TAPClean: “Turrican loader” module completely rewritten

As pointed out by SLC, the original “Turrican loader” module in TAPClean was including the XOR checkbyte as part of the Data file payload.

I also realised that the module was lacking the following features:

  • checking the integrity of turbo Header files
  • extracting Header payload to PRG
  • computing Header payload CRC32s and including them in the overall “magic” CRC32 value

I’ve therefore rewritten the “Turrican loader” module from scratch. It’s available in version “0.33-pre-10” which can be checked out using the “v0_33_pre_10” tag🙂

As I was working at the source code, I also decided to do some due maintenance / refactoring of a few modules. I essentially added some comments and renamed a number of functions to make it clear which module they are part of. I’ve thus been able to also remove a number of duplicate function and variable declarations. Small steps, but definitely in the right direction to facilitate code maintenance ahead of more substantial changes🙂

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DC2N5-LC and misc updates

As I haven’t mentioned this before, I wanted to confirm that DC2N5-LC is sold out (both the DIY kit and the assembled device).
It’s been an exciting experience all along since I started with DC2N version 1 but I reckon 5 versions are enough. Unless something changes dramatically in the way we interact with technology there won’t be versions beyond 5, although I might get more DC2N5-LC produced, even if a weak British pound and demand make it unlikely.

If you have a large tape collection and haven’t had a chance to get one of my latest devices to preserve it, I’d recommend DC2N3 as a few devices are available and it uses USB flash-drives to sample data. Besides, DC2N3 is still being supported and comes with a very straightforward self-update feature for firmware updates. Here’s a video of the current look of the firmware:

I’ll close this post with the images of the last DC2N5-LC enclosure I prepared yesterday. Hopefully people will be able to appreciate the amount of work that goes into these enclosures I reshape for my projects🙂

DC2N5-LC case

DC2N5-LC case

DC2N5-LC case

DC2N5-LC case

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DC2N5-LC enclosure design tests

This evening I was keen to give it a go at designing an enclosure for DC2N5-LC for 3D printing. Although there’s a working design out there that I hope I will be able to share with those interested, I thought it would be a good experience to try coming up with something, learning some lesson in the process.

Here’s my first test:

DC2N5-LC enclosure design test #1

DC2N5-LC enclosure design test #1

On a second thought I thought I should have gone for a bottom lid rather than a top one but the issue with that would have been making the design larger to fit in the PCB and some mounting extensions, which would have made buttons inaccessible.

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Bug with DC2N5-LC record feature fixed

TSM reported a bug with the DC2N5-LC record feature: the SELECT/STOP key would become unresponsive when the motor signal is deasserted by the host computer. I’ve just fixed that along with inserting a missing message for the display🙂

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DC2N4-LC firmware now running on DC2N4 too

I haven’t had much time this weekend to work on as much retrocomputing development as I wanted, but one thing I did finish indeed: I finished the last touches required to fully run the DC2N4-LC firmware on DC2N4. The main reason is pretty simple: the USB serial communication is very straightforward to handle and I can now use my DC2N4 hardware with client software that I wrote and still maintain for DC2N4-LC.

DC2N version 4 by Luigi Di Fraia

DC2N version 4

Furthermore my only DC2N4 prototype offers room for quite some expansion, meaning it could one day incorporate all features now offered by DC2N4-LC, C2NEmu, and IECHost🙂

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C2NEmu now available

I have now started building C2NEmu devices which sell for 10.99 GBP in UK inclusive of shipping. I’m very much targeting people in UK as the device is going through a beta testing stage mainly for what concerns the client software.

If you’re based outside of UK and wish to participate, let me know and I shall see what I can do.

C2NEmu: first assembled prototype

C2NEmu: first assembled prototype

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Initial change to TAPCleanFE to aid the creation of IDX files

I’ve had some time today to add start offset information into TAPClean Front End’s report, tape edit and split tools. The benefit should be obvious given the screenshot below:

TAPClean FE aids the definition of IDX files for the C2NEmu playback client

TAPClean FE aids the definition of IDX files for the C2NEmu playback client

Obviously, I am still convinced that a semi-automated tool to create IDX files should be part of TAPClean Front End: perhaps I could add a button to the tape split tool for doing so, which makes sense especially for tape compilations as the one in the above picture.

Stay tuned!

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