Some techical questions

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AtariZoll
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Some techical questions

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Aug 06, 2014 10:55 am

I looked details on homepage: "serves as hard drive with SD card: the device has a single SD card slot which replaces a hard drive just like UltraSatan or SatanDisk"
That should mean that if you connect SD card what works with UltraSatan, it should work with CosmosEx right on, without any special settings, and with current autoboot driver, what uses ICD command set .
Is there hot-swap support by CosmosEx ?

What are default ACSI IDs in case of CosmoEx, and is there way to set something else ?

I got mail from man, complaining on conflict : IDs 0,1 by UltraSatan, and 0,0 ( ????) by CosmosEx .
Negative feedback has usually positive effect.

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Sun Aug 10, 2014 2:22 am

AtariZoll wrote:I looked details on homepage: "serves as hard drive with SD card: the device has a single SD card slot which replaces a hard drive just like UltraSatan or SatanDisk"
That should mean that if you connect SD card what works with UltraSatan, it should work with CosmosEx right on, without any special settings, and with current autoboot driver, what uses ICD command set .
Is there hot-swap support by CosmosEx ?


Yes, there is.

AtariZoll wrote:What are default ACSI IDs in case of CosmoEx, and is there way to set something else ?


The default ACSI ID is 0, it can be configured using the config tool, see here:
http://joo.kie.sk/?page_id=431

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby SerialSinger » Wed Aug 20, 2014 5:31 pm

Hello everybody! Just received my CE this morning! First basic tests OK, updated software from USB instead of network because of... well, I'll tell you later.

The only hardware problem is the IKBD injector; I had to do every setting by leaving the original keyboard connected directly to my Mega ST 2 (TOS 1.02), otherwise original mouse and keyboard didn't work at all. I also tried to connect an USB mouse with no success.
...Yes, I double-checked the connection to the "ST" and Kbd" sides, and the 4-pin cable to the CE... ;-)

Any suggested tests to find what's wrong with the injector? In the meantime I will find a cable tester.

To come back to technical questions: I had to give up downloading the updated software from the web, because my stupid (or too intelligent, depending on point of view...) Vodafone Station 2 router has a crazy function which requires a special "first authentication" for any new MAC address connected to it... but this would work only with very recent machines, invoking the web browser, etc. etc.

I had the same problem when I connected my Mac PowerBook G3 Lombard with OS 9, because its browser could not open that "automatic" web page (with Adobe Flash contents! How stupid those engineers could be?); but I discovered a cheat which allows you to unlock any Mac address by using a recent PC or Mac to send it to the router... I know, it's complicated.

In other words, I only need to know the MAC address of the CosmosEx for "unlocking" its Internet connectivity!
How can I retrieve it? Maybe a command to run on the Linux machine? I'm not a Linux expert (shame on me, after all these years working with the Windows and Mac environments...), so I definitely need some dummy procedure to follow.

Thanks for the attention!

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby SerialSinger » Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:20 pm

Latest news: I retrieved the MAC address of the CosmosEx, and verified all the connections of the injector with a tester... all OK.
Now I can come back to my tests, and wait for some good news about the injector issue.

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Fri Aug 22, 2014 6:35 am

SerialSinger wrote:The only hardware problem is the IKBD injector; I had to do every setting by leaving the original keyboard connected directly to my Mega ST 2 (TOS 1.02), otherwise original mouse and keyboard didn't work at all. I also tried to connect an USB mouse with no success.
...Yes, I double-checked the connection to the "ST" and Kbd" sides, and the 4-pin cable to the CE... ;-)

Any suggested tests to find what's wrong with the injector? In the meantime I will find a cable tester.


Hello SerialSinger,

did you connect the 4 wire cable to the right connector on CE? The one which is marked as 'IKBD' on this picutre:
Image

I've created a manual page about IKBD injector, please see if anything else is OK (there's a check list on that page):
http://joo.kie.sk/?page_id=529

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby SerialSinger » Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:16 pm

Bloody hell! I used the wrong 4-pin connector... :lol:
OK, on with the show... :)

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:38 pm

I have questions about the power supply:
- What is the recommended minimum current the power supply should provide on the mini-usb connector? Hopefully std PS for phone that provide 1A should work?
- Is the Atari PS capable of providing enoug power on the FD power cable?

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:28 pm

More questions :)

I have not seen a precise documentation about the 5 Leds on the left
From what I understand 1/2/3 is probably only for FD emulation? and indicates which image is used? What is state when FD emulation not used? always off?
FDD Led? on if FD used? or active? or ???
ACSI Led ???
Power LED only indicates power is on. Right?

From what I understand you must wait for the CE to complete boot before starting Atari? is there a LED to indicate CE is ready?
I have seen mentioned LED blinking? which one? to indicate what?

Is the usage of the button above Power LED. Only to choose FD images? or can be used to reset unit (long push?)

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:11 pm

in your page about Raw/Translated http://joo.kie.sk/?page_id=508

When the USB drive is connected, the root sector (sector 0) which contains the partition table for first 4 partitions is read, and it is determined if the USB drive is Atari formatted (GEM or BGM partitions) or PC formatted (FAT partitions). Depending on what you have enabled on ACSI bus and if the drive is Atari formatted or not:
...
C) if both TRANSLATED and RAW are enabled – attach non-atari as TRANSLATED (use them with translated – ce_dd driver), and atari as RAW (use them with HDDRIVER or ICD Pro)
...


How do you find out if partition is Atari or PC are you using ID field in the Partition Table entry (see http://info-coach.fr/atari/documents/my ... 0Guide.pdf page 45) ?
Big problem is with DOS&TOS partitions as used in HDDRIVER and PPTOSDOS (from ppera) : how are they detected ???
All my SD cards (except the one that uses ICD) are TOS&DOS partitions! Does that means they will always be accessed with your driver ("translated") and it will not be possible to use HDDRIVER or PPERA driver?

I will have other questions on raw/sd/translated as I do not find your explanation very precise but before I need to do some tests

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:47 am

I do not like to much how USB sticks get get the status raw or translated!

As already explained it would not be easy for you to detect correctly TOS&DOS partitions. HDD 8.x / HDD9.x / and PPD 1.0 all uses totally different mechanism that are even not documented and I would be surprise that you detect this correctly.

So it would be better to let the user decided how the USB sticks should be detected. If user wants Raw then it would use RAW if it wants CE than it would use Translated.
This differ from current config by the facts that you can have multiple translated selection.

so for example you could have id1 raw id2 trans => would force USB1 to be raw and USB2 to be DOS
ID1 trans and ID2 trans => would force both USB1 and USB2 to be DOS

The problem is that the translated ID is used by your driver to communicate. The solution might be in the later case to use the lower ID when two are in usage.
what do you think?

By the way this is not a big deal for me because I do not think I will use USB stick in CosmosEx that often. But network drive is just fantastic :)

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:46 am

Still have problem to understand translated drive setting in config :(

Let say tha I set ID0=SD and ID1 = Trans (all other off). On SD card I have HDD902 and in AUTO forlder I have CE_DD (as HDD block loading of CE_DD directly).
I can access all drives mounted by HDD as well as N and O drive monted by CEDD
If I scan ACSI bus I see ID0 and 1 for CosmosEx device.

Now I set ID1 to off. So all is off except ID0 for SD
With this configuration I get EXACTLY the same results: I can access and drives mounted by HDD as well as drive N and O ???
If I scan ACSI bus I only see ID0

So it seems that as long as CE_DD can get access to CosmosEx on ANY ID (translated or not) it allow access to all translated drive ???

and now even more strange :mrgreen:
Same exact test as above using PPutnik Driver.
As you know PPDRIVER does not block your driver so do not need CE_DD in AUTO folder
with ID0 and ID1 as above everything works fine both drivers load and all drives mounted
But now if ID1 is off your driver does not load and of course O and N gone

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Wed Sep 17, 2014 8:01 am

DrCoolZic wrote:Now I set ID1 to off. So all is off except ID0 for SD
With this configuration I get EXACTLY the same results: I can access and drives mounted by HDD as well as drive N and O ???


Yes, this is the intended behavior. The only reason an ACSI ID can be assigned to translated drive is to be able to boot the translated driver from CosmosEx without floppy disk or SD card (by reading the bootsector and the rest of driver on ST boot from that drive), so if you remove the translated drive from ACSI, you can't boot the driver directly from device, but you can access the device through any ACSI ID that is assigned to the device.

So:
- to boot the translated driver from device, enable the translated drive on some ACSI ID (the driver in AUTO folder is not needed for this)
- to boot the translated driver from other drive (floppy, SD, ...), put it in the AUTO folder of that drive (an ACSI ID assigned to translated drive is not needed for this)
- to disable the translated driver, remove 'translated' from ACSI ID, and remove the CE_DD.PRG from any other drives (from SD, from floppy, from other hard drives)

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:17 am

OK I can leave with that

You did not reply to TOS&DOS partitions.
Assuming I can create a TOS&DOS partition using HDD how is it detected by CE_DD? DOS or TOS ?
Same for PPD?

Now both of them (since HDD 8.40) use similar technique (but different implementation) the TOS&DOS partition has two boot sectors one for DOS and a hidden one for TOS (actually they should be called DOS&TOS)
So if not specially looking for it you should detect as DOS
I have bought HDD 9.02 and should receive documentation soon I will see if more information is provided.

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:21 am

DrCoolZic wrote:You did not reply to TOS&DOS partitions.
Assuming I can create a TOS&DOS partition using HDD how is it detected by CE_DD? DOS or TOS ?
Same for PPD?


After what you wrote I was planing to remove the auto-detection and just use all USB media as raw or translated - depending on a settings in CE_CONFIG - that would avoid bad partition detection, and it also would take less to think and find out what type of drive is now used for the USB media. Do you agree with removing this auto-detection?

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 17, 2014 2:34 pm

Yes this is probably safer.
But this would require definition of multiple TRANS right?

I guess raw is only useful for DOS&TOS? Who want to partition an USB stick to TOS
The only partitions type that makes sense for an USB would be TOS&DOS with driver like HDD PPD or DOS with CEDD

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:47 pm

So if I interpret correctly how ID configuration will be done we have the following extracted from my CosmosEx usage draft doc

ASCI IDs Configuration
This screen is used to assign ACSI IDs to the CosmosEx device.

ID 0-7 can be assigned to the following media types:
• SD = SD card
• Raw = USB memory sticks (Atari formatted)
• TRAN (Translated) = USB memory sticks (DOS formatted), Network & Configuration drives

The following restrictions apply to assignments:
• As there is only one SD card slot you can either have 0, or 1 IDs assigned for SD card. If no ID is assigned to a SD card then no SD card can be used.
• You can have 0, 1, or 2 IDs assigned to either RAW or TRAN (Translated). The first RAW or TRAN assignment apply to USB slot 1 and the second assignment apply to USB slot 2. If no ID is assigned to RAW and TRAN then no USB Stick can be used.
- Example ID 0 = RAW and ID 1 = TRAN: A TOS driver must be used to access Atari formatted media plugged into the USB slot 1 and the CEDD driver must be used to access DOS formatted media plugged into the USB slot 2.
- Example ID 0 = TRAN and ID 1 = TRAN: The CEDD driver must be used to access DOS formatted media plugged into USB slot 1 & 2.
• At least one ID has to be assigned otherwise the CosmosEx device could not be accessed!
• If any other devices are connected to the ACSI bus all the assigned IDs should be unique.

The rules and limitations are as follow:
• The Atari boot order is based on the drive ACSI ID. The system scans the drives following an ascending order of the ID, it boots from the first one (with lower ID) that contains a bootable media, and eventually it continues with the following bootable media.
• If the lowest specified ID is of type TRAN then the CEDD driver is always loaded. If the media specified by the next ID has a bootable partition the HD driver that it contains is then loaded.
• If the first bootable media uses HDDRIVER (ID assignment should be of type SD or RAW) then no other driver will be loaded automatically. In that case if you want to load the CEDD driver you need to create an AUTO folder at the root of the boot partition and add the CE_DD.PRG in it.
• If the first bootable media uses PPDRIVER (ID assignment should be of type SD or RAW) the CEDD driver will be loaded automatically if any TRAN type has been assigned (with higher ID).
• In order to access an USB slot defined as a RAW device you need to have a hard disk driver loaded in the system. This can be done from either an USB stick or an SD Card.
• In order to access the Network drive and/or the Configuration drive you need to have the CEDD driver loaded. This happen when at least one ID is of type TRAN or when the program CE_DD.PRG is placed in the AUTO folder at the root of the boot partition.

Examples of configurations:

You want to boot from a SD card using HDD driver and you want to be able to use the Network and Configuration drives. In that case you only need to specify ID 0 as SD and let all other IDs as off. The SD card need to be made bootable with the HDD driver installed in the boot partition. In order to access the Network and Configuration drives you need to add the CE_DD.PRG program in the AUTO folder at the root of the boot partition.

You want to boot from a SD card using PPD driver and you want to be able to use the Network and Configuration drives. In that case you need to specify ID 0 as SD, ID 1 as TRAN, and let all other IDs to off. The SD card need to be made bootable with the PDD driver. Due to the fact that the ID 1 is set to TRAN the CEDD driver is automatically loaded after the PPD driver to provide access to the Network and Configuration drives.

You want to boot from a SD card and you want to use translated drive for Network, Configuration, and USB slots 1 & 2 drives. In that case you need to specify ID 0 as SD, ID 1 as TRAN, and ID 2 as TRAN. For the drivers please refer to the above explanations.


does this seems correct?

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:21 pm

Almost :)

- you can have from 0 to 8 IDs assigned to RAW USB media
- you can have 0 or 1 ID assigned to TRANslated drive (the config shouldn't allow more than 1 TRAN drives)
- to access all the drives which are accessible using translated driver (network drive, config drive, USB drives) you don't need to have any ID assigned to translated drive because it should work through any ACSI ID assigned to CosmosEx, you need to assign ID to translated drive only to boot the CE_DD driver

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:31 pm

Well first of all I am not talking about the way it works now but the way we could make it

Jookie wrote:- you can have from 0 to 8 IDs assigned to RAW USB media

??? there is only 2 USB slots so what is the meaning for example of ID0 ID1 ID2 ID3 all set to RAW

- you can have 0 or 1 ID assigned to TRANslated drive (the config shouldn't allow more than 1 TRAN drives)

We said that we want to remove the automatic detection of Atari / PC drives? So How do you specify for example one raw one trans? and example two trans?

- to access all the drives which are accessible using translated driver (network drive, config drive, USB drives) you don't need to have any ID assigned to translated drive because it should work through any ACSI ID assigned to CosmosEx, you need to assign ID to translated drive only to boot the CE_DD driver
Again this apply to current implementation?
Again did you agree on changing behavior? And what would be new behavior?

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby JimDrew » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:51 pm

Jookie, how are you clocking data to the floppy RDData and WRData lines currently? I assume you are generating the flux pulse with a .5us high-low-high transition every 4us/6us/8us bit cell? How is this generated on your board (interrupt, task, etc. ?) Are you pre-loading and converting the entire .msa/.dsk image, or a track at a time? How much buffer space do you have?
I am the flux ninja

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:18 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:
Jookie wrote:- you can have from 0 to 8 IDs assigned to RAW USB media

??? there is only 2 USB slots so what is the meaning for example of ID0 ID1 ID2 ID3 all set to RAW

Hum I guess you can have 8 USB cards using an USB hub :)
In that case how do you find about order on the USB hub?

After thinking again it might be that
- if you specify one RAW then first USB is RAW = TOS and all others (no limit!) are TRAN = DOS
- if you specify two RAW then first and second is RAW and all others TRAN
- etc.
in all these cases you do not need to specify any RAW unless you want driver to be loaded with no AUTO dir?

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:16 am

DrCoolZic wrote:
Jookie wrote:- you can have from 0 to 8 IDs assigned to RAW USB media

??? there is only 2 USB slots so what is the meaning for example of ID0 ID1 ID2 ID3 all set to RAW


You could have a USB hub there with 8 USB keys connected ;) I don't say that many people (or anyone) will do that, but it's a possibility and someone might want to try it (not that I encourage doing so).

DrCoolZic wrote:
- you can have 0 or 1 ID assigned to TRANslated drive (the config shouldn't allow more than 1 TRAN drives)

We said that we want to remove the automatic detection of Atari / PC drives? So How do you specify for example one raw one trans? and example two trans?


We do have some misunderstanding here... You don't need to have an ACSI ID assigned to TRANS to make translated drives work, and similarly you don't need to have 2 or more ACSI IDs assigned to TRANS to make 2 or more TOS drives work as translated.

In the current software the presence of some ACSI ID assigned to TRANS was also serving as a flag that the DOS formated USB media should be attached as translated. In the next software update the presence of some ACSI ID assigned to TRANS wouldn't affect if the USB media should be mounter as translated or not, there will be an extra checkbox in the config for that.

DrCoolZic wrote:Again this apply to current implementation?
Again did you agree on changing behavior? And what would be new behavior?


You're right, I made a mistake there - in the current version if you don't have any ACSI ID assigned to TRANS, the USB media won't be used as translated, but the config drive and shared drive still will be usable through CE_DD. This will change in the next version, where the USB media usage will be dependent on config, not on the presence of ACSI ID assigned to TRANS.

So the new behavior will be:
- ACSI ID assigned to TRANS - for booting CE_DD from that drive
- no ACSI ID is assigned to TRANS - not booting CE_DD from CosmosEx device, but translated drives (config, shared, USB media) will be stil accessible if the CE_DD will be loaded from other drive (from floppy, from SD card, ...)
- a new radio button 'Use USB media as - translated' checked - USB media will be accessible through CE_DD
- a new radio button 'Use USB media as - RAW' checked - USB media will be accessible through ICD Pro, HDDRIVER, and other native drivers

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Fri Sep 19, 2014 7:27 am

JimDrew wrote:Jookie, how are you clocking data to the floppy RDData and WRData lines currently? I assume you are generating the flux pulse with a .5us high-low-high transition every 4us/6us/8us bit cell? How is this generated on your board (interrupt, task, etc. ?) Are you pre-loading and converting the entire .msa/.dsk image, or a track at a time? How much buffer space do you have?


The whole image is converted to MFM stream in Raspberry Pi, and then only a single side of single track is sent to Franz. The MFM stream is in Hans streamed out using a timer, which is fed using a DMA. The available space for for that is 15'000 bytes, each cell (4 / 6 / 8 us) is represented using 2 bits, that means that those 15'000 bytes can represent maximum of 60'000 cells (actually a little bit less, as few bytes there are used for some control purposes).

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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Sep 19, 2014 10:40 am

OK so new behavior can be described as:

ID 0-7 can be assigned to the following devices:
• SD = SD media
• RAW = RAW access of USB drive (Atari formatted) with TOS disk driver.
• TRAN (Translated) = Translated access of USB (DOS formatted), Network, and Configuration drives with CE_DD disk driver.

The following restrictions apply to assignments:
• As there is only one SD card slot you can either have 0, or 1 IDs assigned to SD. If no ID is assigned to a SD card then no SD card can be used. SD cards are always “raw accessed”.
• You can have 0 to 8 IDs assigned to RAW. The first RAW assignment apply to USB slot 1, the second assignment apply to USB slot 2, and so on up to eight (using more than two USB media requires the usage of an USB hub). If no ID is assigned to RAW then no USB media can be used.
• You can have 0, or 1 IDs assigned to TRAN. Assigning the type TRAN to an ID allows CosmosEx to load the CE_DD driver from that device (unless blocked by a previous driver).
• At least one ID has to be assigned otherwise the CosmosEx device cannot be accessed!
• If any other devices are connected to the ACSI bus all the assigned IDs should be unique.

The following rules and limitations apply:
• All the USB media can be accessed either as raw (Atari formatted) or translated (DOS formatted). This is specified by selecting the appropriate RAW or TRAN radio button from the “Use USB media as” section.
• The Atari’s boot order is based on the drive ACSI ID. The system scans the drives following an ascending order of the ID. The Atari boots from the first bootable media (the one with lower ID), and eventually continues with the following bootable media.
• If the lowest specified ID is of type TRAN then the CE_DD driver is always loaded. If the media specified by the next ID is bootable then the disk driver that it contains is then loaded.
• If the first bootable media uses HDDRIVER (this implies an ID assignment of type SD or RAW) then CE_DD driver will not be loaded automatically even though you have specified an ID of type TRAN (useless in that specific case). If you want to load the CE_DD driver (for example to access network drive) you need to add the CE_DD.PRG to the AUTO folder of the boot partition.
• If the first bootable media uses PPDRIVER (this implies an ID assignment of type SD or RAW) the CE_DD driver will be loaded automatically after the PPDRIVER if a type TRAN has been assigned to an ID.
• In order to access an Atari formatted USB drive you need to have a TOS hard disk driver loaded in the system. This can be done from either an USB stick or an SD Card.
• In order to access DOS formatted USB, Network, and Configuration drives you need to have the CE_DD driver loaded. This can be done by assigning TRAN to an ID or by placing the CE_DD.PRG in the AUTO folder of the boot partition.

Examples of common configurations:
You want to boot from the SD card using HDD driver and you want to be able to use the Network and Configuration drives. In that case you can to assign SD to ID 0 and let all other IDs assigned to off. The SD card needs to be made bootable with the HDD driver installed in the boot partition. In order to access the Network and Configuration drives you need to add the CE_DD.PRG program in the AUTO folder of the boot partition. Note that if the TRAN radio button has been selected in the “Use USB media as” section, DOS formatted USB media can be accessed from any USB connector.

You want to boot from the SD card using PPD driver and you want to be able to use the Network and Configuration drives. In that case you need to assign the type SD to ID 0, the type TRAN to ID 1, and let all other IDs assigned to off. The SD card need to be made bootable with the PDD driver. Due to the fact that TRAN is assigned to ID 1 the CE_DD driver is automatically loaded after the PPD driver to provide access to the Network and Configuration drives. Note that if the TRAN radio button has been selected in the “Use USB media as” section, DOS formatted USB media can be accessed from any USB connector.

You want to boot from the SD card, you want to use translated drives for Network, Configuration, and you want to access 3 raw USB media. In that case you can assign the type SD to ID 0, and the type RAW to ID 1, 2, and 3. You also need to select the RAW radio button in the “Use USB media as” section. Assuming you load the HDD driver from the SD bootable partition you can now access the Atari partitioned USB media on USB slots 1, 2, and 3 with HDD driver. . In order to access the Network and Configuration drives you need to add the CE_DD.PRG program in the AUTO folder of the boot partition.


Terminology can be improved but description should get close to what you want to implement in next release?

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DrCoolZic
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Re: Some techical questions

Postby DrCoolZic » Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:58 pm

Quick question:
If you connect an USB keyboard to CosmosEx I suppose the layout of this keyboard should match the language used in the TOS?
What about the KB provided in screencast


other:
I assume it is possible to connect an USB hard disk (outside of potential power problem)?

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Jookie
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Re: Some techical questions

Postby Jookie » Fri Sep 19, 2014 1:22 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:Quick question:
If you connect an USB keyboard to CosmosEx I suppose the layout of this keyboard should match the language used in the TOS?
What about the KB provided in screencast


The pressed key from keyboard is translated to ST key equivalent, so if you have the key on a different place on USB / remote keyboard than on ST keyboard, then pressed key is responding to the key on the source keyboard, not the ST keyboard.

DrCoolZic wrote:I assume it is possible to connect an USB hard disk (outside of potential power problem)?


Yes, this should work. Linux should handle the external USB media independent of type (whether USB key or USB drive).


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