Author Topic: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support  (Read 6596 times)

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Offline Prodatron

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SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« on: 19:42, 19 October 14 »
As it became too off-topic in the graphics card thread ( Graphics card for CPC. ) I decided to open this new one for this topic.
Since a few days HxC Direct Access Mode support has been implemented in SymbOS. It's now possible to access the SD card with its FAT32 partition directly (which can be up to 32GB), which means you can add a new drive in SymbOS which represents the whole content of the SD card including sub directories etc.

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

During the last days I fixed some bugs and issues. My experiences with the HxC was ZERO until this week, as I never attached it before (quite embarrassing :D ).
The implementation isn't completely finished, there are a few issues:
- 1x "disc missing" when returning to Floppy mode; after the 2x time it works again; I guess I have to increase the timeout for this special case
- data transfer can be optimized by a "read ahead" like methode; currently the average transfer rate isn't that great (about 15KB/s); but I am afraid that 20KB/s will be the maximum anyway; currently it doesn't feel too slow, but it also doesn't feel fast TBH
- switchting between floppy mode and direct access mode can be probably optimized as well; the NoRecess HxC Manager does it a little bit faster currently

Is anyone interested in testing the current version? (I guess everyone here is more experienced with the HxC than I :) )

CU,
Prodatron

*EDIT* Big thanks to Jeff and Norecess for their helpfull hints!
« Last Edit: 19:46, 19 October 14 by Prodatron »

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Offline CraigsBar

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #1 on: 20:26, 19 October 14 »
As it became too off-topic in the graphics card thread ( Graphics card for CPC. ) I decided to open this new one for this topic.
Since a few days HxC Direct Access Mode support has been implemented in SymbOS. It's now possible to access the SD card with its FAT32 partition directly (which can be up to 32GB), which means you can add a new drive in SymbOS which represents the whole content of the SD card including sub directories etc.

 [ Invalid Attachment ]

During the last days I fixed some bugs and issues. My experiences with the HxC was ZERO until this week, as I never attached it before (quite embarrassing :D ).
The implementation isn't completely finished, there are a few issues:
- 1x "disc missing" when returning to Floppy mode; after the 2x time it works again; I guess I have to increase the timeout for this special case
- data transfer can be optimized by a "read ahead" like methode; currently the average transfer rate isn't that great (about 15KB/s); but I am afraid that 20KB/s will be the maximum anyway; currently it doesn't feel too slow, but it also doesn't feel fast TBH
- switchting between floppy mode and direct access mode can be probably optimized as well; the NoRecess HxC Manager does it a little bit faster currently

Is anyone interested in testing the current version? (I guess everyone here is more experienced with the HxC than I :) )

CU,
Prodatron

*EDIT* Big thanks to Jeff and Norecess for their helpfull hints!


I can certainly take a look at testing it :)


An additional Drive on my Plus, and the ability to rename an HFE without needing to remove the SD sounds like a great idea to me.

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Offline Munchausen

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #2 on: 12:06, 20 October 14 »
This is great! Currently I don't own an HxC so I can't help with testing (it's on my list off stuff to buy for my CPC, right after the X-MEM and just before the play city). When I get one I'd love to try it, and also with my PCW.

Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #3 on: 12:56, 20 October 14 »
Thanks for your support!
I will try to fix this "disc missing" issue today first, and then upload a testversion here.
@CraigsBar: Please note, that you only can use 8+3 char filenames. If that's ok it should work fine :)

As soon as someone can test the HxC with a PCW I will add this support, too.

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Offline CraigsBar

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #4 on: 13:09, 20 October 14 »
Thanks for your support!
I will try to fix this "disc missing" issue today first, and then upload a testversion here.
@CraigsBar: Please note, that you only can use 8+3 char filenames. If that's ok it should work fine :)

As soon as someone can test the HxC with a PCW I will add this support, too.
perfect. If I could find some assistance in fitting an hxc in my pcw9512+ then It would be done already. But as mentioned in a separate thread the 26 drive connector in these pcws is non standard. The drive is also powered from the 26 pin header, so I am reluctant to put an hxc on it for the risk of frying it. Let alone issues with finding a 5v line to power the hxc.

But I'd love an hxc enabled pcw.
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Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #5 on: 20:27, 20 October 14 »
The disc missing problem has been fixed, but there is still an issue when switching betweend direct access mode and floppy mode. This happens when you as an example copy a file between the disc image and the SD card.
Anyway attached is a DSK with the current version:
- boot SymbOS by typing RUN"SYM
- after booting start APPCP.EXE
- open "Mass Storage" and "add" a new drive
- choose "Floppy Disc" and "HxC SD Card on A/B" in the drop down menu; you have to choose the drive, which is emulated by the HxC; do not choose a real floppy drive here, as moving the head to track 255 could cause some damages! Head and Doublestep settings are ignored for the HxC
- no press Ok or Apply; it should be mounted now; you can try Start -> Run -> Browse to test, if it's working

I only tested it with the HxC as a Drive B replacement on my CPC. Enjoy so far and please report any problems etc.... :)

CU,
Prodatron

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Offline TFM

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #6 on: 19:51, 11 November 14 »
I didn't like to open another thread for few simple questions, so I ask here. Well, I'm not so familiar with Symbos. Can somebody tell me...
- How to format a disc
- How to copy a whole disc
- How to print a file to printer
Thanks for your help. At the moment real life work keeps me busy and I couldn't find it in any docs.

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Offline Edoz(MSX)

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #7 on: 21:09, 11 November 14 »
I didn't like to open another thread for few simple questions, so I ask here. Well, I'm not so familiar with Symbos. Can somebody tell me...
- How to format a disc
- How to copy a whole disc
- How to print a file to printer
Thanks for your help. At the moment real life work keeps me busy and I couldn't find it in any docs.

You can simply use symcommander or the commandline to perform copy actions

Offline TFM

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #8 on: 21:49, 11 November 14 »
Yes, but that works for single files only.  :(
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Offline CraigsBar

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #9 on: 22:02, 11 November 14 »
The disc missing problem has been fixed, but there is still an issue when switching betweend direct access mode and floppy mode. This happens when you as an example copy a file between the disc image and the SD card.
Anyway attached is a DSK with the current version:
- boot SymbOS by typing RUN"SYM
- after booting start APPCP.EXE
- open "Mass Storage" and "add" a new drive
- choose "Floppy Disc" and "HxC SD Card on A/B" in the drop down menu; you have to choose the drive, which is emulated by the HxC; do not choose a real floppy drive here, as moving the head to track 255 could cause some damages! Head and Doublestep settings are ignored for the HxC
- no press Ok or Apply; it should be mounted now; you can try Start -> Run -> Browse to test, if it's working

I only tested it with the HxC as a Drive B replacement on my CPC. Enjoy so far and please report any problems etc.... :)

CU,
Prodatron


Amazing work Prodatron. I have copied the PlayCity version of SymPlay onto an SD Card with a selection of 6 channel tunes. Popper this into my HxC and fired up this special version of Symbos. WOW is all I can say. the speed of read is fine, nothing to worry about there. the swapping between Direct access and Image mode takes less than a second is seamless in operation. Overall I am very impressed. Although not quite as friendly as the SymbiFace IDE solution - I guess it is not yet possible to set the HxC SD-Card as the default Mass storage device for string the config file etc? but this is certainly a step in the right direction.


Craig

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Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #10 on: 23:27, 11 November 14 »
I am glad, that it works well! :) The only thing which have to be fixed is to copy files between the HxC FAT32 SD card and HxC disc images on CPC side. You can set the SD card of the HxC as the system directory if you create such an INI file on the boot disc. In this case you can work only with the HxC SD card after booting and can have everything without needing discs any more. Or do you speak about booting from the SYMBiFACE II?

@TFM: There is currently no CPC specific Floppy Disc copy/format tool available for SymbOS. As soon as it is available, it will be announced of course. In the meantime I recommend Crime for Amsdos, if you still need to copy dozen of real floppy discs every day.

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Offline Edoz(MSX)

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #11 on: 00:15, 12 November 14 »
Yes, but that works for single files only.  :(

I hope the new explore.exe will fix this in future :-)

Offline TFM

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #12 on: 01:01, 12 November 14 »
@TFM: There is currently no CPC specific Floppy Disc copy/format tool available for SymbOS. As soon as it is available, it will be announced of course. In the meantime I recommend Crime for Amsdos, if you still need to copy dozen of real floppy discs every day.


Haha! No, thanks god I don't have to. Well in principle I don't mind to copy files, because it has the positive side effect of "defragment" discs. But it get's tedious when there are much of them.
If I already have to switch OS to do a batch copy then I got something better than Crime / Disc'o'Magic.  ;)


Looking forward to your announcement.  :)
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #13 on: 18:49, 12 November 14 »
Thread split. GUI discussion here: GUI ideas for optimising desktop space

Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #14 on: 23:05, 14 November 14 »
I guess it is not yet possible to set the HxC SD-Card as the default Mass storage device for string the config file etc? but this is certainly a step in the right direction.
Did you try to make a boot disc (which is located on the HxC as an image), which includes a SYMBOS.INI with an HxC direct access config? This works fine here! I start SymbOS from disc image and then have a FAT32 system running on my CPC where I can start all applications and load all data - which is a little bit slow compared to the SF2, but it's still much better than only having discs/images! :) Please tell me, if you need help for this.

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Offline CraigsBar

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #15 on: 00:10, 15 November 14 »
Did you try to make a boot disc (which is located on the HxC as an image), which includes a SYMBOS.INI with an HxC direct access config? This works fine here! I start SymbOS from disc image and then have a FAT32 system running on my CPC where I can start all applications and load all data - which is a little bit slow compared to the SF2, but it's still much better than only having discs/images! :) Please tell me, if you need help for this.
Oooh, no I had not thought of that. My hxc is currently drive b but as I have an abba toggling it is easy. When I get back home next week, i'll test that. I see no reason why that won't work on my 4128plus. [emoji4] oh wow, now I need another big sd card.
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Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #16 on: 14:55, 15 November 14 »
My HxC is drive B, too :) You can start it from drive B without problems.

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Offline seanb

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #17 on: 19:55, 10 July 15 »
I keep getting error 06 when trying to setup the HXC for direct access.

I can get direct access by deleting drive a and b but that's sort of counter-productive.

Can anyone help please.
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Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #18 on: 23:06, 10 July 15 »
The problem was switching between the direct access methode to the normal floppy methode. As direct access uses track 255 the "drive" seeks quite a long time, and this caused issues. E.g. switching between FDC drive B and "SD card FAT direct access" drive B - not possible within a file operation.
What is working fine is to have e.g. drive A as a static real floppy disc and drive B as a static SD card FAT32 mass storage device. Last year I did some investigations, but still have to find a full working solution.

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Offline madram

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #19 on: 18:30, 27 July 15 »
Since a few days HxC Direct Access Mode support has been implemented in SymbOS.

That's really great ! The benefits of a well decoupled design for sure !  With AMSDOS, it's a pity we can't deroute read/write sector routines.

Is it available in Symbos 3 ?

Offline Prodatron

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Re: SymbOS with HxC Direct Access FAT32 support
« Reply #20 on: 19:22, 27 July 15 »
The benefits of a well decoupled design for sure !  With AMSDOS, it's a pity we can't deroute read/write sector routines.
Yes, the file system is decoupled as well, the middle layer (file system implementation) only provides some abstract functions: Allocate clusters, get cluster chain, remove clusters, add/modify/delete a directory entry. It's the same for Amsdos as well as for FAT. So the high level layer of the file manager doesn't need to know anything specific about the file system.

Is it available in Symbos 3 ?
Right, it's included here:
SymbOS 3.0 beta network edition released with new applications
Open "Control Panel" -> "Mass Storage" -> "Floppy Disc" -> "HxC SD card at A/B". There is still this issue mentioned in my previouse post when switching between SD card access and emulated floppy access.

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