[Coladam] Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 7

shonmccallum at juno.com shonmccallum at juno.com
Tue Oct 23 06:16:34 CEST 2012


The Atarimax Ultimate SD cartirdge could be used as a boot cartridge if someone spends the time to do so. Just like the old SmartBasic and Walters EOS boot cartridges.

---------- Original Message ----------
From: coladam-request at adamcon.org
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Subject: Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 7
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2012 03:14:19 +0200

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Today's Topics:

  1. Homebrew CV cartridges (Kevin Powers)
  2. Re: CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable? (Kevin Powers)
  3. Re: CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable? (Kevin Powers)
  4. ColecoVision Super Game Module available for orders
     (Eduardo Mello)
  5. Re: CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable? (Jim Notini)
  6. Re: Homebrew CV cartridges (Jim Notini)
  7. Re: Homebrew CV cartridges (Frances and/or Richard Clee)
  8. Re: CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?
     (Frances and/or Richard Clee)
  9. Fwd:  Homebrew CV cartridges (Eduardo Mello)
 10. running Super Games from HD (Rich Drushel)


----------------------------------------------------------------------

Message: 1
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 09:04:57 -0400
From: Kevin Powers <kjpmail at gmail.com>
Subject: [Coladam] Homebrew CV cartridges
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID:
<CAB1UwGWfy2y0WBYwzZmpq6QqpTj9Vs0VS3mMp71chHGDE6ZQhw at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

It looks like Opcode Games is sold out of the Pac-Man Collection & Space
Invaders Collection carts.  Does that mean they're gone forever & cannot be
ordered?


------------------------------

Message: 2
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:19:18 -0400
From: Kevin Powers <kjpmail at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID:
<CAB1UwGUAr_qu1Cnsoabzik83EJ8+ryFkVWK5+VaJTbgu0=GWDw at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Would it be possible to create a custom cartridge that would serve as a
boot loader for the IDE/CF from the cartridge slot?
I'm concerned about the tapes becoming unreliable over time. If a cart
could boot the IDE/CF then that would take the tape thing out of the loop.


------------------------------

Message: 3
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:20:05 -0400
From: Kevin Powers <kjpmail at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID:
<CAB1UwGX_TDdwrOaSAfzfV+Eo4RMtNAyMr4uQYYCEuRLZ3ure-Q at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Would it be possible to create a custom cartridge that would serve as a
boot loader for the IDE/CF from the cartridge slot?

I'm concerned about the tapes becoming unreliable over time.  If a cart
could boot the IDE/CF then that would take the tape thing out of the loop.


------------------------------

Message: 4
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 10:40:37 -0400
From: Eduardo Mello <eduardo at opcodegames.com>
Subject: [Coladam] ColecoVision Super Game Module available for orders
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID:
<CAPKMOcNOCY-2BjqCFo7icUwajZLX+v2qUe6s8um3ww5AhGfyrA at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

Hi,

I was going to post the full text here, but it is easier if you follow
the link and check the most up to date information:

http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/203362-super-game-module-now-available-for-order/

Thanks,

Eduardo


------------------------------

Message: 5
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 17:41:50 -0500
From: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?
To: "Kevin Powers" <kjpmail at gmail.com>
Cc: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID: <22DD5C8AA5C649F681114CDD55F23B79 at HomePC>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Yeah, sad state of affairs, but right now, this is the best that can be done. A gentleman that goes by the name of Else on AtariAge has developed an ADAMnet SD Drive that allows for the loading of Disk Images and it works, but no one has heard from him in over a year... big bummer there. It was demoed at an ADAMcon a couple years ago and there is a lengthy thread on AtariAge discussing it... just search for ADAMnet SD Drive.

To answer your questions:

1) You can play Buck via DDP or Disk, that's it for now.

2) There is more ADAM software that WILL work with the IDE/CF package than will not work and I'm plugging away at all the best titles. SmartLOGO, SmartBASIC, some utilities, most Homerew games will indeed work.

3) An IDE Boot Cartridge is a very good idea although I would prefer a Boot Prom that would install in a Parallel Interface Card with the available open socket

 ----- Original Message ----- 
 From: Kevin Powers 
 To: Jim Notini 
 Cc: Steve Pitman ; coladam at adamcon.org 
 Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 9:35 PM
 Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?


 That is some of the saddest news that I have ever heard.  I absolutely love Super Buck Rogers Planet Of Zoom and it would break my heart if, years hence, I was unable to ever play it on a real live ADAM again.  :-(  I had been hoping that this would be the solution.

 New questions:

 1) So you're saying that if I want to make Buck live forever, I'm going to have to eventually get a floppy drive?

 2) How about SmartLogo and other stuff?  Utility programs?  BASIC programs/games?  Homebrew games that were released on tape/disk?  Can all of that stuff be put on the IDE/CF?




 On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 10:14 PM, Jim Notini <jnoti2 at comcast.net> wrote:

   Unfortunately all the Coleco made Super Games are NOT compatible with the IDE setup as was the case with other ADAM Hard Drives from back in the day. The Super Games are contained on non-standard EOS media due to the fact that they don't contain a standard directory, they load by reading specific block #'s, so very unlikely that they will ever be hacked/patched to work.

   You don't copy DDP / DISK images to the partitions, you copy the actual files, image files are only useable via emulators in Windows PCs or Macs.

   The max number of EOS partitions (10) is limited by the setup program which was written back in 1991.

   A DDP or Disk with the boot loader to gain access to the IDE/CF is required.

     ----- Original Message ----- 
     From: Kevin Powers 
     To: Jim Notini 
     Cc: Steve Pitman ; coladam at adamcon.org 
     Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 8:43 PM
     Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?


     Jim & Co.,

     I'd like to follow up on your IDE/CF issue.  I'm considering saving up to eventually get one of those drives from Bob.  It's not clear to me whether/how it would be possible to include on the CF a complete set of the various Super Game Packs, SmartLOGO, etc.  Would each tape/disk image need its own partition?  If so, is the number of partitions limited to the number that it comes with?

     Basically, I'm worried that I would get the drive but find myself still having to use tapes (I neither have nor can afford an ADAM disk drive!) to run Super Back Rogers, which is one of my all-time favorites, or the various other Super Game Packs that I didn't get to play years ago but would very much like to play today.

     (Also, is it possible to boot into the IDE/CF without using a cassette to "bootstrap" it?  Or is the initial cassette necessary to get over to the IDE?)

     Thanks,
     Kevin




     On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 9:27 PM, Jim Notini <jnoti2 at comcast.net> wrote:

       Hey Steve, great to hear from you and sorry that I haven't kept in touch. I may have to pick your brain as I've been working going to town setting up EOS software to run thru EOS-HD by Tony Morehen as I recently picked up an IDE Card and an IDE Compact Flash Drive (other IDE drives will work as well) from Bob Slopsema. It took me about a week, on and off, to figure out how to get Temple of the Snow Dragon to work and there are some others that are giving me fits that I'd might need some help if you have some free time.

       I'll put some stuff together and email it to you in the next day or two.

       As I mentioned, the ADAM (with built-in ColecoVision) is a lot less prone to this controller issue.

       ----- Original Message ----- From: "Steve Pitman" <swp at cinci.rr.com>
       To: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
       Cc: "Kevin Powers" <kjpmail at gmail.com>; <coladam at adamcon.org>
       Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 4:53 PM 

       Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?


       Yeah, I definitely don't recommend swapping them while the system is on.  My wife did that on one of my Adams years ago and it did damage it.  Well... It was actually the Colecovision that was damaged since I was using the expansion module Adam. The Colecovision was totally dead though, I had to have the board replaced.



       On Oct 21, 2012, at 4:53 PM, "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net> wrote:


         In hindsight.... YES!

         The likiehood of blowing these IC Chips on the improved ColecoVision PCB in the ADAM is less likely than blowing it on a real ColecoVision Game System. BITD I used to change out controllers with the system on all the time without any problems, but now I practice a lot more caution with all this old equipment.

          ----- Original Message -----  From: Kevin Powers
          To: Jim Notini
          Cc: coladam at adamcon.org
          Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 3:07 PM
          Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?


          Well... wouldn't you say that if swapping out controllers with the power on could lead to a blown chip, then the controllers are not really hot-swappable?



          On Sun, Oct 21, 2012 at 4:06 PM, Jim Notini <jnoti2 at comcast.net> wrote:

            Yes, you can switch the controllers anytime you want and even switch between the standard controllers and one of the additional controllers (Driving Module, Roller Controller, Super Action) while the system is ON. However, I don't recommend that you do this as eventually this method could lead to a blown Controller IC Chip on the CV PCB.

            Treat the controllers just like you do a cartridge and always connect them with the system OFF.

            ----- Original Message ----- From: "Kevin Powers" <kjpmail at gmail.com>
            To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
            Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 9:58 AM

            Subject: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?



              Are the CV/ADAM game controllers hot-swappable?

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------------------------------

Message: 6
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 17:46:43 -0500
From: "Jim Notini" <jnoti2 at comcast.net>
Subject: Re: [Coladam] Homebrew CV cartridges
To: "Kevin Powers" <kjpmail at gmail.com>, <coladam at adamcon.org>
Message-ID: <AC8E338E760E40E299052A0D6CCA3D59 at HomePC>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";
reply-type=original

Both of these have been showing up on eBay a lot more, so keep your eyes 
peeled. Also Space Invaders Collection will be getting reissued as a SGM 
game in the future.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kevin Powers" <kjpmail at gmail.com>
To: <coladam at adamcon.org>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 8:04 AM
Subject: [Coladam] Homebrew CV cartridges


> It looks like Opcode Games is sold out of the Pac-Man Collection & Space
> Invaders Collection carts.  Does that mean they're gone forever & cannot 
> be
> ordered?
> _______________________________________________
> Coladam mailing list
> Coladam at adamcon.org
> http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam
> 




------------------------------

Message: 7
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 18:54:57 -0400
From: Frances and/or Richard Clee <cleechez at tamcotec.com>
Subject: Re: [Coladam] Homebrew CV cartridges
To: Kevin Powers <kjpmail at gmail.com>
Cc: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID: <5085CEC1.2010809 at tamcotec.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Kevin, I think the answer to your question is that it all depends on 
Opcode games. If they are faced with enough users waving dollars in 
their faces to cover the costs of a new production run, and unless the 
first run was specifically sold as a limited edition, I suspect they 
would find the temptation to produce more very difficult to resist. But 
given the sales of the first run and comparable collections, they would 
likely have to wait until they had enough cash deposits in hand, and the 
likelihood of that happening seems diminishingly small. At least that's 
my interpretation of what the game makers have been telling us.




On 10/22/2012 9:04 AM, Kevin Powers wrote:
> It looks like Opcode Games is sold out of the Pac-Man Collection&  Space
> Invaders Collection carts.  Does that mean they're gone forever&  cannot be
> ordered?
> _______________________________________________
> Coladam mailing list
> Coladam at adamcon.org
> http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam
>


------------------------------

Message: 8
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 18:59:07 -0400
From: Frances and/or Richard Clee <cleechez at tamcotec.com>
Subject: Re: [Coladam] CV/ADAM controllers hot-swappable?
To: Kevin Powers <kjpmail at gmail.com>
Cc: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID: <5085CFBB.3020507 at tamcotec.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed

Kevin - not sure if it answers your question of not, but if my 
recollection is correct - and if it is relevant - the Walters brothers 
did have some programs such as SmartBASIC in bootable cartridges. There 
was also provision for a boot prom on MicroInnovations MIB2 and 3 cards.




On 10/22/2012 10:19 AM, Kevin Powers wrote:
> Would it be possible to create a custom cartridge that would serve as a
> boot loader for the IDE/CF from the cartridge slot?
> I'm concerned about the tapes becoming unreliable over time. If a cart
> could boot the IDE/CF then that would take the tape thing out of the loop.
> _______________________________________________
> Coladam mailing list
> Coladam at adamcon.org
> http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam
>


------------------------------

Message: 9
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 19:22:26 -0400
From: Eduardo Mello <eduardo at opcodegames.com>
Subject: [Coladam] Fwd:  Homebrew CV cartridges
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID:
<CAPKMOcNhx9DB+gFqxfTsWijrCf6=7qyycJgrFxLV6iNf6-h4yQ at mail.gmail.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

I will make them available again eventually. In fact I plan to do that
with Space Invaders Collection next year, for its 10th anniversary.

On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 9:04 AM, Kevin Powers <kjpmail at gmail.com<DISABLEDSCRIPT:;>>
wrote:
> It looks like Opcode Games is sold out of the Pac-Man Collection & Space
> Invaders Collection carts.  Does that mean they're gone forever & cannot
be
> ordered?
> _______________________________________________
> Coladam mailing list
> Coladam at adamcon.org <DISABLEDSCRIPT:;>
> http://adamcon.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/coladam


------------------------------

Message: 10
Date: Mon, 22 Oct 2012 21:14:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: "Rich Drushel" <drushel at apk.net>
Subject: [Coladam] running Super Games from HD
To: coladam at adamcon.org
Message-ID:
<51129.129.22.129.189.1350954858.squirrel at mail.expedient.net>
Content-Type: text/plain;charset=iso-8859-1


Wow, so much traffic on the list that I can't find where the bit about this
was discussed.  However:

Gist of discussion was, people want to play Super Games from a hard drive,
but since Super Games access raw tape blocks 0-255, rather than named files
in a directory, there can be no support.  Moreover, someone said that the
Super Game tapes being end-directory rather than center-directory would be
a problem.

Well... I will add a qualified "not so fast..."

Part of the nightmare that is the EOS partition on the standard 10 MB
hard drive, especially volume 0 block 0, is various patches for software
that accessed raw blocks from tape or disk.  I don't know who did them
all (I would guess Tony Morehen), because they were already in place when
I first started working on Mini Winnie HD stuff with Herman Mason and
George Koczwara in 1991.  The gist of the patches was to put files from
various applications in unmovable locations, recompute the block offsets
for the various boot loaders (which was where most of the raw blocks stuff
was happening), and then NEVER do a SQUEEZE or CRUNCH of volume 0.  The
HD version of PowerPaint similarly must sit in a defined place, with its
64K XRAM requirement redirected to a virtual memory file that also has
defined block offsets.

When I reverse-engineered HARDDISK (the EOS program loader shell), for
ADAMserve, one of the things I did was get rid of all the absolute block
reads and convert them to standard EOS file I/O.  I *THINK* (but it has been
a long while) that I did something similar for ADAMlink V's boot loader.

In all my patched versions of HARDDISK, the EOS that is loaded traps the
keypress SHIFT-TAB, and causes that to increment the current HD volume
(0-9), wrapping back to 0 from 9, and beeping each time.  This was a
primitive way to boot from one HD volume, then change to another one as
the default (for software that did not independently have a patch to
specify the volume number as part of access to device 24 (tape2/HD), such
as I did put into SmartBASIC 1.x).

There is only convention for limiting EOS to 10 1024-block volumes -- in
the days of 20 MB HDs, you put 10 MB for EOS and 10 MB for TDOS.  I don't
recall the format of the volume 0/block 0 partition table, as interpreted
by HARDDISK; but I do know that the current EOS volume is just one byte in
a reserved location in EOS, so logically that could support volumes 0-255.

To come back to Super Games on hard drives... the obvious solution to me
is to insure that you can format an EOS partition to have at least 255
volumes.  Put one Super Game tape image on its own volume.  (So what if
3/4 of it is not used, HD space is cheap, and currently HARDDISK I don't
think can deal with EOS volumes of arbitrary different sizes).  Put its boot
block into volume 0, just like the boot block of any app you want to run.
In HARDDISK, specify the target volume, then BOOT SOFTWARE.  So long as
the game itself does not do disk I/O by directly manipulating the ADAMnet
device control block (DCB), but rather uses EOS function calls, it will
work with the patched EOSes that I know about, or at least the ones that
I worked on for ADAMserve.  As far as I remember, the ADAMserve EOS can
catch function calls all the way down to START_READ_1_BLOCK and START_WRITE_
1_BLOCK (which is what the games call so that there is background tape
rewind while the game is playing -- emulated or with a modern HD, it would
be instantaneous).

If the game is evil and bypasses EOS completely for block I/O, then the
game would have to be disassembled and patched.  I have never disassembled
a Super Game, so I don't know how well they were written to keep code and
data segments separate.  If code is well-isolated and easily-identifiable,
it may not be such a job to rewrite to use EOS block I/O and then make it
emulatable.

Doug Slopsema has been inside HARDDISK more recently than me, so I defer
to his superior knowledge in case of any errors I have made here.

As for end-directory vs. center-directory tape format, this would not
affect the operation of the Super Game at all if moved to HD.  The only
reason for center-directory was to minimize rewind for data tapes, since
presumably you'd be doing writes as well as reads.  Games are read-only
(except for a high score screen), and you are loading screens one at
a time and playing straight through, so having everything in order from
beginning to end is more efficient.  My Dad did a block copy of his 256K
Donkey Kong Super Game to a 160K disk, and it played fine until he would
reach the point in the game where access beyond block 159 was required.
I remember playing this disk myself.

So, the main problem is software, not hardware, at least for any Super Game
which does not bang bits in the ADAMnet DCBs.

*Dr. D.*


-- 
Richard F. Drushel, Ph.D.            | "They fell:  for Heaven to them no hope
Department of Biology                |  imparts / Who hear not for the beating
Case Western Reserve University      |  of their hearts."
Cleveland, Ohio  44106-7080  U.S.A.  |         -- Edgar Allan Poe, "Al-Aaraaf"




------------------------------

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End of Coladam Digest, Vol 88, Issue 7
**************************************
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