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#109083 - 03/05/17 10:11 PM CoCo and Dragon cartridges  
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PhillHS Offline
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PhillHS  Offline
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Hi all,

Is there a way to get MESS to ****NOT**** auto run program paks? I have several rom images that are entered from basic by doing an exec to their address, and are not started by the usual tie FIRQ to E.

Back when I was working on this driver I implemented an opion to allow this to be switched off, but it seems to have been removed, or at least I can't find it.

Is there a way to do this?

Cheers.

Phill.

#109084 - 03/05/17 10:49 PM Re: CoCo and Dragon cartridges [Re: PhillHS]  
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robcfg Online content
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Madrid, Spain
I think they're pretty much hardwired to do so.

For dumping cartridges I usually put a piece of tape on one of the cartridge lines so it doesn't autoboot, but I've found at least one cartridge that even with that autoboots.

It may be that being mapped on top of the basic rom it has some code there that takes on and boots the cartridge.

#109095 - 03/07/17 09:27 AM Re: CoCo and Dragon cartridges [Re: robcfg]  
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PhillHS Offline
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PhillHS  Offline
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UK
Originally Posted by robcfg
I think they're pretty much hardwired to do so.

For dumping cartridges I usually put a piece of tape on one of the cartridge lines so it doesn't autoboot, but I've found at least one cartridge that even with that autoboots.

It may be that being mapped on top of the basic rom it has some code there that takes on and boots the cartridge.


Not that I'm talking about dumping......

In the real hardware there are two ways for a cartridge to auto-start :

1) a lot of the cartridges (mostly games) are wired with the Q clock connected to the FIRQ line to cause them to auto start.
2) If the cartridge contains the characters 'DK' as the first two it is assumed to be a disk controler, and the firmware willinitialize it by jumping to $C002

However there are a third class of cartridge such as the "Alldream" assembler for the Dragon which **DO NOT** use either of these methods and are accessed from basic as needed just by EXECing their entry address. Currently it is impossible to use these in MESS as it assumes all cartridges will auto start.

What I'm saying is that there should be a way in MESS of specifying that a cartidge is one of the latter and should *NOT* auto-start. As I said I had done work on the MESS coco/dragon driver in the past that added an option for this, but somehow it has been removed which I feel is a backwards step.

Cheers.

Phill.

#109097 - 03/07/17 10:21 AM Re: CoCo and Dragon cartridges [Re: PhillHS]  
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Duke Offline
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Duke  Offline
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It sounds like the softlist XML file for the CoCo needs a feature tag to indicate if the Q clock is connected to FIRQ.

#109099 - 03/07/17 01:03 PM Re: CoCo and Dragon cartridges [Re: Duke]  
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PhillHS Offline
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PhillHS  Offline
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UK
Originally Posted by Duke
It sounds like the softlist XML file for the CoCo needs a feature tag to indicate if the Q clock is connected to FIRQ.

That would help, but Ideally I'd like to be able to set it at will from the command line / interface rather than having to go editing files.

Cheers.

Phill.

#109190 - 03/18/17 01:52 PM Re: CoCo and Dragon cartridges [Re: PhillHS]  
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Bletch Offline
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Lexington, MA
Tim Lindner and I are trying to clean up the CoCo cart slot handling. The short story is that the MAME core's handling of slots has gotten better in the last few years, but the CoCo cart system has not really caught up with it.

One thing you can do in MAME 0.183 is use the Multi-Pak interface to load the cart:

mame coco3 -ext multi -cart5 mycart.rom

"-cart5" signifies the "fifth" cartridge slot; the multi-pak being in -cart1. Once the emulation starts up, you can POKE&HFFDE,0 to switch to the ROM.

My first instinct is that the above technique probably relies on a bug. The multi-pak interface is supposed to default to the fourth cartridge slot, so the fact that it is not loading the cart seems like a bug.

I'll see what I can do about adding a feature to disable the Q line.

#109194 - 03/18/17 03:25 PM Re: CoCo and Dragon cartridges [Re: PhillHS]  
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Bletch Offline
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Lexington, MA
I've dug into this a bit further. Under "Machine Configuration" for CoCo is "Cart Auto-Start". Setting that to "No" and restarting should do the trick.


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