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CF Card for Incognito


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Yes it is just that simple... BUT you need to be sure that you have an SIO device connected to the Atari 800. So that you can load and run APT suite developed by FJC ..

 

FDISK.COM so as to partition the portion of the FAT32 that will become the drives system. And once that is done you will need to reformat the CF card in the Window 7 PC again and now you can drop your xex game files, or other neat stuff..

 

UFLASH.XEX so you can add different BOIS files OS roms a basic rom

 

And so on...

 

APT_SDX.ATR

 

It took a bit to find the APT stuff.

 

Edited by rdea6
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Toolkit page:

 

http://atari8.co.uk/apt/toolkit/

 

Firmware page, including an SDX ROM containing all the partitioning tools on CAR:

 

http://atari8.co.uk/firmware/incognito/

 

Documentation page, including manual with card preparation guide:

 

http://atari8.co.uk/apt/documentation/

Edited by flashjazzcat
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  • 3 years later...

Maybe I'm just missing it, and maybe it only existed in an earlier version of the docs, but I don't see a card preparation guide in the Incognito manual.

 

I'm a total beginner here - I have never used any sort of DOS on any Atari, ever.  I've never used any sort of mass storage on any Atari, ever.

 

While searching my storage room, I found 2 CF cards, and they still work, so I stuck them (one at a time) into my Incognito.  One is a Lexar 256MB 4x card, and the other is a SanDisk Ultra 128MB card.  When I boot to SpartaDOS in XL/XE mode, I run "format" and try to format disk 1 but it says the "Drive does not respond!" When I try to run any other command at the "D1:" prompt, I simply get "138 Device does not respond" -- I assume this is because the disk is not formatted.  When I run "FDISK" I simply get "138 Device does not respond" ...

 

I know I'm missing something fundamental here, but I've tried searches and haven't yet found the magic sauce to format a CF card as a hard drive.

 

Maybe I should have paid for the board flashed with FJC's firmware, but I figured I could do it... now I'm starting to wonder...

 

Any tips for a newbie?

Edited by unixdude
Added comment about fdisk
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1 minute ago, unixdude said:

Maybe I'm just missing it, and maybe it only existed in an earlier version of the docs, but I don't see a card preparation guide in the Incognito manual.

This one?

 

https://atari8.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/APT-Software-Manual-6th-Edition.pdf

 

I update the firmware in this video, and run through CF card preparation:

 

 

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Thanks.  I didn't see that particular doc, no, so I'll check that out.  And, yes, I'm rewatching that video now because I remember that you went through it there.  It looks like early on you ran the "FDISK" command, which doesn't appear to exist on my system.

 

I'll check out that doc and will watch the video even more carefully to see if I missed something else earlier on.

 

I also don't know whether my CF card is problematic in the Incognito.

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Yeah, I must be doing something really dumb, but I don't see it.

 

My non-FJC Incognito is configured as: XL/XE, 1088k RAMBO, Stock OS (also tried High-Speed OS), SpartaDOS X Enabled, SIDE hardare Enabled, SIDE PBI ID 1, Joysticks enabled.

 

When I run "FDISK" I get the error that the disk does not respond.  Based on that 6th edition doc and your video, it seems pretty clear that "FDISK" should be available.... any ideas why it's not?


Thanks.

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The manual is on the page I referenced in the last of the three links in post 4. I suppose it's easily missed, and Lotharek does not link to specifically relevant documents on the actual product pages (I could probably make suggestions along these lines, but he appears to link to what he feels is relevant).

3 minutes ago, unixdude said:

It looks like early on you ran the "FDISK" command, which doesn't appear to exist on my system.

It's not present on the original ROM at all; only in later SDX builds, and even then it often didn't work since DLT neglected to set the attributes correctly on the files. FDISK is present on the updated ROMs on my website, along with the most recent Incognito firmware, of course.

 

There's also a video at the bottom of the toolkit page (and you can find FDISK on the toolkit ATR, until such time as you flash the full ROM with the new firmware and all tools on the CAR: volume).

 

https://atari8.co.uk/apt/toolkit/

 

You need to create the APT container and Atari partitions within it before the drivers will pick up anything on the disk. An exception is the loader, which works directly with FAT partitions; you may store XEX files and ATR disk images here. Commonly, you'll split physical disk space between one or more large FAT partitions and the APT. The APT may contain not only 'native' Atari partitions (formatted for SDX, MYDOS, etc), but 'external' references to MBR FAT partitions, which can be accessed via a suitable FAT file system driver under SDX.

1 minute ago, unixdude said:

Based on that 6th edition doc and your video, it seems pretty clear that "FDISK" should be available.... any ideas why it's not?

FDISK was not present on CAR: in the video until I completely updated the flash ROM with firmware, latest SDX, etc. I have absolutely no control on what Lotharek flashes to production boards, unfortunately. While he rightly sells boards carrying both the original and 'alt' firmware, there is nothing to prevent him from flashing the most recent SDX builds to both, and they should now contain FDISK on the ROM. I am told that he expends a considerable amount of time and effort flashing and testing products equipped with the 'FJC firmware', so presumably the non-FJC boards are left with whatever SDX ROM was on the original Incognitos from seven or more years ago.

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Thanks, yes, I caught it going through this viewing that the first thing you did was flash the ROM with something you already had, and that you ran FDISK after that update.  I'm going to go through that toolkit page and see what I can sort out.

 

At the moment I need one of two things: a CF reader for my modern computer, or a micro SD chip and a micro SD-to-CF adapter. I'll get on that.

 

Since the loader supports FAT partitions, I should be able to get this going pretty quickly.

 

And, everything you say makes sense, and I should have smooth sailing once I have access to the FDISK command.

 

Thanks so much for these nudges in the right direction.  I expect I'll hit more bumps along this path -- as long as they aren't boulders, and I can overcome them, that's part of the enjoyment.  With the new knowledge I have gained today, I expect I'll be able to figure out most of it from here on out.

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If recent experience has revealed anything, it's that going through the simplest possible HDD setup process on camera is probably the most useful thing I could do in an upcoming video. The firmware (especially the most modern iteration) is so powerful and feature rich that nothing but the full user manual can cover everything, and we know how users adore reading manuals. :) At the other end of the spectrum, a quick written synopsis of the basic procedure is often insufficient (and - if provided off the cuff by a third party - sometimes laden with inaccuracies, or outdated owing to changes in more recent versions of the partitioning tools).

 

The last part of what you write is especially significant, I think. As long as you do not keep your bitcoin wallet on the CF card you intend to use on the Atari, one should not fear simply digging in and experimenting with the software. I have not had the experience - whether it would be welcome or not - of encountering the new firmware and all the HDD management tools as a new user, since I wrote them all, but I would hope that things are as logically laid out as they can be, and I would probably find the presence of drop-down menus and dialog boxes in FDISK a comforting and pleasant surprise. :) No doubt concepts such as 'external APT FAT partitions' can be a bit intimidating, but one needn't expect to master everything in a single sitting. I've been asked to provide some ready-made CF images with pre-rolled APT and FAT partitions, and while I absolutely see the value of this from a convenience perspective, I fear it may actually be an impedance to demystifying the partitioning process if people just download ready-made images and BB them onto their CF cards.

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Yes, I remember seeing somewhere that you were thinking of creating those ready-made images -- unfortunately they still wouldn't do me any good today since I have no way of connecting a CF card to my modern computer.  My gen1 Canon EOS doesn't appear as a disk drive, it only appears as a camera, so no luck there, and I have lost the USB CF reader that I had 10+ years ago (oh well).  I'll get the right gear, and yes, part of the fun is going to be figuring it all out, so please don't spoon-feed me everything! :)

 

At the same time, I really didn't know what I was getting -- and it's turning out to be so much more than just a RAM and OS upgrade.  Your "hands on" video was instructive, and your installation videos (1 and 2) were both very useful.  I skipped most of 2 since I'm not doing the ATR button swap, for now anyway.  Your many comments that "if you screw this up, you will destroy your Incognito board" have dissuaded me from that for now.

 

For me, the biggest difficulty as a new user has been to grasp all the concepts: What does this thing do, and why should I care?  Watching one of your videos, I learned that - wow - it's a hard drive emulator too?!  "What is a hard drive on an 8-bit Atari computer?  I have never never heard of that..." Hmm... 

 

To be clear, I grew up on PC-DOS (Dad worked at IBM and wouldn't hear of my interest in 8-bit Atari, 16-bit Atari, Amiga, and Macintosh).  I got my first hard drive for the IBM PS/2 Model 25 that I took to university in the late 1980s.  I'm not new to 8-bit systems or hard drives, I'm new to Atari 8-bit computing (to date I have treated mine 8-bit Ataris like game consoles), and I'm new to the whole concept of the Incognito (U1MB, SIDE, etc), and the concept of a hard disk on an Atari is just new to me.

 

Things I'll figure out: What is an ATR file and what do I do with it?  How do I work with ATR files on my Incognito-powered 800?  How do APT and ATR relate?  What does the SIDE loader do?  Other than that "people told me to" (and "it's fun"), why did I buy this thing and spend all this time on my 800? :)

 

I think my process is:

- get a FAT drive (micro SD + CF adapter, or CF card) loaded with the UFLASH.XEX and correct firmware file

- run the existing loader and use that to load UFLASH.XEX so that I can flash to your firmware

- boot SpartaDOS X in new firmware

- run FDISK against my CF card to create an APT and then create one or more Atari partitions, and a FAT partition

- load up demos and play around

 

PS - if you point me to the documentation, I'll read it.  I recently bought 2 cars, and in one night I read the manual on one of them (yes, I do that), and I'm still working through the (much larger manual) for the other one. :D

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1 minute ago, unixdude said:

Your many comments that "if you screw this up, you will destroy your Incognito board" have dissuaded me from that for now.

Heh... perhaps I overdid it there with the caveats. :) Likewise I may have shot myself in the foot by making phase one of the process look easy, since only one person has thus far required me to do the installation for them (although this did include phase two). :D

2 minutes ago, unixdude said:

Watching one of your videos, I learned that - wow - it's a hard drive emulator too?!

Yeah: I think the vendor may be missing some advertising opportunities. :)

5 minutes ago, unixdude said:

I think my process is:

- get a FAT drive (micro SD + CF adapter, or CF card) loaded with the UFLASH.XEX and correct firmware file

- run the existing loader and use that to load UFLASH.XEX so that I can flash to your firmware

- boot SpartaDOS X in new firmware

- run FDISK against my CF card to create an APT and then create one or more Atari partitions, and a FAT partition

- load up demos and play around

Pretty much. A lot depends on whether the original loader as supplied provides a CIO read-only 'FAT DOS', but I recall that it does. That way, you can just copy the required files straight into the FAT, run UFLASH.XEX from the loader, and read everything directly. The alternative method (just as functional) is to put the disk image(s) in the FAT, mount them using the loader, then hop back into the BIOS menu, boot SDX, and do everything from the SDX CLI.

 

The new loader has a built-in 'FAT DOS' which supports folders as well, which allows UFLASH's file selector to navigate the whole FAT directory tree.

 

I would advocate flashing the big 512K ROM image, mind you (not just the three firmware components), since that'll update everything in one fell swoop. Just be sure to use the correct file (INCOG.ROM or INNOGOS.ROM) since the firmware signature checks are not enforced when you nuke the entire chip. The fact that this and that is missing on the old ROMs and the (now redundant) high-speed patched OS is the default on the original ROM is a bit of a headache and it's nice to start afresh with everything in place.

 

Anyway: everything is on my website, in one form or another (even the videos are in playlists linked there).

 

https://atari8.co.uk/apt/documentation/

 

https://atari8.co.uk/firmware/incognito/

 

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