Re: IDE (Stephen)

From: Levente Hársfalvi (
Date: 1998-12-21 23:32:44


Stephen Judd wrote:

> I'm still a bit unclear on the purpose of this scheme.  While I certainly
> appreciate the technical merits, my question relates to the practical uses
> of the scheme.  So, let's say that after a long development time it works
> 100% perfectly:
> 1) Who is going to use it?
> 2) What are they going to use it for?

I think your questions come from your nationality. ...No, I don't blame
you. It's simply because you Americans use your C64's and other
equipments in a lot more standard way than us Europeans do. You should
take a trip to Europe and see how many people, if at all, use their
Commodore equipment with no custom fastloaders, disk copiers and so on.
Much people use the C64 for games and a lot other fun stuff, but quite a
few people have access to custom drives and extra hw, like Americans do,
which could make these ways both unneccessary and impossible.

However, I'm, like you, just a person with my own thoughts and aims.
Since the programs I use don't work with some incompatible hw, I don't
like these hw's either. If I have just one chance to both use a HDD with
a good organized directory structure, plus substitute tons of disks and
being _still able to run the programs without additional copying
overhead, I try to do so. ...Well, these are just my thoughts. Other
people may highlight other parameters.

> > From the other hand, if we don't follow the structure of the 1541
> > filesystem, we'll definitely lose compatibility with most of 1541
> > dependent software. That's it. But it's obvious.
> >
> > - The solution is, to use regular disk images. How, and why to do this?
> What kind of software are we talking about here?  Games are all I can think
> of that need a disk image.

And demos. And basically _all European C64+1541 custom software. There
are a lot, you can bet. (The reason is simple: they do their job better
than programs utilizing standard routines).

> 1) What advantage is gained over just using a floppy?
> 2) What percentage of non-emulator users are dedicated gamers?

1.) I don't wanna have tons of disks in my room, at least not because
   - I can't purchase them
   - They're hard to sort, and hard to keep alive

2.) (Let's change the subject: What percentage of non emulator users are
dedicated gamers, coders and die hard European C64 users?)

Again, what you're talking about, is the American Commodore user
majority. I can assume, you're right in the US, but the European user
has definitely no 1581 and/or CMD drives, does not use his C64 for
"work" at all, and indeed uses a lot of C64+1541 dependent features.

> >   - No surprise, the HDD's own filesystem must have subdirs. Since our
> > OS know what CD, MD and others are about, we have an option to treat
> > anything like a subdirectory.
> For what it's worth, CMD devices rather let you format different partitions
> in different ways (1541, 1581, native mode, etc.).  So it's similar to what
> you describe, but uses "CP" instead of "CD" (and of course uses a physical
> partition instead of a disk image).

This seems to be a good way either.

However, I think implementing a recursive sub-directory based structure
looks a lot better. (That's what I'm referring the HDD's own, or
"native" filesystem).

I used to share programs between my PC and 1541 (I don't really like
emulators, I like to try C64 programs on a real C64). I suppose, the
interfaced HDD will also be once hooked to PC's, making it possible to
share files.

Then if so, your work of sharing complete disk data is very simple. You
simply copy the disk image files to the CBM Hdd and it's done. There are
no troubles creating and filling new partitions. It's as simple as it
just could be. Unlike partitions, from the viewpoint of the HDD's OS you
can handle these images just like any regular files. That's why I prefer
using disk image files for emulation.

Also, that's why I don't want to create own commands like CP. Why to
create inconsistences, if we indeed have a lot others to solve?

> > - When speaking of disk images, one thinks 1541 is good but there are a
> > lot of other floppy drives too, all with the appropriate image formats.
> > What about these?
> Hmmm, which drives are you referring to?
> For myself, I'm trying to imagine what I would use these features, or more
> generally this hard drive, for, given what I currently use my 64 for.

Hmmm, seems like you're satisfied with your peripherals.

Suppose a lot of people are not. This could be true indeed, if you'd
sign up on a scene mailing list and ask some people if they want a Q&D
or a SbC style hard drive design.

Once again, these are just _my thoughts. I know, I follow them, but you
and all _YOU people have an option to make me stop doing that.

Still one thing to go: if supporting, why to do so with any other images
than 1541? - The reason: I guess, this design is going to be freeware.
Anybody can use the design for his own purposes. ...It's possible, some
people could have thoughts about using the interface design for other
CBM machines. ...With different original floppy drives, of course. Also,
it's possible that you have an image from an 1581 disk, downloaded from
whatever Internet site, and you want to see it on the HDD. When
supporting more images, you just copy the image file to the HDD and
yikez! It works.

And when deciding to support different images, it's quite
straightforward to think about parametrizing the emulator engine and the
image format, again, to create less inconsistences.

> I ask the above questions because a) I don't know the answers :), and
> b) because there are a number of technically brilliant programs for
> the 64 which are effectively useless, or at least not used.  This in general
> happens because they are either too difficult to use, too specialized,
> or address problems which simply aren't of much concern on the 64.

Yess, that's sure.

>From the other hand: don't you find some of these programs "effectively
useless" because they don't really fit into your config and the style of
the programs you use?

> I find that while there's great personal satisfaction in writing a program,
> it's an awful lot nicer if the program actually gets used by others
> (alternatively, it's rather depressing to know I'm the only person who
> finds the program worth using!).


That's true, btw it also covers a lot of C64 activity these days.

Speaking of the actual subject, I guess I'm just too old to fall into
this trap. Or if so, actually, not more than the other people on this
list. ...Guess this is what Cbmhackers list is for - to discuss things.
I have quite few time to create useless stuff.


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