What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

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What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:46 am

I'd like to find a good ram disk utility for a Falcon CT2b.
Preferably that works in Plain GEM, MagiC, and Geneva. (if it works in mint too...great, but not REQUIRING mint please).

Would like it to be user sizable, and NOT limited to 4meg, able to put into fast ram, able to assign to GEMDOS letters above P. Reset/resident/bootable would be nice as well.

Any ideas on what to use and where to get it?

Some things I do would absolutely fly if I could get a stable ram disk in fast ram! Plus I use alot of flash media these days...a bit slow, and no sense in wasting write cycles with temp junk.

Thanks,
Beej
Last edited by Beej on Tue Sep 07, 2010 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby nativ » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:35 am

Not quite what you were after but......


Outside from Uwe ( maker of HDDRIVER ).

It's Virtual memory of the Hard-drive kind, and I believe downloadable from his site.

As for RAM disks... Plenty from the ST but whether they are Falcon compatiable I know not!!! There's a good chance one of the later ones works TT / 1994>

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 9:48 am

nativ wrote:Not quite what you were after but......


Outside from Uwe ( maker of HDDRIVER ).

It's Virtual memory of the Hard-drive kind, and I believe downloadable from his site.

As for RAM disks... Plenty from the ST but whether they are Falcon compatiable I know not!!! There's a good chance one of the later ones works TT / 1994>

Regards


I hear ya.

Hundreds of ST ram disks to try, tis why I thought I'd ask.
My favorite on the ST was always the Mark Williams one, rde or something like that...it made an image of the ramdisk on your hard drive which is actually executable as a prg. Seems like you could even put it in the auto folder and it would load up and then reboot the ST off the new ram disk. That thing was very versatile! But that crashes and burns on my CT2b/MagiC setup.

I'll keep trying them one by one till I find one that works...could take a while :(

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby nativ » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:01 am

Any chance of getting the rde / mark williams one uploaded?

I'll check my resources see if I can find anything!
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 3:19 pm

nativ wrote:Any chance of getting the rde / mark williams one uploaded?

I'll check my resources see if I can find anything!


RDE is on the umich archives. I think it's the last version of it they did.
http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/
Or the direct link:
http://www.umich.edu/~archive/atari/Dis ... rde_v5.zoo

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby lp » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:16 pm

The ram-disk built into the MiNT kernel of course. :mrgreen:

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:36 pm

lp wrote:The ram-disk built into the MiNT kernel of course. :mrgreen:


Sorry, the stuff I run most breaks with mint kernels :(
Especially my ethernet stuff via SCSI link, and the ethernec isn't much better.

To use mintnet at all I have to go back to a stock falcon :(

STing or MagiXnet gets it done tho', and everything...esp disk access is MUCH faster.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby lp » Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:54 pm

That's to bad. Its a nice ram-disk. Supports long file names and adjusts itself dynamically to only what you put in it. Its the opposite here, MiNT-Net is rock solid, with the Ozk's driver. I'm pulling about 2mb per second on ftp to my mac from my Atari.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:04 pm

Beej wrote:
lp wrote:The ram-disk built into the MiNT kernel of course. :mrgreen:


Sorry, the stuff I run most breaks with mint kernels :(
Especially my ethernet stuff via SCSI link, and the ethernec isn't much better.

To use mintnet at all I have to go back to a stock falcon :(

STing or MagiXnet gets it done tho', and everything...esp disk access is MUCH faster.


The problem with Mint on CT2b for me.

Now days the mint kernel takes over disk stuff...must have the scsi drv protocol, etc. That means HDDriver 7.93 or later (or some equiv).

CT2b has 32byte fast/burst ram to be able to make the most of the 50mhz setup...
Hard drive stuff has to still dance around in regular ram tho'....
So there are buffers back and forth.

CT2b comes with Cecile...which is really great because it is optimized to do this ram dance, but it doesn't do the scsi drv protocol...so latter mint kernels don't work with it. Also without SCSI DRV protocol I'm still locked out of using SCSI link.

The same seems to apply to the rom port. Enec doesn't work very well in turbo mode either.

Oddly enough...STing with MagiC, Geneva, or plain tos and HDDRIVER can nail SCSILINK/ethernet transfer rates up to 50kbs, and the SCSI nor IDE bus locks up.

With Mint the junk locks up like every 90 seconds (unless I drop to a mode with no TT ram...then the whole mess is painfully slow and not much memory left to run anything).

I 'almost' had it all stable with a CT2b patched enec driver on mint a long time ago...was using one of the 1.15 kernels and HDDRIVER 7.93, but I lost that setup and haven't been able to get it right since :(

Sadly all that junk built into the kernel can't be adjusted...or at least it's not documented anywhere. To fix SCSI bus timings and buffer sizes so intense SCSI use doesn't lock mint up (or keep the SCSI bus resetting every few seconds when in heavy use).

....

All that in mind, I use flash media alot these days...with is very slow compared to a true hard disk...and it has limited lifespan in terms of write cycles. So the goal is to make a big fat 10 to 20 meg ram drive in fast ram as a working area. File caches, clip boards, etc...this would speed everything up a great deal...if I can find a proper ram disk that will work with this hardware.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:05 pm

Uuug, was a double post...sorry bout that.

Just meant to add:
I don't think SCSI is 'broken' here...it's just a software thing not addressed in MiNT. I can work the mess out of it doing 8-16 tracks of audio at once under anything BUT mint. Load up mint...and every bit of that stuff crashes almost instantly.
Last edited by Beej on Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby lp » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:18 pm

A friend of mine had a CT2b and it was also very problematic to say the least. Anyway, you have it and want to keep using it. I understand.

I also use compact flash and such, but only for backups so the life span thing has never been an issue. Never had a card fail in all the years using it. Been using CF long before it became hugely popular on Falcons and such as HD replacements.

I also us the ramdisk for compiling. That's how I rebuild the GFA library, all 300+ modules (*.s) are copied to the ramdisk, re-assemble and rebuilt into a library by a custom make utility I wrote. Takes about a minute and it doesn't beat the crap out of my hard drive. :wink:

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 07, 2010 5:35 pm

lp wrote:A friend of mine had a CT2b and it was also very problematic to say the least. Anyway, you have it and want to keep using it. I understand.

I also use compact flash and such, but only for backups so the life span thing has never been an issue. Never had a card fail in all the years using it. Been using CF long before it became hugely popular on Falcons and such as HD replacements.


Yeah, I do enjoy the CT2b a bunch...even with its quirks, it allows things I never could dream of on a stock Falcon. Just use the right software and it's well worth the while :) It's kind of a novelty to use it for much more than midi and uncompressed audio tracking...the PeeCees do all the other stuff better and cheaper....but to this day nothing beats the timing of Atari MIDI and basic but timing intensive d2d audio. It's just plain sad when a 4ghz PeeCee has an 'average' of 50ms or more latency on something as simple as a MIDI stream! Even software talking to each other in the same PeeCee can have these horrid latency issues (I.E. A sequencer talking to a Virtual Software Synth)! PeeCees think everything comes in massive gigabyte bursts...and nibble sized timing intensive work is a mess :(

On flash media...I may be wrong, but the stuff is not only getting better, but also smarter, and I understand it will randomly choose cells to write...so you're not always writing the same ones and beating them to death....and some other test and recovery micro code as well. This might not apply to the ATA mode, or maybe I just dreamed all this...but could swear I read it somewhere.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Wed Sep 08, 2010 11:47 am

Beej wrote:I'd like to find a good ram disk utility for a Falcon CT2b.
Preferably that works in Plain GEM, MagiC, and Geneva. (if it works in mint too...great, but not REQUIRING mint please).

Would like it to be user sizable, and NOT limited to 4meg, able to put into fast ram, able to assign to GEMDOS letters above P. Reset/resident/bootable would be nice as well.

Any ideas on what to use and where to get it?

Some things I do would absolutely fly if I could get a stable ram disk in fast ram! Plus I use alot of flash media these days...a bit slow, and no sense in wasting write cycles with temp junk.

Thanks,
Beej


After digging around a bunch I finally found this one:
ftp://ftp.cs.tu-berlin.de/pub/atari/Uti ... uedi22.lzh

True Disk...so far it seems to get the job done.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby wongck » Fri Sep 10, 2010 10:20 am

Beej wrote:
lp wrote:The ram-disk built into the MiNT kernel of course. :mrgreen:


Sorry, the stuff I run most breaks with mint kernels :(
Especially my ethernet stuff via SCSI link, and the ethernec isn't much better.

To use mintnet at all I have to go back to a stock falcon :(

STing or MagiXnet gets it done tho', and everything...esp disk access is MUCH faster.


May be you can lower the polling frequency on the SCSIlink by recompiling the souuce?
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Sat Sep 11, 2010 2:04 pm

wongck wrote:
Beej wrote:
lp wrote:The ram-disk built into the MiNT kernel of course. :mrgreen:


Sorry, the stuff I run most breaks with mint kernels :(
Especially my ethernet stuff via SCSI link, and the ethernec isn't much better.

To use mintnet at all I have to go back to a stock falcon :(

STing or MagiXnet gets it done tho', and everything...esp disk access is MUCH faster.


May be you can lower the polling frequency on the SCSIlink by recompiling the souuce?


That may be possible. Which source would I need to find? Kernel, the mintnet module, or the scsilink driver?

I do know that in STing...all that is set in the STing part...not the SCSILINK driver. It was easy to tweak things until I got it operating smoothly.

How would I go about doing this mintnet adjustment?

Here's what I have set for STing that has been nice and stable with rates around 40 B/s:
Allocated STing Memory: 100000 Bytes
Delay (polling?): 20 (ms?)
MTU 1492
Max Segment Size: 1452
Receive Window: 4256
Default TTL: 64
Initial RTT: 1.5sec

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby lp » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:05 pm

Beej wrote:After digging around a bunch I finally found this one:
ftp://ftp.cs.tu-berlin.de/pub/atari/Uti ... uedi22.lzh

True Disk...so far it seems to get the job done.

Beej


Before MiNT had the ramdisk added I use to use the one from the CodeHead utility disk. It was reset proof and supported image loading at boot up so it was all pre-loaded with files and ready to go before the desktop came up.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby wongck » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:36 pm

Beej wrote:That may be possible. Which source would I need to find? Kernel, the mintnet module, or the scsilink driver?


IRC, the scsilink source are in the Mint CVS by name of dynaport.
I didn't looked at it but some parameters you mentioned are in Ifconfig, not the driver itself.
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby wongck » Sat Sep 11, 2010 3:36 pm

sorry - double post.... can't remove it... :roll:
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby gstoll » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:30 am

Beej wrote:MagiC


With MagiC I use the Ramdisk-XFS from Thomas Binder. It is like the ram-disk from FreeMiNT (Supports long file names and adjusts itself dynamically to only what you put in it.)

Gerhard

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:19 pm

gstoll wrote:
Beej wrote:MagiC


With MagiC I use the Ramdisk-XFS from Thomas Binder. It is like the ram-disk from FreeMiNT (Supports long file names and adjusts itself dynamically to only what you put in it.)

Gerhard


Excellent!
Thanks much :)

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby wongck » Tue Sep 14, 2010 1:34 pm

Beej wrote:CT2b comes with Cecile...which is really great because it is optimized to do this ram dance, but it doesn't do the scsi drv protocol...so latter mint kernels don't work with it. Also without SCSI DRV protocol I'm still locked out of using SCSI link.


I was testing Cecile some time back... may be last year.
It runs if I ran it from floppy.
But once I try to make it auto boot from my HDD, it just hangs.... wtf ??
I never knew that it was for CT2b, do you know if it works on system without CT2b?
My Stuff: FB/Falcon CT63 CTPCI ATI RTL8139 USB 512MB 30GB HDD CF HxC_SD/ TT030 68882 4+32MB 520MB Nova/ 520STFM 4MB Tos206 SCSI
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:37 pm

wongck wrote:
Beej wrote:CT2b comes with Cecile...which is really great because it is optimized to do this ram dance, but it doesn't do the scsi drv protocol...so latter mint kernels don't work with it. Also without SCSI DRV protocol I'm still locked out of using SCSI link.


I was testing Cecile some time back... may be last year.
It runs if I ran it from floppy.
But once I try to make it auto boot from my HDD, it just hangs.... wtf ??
I never knew that it was for CT2b, do you know if it works on system without CT2b?


The main part of cecile drivers exists in CT2b flash.

When booted with CT2b on, you first get a bios screen. In this screen you can choose cecile HD drivers, or external drivers. Many parts of cecile can be configured in the bios screen, but not all. The cecile screen also has an option to use settings from in the flash, or settings from a cecile.sys file on a hard drive partition.

The utilities do the following:
1. Allow you to format/partition, sector check, etc.
2. Allow you to set custom speeds for IDE drives...there are three settings possible from slower drives to very fast drives (that's the main part the bios screen doesn't let you adjust by itself).
3. Do various speed and integrity tests.
4. Create an optional cecile.sys file on the root directory of a partition (needed if you want to fine tune the speeds of IDE drives as mentioned above).

5. The version that shipped with CT2b had an auto folder program you could run from a floppy in Stock mode. AFAIK that was the only way to use Cecile in stock mode...and I'm not sure that it offered any advantages...it just got you booted up in a tight. It may be that Centek also offered a version one could buy separately that would write a boot sector to hard disk (for non CT2b owners...not really any advantage without a CT2b).

Summary:
Where other drivers write a boot sector...Cecile does not. It looks at the drives from firmware. Optionally, it can look for a cecile.sys config file that you make with the cecile utilities.

As far as I know you must have a CT2b in turbo mode for Cecile to work to any 'advantage'. There may be a part in the kit to write a boot sector, but if so, I've never used it.

What I do:
I usually just stick to HDDRIVER 7.93...and I definitely use this to set up all my partitions (has scsi drv protocol, supports more devices, partition types, and does a great job at everything). If for some reason I want to run Cecile instead...I just run it from the BIOS, and I do not even have to remove HDDRIVER...just change one setting in BIOS and it goes to Cecile instead. Occasionally I run cecile when I'm doing heavy D2D audio sessions from a plain TOS or Geneva setup.

Beej
Last edited by Beej on Tue Sep 14, 2010 5:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Tue Sep 14, 2010 4:53 pm

Beej wrote:As far as I know you must have a CT2b in turbo mode for Cecile to work to any 'advantage'.

Beej


BTW, I believe the main advantage/purpose of Cecile is much improved IDE when CT2b equipped. One could take advantage of much faster IDE drives.

The hype back in the day was that with CT2b, in 2 or 16 color modes, IDE had enough speed and bandwidth to handle multiple tracks of D2D audio...where Stock Falcon IDE did not.

While CuBase only works with SCSI...there were a few packages out there perfectly at home with IDE, (VTRAX, SoundPool Audio Tracker, Quincy)...if you could get it fast enough to meet your needs.

Beej
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby wongck » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:19 pm

Ahhh... so cecile when auto boot with the cecile.sys must be looking for the ct2 board.
No wonder it looks hang.
Booting from floppy, it must be going into the stock mode.

Thanks for the explanation !!
It looks like there is no way to use it without the ct2 board.
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Re: What's the best RAMDISK for Falcon CT2b?

Postby Beej » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:41 pm

wongck wrote:Ahhh... so cecile when auto boot with the cecile.sys must be looking for the ct2 board.
No wonder it looks hang.
Booting from floppy, it must be going into the stock mode.

Thanks for the explanation !!
It looks like there is no way to use it without the ct2 board.


You're welcome. I might not have my explination spot on, but at least that is my understanding of it all.

Unless you have a CT2b and want to use faster IDE drives to potential (back then high end IDE drives targeted at A/V use...but may actually be considered slow when compared with later IDE technology), there would be no advantage to using this over some other driver. It would actually be a down-grade.

Or, if you had a 'really slow' drive like the Conners that came with Falcons, and needed to slow down the CT2b setup to work with it...

For most users...you'd probably never realize any difference unless you have CT2b, a really fast IDE drive, and do lots of A/V work, or move very large files from one IDE device to another.

Beej


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