyond simple plug and play, lots of grey matter is going to be needed, as well as reading and watching FJC's excellent video's - While you may have formed an opinion, FJC's video's really are an amazing resource of information if you focus on what FJC's doing.

 

Importantly...Enjoy your journey, there's no rush. You sound like you aren't enjoying it at all.

 

Relax, watch video's propped up in bed, read the SpartaDOS-X manual slowly as it is a lot to take in (there's a lot to take in), and if you need to ask for help - But be respectful and patient.

 

Good luck on your journey.

 

Edited by Mazzspeed
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

most of your troubles are concerned with running SDX on 64k machine - that immediatly runs you into the trouble of having memlo too high for almost any software to load - normally all SDX drivers and libraries would be located in banked memory, leaving you with pretty low memlo to work with

unfortunatly, if $2000 memlo barrier is crossed, trouble beginns

 

side3 stand-alone operation was well described in FJC videos - basically what you bought yourself is a game loading device - either cartridge images or xex files, with very limited ATR support through soft-modified OS - stuff that runs on atari 800 with 48k will work, but not so much when it comes to anything from XL/XE era

 

if you pair your side3 with u1mb it becomes not only a cartridge you can load games from, but so called new-device or a pbi-device if you will with full support under Atari OS - that means you could boot anything that follow Atari OS rules from it (use SIO calls for transmission, not going through pokey registers enforcing custom serial input/output routines)

 

unfortunatly such software also exists, moreover, it's activly promoted by some people over past few years

 

SIO over PBI - 62kbytes/s on stock machine, 480kbytes/s on accelerated one, 1MBytes/s with DMA side3 is providing

 

custom pokey routine - 120kbits/s with standard disk drive or any currently available disk drive emulator you can buy

 

yet some people think slower is better

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Mazzspeed said:
1 hour ago, candle said:

yet some people think slower is better

Love it.

Definitely, it depends on the context.. 🤔But I agree 👍 😁

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Doctor Memory, I've followed your guide and its brilliant!!! Ive hooked the 130xe up and used the side3 cart with a new 2gb sand disk sd card.

I boobied up on the apt table so after wiping the sd card again in the pc i then started again with sparta dos and chose fat16 then tabbed to enter 32mb then saved and got to the next part which i followed with success ;)

 

Thanks very much for the guide :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/26/2021 at 2:07 PM, Dr Memory said:

No problem, glad it helped somebody!

Just got my Side3 in today.

 

You definitely helped me.  I burned your image, and then it just said "out of memory" and "out of memory" twice.  I checked the autoexec.bat and those messages were coming from doskey.sys and fatfs.sys.  I have an Atari 130XE, so I don't know why it doesn't work.   Presumably still not enough memory.  Anyway, I plugged in my turbo freezer, which extends the ram by 512k, and then it worked.

 

Which is great, now I can copy from Windows to the Atari in the fatfs 32mb partition.

 

But I don't understand why RAMDISK.SYS 0,8 does

 

the spartados manual specifies DEVICE RAMDISK [drive][,nbanks]

 

Just if you get a chance, what is drive 0?  D1?

8 banks - what is a bank size? 16k? 8k?

 

Do I run out of memory in a stock 130xe, because the ramdisk used all available memory?

 

Anyway, like I said, it works for me, and that's the first hurdle.  But I would like to know how it works, if anyone has a moment.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd suggest consulting the SDX manual, but Drive O is drive 15...

 

and 8 is 8 16K banks....

so placing this as the last line in config.sys can save one bank of Xtended memory, but a standard XE only has 4....

 

Depending on your computer you would run out of memory due to improper config, I've run the drivers previously on a standard XE without ramdisk and they worked... I haven't tested the latest much if at all... You have to pick and choose how to arrange memory when dealing with 128k or less, more so at 64k, if you have 320 or 512 and more, you don't have to worry about much, except when software fights for ram under rom, and of course how to arrange the extended memory in a way that won't waste that upper space.

Edited by _The Doctor__
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

16k ram banks, that's part of the mystery.


But the Spartados X documentation states about RAMDISK.SYS

 

The SDX ramdisk driver. Specifies drive number and size of up to three ramdisks .

 

DEVICE RAMDISK [drive[,nbanks]] [/S]

 

So when I observe

 

RAMDISK.SYS 0,8

 

I am asking about the number zero, not letter O.

 

Elsewhere in the SpartaDos X documentation it talks about drive numbers, but it clearly states the drives start with the number 1.  Drive 1, is D1: is A: drive.

 

Feel free to correct where I've gone wrong, obviously this is obvious to some, but I'd just like to know what drive number 0 represents in this statement, if anyone has a guess.


thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 minutes ago, Mark2008 said:

16k ram banks, that's part of the mystery.


But the Spartados X documentation states about RAMDISK.SYS

 

The SDX ramdisk driver. Specifies drive number and size of up to three ramdisks .

 

DEVICE RAMDISK [drive[,nbanks]] [/S]

 

So when I observe

 

RAMDISK.SYS 0,8

 

I am asking about the number zero, not letter O.

 

Elsewhere in the SpartaDos X documentation it talks about drive numbers, but it clearly states the drives start with the number 1.  Drive 1, is D1: is A: drive.

 

Feel free to correct where I've gone wrong, obviously this is obvious to some, but I'd just like to know what drive number 0 represents in this statement, if anyone has a guess.


thanks

p.s.

 

This is a representation of the spartados documentation, elsewhere, about drive numbers

 

"SDX can handle up to fifteen drives attached simultaneously to the A8. At SIO level the drives are numbered from 1 to 15 ($01-$0F). Drives 1-9 have, just as in SDX versions before 4.40, identifiers 1: to 9: or A: to I: in the Command Processor, and D1: to D9: or DA: to DI: in BASIC. The drives 10-15 have letter identifiers only: J: to O: in the Command Processor, and DJ: to DO: in BASIC."

 

In the specific chapter on RAMDISK.SYS it doesn't explain the meaning of "drive", but elsewhere, over and over again, it says the drives start with 1.

 

They seem to start with 0 here, and I speculated it means D1....can someone confirm or deny, or point me in the right direction?

 

Thanks again, I'm sure it's an easily solved mystery....

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's the letter 'O', not zero, and it represents drive 15, since 'O' is the fifteenth letter of the alphabet.

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

It's the letter 'O', not zero, and it represents drive 15, since 'O' is the fifteenth letter of the alphabet.

 

I imagine the response to reading this would be, "Oh...."  😀

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/25/2020 at 1:38 PM, Dr Memory said:

Decided to add a working example SD card image.  Chances are, if you have SIDE 3 you are into the A8 enough to not NEED this because you already have an Sdrive-MAX or a SIO2USB or something like that, but this provides an example of a working image and a way to get things from a PC or whatever to an APT partition without having to hook up additional hardware.  The files on the FAT partition provide a little more info.

 

FATTY.zip 3.32 MB · 74 downloads

 

It was created using Win32DiskImager on a 2GB SD card, then zipped because I didn't think anyone would want me to upload a 2GB file.  :)  More info in the README.txt.

 

README.txt 1.22 kB · 65 downloads

@Dr Memory

 

When I use your fatty image file with my Side3, I can go to DN:, but when I try to MKDIR or even copy a file to DN: I get

 

error 146 no function in device handler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Gitbizy said:

When I use your fatty image file with my Side3, I can go to DN:, but when I try to MKDIR or even copy a file to DN: I get

 

error 146 no function in device handler

Nothing (just yet) exists which allows the creation of FAT directories under SDX (the FAT driver is read-only).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
32 minutes ago, flashjazzcat said:

Nothing (just yet) exists which allows the creation of FAT directories under SDX (the FAT driver is read-only).

Well that explains it!!!  Thank you

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...