Integrated boot manager and other settings after reset
When after reset the logo and TOS version appears user have about 2 secs to perform some settings by keypress:
Newer boot settings v. logo in color and mono modes:
P - set PAL mode - 50 Hz refresh rate of video
N - set NTSC mode - 60 Hz
V - activate Virtual Floppy mode immediately - will set last installed set as active
I - invert (swap) black and white color - so will have black background
In newer v. there is countdown (normally starts at 9 sec., but can be less). You can skip wait by pressing space key.
1-9 - selects special DIR for using it instead C: for: AUTO run
PRG, for Desktop.inf and ACCessories. Then they will load from it, and
Desktop.inf will be saved there. User needs to create DIR BT in root of C, and subdirectories 1-9 in it. No
need to create subfolder AUTO in them, just copy desired PRG(s) for
AUTO run in one of 'number' directory. Then, if pressing that number
when logo appears, it will start in usual way, before Desktop. Copy
ACCessories todesired 'number' directory too, and they will load when
same # key is pressed after logo appear. If nothing is pressed it will
work in usual way.
Note: pressing any of above keys will start new waiting interval, so multiple settings can be done.
It may be that pressing key G will do something too - only with 1.62 -
then there is space for some shorter game in TOS ROM space.
Holding down right shift key will prevent AUTO run .
Note about appearing text messages during boot up:
First TOS version will be shown, then message Floppy boot, Hard Disk boot, Integrated driver, AUTO run.
It does not mean that it really happens - that depends from content of
disk. Purpose is to show in which phase of boot up it is currently. So,
floppy boot happens only when content of floppy bootsector is valid
(checksum + code). Or there is some PRG in AUTO folder of boot device .
Integrated hard disk driver
There is hard disk driver inside improved TOS, for most popular adapter types used with Atari ST(E) computers.
It must be specified for which adapter TOS autoboot must be assembled.
For now, supported are: UltraSatan and ACSI adapters with ICD
extension (over 1 GB accessible). 2 ACSI targets, so both UltraSatan SD
card accessible. It is good for Satandisk too, which has ICD extension
Basic ACSI - for Mega STE internal adapter and diverse ACSI-SCSI adapters. Only 1 ACSI target supported.
Capabilities, limitations of integrated hard disk driver:
Max total 24 partitions (logical drives) mountable C: - Z: . Max capacity of 1 partition is 1 GB .
Only DOS or DOS/TOS compatible partitions are supported. Main reason
for it is that with DOS partitions and improved FAT16 it is possible
that no extra RAM usage - so same as when using only floppies.
Especially good for 512 KB machines. If there is need to use some media
(disk, Flash card) with TOS (AHDI) partitions normal hard disk driver
usage will work as in case of regular TOS.
To get autoboot of integrated driver it must be set on specific media - with simple util program:
Program will deal with first ACSI target, so insert SD card in
UltraSatan in proper order - card what want to set in first slot, or
best insert only it. In case of multiple devices and if not sure which
is which target, best to disconnect others.
How to have 1GB DOS partitions, and 24 of them ? I work on new partitioner program, but it will take some time yet.
However, it is possible to create them with some better PC SW.
Possible with Windows Disk Management - Create and format hard disk
partitions. Important is to set partitions as FAT (what means FAT16),
Allocation unit size: default .
Max Simple volume size in MB: 1023 MB (to stay under 1 GB) .
Disk 4 in this case is SD card
attached via USB card reader. To make Windows to create and access
multiple partitions on SD cards, as removable media will need to
install CFAdisk or some other driver, what will correct that Windows
stupidity :-) It is needed not only for formatting/partitioning but for
regular file transfer purposes.
After setting size will get this:
Set File system as FAT, what
will be FAT16, Allocation unit size leave on default. Give some name
for partition, but make it 8.3 format - so capitals only .
Something better than hybernate. May save state of computer, running
GEM program by key combination press, practically in any moment (except
disk operation periods) . And later can restore that state with key
comb. press in couple seconds. First thing what must be done is preparing space for statesaves:
That's creating container file on one of partitions - and it must be
non-fragmented. It it is empty, it is for sure not fragmented, so best
to do it on such. With little util. PRG:
select partition and give some name, then OK, and it will be created.
May take 1-2 minutes depending on speed of hard disk (Flash card) and
amount of RAM in Atari. File size will be 10x size of RAM. So, for
512KB Atari it will be 5 MB, for 4 MB will be 40 MB long file.
10 slots available for 10 statesaves.
Will need to reset Atari after creating statesave file, to activate function.
Then pressing: Left Shift+Ctrl + 1-9 or 0 will perform statesave . That may take few seconds.
Restoring state is with: Left Shift+Ctrl + F1-F10 . Any statesave will
overwrite existing one on same number without any warning. If you
want to preserve some of it, need to copy container file somewhere.
This will work only
with SW what uses TOS functions for peripheral access and other things.
And GEM SW is mostly such. Of course can save Desktop too.
Short demo of state saves and restore:
Checking available RAM and membot
In desktop click on Desk, Desktop Info. Will see this:
Membot is RAM address where user SW space starts. On
screenshot above it is very low, because integrated hard disk driver
uses no extra RAM. Even with 4 MB RAM some 512 KB SW, mostly
games will not run if membot is too high, so is good to keep it low.
Any resident SW, ACCessories and like will move membot higher. With
integrated boot manager is easy to have different configs for different
This is probably most interesting feature, which
offers some really new possibilities, beside emulating floppy disks in
Page with many details: VF description, usage
At moment - May 30. I still work on supporting SW. Basic functions are
done, now working on features what make usage easier. Like transfer of
container files - from other partition or computer. To make it work on
new place some changes need to be done - in first place correcting
image absolute adresses. And to check is it fragmented on new place.
Why container file with multiple images at all, when we have hard disks
with floders and like ? Mostly because of SW what runs well only from
logical drive A: (B: sometimes) . And then may need multiple images,
because it is on multiple floppies originally.
User's disks with diverse data, own SW, etc. It may be nice to have
some packages of disks with same data, SW type, which belong each to
other. Then it can be practically categorized. And helps in
transferring files to hard disk.