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PSI/TD0/RAW/SCP/TC -> 86F

Posted at 11:57 on April 6th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by OBattler at 14:27 on April 5th, 2020:
...then I can download the latest HxC source code and write an 86F v2.20 module for it, and then we can try to convince the HxC developer to incorporate it. That way we would then have HxC outputting directly to 86F, bypassing the need for intermediate conversions.


Sure, any patch for improvement or fix is welcome ! :)

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any issue/question with the internal HxC API / buffers.
Posted at 11:58 on April 10th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Do you plan to add a GUI to PCE some time perhaps? We definitely wouldn't mind a more convenient way to mount images.


I have no plans to add a GUI. For me it's just not high on the need-to-have list. Also, there's portability and dependency issues. I try to keep the dependencies to a minimum.

Quote:
Also, how reliable is .TC (Transcopy) output in PSI? Last I checked it was "experimental", what would that signify exactly?


The TC format is proprietary and only partially reverse engineered. This is why it's marked as experimental. For regular images the conversion usually works quite well but things like weak bits, variable data rates and data over the index are not handled.

The TC output in psi predates the pri file format and utility. Nowadays it would be better to use the pri utility to convert PSI images to PRI or TC.
Posted at 13:01 on April 10th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
I have no plans to add a GUI. For me it's just not high on the need-to-have list. Also, there's portability and dependency issues. I try to keep the dependencies to a minimum.


How about a mount command inside the emulator akin to DOSBox at least?
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Posted at 12:56 on April 11th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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There is a executable - pcemsg.com which can mount diskimage inside PCE.

Try this inside PCE running MS-DOS to mount disk2.psi to drive B :

C:\>pcemsg id 1

C:\> pcemsg insert disk2.psi

However, PCE can't mount two or more diskimages at the same time like DOSBox.

For more information, the file messages.txt in PCE's DOC folder may help.
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Edited by coolhaken at 13:03 on April 11th, 2020
Posted at 13:08 on April 11th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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@coolhaken,

Thanks! Didn't know about it.
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Posted at 03:51 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Moebius at 03:36 on April 5th, 2020:

We already have one here and it's constantly being updated.

I have seen that, of course.
But that's just a plain list of the games with key-disk copy protection: it does not tell what kind of protection each of those game has, what disk dump formats are available for them and what emulators do they work with!

Originally posted by coolhaken at 12:56 on April 11th, 2020:

However, PCE can't mount two or more diskimages at the same time like DOSBox.

Yes, that's a pity... Can't run copy-protected milti-disks games there.

Originally posted by hampa at 11:58 on April 10th, 2020:

The TC format is proprietary and only partially reverse engineered. This is why it's marked as experimental. For regular images the conversion usually works quite well but things like weak bits, variable data rates and data over the index are not handled.

The TC output in psi predates the pri file format and utility. Nowadays it would be better to use the pri utility to convert PSI images to PRI or TC.

Well, the PRI utility works fine for me converting TD0 to TC, thanks!
However, the PSI ulitity does not do its job right on vice versa: the TC->TD0 conversion does not work with copy-protected disks. Like with KBI protection involving sectors that span across the index signal. Is it per any chance possible to fix that?
Posted at 10:53 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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@hampa,

One more question: does PSI actually support weak/strong/fuzzy bits? You may have answered it before, but I can't recall it.
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Posted at 11:49 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
How about a mount command inside the emulator akin to DOSBox at least?


There's the pcemsg.com utility already described. I'm about to commit a new pcemnt.com utility that will simplify this a bit.
Posted at 11:52 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Well, the PRI utility works fine for me converting TD0 to TC, thanks!
However, the PSI ulitity does not do its job right on vice versa: the TC->TD0 conversion does not work with copy-protected disks. Like with KBI protection involving sectors that span across the index signal. Is it per any chance possible to fix that?


TC to PSI (or TD0) conversion should also be done with pri. This should work well in general. Like I said before, weak bits and data over the index are not supported for TC images, because I don't know how these are stored in a TC image. Any information about that would be welcome.
Posted at 11:55 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
One more question: does PSI actually support weak/strong/fuzzy bits? You may have answered it before, but I can't recall it.


It does. Every sector in a PSI image can have a weak bit mask to indicate which bits are weak.

When converting a PRI image with weak bits to PSI using the pri utility, these weak bit masks should be set automatically.
Posted at 11:59 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Quote:
However, PCE can't mount two or more diskimages at the same time like DOSBox.

Yes, that's a pity... Can't run copy-protected milti-disks games there.


I don't see the problem. If you fall back to the monitor prompt, you can change as many disk images as you like before continuing.
Posted at 12:40 on April 12th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by hampa at 11:59 on April 12th, 2020:
I don't see the problem. If you fall back to the monitor prompt, you can change as many disk images as you like before continuing.


That's true. But DOSBox's method (press hotkey to swap diskimages) is more convenient. ;)

And in some host machine use SDL (I tried WinXP), things typed in monitor prompt will
also be sent to the emulator. This might be a bug and usually pother me.

Like the case : https://imgur.com/DBldNjg.png
Image
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Edited by coolhaken at 12:41 on April 12th, 2020
Posted at 17:44 on April 16th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Ok, I've tried pcemsg.com and I just keep getting error, error, error. Nothing else. Does this involve some tweaks in pce-ibmpc.cfg too?
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Edited by Moebius at 17:44 on April 16th, 2020
Posted at 12:48 on April 17th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Ok, I've tried pcemsg.com and I just keep getting error, error, error. Nothing else.

What exactly have you tried? The correct command is something like this

Code:
$ pcemsg disk.id 0
$ pcemsg disk.insert myimage.img

The first command sets the drive number. This is remembered, so often this command is not necessary. The second command inserts the disk.

In older versions, the syntax was different:

Code:
$ pcemsg disk.insert 0:myimage.img

Quote:
Does this involve some tweaks in pce-ibmpc.cfg too?

No.
Posted at 14:33 on April 17th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Ok, that worked. I previously tried the syntax provided by coolhaken, but he must've got it wrong or it's obsolete. I also had an older version, which is what you have on your download page, so I had to get a newer one from the snapshots.
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Posted at 13:46 on April 18th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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To clarify, I am using the latest version. (20191006)
The syntax I provided is not obsolete but the newest and the most streamlined.
The keyword "disk." can be omitted.
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Posted at 19:49 on April 18th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Ok, thank you.
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Posted at 08:31 on April 20th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:

The first command sets the drive number. This is remembered, so often this command is not necessary. The second command inserts the disk.

Ah, that works, thanks a lot!
However, only from DOS prompt. How to change the disk, when a game is already running?

Quote:

I don't see the problem. If you fall back to the monitor prompt, you can change as many disk images as you like before continuing.

Well, it seems that I never saw that 'Monitor' :) Probably because I launch PCE via pce-ibmpc.bat. I only get a black window that launches alongside the PCE window and is named as 'C:\Windows\system\cmd.exe'. I see the cursor blinking there, but I can't type anything at the prompt.
A GUI would be much better indeed :D
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Edited by Iurius at 08:33 on April 20th, 2020
Posted at 23:46 on April 20th, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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How to change the disk, when a game is already running?


While the game is running the command CTRL+` will fall user back to the monitor. You will know this as the blinking cursor will now have a hyphen prompt before it. Then you will be able to type commands.

For example, I used PCE to test my copy of Space Quest II (v2.0a).

I prefer to mount images through the monitor so the monitor commands would look like this:

-m insert c:\pce\disk01.psi
-g

(-g returns user to emulator)

Once the game prompts for disk 2 I fall back to monitor and type:

-m eject 0
-m insert c:\pce\disk02.ima
-g

Once returned to emulator it will recognize disk 2.

I like this command to quit the emulator from the monitor:

-q

It is also important to note that PCE can modify the disk image upon ejection much like when installing some copy protected titles to the hard drive, high scores, etc. In this case the message "disk 0: writing back fdc image" may appear. I recommend assigning read-only property to disk images before using eject command.
Posted at 02:36 on April 21st, 2020 | Quote | Edit | Delete | Delete Attachment
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Originally posted by Formulator at 23:46 on April 20th, 2020:

While the game is running the command CTRL+` will fall user back to the monitor.

Thanks! Did not know that :) That 'monitor' / second window thing looks rather complex and unusual for me, after DOSBox.

Do you know how to switch the main PCE emulator window to fullscreen?
And somehow I do not get the correct ratio when making screenshots: I get 640x200 PPM instead of 640x400...

Originally posted by Formulator at 23:46 on April 20th, 2020:

It is also important to note that PCE can modify the disk image upon ejection much like when installing some copy protected titles to the hard drive, high scores, etc. In this case the message "disk 0: writing back fdc image" may appear. I recommend assigning read-only property to disk images before using eject command.

Sure, but the game I currently try to test in PCE with TD0/TC ('Forteresse') needs writing to the disk and won't run on read-only disks.
Attachment: *****
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Edited by Iurius at 02:37 on April 21st, 2020
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