Cumana Reborn DSK support

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iss
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by iss »

retroric wrote:
Tue Oct 06, 2020 7:05 pm
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 ?
@retroric: Well, your guess is so close to the reality that I felt tempted to make it come true! 8)

Let's suppose we have Sedoric image in HFE format called 'sed3.hfe'. Follow the steps exactly:

1. Run hxcfe utility to convert HFE to RAW ;)

Code: Select all

hxcfe -finput:sed3.hfe -foutput:sed3.raw -conv:RAW_LOADER
As result you will have the file sed3.raw and logged messages like this:

Code: Select all

 ...............
track:77:0 file offset:0x0a3a00, sectors: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ,256B/s
track:77:1 file offset:0x0a4b00, sectors: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ,256B/s
track:78:0 file offset:0x0a5c00, sectors: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ,256B/s
track:78:1 file offset:0x0a6d00, sectors: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ,256B/s
track:79:0 file offset:0x0a7e00, sectors: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ,256B/s
track:79:1 file offset:0x0a8f00, sectors: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 ,256B/s
Note last track number is 79 i.e. the HFE image has 80 tracks and because of the alternating :0 and :1 the image has 2 sides and obviously 17 sectors per track - remember this numbers!

2. Compile the attached C source with your favorite compiler to create the raw2old utility and run it using the remembered numbers:

Code: Select all

raw2old sed3.raw sed3.dsk 2:80:17
3. Run the old2mfm utility:

Code: Select all

old2mfm sed3.dsk
Now you have working Oric DSK image.

Limitations:
- only sectors with 256 bytes;
- all track must have same number of sectors.

Probably there are bugs in the source code but they are free as the source!
That's it!
raw2old.c.zip
(1.1 KiB) Downloaded 35 times
PS: do you know that Cumana Reborn can't actually run Cumana DOS ? :!:

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Chema »

This is great iss! Thank you so much!

You caught my attention... why can't Cumana Reborn run CumanaDOS? Can a normal Microdisc run CumanaDOS or does it need something specific in the controller EPROM?

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by iss »

Chema wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:26 am
...does it need something specific in the controller EPROM?
Indeed! Both Microdisc and Cumana need different EPROM to boot Cumana DOS.
Probably it's possible with some patching on disk to make it boot, but I didn't check this in details.
The problem is in the different names of the system files, iirc there was info in the CEO mag.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Chema »

Does this mean that Cumana Reborn has the Microdisc eprom instead of the Cumana's? Because IIRC they were hardware compatible... (they must be, or most games would not work!).

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by iss »

Chema wrote:
Thu Oct 08, 2020 9:43 am
Does this mean that Cumana Reborn has the Microdisc eprom instead of the Cumana's? Because IIRC they were hardware compatible... (they must be, or most games would not work!).
Yes, exactly the EPROM is the same as in Microdisc.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

Hi @DBug, @Symoon and @iss

Many thanks to the three of you for your replies, indeed it looks like there are two differnet HxC devices, and Symoon may be right about only the USB model supporting DSK.

Now, I suppose I can just find out the HxC designer's address and send him an email to get answers to my questions, that will be better than making wild guesses! :-)

But even if there actually is Oric DSK support in one of the versions, then it may not be that simple to leverage, as it might prove difficult to run the HxC firmware on the Cumana Reborn, with the risk of bricking it in the attempt... I understand that there are two parts in the firmware (at least for FlashFloppy): a kind of bootloader, and then the emulation firmware itself that can be easily upgraded by just copying the .upd files at the root of the USB drive.
It may well be that HxC requires a different bootloader, and that changing the Cumana Reborn's bootloader is impossible or risky... I won't take any chances anyway without getting comprehensive understanding of how all the process works first, both on the HxC aand on the Cumana Reborn, and I won't invest time into this matter if there is no evident and substantial gain.

Also thank you very much @iss for all the information about HFE conversion to DSK, this is potentially very useful, I'll try your program on different HFE images converted from DSKs to see whether the conversion back yields identical files.

If it works, then it could be expanded into a standalone tool and also integrated into Oric Explorer to provide 2-way HFE-DSK conversions but also on-the-fly HFE to DSK decoding to allow exploring HFE images.

Now, the best scenario would still be to have direct Oric DSK support built into FlashFloppy. i've started having a look at the implementation for Amstrad/Spectrum DSK in https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/bl ... mage/dsk.c, and also having a look at the MFM implementation (https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/bl ... mage/mfm.c), I must admit I can't make much sense of it yet but maybe there is a small chance to find an easy-win solution by studying differences between the Amstrad and Oric DSK formats and how support for the former is implemented in FlashFloppy and adapt it for the latter..
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

retroric wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 12:31 am
If it works, then it could be expanded into a standalone tool and also integrated into Oric Explorer to provide 2-way HFE-DSK conversions but also on-the-fly HFE to DSK decoding to allow exploring HFE images.
That would be excellent! Especially if native DSK support on the CB is at best a distant thing.
Would be great if I could do the same with my CB HFE images that I am able to do with for example DirMaster for Commodore D64 (or D71, D81 or any other Commodore format) images. Oric Explorer comes already close to that, just not for HFE yet....

(just a shame that I can not contribute much more than an offer to test as user and see if it is monkey proof. My coding and hardware skills fall way short of actually contributing apart from playing a convincible test monkey ;-) )

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Jeff »

Hello everyone !

Some points :

-> The HxC Software currently support Oric DSK MFM_DISK export (read & write !), so both way conversion is possible :

https://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_dri ... t_beta.zip
(called "Oric DSK" in the menu)

-> The libhxcfe library can be used to read/write HFE files. There is a simple FDC style API to access the image's sectors :

https://sourceforge.net/p/hxcfloppyemu/ ... libhxcfe.h

This API can be used with any images supported by the library.

(see hxcfe_FDC_READSECTOR and hxcfe_FDC_WRITESECTOR functions ...)

So you are doing a tool, you can use this library to handle all file images (not only the HFE files ;) )
Let me know If you want some usage examples or if you have any question about this library.

-> The HxC Floppy Emulator firmware can be installed quite easily on the "Cumana Reborn" drives : You just need an usb stick ! (Hundred of flashfloppy Gotek and clones was flashed with the HxC firmware this way until now.)
Please note that the "Cumana Reborn" is just a cloned Gotek designed from my schematics attached to a floppy controller.

-> The HxC firmware doesn't currently support the Oric DSK images, but i might add this file format support if there is enough interest. Again just let me know.
Anyway you can get a hxc license on this page to have the gotek hxc firmware or just support the hxc tools development : https://hxc2001.com/store/

:)

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

Jeff wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:15 pm
-> The HxC Software currently support Oric DSK MFM_DISK export (read & write !), so both way conversion is possible :

https://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_dri ... t_beta.zip
(called "Oric DSK" in the menu)
Would be brilliant! But maybe I am doing something wrong: but if I convert valid DSK files (that work in Oricutron and can be viewed in Oric Explorer) to HFE with the tool they work with my Cumana Reborn. Loading these same created HFE images however with the tool and exporting them back to Oric DSK for me provides images that do not work under Oricutron and give issues/mixed results in Oric Explorer.

Can others in this topic verify if it works for them? Will certainly not exclude I am doing something stupid.....

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Dbug »

Jeff wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:15 pm
Hello everyone !

Some points :

-> The HxC Software currently support Oric DSK MFM_DISK export (read & write !), so both way conversion is possible :
Oh, interesting, when was that released? When I checked last year it was not there yet.
-> The libhxcfe library can be used to read/write HFE files. There is a simple FDC style API to access the image's sectors :
(...)
Let me know If you want some usage examples or if you have any question about this library.
Yeah, that's quite a large API, sample code would be welcome :)

-> The HxC Floppy Emulator firmware can be installed quite easily on the "Cumana Reborn" drives : You just need an usb stick ! (Hundred of flashfloppy Gotek and clones was flashed with the HxC firmware this way until now.)
Please note that the "Cumana Reborn" is just a cloned Gotek designed from my schematics attached to a floppy controller.
When I got my goteks, they did not have any usable firmware, I had the flash them to "flash floppy" using some usb/serial cable because apparently flashing from the usb stick was not doable (based on the tutorials I followed).

Do you mean I could just have put a usb stick with the firmware image instead?
-> The HxC firmware doesn't currently support the Oric DSK images, but i might add this file format support if there is enough interest. Again just let me know.
Oh hell yes there is interest in it: As a developer having to convert all my DSK stuff to HFE adds some intermediate steps which I would happily remove, and it makes it harder to recommend using HxC or Gotek based devices to newcomers because then we have to explain them that they can't directly use the DSK they find, and that they have to use a tool to convert, ....
Anyway you can get a hxc license on this page to have the gotek hxc firmware or just support the hxc tools development : https://hxc2001.com/store/
I invite all the people who want to motivate Jeff in adding native Oric DSK format to the HxC firmware to buy a licence, it's only 12 euros.

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by retroric »

Jeff wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:15 pm
-> The HxC Floppy Emulator firmware can be installed quite easily on the "Cumana Reborn" drives : You just need an usb stick ! (Hundred of flashfloppy Gotek and clones was flashed with the HxC firmware this way until now.)
Please note that the "Cumana Reborn" is just a cloned Gotek designed from my schematics attached to a floppy controller.
Hi there Jeff, and many thanks for jumping into the discussion and providing all of this info about your HxC software this is really useful and much appreciated !!

So if I understand your words, there is no need to fiddle with bootloader code or anything if I want to install the HxC firmwaer onto the Cumana Reborn? I just have to get an HxC licence and place some firmware update file on the USB drive and reboot while maintaining the rotary button depressed ?
-> The HxC firmware doesn't currently support the Oric DSK images, but i might add this file format support if there is enough interest. Again just let me know.
Well, I and many others (welll, every Oric user using a Gotek, HxC or Cumana Reborn device really) second DBug here: we really WANT Oric DSK support badly, because it really is a pain in the neck to have to perform DSK to HFE conversion, and then not being able to get our files back from HFE image format. Now, I understand you said perviously there was a 2-way Oric DSK <-> HFE converter but apparently from @xahmol's experience maybe it is not working as expected, and in any case we would much prefer having native Oric DSK support to be done with the hassle of converting one way or the other everytime.
Anyway you can get a hxc license on this page to have the gotek hxc firmware or just support the hxc tools development : https://hxc2001.com/store/
I will gladly get a licence as in addition to the Cumana Reborn I also have a Gotek and meant to test your HxC firmware anyway.

Question: as DBug raised the subject: if we want to install HxC onto a Gotek, do we have to go through the same steps as when installing FlashFloppy (as described at https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wi ... rogramming) or do we just have to put the firmware on the USB key ? I suspect we do have to go through the same procedure as with FlashFloppy if there is noting installed prior on the Gotek but just would like your confirmation. :)
[/quote]

Cheers,
Laurent
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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by xahmol »

Jeff wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:15 pm
Anyway you can get a hxc license on this page to have the gotek hxc firmware or just support the hxc tools development : https://hxc2001.com/store/
Put in my bribe and bought a license ;-)

Keep up the good work!

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Jeff »

xahmol wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 2:12 pm
Jeff wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:15 pm
-> The HxC Software currently support Oric DSK MFM_DISK export (read & write !), so both way conversion is possible :

https://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_dri ... t_beta.zip
(called "Oric DSK" in the menu)
Would be brilliant! But maybe I am doing something wrong: but if I convert valid DSK files (that work in Oricutron and can be viewed in Oric Explorer) to HFE with the tool they work with my Cumana Reborn. Loading these same created HFE images however with the tool and exporting them back to Oric DSK for me provides images that do not work under Oricutron and give issues/mixed results in Oric Explorer.

Can others in this topic verify if it works for them? Will certainly not exclude I am doing something stupid.....
Can you share the DSK you have used to make the test ?

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Jeff »

retroric wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Question: as DBug raised the subject: if we want to install HxC onto a Gotek, do we have to go through the same steps as when installing FlashFloppy (as described at https://github.com/keirf/FlashFloppy/wi ... rogramming) or do we just have to put the firmware on the USB key ? I suspect we do have to go through the same procedure as with FlashFloppy if there is noting installed prior on the Gotek but just would like your confirmation. :)
if you have flashfloppy installed you can switch to hxc without a serial or usb cable to reprogram the bootloader. If requested i provide the necessary files to do this operation. (the server emails don't mention this method, but just ask me the files by email when/if you want to install the hxc firmware with this method).

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Re: Cumana Reborn DSK support

Post by Jeff »

retroric wrote:
Fri Oct 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Well, I and many others (welll, every Oric user using a Gotek, HxC or Cumana Reborn device really) second DBug here: we really WANT Oric DSK support badly, because it really is a pain in the neck to have to perform DSK to HFE conversion, and then not being able to get our files back from HFE image format. Now, I understand you said perviously there was a 2-way Oric DSK <-> HFE converter but apparently from @xahmol's experience maybe it is not working as expected, and in any case we would much prefer having native Oric DSK support to be done with the hassle of converting one way or the other everytime.
Anyway the hxc software issue must be fixed first :wink:

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