Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

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omelette
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Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by omelette » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:02 pm

A question, does a Sedoric 'utility' exist that scans a 'faulty' disk, and on finding unreadable sectors, clears the appropriate bit in the bitmap, marking it as 'in-use'? The way it stands right now with Sedoric, even though 95% of a disk's surface may still be fine, Sedoric, on coming to the damaged portion, will throw an error and refuse to do anything further - ie. all of the rest of the disk-surface may be fine, but Sedoric is oblivious to the fact. With the damaged areas marked as in-use, Sedoric should step over it and continue writing - or am I wrong?

There's no 'fixing' the damage problem, but at least something like this would allow otherwise unused disks to be used more or less normally. The other thing I've noticed when trying to continue using damaged disks normally, is that when you/Sedoric continually try to read a damaged part, the damage only gets worse, and more annoying still, the write-head gets dirty and you end up having to take the drive apart to clean the gunk off. This is why my Microdisk has almost perpetually its innards showing & a container of isopropyl alcohol by its side!

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by Dbug » Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:59 pm

I've actually never tried to clean my drive, maybe I should do that, do you have hints and tips on how to proceed to clean them up?

Regarding Sedoric, I think we should just scrap it and redo something from scratch, just using the low level read/write code, because in practice it does a lot of things that are not really necessary (additional BASIC commands, ...) and instead I'd rather have a good API easy to use from C and Assembler programs, folder supports, etc...

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by omelette » Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:56 pm

Dbug wrote:
Fri Dec 06, 2019 8:59 pm
I've actually never tried to clean my drive, maybe I should do that, do you have hints and tips on how to proceed to clean them up?

Regarding Sedoric, I think we should just scrap it and redo something from scratch, just using the low level read/write code, because in practice it does a lot of things that are not really necessary (additional BASIC commands, ...) and instead I'd rather have a good API easy to use from C and Assembler programs, folder supports, etc...
Excuse the delay in responding. I suffer from a form of ADD - my attention gets diverted elsewhere and I'm lost to the world. The Oric world anyway,I've been playing with my Atari ST, writing a program to write MFM *.dsk files to ST disks, so I can then get them onto my Oric. Just after succeeding in transferring a few *.dsk files as well, including Sedoric 4, so it was worth the effort.

Regarding your question, no real ideas as such, though yesterday I started working on something in good old Oric Basic - it's been a while! I reckon most of what I'm trying to do can be done with Sedoric's OPEN D, TAKE, PUT, & CRESEC commands, though I'll have to write something in assembler to actually clear the appropriate bitmap bits. I think it might also be possible to patch out damaged DOS sectors, getting the damaged sector data from a good copy of Sedoric, prompting the user to insert a good Sedoric disk perhaps. This would throw up the "Dos has been altered" warning though, as I seem to recall that there's a CRC-check done.

Of course, given the upcoming festivities here, there won't be much done till the new year, and by then I'll probably be chasing another distraction. Time will tell. :)

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by Symoon » Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:57 am

omelette wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:56 pm
The Oric world anyway,I've been playing with my Atari ST, writing a program to write MFM *.dsk files to ST disks, so I can then get them onto my Oric. Just after succeeding in transferring a few *.dsk files as well, including Sedoric 4, so it was worth the effort.
Hey, this is extremely interesing!
While my old PCs are falling apart, I still have a working Atari ST (and so does have Dbug I suppose).
Is this program available somewhere? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by Dbug » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:14 am

That would indeed be cool (I have a mega ste with a working floppy drive).
I wonder if the ST would accept a 3" floppy as drive B: !

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by omelette » Tue Dec 24, 2019 6:48 pm

Symoon wrote:
Mon Dec 23, 2019 9:57 am
omelette wrote:
Sun Dec 22, 2019 11:56 pm
The Oric world anyway,I've been playing with my Atari ST, writing a program to write MFM *.dsk files to ST disks, so I can then get them onto my Oric. Just after succeeding in transferring a few *.dsk files as well, including Sedoric 4, so it was worth the effort.
Hey, this is extremely interesing!
While my old PCs are falling apart, I still have a working Atari ST (and so does have Dbug I suppose).
Is this program available somewhere? :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
Well, right now it's just a nasty little TOS program, something that was originally written to transfer files from my ZX Spectrum's Disciple floppy-disk interface to the pc, for storage. So, heavily modified, with loads of stuff still broken. Presently, the bits that do work, only do so on a 4meg Atari - simply cos I'm loading & working on the complete *.dsk image file in memory. I also want to get it to be able to format Oric disks, something that will require some delving into assembler, as the Atari's xbios is 'hardwired' to deal only with 512 byte sectors. But it should be do-able as the FDC (WD1772) is capable of working with sectors from 128 to 1024 bytes. Right now I must first format the floppy on the Oric, which the ST is then able to write the *.dsk image to. Luckily, although the xbios also tries to write 512 bytes to the Oric's disk, it fails after the first 256 bytes, but doesn't complain.

Since there's interest, I'll post it here once it's usable.

@Dbug - yep, the 3" drives would work fine with the Atari ST anyway. I made a lead to connect a second drive to my ST years ago and recall checking this with my other 3" drive also. Unfortunately I don't have a spare edge-type connector that the 3" drives use and they might prove difficult to find. Of much more concern, and something I've only just realised, is that my second 3" drive seems faulty. Although it can read my Oric disks barely, it fails to format or write to a disk. It's not a dirty/misaligned head, the read/write signals just seem 'too weak'. It's a real pity cos it's whisper-quiet compared to the 3" drive in the Microdisk.

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Steve M
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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by Steve M » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:56 pm

I think there was a utility to mark bad sectors, but I think it needs a good area for the DIR menu. Sometimes it's the DIR menu that gets messed. I think if the other sectors are OK you can copy some good files over to a good disk.
Tools like BDDISK and Nibble may be able to help identify bad parts of a disk. But I'm not sure it can be corrected.

I seem to recall something that could give a certain part of the disk a filename allocated in DIR so that the rest of the disk could be used.
Not sure if this rings any bells with anyone?

I'll have a look on my Sed utility disk and see if there is anything there

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by Symoon » Wed Jan 01, 2020 7:39 pm

I don't have enough disk practice to know the tools but I seem to recall I've seen such tools before.

Beware though, that such utilites should not be used with Sedoric 4 - their compatibility should be studied with the new disk system (can't recall the details but some could mess the disk).

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by omelette » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:33 am

Attached is the Atari ST app for anyone interested, to have a play with. Its name, 'Diskcopy', should be thought of in the simplest sense of the word, ie. it doesn't even pretend to be able to copy protected disks etc. just 'normal' tracks & sectors. I've improved the memory management (aka, added some) a bit, so that if you've got a 1meg Atari, you should be able to copy/convert single-sided 80 track disks, 2meg and you're sorted! It should work with any-sector disks, from 128 to 1024 bytes, though I haven't bothered to check anything other than 256 & 512 byte disks. I also haven't come close to figuring out how to format disks on the Atari with anything other than 512 byte sectors, but I did accidentally discover that the Atari app, Knife ST can handle all sector sizes, and which can be downloaded from here - http://www.atarimania.com/top-atari-uti ... U_S_D.html It's a great app and does a great job formatting disks. The only thing I'd suggest is to apply a "skew" of 2 when formatting your disk, as it speeds up loading noticeably. Also, if you've got an alternative desktop running on your ST, expect a nice crash when you exit the program - well, with Teradesk anyway - so, it's not very non-GEM aware:)

Still has probably loads of bugs, let me know if you find some.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ZklQa ... wGvaiXsxVg
Last edited by omelette on Fri Jan 17, 2020 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by omelette » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:49 am

Steve M wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:56 pm
I think there was a utility to mark bad sectors, but I think it needs a good area for the DIR menu. Sometimes it's the DIR menu that gets messed. I think if the other sectors are OK you can copy some good files over to a good disk.
Tools like BDDISK and Nibble may be able to help identify bad parts of a disk. But I'm not sure it can be corrected.

I seem to recall something that could give a certain part of the disk a filename allocated in DIR so that the rest of the disk could be used.
Not sure if this rings any bells with anyone?

I'll have a look on my Sed utility disk and see if there is anything there
I might be missing something obvious here, but I would have thought that all you would need to do is, once you know where a bad sector is, say T10, S04, find what bit in the bitmap sectors corresponds to this this T/S numbers, reset the bit to zero, and bobs your uncle! No disk space would need to be utilised. Sedoric would then bypass this area of the disk as it would see it as being part of an already-saved program. I understand that once a 'critical' area of the disk is trashed, like the directory sectors, or the bitmaps for instance, the disk has run its course. But randomly bad sectors in non-critical areas, shouldn't be a reason for binning an otherwise good disk, 'good' in the sense that 98% of its surface might still be perfect.

I was planning on trying something like this using the TAKE command (see other thread), but right now, that doesn't seem feasible.

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Re: Sedoric 'utility' wanted...

Post by Symoon » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:27 am

omelette wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:33 am
Attached is the Atari ST app for anyone interested, to have a play with.
Thanks a lot for this + information!
As usual, "not sure when I can try it but will do" (c) [TM]

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