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flashjazzcat

U1MB, Incognito, SIDE2, SIDE3, 1088XEL/XLD Firmware 4.0 Released

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, CharlieChaplin said:

 

I have heard, that the A8 has more than one DOS...

So what? Name some which use non-standard CIO commands for saving and loading files.

 

Moreover, plenty of applications somehow exist which even support such luxuries by as subdirectories on multiple different disk operating systems by virtue of sensing the host DOS. I cannot imagine what coding alchemy allows such miracles. :)

Edited by flashjazzcat
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Errrm,

 

regarding DOS, I was much more simple-minded and thinking about the different memlo of various DOS versions and about some older programs that only work with a certain DOS (e.g. DOS 2.5 only). So, allthough your suggestion sounds very good to me, it could end up being problematic in some cases (e.g. the german GUI S.A.M. which works more or less under DOS 2.5 only).

 

Think in DOS 2.x land it is common to have memlo no lower than $2000, so the program works with many DOS 2.x types. But for the disk version of POP (loading with DOS 2.x) this could mean that 128k RAM is no longer sufficient and 320k RAM would be required.

 

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1 hour ago, flashjazzcat said:

The complaints barely match the volume and vigour of the author's relentless self-promotion; if the thing is billed as the one-fits-all wonder solution, it's hardly surprising if expectations are high.

It does work with every device as far as I know. Point me to a better solution that doesn't require DOS and I'll use it...

 

1 hour ago, flashjazzcat said:

My absurdly fanciful solution would be to make games which need to save and load data work with DOS. Anything which doesn't need to save and load data can be an XEX or bootable file on a disk image, avoiding custom SIO loaders. Neither solution requires any work from me.

"fanciful" as in "lazy" you mean... If that had been possible for every game there wouldn't have been a need for XBIOS...

 

2 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

Of course XBIOS was designed to have a small footprint and allow music during loading, etc. So I guess compromises have to be made. But simply using the PBI-compatible version of XBIOS would probably have solved the problem in this instance.

I haven't seen any other XBIOS version, I guess that PBI compatible version wouldn't have solved the speed issue for real drives though...

 

As far as I understand the only bullet-proof solution would be to hotswap the OS... I'm not interested in trying to work that out. Looks like you aren't either. 

 

Anybody else ?

 

 

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2 hours ago, CharlieChaplin said:

As far as I did understand it, it is up to the programmer to make use of certain routines in XBIOS so that it will run faster than 1x SIO. But maybe these (additional?) routines cost precious RAM and thats why they do not use them and so as a result we have only 1x SIO ?!?

I have no idea to be honest... perhaps an additional routine is required per device?

 

2 hours ago, CharlieChaplin said:

f POP could live with a save-function that always has the same length (and there are one or more pre-generated saves already on the disk), then maybe a bootsector-DOS like XBoot DOS or uDOS could be used ? These ultra-small / ultra-short DOS versions behave similar to a gamedos, but they can save a highscore (or something similar), by simply overwriting an already existing one. The memlo of uDOS is $0937 (or was it $0938 ?), not sure if that's low enough for POP however.

There's no save, just data loading. All these custom DOSes still require the OS though

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, rensoup said:

It does work with every device as far as I know. Point me to a better solution that doesn't require DOS and I'll use it...

It doesn't work with this user's device, does it? I explained why and I suggested making an auto-boot ATR. I have every right to register the shortcomings of the solution without having to point you to or provide something else. XXL has also managed to piss a lot of people off, so you'll forgive me if I don't sugar the pill. I've never played PoP and I have no issue with anything you have personally produced, so please chill out and remember this is not a thread about Prince of Persia or XBIOS.

5 hours ago, rensoup said:

"fanciful" as in "lazy" you mean... If that had been possible for every game there wouldn't have been a need for XBIOS...

You asked for my suggestion. I don't consider it "lazy" to take the trouble to create software which works with a wide variety of disk operating systems, but if you don't like the solution, that's fine, but please take it elsewhere.

 

5 hours ago, rensoup said:

I haven't seen any other XBIOS version, I guess that PBI compatible version wouldn't have solved the speed issue for real drives though.

Well, it would have solved one out of two problems instead of neither. Perhaps you should take the trouble to look into it.

5 hours ago, rensoup said:

As far as I understand the only bullet-proof solution would be to hotswap the OS... I'm not interested in trying to work that out. Looks like you aren't either. 

 

Anybody else ?

Please take that discussion elsewhere.

Edited by flashjazzcat

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Interesting reply:

Critizing, perhaps even bashing xxl and his developments is accepted, but no replies to that.

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6 minutes ago, DjayBee said:

Critizing, perhaps even bashing xxl and his developments is accepted, but no replies to that.

Ding, ding, ding! Bingo!

 

We've got a real winner, right there.

 

And not to mention title-ports that come with natively-coded, non-relocatable code on the $C000-$FFFF window or others (as implemented in system-of-origin)... which means our ROM needs to go... and so any other layer of code (DOS?) depending directly on it...

 

Bottom-line: there is no such magic solution for the issue on hand. The reality is that it is very tricky.

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41 minutes ago, DjayBee said:

Interesting reply:

Critizing, perhaps even bashing xxl and his developments is accepted, but no replies to that.

I start ONE FUCKING THREAD A YEAR on this forum. Please do not lead it off into the weeds otherwise I will find somewhere else to announce and discuss this firmware.

 

I suggested that if PoP uses XBIOS, that would probably explain why it doesn't work with U1MB/SIDE3. I was correct. XXL is also hostile to myself, Candle and U1MB. Fact. Get over it. Drop it.

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Ah, it's always so nice how well our little community of 8-bit Atari computer enthusiasts gets along and cooperates.  It's just like the BBS scene back in the day!

 

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It comes to something when the comment section of one's YouTube channel is easier to keep on topic. :)

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After updating the U1MB and SIDE3 images, I'm getting intermittent results on power-up.  Worse I've done it at a time when I knew I would be too busy to fix any problems for the next few days.

 

The cause is simple - a meatsack-to-computer SNAFU - especially since the total idiot involved in this case (myself) completely ignored the advice he always gives others (R-T-F-M) and launched into the process with the merest sideways glimpse of the instructions FJC spent so much time and effort posting to his website (and including in several videos).  I'm very sorry Jon :(
 

I've set aside time tomorrow to step-by-step document, review and carefully diagnose the symptoms in turn to fix this.  However if it's worse-case scenario and I have indeed bricked either the SIDE3 or U1MB, my question to you all is:

Is there a method of flashing either device (say onboard-header to USB cable?) that I might be able to use?  I'll try to be less impulsive in future, I promise!

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6 minutes ago, Gryfon said:

Is there a method of flashing either device (say onboard-header to USB cable?) that I might be able to use?  I'll try to be less impulsive in future, I promise!

As far as I'm aware an external EPROM burner with an adapter board is an option, Candle kindly made the flash ROM removable for this reason.

 

Personally, my U1MB/SIDE3/SIDE3 plugin's and loader updates have been running flawlessly and I am happy to report that I fitted my Sophia 2 kit today and it was picked up immediately by my U1MB! Awesome job Jon. Don't let the haters get you down. ;)

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1 hour ago, Gryfon said:

Is there a method of flashing either device (say onboard-header to USB cable?) that I might be able to use?

Ultimate 1MB can be un-bricked with an external USB programmer as @Mazzspeed points out. It's possible to use MaxFlash 8Mbit carts for this as well if you're really up a creek.

 

SIDE3 is a different proposition since the ROM chip is not removable and only the CPLD/FPGA is programmable with an external cable. But the good news is that once you have a working U1MB machine, no part of the SIDE3 ROM needs to be working for the machine to boot. So once we have a better handle on the exact extent of the damage, I'm sure we'll be able to get things fixed. :)

1 hour ago, Mazzspeed said:

Personally, my U1MB/SIDE3/SIDE3 plugin's and loader updates have been running flawlessly and I am happy to report that I fitted my Sophia 2 kit today and it was picked up immediately by my U1MB! Awesome job Jon. Don't let the haters get you down. ;)

Good to hear, and thanks. As for the rest: obviously we're here to discuss usability, bugs, compatibility, etc, but I'd rather keep things relevant to the matters at hand and not have the thread going off on multi-page tangents if possible. I have sufficiently huge amounts of relevant material to deal with, so if it's possible to maintain focus, I'll really appreciate it. :) I know this is a forum and people are free to speak their minds, but I'm also free to tune stuff out, and once I start doing that, the thread will no longer be an efficient problem-solving resource.

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Here I am, feeling like that kid that threw a little stone in the water and then was washed away by a tsunami....

 

I'm just a simple user. And asked a simple question. It would have been very nice to be able to load PoP from SIDE3....but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't. I highly respect FJC and Rensoup as they program this beloved little system of ours as if they are wizards, I couldn't do it for sure anyway, neither brilliant firmwares or a brilliant conversion of a game like PoP.

 

I'm sad that in such a small community we have these kind of clashes instead of trying to work around the problems, or solve them.

 

Here's stupid me thinking, thinking in a stupid way: if I load PoP from ATR through SIO2USB, the system will have it's entire memory (64k) in a certain, very defined state right ? If we could save this (like turbo-freezer I guess) and load it back later.....wouldn't that be possible ? Please be careful with me, my knowledge is quite limited so I might be saying very stupid things here....

On the other side: if there is no saving going on with PoP, wouldn't that make it easier to convert it to XEX or something ?

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14 minutes ago, Level42 said:

Here I am, feeling like that kid that threw a little stone in the water and then was washed away by a tsunami....

 

I'm just a simple user. And asked a simple question. It would have been very nice to be able to load PoP from SIDE3....but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't.

You have every right to ask the question and nothing at all to be worried about, this being the correct place to enquire why a particular XEX or ATR doesn't work with the firmware. I explained why it doesn't work and that should have been the end of it. No muss, no fuss. :) A solution was even offered (use the PBI enabled loader).

 

There are clearly a dozen different ways to approach the problem of games which need read/write access to the host volume and don't or can't accommodate DOS. Sure, you could have some kind of 'save state', but you still need to load the software in the first place and it doesn't solve the problem of saving high-scores, etc. An expansive topic which surely warrants its own thread. ;)

 

In any case, I see that PoP has its own forty-eight page thread, the most recent pages of which - ironically enough - feature slightly heated discussions about XBIOS, and the most recent post of which contains the phrase 'To get back on topic...' :D 

 

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Posted (edited)

Good news - found my SIO to PC cable.  Removed the SIDE3, carefully followed the instructions and using UFLASH I've successfully flashed the ultnogos.rom.  After a couple of power cycles and tests, the U1MB boots flawlessly 1st time every time.

 

I can now access the loader and get the SIDE loader page up. However it doesn't recognise my SD card any longer.  I get "No Items" in the Device screen and "No Device" at the bottom of the page.  Progress!

 

I've noticed that it takes 3-4 seconds to move left or right between the sections Device/Mounts etc.  On the Info page the Version number is 4.00.

 

I'll try to find another SD card.  The original SD works when inserted into a PC.

Edited by Gryfon
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29 minutes ago, Gryfon said:

I can now access the loader and get the SIDE loader page up. However it doesn't recognise my SD card any longer.  I get "No Items" in the Device screen and "No Device" at the bottom of the page.  Progress!

Make sure you’ve flashed the U1MB Loader slot with the SIDE3-specific version. The “standard” version works with the earlier SIDE2 but not the SIDE3 (and vice versa).

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Good news - found my SIO to PC cable.  Removed the SIDE3, carefully followed the instructions and using UFLASH I've successfully flashed the ultnogos.rom.  After a couple of power cycles and tests, the U1MB boots flawlessly 1st time every time.
 
I can now access the loader and get the SIDE loader page up. However it doesn't recognise my SD card any longer.  I get "No Items" in the Device screen and "No Device" at the bottom of the page.  Progress!
 
I've noticed that it takes 3-4 seconds to move left or right between the sections Device/Mounts etc.  On the Info page the Version number is 4.00.
 
I'll try to find another SD card.  The original SD works when inserted into a PC.
I think ultnogos.rom is the SIDE2 version of the full firmware, the u1mbs3.rom is for use with the SIDE3. You can flash the u1mbs3fw.rom to the 'Firmware' slot in UFLASH to update it for use with the SIDE3.

Sent from my AC2003 using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, Level42 said:

On the other side: if there is no saving going on with PoP, wouldn't that make it easier to convert it to XEX or something ?

You could wait for the cart version... (if carts are supported by your device)

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4 hours ago, flashjazzcat said:

You have every right to ask the question and nothing at all to be worried about, this being the correct place to enquire why a particular XEX or ATR doesn't work with the firmware. I explained why it doesn't work and that should have been the end of it. No muss, no fuss. :) A solution was even offered (use the PBI enabled loader).

You keep offering impractical or partial solutions, pretending they'd solve everything... The problem is that clueless users believe that and for every software that uses XBIOS, they rant for pages after pages they're being persecuted because their device isn't fully supported.

 

Your state of the art solution is to use DOS as a replacement for XBIOS. THANKS A LOT!

 

Yeah I'm out.. unless you want to keep rehashing the same crap.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, rensoup said:

You keep offering impractical or partial solutions, pretending they'd solve everything... The problem is that clueless users believe that and for every software that uses XBIOS, they rant for pages after pages they're being persecuted because their device isn't fully supported.

Not my fault buddy. People were complaining (in the PoP thread) long before I commented, and I only commented because you used a version of XBIOS which doesn't work with PBI devices and then seemed to think I was obliged to suggest something better. Use the PBI enabled version if you regard my other suggestions with such disdain. Or not... As you wish. I had no desire to discuss the matter in this thread, but you turned up and pressed the issue. And I'm sure that describing users as 'clueless' will really broaden the XBIOS fan base.

3 hours ago, rensoup said:

Your state of the art solution is to use DOS as a replacement for XBIOS. THANKS A LOT!

Ignore my reluctant suggestions. I do not care whether PoP is usable on U1MB/SIDE3 or not.

3 hours ago, rensoup said:

Yeah I'm out.. unless you want to keep rehashing the same crap.

Thanks in advance for not coming back.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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5 hours ago, Gryfon said:

 

I can now access the loader and get the SIDE loader page up. However it doesn't recognise my SD card any longer.  I get "No Items" in the Device screen and "No Device" at the bottom of the page.

This is because you don't have the SIDE3 plugin and PBI BIOS installed  and are therefore launching the loader built into U1MB (for SIDE/SIDE2) rather than the loader on the SIDE3 cart. Follow greyhobbit's advice to solve this.

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Posted (edited)

Sheesh, what a derail to the thread.

 

Come on people, let's try to bring some positivity to the thread! I'm sure many of you have installed the latest firmware and it works fine! Also, that you've sent Jon some money for his hard work!

 

I've checked both items above off my list and would also like to thank @flashjazzcat for his continued support on his BIOS and other software :).

Edited by ggn
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Posted (edited)

 

13 hours ago, GreyHobbit said:

I think ultnogos.rom is the SIDE2 version of the full firmware, the u1mbs3.rom is for use with the SIDE3. You can flash the u1mbs3fw.rom to the 'Firmware' slot in UFLASH to update it for use with the SIDE3.

Sent from my AC2003 using Tapatalk
 

 

I've completed flashing u1mbs3fw to the firmware slot .  The U1MB still boots correctly, buy when the SIDE3 is in when I try to open the loader I get a solid green light in the cart and black screen.

 

Edited by Gryfon

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