Ever read the MMC64 docs (http://siliconsonic.de/t/MMC64_english.pdf
) till the end? It says 'DreamLoad for MMC is comming', and guess what? A few days ago I finally started working on it. :)
Today I finished the driver and a small test which loads several files protected by a checksum. If you have a spare minute please follow the 4 steps described in the 'Testing' section of this message and report your results. Thanks!
* General :
DreamLoad is an irq speeder system supporting some drives (1541 and compatibles, 1570, 1571, 1581, cmd fd and cmd hd). It runs on pal/ntsc and has successfully been used in a number of demos and games. The new MMC64 driver allows a release to run on one of the above listed drives and the MMC64 with no modification of the code.
* Technical :
The MMC64 driver should fit in dreamload's general concept of full transparency. The program using the speeder should not need to know the drive type. All drive specific stuff is capsuled in the dreamload driver routines.
The interface to the user routines is based on the standard CBM filesystem with 16 char filenames. The fat16 filesystem used on MultiMedia/SuperDeformed Cards does not fit in there very well. Together with the limitation of the drivercode to 512 bytes a custom archive format was necessary. It is called 'dfi' and is similar to existing disk image formats like 'd64'. Conversion tools will be available somewhere soon.
With the dfi archive containing all the files of a release a starter tool is needed. It is a MMC64 plugin for '*.dfi' files. Example: A game consists of the files 'game+4/drm', 'game docs', 'level1' and 'level2'. In the normal release all files are on a 1541 disk or whatever. A user could run 'game+4/drm', which loads 'level1' and 'level2' when needed. Alternatively he could run 'game docs' which is just a note.
The MMC64 version is one single dfi archive holding all the files. The user starts the MMC64 filebrowser and hits return on the dfi archive. Now the dfi plugin is started. It displays the archive contents and prompts the user for a file to be started. When a file is run, all important information about the dfi archive are passed to the DreamLoad mmc64 driver. Now the MMC64 driver in the 'game+4/drm' binary can access the 'level1' and 'level2' files. The filebrowser can also start 'game docs', though it just shows a note and does not use DreamLoad.
* Status :
+ dload part is working, 'just' some size optimisations needed for the final release
+ the imagetool is in proof-of-concept state, definitely needs more work. only conversions from native filesystem to dfi are possible now.
+ the dfi format is still missing 2 important features and thus subject to change
+ mmc64 dfi plugin already working, but the browser is still missing. it just loads the first directory entry.
* Testing :
Yay, it's working for me! But does that mean anything?
Please help testing this dreamload release. It's easy, just follow these 4 steps:
1) Download the test:
2) Extract the downloaded archive to a memory card. The file 'dfiplgin.bin' must go to the 'system64' directory, 'test.dfi' can go anywhere, e.g. the root directory.
3) Direct your MMC64 filebrowser to the 'test.dfi' file and hit return. After some initial messages this sequence should appear:
The screen will 'go wild' for about 3 secs after each 'TESTING SHUTUP/WAKEUP'. DreamLoad 2.6 users already know this from the 'stresstest' demos. It is part of the test, don't worry.
4) Wait some time. The test is an endless loop, it will run forever until an error occurs, so there is no definite success message. 5 Minutes are enough for a quick report. The test has completed several cycles in this time. Just mail the approximate time the test has run without error, or if an error occured copy the last messages on the screen to the mail.
That's it already, thanks for your help!
* Future :
Tomorrow is the last day of my holidays. I'll try to finish some sort of browser before everyday's madness starts again. Next on the list are a proper image tool, the dfi browser, more 'impressive' demos and tests, and finally a sourcecode release.
Almost forgot, before some smartass jumps to conclusions: No, I don't get any money for this. I'm wasting my youth for this crap! If you feel pity for me, buy me a beer next time you see me. ;)