8-Bit Software Online Conversion

To: 999 (all members) From: D7X (Martin Hodgson) Subject: 8BS CD Rom disc 1 Some Experiences with the new 8BS CD Rom 1 (All the Magazine Issues). EDITOR.... Thanks for the comments Martin, I appreciate you taking the time to try to make some sense of it I started to make points in the text of this message, after a while, it seemed to be going on a bit, breaking it up too much. So instead, I have made comments at the end. I recently sent off my £10 to Chris, intending to throw out my stack of floppies, and use the CD Rom in !6502Em from Warm Silence Software on my A5000 Acorn RICS-OS machine. I had noticed, but not mentally registered the fact that Chris describes the files as being in "disc image formats". There is the problem..... Both the BEEB emulators for RISC-OS are perfecly happy reading normal discs straight from the BEEB, either ADFS or DFS (the latter with the aid of a reader such as ArcDFS by Richard Averill).They will not read anything repackaged as a "disc image", which seems to be the standard format on other computers when running emulators, including BEEB emulators. EDITOR.... See Point 1. I do have !mageDFS v.0.71 from WSS, which deals with disc images, and which you can run alongside !6502Em. It is easy enough to access the CD from within !602Em (just type *DIR CDFS::0 <return>) However, ImageDFS will not read any of the image files from this CD because the files are not filetyped. You have to revert to RISC-OS, copy the files off the CD to the hard disc and filetype them &B22. The next snag is that ImageDFs will not read the DSD, double-sided images, nor will it read the ADFS images (it is meant to be a DFS reader after all!). You can only access the single-sided, SSD images, and then only one side at a time. So the magazine menu system, which runs from side 1, falls over when it tries to access side 2. At least it does with me. Has anybody sorted out a solution to that problem ?? There is another solution to the entire problem :- Chris provides the DOS program FDC, which you can use to reconstitute the original discs (DFS or ADFS) from the images, which any RISC-OS BEEB emulator will then work with. This does mean firing up a Windoze machine to do the job, unless you have a PC card, in your RISC-OS machine. It will not run in PC Soft. Remember to type <dd> if you are setting up FDC to work with ADFS-L discs (Chris's instructions on the CD went a bit iffey at this point- sorry Mr. Richardson !). EDITOR...... See Point 2 So, to summarise. To use the 8BS CD Rom 1 with your BEEB emulator running on an Acorn RISC-OS machine you have three options :- 1. copy the SSD image files to disc, filetype them &B22, then read them in using !ImageDFS from Warm Silence Software. Be aware the menu system on the discs will not be able to find side 2. 2. Use FDC on a PC (a real one, or a PC card on your Archimedes) to reconstitute the original disc. 3. Purchase a Windoze PC and pcBBC by Stuart MacConnachie. This combination reads and runs the disc images straight off the CD. No problems ! Another `10 well spent (for pcBBC), but another drift towards the lowest common denominator. Think about it - a PC is an Acorn Master computer, with limited main memory and added sideways "Extended" RAM; add HIMEM to handle the paging of SWR in and out of the memory map, then add lots and lots and lots of go faster stripes, and you have a modern, grossly inefficient and rather unstable Windows 98 PC. P.S. lly, EDITOR... Point 1. The disc images supplied on the CD are in various formats. One of these formats is an exact copy byte for byte of the disc itself. A few years ago now, I wrote a disc image program on my Master that made an image in exactly the same way as FDC on the PC does, by reading it in byte for byte, an exact copy saved as one file. My program read the disc image in so that I could save it to my hard disc and then write the image back onto floppy. I never followed this up as my hard disc on the Master is not big enough to hold enough images to be of use. When I saw that FDC on the PC did exactly the same thing as the program I had written, I then started looking into using the PC as a backup because it had the capacity to store many images of discs that could then be easily written back to BBC floppy. Bear in mind I am talking about backing up over 1000 discs. Imagine the space that number of discs took up here! That was just the backup of course, then there are the originals. After a while, I realised that PC BBC emulators used these images in exactly the same format that I had been copying them. I then thought that people would maybe like to have these images for themselves for their emulators. This is how the CDs came about. Unfortunately, I did not realise Archimedes users would be interested in the images. Here I have a problem. I do not think that I have the means to produce what Martin wants. I also do not have the will as Martin is the only A5000 owner that I know of who has ordered the CD. I think that I shall just warn Acorn RISC-OS folks off the CD. Mark Usher (thanks deary) and I are still working on presentation of the CD, the BBC software is all there, we are adding a nice database and other goodies to it. Point 2 I enjoy constructive criticism and will always try to accommodate good points such as this. I now include full and original instructions with the programs FDC and BBCIM that I supply on the CD. HOWEVER! I had to suss out the values required for the ADFS formats myself as they were not included in the instructions. I include a copy of the 8BS website on th CD which does have a page containing these settings for FDC, for DFS and ADFS. I have repeatedly checked this info and can confirm that all the commands, exactly as I type them every time I use FDC are there and correct. A Last Point Have I said this before? Maybe not. I really wanted to buy an Acorn Machine rather than a PC. I went and priced one up. It would have cost far too much. Acorn priced themselves out of my house I am afraid. Simple as that. My PC does the job no problem far more cheaply. I have an Archimedes, but I only use it to back up ADFS discs. I do not like it, sorry. Give me my Master 128 any day anyhow, its loverly and it will still be going strong when I have fallen to bits let alone all these newfangled PC thingies... Enough, now I have started too! Thanks for your comments Martin. It is an ongoing process of course, I take it all on board. The trouble is there is only so much you can take on before you sink!  To: 999 (all members) From: D7X (Martin Hodgson) Subject: BEEB Emulators on Archimedes When I contacted Chris Richardson regarding my experiences with the 8BS CD Rom no.1 he mentioned that he does not get a lot of feedback from users of the BEEB Emulators for the Acorn RISC-OS computers. Surely I am not Acorns' last faithfull customer (I am saving up for the new RISC-PC II) !!! EDITOR..... Comments invited here! 