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#120972 06/05/22 10:37 AM
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There isn't a lot to be found on forums about Atari Portfolio these days.
So I figured it would be a good thing to add a thread about it here.

There is still a lot of software out there for the Atari Portfolio.
Most software, that is found, are the executable s in zip format.
That's a format which isn't directly supported by the driver pofo as it accepts only memcard format.

Is there an official "mame way" of converting the software to memcard format ?

About a year ago I couldn't find an official "mame way" for running and converting.
So I made my own conversation tool written in bash :
https://github.com/FollyMaddy/create_atari-portfolio_roms

Perhaps something that can be used for adding some useful software for the pofo driver.

I am hoping on a nice conversation that can contribute to the pofo part.

Last edited by Folly; 06/05/22 10:50 AM.
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From what I can tell from the Bee Card pinout a regular standard binary ROM format should be enough.
To my understanding Bee Card was originally used by MSX then the format was ported to Atari Portfolio, and they are a subset of the PC Engine HuCard format, which again are treated as standard ROMs.

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Indeed, to my knowledge it uses the same.
I have that MSX cartridge with t-plan but sadly I don't have a portfolio rom or ram cards of that type.
I still have 2 portfolio's lying around with an external ram unit and an external parallel port.

It seems this is the list with original rom cards that were available :
Atari HPC-701 ROM card "Utility"
Atari HPC-702 ROM card "Finance"
Atari HPC-703 ROM card "Science"
Atari HPC-704 ROM card "File Manager" (already in the softlist and available)
Atari HPC-705 ROM card "Power BASIC"
Atari HPC-709 ROM card "Instant Spell"
Atari HPC-711 ROM card "U.S. Traveller's Guide)"
Atari HPC-713 ROM card "Hyperlist"
Atari HPC-715 ROM card "Language Translator"
Atari HPC-724 ROM card "Bridge Baron"
Atari HPC-725 ROM card "Wine Companion"
Atari HPC-726 ROM card "Diet / Cholesterol Counter"
Atari HPC-728 ROM card "Astrologer"
Atari HPC-729 ROM card "Stock Tracker"
Atari HPC-750 ROM card "Chess"

Are there any known dumps of these roms ?

Last edited by Folly; 06/05/22 04:15 PM.
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Hey thanks for your romcard project,

it makes it easy enough to create some custom rom cards to use inside the mame portfolio device.

Now I wonder, if it is possible to connect mame ti dosbox with the ft.com file transfer tool to transfer file to the mame device through some emulated parallel port?

I can start the device with
./mame.exe pofo -exp lpt

and start the resident portfolio device transfer tool in server mode,
but starting ft in doxbox then just simply does not seem to connect to the mame device.

Anybody got an idea how to work around whatever i do wrong here?

I would love to test it this way before i buy an usb parallel port adapter and try on the real thing.

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MAME's Centronics interface doesn't support being plumbed externally at this time, I'm not sure where the impression arose that it did.

There are a bunch of devices that do support "punching through" to the outside world, mainly serial devices and MIDI, but Centronics is not currently one of them.

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sigh

I didn't get through the whole source yet to understand that to be fair.

I had some slight hope that I could set up some fifo and connect it to outside stuff - dosbox itself is out of question as well, it still has no parallel port support, but the alternative dosbox-x would have at least some stuff to play around and try something, but i see no fifo support in windows there as weil, linux version might be able to do some magic here through fifo files.

Well then lets laugh about me on my search to find a usb hardware that will be able to do the data transfer to the real thingy.

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In fairness, plumbing things out is a thing MAME usually does. Centronics is just a little weird because of the out-of-band control and handshaking signals. If DOSBox has a protocol for that, it might be worth our while to try and be compatible.

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Originally Posted by Walker
I would love to test it this way before i buy an usb parallel port adapter and try on the real thing.
Than likely won’t work. USB parallel port adapters only support the HP-style byte-oriented modes that were later standardised in IEEE 1284. They don’t support directly manipulating the control lines.

As an aside, writing a device that implements the peripheral side of IEEE 1284 so you can hook up MAME parallel ports to sockets is on my TODO list, but it’s one of those things I keep putting off because getting an emulated PC set up with the guest-side software to test it properly is massive pain.

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i just have to point out that the original stock dosbox does not (yet?) have this, but the fork dosbox-x which has much more recent commits to its source.


Dosbox-X Homepage

from about Dosbox-X

Quote
DOSBox-X is a DOS emulator derived from DOSBox that is designed to support different types of DOS software and systems, including serious DOS application usages (such as those requiring printing and SHARE functions) and East Asian systems (such as DOS/V and PC-98). It focuses on implementing accurate emulations (especially accurate reproduction of hardware behavior) and various ways to tweak and configure the DOS virtual machine, and also intends to be a great platform for emulating DOS-based Windows such as Windows 3.x and 9x/Me and software written for those versions of Windows. DOSBox-X implements various features needed by DOS programs and also to support the development of new DOS software (in combination with DOSLIB/DOSLIB2 and Hackipedia).


Used License is GPL-v2 so that part seems covered.

I know these goals are not the same as here with mame, but I see a lot of possible overlaps.


On the hardware side it will be difficult for me to find a working bidrectional usb to parallel interface, it looks to me like there are working solutions, so i start to test with a cheap one in a few days - but my hope is low as i don't expect it to have drivers emulating the needed ports.

For the laugh I will start with
- LogiLink USB 2.0 Parallel D-SUB Adapter
- Adapter Gender Changer D-SUB - D-SUB 25 pin
- on the portfolio side HPC-101

the missing parts should reach me by mid of next week.

Last edited by Walker; 08/26/22 08:33 AM.
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Folly Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Walker
Hey thanks for your romcard project,

it makes it easy enough to create some custom rom cards to use inside the mame portfolio device.

Nice to hear that someone finds my project useful !

Good luck with trying to connect though the parallel port.

BTW.
I was quite astounded reading your Portfolio 2 prototype story ;-)

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