Having difficulty with TurboSPI

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0xC0DE
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Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 pm

I use IFEL TurboSPI in my Master 128. Most games from the default beeb.mmb work just fine (in OS 1.20), which is great!

However, I want to test some Master specific or Master enhanced software in OS 3.20 (I have the multi OS fitted as well).
I downloaded a few disk images and put them in the beeb.mmb.
Some software works fine, e.g. twisted brain, white light.
But many things don't:
- Lancelot (crashes after title screen)
- Stunt car racer (crashes after title screen)
- waverunner (crashes at line 190 "*RUN Main" in the loader) - my PAGE is at &1900 btw

So, what could I do to make these demos/games more compatible with TurboSPI?
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by kieranhj » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:04 pm

Hey 0xC0DE, I'm surprised Twisted Brain loads (!) but in general having PAGE at &1900 on a Master is going to cause problems with more advanced software like Stunt Car Racer (and Prince of Persia) that requires PAGE at &E00 and all 4x available slots of SWRAM (plus ANDY and a chunk of HAZEL for good measure.)

Short of using a Gotek and the original DFS instead of your SPI interface, you'll probably want to look at MMFS and get a ROM made that you can put either in slot 8 internally or in one of the cartridge slots using an adapter. Just make sure you get the right one as there are several variants for different machines and MMC interfaces.
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:30 pm

Thanks! I'm going to read up on mmfs and see if/how it can work with turbospi to get PAGE at E00 on my Master.
I'll probably have more questions about this in the near future :D
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by hoglet » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:41 pm

0xC0DE wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:30 pm
Thanks! I'm going to read up on mmfs and see if/how it can work with turbospi to get PAGE at E00 on my Master.
I'll probably have more questions about this in the near future :D
For Steve Picton's TurboMMC interface on the Master you will need to use the following build of MMFS:

Code: Select all

T/MAMMFS.rom
(Assuming this is connected to the normal Master user port at &FE6x)

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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by Wheel_nut » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:46 pm

0xC0DE wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:55 pm
I use IFEL TurboSPI in my Master 128. Most games from the default beeb.mmb work just fine (in OS 1.20), which is great!

However, I want to test some Master specific or Master enhanced software in OS 3.20 (I have the multi OS fitted as well).
I downloaded a few disk images and put them in the beeb.mmb.
Some software works fine, e.g. twisted brain, white light.
But many things don't:
- Lancelot (crashes after title screen)
- Stunt car racer (crashes after title screen)
- waverunner (crashes at line 190 "*RUN Main" in the loader) - my PAGE is at &1900 btw

So, what could I do to make these demos/games more compatible with TurboSPI?
I believe that the TurboSPI ROM supplied by IFEL is written by "Duikkie" who is active on these fora (or is a derivative thereof). I don't have a Master and all of my experience is with the BBC Model B and the IFEL Turbo hardware. There are at least two areas that you should be looking at which could affect your games when running from the TurboSPI:
1) The TurboSPI uses some main memory for workspace and moves Page up to &1900 from the base &0E00.
2) Your TurboSPI may be allowing *DISC and *DISK commands issued "in-game" to pass to the DFS rather than the SD Card. I am not certain of this but if the gane loads program segments or pages during execution, this could be the cause of your problems.

If you look in Disk 308 on the BEEB.MMB SD Card, you will see variants of MMFS 1.41. The versions in the $ Directory handle calls to *DISC and *DISK in MMFS but the variants in the C. Directory are modified to pass these calls to the DFS such that a copier like COP114 can operate on both SD Card and Floppy Drives to transfer data. Since the Master has Sideways RAM built-in, you could try these without having to blow a ROM. These are very well documented in the MMFS folder on the CD that comes with the IFEL product.

I hope this makes sense but if not, I will try to help to the best of my abilities.
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Sun Aug 18, 2019 10:35 pm

Thanks for all the information everyone. I really appreciate it and will use it to experiment further with my Master.
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by sweh » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:40 am

Last time this came up, Steve Picton told me the TurboSPI hardware is compatible with the TurboMMC and so the same MMFS ROM should(!) work.
Rgds
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:26 pm

I have been reading all of your posts and the excellent information provided by Steve Picton on the CD that accompanies the TurboSPI product.
Following the instructions I was able to load MAMMFS into SWRAM and this allowed me to play more games than before because PAGE is now at &E00.
However, some Master enhanced software uses all of SWRAM and this causes problems because MAMMFS is occupying one of the four SWRAM banks.
So, I have decided to purchase a RAM/ROM cartridge (with battery backup) also from Steve Picton (?).
This is more versatile than blowing a single physical EPROM containing MAMMFS.
I'm hoping this will be the ultimate solution: keeping PAGE at &E00 AND keeping all of SWRAM free to use.

Btw, does that mean I can physically remove the TurboSPI ROM from my system once I have MAMMFS set up in the RAM/ROM cartridge?
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by sweh » Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:01 am

0xC0DE wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:26 pm
Btw, does that mean I can physically remove the TurboSPI ROM from my system once I have MAMMFS set up in the RAM/ROM cartridge?
Probably, yes. IIRC the ROM Steve provides may be a 32K ROM with SPI and BASIC (at least one generation of his TurboMMC did that) but since BASIC is built into the Master MegaROM you don't need it.

Rather than a RAM/ROM cartridge you could ask some kind person to burn an EPROM with the MAMMFS ROM on it, and replace the TurboSPI ROM with that. A few people have done this for "cost" (EPROM+postage) in the past.
Rgds
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by Wheel_nut » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:05 am

sweh wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 1:01 am
0xC0DE wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:26 pm
Btw, does that mean I can physically remove the TurboSPI ROM from my system once I have MAMMFS set up in the RAM/ROM cartridge?
Probably, yes. IIRC the ROM Steve provides may be a 32K ROM with SPI and BASIC (at least one generation of his TurboMMC did that) but since BASIC is built into the Master MegaROM you don't need it.

Rather than a RAM/ROM cartridge you could ask some kind person to burn an EPROM with the MAMMFS ROM on it, and replace the TurboSPI ROM with that. A few people have done this for "cost" (EPROM+postage) in the past.
I would gladly blow a ROM with MAMMFS for the OP but that wouldn't leave Page at &0E00 which the OP has found to improve compatibility with some games.

I have found the support from Steve Picton to be excellent and if he suggests that his ROM/RAM cartridge is your best solution then go for it. It will undoubtedly work!
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:30 pm

I would gladly blow a ROM with MAMMFS for the OP but that wouldn't leave Page at &0E00
Thanks. I very well may take you up on that kind offer. Have just ordered the ram/rom though :shock:

Could you please explain why a ROM with MAMMFS wouldn't leave PAGE at &E00?
Last edited by 0xC0DE on Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by Wheel_nut » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:44 pm

0xC0DE wrote:
Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Thanks. I very well may take you up on that kind offer. Have just ordered the ram/rom though :shock:

Could you please explain why a ROM with MAMMFS wouldn't leave PAGE at &E00?
The truth is that I don't know because I don't have a Master or its documentation. See the detailed documentation in the section headed MAMMFS which may answer your question. The Master is different to the BBC B in that it has both Sideways RAM and extra Main RAM built in. On the BBC B, it is only the SWMMFS variants which leave Page at &0E00.

If you are buying a RAM/ROM board from Steve, you could ask him if he could supply it with an MAMMFS ROM installed. Steve is the most helpful seller I have ever come across and I am sure that he will oblige.
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by danielj » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:01 pm

The Master version of MMFS keeps page at &E00 even if being run from ROM - the Master has 12k of memory that file systems can use for their workspace without encroaching on the user RAM.

However, that will still potentially clash with things using that 12k of RAM (e.g. stunt car racer/prince of persia).

Using the sideways RAM version loaded into a bank sitting in slots 0, 1, 2 or 3 (i.e. the cartridge slots) won't interfere with any of the standard RAM available on the master, and will still keep page at &E00.

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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:02 pm

Turns out that Steve has put MAMMFS on my purchased ram/rom cartridge. Can't wait to try it out!
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by kieranhj » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:41 pm

Just FYI that although POP and SCR do blatantly abuse the 12K of HAZEL (FS) RAM they do try and step around the areas that are known to be used in a standard Master DFS/MMFS setup that leaves PAGE at &E00.

I think SCR even works on ADFS thanks to Tom Seddon!
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by tom_seddon » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:45 pm

Yes, Stunt Car Racer is careful to only trample on the 4K of HAZEL between $c900 and $d8ff - this area appears to be used for open file buffers in ADFS, and in DFS it's open file buffers or spare space. (Everything else in HAZEL, and the filing system zero page, is either avoided, or saved/restored when appropriate.)

Since Acorn's ADFS was one of the the more memory-hungry of all the 8-bit filing systems, I'm hoping this should be good for any other Master filing system too - though as far as I'm aware, it's only ever been tested on DFS and ADFS...

--Tom
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Re: Having difficulty with TurboSPI

Post by 0xC0DE » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:09 pm

Just to confirm : got the ram/rom cartridge installed in my Master. Steve Picton had already put MAMMFS in one of the memory banks on the cartridge. I actually removed the TurboSPI rom from the machine and plugged it into the cartridge as well. Now with a flick of a switch on the cartridge I can either use TurboSPI or MAMMFS.

And what I was aiming for : using MAMMFS this way keeps page at &E00 and all internal ram (including shadow and sideways) is available to programs. Indeed, Prince of Persia, waverunner, stuntcar racer and more all work now without a problem! \:D/ \:D/ \:D/
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