[stella] Hard Drive Interface

Subject: [stella] Hard Drive Interface
From: Glenn Saunders <mos6507@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 06 Feb 2004 23:52:14 -0800
At 11:13 PM 2/6/2004, you wrote:

2) Remove the super charger/catridge from the 2600.

4) Have the RAM code dump the cartridge content. I was thinking of doing
this by sound (in a format similar to what the super charger uses), or
if that doesn't work trying to dump the data over the joystick port over
to a PC (or maybe an atari 8 bit).


If you are looking for a project, and you have a Supercharger, I suggest you come up with a standard code library that could be used to provide a serial "request" handshake with a PC or other host computer.

The idea behind that is if you already have a PC or other makewav/playbin-compatible host computer hooked up to your SC/CC then if you also interface one of the joystick ports to a serial port on the host, then the 2600 could send control signals to the PC requesting a given load right before jumping to the SC/CC ROM routines.

The software that sends this signal would have to be extremely small in order to not eat too much of the RAM space. This is the sort of thing that would have been better put in ROM because you'd need it to be RAM resident all the time.

Naturally this would also require some software on the PC side to listen for, interpret, and respond to these signals.

With this in place, games could request their own loads without any human intervention.

I can also envision something a little more complex like a save-game library which this little widget could load in and then jump to. The save-game load would be told which memory range to save off and it would scan through the cart and dump it to the PC. You'd also have a load-game load (or maybe this could be small enough to do both).

It would be the final step necessary to qualify the Supercharger as tantamount to a disk drive interface.

You could make enormous games that way. Anything that uses wave-based level data would be possible, without the restrictions of linear loads or the inconvenience of clicking on wav files or playing CD tracks.

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