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Old 25 August 2007, 20:55   #73
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Floppy based transfers with Hombre

Formatting disks:


The first thing you need to do is to prepare a FAT formatted 720kb floppy disk(s). With older versions of Windows (9x) it’s just a case of ticking an option or providing a single switch on the command line. In Windows XP you need to open a Shell by clicking Start>Run, type ‘cmd’ and hit Enter. To format a 720kb disk type format a: /t:80 /n:9 and execute. That’s it. When you intend to use HD disks (High Density, 1,44) remember to tape over the extra hole or you’ll get an error message. To access such floppies on the Amiga you can issue mount fat0: or press F1 (if you’ve got an external drive and want to use that, type fat1: instead of fat0:). In Remote mode it’s 1 followed by ENTER. A new drive called FAT0: will become available. There are some useful aliases for working with such floppies namely ctf, cff. ctf stands for ‘copy to fat0:’ and cff ‘copy from fat0:’. So for example when you want to copy a file over to a PC disk you don’t have to write copy example.file fat0: but simply ctf example.file. cff will copy all the contents of PC disk to RAM:.


There’s no need to format disks when transferring ADFs in parts since then program (TrackTool) that writes them back does it for you. But if you’re not using new and reliable floppies it’s a good idea to format and verify before writing anything to them. You still need to format a disk before transferring a compressed ADF image to it. The same goes for writing directly to floppies using one of the link-up methods. Both Paradise and TransWarp require pre-formatted disks. It doesn’t mean they have to be empty but simply need to have the right number of cylinders and tracks (80 and 11 respectively). Of course remember to write enable disks before writing anything to them.
There are a couple of ways to prep disks in Hombre. The first one is a cli command BFormat. You can press SHIFT+F9 to start formatting a disk in DF0: with it (don’t worry you’ll be prompted first, in Minimal Mode it’s F3 and 7 followed by ENTER in Remote mode, you can always press HELP or type help for a list of all shortcuts). If you want to do this with a large number of disks copy BFormat to RAM: and execute it from there or make it resident to avoid having to access the Hombre disk before every time before running the program. To do this type copy c:bformat ram:;cd ram: or resident c:bformat and simply continue on pressing SHIFT+F9 for each floppy you want to prep. This will save you the time needed for swapping disks. As always refer to the program’s docs for info regarding extra parameters and usage.
Another utility is also included for those familiar with titles like X-Copy. A copying program called DCopy. Press F6 or type d-copy in shell to run it. Its usage is pretty straightforward but if you should feel lost consult the docs.

(G)Zipped ADFs

Lets start with transferring (g)zipped ADF images. If such a file fits onto a 720kb disk you can write it to an Amiga floppy directly (on a 1 meg machine). If the file is around the 650kb mark you should boot into Minimal mode for that extra bit of memory (during start-up type y and press ENTER when prompted, “Minimal Mode? (y|n)”). If you’ve got a second drive or the ADF image is smaller you can boot into the Standard mode. Remote mode takes up slightly more memory than Minimal but should be enough for those bigger files. Also make sure the ADF’s file name does not exceed 30 characters and has no spaces. This might save you some problems later on.


Boot into the right mode;

Format the necessary number of floppies if you haven’t already;

Press F1, wait for the command prompt, and press SHIFT+F1 followed by SHIFT+F2;

You may want to start TrackDisplay which shows a floppy’s track number (from 0 to 79) that is being accessed as this will give you some idea about the progress since there will be no other indication on the command line. Type td or press SHIFT+F3 in Minimal mode;

Everything is up end running and you can remove Hombre from the drive;

Insert the PC disk with the (g)zipped ADF file and type cff. This will copy the file to ram:;

Then simply type z filename (remember you can press TAB after the first few letters to complete the filename);

Now you just have to wait for about four minutes for everything to finish. Done!

ADFs in parts

Here's what settings to use with FFSJ when splitting ADFs

Now for those ADFs that wont fit whole onto a 720kb disk. Before splitting them up make sure they’re not packed. In most cases (almost always) and uncompressed ADF image should be exactly 901120 bytes in size. Now with a program of your choice divide each one you want to write into 450560 byte (440 kb) chunks. Now for the important bit. The script on the Hombre disk that makes the whole transfers process a lot easier follows a strict naming convention. The first part of an ADF should have an .adf.001 or .adf.01 extension; .adf.002, .adf.02 for the second respectively (most file splitters append these automatically). Since older versions of FFS support only 30 character filenames this should be the maximum number INCLUDING the extensions. In other case the name will be stripped when copying from a FAT disk and confuse the script. This is especially important when using images from TOSEC as these can be huge. Also remove any spaces.

Here’re some valid filenames: SuperFrog_disk1.adf.001, SuperFrog_disk1.adf.002, SuperFrog_disk2.adf.001 and so on.

The script works in all modes. To start it type adf2disk. When everything has been loaded you should see this message:

"Insert SOURCE disk containg ADF's *FIRST* part."
"Press [ENTER] when ready "
Simply insert the PC disk witch has the file with the .adf.001/.adf.01 extension. Wait for disk activity to finish and press ENTER. It’s a good idea to label disks to get an idea what disk to insert next as things can get pretty confusing with those multi-disk games or demos.

Insert the disk you want to write to when this message appears:

"Insert DESTINATION disk (about to write *FIRST* part)."
"Press [ENTER] when ready "
You will see the progress and when finished the script will delete the file from ram: and ask for the next part:

"Insert SOURCE disk containg ADF's *SECOND* part."
"Press [ENTER] when ready "
This time insert the disk with the ADF’s second part file ending in .adf.002 or .adf.02.

Everything will proceed as previously and when finished you’ll be asked if you want to repeat the whole process with another disk.

It actually seems more complicated than it is. Just make sure you know which disk goes into the drive next and it’ll be a breeze. Also sometimes (depending on the ADF) a requester will pop-up announcing that the disk is not validated and you should use DiskDoctor to fix it. Just ignore it (click on Cancel button or press LAmiga+B) but whatever you do don’t follow its advice. Most ADFs are NDOS disks hence this warning. The games or demos will work regardless.

Manual transfers

Whether you want to transfer disk images form the Amiga to the PC or simply prefer to do things yourself command aliases below will come in handy. All use TrackTool so it’s a good idea to copy it to ram: and run it from there to avoid having to swap disks every time it’s executed. Press F2 in Standard and Minimal modes or 3 followed by ENTER in Remote to do just that.


r1 - store first half of a disk in RAM:%f.adf.001where % is the name you want to give

so issuing r1 Amiga would result in a file called Amiga.adf.001 sitting in RAM:. Then all you have to do copy the file onto a PC disk. Remove the file from RAM:, do almost the same to get next part but this time use r2 Amiga (r2 - store second half of a disk in RAM:%f.adf.002) – you can simply press UP to bring back the previous command and change r1 to r2 leaving the filename intact. Again copy to a PC floppy and join the two files and presto!

And to write ADFs you can use these:
w1 %f - write first half of an ADF to a disk in DF0:
w2 %f - write second half of an ADF to a disk in DF0:
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