TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

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drfloyd
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TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:13 am

Hello folks, here is the french frog

Always the project to buy a BBC computer :)

To "replace" floppy what is better between :

a Turbo MMC ?
a Gotek USB ?

Advantage of each ? disavantages ?

Thank you for your informations

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scarybeasts
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by scarybeasts » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:23 am

Hi,

I recently switched from an MMC solution to a Gotek and I haven't looked back!

Advantages of Gotek (admittedly some of these may appeal only to me :)
- More compatible -- uses standard DFS ROM
- Your user port is freed up
- Compatible with original protected disc images (HFE format)
- Easier on-memory-stick file format to work with (just drop in individual files)
- Can be jazzed up with fancy UIs for disc selection
- Can be used alongside a real disc drive with less headaches

Disadvantages
- Bulkier, and has cabling (some of the MMC solutions are very discreet)
- You need a floppy drive controller installed
- More expensive?


Cheers
Chris

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danielj
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by danielj » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:41 am

Gotek. Every time, every day. For all the reasons above. It doesn't need to be expensive, you can get started with one from China for about £12 plus the cost of a USB A-USB A cable to program it (£3?). Adding an OLED display to it as described in the Wiki is another £3, and a rotary encoder perhaps £2 in parts (obviously gets a bit cheaper if you're doing several at the same time).

https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki

The main reasons for using the MMC system are (in my personal opinion) if you've got a machine without a disk interface, or you're not happy about flashing the gotek yourself (it's not hard) at which point the "pre-done" ones get relatively expensive (£35 and up).

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by flaxcottage » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:49 am

Other things to consider;

Gotek is to all intents a floppy drive that uses a USB. It can handle 40/80 tracks, DFS and ADFS with the right filing system ROMS in the beeb. USB sticks in the Gotek can be swapped just like floppy disks. Putting images on the USB stick is very easy (as is taking them off). The Gotek is easily movable to another BBC/Master.

MMC systems are limited to DFS-like filing systems. The commands to use the disk images are more complicated. Copying files between MMCFS and DFS/ADFS is much more complicated. MMC systems are faster than the Gotek for file access. Moving the MMC system to another BBC/Master needs the MMC ROM to be moved as well. MMC systems do not need to have a disk upgrade in the BBC.
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by sydney » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:56 am

One down side of the gotek is that you need a disk controller. No problem on a master as its standard but on a Beeb it is possible you will have to buy one as well as the gotek.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:25 am

ok, so GOTEK win, no debate :mrgreen:

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tricky
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by tricky » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:36 am

It doesn't really matter for the file size we use, but the GOTEK is slower as it is the same speed as a floppy.
This may be an advantage if you like the nostalgia of "real" loading speeds.

If you just want a games menu to switch very quickly (like I do for shows) and don't care if you ever change files other than occasionally updating the menu, then an MMC is pretty good and cheaper. There will be some games that don't work.

If you already have a floppy, there is no question, go with the GOTEK.
If you wan't to write code or use applications, GOTEK again.
For maximum compatibility GOTEK.

If you have a beeb with no disc controller, the GOTEK will be quite a bit more expensive.

Either way, I have a games menu that will work here.
Best kept on a separate USB drive if you go for a GOTEK.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:28 pm

to resume, if it's jut to try games, MMC

if it is to replace floppy, Gotek.

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sydney
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by sydney » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:43 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:28 pm
to resume, if it's jut to try games, MMC

if it is to replace floppy, Gotek.
I'd say this is true. If all you want is a complete collection of games then MMC is good enough.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by DutchAcorn » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:25 pm

Ok, here goes:

Turbo MMC
The Turbo MCC (IFEL) is one of the implementations of a user port based memory card file system for the BBC A/B, B+, Master 128/Compact based on an original design by Martin Mather. There a few different designs.

Pro
  • Can be used without a disk interface
  • Select floppy images through commands on the BBC, using the image number or the disc name
  • Menu system covering all the disk images on the memory card
  • Search functions to find any file on any image
  • For the Master an alternative ADFS is available simulating a Winchester drive on the same memory card
  • Compact versions that plug right into the user port making it very portable
  • Fast
Con
  • Uses the user port, which then can't be used for other devices (mouse). Unless you have a second user port installed.
  • Selecting other images needs to be done from the command prompt, not suitable for programs needing disc swapping ('please insert data disc')
  • Needs a separate EPROM for the Memory Card filing systems
  • Only standard, unprotected DFS images can be used (but also Z80).
  • There are multiple filing systems around; TurboMMC, MMFS, Smart SPI, UltraX (beta), with different versions
Gotek
Pro
  • Matches the original hardware
  • Can be used for multiple computers
  • Disc images can be selected on the Gotek
  • Non-DFS and some copy protected disc images can be used
  • Easy to copy between a real disc drive and the Gotek
Con
  • Bulky
  • It replaces a disc drive, if you need to boot from a real disc you'll have to disconnect the Gotek and connect the disc drive (or build some kind of switch)
  • If you have a lot of disc images it can take some time before you have selected the needed image
  • Needs a disc interface installed

I have imaged all of my disks from BITD and find the MMC setup much easier to work with than a Gotek. The MMC system feels a bit like between a Winchester and a floppy drive to me. I only get the Gotek out a few times a year.
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DutchAcorn
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by DutchAcorn » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:28 pm

tricky wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:36 am
... There will be some games that don't work...
What games can you play using a Gotek that you can't play using an MMC?
Paul

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by markjw » Sun Jun 14, 2020 2:29 pm

danielj wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:41 am
Gotek. Every time, every day. For all the reasons above. It doesn't need to be expensive, you can get started with one from China for about £12 plus the cost of a USB A-USB A cable to program it (£3?). Adding an OLED display to it as described in the Wiki is another £3, and a rotary encoder perhaps £2 in parts (obviously gets a bit cheaper if you're doing several at the same time).

https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki

The main reasons for using the MMC system are (in my personal opinion) if you've got a machine without a disk interface, or you're not happy about flashing the gotek yourself (it's not hard) at which point the "pre-done" ones get relatively expensive (£35 and up).
they can often be found on Amazon fairly cheap as well - I've picked up ones described as being for an electronic organ for around £15 before now

You will likely need to solder in a pin header to flash any of the Gotek drives - none of the ones I've purchased had it already fitted - once done you can use the USB A-to-A method, or a USB to Serial cable - takes 2 minutes to load FlashFloppy and the only issue I've ever had is the Gotek not being detected by the firmware loaded, but a simple reset of the Gotek fixes this.

If you want to fit the OLED display, you will need to modify the Gotek case slightly as it is wider than the original 3-digit LED - guide here - http://zine.r-massive.com/gotek-oled-installation/ - basically just a bit of cutting.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by geraldholdsworth » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:08 pm

I've got both, and a couple of internal User Ports, in my BBC Master.

OK, I haven't set the Gotek up yet, so I'm debating how to connect it as I already have two floppies (a 5.25 and a 3.5). I've got the parts to put in a third drive, just need to software updated to cope with the extra drive.

Oh, and I also have a Datacentre hanging off the 1MHz bus, pretending to be a Winchester.
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:26 pm

it is posible to use the both in the same time ????

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Mince
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by Mince » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:41 pm

There's also GoSDC: http://www.zeridajh.org/hardware/gosdc/index.htm

I have a Master with both GoSDC and Turbo MMFS and I find both useful...

I treat the GoSDC like an internal hard disc (and it sits inside) — it can emulate a library of both DFS and ADFS discs, including an ADFS hard disc, which is what I use most of the time (since I'm usually doing programming and I prefer the hierarchical structure and longer filenames). However, I can easily select a DFS floppy image to load up a game, if I want. The filing systems are patched versions of DFS and ADFS which pretend to be the real thing (don't know about disc protection, but I haven't found anything that wasn't cracked).

GoSDC is also great as it can load in DFS and ADFS ROM images, from its internal flash or SD card, to sideways RAM on power up (or reset) so you don't specifically need separate ROMs for them (although you do need spare RAM) or need to manually load them from somewhere. It also can switch between versions, so I have a RetroClinic MOS selector and can switch the GoSDC config between DFS appropriate for a Model B, Master 3.20, 3.50, etc. in software, without needing to change ROM chips (I wrote a SDCTool called "sdcsetup" for this - see https://github.com/mincebert/sdcsetup).

MMFS I treat like a removable media to shuffle stuff on and off the Master and my Mac/whatever. It fits neatly in the space for the user port underneath, not needing any extra power or having any external stuff dangling about with cables: I can just slide the computer forward and remove it by reaching underneath. I've compiled it with DFS_EMUL=FALSE so it has a different filing system number to regular DFS, which allows it work under FileSwitch on the Master, so I can do things like "*MOVE -MMFS-R.BASICED -ADFS-$.ROMS.BASICED" even whilst GoSDC's DFS is loaded.

I can also image SSDs on MMFS into a file and load them into GoSDC's space to get floppies into the library (although I do have to turn off GoSDC's DFS first as that steals the OSWORD &7F, even if it's not the active filing system.

It would be nice if you didn't have to muck about with the BEEB.MMB file and just had SSD files directly on the SD card — there was an MMFS2 aiming to do that, but I haven't found out where that got to. However, it presumably uses the same hardware and just involves a ROM change.

I also have a real floppy and can attach that, although I have to disable GoSDC's DFS to access it, but I can image them to it, or copy files between it and GoSDC's ADFS or MMFS. However, I don't have that plugged in all the time as it takes up a fair bit of space (it's a double one with the drives side by side).

Oh, and while I'm raving about GoSDC, there was a software update last night to fix a problem I was having loading custom filing systems into its internal flash: this lets me add MMFS and SWMMFS to GoSDC which is useful when I flip to MOS 1.20 so I don't have to change ROM chips or muck about loading them in from "floppy" to get stuff off MMFS. Sounds a bit weird, but GoSDC is fine with that.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by tricky » Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:58 pm

You can have both, but they will both reserve workspace, meaning less memory and less compatibility.
I believe you can also plug an MMC into the parallel port, but need to change/solder a link inside the beeb.

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Mince
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by Mince » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:10 pm

You can run SWMMFS from sideways RAM and it'll stick its workspace up in the paged area and not raise OSHWM/PAGE. The problem is getting it loaded, so you either need to load it manually or waste another slot on the ZMMFS ROM which will unpack to RAM on boot.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by danielj » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:15 pm

Indeed - although I can't see any value to having both running at the same time (I've got a load of those MMC things sat on my shelf and have never found any cause to use them, especially with goteks attached). As before, if you don't have a disk interface then the MMC things makes sense. If you do and you have a gotek then you're attaching something that's actually *less* compatible than what you have already.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by Mince » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:30 pm

No — I think that's right.

I find it's helpful in my situation, though, with GoSDC, as the MMC interface is external and I use it to shuffle stuff off and on (typically, copying to/from GoSDC's ADFS "hard disc" and MMFS's DFS "floppy disc") — having MMFS sitting around as well as GoSDC's DFS (and using the DFS_EMUL=FALSE option) means I don't have to reconfigure the ROMs just to move files off and on.

With a Gotek, everything's external to begin with so it's not a problem (I suppose the only downside is you have to remove the whole USB stick just to get one file off: if you had two media devices, you wouldn't lose your "hard disk" when you were moving the files over). Maybe Gotek has a solution to that, though, as I've not used one.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by rmbrowngr » Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:36 pm

I’ve tried GoSDC, Turbo MMFS (the Electron version from Ramtop), BeebSCSI (Hard disk on a SD card) and Gotek. They all work well. My personal choice is Gotek as it really is just a drop in replacement floppy drive, most software is distributed as disk images and you just copy them onto a USB drive, and no need to learn new commands. Ok, Gotek is a bit slower, but I hardly notice the difference. It’s not like loading from tape where you can go away, make a cup of tea, drink it and then go back and wait for the final part of the program and load.

I do like the BeebSCSI as you have hard disk like storage, but it uses ADFS file system which is memory hungry on anything other than a Master. It also useful to buy ADFS Explorer (£5) get insert and extract files in the hard disk images on the SD card.

GoSDC Is very fast, almost instant loading. SD cards require special formatting, and getting disks on and off the card requires the use of specific tools provided. Your Windows PC won’t recognise the formatted SD card. Finally, the GoSDC has to be fitted inside you Beeb so getting to the SD card requires opening the case and you need to lose a ROM socket for it.

Turbo MMFS, again a tool is needed to manage the disk images in the mmb file on the SD and I believe there is a limit on the size of the SD card that can be used. E.g. up to 8 GB. Which can be quite difficult to get hold of now.
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by danielj » Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:41 pm

Mince wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:30 pm
With a Gotek, everything's external to begin with so it's not a problem (I suppose the only downside is you have to remove the whole USB stick just to get one file off: if you had two media devices, you wouldn't lose your "hard disk" when you were moving the files over). Maybe Gotek has a solution to that, though, as I've not used one.
I guess the solution here would be one of the wifi enabled USB sticks! :)

d.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by Adam James » Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:58 pm

I have both, and I'm new to both so my feelings may change.

I started off with a TurboMMC that came with my BBC for a couple of weeks. But for the last few days I've been using the Gotek (with enhancements like the text display and the disc noise emulation and the rotary knob).

So far with the switch to the Gotek, I am liking:

* The nostalgia value - watching game screens load, hearing the disc noises (though they are very quiet and tinny)
* That all games so far work fine. Quite a few games on the TurboMMC didn't work. Apparently they can often be fixed to work with the TurboMMC, but it's an extra effort. Not sure if all games can be made to work?
* Easier to transfer files to/from PC.

Less good is:

* I miss the menu system installed on the TurboMMC. You could get to a game very quickly indeed, and you could easily browse what games there are just by reading the screen. This can't be done on the Gotek, all you see is the names of the disc images on its small oled display.
* Reading the Gotek's display is a bit annoying - I have to pick up the whole drive and tilt it towards me while operating it. So much nicer to be reading the monitor screen.
* Not being able to easily copy files from one disc image to another on the BBC. Very quick on the TurboMMC.
* The cables / clutter. Having a self-contained unit with the TurboMMC entirely inside the BBC made it very neat.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:02 pm

Interresting !

so, anyway you keep the both system ?

BUt... possible to connect in the same time : GOTEK & FLOPPY DRIVE ????

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by Adam James » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:08 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:02 pm
Interresting !

so, anyway you keep the both system ?

BUt... possible to connect in the same time : GOTEK & FLOPPY DRIVE ????
Yes I'll be keeping both. As a collector of old computers I like to think I have an arsenal of gadgets which can be called upon as and when required:)

I can't answer the question about using the Gotek with a Floppy as well, hopefully somebody will.

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danielj
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by danielj » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:17 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:02 pm
Interresting !

so, anyway you keep the both system ?

BUt... possible to connect in the same time : GOTEK & FLOPPY DRIVE ????
Of course. The gotek is just another floppy drive so far as the computer is concerned. With the jumpers you set one as drive 0 and the other as drive 1.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by Kazzie » Sun Jun 14, 2020 9:23 pm

drfloyd wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 8:02 pm
Interresting !

so, anyway you keep the both system ?

BUt... possible to connect in the same time : GOTEK & FLOPPY DRIVE ????
Acorn machines support having two floppy drives connected, so swapping one of them for a Gotek is quite straightforward.

If you wanted to swap which of them is drive 0 (to boot disks with Shift-Break), that can also be done with a switch and a customised data cable.
BBC Model B 32K issue 7, Sidewise ROM board with 16K RAM
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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by KenLowe » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:04 pm

Adam James wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 7:58 pm
* I miss the menu system installed on the TurboMMC. You could get to a game very quickly indeed, and you could easily browse what games there are just by reading the screen. This can't be done on the Gotek, all you see is the names of the disc images on its small oled display.
Have a look at this thread for a Gotek Menu system.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:02 pm

it's perhaps more authentic to read the GOTEK list of games with OS commands than with a menu, no ?

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by tricky » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:00 am

drfloyd wrote:
Sun Jun 14, 2020 11:02 pm
it's perhaps more authentic to read the GOTEK list of games with OS commands than with a menu, no ?
Well maybe if you have a set of index cards to substitute for disc labels to find the correct disc.
Depending on the version of my menu you have, there are over 450 discs!
To navigate the discs automatically my menu requires the "index" file naming, so I would recommend two sticks, each with an FF.CFG to use directories and meaningful file names on one and my menu on the other. If your used to MMC speeds, the GOTEK menu will feel slow, but roughly correspond to getting one of your favourite discs out, removing the sleeve, placing it in the drive and SHIFT-BREAKING to boot the disc.

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Re: TURBO MMC or GOTEK ?

Post by drfloyd » Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:52 am

I don't unterstand everything. I will see when i will have a BCC

But it's what I love, ROMS, Gotek, USB, cartridges, copro, Rasp Pi, etc.... this computer seems to be the best 8bit tools-machine ever....

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