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THE!CART... New 128MB FLASH Cartridge


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  • 3 weeks later...

The!Cart Studio version 2014-08-04 released


  • Extended menu now also works with The!Cart modules with 32 MB and 64 MB.


In fact is may have worked already with "User Defined" projects in earlier versions before the dedicated cartridge types for "The!Cart 32MB" and "The!Cart 64MB" existed. Thanks to FULS for finding and testing.

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Just put the 405 Disk images of " Homesoft's -ATARI 8Bit Games" on THE!CART with plenty of room to spare.

They all seem to boot and play great.



Would it be hard to take the file names from each image and have them list-able and search-able, like you did to the Atarimax Carts?


Thank you for all the time you have put into this project.

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  • 1 month later...

The!Cart Studio version 2014-09-11 released

  • A detailed description of all columns on the "Entries" tab and a description of the "Multiple Entries" setting for the "Display mode" have been added to the Adding Entries section. The delta documentation is also attached below.
  • "Multiple Entries" is now also supported for two disk based menus. Disks that contain the "Bootmanager" by Mike Langer or "MyPicoDOS" by Matthias Reichl are now supported. The long file names maintained in these menus will be listed in the extended menu and can be used for searching. You can find the huge archive of disk images that use "Bootmanager" on the HomeSoft web site. As a test all currently present 405 disk images with 2477 games have been added successfully and appeared correctly in the extended menu.
  • Memory organization of the extended menu optimized. It now also works correctly on an Atari 400 with only 16k of RAM. Isn't that cool with 128 MB of ROM? The result list is now automatically limited based on the available RAM in the Atari. On a 16k Atari there is space for 512 entries in the result. On a 48k Atari there is space for 12.800 entries in the result.
  • Link to hias' web site fixed in documentation.



Edited by JAC!
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The!Cart Studio version 2014-09-11 released

  • A detailed description of all columns on the "Entries" tab and a description of the "Multiple Entries" setting for the "Display mode" have been added to the Adding Entries section. The delta documentation is also attached below.


The above address doesn't work.

The correct address is:




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Just found a bug and a a potential improvement:

- BUG: The ATR loader fills the RAM with a pattern instead of $00 currently, leading to graphics garbage in some games (e.g. Master of the Lamps)
- IDEA: The current heuristic for patching the SIO calls in the ATR to use the ROM instead is very generic and will often find locations to be patched that actually should not be patched. And wrong guesses may lead to garbage/crashes too. For the disks created with the Bootmanager, I exactly know which locations have to be patched and which not. This is because all files on these disks do not use CIO or SIO to load additional stuff but are purely self-contained XEXs.


I'll prepare an update this week.

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@Heaven: The main difference is that The!Cart was designed to have "One cart to conquer them all".

While AtariMax, SIC, MegaCart and most others are pure bank-switching Cartridges that can have 8k or 16k mapped into $8000/$a000, The!Cart is emulating real carts (including AtariMax and SIC) in hardware. Including complex schemes like OSS.

  • $01: 8k banks at $A000
  • $02: AtariMax 1MBit / 128k
  • $03: Atarimax 8MBit / 1MB
  • $04: OSS M091
  • $08: SDX 64k cart, $D5Ex banking
  • $09: Diamond GOS 64k cart, $D5Dx banking
  • $0A: Express 64k cart, $D57x banking
  • $0C: Atrax 128k cart
  • $0D: Williams 64k cart
  • $20: flexi mode (separate 8k banks at $A000 and $8000)
  • $21: standard 16k cart at $8000-$BFFF
  • $22: MegaMax 16k mode (up to 2MB), AtariMax 8Mbit banking
  • $23: Blizzard 16k
  • $24: Sic!Cart 512k
  • $28: 16k Mega cart
  • $29: 32k Mega cart
  • $2A: 64k Mega cart
  • $2B: 128k Mega cart
  • $2C: 256k Mega cart
  • $2D: 512k Mega cart
  • $2E: 1024k Mega cart
  • $2F: 2048k Mega cart
  • $30: 32k XEGS cart
  • $31: 64k XEGS cart
  • $32: 128k XEGS cart
  • $33: 256k XEGS cart
  • $34: 512k XEGS cart
  • $35: 1024k XEGS cart
  • $38: 32k SWXEGS cart
  • $39: 64k SWXEGS cart
  • $3A: 128k SWXEGS cart
  • $3B: 256k SWXEGS cart
  • $3C: 512k SWXEGS cart
  • $3D: 1024k SWXEGS cart

You can you basically take 16.000 8k cartridges or up to 128 existing AtariMax/SIC/MegaCart cartridges or now also hundreds of ATR files and put them onto a single cart with 128 MB.

That of course also works with any mix of those.
The extended menu of The!Cart is designed to offer you direct access too all carts and even to the menu entries of those cart.

Normal 1 MB carts can have about 100 ROMs or more 20 ATRs. For them a menu driven selection with letters/pages is OK.

But with 16.000 entries, paging will not make you happy, so the extended menu of The!Cart basically is "Google.com" for you whole collection :-).


The!Cart and The!Cart Studio are designed to take advantage of all existing tools , cartridges and collections and provides additional features that complement the whole thing.

For example many 1 MB carts have a very good ATR simulation with many features (incl. a soft OS-B on AtariMax or live disk-swapping on MegaCart).
I didn't want to reprogram that, because it works fine. Maxflash Studio is great and there are plenty of working images.

So instead I focus on getting the user experience right (extended menu seamlessly offers all entries from all inner carts in one place) and to find a solution for those programs that simply cannot with with "classical" ATR simulation. That's why I implemented on-the fly patching of the ATR itself and that allows to run disks from ROM that use the RAM under the OS themselves (e.g. The Brundles).



And while you can use The!Cart Studio for the creation of any kind of binary ROM, the extended menu only supports The!Cart.
If you have a SIC! or AtariMax, the software that some with it is the most suitable thing you can use.
You don't really need "Google-like search" if there are 26 entries on the cart.

... yet it would be cool of course, which is why it is stilled marked with "TODO" in the source :-)

Edited by JAC!
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That's why I implemented on-the fly patching of the ATR itself and that allows to run disks from ROM that use the RAM under the OS themselves (e.g. The Brundles).



I think this is the best feature since sliced bread. It's awesome. One question though: did I miss something, since you use "TheBrundles" as an example of software that can run now… is there already a solution for the needed disk swap? I did not see it yet, but since my entire house is a mess due to some home-improvement that seems to take ages, I can not check my atari.


Thanks anyway! The!Cart is amazing!

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The!Cart Studio version 2014-09-16 released

  • The!Cart Studio now automatically checks if a newer version is available on the web site during startup. If a newer version is available, a dialog box is display and the download can be triggered directly by pressing "Yes". For those who have a slow internet connection or simply don't like automatic updates, the check can be disabled in the options. You can then use the "About" dialog to display the local and the version available on the web site.
  • The analysis of the ATR with respect to SIO patching has been improved. For disks that contain a known DOS (DOS 2.0S, DOS 2.5, MyDOS) and its "DOS.SYS" file, only the sectors that belong to that file are patched by default. For disks that contain the Bootmanager by Mike Langer, only the sectors or the Bootmanager are patched. For all other disks, the complete disk is scanned for usages of the SIO and that may potentially result in some false positives you have to removed manually from the parameters. If you added ATR files to a workbook before and did not manually modify the parameters, you should add those files again. This will set the parameter to the new default, reducing the risk of wrong patches.
  • Patches specified in the "Parameters" column for ATR files can now also be used for direct patching and pokes. You can specify a patch or poke as "$1234=$56" to set the byte at offset "$1234" in the disk image content to "$56" during the export. For example to make "Popeye" work on OS-C/XL machines you can specify "base=$0400, $011d=siov, $1101a=$ea, $1101b=$ea, $1101c=$ea" as parameters for the "GAME009.ATR" from HomeSoft.
  • The ATR loader now correctly clears the RAM before the boot process. Before the RAM was unintentionally filled with a pattern. This resulted in graphics garbage in some programs that do not initialize the RAM themselves like Master of the Lamps.

>… is there already a solution for the needed disk swap

Not yet. It's on the same list as the "Run on Atarimax Cart" topic. But right before that one :-) As you can see from the description above, I first wanted to make the ATR feature really useful and usable for the majority of games. And the HomeSoft archive idea looked like a good start. But I definitively plan to add it in future.


Also, given number of features and updates (that I REALLY didn't plann for when I started), the built-in update notification would have been nice already earlier.


Edited by JAC!
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i am afraid to have to say: no more THE!CARTs are available! :?

Stock is zero!

But i am going to start another run of THE!CART !

Preorders are welcome!

So if you are interested, give me a mail please.





I have a request on your next run of this amazing "THE!CART".

Would it be possible to change the logic in THE!CART to emulate "Bounty Bob Strikes Back" rom, maybe make room by deleting one of least popular formats. (ex. $3D: 1024k SWXEGS cart or another scheme of your choice)

Great cart and amazing software. This cart is a must have for every Atari hobbyist.

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The!Cart Studio version 2014-09-22 released
  • The export now also generates a ".txt" index file with the title and origin of all menu entries. So you can use the file system search of your operating system function to find games in exports. The index file also contains the information the for example "Amaurote 128 (130 XE)" is one of the menu entry that steems from the "Multiple Entries" setting for the workbook entry with the title "GAMES403" stored in "GAMES403.ATR"."
  • The resident part of the SIO simulation that must be present after booting has been reduced from 231 to 148 bytes. This makes is possible to use the stack area with "base=$100" also. Since that part of the stack will be unused most cases, it has become the new default base address. Yet there may be programs that use that area for example during unpacking, so you'll have to try other values in case it doesn't work there.
  • The ATR analysis now patches DOS disks correctly also in case the "DOS.SYS" is not stored starting at sectors 4 but on other parts of the disk. Example: "Asteroids.atr" by Norbert Kehrer
  • In the new appendix Compatibility Patches you can find a list of known parameter combinations for programs that don't work with the default parameters. This includes fixes for OS-B only games (Popeye) or file versions with plain bugs (Bounty Bob).
  • Pressing RETURN to start the selected entry now correctly starts the entry even if the search is still active. Before RETURN was interpreted as ESC in this case and the simple menu was started.
  • Menu entries from double density "Bootmanager" disks with more than 9 entries (i.e. more than 1 directory sector) now appear correctly in the extended menu. Example: "GAMES009.ATR".
  • The documentation has been extended with the description on starting Java with enough memory to export large workbook. The about dialog now displays the amount of memory that is available in Java. Errors that occur during the export due to insufficient memory are no caught and displayed in the status bar. This was a problem on Mac OS X 10.9 where the default heap size for Java is 128 MB on some machines.
  • The new parameter "$123=SELECTEDITEMNUMBER" can be used to patch menu code of ATR images to directly load the correct menu item. For "Bootmanager" disks, this is done automatically already now. So you can start all of them from the extended menu without bothering with the actual "Bootmanager" menu.

post-17404-0-80288100-1411399664_thumb.png post-17404-0-73192500-1411399666_thumb.png


Please note that for all ATR related changes to take effect, you have to re-add the ATR files to the workbook. This triggers a new analysis and updates the "Parameters" column with all the "magic values".



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just uploaded an update with the fix for the shutdown. ATR export works here for me with that version.


@rdea6: There should and error message somewhere (in the status bar). And please add a screenshot of the about dialog.

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