Archie Core

https://github.com/MiSTer-devel/Main_MiSTer/wiki

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toromand
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Archie Core

Postby toromand » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:03 pm

First, before I start, thank you for the significant effort!
Now about the core. (I know the core is marked Beta, but still)
I have tried the core, but I don't know if the problems are related to the core or is it something wrong with my board.

Wjen I choose the Archie rbf I get the red screen with some black artifacts on the left side vertically. The artifacts remain the same across CPU resets. The change in the pattern occurs on reloading the core. After (quite) some seconds the Risc OS starts loading. Is this expected behavior?

Also I'm getting random freezing and system errors VERY often. Sometimes it even freezed during loading the OS. Is this the Beta behavior?

Tried some floppies - managed to load a couple but also experienced freezing.

My memory board is passing the 150MHz test and I have a cooler (no IO board yet)

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Re: Archie Core

Postby NML32 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:23 pm

@toromand, my MiSTer loads the Archie core just fine. I did some testing and found if the core isn't named Archie.rbf I get garbage/distortion on the screen. I think I remember reading something about naming the core on Github readme.

From Github:
Notes

CPU module (amber23) has no reset signal, so the only way to reset the core is to reload it. MiSTer will help to reload the core if USER button is pressed (or reset combo pressed on keyboard) and core file is named as "Archie.rbf". Otherwise you can reload the core manually from menu (Win+Alt+F12).

The notes don't talk about what you are experiencing but it's still worth a try.

Good luck.

toromand
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Re: Archie Core

Postby toromand » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:41 pm

Yes, the core name is Archie.rbf as recommended (even capital A, other small)
I will investigate further. Any help is appreciated.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby DrOG » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:10 am

Hi!

I don't own a MISTer yet, but the Archie core shows the same behaviour on MIST, you can read more about it below (the MIST version's own topic):

viewtopic.php?f=115&t=27637

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Sorgelig » Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:30 am

Archie core is far from perfect.
I do porting as-is with most cores original bugs. In most cases i never had original retro system and know about it very little, so i cannot fix bugs in original code.

Actually every core needs dedicated developer who is familiar with original retro hardware. I'm porting the cores with hope someone will pick it and improve. I just make their work easier since porting is also not trivial job - but in this part i can help since i know the MiSTer API and its capability.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby toromand » Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:46 am

DrOG wrote:Hi!

I don't own a MISTer yet, but the Archie core shows the same behaviour on MIST, you can read more about it below (the MIST version's own topic):

viewtopic.php?f=115&t=27637

Thx, this is very much the problem I'm experiencing. The funny thing is that there are probably some people that can run it with much less problems. It really does seem to be some memory/SD incompatibility issue. I will try other SD cards. Unfortunately I have no experience with the MSX core (as I don't have the IO board yes, so cannot tell if it would suffer from the same problems (as it was shown on the MIST. I'm not sure if it is even the same MSX core ported). Meanwhile, if anyone is using the core with (less) problems - no red screen, no artifacts, less freezing, please share your experience/setup (SD card model and so).

Funny enough, I did manage to boot couple of times (out of hundred boots) without errors/red screen but it did not last for long :). Also, if it is the first core to be loaded, it will very probably catastrophically fail.

@Sorgelig Again, thank you for the wonderful effort. It would be very nice to have original/dedicated developers on-board, especially with cores like Archie, which are less-known to people (including me), but really significant in some way in the history of computing.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby NML32 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:23 pm

toromand wrote: Meanwhile, if anyone is using the core with (less) problems - no red screen, no artifacts, less freezing, please share your experience/setup (SD card model and so).


I'm using a Red ScanDisk Ultra Plus 64 GB XC I memory card. So far I haven't had any issues.
I set my card up using the script located here. I think it's the latest version. https://mega.nz/#F!4ZwSBS5D!_Tr2QDbCzmuEdPeYX8xTXA

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Re: Archie Core

Postby toromand » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:04 pm

NML32 wrote:
toromand wrote: Meanwhile, if anyone is using the core with (less) problems - no red screen, no artifacts, less freezing, please share your experience/setup (SD card model and so).


I'm using a Red ScanDisk Ultra Plus 64 GB XC I memory card. So far I haven't had any issues.
I set my card up using the script located here. I think it's the latest version. https://mega.nz/#F!4ZwSBS5D!_Tr2QDbCzmuEdPeYX8xTXA

Nice. Which software/games did you try on the Archie core?

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Re: Archie Core

Postby NML32 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:34 pm

toromand wrote:
NML32 wrote:
toromand wrote: Meanwhile, if anyone is using the core with (less) problems - no red screen, no artifacts, less freezing, please share your experience/setup (SD card model and so).


I'm using a Red ScanDisk Ultra Plus 64 GB XC I memory card. So far I haven't had any issues.
I set my card up using the script located here. I think it's the latest version. https://mega.nz/#F!4ZwSBS5D!_Tr2QDbCzmuEdPeYX8xTXA

Nice. Which software/games did you try on the Archie core?

I'm not familiar with the system so I don't remember the games I tried except for Mr. Do! and a few demos.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Slade » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:10 am

Which version of the Risc OS rom are people using ? I've tried a couple of different variants but have only ever managed to get a black screen on this one.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Sorgelig » Sat Oct 28, 2017 9:18 am

Slade wrote:Which version of the Risc OS rom are people using ? I've tried a couple of different variants but have only ever managed to get a black screen on this one.

the one included in release works.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Slade » Sat Oct 28, 2017 10:31 pm

Sorgelig wrote:
Slade wrote:Which version of the Risc OS rom are people using ? I've tried a couple of different variants but have only ever managed to get a black screen on this one.

the one included in release works.


Thanks. I tried again, but still get nothing but a black screen. I downloaded both the core and the riscos.rom file again.
I guess this is just one of those cores that doesn't work for everyone.

Thanks for replying, and for porting all the cores across. It's been a great nostalgia trip :)

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Sorgelig » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:38 am

did you put roscos.rom into Archie folder?
do you use SDRAM board?

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Slade » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:14 am

Sorgelig wrote:did you put roscos.rom into Archie folder?
do you use SDRAM board?


Yeah, the riscos.rom file is in the Archie folder, I renamed the file to Archie.rbf to allow the core to restart / reload correctly.
Yes, I have a ram board (tested to 140Mhz).

The only thing I can think of is the MiSTer binary is out of date, the one I'm using is from early September. I'll hunt around and see if that's changed.

Edit: I updated both the menu and mister binaries, and the same thing. Black screen.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby toromand » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:49 pm

Slade wrote:
Sorgelig wrote:did you put roscos.rom into Archie folder?
do you use SDRAM board?


Yeah, the riscos.rom file is in the Archie folder, I renamed the file to Archie.rbf to allow the core to restart / reload correctly.
Yes, I have a ram board (tested to 140Mhz).

The only thing I can think of is the MiSTer binary is out of date, the one I'm using is from early September. I'll hunt around and see if that's changed.

Edit: I updated both the menu and mister binaries, and the same thing. Black screen.


How about other cores using the SDRAM card - like ZX Spectrum?
I had experience with black screen with this core (and the zx spectrum core, and probably with other cores using the SDRAM, tried only these two) with one of my SDRAM boards which passes the test to 150MHz but doesn't run those cores properly (black screen). Really strange behavior.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby toromand » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:50 pm

- deleted -

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Slade » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:17 am

toromand wrote:
Slade wrote:
Sorgelig wrote:did you put roscos.rom into Archie folder?
do you use SDRAM board?


Yeah, the riscos.rom file is in the Archie folder, I renamed the file to Archie.rbf to allow the core to restart / reload correctly.
Yes, I have a ram board (tested to 140Mhz).

The only thing I can think of is the MiSTer binary is out of date, the one I'm using is from early September. I'll hunt around and see if that's changed.

Edit: I updated both the menu and mister binaries, and the same thing. Black screen.


How about other cores using the SDRAM card - like ZX Spectrum?
I had experience with black screen with this core (and the zx spectrum core, and probably with other cores using the SDRAM, tried only these two) with one of my SDRAM boards which passes the test to 150MHz but doesn't run those cores properly (black screen). Really strange behavior.


So I went through and tested a bunch of cores, and have had no issues on any core so far, aside from the Acorn Archimedes.
The following cores all boot and work well:
Amiga (ram board)
ao486
Apogee
BK0011M (ram board)
C64
Sam Coupe (ram board)
Megadrive / Genesis
ZX Spectrum (ram board)

I haven't tested any of the other recently released cores as yet.

edit: I just noticed that the Archie core requires a ram board that supports 128Mhz. I know mine will do 140Mhz quite happily, so it should work, but I do wonder if it's just too close to the 140Mhz for it to run properly...?

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Sorgelig » Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:44 am

Slade wrote:edit: I just noticed that the Archie core requires a ram board that supports 128Mhz. I know mine will do 140Mhz quite happily, so it should work, but I do wonder if it's just too close to the 140Mhz for it to run properly...?

it's hard to tell. Generally it should work if memtest passes 140mhz.
Is SDRAM chip AS4C16M16SA-6TCN?
Also, if your FPGA has no cooler, then try to run the core as soon as possible after powering on while FPGA is not hot yet - may be overheating is the problem.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Slade » Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:22 am

Sorgelig wrote:
Slade wrote:edit: I just noticed that the Archie core requires a ram board that supports 128Mhz. I know mine will do 140Mhz quite happily, so it should work, but I do wonder if it's just too close to the 140Mhz for it to run properly...?

it's hard to tell. Generally it should work if memtest passes 140mhz.
Is SDRAM chip AS4C16M16SA-6TCN?
Also, if your FPGA has no cooler, then try to run the core as soon as possible after powering on while FPGA is not hot yet - may be overheating is the problem.


Yes, it's the same SDRam chip.

I am running a cooler on the board and even from a cold boot, I've had no success running the Archie core. The ao486 core used to play up a bit with excess heat, but with the heat sink and cooler I haven't had any issues in a while now.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Sorgelig » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:46 am

i have one SDRAM board with other chip which doesn't pass more than 130MHz. And it still works with Archie core.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Slade » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:29 am

Woohoo, I got it working.
I grabbed a new microSD card (sandisk 8gb), and did the setup again. Copied over just the Archie core and files, as well as the new menu and MiSTer binaries. It works fine now.

Clearly the core is picky about what files are on the microSD card or where it sits on the card. Not sure why, but it's working. I've never used one of these machines before, so it's kind of new to me.

Oddly, the middle mouse is what is used to quit applications and bring up menus. Is this normal ?

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Re: Archie Core

Postby Sorgelig » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:21 am

if i remeber correct, original core has same behavior for left and middle mouse buttons.
I've just mapped it to key code according to doc i found.

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Re: Archie Core

Postby hubersn » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:20 pm

Slade wrote:Oddly, the middle mouse is what is used to quit applications and bring up menus. Is this normal ?


This is perfectly standard for Acorn RISC OS.

Left = Select
Middle = Menu
Right = Adjust (does a slightly modified operation compared to Select - e.g. moves the window without bringing it to front, scrolls in the opposite direction, lets you scroll in two dimensions, adds to a selection instead of clearing it, opens the parent filer window instead of just closing it etc.)

The three buttons are the best thing in the RISC OS GUI. Use it for a while and you will curse all other GUIs.

Have fun
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