A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

All things related to the Atari Coldfire Project

Moderators: Mathias, Mug UK, moondog/.tSCc., [ProToS], Galvez, Moderator Team

joska
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3695
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Florø, Norway
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby joska » Fri Nov 20, 2015 12:41 pm

Orion_ wrote:What can I use in replacement ? qextract can only extract the files, but not create zip


I used Two-In-One for years on my Falcon. Haven't tested it on my Firebee, but IIRC this was a good archiver shell. There are several others too.
Jo Even

Firebee - Falcon060 - Milan060 - Falcon040 - MIST - Mega ST - STM - STE - Amiga 600 - Sharp MZ700 - MSX - Amstrad CPC - C64

User avatar
mfro
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:33 am
Location: SW Germany

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby mfro » Fri Nov 20, 2015 1:33 pm

Orion_ wrote:
mfro wrote:
Orion_ wrote:I also didn't had any luck switching video buffers on the Firebee, so, no double buffering = no decent action game :/

"classic" double buffering (rewrite video base address) should work as it does on a Falcon. At least in Falcon-compatible resolutions.

I will try that, but I doubt it because, the videl screen pointer is 24bits only, when the firebee default screen pointer is 32bits (0x60000000)


The video base address in the Firebee is 27 bits wide. Additionally to the Falcon's 0xffff8201, 0xffff8203 and 0xffff820d base address registers, there's another three bits at 0xffff8200 in the Firebee.

Physically, video RAM is located from 0x40000000 to 0x7fffffff (128 MByte mirrored 8 times). In videl-compatible video modes, part of it is mapped into ST RAM area with the Coldfire's MMU.

deeez
Atari User
Atari User
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 4:51 pm

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby deeez » Fri Nov 20, 2015 5:17 pm

Orion_ wrote:
joska wrote:The Firebee's DRAM is not connected to the Flexbus, but directly to the ColdFire DRAM controller. On the Firebee the real life bandwidth would be around 80Mb/s.

And Kronos CT60-100Mhz result tells 100Mb/s access, so ColdFire DRAM controller is slower, I can not believe it 8O

20mb/s to video ram is way more you get on a ct60. 80mb/s to main ram isnt bad either.
If you're looking to do something for both ct60 and firebee this should be enough :)

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:22 pm

does anyone knows the dosfsck command to use under FreeMiNT ?
I looked into U:\dev but I can't find any related device associated with the A or C drive

joska
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3695
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Florø, Norway
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby joska » Fri Nov 20, 2015 8:41 pm

MiNT is TOS/DOS, not Unix. Drives are referenced to by their drive letter.
Jo Even

Firebee - Falcon060 - Milan060 - Falcon040 - MIST - Mega ST - STM - STE - Amiga 600 - Sharp MZ700 - MSX - Amstrad CPC - C64

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:09 am

my bad, I missed the ":" just after the drive letter.

Ok, I got a new (better) compact flash reader and formated again the card, with 4 FAT16 partition (C = 250Mb, D/E/F=1023Mb)
I put mint 1-19 + myaes 0.96 in C, and flashed the firebee with latest FireTOS (2014), FPGA, and BaS gcc 0.8.6.2
Now, when I boot in FireTOS for MiNT (or Full FireTOS) the IDE 0.0 is not recognized (no response), and when the line "start auto folder" appear, the Firebee reboot instantly
I managed to find a weird workaround, I boot in EmuTOS, and then reboot using Ctrl+Alt+Del
then FireTOS will recognize IDE 0.0 (CF card), and will boot correctly !
So, why does the FireTOS don't recognize the CF card at first ?

I was wondering if there is some kind of NVRAM in the Firebee holding config information ? Because, the "blue" battery inside the bee was drained and not recharging, so I had to take them out, maybe this is causing the problem ? (just guessing)
I will buy a new CF Card 4Gb just to be sure this isn't my current CF card having problem ..

Also, I tried setting the Videl address manually in standard video mode (320x240x16), and had no luck having the screen of this address shown, so I guess I will stay with GEM.
By the way, I got a DVI screen now, and the video is now good ! no more noise

Rajah > It seems that you use MyAes, how do you change the screen resolution ? I tried the videocnf.cpx but it's for radeon only, and the screenset app is only working for xaaes

User avatar
Rajah Lone
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 372
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2002 12:27 pm
Location: Lyon / France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Rajah Lone » Sat Nov 21, 2015 3:08 am

@Orion_ : sorry, I use only XaAES on my FireBee setup.
Perhaps you should copy/paste the value found in the .cnf generated by the screenmode selector to MyAES configuration file.

I formated my CF card with "Active Partition Manager" on Windows, 4 partitions of FAT16, < 900 MB. The C partition has the flag "active" on. This permited for the FireTOS to boot on it = running the PRG from the AUTO folder.

User avatar
mfro
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:33 am
Location: SW Germany

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby mfro » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:08 am

Orion_ wrote:I was wondering if there is some kind of NVRAM in the Firebee holding config information ? Because, the "blue" battery inside the bee was drained and not recharging, so I had to take them out, maybe this is causing the problem ? (just guessing)


There's a PIC chip on the Firebee that runs all the time (even when switched off, then it would use the battery in low power mode) that holds the NVRAM and RTC information to provide it to the Coldfire on boot.

Obviously, that can't work without the battery. You should replace it with a new one as soon as possible (not only because of this, it apparently also acts as an overshoot drain for mains power as well, at least it's strongly recommended to never run the Firebee without battery to prevent damage).

Regarding failed startup: there is a bug in BaS_gcc I'm currently working on. That sometimes prevents memory from being correctly initialized for FireTOS at cold start. That's probably what you are experiencing. I recommend using "original BaS" until that is fixed (it should be safe to use the workaround you found for the time being, but admittedly, annoying).

Galvez
Atari maniac
Atari maniac
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:49 am

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Galvez » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:13 am

mfro wrote:
Orion_ wrote:I was wondering if there is some kind of NVRAM in the Firebee holding config information ? Because, the "blue" battery inside the bee was drained and not recharging, so I had to take them out, maybe this is causing the problem ? (just guessing)


Regarding failed startup: there is a bug in BaS_gcc I'm currently working on. That sometimes prevents memory from being correctly initialized for FireTOS at cold start. That's probably what you are experiencing. I recommend using "original BaS" until that is fixed (it should be safe to use the workaround you found for the time being, but admittedly, annoying).


If it's the same bug I wrote you about yesterday I think this is something different, the Orion's crash in FireTOS comes much later during the booting process, before AUTO programs are loaded. I think this has relation with the problem that has been discussed during the last days in EmuTOS mailing list regarding some CF cards having read errors.

Galvez
Atari maniac
Atari maniac
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:49 am

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Galvez » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:23 am

Orion_ wrote:my bad, I missed the ":" just after the drive letter.

Ok, I got a new (better) compact flash reader and formated again the card, with 4 FAT16 partition (C = 250Mb, D/E/F=1023Mb)
I put mint 1-19 + myaes 0.96 in C, and flashed the firebee with latest FireTOS (2014), FPGA, and BaS gcc 0.8.6.2
Now, when I boot in FireTOS for MiNT (or Full FireTOS) the IDE 0.0 is not recognized (no response), and when the line "start auto folder" appear, the Firebee reboot instantly
I managed to find a weird workaround, I boot in EmuTOS, and then reboot using Ctrl+Alt+Del
then FireTOS will recognize IDE 0.0 (CF card), and will boot correctly !
So, why does the FireTOS don't recognize the CF card at first ?


I have seen this myself, and there isn't an answer yet for this problem. It happens with some CF cards, which makes EmuTOS having read errors and FireTOS behaving crazy. There has been a discussion at EmuTOS list about this issue during the last days.

What kind of CF card brand is giving you this problem?

And to be sure it's the same thing, could you try to boot for example under EmuTOS the MiNT kernel, if it's probably the same problem you'll get some read errors during booting and you'll end in kernel's internal shell.

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:07 am

I use the CF card which was given with the Firebee, but I had this error after updating the Firebee to the latest BaS gcc, now I flashed back the original BaS (codewarrior) and it seems I don't get this error anymore (FireTOS wasn't even detecting the CF card on IDE 0.0)
Now it detect it each time (even at coldboot), but I still have some read/write warning from EmuTOS, is it because of bad unmounting ?
Is there a way to start a fast dosfsck command line at boot ? (because the original Firebee MiNT config starts fscheck which starts e2fsck and I'm not sure this has any effect on DOS partition)

The MiNT messages about USB stuff, is really annoying, can it be patched and compiled again ? or do I have to get back to the previous MiNT version 1-18-cur ?

Also, I'm trying to compile using VBCC, but it won't find the path from $PATH variable,
here is the detail, can someone explain this weird behavior ??
Bash.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Galvez
Atari maniac
Atari maniac
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2007 7:49 am

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Galvez » Sat Nov 21, 2015 11:53 am

Orion_ wrote:I use the CF card which was given with the Firebee, but I had this error after updating the Firebee to the latest BaS gcc, now I flashed back the original BaS (codewarrior) and it seems I don't get this error anymore (FireTOS wasn't even detecting the CF card on IDE 0.0)
Now it detect it each time (even at coldboot), but I still have some read/write warning from EmuTOS, is it because of bad unmounting ?


If the problem is the CF card as I suspect FireTOS behavior isn't coherent at all, sometimes will seem that everything is perfect and sometimes you won't be able to even boot, that you still get read errors with EmuTOS I think is the prove of that. If I'm right the combination of this card plus FireTOS is going to drive you nuts. ;-)

The card that I have which makes the FireBee behave like this also came with the machine. Again what brand is yours?

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 12:13 pm

Galvez wrote:If I'm right the combination of this card plus FireTOS is going to drive you nuts. ;-)
The card that I have which makes the FireBee behave like this also came with the machine.

The brand of the CF is "disk2go.com" ... If FireTOS is not compatible with the original given CF, that's a problem :?
I will soon get a brand new Kingston 4Gb CF, I hope it will fix all the problems.

I'm using "MiniTool Partition Wizard Free 9.1" under Windows 7, the first C partition is set active.

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:04 pm

I just tried a simple GEM app in 16bits mode, updating a 640x480 image as fast as it could, I get around 16 fps under plain TOS
that's disappointing (that's half of the announced 20Mb/s) I wanted to port my platformer game Alice, but you just can't play decently at 15fps, there will be too much lag
and 320x240 will be too small as someone already said for Yopaz

I think the Firebee.org website should not advertise the Firebee as a Falcon compatible computer, as it is not true (at least for now), no plannar mode, not compatible with hardware videl registers (I tried Philia which work on Falcon, the videl hardware video mode setting isn't working (taken from DHS demoo system lib)), and low level IKBD polling doesn't seems to work either

Someone knows about the $PATH issue under sh/MiNT ?

joska
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3695
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Florø, Norway
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby joska » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:11 pm

Orion_ wrote:I just tried a simple GEM app in 16bits mode, updating a 640x480 image as fast as it could, I get around 16 fps under plain TOS
that's disappointing (that's half of the announced 20Mb/s)


First of all, I don't think 20Mb/s has been "announced" in any way. That figure comes from some tests I did a couple of years ago.

It would be interesting to see your code. Are you writing directly to the screen?

Orion_ wrote:I think the Firebee.org website should not advertise the Firebee as a Falcon compatible computer, as it is not true (at least for now),


Is it still advertised as a "Falcon"? Because it's very far from a Falcon, and it will never be very compatible to the Falcon due to the way it's been designed. Yes, there are ways to improve this, but some things you can't get away from. Running legacy code - especially optimized demos/games that exploits the 030 caches - on the Coldfire CPU will always be a problem. And without modifications or additional hardware it is not possible to implement proper Falcon- or even STE-compatible audio.

I see the Firebee as a new TOS-compatible computer, like the Milan or Hades. Not an improved Falcon.

Orion_ wrote:no plannar mode, not compatible with hardware videl registers (I tried Philia which work on Falcon, the videl hardware video mode setting isn't working (taken from DHS demoo system lib)), and low level IKBD polling doesn't seems to work either


AFAIK the only planar mode that's missing is Falcon 8-bit. I think your problem with the Falcon video modes is that you haven't disabled the "Firebee Videl" mode which IIRC FireTOS always use. This is poorly documented stuff, let me see if I can find some docs about this.

Low level IKBD polling works perfectly fine if you're using an IKBD keyboard. Maybe you're using USB devices? In that case you have to hook into the IKBD vectors which the USB mouse/keyboard drivers supports. Direct IKBD access won't work.

Orion_ wrote:Someone knows about the $PATH issue under sh/MiNT ?


Which issue is that?
Jo Even

Firebee - Falcon060 - Milan060 - Falcon040 - MIST - Mega ST - STM - STE - Amiga 600 - Sharp MZ700 - MSX - Amstrad CPC - C64

Mathias
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 634
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Vienna

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Mathias » Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:39 pm

Orion_ wrote:I think the Firebee.org website should not advertise the Firebee as a Falcon compatible computer, as it is not true (at least for now),
Well, nevertheless there are many things organized internally like at Falcon computers! First Medusa wanted to do a TT-Clone, but people demanded Falcon compatibility, and many things were changed in this direction. Falcon compatibility is true for many working things at the FireBee. Some developers can for sure explain exactly what parts are working like at Falcons and what Falcon ducomentations apply exactly to the FireBee as well (I cannot).
Of course Jo Evens and your comments are right and understandable. The machine is far away from being 100% compatible. The missing DSP is still a huge problem, and much more. But nevertheless the computer is designed after a Falcon. It is for sure not a TT or ST!

joska wrote:I see the Firebee as a new TOS-compatible computer, like the Milan or Hades. Not an improved Falcon.
I can agree to this statement.

Perhaps it would be cool if some developer could write an exact article which parts are working like at Falcons, which parts are different, and which parts are completely new (like the FireBee Video Modes for example) so that other/new/external developers get an fast overview.

For the website, the sentence about "Falcon" at the index site is for new people who did not follow the project the last years, and I still consider it as "ok" for that aim of a first information. If someone has a better sentence, let´s change it.
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at Mac OS 9 and a FireBee.

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:05 pm

I hope some skilled hardware developers can help to improve the Firebee, but for now, the only Falcon compatible part of the Firebee, is the GEM.
For example, try my "Falcon Demo System" (in the tools section), it's a library made for falcon that use the Videl, double or triple buffering, and IKBD, there is no DSP usage, and there is full source included + a small test program which tries 320x240 8bits and 16bits mode.
This doesn't work on my Firebee, does it works on yours ? If not, then, I regret to say that "for now" the Firebee is not Falcon compatible, even with the basics.

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:11 pm

joska wrote:AFAIK the only planar mode that's missing is Falcon 8-bit. I think your problem with the Falcon video modes is that you haven't disabled the "Firebee Videl" mode which IIRC FireTOS always use. This is poorly documented stuff, let me see if I can find some docs about this.

If the Firebee would really be Falcon compatible, there should not be any "secret" unlock mode.
I can't guess this kind of stuff, I'm trying what I can to do double buffering, and I can't find out how, there should be some source code example to help developers, else I must stick with the GEM, which is why I get less than 10MB/s speed

joska wrote:
Orion_ wrote:Someone knows about the $PATH issue under sh/MiNT ?

Which issue is that?

The one I posted here (screenshot) viewtopic.php?f=92&t=28873&p=283792#p283755


About the overall feeling, don't get me wrong, I would love to do awesome stuff for the Firebee, it's just that, each time I try, I discovers lots of things lacking (bugs, unfinished stuff, slowness, incompatibles things, etc...) But I know this is a community effort, and sometimes it's not easy aggregating all that
Maybe I will end up using SDL, I tried Pmdoom and it seems that Patrice did a really good job on this.

Mathias
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 634
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Vienna

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Mathias » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:19 pm

Orion_ wrote:a small test program which tries 320x240 8bits and 16bits mode.
This doesn't work on my Firebee, does it works on yours ? If not, then, I regret to say that "for now" the Firebee is not Falcon compatible, even with the basics.
FireBee uses the new FireBee Video Modes for the recent (huge) resolutions and BitDepths. We have the same issue recently with "Anarcho Ride" Game for the FireBee in the german forum. Original Falcons do not have such Video Modes, thus the FireBee needs to be incompatible when it likes to use higher screen resolutions like original Falcons can. But it is possible to switch to the original video modes (Klatz has done it successfully with Arcanoid, thats why I mentioned his work).

BTW does your test program work on a CTPCI Falcon or an Eclipse?
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at Mac OS 9 and a FireBee.

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:31 pm

Mathias wrote:
Orion_ wrote:a small test program which tries 320x240 8bits and 16bits mode.
This doesn't work on my Firebee, does it works on yours ? If not, then, I regret to say that "for now" the Firebee is not Falcon compatible, even with the basics.
FireBee uses the new FireBee Video Modes for the recent (huge) resolutions and BitDepths. We have the same issue recently with "Anarcho Ride" Game for the FireBee in the german forum. Original Falcons do not have such Video Modes, thus the FireBee needs to be incompatible when it likes to use higher screen resolutions like original Falcons can. But it is possible to switch to the original video modes (Klatz has done it successfully with Arcanoid, thats why I mentioned his work).

BTW does your test program work on a CTPCI Falcon or an Eclipse?


"320x240 8bits and 16bits mode." are NOT huge resolutions, this is the original Falcon video mode, so it should be compatible.
When a developer or an end user reads on your website "A FireBee is similar to an Atari Falcon and works very much like that. It will run most of the Atari compatible software that would run on a Falcon" it will expect that programs made for Falcon will run on Firebee, which is not the case.
You can't say "it will run on Firebee, ONLY IF the Falcon program take care of the special case of the Firebee hardware", that's not what "compatible" means.
My test program won't work on CTPCI, because CTPCI is an add-on with special "incompatible with videl" video mode. thus, only GEM program will work on it.
Maybe you can say that the Firebee is GEM compatible, but not Falcon compatible.
I would really like to know how the original video modes can be used, because for now I didn't succeeded using original video modes with double buffering using xbios nor hardware registers.
Last edited by Orion_ on Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mathias
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 634
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Vienna

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Mathias » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:32 pm

Orion_ wrote:About the overall feeling, don't get me wrong, I would love to do awesome stuff for the Firebee, it's just that, each time I try, I discovers lots of things lacking (bugs, unfinished stuff, slowness, incompatibles things, etc...) But I know this is a community effort, and sometimes it's not easy aggregating all that.


As far as I am concerned, I do not get you wrong. I can imagine that discovering bugs, or being blocked by unfinished stuff is extremely frustrating from a developers perspective (it is even in several points from a end users perspective that I have). But you cannot blame anybody for that (in fact you don´t). The hardware is here and working well. There was no promise that the software will work 100% and that it is a complete Falcon Clone. Nevertheless huge improvements could be done. For example we could incorporate a "Super Videl" into the FPGA or someone could even put a 68030 config for "absolute compatibility" into it.

But all of that needs to be done, and we need to do it together to improve our plattform. For the moment we have a quite good GEM machine like Joska stated, and it is very good that its here and buyable. We always - means the entire plattform - had since ages to deal with incompatibilities (like at CT6x as well, that does not work with all the 030 stuff) or like with Milan or Hades Computers, or all the problems with all the Emulators, ... or just think about Notator which doesn´t run anymore at original Falcons! ;)


So I´d like to motivate everybody to improve things and work together towards better possibilities for all. Like about the original video modes done by Klatz for example.
There is no "instance" which can solve it for us, no external company. We have to do it, and we can as show in many many examples!
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at Mac OS 9 and a FireBee.

Mathias
Atari Super Hero
Atari Super Hero
Posts: 634
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:51 pm
Location: Vienna

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Mathias » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:43 pm

Orion_ wrote:"320x240 8bits and 16bits mode." are NOT huge resolutions, this is the original Falcon video mode, so it should be compatible.
Of course 320x240, ... are no huge resolutions. But 1920 x 1200 which many people use with their FireBees is the huge video mode. ;) So the FireTOS at the FireBee uses the "FireBee Video modes" which are incompatible to the original Falcon vidoe modes (obviously, otherwise a Falcon could display huge Video modes)

But the FireBee can use the Falcon Video Modes without problems. Boot EmuTOS and you will see. So the "only" recent problem is to switch within FireTOS to the Original Falcon Video Modes. But as said this is solved for a long time as well.

Perhaps mfro can again explain it detailed here, understandable for developers with the right adresses and such things?

Orion_ wrote:You can't say "it will run on Firebee, ONLY IF the Falcon program take care of the special case of the Firebee hardware", that's not what "compatible" means.
(...)
Maybe you can say that the Firebee is GEM compatible, but not Falcon compatible.


I absolutely got your point. I even got it within your last postings. BUT again: internally it is organized like a Falcon and many things work like at Falcons. Of course it is "just" a GEM Machine right now, but it is not a TT-Clone like the Hades was for example. And a Falcon with CTPI stays as well a Falcon for example. Thus many Falcon ducumantation is correct for the FireBee as well. That´s my point.

Orion_ wrote:I would really like to know how the original video modes can be used, because for now I didn't succeeded using original video modes with double buffering using xbios nor hardware registers.
As I said by mail, I am trying to reach Klatz recently.

Orion_ wrote:My test program won't work on CTPCI, because CTPCI is an add-on with special "incompatible with videl" video mode. thus, only GEM program will work on it.

Hmm, thats sad. So perhaps it helps to consider a FireBee like any Clone or pimped Falcon? Perhaps we can write a good article for firebee.org that let´s no room for interpretations or wrong expectances.
MegaST 4 with Sounddesigner II MegaBus hardware and 56001, Hades 040, MagiC Mac at Mac OS 9 and a FireBee.

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:58 pm

Mathias wrote:Thus many Falcon documantation is correct for the FireBee as well. That´s my point.

Yes I understand, but this might be confusing for newcomers, exactly like when I first got my Firebee at the beginning, I was really appealed by the announced Falcon "compatible" stuff, and by the powerful specs (fast processor, fast DDR RAM), and when I finally got the real thing, I was totally disappointed, so I guess it would be nice to be fair on the official website that, "for now", there a things not working as you would expect. (especially considering the high price of the machine)
and I know that the hardware is here, and the features can be improved in the future, it's just that, I was hoping so 3 years ago, and for now, not much changed, so let's hope "in the future" is not too far away :D
I really wish I could help on the FPGA side but, i'm no hardware guru :?

joska
Hardware Guru
Hardware Guru
Posts: 3695
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:55 pm
Location: Florø, Norway
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby joska » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:03 pm

Orion_ wrote:If the Firebee would really be Falcon compatible, there should not be any "secret" unlock mode.


Indeed. Never tried this myself but this is apparently what you need to do to get out of "Firebee Videl" mode:

- Clear bit 0 of the ACP_VIDEO_CONTROL register located at 0xf0000400.
- Clear bits 15 to 8 of the same register (these bits control the video clock, setting this to 0 means 25 MHz).

Double buffering is achieved like on Falcon. Allocate memory in lower 14Mb and set video address register to swap screen. But there is a problem here - "ST-RAM" in the Videl is not really ST-RAM. It's in DRAM controlled by the Coldfire and not accessible by the "Videl". BaS+FireTOS use software trickery to work around this. Whenever you write to the video address register, the "Videl" will generate an interrupt which triggers a handler on the Coldfire. This handler remaps one Mb from the FPGA RAM to the appropriate page in the lower 14Mb CPU address range. Seems like a nice workaround, but the side effect is that *every time* (worst case) you do this the CPU may have to copy an entire Mb from CPU DRAM to FPGA DRAM. So this can slow things down dramatically.

So why does it work like this? Because Fredi did not want to put the entire ST-RAM into FPGA RAM for performance reasons. In future FPGA/BaS versions I hope this will be changed, as this approach means that you can't implement any DMA device (floppy, ACSI, SCSI, sound) or other device that access RAM (like the framebuffer) purely in FPGA but has to use some software trickery as well. And software trickery is bound to cause problems.

IMO the proper solution here is to put all ST-RAM in FPGA RAM (0-14Mb), and the Coldfire 512Mb as alt-RAM. Then everything will work like in every other ST/TT/Falcon with more than 14Mb, and no need for special software tricks. But this requires changes in both FPGA and BaS.

Orion_ wrote:The one I posted here (screenshot) viewtopic.php?f=92&t=28873&p=283792#p283755


Looks like you need to rehash the path buffer. "hash -r" should do under bash.
Jo Even

Firebee - Falcon060 - Milan060 - Falcon040 - MIST - Mega ST - STM - STE - Amiga 600 - Sharp MZ700 - MSX - Amstrad CPC - C64

User avatar
Orion_
Captain Atari
Captain Atari
Posts: 336
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 12:20 pm
Location: France
Contact:

Re: A few Firebee questions (general & dev)

Postby Orion_ » Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:12 pm

joska wrote:IMO the proper solution here is to put all ST-RAM in FPGA RAM (0-14Mb)

The FPGA can hold so much RAM ?? Wow !

joska wrote:Double buffering is achieved like on Falcon. Allocate memory in lower 14Mb and set video address register to swap screen. But there is a problem here - "ST-RAM" in the Videl is not really ST-RAM. It's in DRAM controlled by the Coldfire and not accessible by the "Videl". BaS+FireTOS use software trickery to work around this. Whenever you write to the video address register, the "Videl" will generate an interrupt which triggers a handler on the Coldfire. This handler remaps one Mb from the FPGA RAM to the appropriate page in the lower 14Mb CPU address range. Seems like a nice workaround, but the side effect is that *every time* (worst case) you do this the CPU may have to copy an entire Mb from CPU DRAM to FPGA DRAM. So this can slow things down dramatically.

how to get things worse ... thanks for the explanation, so I guess, no "real" solution for now

Looks like you need to rehash the path buffer. "hash -r" should do under bash.

Both $PATH and $VBCC variables are set at boot in mint.cnf, so ??


Social Media

     

Return to “FireBee”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest