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Article #554 (635 is last):
From: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news
Subject: Announcing Ramdrive v1.0
Reply-To: aa700@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Michael Current)
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Wed Dec 17 17:29:59 1997


From: rje@co.umist.ac.uk (Raphael James Espino)
Date: 09 Dec 1997 15:32:54 GMT

Well here it is!

For all of those who are interested Ramdrive 1.0 is
a new ramdisk for XL and XE's.  It works under most DOS's including
2.0, 2.5, 3.0, MYDOS 4.50 and 4.53/4, and possibly others (although I
haven't tested it, but you're welcome to try it).  It does use the RAM
under the OS ROMs for its own purposes which means that it won't work
with anything else that also does the same, such as most versions of
SpartaDos, (although it might work under SpartaDos X - anyone willing to
try it?), DOS XE, Turbo Basic XL and others.  It will work with the OS
B translator disks however.

Support is included for an 8k ramdrive using the RAM under the BASIC ROM, a 64K
ramdrive (499 sectors, for standard 130XE 128K machines), a 256K
ramdrive (for 320K machines), a 512K ramdrive (for 576K machines) and a
1Meg ramdrive (for 1088K machines).  However other memory sizes can be
accomodated by creating the corresponding configuration files.  The
upper limit is set by the fact that only one bank switching address is used
(see below), although I have plans to use 2 addresses (and hence
bigger ramdrives) in version 1.1.  Also there are a couple of
configuration files allowing you to play Zork I from a ramdrive (at
least 256K needed).

You can have up to 10 ramdrives at any one time, although 9 ramdrives
and 1 real drive would probably be the practical upper limit.
Ramdrives behave almost like standard drives, and can be configured for
single, enhanced and double density, single or double sided, as well
as more exotic configurations, such as 512 byte sectors and 1024 byte
sectors, and anywhere up to 256 sides.  The maximum number of sectors
on a ramdrive is 65535.  

Ramdrives are assigned a drive number in the standard way (i.e. D4:,
D7: , etc.) and both real drives and ramdrives can be renumbered at a
keypress, so your ramdrive can become D1: and your real drive D8:
without having to change the switches on the back of your real drive.

You can also both warmstart and coldstart at a keypress and retain
your ramdrives.

Non-standard memory expansions can also be used, 1,2,4,8,16 and 32K
memory banks are catered for, appearing anywhere in the RAM address
space, and using any address for bank switching (defaults to 54017 PORTB).

I hope to upload an .arc file with all this to the umich archive soon,
but for the time being it's available on my web page:

http://www.co.umist.ac.uk/~rje/8bit/ramd.html

So go take a look and tell me what you think, suggestions, comments,
bug reports, etc. are all welcome.  You can e-mail me at:

rje at co dot umist dot ac dot uk
-- 
Michael Current, mailto:mcurrent@carleton.edu
8-bit Atari FAQ and Vendor Lists, http://www.faqs.org/faqs/atari-8-bit/
Cleveland Free-Net Atari SIG, telnet://freenet-in-c.cwru.edu (go atari)
St. Paul Atari Computer Enthusiasts, http://www.library.carleton.edu/space/





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