Topic: CPC Romboard - any interest?  (Read 4616 times)

Author Message

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline IanS

  • ZX80
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Kudos 5
    • View Profile
CPC Romboard - any interest?
« on: May 11, 2012, 02:49:08 PM »
I've been planning to produce a romboard for the CPC for ages. I finally got round to producing a prototype. It's based around a 2Mb (512KB, so 16 roms) flash device. It should in theory be writable from the CPC, but I haven't got that bit working yet. It should also be possible to do a 4Mb version.

I plan to bring the prototype to the event tomorrow. Would anyone be interested in one if I decided to produce a pcb? No guarantee on timescales, as I need to get the write support working first.

(yes, the screenshot does show Bomb jack and Chuckie egg in ROM, just type |BJ1 or |EGG to play)

Offline muguk

  • Sarcastic Git plc!
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 3522
  • Kudos 34
  • Gender: Male
  • Mug U.K(tm)
    • View Profile
    • Mike's Word Toolbox
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2012, 03:47:05 PM »
Definitely would be interested in seeing it running :)

Is this like the MegaFlash that's advertised / sold on the CPC Wiki?

Offline IanS

  • ZX80
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Kudos 5
    • View Profile
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2012, 04:05:13 PM »
It's very similar in concept to the MegaFlash, though it has been independantly developed.

The plan is to not need a read/write switch, I plan to use higher rom numbers to enable writing. So 0-15 will be read-only, but 64-79 (D6 set) would be writable.

Is the MegaFlash currently for sale, I couldn't see a obvious way to buy one.

Offline muguk

  • Sarcastic Git plc!
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 3522
  • Kudos 34
  • Gender: Male
  • Mug U.K(tm)
    • View Profile
    • Mike's Word Toolbox
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2012, 04:09:02 PM »
It's very similar in concept to the MegaFlash, though it has been independantly developed.

The plan is to not need a read/write switch, I plan to use higher rom numbers to enable writing. So 0-15 will be read-only, but 64-79 (D6 set) would be writable.

That just comes across as $£%^ %$^Y& $"£%$% to my mind :)   I'm sure it'll make more sense when I see one :)

Is the MegaFlash currently for sale, I couldn't see a obvious way to buy one.

Talk to Bryce :)

Offline AndyRCM

  • >=))))º> GO FEED THE FISH! <º((((=<
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 9675
  • Kudos 50
  • Gender: Male
  • Manic Jet Set Willy
    • View Profile
    • Retro Computer Museum
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2012, 05:09:33 PM »
count me in too mate . . . VERY interested in one for RCM . . . :)

A
"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

Offline IanS

  • ZX80
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Kudos 5
    • View Profile
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 04:32:18 PM »
Well, I got write support working. I had a few issues with timing to get right first.


Offline AndyRCM

  • >=))))º> GO FEED THE FISH! <º((((=<
  • Administrator
  • Amiga 4000
  • ******
  • Posts: 9675
  • Kudos 50
  • Gender: Male
  • Manic Jet Set Willy
    • View Profile
    • Retro Computer Museum
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2012, 04:39:19 PM »
Nice work mate. :)

A
"I could see the faces of those who led pissing themselves laughing" - Funeral Pyre by The Jam

Offline Panther

  • Committee
  • Amiga 4000
  • *
  • Posts: 4180
  • Kudos 35
  • Gender: Male
  • Look at the size of my.......Paws
    • View Profile
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2012, 11:03:51 AM »
Interested, how does this connect to the CPC ?

How many files (games) can it hold etc. etc.

Offline IanS

  • ZX80
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Kudos 5
    • View Profile
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2012, 11:31:10 AM »
The romboard attaches to the expansion connector.

The amstrad had a similar mechanism for extra rom chips as the bbc, they could be up to 16K. It mainly got used for non-game software, utilities, editors etc. (protext, utopia and maxam from Arnor were the ones I always had plugged in).

The Amstrad supported up to 16 (8 on the 464) extra roms, Basic was in Rom 0 and Rom 7 was usually taken by the Disc Operating system. You could have more roms, but only 8(464) or 16(664,6128) would get initialised at startup.

My romboard uses a 256K flash device so it can support 16 roms (0 and 7 are mapped out in the GAL, so only 14 usable).

It was never intended as a mass-storage device, but some people have transferred a few games into ROM, they do little more than unpack themselves into RAM and start executing. Anything bigger than 16K has to be packed, or fit into multiple roms. (I just picked a few from here - http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/ROM_Table)

A romboard to hold the supporting drivers and a SD card to hold the data would be a great solution.

Offline Curlytop

  • ZX80
  • *
  • Posts: 4
  • Kudos 1
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2012, 08:40:58 PM »
Would anybody be interested in a utility to put BASIC programs into ROM? This was developed years ago, originally for one program at a time to (a) be loaded and run from startup (b) prevent the program being modified. The program itself disabled the Break key so it was not possible to use the machine for playing games.

No packing into a single ROM - if the program was too big for one ROM it would generate a file for a second - and a third - ROM, using external commands with funny characters in them to make them private.

I would include the assembler source so if anybody wanted to make changes they could.

Offline IanS

  • ZX80
  • *
  • Posts: 31
  • Kudos 5
    • View Profile
Re: CPC Romboard - any interest?
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2012, 12:39:50 AM »
Would anybody be interested in a utility to put BASIC programs into ROM?

I'd be interested in taking a look at it. Not sure I can think of a use for it these days. Did it do any compression or just split it into 16K chunks (-loader overhead).