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 filesas 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,
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
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.
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
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!