Author Topic: The MegaFlash  (Read 57709 times)

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Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #175 on: 11:34, 06 September 11 »
15 days after Miracle Day  ;D ... ehem after i received my MegaFlash  :D

What are your impressions?

I haven't got so much fun with the CPC in milleniums  ;)

Have your CPC scrolled the screen with all the messages of ROMs initializing?

I'm beginning to patch roms for setting a silent mode :P

Without which roms you can not live?

In this moment, i have installed QuickCMD (2), Utopia (3), Protext (4), Maxam (5), Parados (6), FutureOS (10-13), ROManager (14-15)... and in the upper positions a backup of these roms, Head Over Heels and a few of my assembly routines.
 
Which rom programs you would like to exist?

I would like that the Arnor roms had a faster print text routine, a rom with the best mini tools that i have found (for example, i'm using the Utopia only for the disk sector editor), find a decent tape to disk copy program that works great with ParaDOS (actually i send the programs from audacity in my notebook).

Opinions, please  ;)

Offline redbox

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #176 on: 11:43, 06 September 11 »
I would like that the Arnor roms had a faster print text routine, a rom with the best mini tools that i have found (for example, i'm using the Utopia only for the disk sector editor), find a decent tape to disk copy program that works great with ParaDOS (actually i send the programs from audacity in my notebook).


I was thinking exactly this too...


- Protext with faster text output
- My own 'compilation' ROM of the most useful RSX utilities
- A ROM version of the parallel cable software


Will fire up the disassembler...  ;)

Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #177 on: 13:07, 06 September 11 »
@Syx: Looks like you are really making the most of it. ROM Software is really a neglected area and many people have never used or even heard of some of the great programs available, so I hope the MegaFlash changes that. Unfortunately I haven't had enough time to really play around with the MegaFlash yet, but I'm getting there.

Bryce.

Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #178 on: 13:27, 06 September 11 »
Je je je, Bryce, you have made the "Dream come true" ;) and the wonderful ROM table in the Wiki ;), and everything while your recent fatherhood... i can not imagine what you would be able to do with more free time for CPCing ;)

Offline redbox

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #179 on: 14:52, 06 September 11 »
ROM Software is really a neglected area and many people have never used or even heard of some of the great programs available, so I hope the MegaFlash changes that.


I've just spent most of the the morning playing around with mine and it's already prompted me to make a library of some good ROM software.


It's a really great device, so huge thanks to Bryce and TFM again.  :)

Offline HAL 6128

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #180 on: 23:00, 07 September 11 »
Hi Bryce, in your MegaFlash-Wikipage you have written about a modification for classic CPC6128 to switch or enable and external ROM on Position 7.
"CPC6128 - Classic CPC6128 can not overwrite the internal ROM 7 with an external device, to make use of the external ROM 7 the CPC must be modified to allow the internal ROM 7 to be disabled (eg: By adding a switch to the internal ROMs Chip Enable pin)"
 
Do you have a describtion of the switch where it has to be connected?
 
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #181 on: 23:30, 07 September 11 »
I'm sure it's described somewhere on the Wiki, but generally, all you have to do is disconnect the CE Pin of the internal ROM IC and then add a switch that in one direction reconnects the pin to where it was and in the other direction connects the pin to the 5V supply (ideally through a 1K resistor).

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #182 on: 23:42, 07 September 11 »
Bryce will kick me for that... but...
Have you tried to ... just Flash ROM 7 and see what happens? Maybe it works.
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #183 on: 10:09, 08 September 11 »
Head Over Heels

Hey, can you post that ROM? Why, does it even fit in a single ROM??

Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #184 on: 10:52, 08 September 11 »
@TFM: Consider yourself having been virtually kicked :D No it won't work and it can't work, the hardware is wired in such a way that it can never work! Only CPC Plus can over-write ROM 7, Hal6128s earlier test proved that already - ie: it crashes / cycles / does nasty things.

@SyX: Head over Heels on ROM, are you sure? Never heard of it, but if it exists, we NEEEED it!

Bryce.

Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #185 on: 19:50, 08 September 11 »
@TFM: ... the hardware is weird in such a way ....
Bryce.

Well, I wouldn't say the hardware is weird, in contrast! :laugh:
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #186 on: 20:38, 08 September 11 »
Hey, can you post that ROM? Why, does it even fit in a single ROM??

@SyX: Head over Heels on ROM, are you sure? Never heard of it, but if it exists, we NEEEED it!


Je je je, but it's nothing more that one of my test with the MegaFlash  ;D

For example, i didn't add compression, it's a raw copy of the game, 42 KBs, 3 ROMs :P but even with compression you will need 3 roms, too... only with packfire or exomizer in backward mode, the game crunched in less than 32 KBs, but in the moment that you add the compressor, the size surpass the 32 KBs limit :P . Of course, i could polish it adding compression for include the loading screen, but how i said it's only one of my test :P

I have attached the rom files, you need to put hoh_01.rom in the position 9, hoh_02.rom in position 16 and hoh_03.rom in position 17. If somebody want to put the roms in other position, tell me, and i will send you a fixed version :P
« Last Edit: 20:40, 08 September 11 by SyX »

Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #187 on: 00:23, 09 September 11 »
Great work :-)))
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Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #188 on: 10:34, 09 September 11 »
Magnificent result! Now loads of questions:

- Will it be possible later, that the ROM positions are flexible: ie: ROM_1 anywhere under position 16 and the other ROMs anwhere from 16 onwards?
- Does it need BOOSTER to be intalled to work?
- Does it copy itself to RAM or run from ROM.
- Are there games that would fit on a single ROM: Harrier Attack or other more simple games?
- What method / tools do you use to convert the game?

I'd love to try and convert a few of my favourites.

Bryce.



Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #189 on: 11:40, 09 September 11 »
Magnificent result! Now loads of questions:
Shoot me!!! xDDDD

- Will it be possible later, that the ROM positions are flexible: ie: ROM_1 anywhere under position 16 and the other ROMs anwhere from 16 onwards?
Of course, only was a fast test, i only would have to add an header at the rest of game roms to the first rom would be able to identify them.

Even it would be possible to make a "game launcher" rom that autodetects every "game" rom in the upper positions (16-32) of MegaFlash, and you can choose which game runs ;)

- Does it need BOOSTER to be intalled to work?
No, it doesn't need Booster, but it must not be incompatible, because i mark the extra game roms (the roms in the upper positions) how extension roms (the first byte need to be 2), because that the Booster and the firmware will not try to initialize them ... one advantage of extension roms is that i can use every byte of them except the first ;)

- Does it copy itself to RAM or run from ROM.
Copy to RAM, usually the game has to be ready for being executed from rom and that it doesn't happen in the CPC, mainly because it's very normal to use self-modify code and fix these things are a hell :P

But for new games, it would be a great idea to give a rom option :D

- Are there games that would fit on a single ROM: Harrier Attack or other more simple games?
Yes, every game that we can crunch to 16000 byte or less (to give some space to the decrunch routine and the RSX to launch it), i'm going to try a few ones, i think that Manic Miner (or other of the first CPC games) could be a great candidate for being in one rom only.

- What method / tools do you use to convert the game?
Well, i downloaded the original game from CPC Power, cracked the original using WinApe to make a more intelligent ram dump that the multiface :P (although other idea could be to make a snapshot rom loader, jejeje), coded the game launcher and made a few 16 KBs chunks of the game dump for the roms.

I'd love to try and convert a few of my favourites.
Well, if you think that the procces is too complicated, tell me what games would you like to have and i will convert them for you ;)

Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #190 on: 12:09, 09 September 11 »
Well, i downloaded the original game from CPC Power, cracked the original using WinApe to make a more intelligent ram dump that the multiface :P (although other idea could be to make a snapshot rom loader, jejeje), coded the game launcher and made a few 16 KBs chunks of the game dump for the roms.
Well, if you think that the procces is too complicated, tell me what games would you like to have and i will convert them for you ;)

Ok, that's too complicated for me. I like solutions that go like this: "Insert game disk, choose RSX name, press the button, ROM file saved to MegaFlash" :D

No particular favourites I can think of at the moment, but I'll try out every one you convert :)

Bryce.

Offline redbox

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #191 on: 12:36, 09 September 11 »
This is really great work SyX - thank you!!!


I was going to ask how you did it but Bryce beat me to it.


Would be nice to have 1 ROM with the RSXs in (in range 0-15) that then executes games stored in 16-31.  That means we could have 8 32kb games available at the BASIC prompt  :D

Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #192 on: 13:18, 09 September 11 »
Ok, that's too complicated for me. I like solutions that go like this: "Insert game disk, choose RSX name, press the button, ROM file saved to MegaFlash" :D
Well, i could make that for an "easy game installer" for specific games ;D and giving the roms, too, for using the wonderful ROManager  ;)

This is really great work SyX - thank you!!!
You are welcome!!! :)

Would be nice to have 1 ROM with the RSXs in (in range 0-15) that then executes games stored in 16-31.  That means we could have 8 32kb games available at the BASIC prompt  :D
MegaFlash II "The Cartridge Edition" :D , include a cartridge port for roms 16-31  :D

 

Offline Bryce

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #193 on: 13:44, 09 September 11 »
There won't be a MegaFlash II, or at least not at the moment. The next project is something completely different. I still intend working on an ACID replacement though, and if that works, there could be a MegaCart sometime in the future. For now however, free time has been reduced to an absolute minimum, due to my "Latest Project".

Bryce.

Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #194 on: 13:53, 09 September 11 »
Je je je, we know, it's only wishful thinking  ;)

Offline TFM

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #195 on: 19:49, 09 September 11 »
There won't be a MegaFlash II, or at least not at the moment. The next project is something completely different. I still intend working on an ACID replacement though, and if that works, there could be a MegaCart sometime in the future. For now however, free time has been reduced to an absolute minimum, due to my "Latest Project".

Bryce.
Hmm, well it will not have a ASIC replacement, so it will not be able to run Plus games on a normal CPC. Maybe I don't get the idea here. Feel free to talk a bit more  :)
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Offline SyX

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #196 on: 20:51, 09 September 11 »
The weekend is about to start, because that i have prepared another "game rom" for the MegaFlash (and other romboards :P ), in this case i have made a rom pack with Bomb Jack I & II in 3 roms. You will need to put the first rom in any position that the firmware initialize (or in any position if you are using the Booster rom) and the other two roms can be in the rom position that you like.

The RSX commands are |BJ1 & |BJ2  ;)

Great Weekend!!!  :D

Offline steve

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #197 on: 21:40, 09 September 11 »
@Bryce, could a PIC emulate the acid chip, if so it might also be able to program the flashrom from the cassette output port or PC audio output.

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #198 on: 22:20, 09 September 11 »
Quote
i have made a rom pack with Bomb Jack I & II in 3 roms


While I think the initiative cool (it's fun!) I personally tend to think ROMs should be used as tools to give new functionality to the computer (cf. Parados..) or fasten treatment (faster access to text editor or assembler).


To me, using ROMs for games is like using a MegaFlash as a HDD.

Offline HAL 6128

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Re: The MegaFlash
« Reply #199 on: 22:51, 09 September 11 »
I'm sure it's described somewhere on the Wiki, but generally, all you have to do is disconnect the CE Pin of the internal ROM IC and then add a switch that in one direction reconnects the pin to where it was and in the other direction connects the pin to the 5V supply (ideally through a 1K resistor).

Bryce.
I've read in "Schneider Systembuch" (german: http://k1.dyndns.org/Vintage/Schneider%20CPC/Das%20Schneider%20CPC%20Systembuch/z73.htm) that another possibility is to disable all ROMs with the signal connection ROMDIS on the expansion port where the OE signal goes through. Does it work? Does the FO-DOS Device work in such way (http://cpcwiki.eu/index.php/FO-DOS)?
Your suggestion is also mentioned: Feed the CE Pin with a 5V supply and the ROM goes in standby. You recommend a 1K resistor between 5V supply and the CE Pin. Did I understand that right?
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