Atarimax Maxflash USB Cartridge Programmer
Maxflash Cartridge Programmer and Cartridge Bus Interface with USB Interface
©2015 Steven J Tucker
Chapter 4: Previewing Your Collection
Creating your perfect multi-cart can be a trial and error process and making sure all the items on your menu will load properly is part of that process.
To save time and effort, the Maxflash Studio software provides an instant live preview of your final multi-cart just by pressing the 'Preview' button on the main form.
This means you can make changes to the configuration of your multi-cart workbook and test those changes on a emulated Atari computer in seconds!
Downloading, installing and using an emulator for quick previewing and debugging is not required, but is highly recommended.
Getting an Atari Computer Emulator
Using the live preview function requires that you have a working Atari Computer emulator installed on your system.
These emulators are free open-source programs and the Maxflash Studio software comes pre-configured for use with Atari800WinPlus, a popular Atari Computer emulator for Windows.
If you do not already have Atari800WinPlus installed, you can download version 4.0 here.
Please note that installing and setting up an emulator is beyond the scope of this documentation. If you have not used Atari800WinPlus before I highly recommend you take a quick look at the emulator documentation, it really is quite easy to set up and use.
Setting up the Preview Applications
The Maxflash Studio software supports configuration and use of an unlimited number of preview applications, as well as the ability to set a 'default' preview application that will be launched instantly when you press the 'Preview' button on the main user interface.
To set up the preview applications, select 'Tools' and 'Configure Preview Applications' from the top menu.
The Maxflash Studio software comes pre-configured with the command line settings for Atari800WinPlus. To start working with this emulator, all you need to do is tell the Studio software where your copy of Atari800WinPlus is installed.
To do that, click on the folder beside the 'Application Path' and navigate to the location of 'Atari800Win.exe' in your Atari800WinPlus installation directory.
If it is unchecked, check the box labeled 'Use as default application for quick preview'. This will enable launching of this application automatically when you press the 'Preview' button on the workbook editing interface.
Once you have selected the location of your emulator, press the 'Update' button to save the entry.
You can also add an unlimited number of additional preview emulators or applications, just press the 'New' button in the Preview Application Configuration dialog and fill in the details such as the menu name, application path and command line arguments.
The command line arguments required will vary from program to program.
Launching the Quick Preview Application
Any time you have a workbook open for editing, you can preview it fully live in your default emulator by pressing the 'Preview' button on the main workbook editing form.
This will compile your workbook into a ROM image and launch that ROM image immediately for you to use.
Once launched, you can navigate the menu, testing your multi-cart to make sure your games load using the settings you specified.
You can re-set and re-launch the application instantly after making any changes by just pressing the 'Preview' button again.
This quick modify/preview/modify cycle can save you many hours of effort and struggle that you would normally encounter using real cartridges to test your workbooks.
Lunching additional Preview Applications
To launch a non-default preview application you have set up in Maxflash Studio go to the 'Tools' menu at the top of the screen and select the 'Preview Collection' sub-menu.
On this menu you will find a complete list of applications you have configured for preview use.
Recommended Options for Atari800WinPlus
When configuring Atari800WinPlus I recommend you set the following options to make previewing faster and more convenient.
Under Atari800WinPlus menu option 'Misc -> Preferences', check the boxes for:
Un-check the options for: