ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Any discussions related to the creation of new hardware or software for the ZX80 or ZX81
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PokeMon
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by PokeMon » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:14 pm

I will check soon. Most of the software is ported from ZXmore but behave different. Due to many time delays I wanted to have the first release quite quickly and as you can guess lack of time is the best fried of bugs. ;) I am sure I can get this thing round in the next release - want to have enough time to test all functions and avoided publishing a new release not tested well.

This is the reason why the bug with the wrong plausibility check is still present in current software but did popup myself quite earlier. But don't wanted to deliver something with an intermediate release and maybe other side effects. I guess that the RTC problems may occur when a) entering an invalid date (like 1F for example) and let the clock run into the next day change. As there is not too much logic inside this can have different side effects. I entered wrong date many times and was able to correct these wrong date but never let it run this way into the next day. Maybe this is causing problems and confuses the RTC chip totally. Just a guess - not tested now.

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gammaray
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by gammaray » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:17 pm

Just got mine in the mail!

If you don't have problems, you can't learn anything!

Now if I can get a S'MORE (ZXMORE)...OR is the 'Blast and a ZX a close runner up?
Finish what you start. Truth is over the mountaintop or six feet under.
4 x TS1000, 2 x TS1500 , 2 x timex 2040 printer, 1/2 x timex 2020 cassette deck, ZXPAND, ZeddyNET, ZXBlast..., unfinished Spectrum...

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msellan
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by msellan » Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:14 am

Yay! I just got mine too. And it definitely lives up to its name - it is a Blast to use. I love it. I wasn't originally planning to buy the 512k one but that's what was available. But having the ability to run many instances is amazing. I'm really glad I got the 512k one afterall. Thanks Karl for such a great little peripheral! :D
3 ZX80s (1 UK issue 2, 1 US issue 2 & 1 US issue 1), 5 ZX81s, 1 TS1000, 2 Memotech 16k RAM,
2 ZX81 16k RAM, 2 TS 16k RAM, 1 ZX81 unbuilt kit, 1 TS2040 printer, 2+ ZX8-CCB and counting

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by PokeMon » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:13 am

The update V1.1 is nearly ready - try to solve now some bugs reported here but does already support a better file handling, subdirectories and a rude file manager which is showing directory contents and let pick files with moving cursor. So at this weekend it could be published here.

Zxkim81
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by Zxkim81 » Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:53 am

Hi all
I just ordered my zxblast and i can't wait......
No more tape deck flash drive makes an appearance......... Yeeeeppiiieee

Thanks Pokémon

Thank you very much
Kim

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blittled
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by blittled » Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:58 pm

Thanks Karl for all your hard work. I'm looking forward to the file manager! I keep forgetting the filenames on my USB stick. The ZXBlast has better memory than my own :D
2X Timex Sinclair 1000, ZX81, ZX80Core, 5X 16K Ram Pack, ZXBlast, ZX P file to Ear Input Signal Converter, Elf II

wilco2009
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by wilco2009 » Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:10 pm

PokeMon wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:13 am
The update V1.1 is nearly ready - try to solve now some bugs reported here but does already support a better file handling, subdirectories and a rude file manager which is showing directory contents and let pick files with moving cursor. So at this weekend it could be published here.
Great!! I'm waiting for it. :D

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PokeMon
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by PokeMon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:32 am

PokeMon wrote:
Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:13 am
The update V1.1 is nearly ready ... this weekend it could be published here.
Well better to write a conditional clause in my sentences. ;)
So as I am off now for a week and back mid of next week again, I will not publish the release 1.1 now as I find still some bugs when trying this and that and I am not 100% sure that this will be nearly free of bugs. But it is not far now, I think one or two more days needed to get it stable. My feeling now is not to force it out just to keep a date.

So I will post some screenshots as you can see what you can expect around eastern to have. The filemanager did make good progress and I have more features or ideas for a second release but this will come much later. It is now as it is and I tried to keep it quite fast, simple to use and with much freedom for users. In the later release there will be in future a switch between additional information (date/time/size), different sort options (now unsorted) and an auto-complete feature when typing like Google does (optional).

But lets talk about now (or next week).

First it displays information about your flash media like it's name (used with label command) and size. This should help to identify your stick if you have more looking same and to see if the stick is recognized in general. Only MBR formatted flash media can be read, GPT formatted sticks must be changed to MBR (whenever you have a problem recognizing USB flash media sticks).
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You can either enter a filename manually (like in 0.9) or use the file browser bei hitting NEWLINE, to see what is on the stick. This comes now as it is found on the disk unsorted. To get a sort order you could do it on your pc while copying you files into an empty directory, quick formatting the stick and copy it back after (while having your pc directory sorted before starting copy). To have fast access during testing (LOAD/SAVE) it is comfortable to use just single letter filenames like A,B,C,0,1,2, and so on to reduce required keystrokes using load or save.
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You can move through directory listing with SHIFT-6 and SHIFT-7 (up and down, will move to left or right column when first/last line reached) or page-like with SHIFT-5 and SHIFT-8 (page back and forth). NEWLINE will pick that file while SHIFT-1 will leave the file manager without loading (or saving) anything. SHIFT-1 is a definition for an ESC like key. Directories found are marked with <..>.
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PokeMon
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by PokeMon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:51 am

When a file/directory is selected with NEWLINE, it can be still edited in the input line. It is just copied here and you may change extension or add additional parameter or copy it to a similar but changed name while changing the last letters. You can also enter address to load, specific size if no full load is desired and other parameters. When hitting a second NEWLINE, it will load, either the previous picked file or your changes if made.
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You can also use subdirectories and there are different ways to use. Whenever you enter a / (slash) at the end of the input, it is interpreted as a directory and will change to this directory. It is possible to change deeper step by step like TEST/ and then TST/ or directly into a deeper structure in once if known like TEST/OTHER/ZX81/.
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The directory name will be shown near the disk label and will be kept for subsequent access using LOAD or SAVE (DS-L/DS-S) until you change it. It is possible to get one directory level up with ../ or to the root directory with /. You can also use any combinations like ../MAIN/NEW/ if you have them in mind. Subdirectories can be specified absolute and relative. So when changed to directory /TEST/ the file NEW.P in TST/ directory can be loaded with TST/NEW.P or from absolute path /TEST/TST/NEW.P
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PokeMon
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Re: ZXblast - ZX81 memory extension plus USB

Post by PokeMon » Wed Apr 05, 2017 11:57 am

Implementing these rules and storing directory context took me some brain as the USB controller can only change one directory up and down at a time and does not know, where exactly the current directory is. ;)

Listing of a subdirectory:
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Example of relative file load to current subdirectory (../Q):
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These are the main new features plus removing some bugs using the flash loader and real time clock handling like in the previous release 0.9.
Hope to get it out now next week, keep your fingers crossed. ;)
Last edited by PokeMon on Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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