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Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-08-2013

The following posts will contain information about each beta revision. If you see <pending release> at the top of the last post, it means that the beta has not yet been released. I will use the forum to note the changes as they occur, kind of a notebook.

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Beta 0.40 adds the ability to read .scp flux images in the analyzer with the same controls you would have with a real disk. You can not write an image back after changing it, and I don't know if I will allow that because people might do things they shouldn't - like share modified image files that don't work deliberately. You can change the flux data and see how it affects the MFM or GCR conversion.

Next on the list of things to do is to allow the copier to use the .scp flux images. After that, I will make the copier allow the selection of flux image > g64 image. This way, those that are collecting flux images can convert them to g64 format and use them in emulators whenever they want to. You won't need the SuperCard Pro to do this, so everyone is welcome to use this feature.

I will be adding a slew of disk image formats to the copier. So, you will be able to convert to .dms, .adf, .dkm, .st, etc.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-12-2013

Beta 0.41 adds the ability to change the Density select line in the analyzer. Drives like the FD-55GFR can be told to read at 300RPMs or 360RPMs. Using a slower drive speed gives you much more accurate reading and writing.

Changed the menu from Settings to Drive Settings, adding the Density selection and added control for the Flip-It mod. WARNING! This uses PIN33, so if you enable this with a No-Flip (flippy) modded drive, it will mess up the Track 0 sensing... so, don't use it unless you have the Flip-It mod installed.

Lots of little clean up and changes throughout as well.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-17-2013

Beta 0.42 has a re-write of the analyzer's info window and internal handling. This was done to setup a matrix system so the ability to highlight a section of data could be added. You can either left-click-drag to highlight data or press and hold SHIFT while moving the various cursor keys, page up, page down, clear, home, etc. To deselect the highlighted area, press the ESCape key or double-click the left mouse button. The highlighted data will be used in a future release to select data to delete, move, bitshift, decode, etc.

Other internal cleanups were done to the display. No changes to the copier code were made.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-19-2013

Beta 0.43 has a re-write of the GCR data separator code. After spending some time with a logic analyzer at the various density levels I was able to make an exact duplicate of how the state machine works in the 325572-01 ASIC (without letting the expired timer fill the bit position). This info will come in handy when writing that portion of the 1541 emulation for the SCP. Weakbits are handled correctly and g64 images are generated exactly (as long as the flux data is valid from the drive). I may change this code so that adjacent weakbytes are changed to zeros instead of the actual data. WinVICE and other emulations generally want 0x00 for a weakbyte. The current code returns data exactly as the 1541-II and the 1571 do.

A few misc. cleanups made.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-20-2013

Beta 0.44 changed invalid GCR checking to show all possible invalid values. When 0 bits span between two bytes, the nibbles of each byte are colored to show the invalid value is between bytes.

Made a new option under DRIVE SETTINGS called "Weakbits". This can be set to either Raw or Fixed. Using the Raw setting will not alter the GCR decoding. Using the Fixed setting (default mode) will correct weakbits so that it works with WinVICE. WinVICE's data separator does not handle weak bits properly. It expects at least one full nibble to be 0's for a weak bit to be on an even frame boundry, and appears that in some cases (depending on the g64 image's framing) needs the entire byte to be 00 in order for it to generate a random byte when encountering a weak bit.

Fixed issue with G64 and MNIB image files have flux start/end data if a real disk was read before hand. Other small clean ups.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-23-2013

Beta .45 has a few more tweaks to the weakbit 'fix' routine. Keep in mind that if your drive does not return invalid flux transitions back when weakbits are read that you will not be able to reliably copy weakbit protections or convert them to image files. This is a fault of the drive controller hardware. It is known that the Panasonic 475-5 drives DO NOT return invalid flux transitions properly. So, those drives should be avoided. The -3 and -4 drives seem to work very well. Mindscape weakbits, Rapidlok weakbits, and a few other weakbit protections all are duplicated fine and also work for the g64 conversion - when your drive returns what is necessary.

I will be providing a .scp flux image file that you can write to a disk and use with the drive compatibility tester that I am building into a future version of the SCP software.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-24-2013

Beta .46 fixes a problem when weakbits are decoded with adjacent valid data.

After creating either a flux image or g64 of Mindscape weakbits protected games, load the image in the analyzer and look at track 1. You should see some blue (invalid) GCR bytes. Typically, there is several 00 bytes. If you see only a single blue byte that is not 00, then you will have to repeat the image process again until you do get the proper weakbit data. Unfortunately, that is the nature of weakbits with PC drives. Do NOT use any of the Panasonic -5 drives as those never seem to return any weakbit information ever.... but using the technique described above, you can always check your image to see if the valid data is there. Once the data is there for a flux image, all copies to disk or conversions to g64 will always work.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-24-2013

Beta .47 adds config file support. The file is stored in the same folder as the SCP.exe program. The file has the following options:

[Configuration]
Function=0
Language=English
AutoUpdate=True
DriveTPI=96
IndexSensor=False
Density=0
BacksideControl=0
WeakbitsFix=False
SaveWindows=False

[Analyzer]
AnalyzerTop=-1
AnalyzerLeft=-1
FluxDisplayTop=-1
FluxDisplayLeft=-1

[Copier]
CopierTop=-1
CopierLeft=-1


If you change the Windows position values from -1 to any positive value AND the SaveWindows=True, then that position will be the window's position. You can set the SaveWindows variable by using the pull-down menu and checking/unchecking Save Window Positions, located in the Config pull-down.

There is a new auto-update option. If you select (check) Auto-Update the program will automatically check the server for a new version and inform you if one exists. If no new version exists then there is no message. If you choose to update the new version will be installed in place of the old version, with the old version renamed to SCP_x.yz where x.yz is the version number. You can check for an update manually by selecting the "Check for Update" option.

The pull-down menu options are now shared across the copier and analyzer, so all settings are shared. There will be many more config settings stored so that the copier and analyzer can be setup to easily go back and forth between them.

Added About menu and Help menu.

No changes were made to the copier or analyzer.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-26-2013

Beta .48 adds a new config definition "DiskType=", which corresponds to the DiskTypes setting in the analyzer and copier. The currently selected disk type now follows between the analyzer/copier.

Fixed little issues with scroll bar sizes and such.


RE: Latest beta - changes - admin - 11-26-2013

Beta .49 adds error messages for file saving when using SCP.exe in user mode. SCP.exe requires that it be elevated to Administrator mode.

Error messages were also added for the internet connection, in case our server is down for some reason.

Added a new config definition "ImagePath=" which will now store and re-use the path you select when creating disk images.