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eightbit

SD2IEC and Warpspeed?

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I have used SD2IEC devices with the Epyx Fastload (and clones) and I know how well it works in getting it up to speed. As a matter of fact I would go as far to say that the Fastload cart is essential for using an SD2IEC unless you are a sadist ;)

 

But, recently someone has offered me a Cinemaware Warpspeed cart. I remember this thing. A friend of mine locally who had a C128 had one. Probably due to the fact that it had the switch to move to C128 mode. I remember being impressed with the cart and its features. 

 

Now I am wondering how (or even IF) it works properly with an SD2IEC. I scoured the internet all day and cannot find a single instance of anybody using it with an SD2IEC device. I am guessing the rarity of the cart in general is probably the issue. It would take someone owning this rare cart AND an SD2IEC....and running tests.

 

That said, I am on the fence on whether I should take this cart as I no longer have real drives to utilize it. But, if it works equally (or maybe even better, faster?) than the Epyx Fastload while using an SD2IEC it might be worth the pick up.

 

So, the question is...does anyone have one that can confirm that it works at all with the SD2IEC?

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I do not recall it working with my SD2IEC... but if you can wait until tomorrow I can put my system up and find out for certain (and refresh my memory.)  I absolutely love my WarpSpeed cartridge.  I have a v2 with 1581 support and the original which lacks that (though, I just remember that one might be dead.)

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Just now, OLD CS1 said:

I do not recall it working with my SD2IEC... but if you can wait until tomorrow I can put my system up and find out for certain (and refresh my memory.)  I absolutely love my WarpSpeed cartridge.  I have a v2 with 1581 support and the original which lacks that (though, I just remember that one might be dead.)

 

You are the MAN (as always!)

 

That would be great. I am really curious and you may be the first person on the internet (and I am fairly sure of that) to actually report these results. I know the Warpspeed surpassed Fastload speeds by some and was released a few years after Epyx's popular cart. 

 

Let me know man!

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I have them both plugged in at all times. I didn’t get the Fastload Reloaded because I feel like the Warp is good enough. If you type % and then $, it simplifies like the reloaded cart.

DF0F82A2-B7DD-4B85-B6DB-BC69659E74FD.jpeg

A8FB829E-C46A-4510-A4F2-62DC6F9CD503.jpeg

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I still want Old CSI to test his because I have never used anything else and I'd like to know what he finds. The warp cart is really cool looking and useful for a 128.

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Cool! I am really interested to see if it does indeed increase load times like the fastload does with the SD2IEC.

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I am disappointed to report that WarpSpeed does not work fast load on my real 64C with the SD2IEC.  I also tested the setup stock and with FastLoad.

 

I also found that, yes, my v2 cartridge is crapped out and I am sad.  For the purposes of this test, the only difference between v1 and v2 that I know of is the inclusion of 1581 support in v2.

 

EDIT: While typing this up, I turned around to find that the game I was loading did finally load.  So it actually does work at standard speed.

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So, the Warp cart is only working with the features or the commands, but it doesn’t speed up loading. I have attached some screenshots. So, where it says warp loading it does work, but then it doesn’t work (make loading faster) when loading a game. It does just say loading when waiting for the games, so I see what you are saying.

89E4CCEE-0BCC-4102-81AE-C2CD4D3437C1.jpeg

872D8963-B56D-4D05-8588-6AF56390E57C.jpeg

AD495837-E7F9-4EF0-9171-7AA3CE23319D.jpeg

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I agree with CSI. I tested the sd2iec with the warp cart and without it and the exact same game took the same amount of time to load. It doesn’t speed up loading, but you can use the commands in the intro. menu. Thanks!

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Thanks for testing! This is helpful. I bet its probably something that can be implimented in the SD2IEC firmware but I am not holding my breath that anyone will actually do that.

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It is a shame.  WarpSpeed (WS) has some awesome and easy-to-use functionality.  BITD I used the directory menu function frequently, the sector editor, and did some of my first ML programming in the monitor.  The drive number swapping was handy, too.  I found an open source remake of the cartridge* so I am going to see about reviving my v2 sometime in the near future.

 

I only did a simple search, but so far I have not found any information on how its WARP loading/saving works.*  If such information exists and there is enough request for it, perhaps support can be included in the SD2IEC.  However, it seems the Epyx FastLoad (FL) might just be the gold standard, being the most popular cartridge, and apparently the most compatible, so FL and JD support in the SD2IEC may just be all we get.  While digging up the time-line of fast load cartridges, I found this snippet from the ever-knowledgeable and trustworthy Wikipedia:

 

Quote

While the original 1984 version of the Fast Load will not work with the SD2IEC floppy drive emulation system newer variants of the cartridge do support it.

 

My FL cart certainly works with my SD2IEC.

 

BTW, I never really used WS enough in 128 mode -- does anyone know if it provided faster loading than CBM's burst mode?

 

* http://blog.worldofjani.com/?p=5043

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And, you never know which original Fastload will work because there is nothing on the cart label to distinguish which version you have. I guess the safest bet is to get a Fastload Reloaded cart which is a clone based on the newer revisions if you don't have an original that works with it.

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15 minutes ago, eightbit said:

And, you never know which original Fastload will work because there is nothing on the cart label to distinguish which version you have. I guess the safest bet is to get a Fastload Reloaded cart which is a clone based on the newer revisions if you don't have an original that works with it.

Seems that way.  I must have gotten lucky that mine is the right version.  I actually have a couple of them, as well: one I picked up in the 90s, and this one I got with a bulk cartridge buy.  I also have a couple of other fast-loaders: MACH5 and MACH128, Better Working Turbo Load&Save, and an FCIII.  Probably need to thin out my collection. :)

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You need to remember that SD2IEC does not emulate the CPU/ROM/RAM inside the 1541. What it does though is to detect signatures of commonly known fastloaders and simulates the behavior in order to accommodate those. That is why Epyx Fastload, Final Cartridge, Action Replay (*), JiffyDOS, Dreamload routine etc can be made to work.

 

Indeed if someone documents how WarpSpeed works and which payload it sends to the drive, the SD2IEC firmware might be possible to update so it can catch and handle that one as well.

 

(*) With 1581 ROM emulation enabled, as the Action Replay has a very convoluted fastloading routine for 1541 but much more straightforward routine for 1581.

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The Reloaded cart looks great, but shipping to the US would be $20. That’s a lot for one cart. 

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6 hours ago, carlsson said:

You need to remember that SD2IEC does not emulate the CPU/ROM/RAM inside the 1541.

We get that.

6 hours ago, carlsson said:

Indeed if someone documents how WarpSpeed works and which payload it sends to the drive, the SD2IEC firmware might be possible to update so it can catch and handle that one as well.

World of Jani (link in my previous post) is holding the assembly source files of WarpSpeed, but I have not yet found a break-down of how exactly it works.  It appears Alien Technologies Group also created the V-MAX! fast-load and copy protection system, so I would, perhaps incorrectly, assume some similarities.

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I read a comment on Lemon64 from 2018 about the ATmega is pretty full, so adding support for more devices probably would mean there needs to be several parallel firmwares for your SD2IEC to select which one to install. It isn't unthinkable, but would complicate things a little from the user perspective.

 

It seems that the latest loader to have been added was the one used on Sam's Journey (January 2018).

https://www.sd2iec.de/gitweb/?p=sd2iec.git;a=summary

 

The bulk work on adding fastloaders seems to have happened 2009-2010. I don't know if WarpSpeed at some point was evaluated but not implemented.

Edited by carlsson

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Looks like nothing has been done since 2016 on the alpha firmware, and the official 0.10.3 firmware is from 2012.  I guess if it works, it works, right?  Again, I am not surprised at missing WS support as it was not as prevalent as other fast-loaders.

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I will say when I first used the SD2IEC with the Epyx Fastload it was really a night and day difference in speed. I was hoping for that with the Warpspeed...but I suspected as well that it may not be compatible just because of how uncommon that cart is. I might pick it up anyway...

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10 minutes ago, eightbit said:

I might pick it up anyway...

Given the option, I would say do it and try it out.  The drive-to-drive copy function and 1581 compatibility make it huge, IMO.  I desperately need to get my v2 working, again.

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If the old Action Replay carts work, then the Super Snapshot cartridge should work, No? I'll to dig my old Super Snapshot V4 out and see what happens.

 

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By the way, with the program SJLOAD

https://www-c64--wiki-de.translate.goog/wiki/SJLOAD?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=de&_x_tr_pto=wapp

a good and very fast software-fastloader also exists for the SD2IEC. Even faster than Epyx or FC3 hardware-moduls. I just mention this, because there was written, that without a fastload-cart it's bad to use, but it works. Only downgrade is, that you always must load SJLOAD in the memory again, before it can be used.

 

For my SD2IEC in one of my real C64, i use a FC3-cart, but i also have a modded DTV on which a SD2IEC is permanently connected. There i can not use hardware-moduls (because of missing cart-slot) and then SJLOAD helps me out. Works also quite good, even when i must type a little sentence, everytime i want to load something. But therefore SJLoad is ultra-fast.

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On 1/15/2022 at 3:46 AM, motrucker said:

If the old Action Replay carts work, then the Super Snapshot cartridge should work, No? I'll to dig my old Super Snapshot V4 out and see what happens.

I'm looking forward to your results. I understand that the original AR was based on SS but based on the SD2IEC README, it seems that the 1581 fastloader may have been added in version 6, perhaps a little earlier. Note that in order to use the SD2IEC with Action Replay, you need to download a 1581 ROM and issue the command XR:1581.ROM and then XW to store it permanently to get file-based M-R emulation.

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21 minutes ago, carlsson said:

Note that in order to use the SD2IEC with Action Replay, you need to download a 1581 ROM and issue the command XR:1581.ROM and then XW to store it permanently to get file-based M-R emulation.

I have been considering trying this with WarpSpeed, as well.

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I found that the Easyload (?) routine on the VIC-20 doesn't work with the SD2IEC if 1581 ROM emulation is enabled, so in the case I switch between C64 with AR6 and VIC-20 with MegaCart, I need to remember to disable and enable the ROM for maximum performance. Not a big issue but worth remembering.

 

I suppose it is worthwhile trying every fastloader with various options, but unless it is documented to be supported, I wouldn't hold my breath. Of course the same goes about demos. While the cartridge supports e.g. plain Dreamload routines, of course every demo group worth their salt needs to develop their own fastloader, even if it is a variant of the same protocol. This in its turn means the device doesn't recognize it and can handle it. Ideally in the 21th century there would be a consensus on the most effective fastloader, and then pretty much everyone would stick with it, allowing various devices to handle it. For those using 1541 Ultimate, Pi1541 or other solution that partly or completely can emulate the entire drive, it might not be an issue.

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