STOS memory banks, lots of help needed

STOS-related stuff in here please

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Nyh
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STOS memory banks, lots of help needed

Postby Nyh » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:29 pm

Hi,

In my quest of converting Atari ST gfx files I started with STOS memory bank (.MBK) files last weekend. There is tons of gfx to be found in .MBK files. Most of the ones I found I can convert by now. I attached my knowledge about the files to this post. I will add the info's to the Wiki when I am done.

If anyone has interesting .MBK gfx files for me, or documentation about them feel free to send them to: nyh@suiker.org

Now my Questions:
1 for a blocks file with magic $003d2067:
Does anyone know which extension uses this format?
What is the meaning of the 1st word after the magic?
Does the palette begin one word after the Magic?

2 for Missing Link blocks with magic $07793868 and $18e7074c:
what is the meaning of the first word after the header? I tried to read the disassembly of the missing link extension but the handling of this parameter is quite confusing. Is there a documented source available of the Missing Link extension?

3 for Missing Link bobs with magic $38964820:
What is the meaning of the 3rd, 4th and 5th word of the sprite data? The 1st and 2nd are x_size and y_size.

4 Are Atomik 3.5 and Ice 2.4 the only packers used in STOS extensions?

Thanks, Hans Wessels

Edit: fixed typo's
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Postby Mug UK » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:23 pm

I've got a registered copy of Missing Link .... somewhere and loads and loads of STOS games with MBK files. Will see what I can find and image up tomorrow for you Nyh.

There's also the STOS memory compressor to add to your PC depack routine :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby lp » Wed Jul 04, 2007 1:21 pm

I created a STOS detokenizer. It can read the token source files and convert them to ascii text files, but that is as far as I got. I did not quite solve how extensions and banks worked. Thanks for the doc.

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Postby Mug UK » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:35 pm

That would be a handy tool to advertise on the Wiki Lp :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby lp » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:52 pm

muguk wrote:That would be a handy tool to advertise on the Wiki Lp :)


It's not really a stand alone tool. It's a load module for my GFA Editor. :)

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Postby Mug UK » Wed Jul 04, 2007 5:55 pm

Hoping to get started on some "modern" GFA-ing now that I've got an ST formatted SD card ready for SatanDisk. Put Magic, Jinee and other stuff on and see what my TT can really do with your souped up editor etc. :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby PaulB » Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:56 pm

I once made a sprite making program in GFA and decided for compatibility that I wanted to be able to load and save stos mbk sprite files. It worked well but then I decided to add to it again so I could also save sprites in stos squasher compressed format. The squasher, originally meant for whole screens works out the best compression out of 4 possible ways and it gave very good compression results. I found that as long as the source graphic was a multiple of 16px it would still be packed ok. Since my sprites were all going to be 16, 32 --> 128 pixels wide it was ideal. Height could be from 1px to 128px.

I worked out the squasher code by dissasembling it in Monst, writing it all down then typing it back into Genst, changing addresses for my own labels. Took absolutely ages! Sadly I lost the source code in a hard drive crash a few years back. Bad dma chip in my ste. I've still got older versions of the program I found on floppies (pre squasher version) and I may still have the lone squasher code on a disk somewhere too.

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Postby Nyh » Wed Jul 04, 2007 10:09 pm

muguk wrote:I've got a registered copy of Missing Link .... somewhere and loads and loads of STOS games with MBK files. Will see what I can find and image up tomorrow for you Nyh.

Would be nice. My current test set contains 534 files in 7.3 Mb. At the moment there is one file, probably a font file, giving me troubles. The file is of bank type $01 and has magic $43410100. I think it is a scrap file and not an 'official' STOS file format.

muguk wrote:There's also the STOS memory compressor to add to your PC depack routine :)

Oh joy! I already converted the STOS picture compression. That is another example of how not to pack a picture.

Hans Wessels

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Postby Mug UK » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:14 pm

Four disk images inside this .RAR file - should be enough to keep your investigations going Nyh (and maybe useful for others who use STOS).

Missing Link (not sure if it's the registered one but do have one somewhere if this one isn't)
Top Notch Utils
2 x disks of STOS code by Tony Greenwood.

Another 3 STOS source disks found as well as a STOS shoot-em-up creator and a STOS adventure writer ... but will get them done tomorrow and upload in this thread.
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My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby Nyh » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:14 am

muguk wrote:Four disk images inside this .RAR file - should be enough to keep your investigations going Nyh (and maybe useful for others who use STOS).

I was quite excited about some MB of new data. But alas, the number of STOS memory banks on those 4 disks is 0. Nothing new! :-(

Thank you anyway. If you find more please upload and I will see whether there is something interesting in it.

Hans Wessels

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Postby Mug UK » Fri Jul 06, 2007 11:30 pm

OK try these five disks :)

One is a STOS Adventure Writer and one is a STOS shoot-em-up creator (apparently) plus some more disks of source code.

More disks to come I'm sure ..........
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My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby Nyh » Sat Jul 07, 2007 2:13 am

muguk wrote:OK try these five disks :)

Tnx, 12 new MBK's, two of them invalid, 7 picture or sprite files and 3 music files. No new memory bank formats. I am studing on compiled STOS files to extract the memorybanks froms the PRG's. I can finde the banktype's and lengths of the memorybanks (offset 38 in the file), the two longs at offset 30 and 34 subtracted from each other result in the correct length but I haven't foun out yet how to determine where the banks start...

I think banks can also be stored in the basic files?

Hans Wessels

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Postby ggn » Sat Jul 07, 2007 7:22 am

is 73 Falcon patched atari games enough ? ^^

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Postby Nyh » Sat Jul 07, 2007 9:16 am


Yes, I have been using the STOS sources from day one. They are somewhat helpful. It is quite hard to follow them especially the structure of compiled programs.

Hans Wessels

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Postby Nyh » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:58 pm

Nyh wrote:Tnx, 12 new MBK's, two of them invalid, 7 picture or sprite files and 3 music files. No new memory bank formats. I am studing on compiled STOS files to extract the memorybanks froms the PRG's. I can finde the banktype's and lengths of the memorybanks (offset 38 in the file), the two longs at offset 30 and 34 subtracted from each other result in the correct length but I haven't foun out yet how to determine where the banks start...

I think banks can also be stored in the basic files?

Yes, banks can be stored in basic files. I have written a utility to dump STOS memorybanks from any file type you feed it. It recognizes Basic, MBK, MBS and compiled programs. It doesn't look at the extension, just at the first few bytes of the file to see whether it is a supported file type.

After a day surfing the internet and getting all STOS related stuff (games, demos etc.) decompressing, removing duplicates, more decompressing with Synergy Depacker and more duplicate removing, feeding the files to my new tool and even more duplicate removing I had 1754 different MBK files to test. After a first run there a 499 files left in need of more inspection. A quick look at the error file gives me the impression I have got a lot of memory banks with executable code inside (magic $601A, BRA.S ...).

More coding to be done later.

Hans Wessels

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Postby Mug UK » Sun Jul 08, 2007 9:10 am

Getting a washing machine delivered today so won't be able to dump many more STOS game disks ... but give me some more time and I'll deliver :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby Nyh » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:02 pm

muguk wrote:Getting a washing machine delivered today so won't be able to dump many more STOS game disks ... but give me some more time and I'll deliver

Let it bee. I think there won't be much news for me to discover on the STOS memory bank part. I have analyzed 1754 different memory banks with a total size of 23 Mb. I haven't found much new stuff. Just an odd TINY and CarckArt picture in a STOS memory block. Lots of different music files but no new graphics formats. If you find something you can send me it but don't waste your time searching for it.

Thabk you, Hans Wessels
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STOS memory block extracting utility

Postby Nyh » Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:07 pm

After a weekend collecting STOS basic stuff I think I am done with STOS basic and it grapihc files. I have written a nice little utility to extract STOS memory block files from data and programfiles. Some of you might be interested in. Also in the archive the source code and my latest documentation on STOS file structures (.MBK, MBS, BAS and PRG).

Hans Wessels
PS: someone interested in 1754 different STOS memory banks? (23 Mb, 11 Mb zipped) Let me know. They might get flushed from my hard disk the next time I need some space.

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Re: STOS memory block extracting utility

Postby Nyh » Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:22 pm

Nyh wrote:PS: someone interested in 1754 different STOS memory banks? (23 Mb, 11 Mb zipped) Let me know. They might get flushed from my hard disk the next time I need some space.

Grab the data over here. Will be available for 7 days or maximum 100 downloads.

http://www.yousendit.com/download/OGhlWmdzR3NtMEkwTVE9PQ

Hans Wessels

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Knowledge dump

Postby Nyh » Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:37 pm

I dumped my STOS memory bank knowledge into the WIKI. I think Lonny 'lp' Pursell can also add his knowledge about detokenizing the .BAS files overt here.

Hans Wessels

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Re: Knowledge dump

Postby lp » Wed Jul 11, 2007 3:47 am

Nyh wrote:I dumped my STOS memory bank knowledge into the WIKI. I think Lonny 'lp' Pursell can also add his knowledge about detokenizing the .BAS files overt here.


I don't have a doc files currently and all my time is spent away from the computer. Should I ever get back to it (the unfinished import module), I may write a doc.

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Re: STOS memory banks, lots of help needed

Postby MissingLink » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:14 pm

[q++uote="Nyh"]Hi,

In my quest of converting Atari ST gfx files I started with STOS memory bank (.MBK) files last weekend. There is tons of gfx to be found in .MBK files. Most of the ones I found I can convert by now. I attached my knowledge about the files to this post. I will add the info's to the Wiki when I am done.

If anyone has interesting .MBK gfx files for me, or documentation about them feel free to send them to: nyh@suiker.org

Now my Questions:
1 for a blocks file with magic $003d2067:
Does anyone know which extension uses this format?
What is the meaning of the 1st word after the magic?
Does the palette begin one word after the Magic?

2 for Missing Link blocks with magic $07793868 and $18e7074c:
what is the meaning of the first word after the header? I tried to read the disassembly of the missing link extension but the handling of this parameter is quite confusing. Is there a documented source available of the Missing Link extension?

3 for Missing Link bobs with magic $38964820:
What is the meaning of the 3rd, 4th and 5th word of the sprite data? The 1st and 2nd are x_size and y_size.

4 Are Atomik 3.5 and Ice 2.4 the only packers used in STOS extensions?

Thanks, Hans Wessels

Edit: fixed typo's[/quote]

I should know this, as it was me that wrote the code, but I cant remember.

I'm including a file with a load of TML crap in it. theres a BAS file caled make.bas which is used to convert sprites and stuff to the missing links formats, this should help.

If anyone can tell me how to get my HD working I will release TML and Misty sources.
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Postby Mug UK » Thu Oct 18, 2007 10:22 pm

When you say "help me get my HD working" .. in what capacity? Via a real ST or via an image under STEEM?
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk


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