The complete Electron games archive

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Papalapa
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The complete Electron games archive

Post by Papalapa »

I own an Acorn Electron with the ElkSD 64 and it's difficult for me to find programs or games in disk format (SSD) while there's a lot in tape format (UEF).

Is it possible to directly comvert UEF to SSD files? If not, is it possible to play the UEF files (with an TZXduino for example) and "capture" and "dump" the data to be saved in SSD format?

I have seen the BBC games archive website for the BBC micro and I think that unfortunatelly there's nothing similar for the Acorn Electron with the files in SSD format... :(
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davidb
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by davidb »

There are a lot of games in SSD format at Every Game Going. Here's a search for Electron games. The ones with the little disk icon next to the title are the ones you want.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by Papalapa »

davidb wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 10:51 am
There are a lot of games in SSD format at Every Game Going. Here's a search for Electron games. The ones with the little disk icon next to the title are the ones you want.
Wow! Many thanks, I was not aware of this website.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by rmbrowngr »

There's a massive collection of disk images (DFS and ADFS), UEF images, books, magazines etc available at http://www.acornelectron.co.uk/c-dvd.html, at a very reasonable price.
Richard B
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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rmbrowngr wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 2:40 pm
There's a massive collection of disk images (DFS and ADFS), UEF images, books, magazines etc available at http://www.acornelectron.co.uk/c-dvd.html, at a very reasonable price.
Yes, I know this one, in fact two days ago I ordered the Acorn Electron World DVD to Dave :D because SSD files cannot be downloaded from his website, only UEF files are available. Anyway I was surprised how hard was to find .SSD files for this computer while for other ones (Spectrum, Commodore, etc..) there are lots of websites dedicated to this.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by rmbrowngr »

Papalapa wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 7:37 am
Is it possible to directly comvert UEF to SSD files? If not, is it possible to play the UEF files (with an TZXduino for example) and "capture" and "dump" the data to be saved in SSD format?
You could try the method described here viewtopic.php?t=8123#p85702
Richard B
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by davidb »

rmbrowngr wrote:
Wed Oct 14, 2020 3:03 pm
You could try the method described here viewtopic.php?t=8123#p85702
That is probably most useful for converting user data stored in UEFs. Most games stored as UEFs will do nasty things like disable hardware and call *TAPE to prevent them from running from disk. So, while creating an SSD is possible for any given game, it won't automatically mean that the game will run.

I would think that most of the SSD versions of games are "cracked" in one way or another.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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Thank you for the responses, now I understood that isn't an easy automatic job. I was thinking that maybe it can be done by dumping the RAM data on a .SSD file and later load this file to the Acorn in similar way that some ZX-Spectrum cartridges have done in the past.

It seems that finally the solution for me will be to use the ElkSD64 to load .SSD files an the TZXduino to load .UEF files.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by rmbrowngr »

Papalapa wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:49 am
It seems that finally the solution for me will be to use the ElkSD64 to load .SSD files an the TZXduino to load .UEF files.
You could use this tool (PlayUEF) for "playing" uef files viewtopic.php?t=13992

Or additional hardware to load UEF from a PC (UPURS) https://www.retro-kit.co.uk/page.cfm/co ... RAM-board/
Papalapa wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:49 am
Thank you for the responses, now I understood that isn't an easy automatic job. I was thinking that maybe it can be done by dumping the RAM data on a .SSD file and later load this file to the Acorn in similar way that some ZX-Spectrum cartridges have done in the past.
That would be nice. BeebEM and Elkulator emulators have "save state" functionality, having something like that on a real Electron would be a useful tool especially as many software do not have a "Save" function. I wonder if a small program could be written to read these saved states into a real Electron? I suppose you would need this in a ROM package.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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rmbrowngr wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:43 am
That would be nice. BeebEM and Elkulator emulators have "save state" functionality, having something like that on a real Electron would be a useful tool especially as many software do not have a "Save" function. I wonder if a small program could be written to read these saved states into a real Electron? I suppose you would need this in a ROM package.
Slogger's Click cartridge apparently allowed snapshotting of the machine state. I don't know how well this worked.

I wrote a tool to convert Elkulator snapshots into ROM images. However, it was difficult to ensure that all the relevant state was recreated when resuming a snapshot. Also, if you need to take a snapshot of 32K then you need a way to store it. Click would write the data to disk, I believe.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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davidb wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 12:57 pm
rmbrowngr wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:43 am
That would be nice. BeebEM and Elkulator emulators have "save state" functionality, having something like that on a real Electron would be a useful tool especially as many software do not have a "Save" function. I wonder if a small program could be written to read these saved states into a real Electron? I suppose you would need this in a ROM package.
Slogger's Click cartridge apparently allowed snapshotting of the machine state. I don't know how well this worked.

I wrote a tool to convert Elkulator snapshots into ROM images. However, it was difficult to ensure that all the relevant state was recreated when resuming a snapshot. Also, if you need to take a snapshot of 32K then you need a way to store it. Click would write the data to disk, I believe.
Slogger cartridge looks great but as many of these gadgets needs to be connected to the Acorn Plus 1 interface and I don't have it. That's why I ordered ElkSD 64 that allows to be directly connected to the Acorn Electron.

Just a silly question: What to do with a .ROM image if you own a "real" Acorn Electron (not emulator)? How can the image be loaded in the Acorn?
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by 0xC0DE »

Load the ROM file into a RAM bank of the ElkSD64
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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0xC0DE wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:33 pm
Load the ROM file into a RAM bank of the ElkSD64
Thank you, as soon as I receive the ElkSD 64 I'll try... :wink:
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by roland »

[commercial mode on :mrgreen: ]
You can also have a look at the ElkWifi module; it comes with an online menu and collection of UEF files.
[commercial mode off :- ]
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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roland wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 9:08 pm
[commercial mode on :mrgreen: ]
You can also have a look at the ElkWifi module; it comes with an online menu and collection of UEF files.
[commercial mode off :- ]
Yeah, I have read the post and ElkWifi looks great but needs the Acorn Plus-1 expansion module to work and I don't have it. ElskSD64 on the other hand connects directly to the Acorn Electron connector
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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0xC0DE wrote:
Thu Oct 15, 2020 4:33 pm
Load the ROM file into a RAM bank of the ElkSD64
Hey! It works! I already received my ElkSD64 and loading the ROM file in "RAM bank 13" as explained in the user's guide works like a charm. What I don't know is how to load the programs that need two ROM files instead of only one to work.

Is it possible to do this?
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by davidb »

Looking at the user guide for the ElkSD64, I would think that you could load the other ROM into bank 12. The only problem with that is that you might be loading the ROM file from MMFS and that is already using bank 12.

The trick would be to load the ROM file into RAM then somehow copy it into sideways RAM. I wrote a tool to do something like this for the MGC Mk 2.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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davidb wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:47 am
Looking at the user guide for the ElkSD64, I would think that you could load the other ROM into bank 12. The only problem with that is that you might be loading the ROM file from MMFS and that is already using bank 12.

The trick would be to load the ROM file into RAM then somehow copy it into sideways RAM. I wrote a tool to do something like this for the MGC Mk 2.
But even doing this I think that the only available bank is 12 and as you said it contains the MMFS system. I'll will investigate a little bit more about this, meanwhile I tried to bribe my ElsSD64 with an acorn to load the second ROM but unfortunatelly has not worked :)

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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by 0xC0DE »

I'm not sure if it can be done or if I've tried to do it before (I have several different versions of the ElkSD). If I remember I will try it next time.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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Papalapa wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:04 pm
davidb wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:47 am
Looking at the user guide for the ElkSD64, I would think that you could load the other ROM into bank 12. The only problem with that is that you might be loading the ROM file from MMFS and that is already using bank 12.

The trick would be to load the ROM file into RAM then somehow copy it into sideways RAM. I wrote a tool to do something like this for the MGC Mk 2.
But even doing this I think that the only available bank is 12 and as you said it contains the MMFS system.
It's OK to overwrite the sideways RAM as long as it's not being used. Just don't overwrite the sideways ROMs!
Papalapa wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:04 pm
I'll will investigate a little bit more about this, meanwhile I tried to bribe my ElsSD64 with an acorn to load the second ROM but unfortunatelly has not worked :)

Image
Nice picture! Maybe ramtop will want to use that as a product photo. :D
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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davidb wrote:
Mon Oct 26, 2020 7:23 pm
Image
Nice picture! Maybe ramtop will want to use that as a product photo. :D
Since I live in front of an urban park, it was easy for me to find the acorn. If Gary wants to use the photo there is no problem for it...
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by Ramtop »

Papalapa wrote:
Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:04 am
If Gary wants to use the photo there is no problem for it...
Your photographic skills are certainly better than mine! :D

To give a definative answer on using bank 12 for ROM images for anyone who's interested: no it's not possible. The ElkSD64 uses the 'Z' version of MMFS which copies itself from ROM to RAM at boot time, so the entire MMFS code runs from bank 12. Attempting to load anything into bank 12 will overwrite the running MMFS code and crash the system. It can be used as workspace for programs that have loaded into main memory or bank 13, but that's it.
Gary
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

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Ramtop wrote:
Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:29 pm
To give a definative answer on using bank 12 for ROM images for anyone who's interested: no it's not possible. The ElkSD64 uses the 'Z' version of MMFS which copies itself from ROM to RAM at boot time, so the entire MMFS code runs from bank 12. Attempting to load anything into bank 12 will overwrite the running MMFS code and crash the system. It can be used as workspace for programs that have loaded into main memory or bank 13, but that's it.
What I did was to copy each ROM image into RAM first, then into the desired sideways RAM bank. The first image shouldn't cause any problems if there is nothing in bank 13 already.

When overwriting MMFS with the second image, it keeps interrupts disabled while copying from RAM into sideways RAM, then resets the machine via the address at &FFFC to initialise the new sideways ROMs.

See the code for details. No guarantees that it will work on the ElkSD64.
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Re: The complete Electron games archive

Post by Ramtop »

Oh, yes, using main memory as a buffer will certainly work. I was thinking more along the lines of people trying to load a ROM image directly into bank 12 with *SRLOAD. No way to make that happen.

I wish I'd been able to implement a split ROM/RAM bank for MMFS in the 64, as is the case with the ElkSD-Plus 1, but the CPLD just doesn't have enough available logic for that.
Gary
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