Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#120972 06/05/22 10:37 AM
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
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.
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,148
Likes: 12
Very Senior Member
Offline
Very Senior Member
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,148
Likes: 12
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.

Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
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.
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
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.

Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,053
Likes: 85
J
Very Senior Member
Offline
Very Senior Member
J
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 2,053
Likes: 85
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.

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
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.

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,928
Likes: 62
R
Very Senior Member
Offline
Very Senior Member
R
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,928
Likes: 62
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.

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,397
Likes: 113
Very Senior Member
Online Content
Very Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,397
Likes: 113
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.

1 member likes this: Walker
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
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.
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
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 ;-)

Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,928
Likes: 62
R
Very Senior Member
Offline
Very Senior Member
R
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 16,928
Likes: 62
There's a recent demoscene production for the Portfolio that's reasonably well done:


2 members like this: robcfg, Walker
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
If nobody else volunteers I will probably try the povided rom dumps from that guy and try to adapt the existing portfolio device to that prototype, sadly there is not a lot of software for it as it never came to market.

It also seems to miss the expansion port, not sure what they planned as alternative inside
(someone mentioned pcmcia, but on a system without protected mode that would not make a lot of sense to me, though i am not too deep into the specs if this capability would have been mandatory to pcmcia)


Amazing Demo you found

I downloaded and checked its compatibility with Mame 0.246

plus:
gfx part works

minus
missing sound completely in mame

i noticed that indeed sound does not seem to be emulated yet in mame, maybe the info from that smfx guy helps to implement something on that front laugh ?

Last edited by Walker; 08/26/22 09:28 PM.
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by R. Belmont
There's a recent demoscene production for the Portfolio that's reasonably well done:

Very cool !

I added the conversion here :
https://github.com/FollyMaddy/creat...main/legal_conversions/demos/nucleus.rom

[Linked Image from raw.githubusercontent.com]

Last edited by Folly; 08/26/22 08:58 PM.
1 member likes this: Walker
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by Walker
If nobody else volunteers I will probably try the provided rom dumps from that guy and try to adapt the existing portfolio device to that prototype, sadly there is not a lot of software for it as it never came to market.

Would be great if you could make that possible.

Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
With converting the nucleus demo I discovered that my script needed to be able to add multiple commands to the autoexec.bat.

cd nucleus
n

So I did an update :
https://github.com/FollyMaddy/creat...af36ab4f4b9de7e4f7ea1b543b1c6825d5061c19
https://github.com/FollyMaddy/creat...e41f40ab1eb9ca6b1e8bf01d8de027fe97f84d97

This can now be done by separating the commands with \\n.
For example : cd <subdirectory>\\n<program>.

I added my mame artwork file too :
https://github.com/FollyMaddy/creat...268cd11e158f5dba5765076277a14917a9e33271

Last edited by Folly; 08/27/22 07:46 AM.
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
F
Folly Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
F
Joined: Aug 2021
Posts: 19
Likes: 1
Originally Posted by Walker
If nobody else volunteers I will probably try the provided rom dumps from that guy and try to adapt the existing portfolio device to that prototype, sadly there is not a lot of software for it as it never came to market.

To be more specific :
Is it fair to say you want the regular pofo driver to be able to emulate the regular "pofo" and the "pofo2proto" ?
So the "pofo2proto" entry becomes a clone that makes use of the regular pofo driver, right ?
If so, that would be a good plan to start with as you would improve the regular driver along with pofo2proto support.

Last edited by Folly; 08/27/22 04:52 PM.
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 33
Likes: 3
Yes this would be the direction, but first I still hve to sort some other stuff around here.

At least I got further on the parallel interface side - not yet with the cheap usb ones but with usb2lpt from
USB2LPT Homepage

(the hardware can be bought ready built from some companies).

The driver offers easy to use ioctls in windows, and i am currently rewriting the transfolio file transfer program
into a python script to be able to easily transfer stuff from and to the portfolio.

Might also be interesting to enhance the mame hpc101 parallel port device to support usb2lpt before I step into the portfolio 2 stuff (- would this be an acceptible path or is it of no merit I wonder?)

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,397
Likes: 113
Very Senior Member
Online Content
Very Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 2,397
Likes: 113
Originally Posted by Walker
Might also be interesting to enhance the mame hpc101 parallel port device to support usb2lpt before I step into the portfolio 2 stuff (- would this be an acceptible path or is it of no merit I wonder?)
It wouldn’t work well – MAME only synchronises with the wall clock once every video frame.

Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 325
Likes: 23
Senior Member
Online Content
Senior Member
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 325
Likes: 23
Originally Posted by Walker
If nobody else volunteers I will probably try the povided rom dumps from that guy and try to adapt the existing portfolio device to that prototype, sadly there is not a lot of software for it as it never came to market.
I briefly looked at this a few weeks ago, the ROMs do run in the pofo driver but the video output is completely different so nothing is displayed.

The main task would be to emulate the 82C425 device, replacing the HD61830 used in pofo. The 82C425 looks functionally similar to the 6845, with extensions, so using the current mc6845.cpp as a template would be a good starting point.

If no-one indicates they're working on this in the next couple of weeks then I may look at it myself.


BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.
2 members like this: Folly, Walker
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Who's Online Now
1 members (robcfg), 20 guests, and 3 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
ShoutChat
Comment Guidelines: Do post respectful and insightful comments. Don't flame, hate, spam.
Forum Statistics
Forums9
Topics9,112
Posts119,407
Members5,024
Most Online890
Jan 17th, 2020
Our Sponsor
These forums are sponsored by Superior Solitaire, an ad-free card game collection for macOS and iOS. Download it today!

Superior Solitaire
Forum hosted by www.retrogamesformac.com