New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

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TomD
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New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

With the growing popularity of the excellent vDrive https://vdrivezx.com/vdrivezx/ I've adapted one of my utilities to create Microdrive cartridges from Z80 snapshots. Anybody that has tried to copy tapes to Microdrive is aware of the challenges especially with the later custom loaders and the aim of this utility is to make it as easy as possible to get games onto cartridge, including the ability to create compilations with a nice menu etc...

Currently in beta and 48k snapshot only but if you want to try it out you can using the following link https://tomdalby.com/other/files/Z80onMDR.zip

TomD

Code: Select all

+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Z80onMDR v0.7 (c) 2020 Tom Dalby
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
| Usage: Z80onMDR [global options] snapshot.z80 [snapshot settings]
|
| [global options]
|   -m NAME - specify Microdrive Volume & Output Name, length 10 alphanumeric
|             only. Will truncate if >10 and remove non-alphanumeric chars.
|             This will also be the Menu name in batch.
|             <Default is take name from 1st z80 file>
|   -f      - override estimated size check if showing Microdrive oversize.
|
| [snapshot settings]
|   -n NAME - specify filename, length 10 alphanumeric only.
|             Will truncate if >10 and remove non-alphanumeric chars.
|             <Default is take name from the z80 file>
|   -s FILE - add a custom loading screen. Screen must be in binary .scr format
|             and exactly 6912bytes long.
|             <Default is use screen from Z80 file>
|   -b      - force buffer storage to screen area (with corruption), useful if
|             the game will not work due to the gap actually being used
|
| Batch Mode is activated if more than one z80 snapshot specified, example:
|   Z80onMDR snapshot1.z80 -s screen1.scr snapshot2.z80 Games01
|     which creates an MDR with snapshot 1 & snapshot2, snapshot1 has an
|     alternate loading screen and filename, menu & volume name are Games01
+-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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Retro enthusiast and author of Flynn's Adventure in Bombland, The Order of Mazes & Maze Death Rally-X. Check them out at http://tomdalby.com

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jpnz
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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by jpnz »

Thanks for posting, I can see this being very useful.

I've had a couple of turns with this and can't quite seem to get converted snapshots to run correctly from cartridge.

My last attempt was Manic Miner - Z80 snapshot, resultant MDR and TXT output attached - it's as if the decompression isn't quite right.

One other observation, the BASIC files on the cartridge are hard-coded to load from drive 1.
You could determine which drive is currently active then use this as a variable, e.g.

Code: Select all

LET d=PEEK 23766: LOAD *"m";d;"somefile"
Cheers!
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TomD
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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

jpnz wrote:
Tue Sep 29, 2020 6:16 am
Thanks for posting, I can see this being very useful.

I've had a couple of turns with this and can't quite seem to get converted snapshots to run correctly from cartridge.

My last attempt was Manic Miner - Z80 snapshot, resultant MDR and TXT output attached - it's as if the decompression isn't quite right.

One other observation, the BASIC files on the cartridge are hard-coded to load from drive 1.
You could determine which drive is currently active then use this as a variable, e.g.

Code: Select all

LET d=PEEK 23766: LOAD *"m";d;"somefile"
Cheers!
Thanks, I will look to add that PEEK to make it work with other Drives. Also I've updated the utility and fixed a few bugs, one of the bugs was with v2 z80 snapshots as it was compressing them out of order. This seems to be the issue as I've tried your file with the new version and it works. It does go to basic with a STOP statement but if you type RUN 30 it launches Manic Miner fine. The z80 snapshot does the same.

You can grab the latest version 1.2 using the same link. The new version also now works with 128k snapshots in case you want to plug it into a Toastrack, it also turns off bank switching for 48k snapshots so things like the UPG games work on 128k machines.

TomD
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Retro enthusiast and author of Flynn's Adventure in Bombland, The Order of Mazes & Maze Death Rally-X. Check them out at http://tomdalby.com

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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

Thanks to @jpnz I've now added the PEEK to the basic loaders so you can now run from any Microdrive. Also fixed a small bug and added a new option to move the launcher code around to help with screen corruption.

New version 1.3 can be downloaded using the following link https://tomdalby.com/other/z80onmdr.html

TomD
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Retro enthusiast and author of Flynn's Adventure in Bombland, The Order of Mazes & Maze Death Rally-X. Check them out at http://tomdalby.com

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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by jpnz »

TomD wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:13 pm
Thanks to @jpnz I've now added the PEEK to the basic loaders so you can now run from any Microdrive. Also fixed a small bug and added a new option to move the launcher code around to help with screen corruption.

New version 1.3 can be downloaded using the following link https://tomdalby.com/other/z80onmdr.html

TomD
Great stuff, thanks! Will take a look over the weekend
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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

Have adapted the utility to create OPUS Discovery Disks instead of Microdrives for anybody that wants to try it. Download available using the following link https://tomdalby.com/other/files/Z80onOPD.zip

TomD
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Retro enthusiast and author of Flynn's Adventure in Bombland, The Order of Mazes & Maze Death Rally-X. Check them out at http://tomdalby.com

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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by jpnz »

TomD wrote:
Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:13 pm
Thanks to @jpnz I've now added the PEEK to the basic loaders so you can now run from any Microdrive. Also fixed a small bug and added a new option to move the launcher code around to help with screen corruption.

New version 1.3 can be downloaded using the following link https://tomdalby.com/other/z80onmdr.html

TomD
Tested under emulation, and with a toastrack plus vDrive - works like a charm

Thank you!
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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

Updated OPUS support so it now can create 720kB DSDD disks. Download from the usual link.

TomD
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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

MGT Plus D version also now ready and on the website https://tomdalby.com/other/z80onmdr.html

TomD
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Re: New Utility Z80onMDR - Transfer Z80 snapshot to Microdrive Cartridges

Post by TomD »

I received a couple of requests for a utility to just create the program loader menu I've used in Z80onMDR for transfer to disk, so I've created MenuDSK to do this. It can handle up to 20 menu entries using the mock 128k menu style (shown below). It is wrapped in a basic loader and this can then be output to a variety of disk types (PlusD, OPUS, +3) plus also to tape for easy transfer to real drives.

Image

Download at the usual link https://tomdalby.com/other/z80onmdr.html

TomD
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Retro enthusiast and author of Flynn's Adventure in Bombland, The Order of Mazes & Maze Death Rally-X. Check them out at http://tomdalby.com

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