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RaZ

Compact flash adapter

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RaZ    0

Cartridges are expensive, have low storage ability and are a pain on the neck to produce...

 

JagCDS are rare, slow and a pain on the neck to burn (crypt)...

 

 

 

So the Jagware team, because we are beautiful tall and intelligent, used their top brains (clustered hamsters) and present you the Compact flash adapter. These high capacity storage cards (from 64MB to 8GB) are cheap and available everywhere.

 

 

 

As this adapter is a Jagware team production (SCPCD on the technical side, Fredifredo on the documentation side, all the others on the "Wow, you're the best !" side), and considering all the advantages it offers, most of our future development will be using it.

 

 

 

And here are the photos of the prototype :

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atariowl    0

This looks EXTREMELY interesting.

 

 

 

A couple of points spring to mind:

 

 

 

1 - How do we act against piracy?

 

2 - My experience with compact flash cards and cameras has not been good, how can we ensure against frequent failures?

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SCPCD    0
atariowl :


1 - How do we act against piracy?



The CF card as an integreted protected system which use an password of 32 bytes.

If you don't give the good password, it's impossible to read data after each power on.

We will made also an encryption algorithm to generate the password and to crypt datas.



Citation


2 - My experience with compact flash cards and cameras has not been good, how can we ensure against frequent failures?



I think because CF is a Flash system. So you have about 100000 times write cycle for very best card (bad card is 10000) and so the CF is better for past used as data read or stockage.

With 2 weeks reads/writes tests we have no reads/writes failures.

Maybe also because we use cash on the board for each directions to safe the correct timing.

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GT Turbo    4
atariowl :


- How do we act against piracy?





We have one or two ideas about that.



GT Turbo ;)

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atariowl    0

1 - Piracy

 

 

 

Good this sounds like a very promising approach. :)

 

 

 

 

 

2 - Reliablity

 

 

 

I look to see more evidence of this, my own experience has been bad, but that was frequent writes due to taking pictures.

 

I would like to see what it is like if we just read.

 

 

 

All in all, very VERY good work guys.

 

 

 

i'm excited about this project

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Starcat    0

Hi folks!

 

 

 

This this really awesome news!

 

I can't wait until this is finished. It could become the future of the Jaguar.

 

About the piracy problem I had an idea and posted to the Atariage thread already.

 

 

 

Here is basically what I wrote over there...

 

Citation

 

"Hey! There was just one thing that came to my mind about piracy protection.

 

 

 

If it's possible to protect a CF that it can't be read or written on PC, one way might be to manually enter a password on the Jaguar to make the CF readable.

 

 

 

But that means the user knows that password and can always read it on PC as well. So piracy is still a problem.

 

 

 

BUT, what if there was a Jaguar program that generated a key and "locked" the CF. I mean a Jag program that writes onto a CF a password that it generated and that it considers valid. On PC you can't read it, because you do not know that password.

 

 

 

So if this was actually possible, publishing could be like this:

 

-Developing your program.

 

-Writing it to the CF.

 

-Inserting it into the CF cart on the Jag

 

-Starting the tools on the Jag (the stuff I am just imagining at this point)

 

The Jaguar would then create a password that it considers valid and lock that cart for any device that doesn't create the same password. Of course the way the password is generated should be kept private, otherwise this whole idea won't work.

 

 

 

Another option of that tool would have to be formating the CF though. (because if something goes wrong, you don't want to throw away the CF, if you can format it entirely, it will be as new)

 

 

 

And everytime you boot up the CF in the Jag CF cart, the boot rom could do a check, see if the CF is valid and run it. Of course it could also run ones that are not protected.

 

The important thing would just be that a user can not read the data off it on PC.

 

Only choice is, to use it on the Jag or to format it. (Which he certainly shouldn't do. But I don't think anybody would do that accidently)

 

 

 

I hope any of this makes sense... Keep in mind that I never used password protected CF, so if what I wrote is not possible, then please correct me."

 

 

 

 

Actually it could even be very useful for Eerievale. Because I could imagine that the filesystem and access times would make many things so much easier and better and also faster.

 

 

 

Keep up the great work.

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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Starcat    0

No Problem!

 

I'm always glad if I can help. :D

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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Starcat    0

Hi!

 

 

 

Good point. But then again we could just as well "stream" the data of the CF...

 

Any access is definately faster than from CD I could imagine. The only problem in that case could be the bandwidth. But only tests could answer that question.

 

 

 

Also I think a very important aspect to make this CF adapter a success, would be the price.

 

Because the more people have to pay for it, the harder it will be to make clear to them why they should get one.

 

 

 

It's always hard to establish a new medium I think. Because on one side you need software that uses it, or many people won't be interested. On the other side you need a userbase already, or developers might wonder if it's worth to make games that use this technology.

 

 

 

Of course software has to be there first in this case I guess, so the developers have to "risk" supporting the CF adapter without knowing how big the user base will be.

 

But if the price is good, it's easier to imagine that people will buy it.

 

 

 

Good software can make people buy the CF adapter, but for example many people don't have a JagCD either, because they think it's not worth the money, even though it has a few of the best Jag games.

 

 

 

Can you tell me how much building the prototype for example costed? (just material costs) So maybe I could get a general idea of what a finished version might cost?

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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SCPCD    0

Hi !

 

 

 

I'm making modifications to the CF adaptator to made a bigger bandwidth.

 

So I could tell you that with these modifications the CD is the past ! :D

 

 

 

I couldn't say why now but more informations will arrive when these works.

 

 

 

I couldn't say the real price of the prototype because of these modifications, but I could say that the price will be very lower than a CD player.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

SCPCD.

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Starcat    0

Hi!

 

 

 

One thing that just came to my mind was, as the JagCD passes its data directly to the DSP (if I got that right) and does not hog the main bus, would there be a way of doing this with the CF adapter too?

 

 

 

Or maybe make it optional somehow? so that you can use the main bus to speed up access, but you could also use the same way of the JagCD? That might be cool, because depending on your needs you could choose which access is better for you.

 

 

 

But of course this is just a theoretical idea. No idea if it's possible.

 

 

 

Just out of curiosity, can you tell any details on how you want to increase the bandwidth of the CF adapter?

 

 

 

Also, can you estimate how long it might still take until the CF adapter is finished?

 

Do you think it will still be this year?

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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SCPCD    0

Hi !

 

 

 

The feature to send data directly to the DSP will be available.

 

I have questions :

 

- the WS signal from Jerry, Is it controled by Jerry when Jerry send/received data from the CD player ? or by the CD player ?

 

I know that the SCK signal is controled by the CD player (see in audio sample source)

 

- Is the CD player tristates the EINT0, SCK, WS, RXD when the CD player is not used (cartridge in his socket) ?

 

Could these signals tristates in software separately ?

 

 

 

To increase the bandwidth of the CF, I'm making a CF controller directly in the FPGA (which replace the actual CPLD) so I could use it as a 32bits cache to send data at the theorically speed of 4Mo/s of the bandwidth of the Expansion connector.

 

Instead of controlled by the Jag as actually and the actual 16bit connection.

 

 

 

For the protection, I will make the encryption/unlock by the FPGA so nobody could

 

retrieve the encryption process.

 

 

 

I think that the CF will be 100% finished for Christmas !!! ;).

 

 

 

Regards,

 

SCPCD.

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Starcat    0

Hi!

 

 

 

Sorry, I can't help you with your questions as I have never looked much into jag hardware development.

 

I could post your questions to UGD however or if you are a member of UGD you could ask yourself.

 

Tell me what way you prefer it. :)

 

 

 

It's great to hear that the CF adapter will be finished by christmas.

 

Will you also have the routines that are needed to support the adapter in future games finished at that time?

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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SCPCD    0

Hi !

 

 

 

Yes, everything (normaly) will be finished for christmas. (including routines, and samples codes)

 

 

 

I'm not a member of UGD so if you could ask these questions it could help me.

 

 

 

Thanks,

 

SCPCD.

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Starcat    0

Hi!

 

 

 

Here is a first reply from Glenn Bruner who asked around some of his atari contacts, this is what he wrote:

 

"Lars,

 

Looks like my assumption is wrong. Here's what David Schwartz happen to

 

share with what he can recall:

 

 

 

Quote from David Schwartz:

 

As I recall, the Butch chip that Tim designed was the master. Tim should

 

know. I can't remember what happens to those lines when a cart is plugged

 

in. Bear in mind the CD can be used AT THE SAME TIME as a cart, although no

 

games I can think of tried that mode.

 

 

 

The question regarding the tri-state might be answered through research into

 

the I2S bus specifications. I would imagine that the Butch and other parts

 

of the Jaguar would adhere to that specification.

 

 

 

I'll let you know if Tim Dunn responds. I don't know if I'll get a reply."

 

 

 

So I don't know if he will get more info, but when more about this is posted on UGD, I'll forward it to this forum.

 

 

 

Hope that helps. :)

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SCPCD    0

Hi !

 

 

 

Thanks for your help.

 

I hope that we will have more informations about those lines.

 

It will be great if we could chose between CF serial data or the CD serial data when the CF reader will be connect to the CD player B)

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

 

SCPCD.

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Starcat    0

Hi!

 

 

 

You are welcome. If I can do anything to help you, like testing or whatever.

 

I'd be glad to help out at some point and I'll support your idea if I can.

 

 

 

I asked around some other developers and the opinions on the CF are split.

 

Some don't see the advantages of it (yet), which I personally can not understand.

 

Others want to wait to see it finished and relased, before commenting on it.

 

And a few, like myself, can't wait to see it finished.

 

 

 

I have always been upset about the high JagCD prices and its quality and the way development is done for it, but there was hardly a different option before. Carts were too small and too expensive.

 

So for me this CF idea is exactly what I have been waiting for.

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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Starcat    0

Hi !

 

 

 

Another thing that just popped into my mind are the chances to get new developers interested in Jag dev using the CF adapter...

 

 

 

I have had people mailing me in the past who wanted to code the Jag, but didn't want to spend much money just to try it. Most people consider CD the only medium for new games at the moment (as CF isn't finsihed yet), so somebody who is starting might have to spend like $100 on hardware to get started... (Jag, JagCD, BJL)

 

 

 

So if they don't have to get a JagCD anymore, but can use the CF cart, that would for sure get more people interested.

 

 

 

So in that sense, I got another idea... Why don't you include some kind of boot menu in the boot rom of the CF adapter, that lets people start a BJL uploader?

 

I think that would be great and it's not too difficult to do either.

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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SCPCD    0

Hi !

 

 

 

I have found informations about those lines in reading CDBOOT code and Jerry netlists files :

 

 

 

SCPCD :

 

- the WS signal from Jerry, Is it controled by Jerry when Jerry send/received data from the CD player ? or by the CD player ?

 

 

When the i2sen bit (bit 0 of SMODE) is set to 0, the SCK and WS lines are inputs. (see jerry I2S netlist)

 

When Jerry is used to received data from the CD player, SMODE is initialised to $14 (see asamp code).

 

So, with this settings, i2sen is cleared and the SCK and WS lines from Butch are used for the 16bits input mode (left/right).

 

Citation

 

- Is the CD player tristates the EINT0, SCK, WS, RXD when the CD player is not used (cartridge in his socket) ?

 

Could these signals tristates in software separately ?

 

 

Is it possible to enable/disable those lines with the use of butch registers :

 

 

; Butch's hardware registers

 

;

 

;

 

BUTCH equ $DFFF00 ;base of Butch=interrupt control register, R/W

 

;

 

; When written (Long):

 

;

 

 

 

; bit0 - set to enable interrupts

 

 

-> this bit enable/disable EINT0 output

 

[code]

 

; bit1 - enable CD data FIFO half full interrupt

 

; bit2 - enable CD subcode frame-time interrupt (@ 2x spped = 7ms.)

 

; bit3 - enable pre-set subcode time-match found interrupt

 

; bit4 - CD module command transmit buffer empty interrupt

 

; bit5 - CD module command receive buffer full

 

; bit6 - CIRC failure interrupt

 

;

 

; bit7-31 reserved, set to 0

 

;

 

;

 

; When read (Long):

 

;

 

; bit0-8 reserved

 

;

 

; bit9 - CD data FIFO half-full flag pending

 

; bit10 - Frame pending

 

; bit11 - Subcode data pending

 

; bit12 - Command to CD drive pending (trans buffer empty if 1)

 

; bit13 - Response from CD drive pending (rec buffer full if 1)

 

; bit14 - CD uncorrectable data error pending

 

;

 

;

 

; Offsets from BUTCH

 

;

 

DSCNTRL equ 4 ; DSA control register, R/W

 

DS_DATA equ $A ; DSA TX/RX data, R/W

 

;

 

;

 

;

 

I2CNTRL equ $10 ; i2s bus control register, R/W

 

;

 

; When read:

 

;

 

; b0 - I2S data from drive is ON if 1

 

; b1 - I2S path to Jerry is ON if 1

 

 

-> it seems that the bit1 enable/disable the I2S output of butch to the I2S input of Jerry.

 

[code]

 

; b2 - reserved

 

; b3 - host bus width is 16 if 1, else 32

 

; b4 - FIFO state is not empty if 1

 

;

 

;

 

;

 

;

 

SBCNTRL equ $14 ; CD subcode control register, R/W

 

SUBDATA equ $18 ; Subcode data register A

 

SUBDATB equ $1C ; Subcode data register B

 

SB_TIME equ $20 ; Subcode time and compare enable (D24)

 

FIFODAT equ $24 ; i2s FIFO data

 

I2SDAT2 equ $28 ; i2s FIFO data (old)

 

 

And I think that, as it is mentioned in your previous post, those lines are tristates when are disable.

 

 

 

 

 

Starcat

 

Why don't you include some kind of boot menu in the boot rom of the CF adapter, that lets people start a BJL uploader

 

 

Is it scheduled to have a BJL compatible uploader to upload datas to the CF or just to the DRAM because all ATARI have not CF reader and the uploader could give the possibility to add levels to an encrypt CF B) for example.

 

 

 

Regards,

 

SCPCD.

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Starcat    0

Hi!

 

 

 

Yes, an option to add data to a CF after encrypting it would be cool, for example to add levels or own graphics or so. Just like allowing games to write to the CF as well for saving for example.

 

But not sure how exactly this could be done while still using an encryption.

 

 

 

About an upload, it would be cool to have one that can load to RAM such as BJL as well as the CF card.

 

 

 

Regards, Lars.

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SCPCD    0

Here the JagCF v2 !!!

 

[thumb=datas/thumbs/1-cfv2.jpg]1-cfv2.jpg[/thumb]

 

Click on thumbnail to display full size photo.

 

 

 

More informations soon :)

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Starcat    0

Great to see the new proto!

 

I can't wait to heat more about it :)

 

 

 

Keep up the great work!

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