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Re: [cone_cores] New icons for NewBoot

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  • Alessandro Dorigatti
    Hi Niclas! ... Just tried your icons! I like them a lot! ... I loved to read your ramblings :-) Also the explanation about the boot.bin file. When I ve
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 12, 2011
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      Hi Niclas!

      On Tue, 2011-11-08 at 15:51 +0100, Niclas Lardh wrote:

      > Amongst the first things I have done is to replace all the graphics
      > in the NewBoot menus.

      Just tried your icons! I like them a lot!

      > I plan on documenting the progress of my adventures on my site at
      > http://heavyconsulting.net/c-one/
      > Just ignore the long ramblings (I tend to write long and annoying
      > text sometimes) and scroll down to the bottom for some screenshots
      > and downloadable files with my new (work in progress) icons and
      > backgrounds. I am not quite happy with them yet, but I still think
      > it's an improvement over the originals.

      I loved to read your "ramblings" :-) Also the explanation about the
      boot.bin file. When I've developed the ZX-One core I've worked on it too
      (to copy a TAP file saved in the core directory to the SDRAM accessible
      by the 1K30, that, in my case, contains the tape player emulator).

      After, I started to study how to modify the "selector" to select a TAP
      before running the core, but in the end I left.. maybe in the future you
      could find a solution to this need..

      > Still, I just love to mess around with things, and hope I will be
      > able to eventually contribute something.

      Keep on the good work! :-)

      Cheers,
      Alessandro
    • Niclas Lardh
      ... Thank you. It s very nice to hear that. :-) ... Unfortunately I don t have too much free time to work on this, but today I have started to really go
      Message 2 of 17 , Nov 12, 2011
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        12 nov 2011 at 11:25. Alessandro Dorigatti:

        > Just tried your icons! I like them a lot!

        Thank you. It's very nice to hear that. :-)

        > I loved to read your "ramblings" :-) Also the explanation about the
        > boot.bin file. When I've developed the ZX-One core I've worked on
        > it too
        > (to copy a TAP file saved in the core directory to the SDRAM
        > accessible
        > by the 1K30, that, in my case, contains the tape player emulator).
        >
        > After, I started to study how to modify the "selector" to select a TAP
        > before running the core, but in the end I left.. maybe in the
        > future you
        > could find a solution to this need..

        Unfortunately I don't have too much free time to work on this, but
        today I have started to really go through what the "Selector" does,
        and how it does it, along with the bootprogram and file routines in
        the "ROM". I haven't worked with 6502 assembly in over ten years, but
        I still seem to get the hang of it without problem. :-)

        I will probably have to revise my text about the boot.bin several
        times as I learn more. Remember that anything I write is based on
        what I find by examining what I can, and it may very well be
        completely incorrect. :-) After all, I have only been working with
        the C-one for a week so far, trying to gather all the information I can.

        Making a menu system that allows for selection of the TAP file, or in
        the case of the FPGA64, a PRG or CRT file, would be very nice. Having
        to have multiple copies of the same core directory just to be able to
        have several programs to load is a little bit annoying. Especially if
        you want more than 12 programs to choose from.

        It should be very possible, I think, to include such a thing inside
        the boot.bin of the ZX-one or FPGA64.


        Sounds like a nice challenge!


        By the way, has the source code of your excellent ZX-one been
        released? I tried to google around a bit and found the retroleum
        site, but no source anywhere. I'm just a bit curious to see it if
        it's available. If not, thats ok too.
        --
        Niclas
      • Alessandro Dorigatti
        ... Yes it is! In case, the ZX-One reads the TAP file starting from the address $80000 of the SDRAM. ... No, I ve never released the source code. If you are
        Message 3 of 17 , Nov 13, 2011
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          On Sun, 2011-11-13 at 01:07 +0100, Niclas Lardh wrote:

          > Making a menu system that allows for selection of the TAP file, or in
          > the case of the FPGA64, a PRG or CRT file, would be very nice. Having
          > to have multiple copies of the same core directory just to be able to
          > have several programs to load is a little bit annoying. Especially if
          > you want more than 12 programs to choose from.
          >
          > It should be very possible, I think, to include such a thing inside
          > the boot.bin of the ZX-one or FPGA64.
          >
          > Sounds like a nice challenge!

          Yes it is! In case, the ZX-One reads the TAP file starting from the
          address $80000 of the SDRAM.

          > By the way, has the source code of your excellent ZX-one been
          > released?

          No, I've never released the source code. If you are interested, please
          contact me in private.

          Cheers,
          Alessandro
        • Niclas Lardh
          ... Last night I went through the code for the selector thoroughly and commented it all through to get a good picture of it. Then I added to it the ability to
          Message 4 of 17 , Nov 13, 2011
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            13 nov 2011 at 09:51. Alessandro Dorigatti:

            > On Sun, 2011-11-13 at 01:07 +0100, Niclas Lardh wrote:
            >
            >> [selection menu for TAP files]
            >> Sounds like a nice challenge!
            >
            > Yes it is! In case, the ZX-One reads the TAP file starting from the
            > address $80000 of the SDRAM.

            Last night I went through the code for the selector thoroughly and commented it all through to get a good picture of it. Then I added to it the ability to show TAP-filenames on the icons as well.

            As you probably already know, the Selector, while drawing out the menu will look in the core directories and search for a select.txt to display on the icon. If that is not found, it will instead look for a CRT-file, a C64 cartridge file, and extract the name of the cart from within that file to show instead. If no cart file is found either, it will resort to showing the name of the first PRG-file it finds in the core directory.

            I added to that so that if a PRG is not found, it will scan for a TAP instead and show that name. Makes it a lot easier to know what tape is going to be loaded with the core, especially if you have a selector screen with lots of ZX-one cores, all with different TAPs inside, without having to make a select.txt for each one.

            A very simple addition, but it does make a nice difference. I will post the new Selector boot.bin on my site later tonight.

            Now I just need to get to work on some nice text-menu routines to make a selection menu.
            --
            Niclas
            >
          • vassilis0815
            Hello Niclas, your findings are very interesting and I also like your icons,although I have not tried them on the real thing right now. As you write,there are
            Message 5 of 17 , Nov 13, 2011
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              Hello Niclas,

              your findings are very interesting and I also like your icons,although I have not tried them on the real thing right now.
              As you write,there are easier boards to start with.

              I think you will know the following page that has details about the boot process: http://c1boot.sourceforge.net/tech.html

              Also Tobiflex had released the source code for the custom 6502 in one posting here some years ago,but I do not find it right now.I am sure it is here in one of the postings.

              Have fun,
              Vassilis
            • vassilis0815
              Hello again, I was somewhat wrong! It seems that the 1K30 core is closed source, but Tobiflex had posted the 1541 drive emulation code here :
              Message 6 of 17 , Nov 13, 2011
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                Hello again,

                I was somewhat wrong! It seems that the 1K30 core is closed source,
                but Tobiflex had posted the 1541 drive emulation code here :

                http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/cone_cores/message/151

                Greetings,
                Vassilis
              • Niclas Lardh
                ... Yes, I have already read that page, but unfortunately it appears to be describing the old CPC based classic boot system, and not the new boot. ... I think
                Message 7 of 17 , Nov 13, 2011
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                  13 nov 2011 at 15:36 "vassilis0815":

                  > I think you will know the following page that has details about the boot process: http://c1boot.sourceforge.net/tech.html

                  Yes, I have already read that page, but unfortunately it appears to be describing the old CPC based classic boot system, and not the new boot.
                  >


                  I think I am starting to get a pretty good grasp on how it works though. :-)
                  --
                  Niclas
                • Carsten Elton Sørensen
                  I don t know if you are aware of this program, but a couple of years ago I made a small editor for C-1 flash cards. It can replace backgrounds, icons and
                  Message 8 of 17 , Nov 16, 2011
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                    I don't know if you are aware of this program, but a couple of years
                    ago I made a small editor for C-1 flash cards. It can replace
                    backgrounds, icons and fonts.

                    http://sourceforge.net/projects/oneganizer/files/

                    - Carsten Sorensen
                  • Niclas Lardh
                    ... Yes, I found that already. It s a very nice idea. Unfortunately, the Windows exe-file was of no use to me and I have not run it and there was no source to
                    Message 9 of 17 , Nov 16, 2011
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                      16 nov 2011 at 16:09, Carsten Elton Sørensen:

                      > I don't know if you are aware of this program, but a couple of years
                      > ago I made a small editor for C-1 flash cards. It can replace
                      > backgrounds, icons and fonts.
                      >
                      > http://sourceforge.net/projects/oneganizer/files/

                      Yes, I found that already.
                      It's a very nice idea.
                      Unfortunately, the Windows exe-file was of no use to me and I have
                      not run it and there was no source to look at. :-)


                      Still, building upon that concept to make a nice graphical system to
                      easily add and remove cores, submenus, prg-files and other things to/
                      from the CF would be a pretty nice thing to have.

                      Especially for people who just want get up and play games on the
                      board. :)

                      Something like:
                      Insert blank CF, start program, click "Initialize" to format and add
                      basic cores.
                      Display cores on screen, allow for buttons to add and remove them
                      from simple menus.
                      Allow for simple creation of sub-screens with more cores and to
                      duplicate cores to add different PRG or TAP-files to them.
                      Easy option to choose background and icons.
                      Internet updates to cores.
                      And so on.

                      On the other hand, it's much more fun to hack around with a hex editor.
                      --
                      Niclas
                    • Carsten Elton Sørensen
                      ... It s on sourceforge, the source is there, I assure you :) http://oneganizer.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/oneganizer/trunk/ ... Yes my vision at the time was
                      Message 10 of 17 , Nov 17, 2011
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                        On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 16:28, Niclas Lardh <niclas@...> wrote:
                        > 16 nov 2011 at 16:09, Carsten Elton Sørensen:
                        >> http://sourceforge.net/projects/oneganizer/files/
                        >
                        > Yes, I found that already.
                        > It's a very nice idea.
                        > Unfortunately, the Windows exe-file was of no use to me and I have
                        > not run it and there was no source to look at. :-)

                        It's on sourceforge, the source is there, I assure you :)
                        http://oneganizer.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/oneganizer/trunk/

                        > Still, building upon that concept to make a nice graphical system to
                        > easily add and remove cores, submenus, prg-files and other things to/
                        > from the CF would be a pretty nice thing to have.

                        Yes my vision at the time was exactly that. Also to have a central
                        repo of cores and themes that the program could download and install
                        to the card. To be honest I've kinda lost interest in my C-One so the
                        project didn't really go any further.

                        - Carsten Sorensen
                      • Niclas Lardh
                        ... Oh, silly me, I completely missed that since it was not as a download archive. :-) Very nice, but still, C-sharp is not really my language, nor is windows
                        Message 11 of 17 , Nov 17, 2011
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                          17 nov 2011 at 13:39, Carsten Elton Sørensen:

                          > On Wed, Nov 16, 2011 at 16:28, Niclas Lardh <niclas@...> wrote:
                          >> 16 nov 2011 at 16:09, Carsten Elton Sørensen:
                          >>> http://sourceforge.net/projects/oneganizer/files/
                          >>
                          >> Yes, I found that already.
                          >> It's a very nice idea.
                          >> Unfortunately, the Windows exe-file was of no use to me and I have
                          >> not run it and there was no source to look at. :-)
                          >
                          > It's on sourceforge, the source is there, I assure you :)
                          > http://oneganizer.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/oneganizer/trunk/

                          Oh, silly me, I completely missed that since it was not as a download
                          archive. :-)
                          Very nice, but still, C-sharp is not really my language, nor is
                          windows my main operating system.

                          >> Still, building upon that concept to make a nice graphical system to
                          >> easily add and remove cores, submenus, prg-files and other things to/
                          >> from the CF would be a pretty nice thing to have.
                          >
                          > Yes my vision at the time was exactly that. Also to have a central
                          > repo of cores and themes that the program could download and install
                          > to the card. To be honest I've kinda lost interest in my C-One so the
                          > project didn't really go any further.

                          Yes, there would most likely be no point in undertaking such a huge
                          project any more. The number of users actively using the C-one is
                          probably rather small, and I'm quite sure that most of them would
                          know how to copy some files to a memory card anyway.

                          Still, there are other boards, and if such a program could be built
                          to be used for many different boards, or if someone designs a new "C-
                          two" or something in the future ... of course, such boards would
                          probably use a completely different boot-system anyway and need a lot
                          of customisation for each one.

                          Does anyone know how many C-one boards that have actually been sold?
                          How large is the audience?

                          I will still hack around with it, because I enjoy doing it for myself
                          (I will probably grow tired of it soon and find something new to
                          obsess over for a while though), but it would be nice to know if
                          there are people out there who would be interested in any new
                          developments.



                          Speaking of a "C-two", designing such a thing ... now that would be a
                          fun challenge. Building upon the collective knowledge gathered from
                          all the other boards and produce a compact and user friendly board
                          with all the power to run anything you would like, but still stripped
                          down enough to not include anything you don't need to get the price
                          down. With modern FPGAs and connectors ...

                          Then again, might just wait and get the FPGAarcade. It kind of fits
                          all those requirements already. And I probably will get one of those
                          too one day. I seem to end up buying all sorts of weird toys all the
                          time anyway (but usually a few years after everyone else have already
                          stopped playing with them). :-)
                          --
                          Niclas
                        • Carsten Elton Sørensen
                          ... Me too, it seems pretty close to completion. It looks like a nice platform to continue learning VHDL on again, which I had loads of fun with on the C-One.
                          Message 12 of 17 , Nov 17, 2011
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                            On Thu, Nov 17, 2011 at 14:06, Niclas Lardh <niclas@...> wrote:
                            > Then again, might just wait and get the FPGAarcade. It kind of fits
                            > all those requirements already. And I probably will get one of those

                            Me too, it seems pretty close to completion. It looks like a nice
                            platform to continue learning VHDL on again, which I had loads of fun
                            with on the C-One. It seems like a more straightforward setup than the
                            C-One with its three FPGAs that all have to work together.

                            - Carsten Sorensen
                          • Mark McDougall
                            ... Was going to suggest exactly this. IIUC Mike has spent a lot of time tweaking Minimig to run on it. Porting the other cores should be a doddle. The only
                            Message 13 of 17 , Nov 17, 2011
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                              On 18/11/2011 1:14 AM, Carsten Elton Sørensen wrote:

                              > Me too, it seems pretty close to completion. It looks like a nice
                              > platform to continue learning VHDL on again, which I had loads of fun
                              > with on the C-One. It seems like a more straightforward setup than the
                              > C-One with its three FPGAs that all have to work together.

                              Was going to suggest exactly this. IIUC Mike has spent a lot of time
                              tweaking Minimig to run on it. Porting the other cores should be a doddle.

                              The only thing I don't like about the Replay is the fact that it has Xilinx
                              silicon; that's pretty much a deal breaker for me personally. But I wouldn't
                              discourage anyone else for that reason alone. It's a very nice board!

                              Fortunately for me, I have access to hardware that is actually very similar
                              to the Replay, with even more (Altera) FPGA grunt and DDR3 memory. It has
                              both USB host and device ports, an ARM micro, and DVI out. No SD/CF and no
                              audio though (but I could add them off-board). :( But still, I can do a
                              *lot* with it - probably twice the capacity of a C-One with the Cyclone-III
                              extender, and no hoops to jump through.

                              It's a pity the C-One is so dated. I was hoping the extender would breathe
                              more life into it, but as you point out, I suspect the number of owners is
                              quite small, and the number of active users even smaller again. Jens and
                              Tobias (in particular) have without a doubt done some great work with FPGA
                              emulation, held back only by the legacy hardware of the C-One.

                              Regards,

                              --
                              | Mark McDougall | "Electrical Engineers do it
                              | <http://members.iinet.net.au/~msmcdoug> | with less resistance!"
                            • Jens Schoenfeld
                              ... Right - much more modern, USB debugging, more and faster memory, more compact form factor with case, less power consumption - it s called Chameleon . ...
                              Message 14 of 17 , Nov 18, 2011
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                                At 14:06 17.11.2011 +0100, Niclas Lardh wrote:

                                >Still, there are other boards, and if such a program could be built
                                >to be used for many different boards, or if someone designs a new "C-
                                >two" or something in the future ... of course, such boards would
                                >probably use a completely different boot-system anyway and need a lot
                                >of customisation for each one.

                                Right - much more modern, USB debugging, more and faster memory, more compact form factor with case, less power consumption - it's called "Chameleon".

                                >Does anyone know how many C-one boards that have actually been sold?
                                >How large is the audience?

                                Under 200 boards, where only half of them actually have the FPGA extender. Over 100 boards of the initial 296-board production run failed QC and seem beyond repair. I have exactly 11 boards with FPGA extender left in stock. The C-One is obviously already considered "computer history", because a Swiss computer museum bought two of the boards earlier this year. They also have a prototype of the C-One on display, which I have given them as a long-term loan. The "Enter" museum is currently moving to a new, bigger location, where they will have a grand re-opening on december 3rd: http://www.pcmuseum.ch/

                                >Speaking of a "C-two", designing such a thing ... now that would be a
                                >fun challenge.

                                ...going on: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/chameleon_64/

                                ciao,
                                --
                                Jens Schönfeld
                              • Niclas Lardh
                                ... Yes, I know about it. :-) That s why I recommended the Chameleon over a C-one in the little text i wrote on my C-one page. And I might get one of them some
                                Message 15 of 17 , Nov 18, 2011
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                                  18 nov 2011 at 11:05, Jens Schoenfeld:
                                  > At 14:06 17.11.2011 +0100, Niclas Lardh wrote:
                                  >> Still, there are other boards, and if such a program could be built
                                  >> to be used for many different boards, or if someone designs a new "C-
                                  >> two" or something in the future ... of course, such boards would
                                  >> probably use a completely different boot-system anyway and need a lot
                                  >> of customisation for each one.
                                  > Right - much more modern, USB debugging, more and faster memory,
                                  > more compact form factor with case, less power consumption - it's
                                  > called "Chameleon".

                                  Yes, I know about it. :-) That's why I recommended the Chameleon over
                                  a C-one in the little text i wrote on my C-one page.
                                  And I might get one of them some day, I really like the concept, but
                                  I only have time to tinker with one thing at the time, so it will
                                  have to wait.
                                  But yellow is a nice colour.


                                  >> Does anyone know how many C-one boards that have actually been sold?
                                  >> How large is the audience?
                                  >
                                  > Under 200 boards, where only half of them actually have the FPGA
                                  > extender. Over 100 boards of the initial 296-board production run
                                  > failed QC and seem beyond repair. I have exactly 11 boards with
                                  > FPGA extender left in stock.

                                  That's a bit less than I thought, so I guess there are very very few
                                  left in active use then.

                                  > The C-One is obviously already considered "computer history",
                                  > because a Swiss computer museum bought two of the boards earlier
                                  > this year. They also have a prototype of the C-One on display,
                                  > which I have given them as a long-term loan.


                                  Yay! I own a very rare piece of computer history then. :-)
                                  Now, if I could just get my hands on a Apple I too my life would be
                                  complete.

                                  Still, the C-one is very fun (although slightly frustrating) to hack
                                  around with, so I have no regrets buying it.
                                  And it plays my old Amiga games perfectly too, without me having to
                                  get a new Amiga mouse. :-)
                                  (I did buy a Mroocheck mouse adapter back in the very very early
                                  2000s or so to rectify the mouse problem on my Amigas, but shortly
                                  thereafter, serial PC-mice went the way of the dodo too, so it didn't
                                  help for very long) :-)


                                  > The "Enter" museum is currently moving to a new, bigger location,
                                  > where they will have a grand re-opening on december 3rd: http://
                                  > www.pcmuseum.ch/

                                  Sounds like a nice museum. Too bad I can't get there to visit it, I
                                  would have loved it.

                                  --
                                  Niclas
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