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Side2/Sparta Problem


JimBe937
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Hey gang,

 

First time poster in the forums!

 

I did a search for this before posting this and nothing obvious jumped out!

 

I recently got a Side2 cart and put in a 2GB CF card. I set up a 256.1 MB APT Partition and left the rest to FAT32. I set up 8 x 32MB drives and "formatted" them. Everything seemed to be going peachy until I powered my system down at night and turned it on the next day and it showed "Invalid partition table" and appeared all my work was gone! So I did it all again and had the same results thinking I messed up a step. Nope. Still got the error. Then I noticed that if I went into FDISK and created the drives all over and saved, the previous data was still there and readable. I'm posting pics showing after a hard boot, creating the drives, cold booting (and the drives are fine) and then back to a cold boot with the error.

 

Thoughts?

 

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Edited by JimBe937
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Do you have another CF card to try? Maybe try just 1 APT partition to start.

 

The CF identifies itself as 'CF 2.2' which seems pretty generic. With counterfeit memory cards, I've seen as little as only the first 100MB usable. I recall recommendations to stick with Sandisk.

 

There's firmware updates available too, that take SDX to 4.48 or 4.49.

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It does appear to be a CF card issue. I used a 512MB card and it's retaining the data through the power cycle. Very strange as my wife has been using it for her DSLR camera for years without issue! I ran a full format on it without issue, so I'm guessing just an incompatibility with this card.

 

Finding smaller CF cards these days is getting harder!

 

Thanks guys!

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As CF becomes harder to source, I've had good results with these:

 

eBay Auction -- Item Number: 2633664275361?ff3=2&pub=5574883395&toolid=10001&campid=5336500554&customid=&item=263366427536&mpt=[CACHEBUSTER]

 

Throw 2GB Sandisk SD cards (costing small change) at the thing and you'll quickly find something stable.

Funny you mention these! I bought one off Amazon and put a 64GB msdx in it to replace the 2 x 2Gb I stole from my wife! I'm now thinking that's exactly what I'm going to do! Edited by JimBe937
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Amazon has tons of CF cards. There is also the SD>CF adapters; which I've not tried ... yet. Anybody had any luck with these ? ? I'd love to hear about it esp the one's with built in wifi.

 

I rolled the dice on a SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s UDMA7 32GB card. Didn't figure it would work, but it's fine in MyIDE II to my surprise. Not tried it on the SIDE2 though.

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Amazon has tons of CF cards. There is also the SD>CF adapters; which I've not tried ... yet. Anybody had any luck with these ? ? I'd love to hear about it esp the one's with built in wifi.

 

I rolled the dice on a SanDisk Extreme 120MB/s UDMA7 32GB card. Didn't figure it would work, but it's fine in MyIDE II to my surprise. Not tried it on the SIDE2 though.

 

The SIDE2 is a lot more forgiving of cards than, say, the XEL-CF-II adapter in my 1088XEL. I have an older SanDisk Ultra 512MB card that doesn't work at all in the XEL-CF but is flawless in my SIDE2 cart.

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I presume the SIDE2 uses the native IDE mode of CompactFlash cards. Most cameras don't use that mode, so that mode of operation probably receives less testing on many off-brand cards.

 

That said, cards that tout their UDMA performance may be better, as UDMA is just a faster IDE mode.

 

I had 512MB Lexar CF from ages ago that works perfectly, and I haven't actually tried anything else yet.

 

Also a note about SD to CF adapters. I have one that only supports up to 2GB SD cards (1st gen SD standard), and another that works with SDHC cards up to 32GB. Now you would need one that supports SDXC cards for more than 32GB, so watch the adapter specs closely. CF cards always had their own controller, so there was never such hard limits. Amazing foresight those CF designers had...

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The CF adapter I got my wife can take two micro SD cards and combine them into one big one. I thought that was pretty cool! The WiFi one is also very intriguing! What is the SDX/APT size limits?

 

SDX Partitions can be up to 32MB each with 512 byte sectors. If you want to keep compatibility with disk-based SpartaDOS/RealDOS or older software that doesn't support 512 bytes (ie ICD DiskRx), stick with max 16MB using 256byte sectors. I/O rate is faster with 512 bytes. You can always create some/many of each, as you have freedom to choose which to have active.

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I presume the SIDE2 uses the native IDE mode of CompactFlash cards. Most cameras don't use that mode, so that mode of operation probably receives less testing on many off-brand cards.

SIDE2 uses what's known as 8-bit PIO mode, so any SD adapter which won't switch to 8-bit mode won't work. Other adapters - such as IDE Plus - have a sixteen bit data bus so don't care one way or another.

 

Regarding performance and capacity: I'm not sure how much space the entire forty year back-catalogue of Atari 8-bit software consumes, but I'll bet it's not many gigabytes. The 6502 is going to max out at around 80KB/s raw transfer speed and no device is yet capable of DMA. The Rapidus accelerator board has a DMA port but no hardware available to use it yet, and at 20MHz the 65C816 can drive an IDE device at around 3-400KB/s if the driver's transmission code resides in accelerated RAM.

Edited by flashjazzcat
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If your just talking games you will be surprised how much it eats to have them stored in all forms, especially tape audio and video...

further more, add in all of the non game stuff, but all of the materials we are fighting to archive and regain today... typed out manuals, pictures, diagrams, that should be stored on the atari drive itself.

Go a step further, a BBS would like to serve all the same for Amiga and ST machines....

Let's not forget storing and serving video files....

 

It's never enough, Disk images, atr, xex, all the bin car rom whatever files. It's nice to serve workbook files and atarimax flash files and their files that make up the creation of the cartridges. Lot's of duplication, but so nice to just grab it and go rather than doing it all over by hand every time. I was told 128 mb is all I would need on the myIDE, but it's really half that, and then once you set up the image slots, your already out of space for 8 ATARI drives... so a gig might be fine for someone who simply wants game set up... image area, ATARI area, FAT area. But person who wants their Atari to do it all, or serve as a decent BBS, and even an HTML server with some IRC on the side won't be happy with 128,256, or 512...at all

 

I haven't even touched on the area of programming, yes it's all on the PC today, but it really should be stored on the Atari as well. 10 years from now, I am certain the Ataris will be separate from my PCs... the daisy and trees growing from my buried body won't be able to explain they need to be together.. everything lost all over again...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Yeah, but you wouldn't keep the schematics and service manuals on the compact flash you're using in the SIDE cartridge, would you? In the context of SIDE2, I'm talking about XEX files and whatever you want to put inside of APT partitions. If you're using the cartridge with an U1MB machine, you can add ATRs in there as well. You can store 1,000 enhanced density ATRs in 130 MB.

 

I'm using 4GB CF cards here myself, but when you get to 16GB, 32GB, etc, it's starting to get a bit excessive. All the media content is derived from the PC anyway (and easily copied across using the PC's card reader), and there's nothing to say you can't spread a collection across multiple cards. SDFS formatted APT partitions can be no more than 32MB in size anyway (the maximum the file system currently allows), so if you have a 32MB partition on every drive, that's 480MB. Of course you can have 127 APT partitions and mount them at will when U1MB is present, and that'll at least fill a 4GB card. :)

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a good portion of this was done on the ST and Amiga with scanners long before it was all derived from the PC, all of it seems pretty lost now, Precisely because it wasn't stored on or with the eight bit.

There were schematics, diagrams, and drawings you could display on the eight bit... I don't see them anymore... I received graphics pictures of how to do certain memory upgrades and mods that way. Fired up the 8 bit Atari, upgraded a sixteen bit 520 to be a 1040 off of that. Did the same for two chip tos conversions. The reverse was also true, working from the ST graphics picture to do upgrades on the 8 bit. Lastly all of the XEP 80 stuff is gone. You could put the diagram up on the xep, and shut off the Atari and do the work from that. You don't need an X86 at all unless you want to use the modern and invaluable programming tools of today. I'd still want all the files on on the 8 bit... The amount of times every one has struggled to find all the pieces to this or that and having to recreate it all or search and wait for year to have it turn up or recreate it or be lost forever is astounding. Sorry about the soap box... It's just the number of time a hard drive or other thing has wiped out stuff around the world is repeatedly lamented here on AA, and also the number of time you get the, I sold that pc or I don't remember where it went, the project is now dead as the sources blah blah blah were on it.... etc etc... most 'lost work' at least in part is always found on some old floppy or Atari device... almost never did I hear.... I just found all my Atari stuff on a PC drive I had here, I'm so excited look at this!

 

I don't want to rely on the PC to make useable drives for the Atari.... but more and more this is becoming the case...

Edited by _The Doctor__
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a good portion of this was done on the ST and Amiga with scanners long before it was all derived from the PC, all of it seems pretty lost now, Precisely because it wasn't stored on or with the eight bit.

There were schematics, diagrams, and drawings you could display on the eight bit... I don't see them anymore... I received graphics pictures of how to do certain memory upgrades and mods that way. Fired up the 8 bit Atari, upgraded a sixteen bit 520 to be a 1040 off of that. Did the same for two chip tos conversions. The reverse was also true, working from the ST graphics picture to do upgrades on the 8 bit. Lastly all of the XEP 80 stuff is gone. You could put the diagram up on the xep, and shut off the Atari and do the work from that. You don't need an X86 at all unless you want to use the modern and invaluable programming tools of today. I'd still want all the files on on the 8 bit... The amount of times every one has struggled to find all the pieces to this or that and having to recreate it all or search and wait for year to have it turn up or recreate it or be lost forever is astounding. Sorry about the soap box... It's just the number of time a hard drive or other thing has wiped out stuff around the world is repeatedly lamented here on AA, and also the number of time you get the, I sold that pc or I don't remember where it went, the project is now dead as the sources blah blah blah were on it.... etc etc... most 'lost work' at least in part is always found on some old floppy or Atari device... almost never did I hear.... I just found all my Atari stuff on a PC drive I had here, I'm so excited look at this!

 

I don't want to rely on the PC to make useable drives for the Atari.... but more and more this is becoming the case...

 

I certainly see what you're getting at, but relying on Atari for backing up data isn't exactly what I would call reliable. Today it should really all go to the cloud if you want it to live on forever! Historically, backing up on floppies or a hard drive, if you were lucky enough to have one, wasn't really a solid plan either. Not that I have a great archive, but if I were an Atari genius and backed up all my stuff on the Atari and died today, it would most certain be lost forever simply because so few people know how to access data on the Atari. At least on a PC it would have a little more chance of being discovered, though not likely anyone that found it would know what it was or care.

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Not to change the topic, but has anyone tried making a 16-bit Atari to kind of follow what would have been the natural evolution of the 8-bit? I'm not talking ST either. I mean backward compatible with the 8-bit type stuff.

 

The closest thing to that is probably the Rapidus board, which adds a 65C816 and a block of high speed RAM.

 

https://lotharek.pl/productdetail.php?id=130

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That is pretty damn sweet!!!! I watched a couple of the demos off there and I'd love to have his 800XE!! I'm sure you can emulate it on the PC, but there is just something special about changing things up in the Atari itself! Make it more than it the creators intended!

 

I think this is a major problem today. People stop looking at ways to make existing things better and just keep creating new things. Game systems are a prime example! Do they really get everything out of these systems that they can? In 30 years will people be hacking them and making them do more? I certainly hope so, but sometimes I'm afraid that the youth today doesn't have that mentality. They're falling more into the throw it away and buy something new mindset.

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The fact modern equipment appears completely disposable doesn't help. Technology progresses so quickly that hardware becomes obsolete within a couple of years, and therefore there's no need to build stuff to last. This is one reason I find criticism of the reliability of thirty-odd year old computers (which still work) so puzzling. How many Macbook Airs will still switch on after lying in a damp garden shed for two decades? :)

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The fact modern equipment appears completely disposable doesn't help. Technology progresses so quickly that hardware becomes obsolete within a couple of years, and therefore there's no need to build stuff to last. This is one reason I find criticism of the reliability of thirty-odd year old computers (which still work) so puzzling. How many Macbook Airs will still switch on after lying in a damp garden shed for two decades? :)

 

Yeah, it's like that with everything it seems. Cars, homes, electronics, etc. I will say some of the "newer" stuff has held up pretty well and people did some good hacking! The original Xbox, for example, has been modified several ways to expand on its original design! I was excited when the PS3 allowed you to installed alternate operating systems until they took it away. sigh

 

I don't like the way software licenses are going that give the company more rights than the license purchaser.

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