Cumana Reborn DSK support

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xahmol
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Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

It was rightfully suggested here ( https://forum.defence-force.org/viewtop ... 400#p23400 ) to create a separate thread on this topic:

I am very much interested in gaining native Oric DSK support on the Cumana Reborn. Or, if not possible or until it is implemented, options to convert HFE images to DSK (instead of only DSK to HFE that does work).

I heard that there is movement in the FlashFloppy firmware used in the CR to support DSK, hopefully the CR will be able to support that with a firmware update somehow? Is the CR actually firmware updatable?

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

Update from other thread as well:
https://forum.defence-force.org/viewtop ... 406#p23406
retroric wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:43 am

EDIT: good news about the possibility to update the FlashFloppy driver in the Cumana Reborn device:
Piotr just gave me te procedure which is quite simple:
  • copy update file to pendrive
  • insert pendrive into powered off Cumana Reborn
  • maintain encoder button pushed and power the device on then release the encoder button: Update will start automatically.


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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

Well done xahmol, thanks for creating a new separate thread to discuss Cumana Reborn and DSK support issues :wink:

I'll add a comment in the "Oric Explorer" thread to point users discussing DSK Support in Cumana Reborn to this thread :-)
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

As to possible future DSK support in FlashFlopp:

A request was submitted to ask for the Oric DSK format to be added to FlashFloppy and it is being seriously considered by the FlashFloppy author -- see the discussion in the GitHub issue here: https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/issues/144 .

However, I wouldn't raise your hopes too high, it will likely take a long time for this feature request to be addressed... Unfortunately, I am not aware of any software that can convert HFE to Oric DSK format at present, but maybe the thing is not that complicated, if both formats are well documented. The only hurdle I see is apparently there are 2 versions of the Oric DSK format, which complicates things a bit...
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

Thanks for the update.

If only the tool software set would be able to export in Oric DSK. Maybe naive, but if it can read Oric DSK it should not be that difficult (for the developer that is, not for me, no code wizard myself) to also export in that format....

In the release note I indeed see reference to DSK Jasmin and DSK Microdisk. Is that the two formats you refer to?

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

To be honest I know as little as you about the DSK format. But I was under the impression (from the discussion in the GitHub issue) there was an "old" format, and a "new" format. So I'm not sure if this is related to having a specific format for Jasmin and another one for Microdisc.

I'm sure @DBug or other knowledgeable people will be able to comment on this :D
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Chema »

Probably the "old" format refers to one used in the early days with Euphoric. The image was just the byte content of the file, with no information of the mfm encoding.

This was easy and compact, but I guess it failed to reproduce some disks, so the "new" mfm image appeared. This is then format we use today with emulators and supported by Cumulus and most tools.

There is a tool for converting from old to new, called old2mfm that can be found in the OSDK and in Fabrice's repository in sourceforge.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

Thanks Chema for the info, so really, if we were to convert to HFE, we would have to:
  • first decode the HFE file to translate it as a stream of raw data bytes
  • then just use the 'old2mfm' utility to convert it to the new DSK format ?
But what I fail to understand is you are speaking of file encoding, whereas at some point there needs to be information about disk format (tracks sectors...) that needs to be encoded somehow in a header I suppose.
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Chema »

Here is the info about the dsk formats:
https://wiki.defence-force.org/doku.php ... isk_format

Our dsk format is not that different from others, such as Amstrad edsk (http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Format: ... ile_format)

which is supported natively by flash floppy and can be exported to in the HXC software. So I'd say it is a matter of adapting it.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

retroric wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 10:43 am

EDIT: good news about the possibility to update the FlashFloppy driver in the Cumana Reborn device:
Piotr just gave me te procedure which is quite simple:
  • copy update file to pendrive
  • insert pendrive into powered off Cumana Reborn
  • maintain encoder button pushed and power the device on then release the encoder button: Update will start automatically.

Just some additional notes about the process of updating the FlashFloppy driver for the Cumana Reborn.

I just tested updating from v3.15 to latest v3.19 (and it worked like a charm) so here is the complete procedure:
  • go to https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wiki/Downloads
  • Scroll down to the "Latest Releases" section and click on the "Download" link to download the ZIP file (also have a look at the Notes)
  • Extract the ZIP file
  • Copy JUST the .upd file in the ZIP (e.g. "FF_Gotek-v3.19.upd" for v3.19) to the root of the USB pendrive you use for your Cumana Reborn
  • Follow the rest of the instructions: turn Cumana Reborn off, insert pendrive, press & hold the rotary button and power the unit on then release the rotary button, you will be prompted to confirm the update, the upgrade process will take place and the unit will reboot. Done!
I strongly advise you to update, one of the good additions (in v3.17 and later) is that FlashFloppy no longer hangs the device if you select a "bad format" DSK file (such as an Oric DSK file...) in a directory... This was very annoying in v3.15 as the device stayed blocked even after reboot, you had to mount the USB drive on a computer and remove the configuration file at the root (IMAGE_A.CFG) that holds the currently selected image file. With v3.17 and later, the device doesn't hang anymore it just displays an error code (ERR 31) and you can just rotate the encoder to browse to the next image.
Last edited by retroric on Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

Chema wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 8:43 pm
Here is the info about the dsk formats:
https://wiki.defence-force.org/doku.php ... isk_format
Thank you very much for the link Chema, it is much clearer now !!

However I doubt adding Oric DSK support is as straightforward as you think, otherwise Keir would have long done it I think -- see the discussion at https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/issues/144, it seems implementing the new MFM format would be quite complicated in the words of Keir himself.

Now, what if we just switched to the HxC firmware? From what I gather it does support the new Oric DSK format (see here and there and in the PDF manual too.)

If anyone can confirm it works, I think II'll just buy the firmware at the HxC online store as it just costs a mere 10 euros so it's quite a good bargain to get rid of the hassle of having to deal with .HFE images in FlashFloppy (and waiting for a hypothetical DSK support in a very fuzzy and remote future)...
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Dbug »

retroric wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 3:31 am
Now, what if we just switched to the HxC firmware? From what I gather it does support the new Oric DSK format (see here and there and in the PDF manual too.)
Are you sure that this is what the HxC device supports natively, or what the converter tool accepts as input to generate HFE files?

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Symoon »

That's where I'm lost.
I think HXC with usb supports Oric DSK, but not HXC with SD cards - at least this was unclear a while ago, be careful.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

retroric wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 2:33 am
I strongly advise you to update
Thanks! Updating is a breeze (once you know how).
Is there a Cumana Reborn manual/read me/FAQ somewhere to see what more I do not know that is possible on it? Never looked for it actually as it from the box did what I needed it to do....

By the way: I never encountered the Cumana Reborn hanging issue even after reboot with FW 3.15.... while I know for sure that I did encounter bad/unsupported DSK images at least once. Lucky apparently? Anyway, on FW 3.19 now.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

xahmol wrote:
Wed Oct 07, 2020 10:46 am
Is there a Cumana Reborn manual/read me/FAQ somewhere to see what more I do not know that is possible on it? Never looked for it actually as it from the box did what I needed it to do....
Not to my knowledge but again, as it is based on FlashFloppy you should go to the FlashFloppy Wiki documentation site where you can get a clearer understanding of settings, display messages and usage of the rotary encoder button.

You can also ask questions directly to Piotr aka "zaxon" through his page on the SellMyRetro site or by posting messages in the Oric 1 & Atmos Owners/Users or Oric Fans Facebook groups , he usually answers all questions very quickly.
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