ADFFS on A5000

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hubersn
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:02 pm

ADFFS on A5000

Post by hubersn » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 pm

Hi,

I recently put together an A5000 for a retro meeting in the city I live, and also put ADFFS (2.72, but there was also the very old 2.09 already there) onto the harddrive without being able to test it before the meeting.

The A5000 is a plain old RISC OS 3.10 machine with Simtec IDE, Morley SCSI and i-cubed EtherH. UniBoot with nested WIMP is also installed, to be able to show WWW access with !Browse. An interesting experience :-)

Anyway, I had a lot of crashes involving ADFFS during the day. Is there a known incompatibility with any module I might have loaded (like the ones for the IDE, SCSI, Ethernet, nested WIMP, toolbox, SparkFS)? It looked like a "clean boot" without the whole UniBoot stuff before starting ADFFS made things a bit better. Problems I remember were fatal crashes on startup on Lotus Turbo Challenge and Populous, and a fatal crash on attempting to change the disc with E-Type. Should all of this work just fine with 2.72? If yes, I will do a more systematic retest at least with the games I know well.

And another question...being on a RISC OS 3.1 machine with good old ARM3, is it still necessary/advisable to use the "boot floppy" feature, or should plain old startup like I did when I used the games directly from floppy back in 1992 suffice? I mean, for true RISC OS 3.1 compatible games - I know that there are those like Zarch from RISC OS 2 times and those that fumble with the CMOS and stuff that could profit from "boot floppy".

Have fun
hubersn

JonAbbott
Posts: 2257
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: ADFFS on A5000

Post by JonAbbott » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:54 am

hubersn wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 pm
I had a lot of crashes involving ADFFS during the day. Is there a known incompatibility with any module I might have loaded (like the ones for the IDE, SCSI, Ethernet, nested WIMP, toolbox, SparkFS)? It looked like a "clean boot" without the whole UniBoot stuff before starting ADFFS made things a bit better. Problems I remember were fatal crashes on startup on Lotus Turbo Challenge and Populous, and a fatal crash on attempting to change the disc with E-Type. Should all of this work just fine with 2.72?
To answer your question, yes it obviously should work.

Very little testing was done on RISC OS 3.11, I don't think any of the 3.11 testers opted to take part in the testing, or if they did, they didn't provide any feedback. I did some cursory tests to ensure ADFFS loaded, floppy images could be mounted, discs swapped and booted, but not a wide test as was done for the Raspberry Pi. It wouldn't surprise me if there's a bug somewhere. I'll test Lotus Turbo Challenge and E-Type over the weekend to see if I can reproduce your issues.
hubersn wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:35 pm
being on a RISC OS 3.1 machine with good old ARM3, is it still necessary/advisable to use the "boot floppy" feature
Your call really, if you know the game is 3.11 compatible you could run them directly. The boot scripts have some advantages, such as allocating memory, fixing known bugs/issues, stripping manual based protection, frame rate correction and prevent the games messing with your Modules/CMOS.

hubersn
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:02 pm

Re: ADFFS on A5000

Post by hubersn » Fri Mar 15, 2019 12:26 pm

JonAbbott wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:54 am
Very little testing was done on RISC OS 3.11, I don't think any of the 3.11 testers opted to take part in the testing, or if they did, they didn't provide any feedback. I did some cursory tests to ensure ADFFS loaded, floppy images could be mounted, discs swapped and booted, but not a wide test as was done for the Raspberry Pi. It wouldn't surprise me if there's a bug somewhere. I'll test Lotus Turbo Challenge and E-Type over the weekend to see if I can reproduce your issues.
OK, I'll try to do some testing in the near future on my A5000/RO3.10 setup. Probably mostly the games I know well to be able to provide qualified feedback (Zarch, Conqueror, E-Type, Sensible Soccer, Spheres of Chaos, Lemmings, Stunt Racer 2000, Star Fighter 3000, Aldebaran).

My last venture into ADFFS territory was trying to find out if ADFFS is a viable solution for the MIST Archimedes core, but that turned out to be a far too instable platform (the ARM CPU core seems to be rather non-perfect). Not well-invested time unfortunately.

Thanks
hubersn

JonAbbott
Posts: 2257
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: ADFFS on A5000

Post by JonAbbott » Fri Mar 15, 2019 11:15 pm

I've tested Populous, Lotus Turbo Challenge and E-Type under Red Squirrel with UniBoot2; Populous and E-Type worked without issue. Lotus Turbo Challenge does randomly crash and does the same thing with the latest system resources from ROOL.

I also tested Lotus Turbo Challenge with ADFFS 2.64, with no !Boot, via Boot Floppy and by running directly and various combinations of them. In all cases, it randomly crashed so its possible there's a stack corruption issue in the game itself that's timing related. I did fix a stack corruption bug in the boot script when it's run under RISC OS 5, but didn't apply the fix under RISC OS 3.11, so I know there are issues in its code which may need fixing.

JonAbbott
Posts: 2257
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:13 pm
Location: Essex

Re: ADFFS on A5000

Post by JonAbbott » Sat Mar 16, 2019 11:06 am

Have now tested Lotus Turbo Challenge on physical and although it didn't crash, it's doesn't work correctly on a modern monitor. The palette swap was obviously in the wrong place and the audio isn't correct when in a level. As the audio was wrong with both the original MusicMod and QTM/MusicMod shim the issue will be down to the game turning off IRQ/FIQ for too long.

The crashes under emulation will almost certainly be due to IRQ re-entrancy as the palette swap position fluctuates wildly. Under Arculator there were no crashes with or without ADFFS, the only issue being the position in which the palette swap happens was incorrect.

hubersn
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:02 pm

Re: ADFFS on A5000

Post by hubersn » Mon Mar 18, 2019 4:28 pm

Hi Jon, thanks for your efforts. I'll try to do a more precise and systematic test of the various games soon. At the moment, I am rescuing a few Risc PCs from battery leakage, that's eating my whole retro time budget for the next two or three weeks :-(

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