Started by Prodatron, 20:30, 02 September 14
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Quote from: Munchausen on 18:38, 04 September 14On the topic of HxC and Symbos, an HxC manager app that allows you to select images to load into the drive would be neat. A direct access mode driver would be really nice too, allowing you to directly use the SD as a storage device.
Quote from: Prodatron on 19:07, 04 September 14Thanks for the good explanation!I didn't know that this is possible with the HxC. Can you load/write sectors directly from/to the SD card? As the HxC is only connected via the FDC and not via the expansion bus? If this would be possible of course I would be very happy to make a SD card driver for the HxC.
Quote from: Prodatron on 19:07, 04 September 14I didn't know that this is possible with the HxC. Can you load/write sectors directly from/to the SD card? As the HxC is only connected via the FDC and not via the expansion bus? If this would be possible of course I would be very happy to make a SD card driver for the HxC.
Quote from: Munchausen on 21:53, 04 September 14Yep - see here: http://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_drive_emulator/SDCard_HxC_Floppy_Emulator_Direct_Access_mode.pdfYou can use it to read/write to the SD, and also to select images. SymbOS support would be awesome! A bit more advanced but it would also be great to have the two modes coexisting, so that as well as using the SD as mass storage you can e.g. browse to the HxC SD card in the file manager and right click on a disk image stored there and tell symbos to load it into the HxC.
Quote from: Prodatron on 11:39, 05 September 14Wow, that looks very easy! Did anyone used this on the CPC before??
Quote from: ProdatronIt makes probably more sense to support this for having a real big mass storage device instead of projects like CPCSD, as the HxC is a common device with good availability. Don't know if I am wrong here? But probably every 2nd CPC "power"user owns a HxC.You just have to read/write the sector 0 at track 255 to control which SD card sectors you can transfer through sectors 1-8. That's cool.
Quote from: Prodatron on 11:39, 05 September 14I have to check if I can add this as an option for FDC access (beside "Head 0" and "Head 1" you would have the addition option "HxC SD card"), or if it is necessary to compile a special SymbOS version because of limited code space.It will be slower than the direct IDE access of the SYMBiFACE II, but still ok for usual stuff (probably not fast enough for playing videos though). Supporting both modes for the same "disc drive" shouldn't be a problem. As soon as you have normal FDC access, it will automatically seek back to a track between 0-79, so there shouldn't be any conflicts.Selecting images in SymbOS would be another step...
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 14The HxC floppy emulator manager by NoRecess (a CPC program for selecting which disk image to load into the emulator) must use it.
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 14CPCSD is nice because it is very simple and should cost <10Euro/£.
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 14The HxC is nice because the driver required should be quite small as it does most of the work for you !
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 14HxC support would not only be for the CPC, as it should work with basically anything with a floppy interface (so MsX and PCW too).
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 141. Is it possible for users to write device drivers for SymbOS, or do you need the full source code?
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 142. Is there a technical reason why SymbOS can't launch normal AMSDOS programs? Obviously it would nuke SymbOS because all the RAM would be taken over, and you would need to make sure the programs can make ROM calls so it would have to set everything back to "reset" state first, but is this very hard? It would be really neat to be able to do this (particularly if you can load DSK images into the HxC).
Quote from: Munchausen on 12:20, 05 September 143. Have you thought about a suspend/resume function where you copy all the RAM contents and current state to disk for resuming where you left off later? You could even copy it into higher RAM if you have enough spare, then if you ran an AMSDOS program you could use e.g. a multiface to resume symbos later by restoring the RAM contents, or autoboot from the saved RAM image on reset.
Quote from: Prodatron on 13:43, 05 September 14I didn't had the PCW in mind! That would be so cool to have a PCW with such a mass storage, too! Great idea
Quote from: Prodatron on 13:43, 05 September 14The reasons why the drivers are currently hardcoded in the CPC version are these:- all CPCs have the same FDC; during the last years the SYMBiFACE II was the only available and quite actual hardware with a mass storage interface (IDE), where some 100 pieces were produced. So IMHO it was ok only to support these two device types (FDC+IDE)- a dynamic driver model like on the MSX requires more memory; due to bank switching reasons the driver code has to be placed in the first 64K; this is the most narrow and valuable memory area for the core part of SymbOS; but especially on the CPC the memory is quite limited here, as it also contains the 16K screen (the MSX has its own dedicated video ram)- SymbOS should be bootable directly from "harddisc" by using the rom version without the need of a floppy disc, so that it's available within a few seconds. But that means, the driver must already be there and can't be loaded during booting (as then Amsdos would be required, which can't access the "harddisc"). On the MSX it's not a problem as MSX-DOS runs fine with FAT-harddiscs and can be used for booting. There could be probably a solution for the CPC, too, but it's more difficult and until today I didn't see an important reason for having dynamic drivers.
Quote from: Prodatron on 13:43, 05 September 14Are you speaking about...- launching programs from the (emulated) floppy disc: This would require a controlled reset of the CPC and to send the string RUN"filename"[+return] to the keyboard buffer; that would be a stupid but probably simple and working program starter Maybe it's possible to install a sniffer, which checks for a special key combination. SymbOS is copied into higher ram and loaded back, as soon as the user is pressing the key combination (and the program doesn't kill or reset the CPC OS).- launching programs from a FAT partition: This would be only possible, if loading additional parts isn't required later and the whole program is stored in one BIN. Something like this can be already done by using SNApshot files.
Quote from: Prodatron on 13:43, 05 September 14Similiar to the first suggestion in 2.) . Well, yes, I thought about this several times. The most interesting part is, how to make a controlled reset of the CPC, so that some "exit"-code remains somewhere in Ram (below the stack probably). A "suspend to harddisc" would be fine, too. It's a little bit tricky. Because of the multitasking environment you have to freeze some parts first, before writing the dump into a file.
Quote from: Munchausen on 14:24, 05 September 14I guess you can just freely access the IO ports to speak to other devices though, since there is no "serial" device type in symbos currently. A symbos terminal emulator would be very nice, and a utility to pick up files shared from a PC would be awesome too.
Quote from: Munchausen on 14:24, 05 September 14The SNApshot loader will be very useful for loading from HDD when you have the correct image stored in the HxC. A modified multiface ROM that can save SNA images to hard disc would make this an even more killer hardware/software combo, because you would be able to use SymbOS to launch standard CPC software, save the state and resume symbos from the same place (but for this you would need ROM/RAM upgrade, HxC, mouse interface and an upgraded multiface that doesnt currently exist... I can dream though right?)
Quote from: Munchausen on 14:24, 05 September 14I was thinking of a simpler way, an autobooting ROM (like holding down the ctrl key to boot symbos currently) that looks for the RAM dump and loads it for you if it is present. Then you can just reset/power off while holding ctrl, or similar. This might even work for loading from higher RAM if it isn't destroyed on reset (and you have a reset button so dont have to fully power down to restart).
Quote from: Munchausen on 14:24, 05 September 14Does symbos support the AY card on the PCW?
Quote from: CraigsBar on 16:32, 05 September 14Surely what the pcw is crying out for is a ps2 mouse interface? Sound would be nice for symbols pcw, but to my mind a modern mouse solution is essential. That is what keeps my 9512+ in the loft, no mouse!
Quote from: Munchausen on 16:59, 05 September 14Hmm, I was assuming that SymbOS supports the PCW mouse interface (AMX mouse)? But I haven't tried it.
Quote from: Prodatron on 15:43, 05 September 14Some sort of Network drivers are quite high now on the ToDo list
Quote from: Prodatron on 15:43, 05 September 14Maybe it's possible to use an alternative Rom for the Multiface? It could copy everything into the higher ram and then SymbOS saves it to harddisc after the next start.
Quote from: Prodatron on 15:43, 05 September 14In the past I didn't know about the AY card for the PCW. Shouldn't be a big deal to add this to SymAmp. Did the re-production already start? Missed this thread unfortunately...Push'n'Pop | Amstrad CPC Demoscene | AY8930 interface for Amstrad PCW
Quote from: CraigsBar on 17:06, 05 September 14it does, but they are impossible to find. And bloody uncomfortable to use if you do. So I don't have one.
Quote from: Prodatron on 17:08, 05 September 14I wrote a driver for the Kempston and the AMX mouse. Unfortunately I never could test one of these with real hardware (as I don't own it). One is at least working in the XJoyce emulator (but I would have to figure out which one ).
Quote from: Munchausen on 17:12, 05 September 14I think maybe getting the CPC to do TCP/IP is over kill (would it cope?) so maybe supporting hardware that can do the TCP/IP for you is a good idea? Then you ask the hardware to negotiate a connection for you, before using it like a dumb point to point connection (like a serial line). And perhaps also a "dumb" driver for direct point to point connections between two computers (like a serial line to your PC). I saw this recently, a tiny and very cheap ($8!!) wifi->serial module that uses AT commands to connect to a hotspot (or act as one) and set up a TCP/IP connection to a server. Anyway... a lot of thought needs to go into it you probably have many ideas already.Yes, you can make an alternate ROM for the multiface (in theory). It's a great idea to use the higher RAM because then it doesn't need to know how to talk to a mass storage device - nice! I don't know if you saw that the multiface has now been fully reverse engineered, so hopefully someone will make a replacement at some time... if it was a more popular device I guess support would be more likely.That would be really great! The hardware hasn't been produced yet, but I'm hopeful it wont be too long.Cheers
Quote from: Munchausen on 16:41, 04 September 14How is your CPC IDE interface going? I imagine PCW IDE would be very similar?
Quote from: radu14m on 20:04, 04 September 14is the project "CPCSD" still alive?
Quote from: SyX on 05:04, 07 September 14Yes, Pulko made a new version of the interface using the expansion port, and a few months ago he made a Compact Flash board using similar i/o ports to the Symbiface IDE and i patched bonniedos to use his board. Then he asked to the bonniedos author to release this patched version with this CF interface, but the author didn't give permission for it.
Quote from: robcfg on 12:02, 03 September 14Great job! I have to try also the MSX version on my TurboR. Can I use it from disk or do I need an SD or CF storage solution?
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