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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:19 pm 
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Yurkie wrote:
Steve,

The menu on 128-1 is numbered 1. thru 128. I like to put roms in categories. Original releases, unreleased prototypes,Homebrew, beta testing.......ect.

What I do is leave a blank slot or 2 between the different sections.

What will your menu look like?


The undecorated menu will basically be a lightbar selection menu like the 128-in-1 menu, but each entry will not be numbered, it will be more like a directory listing in DOS with the directories sorted first.

For example suppose you have a folder:

/Coleco

And in there you have:

/Prototype ROMs
/Release ROMs
/Test ROMs
MyGame.ROM
Super Mega-Cart Game #2.ROM

The menu would basically look like what you see above. To view the contents of the 'Prototype ROMs' folder you would just scroll down to it and press fire, then the menu would refresh in that folder. You're basically navigating the SD card directory tree with the Colecovision controller.

You can arrange the files/roms/manuals/etc in any way you like on the SD card and thats exactly what you will see on the on-screen menu.

Now, that is pretty much how the basic functionality will work. I would like for there to be a 'decorated' mode as well, where you can add for example, an INI type file to a directory that will let you (only if you want it), to specify special options for that directory, how it should be displayed, etc.

I think what most people want is covered by the standard undecorated FAT32 navigation mode, but there is _plenty_ of room to expand the firmware and menu software as needed.

Quote:
EDIT: After thinking about my post, and re-reading the info.... will there be a list of folders on the screen? select a folder and see the contents? Like on a computer. This would make sense since the card can be loaded on any computer OS.

Just make a folder...rename it...drop your files in there?


Yep, you have it. With a few exceptions what you see on screen will be what you have placed on the card.

The menu software will allow you to choose to sort directory contents fully, directories first (no filename sorting) or not at all.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:24 pm 
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The final prototype has been verified. Updates to every part of the design are possible directly from SD card.

I'll post some screen shots or movies of the current software pretty soon.

Right now everything is still on track for pre-ordering to start within a few weeks.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:26 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 2:38 pm
Posts: 4
Location: Connecticut
This looks really cool, Steve. I can't wait. Is there any chance of this being adapted to another system like the 5200?

Allan



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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 11:15 am 

Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:35 pm
Posts: 1
Please include me on the pre-order list. :D

Troy Whelan


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 2:08 pm 
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classics wrote:
Bill Loguidice wrote:
Wow, this would be great. Would something like "Lord of the Dungeon" be able to save as if it were on a real battery backup cart?


With an unmodified LOD ROM I'm thinking you will need to press the reset button on the cart to save the current state when you are done playing, since the cart will need to know when to save whats in memory back to the SD card.

I'll be working on this in particular soon, so I'll post more when I'm sure. I'm thinking the 'save state' will just be a complete copy of the ROM + RAM data, so you can take it off the card and play the same character in an emulator if you want.

Steve


That will be a feature to definitely crow about. Thanks so much!



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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 7:11 pm 

Joined: Tue May 11, 2010 8:11 pm
Posts: 3
I am very interested, but the final price is a determining factor :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Allan wrote:
This looks really cool, Steve. I can't wait. Is there any chance of this being adapted to another system like the 5200?

Allan


Most of the design could be applied to the 5200, of course the software would be have to be re-done. :-)

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 10:55 pm 
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Final Prototype (PCB Porn :))

Image

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 5:27 am 
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Saving and restoring game data for Lord of the Dungeon is working as described above.

Here is a short video of LoD playing on the SD cart, with a save and restore afterward. :)



I forgot to turn on the speakers attached to the Colecovision so there is no sound.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 7:36 am 

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 7:46 am
Posts: 48
Any update on pricing?



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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 8:12 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:07 pm
Posts: 7
Plleeeaassseee add me to the pre-order list! :-)


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 4:11 pm 

Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 4:02 pm
Posts: 2
Sounds great! I love the 128in1 but this would be awesome! can't wait for it to be available, count me in.


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 5:30 am 
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goochman wrote:
Any update on pricing?


Not yet, but I should know soon.

The specs of the cart are pretty similar to the original Cuttle Cart II for the 7800, onboard CPU, lots of SRAM, flash, reconfigurable logic, etc, but I don't think the price will be anywhere near what it sold for. I'm thinking it will end up reasonably close to the cost of the 128-in-1 USB cart.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 6:21 am 
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Updates:

Preview of SD Cart

A partially finished prototype has been send to Rob Daviau (MaximumRD on YouTube) to preview. He should be posting his thoughts on how things are working so far pretty soon.

Pre-Ordering Production Run

I will only be able accept orders for 100 carts in the pre-order, regardless of what the price might end up being. Right now I have limited time and have to put some limits on what I can produce if I want to actually get it done and in players hands before classes start again.

More Hardware Info

The hardware on the cartridge is completely reconfigurable at runtime, but one of the built-in modes is the 'Hybrid 512KB' mode, which is essentially the same as Mega-Cart 512KB ROM mode but with additional 8k/8k windows for read/write access to the full 512KB of RAM from the ColecoVision side and different bank switching addresses.

This is done to make it very easy to 'update' any existing mega-cart code to also use read/write access to the RAM.

The memory map of a game in Mega-Cart ROM mode is:

8000-BFFF - Fixed Area
C000-FFFF - Banked Area (16k Read-Only banks)

A 16k Bank is selected by touching an address in FFxx, depending on the size of the Mega-Cart.

The memory map of a game in 512KB Hybrid R/W mode depends on if a 16KB R/O window is selected or if 8k/8k Read/Write windows are selected. If a 16KB read-only window is selected, the scheme is identical to Mega-Cart mode, except the banking addresses are in the fixed area, not the banked area.

8000-BFFF - Fixed Read-Only Window (16KB, same as Mega-Cart ROM mode)
C000-FFFF - Banked Area (16k Read-Only banks)

If an 8k/8k R/W window is selected, all 512KB of SRAM can be read/written in 64 separate banks.

8000-BFFF - Fixed Read-Only Window (16KB, same as Mega-Cart ROM mode)
C000-DFFF - 8kB Banked Area (8k Read-Only Window to 512KB onboard SRAM)
E000-FFFF - 8kB Banked Area (8k Write-Only Window to 512KB onboard SRAM)

For the actual bank switching in Hybrid 512KB mode, to select a 16KB Read-Only window (essentially 512KB Mega-Cart mode), touch a bank switching address @

BF80-BFBF

The RAM is write protected in this mode. No actions by the CV will cause RAM to be changed, other than to select a R/W bank (below) and then change memory.

To select a 8k/8k Read/Write window

BFC0-BFFF

I'm going from memory here so if there are any errors I'll try to edit this later. I'll also post some C code for reading and writing to cartridge memory, which is pretty trivial.

In addition to the read/write memory detailed above, the onboard CPU has full access to the SRAM and you can ask the onboard CPU to make changes, fill memory, load and save SRAM pages to/from SD card, etc, all while your program is running. Of course these functions can be easily supplemented later with firmware updates from SD card.

I'll post some examples of the CPU communications code for people to use soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Limited Edition ColecoVision Ultimate SD
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 5:59 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:28 am
Posts: 8
having the 128 in 1 usb cart
can you quickly explained what are the big differences between the 2?
and why should I go for the SD one?


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