Author Topic: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.  (Read 143553 times)

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Offline TotO

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X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« on: 19:32, 14 December 14 »
Hello everyone,

Most of you already know that SyX and I are working on a mass-storage expansion for CPC.
X-MASS embeds a 128MB flash drive that allows to store thousands files.
Here the picture of the final board! :)

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

Users can access it from BASIC using the ACMEDOS ROM. RSX commands allow to browse folders for storing your files.
Developers will be able to work on ambitious projects requiring megabytes of resources and code, breaking the floppy limitation!
Last but not least, X-MASS is natively compatible with SymbOS and BDOS.

1- Preorder X-MASS here: CentPourCent [dot net]
2- Download AcmeDOS here: AcmeDOS ROM
3- FW3.1x users must update it here: FW3.1x ROM


I will try to add informations to this post if you ask questions.   ;D
I would like to thanks gerald for his precious help and support.  8)

---

Questions and Answers

Q: What is the X-MASS storage form factor?
A: A 44 pins auto-powered disk on module.

Q: What is the X-MASS storage capacity?
A: 128MB. You can store several[nb]It's the capacity of around 350 double-sided DATA floppy discs.[/nb] thousands of files on it.

Q: What is the X-MASS speed?
A: 160K/s (1.300.000[nb]+6.532 bauds exactly. That is more than Tape speed. XD[/nb] bauds for 464 users) and no drive delay.

Q: Is the X-MASS work on all CPC?
A: Yes. But, it require a ROM board to use it from BASIC.

Q: How to use the X-MASS from BASIC?
A: The ACMEDOS ROM mount it at boot and add new RSX commands.

Q: Is X-MASS use a custom file system, like BDOS does?
A: You can. But ACMEDOS allow you to use a PC FAT to be accessed independally from BASIC or SymbOS.
« Last Edit: 09:33, 10 August 16 by TotO »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #1 on: 19:44, 14 December 14 »
So... If it's called X-Mass, and If I already ordered one I guess I can expect it within the next week? :)

Otherwise: yeah, new hardware!

Offline Pentagon

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #2 on: 20:16, 14 December 14 »
A dream becomes true, thank you so much for that awesome piece of hardware. I am totally happy, that it is working with BDos. I do have some older DOM Modules with higher capacity here (512Mb / 8 Gigabyte). Is it possible to change the 128Mb DOM to a 512 Mb or 8 Gbyte Version? Are there any limitations of the DOM Module?

However, i have preordered and i am thankful for any piece of new hardware for CPC. Thank you for that work!

Regards
Tom


Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #3 on: 20:59, 14 December 14 »
I need to do more tests before answering to you. For information, it's a 44-pins connector.
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Offline Terje_Norway

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #4 on: 21:13, 14 December 14 »
Hi,


Probably a stupid question, but where could we find the ACMEDOS ROM to download ? ? ?


I know it's most likely to be of little use without this hardware, but it could be nice to have a look at it before we do get access to the real hardware.
(I have ordered the complete hardware set earlier today  :D Guess if I'm looking forward to getting later)


Looking forward to hearing from You.


Yours

Terje Grind
NORWAY

Offline fano

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #5 on: 21:39, 14 December 14 »
Sooo Sexy ! I am impatient to get this on my MX4  :-*
"NOP" is the perfect program : short , fast and (known) bug free

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Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #6 on: 21:39, 14 December 14 »
The ACMEDOS will be available at the bottom of this page when all the software side will be finished.  ;)
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Offline McKlain

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #7 on: 22:00, 14 December 14 »
What about the transfer speeds, how fast it is?

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #8 on: 22:06, 14 December 14 »
No precise benchmark was done, but it look to be around 10 times faster than a floppy drive.
As I know, the CPC expansion bus is close to 180KB/s ... So, it should be limited by that.
I will add this information when a program will allow to test it.  8)
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Offline McKlain

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #9 on: 22:11, 14 December 14 »
My guess was that, the limit might be imposed by the speed of the expansion bus. I suppose that there is no way to go beyond that limit  ;D

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #10 on: 22:12, 14 December 14 »
Except overclocking the CPC... No.  :P
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Offline McKlain

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #11 on: 22:27, 14 December 14 »
How fast might actually be one of those flash modules?

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #12 on: 22:43, 14 December 14 »
100 times faster.  :laugh:  (10MB/s to 20MB/s)
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Offline McKlain

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #13 on: 22:47, 14 December 14 »
Enough for industrial use, of course  ;D

Offline Morri

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #14 on: 23:55, 14 December 14 »
Apologies if the following questions are beyond dumb, but as I have just acquired a CPC6128 again after 20 odd years I'm out of touch with all this new hardware  ??? .
Is the MX4 board + all 4 available boards an all-in-one solution for the CPC?
What I mean is: you mention the need for a ROM, can one of these boards hold that ROM image so I don't need another ROM board (I'm thinking the X-MEM does this?)
Can this new X-MASS hold DSK images so I can have my favorite CPC games stored, loaded and played through it? (I can only find reference to development so had to ask.)

Would the process be: use MINIBOOSTER to transfer cyberchicken DSK file from PC to X-MASS. The game loads and PLAYCITY plays cyberchickens 6 channel sound. All of this is controlled by the ROM image on the X-MEM.

Do I have this stuff right? Again apologies if this has already been covered.
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Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #15 on: 00:21, 15 December 14 »

Morri, I think that for a guy who slept during 20 years, you are almost right in your awaked post! :D
Except that X-MASS not allow[nb]actually[/nb] to mount image, but you should run games avaliable is files version.
All the other things are OK.  8)
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Offline Morri

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #16 on: 01:05, 15 December 14 »
Morri, I think that for a guy who slept during 20 years, you are almost right in your awaked post! :D
Thank you @TotO for the quick reply. I have have definitely awakened to a new age of the CPC that you have helped create!  :-*

Except that X-MASS not allow[nb]actually[/nb] to mount image, but you should run games avaliable is files version.
All the other things are OK.  8)
I'm glad I was on the right track[nb]Almost[/nb]. These "files versions" you mentioned. Is this similar to the format of the HxC or similar? Is there software to convert or a webpage for downloads?
I am sorry for these questions, but I promise once I have my head around it all, I will start saving [nb]And once I have permission from my wife[/nb] to buy the full set of your amazing work.
Keeping it Kiwi since 1977

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #17 on: 01:14, 15 December 14 »
I can't said more, as it is actually not defined.  ;D
If you have any questions about the boards in general, please send me a PM or a message to contact@centpourcent.net

Thank you! :)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #18 on: 09:21, 15 December 14 »
I need to do more tests before answering to you. For information, it's a 44-pins connector.


Depending on how many games can be run from files, it's be nice to have a bigger alternative...

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #19 on: 09:29, 15 December 14 »
May be today we love to waste space with useless things, but the goal is not to put cpc-power into each CPC...  ;D
« Last Edit: 09:31, 15 December 14 by TotO »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #20 on: 09:31, 15 December 14 »
Not CPC-Power, but CPCGamesCD.... ;)

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #21 on: 09:35, 15 December 14 »
Hundreds games should fit on this drive, without problem. I never owned that in 80's.
Copying all CPC games = piraty.  :P
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #22 on: 09:37, 15 December 14 »
Sure, because copying just a few hundreds is not piracy :p

Offline TotO

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #23 on: 09:39, 15 December 14 »
Some peoples really own hundreds games in box at home.  :P

I know the "harddrive syndrome", where peoples need 1TB to store today's 50GB usefull things and 950GB useless Internet shit that can be downloaded at anytime. (sometime, 50% of the download folder is never read and files downloaded in many times because forgotten)
Peoples in this case will have never enough space to store the world instead of their stuffs.  :-\

But, it's not the subject here and I don't said that 128MB is a limitation. It is not.
I just said that you get it "out of the box" and is far enough for most usage, if not wasted.  8)
How do we do with only "178K" floppies side from now? It's 700 times more.  ;D
« Last Edit: 10:15, 15 December 14 by TotO »
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Offline Shining

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Re: X-MASS, a mass-storage expansion for all CPC.
« Reply #24 on: 10:02, 15 December 14 »
Will we be able to order additional flash-modules or do you have an external source for them ?
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