Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Hardware questions and modifications

Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby alanh » Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:57 am

Sure when you are buffering psuedo-full motion video. Not really a typical use case. Why can't you store it on continuous LBAs? Do you need a file-system?
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Tempest » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:12 am

Trixter wrote:
Is there a way to get rid of that annoying pause? Even with my current 32MB partition setup it still takes a bit to calculate the free space when I DIR.

I'm working on a project that will use, legitimately, almost a gig... when that's done in several months, I'll announce it here.


I'm intrigued. Any hints?
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby alanh » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:13 am

Which reminds me, you need to come with us to Assembly in Helsinki this summer in late July/early August. You can debut it there! I'll even pay for your registration. And with splitting of hotel rooms and strengthening dollar, it's not that bad of a trip financially. Finland is a land of drunks and the couple months of Summer is mating/drinking season.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Trixter » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:22 am

My PCjr/jrIDE project is not a video project, although I understand how easy it would be to come to that conclusion :-) And I'm blowing my wad on going to Revision, sorry! But I appreciate the offer. Are you making a demo for Assembly, or going for some other reason?

While I don't have 100% accurate numbers, a rough estimate for all of the software in available archives that is capable of running on the PCjr takes up about 1.1 gig uncompressed. My goal is to load a jrIDE with all of that software, with a usable front-end. The front-end will be light (start quickly, unload completely when running the software) and have a search-as-you-type interface. The end result would be, for all intents and purposes, a "complete" PCjr. Anything you ever wanted to run on the PCjr will be sitting right in front of you. (with the obvious exceptions of software that was never preserved and is lost to history)

The initial scope will be limited to a game archive I contribute to; a limited scope will make my initial development easier.

The jrIDE makes this project possible not merely because it has a large storage device, but also because the access times for a flash device are much lower. An old MFM or SCSI drive can manage about 6-8 I/Os a second, whereas a DOM easily does 20 or more (I think more, but I can't find my benchmark results ATM). If I can build and traverse the indexes properly, search-as-you-type should actually be possible on jrIDE hardware.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Tempest » Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:34 am

Oh wow! I may just wait on loading up my PCjr with new games then. Any ETA on your project?

I just snagged a 2GB DOM. What size should I make the partitions then? What DOS should I use? I was going to look for that Compaq 3.31 version.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Trixter » Fri Feb 27, 2015 12:55 pm

Tempest wrote:Oh wow! I may just wait on loading up my PCjr with new games then. Any ETA on your project?


Months. Don't wait for me, I have other projects too :-)

I just snagged a 2GB DOM. What size should I make the partitions then? What DOS should I use? I was going to look for that Compaq 3.31 version.


Use anything you like; I prefer IBM PC DOS 2000 since a few of the utilities have Y2K-bugfixed dates. I believe Mike reported that 5.0 had the least memory usage of anything 5 and over.

If you want to minimize the initial DIR time, add 8 to whatever power of 2 you were going to use to ensure that DOS will "click over" and use higher cluster sizes, and less of them. Try this test: Make a 500MB partition (slightly under 512), copy a file to it, then time how long a DIR takes with a stopwatch. Then erase it, make a 536MB partition (slightly over 512), and do the same thing. The 536MB partition will be measurably slower, although by how much I couldn't tell you.

My project is mainly something that will take a list of .zip files, build indexes for them (full titles can be contained either in them, or somewhere else), then copy those files into 8.3 filenames to a specified destination along with the index files. Then you copy the entire generated bundle to your oldskool target (anything running a flash drive, not just a jrIDE) and run it from there. .zips will be decompressed to a cache directory on-demand before being run for the first time, and will stay decompressed so that any new files you create (config files, high scores, etc.) will be persistent.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Tempest » Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:29 pm

How is DOS 5's compatibility with games though. I hear 3.3 is best for game compatibility.

Are you going to be at the Midwest Gaming Classic? Someone has a PCjr there every year but I'm not sure who owns it.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Trixter » Fri Feb 27, 2015 7:00 pm

I will most likely not be attending MGC this year as I will have just gotten back from a trip to Germany. The PCjr there is owned by Mike Lee, who helps out with Marty Goldberg's retro museum every year (almost everything set up and out on the floor is playable). I supplied the PCjr games :-)

In terms of game compatibility, I'm sure any DOS 3.2 or higher will work equally well.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Tempest » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:17 pm

Trixter wrote:I will most likely not be attending MGC this year as I will have just gotten back from a trip to Germany. The PCjr there is owned by Mike Lee, who helps out with Marty Goldberg's retro museum every year (almost everything set up and out on the floor is playable). I supplied the PCjr games :-)

In terms of game compatibility, I'm sure any DOS 3.2 or higher will work equally well.


Oh it's Mike's? I never knew that. I have my own stuff in the museum each year (VideoBrain, Arcadia 2001, Astrocade, SV-328, etc.).

So there's no reason not to use DOS 5 then? I assume DOS 6.22 won't work.
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Re: Cheapest DOM for the JrIDE?

Postby Trixter » Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:46 pm

Most DOS versions 4.0 and later work on the PCjr/jrIDE if you patch them. Patching program is at ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/Softwar ... TCHDOS.ZIP based on the fix Mike Brutman created.
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