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Tornadoboy

Noob question - Any reason not to do the 32k in console mod?

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Posted (edited)

I've got a 4a motherboard built into an old firewall chassis with a PC supply so I can play around with doing mods and building everything in one convenient box, so far it's got an F18a and switchable crystal console speedup, I've got the original keyboard externally wired up quite awkwardly with a cable and have the Jedi USB keyboard adapter on order. Doing the mainbyte.com 32k in console mod itself doesn't scare me, in the big scheme of things it doesn't look all that complicated, but are there any reasons not to do it over the other available options to boost memory? Does it cause problems with some programs or hardware? There are of course other options like one of the modern 32k sidecar boards but I don't have those parts and I'd rather not spend the money not to mention because of the way things are I'd have to run wires to it, I do however have the parts around to do the in console version. I'll probably add something like a TIPI later but that won't be for a while and I'd like to have 32k now as a have a FinalGROM99 coming. Also mainbyte's mod says it can be "switched off" but I'm not sure if I understand was is meant by that. Does switching it off make it so it's no longer there and any external 32k upgrade like a sidecar can be used? If I do the mod I'll probably do the wait state defeat and LEDs too. 

 

This may ultimately all be a moot point as there's some pretty cool stuff being worked on by people here that no doubt will end up replacing whatever I build, but again I want something for right now and I already have my TI abomination mostly built. 

Edited by Tornadoboy
As usual I don't know what the heck I'm saying
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1 hour ago, Tornadoboy said:

I've got a 4a motherboard built into an old firewall chassis with a PC supply so I can play around with doing mods and building everything in one convenient box, so far it's got an F18a and switchable crystal console speedup, I've got the original keyboard externally wired up quite awkwardly with a cable and have the Jedi USB keyboard adapter on order. Doing the mainbyte.com 32k in console mod itself doesn't scare me, in the big scheme of things it doesn't look all that complicated, but are there any reasons not to do it over the other available options to boost memory? Does it cause problems with some programs or hardware? There are of course other options like one of the modern 32k sidecar boards but I don't have those parts and I'd rather not spend the money not to mention because of the way things are I'd have to run wires to it, I do however have the parts around to do the in console version. I'll probably add something like a TIPI later but that won't be for a while and I'd like to have 32k now as a have a FinalGROM99 coming. Also mainbyte's mod says it can be "switched off" but I'm not sure if I understand was is meant by that. Does switching it off make it so it's no longer there and any external 32k upgrade like a sidecar can be used? If I do the mod I'll probably do the wait state defeat and LEDs too. 

 

This may ultimately all be a moot point as there's some pretty cool stuff being worked on by people here that no doubt will end up replacing whatever I build, but again I want something for right now and I already have my TI abomination mostly built. 

I built two in console 32k boards years ago, and during the time I had them operational, I didn't have compatibility issues  with the software I was using. But that was 20 years ago and I can't remember all so take it with a grain of sodium chloride... ha.. ha. I used Mike Ball man's method.

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I think the way that circuit switch is designed, you can take this less expensive route and add sidecar stuff later.

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Does the Sams sidecar allow for 16-bit access? The 32K console mod is typically done for the 16-bit access.

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I really like my 32K on the 16 bit bus modification. Mine is an older design with 2 piggy backed ram chips and 4 piggy backed logic chips. Some programs really benefit from the extra speed. It makes a big difference with The Missing Link, where none of the workspaces are in the scratchpad ram. I can flip a switch to slow it down to the normal speed, but there is rarely a need for that.

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Does the Sams sidecar allow for 16-bit access? The 32K console mod is typically done for the 16-bit access.

Nope but he didn't specify the 16 bit in the original q many people did the cheaper regular 32k mod because the parts are available I believe the 16-bit kits don't exist anymore

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Posted (edited)

I think I'm going to go for it as far as the onboard 32k, if it's able to be turned off there's really no reason not to since I already have the parts and I can always get the sidecar later which I might with a TIPI, not to mention it adds some nice blinky lights to the front of the chassis :D  

 

What is the SAMS good for? Any software the uses memory that high? Or do people use it like a flash drive? It seems to me I've heard a SAMS is being developed to go with TIPI instead of the standard 32k memory card. 

Edited by Tornadoboy
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24 minutes ago, Tornadoboy said:

What is the SAMS good for? Any software the uses memory that high? Or do people use it like a flash drive? It seems to me I've heard a SAMS is being developed to go with TIPI instead of the standard 32k memory card. 

In my short experience it seems to be difficult to use SAMS to its full potential.  Rich has probably gone the furthest to make it useful to the BASIC programmer with RXB.  (Rich's upgraded Extended BASIC)

Different programming environments provide different levels of support. 

 

For example Camel99 Forth has a virtual memory system that is the single function BLOCK, which maps in any 4K piece of SAMS and returns the real address where it is located. (there are only 2 buffers)

The challenge of course is now how do you want to use it?  It is pretty cool I must say to have all that memory on a TI-99 and I have build one project that uses it but it requires some low level programming.

 

I believe there were some  good extensions for one of the C compilers but I am not fluent in that area.

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It's good for

Games -

Realms of antiquity

Rasmus's rogue like https://atariage.com/forums/topic/261030-dungeons-of-asgard-game-under-development/

. Tiopoly

 

Term80

 

Force command utilizes it and it's written in C

 

Forth and RXB development out of the box

 

More.. sams is opening the door to larger more complex software than we could've ever done

 

I expect to see more ported to use it in the future

 

 

 

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I suppose again assuming the onboard is truly capable of being turned off the best plan would be to hold out for the TIPI compatible SAMS, although again I suspect there will be some sort of enhanced motherboard replacement or an entirely newer version of the 4a available before I get to that and might be moving over to it instead.

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I suppose again assuming the onboard is truly capable of being turned off the best plan would be to hold out for the TIPI compatible SAMS, although again I suspect there will be some sort of enhanced motherboard replacement or an entirely newer version of the 4a available before I get to that and might be moving over to it instead.
Is your holdout for financial reasons or availability since those parts are available today

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At this moment, financial :D I just bought a FinalGROM99 and have a USB keyboard adapter on order, that's about as much as I want to spend on TI stuff at the moment. Got some things coming up that could be costly, though if not things might look a little different.  

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