Spec core with ZXMMC+

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Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby eddys » Thu Mar 12, 2015 11:42 pm

I just noticed that there is a ZX core that supports the ZXMMC+, that's great!
What I am trying now ,using a small, 1GB SD, is how to make the core using a +3e ROM to read the card, IIRC on a real +3a the SD card should be formated to IDEDOS , the problem here is that the core starts from the card so formating it to IDEDOS is impossible to boot...? Do I need 2x SDs one to load the core then I swap with a second one IDEDOS formated?

Ed

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Postby MasterOfGizmo » Fri Mar 13, 2015 5:52 pm

Yepp ... that's the problem. I am currently trying to implement a divmmc instead of zxmmc. That would allow to use esxdos which in turn supports fat and sdhc. That should result in a convenient way to load games from tap files stored on sd.

However, if you come up with a useful zxmmc+fat formatted sd card setup that would sure also be appreciated.

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Re:

Postby Paradroyd » Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:07 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Yepp ... that's the problem. I am currently trying to implement a divmmc instead of zxmmc. That would allow to use esxdos which in turn supports fat and sdhc. That should result in a convenient way to load games from tap files stored on sd.


Really looking forward to this!
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Paradroyd » Fri Mar 13, 2015 10:36 pm

It appears that the links for getting the modified +3e roms in the Wiki in the section, "Adding a Spectrum +3e ROM" are bad. The pages come up as forbidden.
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Postby MasterOfGizmo » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:29 pm

Seems worldofspectrum is unstable.

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Re:

Postby xc8 » Sat Mar 14, 2015 8:35 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Yepp ... that's the problem. I am currently trying to implement a divmmc instead of zxmmc. That would allow to use esxdos which in turn supports fat and sdhc. That should result in a convenient way to load games from tap files stored on sd.

However, if you come up with a useful zxmmc+fat formatted sd card setup that would sure also be appreciated.


is there any way for the firmware to have the ability to boot from a second partition too? in that way, we can have, say, 2 partitions, the 1st one for storage -from the zx side, the second will hold the startup core.

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Re:

Postby Mug UK » Sat Mar 14, 2015 10:32 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:Seems worldofspectrum is unstable.


It's being worked on. There's a skeleton copy of it but without any of the archive material but you're best off popping into the 'Spectrum 4 Ever' group on Facebook as that's where the updates are posted.
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Re: Re:

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:41 am

xc8 wrote:is there any way for the firmware to have the ability to boot from a second partition too?


That should be possible to implement. But few users will have a use for that as a stock windows even refuses the access the second partition.


To me the esxdos approach sounds much more useful.

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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:53 pm

I have a DivMMC and it's super easy to use, almost like an Everdrive for consoles.
It would be a great addition to the ZX core.

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Re: Re:

Postby xc8 » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:37 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:
xc8 wrote:is there any way for the firmware to have the ability to boot from a second partition too?


That should be possible to implement. But few users will have a use for that as a stock windows even refuses the access the second partition.


To me the esxdos approach sounds much more useful.


you are right, not easy to access dual partition scheme on sd cards under windows, its possible anyway , there is a util that flips/swap the partition info, so you can mount one of them each time.

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Postby MasterOfGizmo » Sun Mar 15, 2015 8:27 pm

I wouldn't actually expect the speccy to cope with a windows partition table in sector 0. And otherwise windows would see its partition at all ...

Divmmc still sound way more promising . But it needs some hacks in the core. The divXXX memory mapping is really clever ...

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Re: Spec core with DIVMMC and ESXDOS

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:26 pm

I just uploaded a new spectrum core including DIVMMC and ESXDOS support and updated the instructions in the wiki. This setup really is great and loading tap files from SD card is a matter of seconds.

Also sdhc cards and fat32 are supported so really huge tap collections shouldn't be a problem.

Also very handy is to possibilty to make snapshots of the entire machine.
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:55 am

Wow!! It works exactly like the real thing!
(I took the SD card of my DivMMC and added the .rbf and rom to run with the MiST)

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Postby MasterOfGizmo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 6:49 am

Happy that you like it. The spare time of a week was well spent :-)


Things I'd like to do:
- clear ram on esxdos load so the esxdos reloads on every core boot (currently esxdos sets a marker in ram and doesn't reinitialize if it's still there)

-detect the nmi menu and map joystick onto the direction keys if the menu is active so you can fully control the device with a joystick

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Re:

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:59 pm

MasterOfGizmo wrote:- clear ram on esxdos load so the esxdos reloads on every core boot (currently esxdos sets a marker in ram and doesn't reinitialize if it's still there)


done
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Wed Mar 18, 2015 3:54 pm

Couple of videos, added to a growing playlist of ZX captures from the MisT:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzATnEL ... 6EbejWUdP6
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1P20a3H ... 6EbejWUdP6

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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:16 pm

Actually a question: does it support writing back to the SD card?

If so, this change will have solved the two main limitations of the core (IMHO). Assuming compatibility is good - which seems to be the case - then the MiST ZX would be identical (if not better) to a real speccy :)

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Postby MasterOfGizmo » Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:13 pm

Yes it does. I have successfully saved a snapshot using esxdos.

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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Paradroyd » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:55 am

It's worth noting that CSW files will not work through divmmc. I can see where someone familiar with the machine would just know that. I didn't, and it's not mentioned in the wiki. In fact, the wiki talks about converting things to CSW right after the section on using divmmc, so if you don't know better, it's easy to assume that's what you're supposed to use.

If you're loading things through divmmc, .tap or .z80 (and maybe a few other non-.csw formats) are the thing to use.

BTW, initial file format confusion aside, this core is now officially amazing! Great work!
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:22 am

Made a note in the wiki about file formats - should be clearer now.

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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby MasterOfGizmo » Thu Mar 19, 2015 1:49 pm

Paradroyd wrote:It's worth noting that CSW files will not work through divmmc.


Ah, thanks for that hint. I never tested that but it's not surprise since divmmv hooks into the tape system. I added a small hint to the wiki page.

If no spectrum.rom is being found on the card then the entire divmmc is disabled and csw upload should work as usual.

I can add a option to disable DIVMMC manually to the OSD one day. But if you really REALLY need to upload a csw then removing the spectrum.rom is probably no problem ...
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Paradroyd » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:46 pm

Newsdee wrote:Made a note in the wiki about file formats - should be clearer now.

Thanks. For what it's worth, I think the explicit CSW upload function from the menu may still work..I don't know either way. What I was saying is that trying to load a CSW from the NMI interrupt menu of DivMMC won't work. When you hit return on the CSW file, nothing happens. I'd imagine this is by design, as DivMMC is probably filtering on file extensions that it knows about, with .CSW not being one of them.



Now that DivMMC is working, I personally plan to never use the CSW upload again.
Last edited by Paradroyd on Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:51 pm

So this works: I saved a snapshot on my Spectrum +2, moved the SD card to the MiST, then reloaded the status in the core. This is very handy to type in programs - time to coax the kids to read my old Usborne Battlegames/Spacegames books. :D
Last edited by Newsdee on Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Paradroyd » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:02 pm

It'd be nice if there was a USB keyboard that had the Spectrum layout that could be used with this. While it's unnecessary for just running games and demos, if you wanted to actually program on the thing, doing it on a US 101 key qwerty keyboard is pretty confusing.
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Re: Spec core with ZXMMC+

Postby Newsdee » Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:06 pm

There's always keycap stickers, like these:
http://sintech-shop.co.uk/sinclair/keyb ... or/a-6163/


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