Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

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daveejhitchins
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Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:26 pm

I've started this new thread for the MGC MK II Menu Development. This will include all aspects of the software associated with the MK II contents.

As I mentioned here I'm not keen of the 'Look' of the current MMC Menus. Here are screen shots of those Menus:
BEEBMMCMenuScreen.png
BEEB MMC Menu
ElectronMMCMenuScreen.png
Electron MMC menu
RetroHardwareMenuScreen.png
Current MGC Menu
OK, I'm biased and not ashamed to say so :mrgreen: . . . There was way more effort put into the MK I Menu system than the hardware and I think it was worth it! Given the speed of loading, of both Menu and Games, we achieved on the Electron I think a Master version would be very acceptable. Plus I believe a common interface would more presentable!

If non MGC users would like to 'play' with the current MGC Menu (?) I've attached a zip containing two files - these will/should work on Master and Electron hardware as will as my development platform BeebEM3 [in Master Mode]):
(1) is the INDEX - Load into sideways bank #0
(2) is the MenuROM - load into sideways bank #1
From there select the ROMFS (*ROM) and then *RUN !BOOT
Note: You can use sideways pair #2 and #3 as an alternative.

I've been looking at the Indexing for the Menu system. Although different from the MGC Indexing (due to different hardware requirements) I don't see why it couldn't be adopted for the MK II using the MK I Menu. I currently don't know what the column headings are or what some of the data fields represent, but I'm sure someone will point me in the right direction.

I'm not asking anyone to do the Menu integration (but I wouldn't refuse any help, if offered), however, assistance with the Indexing would be appreciated.

Dave H :D
MGC MK I Menu.ssd.zip
(10.88 KiB) Downloaded 24 times
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by jbnbeeb » Mon Feb 12, 2018 6:52 pm

Hi Dave
sent you a mail the other day - I'd like to help /chip in with adapting the MGC mk 1 menu to mk11...
I had a great time at...
ABUG Cambridge Sept 20-22nd 2019
Image

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:19 pm

I've spent some time organising the Games index. Still some information to add! I'm working with Ray Harper's index (which is based on the AEW DVD) and the Beeb MMC list (kindly supplied by Lee (leenew).

A question I have: In the Beeb MMC list there's a column relating to whether the game supports saving. There seems to be 'STD' and 'STT'

Could anyone enlighten me as to what these refer to, please.

Thanks Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by pau1ie » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:50 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:STD' and 'STT'
Save to disc

And

Save to tape

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:44 am

pau1ie wrote:
Save to disc

And

Save to tape
D'oh! Of course . . . However, I believe we discussed - somewhere (may have been off post), that it might be possible to capture/divert all to MGC storage ??

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by pau1ie » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:02 am

daveejhitchins wrote:I believe we discussed - somewhere
You are probably thinking of someone else. I am watching with interest and hope that something similar will be usable for the bbc master, but I never got in to the electron. Also I dont understand enough to be able to contribute much on this topic!

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:47 am

Ah! Sorry . . . The ‘we’ was meant to be the ‘team’ - in fact, I believe it was JGH who suggested it may be possible.

Master version is a parallel project. And as for your involvement - I’m alreadyy using some of your hard work, in the form of looking-up games details on the Games web site — invaluable, and has saved me hours.

So many thanks from me :D

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:44 am

Just organising my thoughts for loading everything, given machine dependance, and came up with a question:

I have 1GB SD Cards for the MK II and can partition them e.g. have 2 x 500MB partitions. Is there or could there be a method of selecting a partition within the Master/Electron/MMFS ??

Or

Is there or could there be a way of selecting one of two MMB files within one partition ?? e.g. a separate MMB file for the Master and Electron ??

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by dixiestoat » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:33 pm

So will the Mk II have more storage then , Dave..?

More games to enjoy...? [-o< [-o< =D>
If in doubt, CTRL-BREAK thou should clout..

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by hoglet » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:46 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:44 am
Is there or could there be a method of selecting a partition within the Master/Electron/MMFS ??
No there isn't.

MMFS can only use the first partition.
daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:44 am
Is there or could there be a way of selecting one of two MMB files within one partition ?? e.g. a separate MMB file for the Master and Electron ??
There is with SmartSPI, but not with MMFS.

Sorry...

Dave

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:26 pm

dixiestoat wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:33 pm
So will the Mk II have more storage then , Dave..?

More games to enjoy...? [-o< [-o< =D>
Yes . . . SD card - based on MMB file. So that's 511 200K drives - I'm hoping to have available a complete MMB file for each machine - why limit yourself :lol: But Dave's reply above/below doesn't sound too promising! Wakefield on Saturday - time for discussions and maybe a chat with duikkie . . .
hoglet wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:46 pm
daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:44 am
Is there or could there be a method of selecting a partition within the Master/Electron/MMFS ??
No there isn't.

MMFS can only use the first partition.
Plan B then.
hoglet wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:46 pm
daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 10:44 am
Is there or could there be a way of selecting one of two MMB files within one partition ?? e.g. a separate MMB file for the Master and Electron ??
There is with SmartSPI, but not with MMFS.

Sorry...

Dave
Darn . . .

Questions:
Is there an E00 version of MMFS for the Master - and if so is it all contained within one 16K block of RAM, including workspace?
Same question for the Elk version of E00 MMFS.
In either the Master or Electron version of E00 MMFS - is there room to add any more code.

I believe the SmartSPI ROM is full (?) But, would I need all the extra features it contains? e.g. I'm thinking a cut down version could be tailered. I've been looking at the command list for MMFS and there are a number that definitely wouldn't be needed!

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by hoglet » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:47 pm

daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:26 pm
Is there an E00 version of MMFS for the Master - and if so is it all contained within one 16K block of RAM, including workspace?
The Master version of MMFS uses the "Hazel" private RAM to get PAGE=&E00. It doesn't need any additional workspace in sideways RAM.

(SmartSPI I think on the Master will give PAGE=&1900)
daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:26 pm
Same question for the Elk version of E00 MMFS.
The ESWMMFS Elk build, gives PAGE=&E00, and code/workspace use the same 16KB image.
daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:26 pm
In either the Master or Electron version of E00 MMFS - is there room to add any more code.
Currently there are ~900 bytes free in the Elk build and ~3700 bytes free in the Master build.
daveejhitchins wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:26 pm
I believe the SmartSPI ROM is full (?) But, would I need all the extra features it contains? e.g. I'm thinking a cut down version could be tailered. I've been looking at the command list for MMFS and there are a number that definitely wouldn't be needed!
Apart from PAGE being at &1900 in both cases.

In MMFS it should be possible to do a quick build hack so the name of the MMB file (currently BEEB.MMB) differs in each build. So the Master version of MMFS could look for MASTER.MMB and the Elk version could look for ELK.MMB. Then both could coexist on the same SD Card. Would that be sufficient?

Remind me, how are you planning to bootstrap the loading of MMFS in each system? Are the MMFS images also somehow in FLASH on the MGC (in ROMFS?)

Dave
Last edited by hoglet on Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by tricky » Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:55 pm

Looks like you might have a better solution, but isn't 511 images enough for both?
STH is less than half iirc.

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Wed Apr 24, 2019 5:02 pm

hoglet wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:47 pm
In MMFS it should be possible to do a quick build hack so the name of the MMB file (currently BEEB.MMB) differs in each build. So the Master version of MMFS could look for MASTER.MMB and the Elk version could look for ELK.MMB. Then both could coexist on the same SD Card. Would that be sufficient?
That would be excellent . . .
hoglet wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 4:47 pm
Remind me, how are you planning to bootstrap the loading of MMFS in each system? Are the MMFS images also somehow in FLASH on the MGC (in ROMFS?)
As you briefly described here.

I'm creating a spreadsheet, similar to the original MGC one, that will describe the hardware and loading requirements - based on your description.

Yes: Initially visible 2 x Flash RAM - facility to swap each one out with RAM.

Dave H :D
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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Re: Mega Games Cartridge (MGC) MK II Menu Development

Post by daveejhitchins » Sun Jun 16, 2019 10:11 pm

Here's an update on this project. I've been working on 'specifications' (all in the attached spreadsheet) and the Menu (on the attached SSD)

The spreadsheet hold the details for how everything will work. Sill tweaking here and there, but stable now.

The SSD holds:
MENU - Rewritten and fully commentated. Although not finished, as yet! It is working and shouldn't crash! No Games listings in there yet. That's the next job. Dummy values for Utilities and Applications. Works under emulation - BeebEM4 - so should work on a Master. For it to work on an Electron you'll need to go into TEST and remove the *SHADOW 1 line. There are two ways to 'start' the Menu: (1) CHAIN"START" - this will load and run the commentated version of the Menu - so won't run on the Electron. (2) CHAIN"TEST" - this will load a prepared screen and the 'packed' Menu. Screen update/listing is still via BASIC. Final version will have a m/c screen driver.

MENUP - A 'packed' version of the Menu (saves almost 12K!)

START - The SCREEN generation program - Only used in development! It creates the screen contents that don't change and will be *LOADed
in the final version.

SCREEN - See above for details.

RAWGEN - Genre list, from the spreadsheet, processed for use in the generation of File # 1.

RAWPUB - As above, for the list of Publishers.

TEST - Just a screen loader and Menu starter.

MAKEF1 - Make File # 1 program. Uses input information, the rawgen and rawpub files to create file 1 (See the spreadsheet for details).

Dave H :D

MK II Memory Organisation.xlsx.zip
(392.13 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
MenuDemo.ssd.zip
(14.61 KiB) Downloaded 10 times
Parts: UM6502CE, GAL22V10D, GAL16V8D, AS6C62256A, TC514400AZ, WD1772, R6522, TMS27C512, AT28C256
Products: ARA II, ARA III, ABR, ATI, AP6, MGC, AP5 . . .
For a price list, contact me at: Retro Hardware AT dave ej hitchins DOT plus DOT com

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