Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

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fragedthewife
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Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Wed Jun 28, 2017 5:07 pm

While I patiently wait for a new driving arriving from e-bay I understand that the future holds little for Floppy discs.

The way forward seems to be using a floppy disc emulator for storage using SD or USB memory.

Question is that I see 2 popular choices but i know little to nothing about either.
I see a GOTEK FD Drive with HxC License and also Ultrasatan the later being the most expensive.

Now What id like to do is use images saved to an SD card or USB to play some nostalgia and spend hours watching back the old demo's
Lots of sites offer images which seem to be readily available.

I really am looking for some advice on what works out the best option for compatibility and easy to use.
I see different formats available .MSA and .ST for example??

The Atari i would like to use this on mainly an STE but I also have STFM

Many thanks.

Chris.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby AtariZoll » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:17 pm

UltraSatan is not disc emulator - it is hard disk without moving parts, simply said. It acts practically exactly as some attached larger SCSI hard disk via ICD adapter. Of course, you need SD card(s) and partitioner, driver SW for any serious usage.
But even gaming is possible with it, and best games are already made to work from mass storage.
http://atari.8bitchip.info/fromhd.php
Additional benefits are that no need for swapping disk images by multifloppy games, faster loading, possible to save game posiotion and continue later.
Demo version of driver SW with some games: http://atari.8bitchip.info/DiskImgPP1.html
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby joska » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:40 pm

Agree with AtariZoll, if you have to choose between UltraSatan and a Gotek/HxC, go for the UltraSatan. In addition to games it also opens up the possibility to run "productive" software more efficiently.
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:30 pm

Thanks for the swift reply's,

So the UltraSatan Is this simple to connect up and can it be fitted in place of the OE Floppy drive?
What is the process to load images ? is this stored onto SD cards ? and will it run image files in .MSA and .ST

Im ready to buy either or I just want to make sure I get it right the first time round.

I appreciate your help thank you.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby Steven Seagal » Wed Jun 28, 2017 8:07 pm

Don't know the UltraSatan, but it seems it's a hard drive emulator.
The Gotek can run disk images, so for your use (nostalgia, demos), it could be more appropriate.
Personally I have a HxC device.
Imagine you want to check the demo Transbeauce 2. How do you do that with a hard disk?
In the CIA we learned that ST ruled
Steem SSE: http://sourceforge.net/projects/steemsse

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Thu Jun 29, 2017 6:23 pm

I have purchased the HxC Gotek unit which will arrive next week some time. I can see the benefits from both units however I
will try this and most likely also purchase an UltraSatan unit.

My replacement floppy drive arrived and seems to work fine.
I have come across a slight issue, on the STe the decade demo loads up but freezes when you try to run a demo, however same drive and disc on my STfm works fine.

Is there any software I can run to test the memory etc to find out is the STe is bad ? or some bench testing programs ?

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:58 pm

While waiting on the Gotek unit to arrive I have played around with this for the last few days using my new floppy drive and a pile of discs.

Honestly I'm in my element, using a windows XP PC and writing disc images, I also found out that my old Atari 2600 Joy stick works on the Atari STe.
Played some games sat and watched a pile of Demo's, head bopping away with a cheesy grin on my face happily enjoying a few tinnies " Scottish term for a can of Lager / Cider "

Im spending a fair amount of time on this site and what a wonder of knowledge and links are contained within. Some very clever members out there
sharing some superb information on software and hardware.

I have found that the STfm / STe runing different TOS (1.4) (1.62) versions do have a compatibility issues with some games / demo's
Wondering if changing the STe to a newer TOS 2.0 + would be a benefit?

:D

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby AtariZoll » Sun Jul 02, 2017 12:36 am

fragedthewife wrote:...
I have found that the STfm / STe runing different TOS (1.4) (1.62) versions do have a compatibility issues with some games / demo's
Wondering if changing the STe to a newer TOS 2.0 + would be a benefit?

:D



:mrgreen: He-he. That put big smile on my face. TOS 2.06 is great - better Desktop, good HW support ... And also good if you want to experience compatibility issues with games and demos :lol:
With some SW Atari emulator, where can quickly change TOS version it is easier to check it.
You may look at this too: http://atari.8bitchip.info/tosload.htm
Famous Schrodinger's cat hypothetical experiment says that cat is dead or alive until we open box and see condition of poor animal, which deserved better logic. Cat is always in some certain state - regardless from is observer able or not to see what the state is.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby wongck » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:46 am

Been using HxC SD for years now. It's a good disk emulator.
Since my older HxC SD does not support newer firmware, they supposed to have better support for image files. So cannot tell about image files support.
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby leech » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:08 am

wongck wrote:Been using HxC SD for years now. It's a good disk emulator.
Since my older HxC SD does not support newer firmware, they supposed to have better support for image files. So cannot tell about image files support.


That's been my only complaint about the HxC ones that I bought. I ordered two and didn't realize until later that it's support of .ST and .ADF images is not native, you have to convert everything. Which isn't that big of a deal, though last time I tried the software under Linux, it crashed when I tried to do a batch conversion. I've compiled newer code since then and it seems more stable, but I haven't tested the batch conversion yet.
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby leech » Sun Jul 02, 2017 9:15 am

AtariZoll wrote:
fragedthewife wrote:...
I have found that the STfm / STe runing different TOS (1.4) (1.62) versions do have a compatibility issues with some games / demo's
Wondering if changing the STe to a newer TOS 2.0 + would be a benefit?

:D



:mrgreen: He-he. That put big smile on my face. TOS 2.06 is great - better Desktop, good HW support ... And also good if you want to experience compatibility issues with games and demos :lol:
With some SW Atari emulator, where can quickly change TOS version it is easier to check it.
You may look at this too: http://atari.8bitchip.info/tosload.htm


Ha, that's the part that put a big smile on your face? The one that made me smile was;
fragedthewife wrote:I also found out that my old Atari 2600 Joy stick works on the Atari STe.


You know Sega was sued by Atari over that DB9 port (at least that is the way I heard it when they had sued them, though all I can find from a quick search is that it was over 'patent infringement')? Atari supported that joystick standard on all of their systems, with the exception of the Jaguar. The STe can actually use the Jaguar controllers as well, though only in certain games that supported it (thanks to AtariZoll, you can now play OIDS with it! Not to mention analog controls, though I haven't had a chance to test that (don't have a controller for it.))

As suggested, for TOS, try it out in an emulator. Exxos does sell a kit for TOS switching too. I put one in my 1040STe. Unfortunately last time I plugged it in, I couldn't get any sound from it, so I need to figure that one out....
Atari 8Bits: 800xl, 600xl, XEGS, 800, 130xe, 130xe (VBXE, U1MB, Stereo POKEY)
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:10 pm

So many demos and so many games and so little working floppy discs to keep writing images too.

What software is required to convert .ST .MSA files to work with the Gotek with HxC?
I might as well get some converted in advance.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:45 pm

So If I'm right and well I'm probably wrong but reading the site for the HxC firmware that is loaded onto the Gotek's then it works out the box with formats .ST .MSA .STT .DIM .STX

Tell me I'm reading that right ?

http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby leech » Sun Jul 02, 2017 10:25 pm

From my understanding of it, yes with the Gotek drive with the HxC firmware it can read the files natively. I was not aware of this and had instead ordered the HxC Floppy Emulator Rev. F from Lotharek, which you have to convert the files to .hfe ones with https://github.com/jfdelnero/HxCFloppyEmulator_software
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Sun Jul 02, 2017 11:15 pm

I sent an email to the authors of HxC and they confirmed native support which is an absolute bonus if you ask me.
I think the biggest problem will be how to identify the menu's which include multiple game on 1 iso image.

Not sure how others do this?

Looking forward to receiving this and providing some feedback.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby leech » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:27 am

As far as I'm aware you have these two different versions;

http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=122 (this is the one I own)
http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=149 And this one, which I believe does have support for direct images.
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:38 pm

Cant you just flash the latest firmware for support of the new formats?

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Tue Jul 04, 2017 3:18 pm

The Gotek unit arrived running the HxC firmware and it works very well indeed.
Simply add a folder on a usb drive in the format .ST and no more discs. I'm super impressed with this and will have some fun
playing around with this tonight.

:)

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby czietz » Tue Jul 04, 2017 7:27 pm

Note that .ST is only supported read-only. You will have to go to .HFE if you also want to write to your emulated floppy disks.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:01 pm

Okay, I dint know that, I found a program that easily and very quickly converts from MSA to ST
What is recommended to convert either to HFE?

Thank you.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:12 pm

czietz wrote:Note that .ST is only supported read-only. You will have to go to .HFE if you also want to write to your emulated floppy disks.


Wrong... update the firmware you will be able to read/write to ST files:

http://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopi ... =33&t=3147

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Tue Jul 04, 2017 9:15 pm

fragedthewife wrote:Okay, I dint know that, I found a program that easily and very quickly converts from MSA to ST
What is recommended to convert either to HFE?

Thank you.


The HxC software for sure (you can use the batch convert for a mass conversion)... :

http://hxc2001.com/download/floppy_driv ... t_beta.zip

You can use it to convert st/msa to hfe, st to msa, msa to st, hfe to st or msa or any others format.

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby leech » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:01 pm

The Man himself is here!

So for me to get direct ST support, I'd need to get a Gotek with HxC firmware, right? The old Rev. F HxC drive doesn't support the newer firmwares, right?
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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:26 pm

the HxC firmware on this Gotek device runs an absolute dream, Hats of to those guy's

I will try out the conversion software :)

Thank you.

Delighted

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Re: Advice on disc emulator and recomendations

Postby fragedthewife » Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:07 pm

Jeff_HxC2001 wrote:
czietz wrote:Note that .ST is only supported read-only. You will have to go to .HFE if you also want to write to your emulated floppy disks.


Wrong... update the firmware you will be able to read/write to ST files:

http://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopi ... =33&t=3147



Now running the latest version so far so good.

v3.0.14.2a floppy emm v1.46a

Thank you :)


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