1. Not old. Vintage. :)

Ultimate 1MB / Side and Side/2 Guide

Collection of quick and easy tips for the U1MB, SIDE, and SIDE/2 devices


{Recovered from a dead Atari Sector...}
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First Up, the Quick and Easy Tips, then we'll dig deeper into this really great hardware combination.


SIDE2
With BUTTON = Ult 1Mb will check if pressed
W/O BUTTON = Ult 1Mb will ignore if pressed
BUTTON OFF = cart active
BUTTON PBI BIOS = disabled cart
**BUTTON forces cart off, allowing you to swap ATRs
*** PBI BUTTON checks button regardless of when enabled or disabled in BIOS
PBI Enabled? Must also set
SIDE W/O or SIDE WITH BUTTON
SWITCH = UP SDX = ENABLED

as an XEX Loader
Prepare CF CARD
add games
Insert CF card to SIDE 2
move switch to UP position (ultimate users – disable PBI DEVICE in ultimate bios)
power up atari ATARI
Select/enter chosen file
restart/reset computer press switch at SIDE2 and RESET on ATARI​

Sparta DOS Mode (hard disk interface)
Prepare CF CARD
Insert CF card to SIDE 2
Adjust switch to LOWER position (ultimate 1mb users – disable PBI DEVICE + SDX in ultimate bios)
Power up ATARI
Sparta Dos with SIDE2 drivers will boot. when CF card is correctly prepped partition list will be displayed.​

ATR loader (ult 1mb users only)
HELP+RESET to access ultimate bios
Enable Sparta DOS, PBI device with BUTTON SUPPORT
PRESS+HOLD “L” to activate SIDE2 loader
SELECT *.atr file + ENTER
for multidisc software, press SPACEBAR to mark file as D1: (CTRL+SPACE on newer ALT firmware - thanks flashjazzcat )
select subsequent disks and SPACEBAR to mark *.atr file it will be marked as D2: , D3: etc
Enter to restart
SIDE2 switch reassigns disk mapping for *.atr files
D1 D2:D3:D1:​

CF Prep
Insert CF card to SIDE 2
Adjust switch to LOWER position (ultimate 1mb users – disable PBI DEVICE + SDX in ultimate bios)
Power up ATARI
Sparta Dos with SIDE2 drivers swill boot. when CF card is correctly prepped partition list will be displayed.
sdx bootup should take you to a D1: prompt
FDISK
select initialize disk
"scanning bus"
select IDE1 - CFcard *****
contents will be erased? Y/N - Y
FAT32 partition Y/N
assign your APT = 256
select unallocated disk
Create New - 65537
continue creating until CF partitions all allocated as desired
when done - DISK - Write Table
once "partition table updated", select DISK, EXIT, Y
D1: format

++++++++++++++++++++++++++
SPARTADOS FORMATTER
Unit = A, Volume = leave blank, Skew = n/a, Density = DD 512, Mode = Sparta, Tracks = n/a
Optimize = On
65535 sectors, 512 BPS, ********* bytes,
format = n/a,
++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Unit = A should change to "B"
Select "B" Build Directory

returns you to D1: prompt
A B etc - D1: D2 etc​

Ultimate 1Mb

Config
HELP @ Power Up​

Ultimate 1Mb Default Settings
1088 / stock XL - DIS DIS DIS DIS DIS 7 CAR3 CAR3​

Flashing/Resetting Firmware
Boot with HELP
Set ram = 1088
SIDE hardware = OFF
SDX = ON
S to SAVE
Remove SIDE cart
Copy Rom Files & UFLASH.XEX to folder
Mount Folder in ASPEQT as D1: “MOUNT FOLDER”
Boot computer…SDX will load
Type UFLASHXEX
Navigate to BIOS, PBI Bios & Loader (each in turn) hitting RETURN and navigating to relevant ROM file​


The following is a direct copy/paste from Jon's PM - which goes a little deeper into the how/why things work the way they do.
Thanks to flashjazzcat for allowing me to use this - so rather than muddling around with trying to paraphrase, I'll leave flashjazzcat chat with myself and timothykline unedited.

+++++++++++++++++++++

So: when using SIDE/SIDE2 in an U1MB machine, 99 per cent of the time you could pop the PLCC flash ROM and the coin cell battery out of the SIDE cart and neither would be missed. Everything (SDX, XEX loader, RTC, NVRAM) is built into the U1MB.

As Martin correctly points out (but bear in mind I'm using terminology pertinent to my 'alt' U1MB/SIDE firmware here, which most people seem to be using now), enabling the PBI HDD on the U1MB deactivates the loader ROM on the external SIDE cart (i.e. the section of the SIDE ROM which boots when you have the SIDE switch in the 'up' or loader position). And enabling the ATR swap button in the U1MB BIOS settings will suppress not only the SIDE's loader ROM, but any external cartridge, since the button mechanism employs the action of banking in the external ROM (remember that the same button - when SIDE is used stand-alone, banks the cart's loader back in, essentially acting as a 'home' button which takes you back to the loader if you press system reset immediately afterwards).

So, regarding the question of setting changes when 'changing modes', let's assume two typical usage scenarios on the U1MB machine:

Scenario 1 (SIDE cart used as HDD): PBI HDD enabled, ATR swap button enabled, PBI high speed SIO enabled.
Scenario 2 (SIDE removed, no HDD, another cart present): PBI HDD disabled (and thus the ATR swap button disabled), PBI high speed SIO enabled.

SDX may be enabled or disabled in either case, although you'll probably turn it off unless you're using SDX with a productivity cart like MAC/65, etc.

In any case: the difference in configuration options between using the machine with SIDE as a hard disk, and using the machine with another cartridge amounts to 1 (the PBI HDD setting). And if the SIDE cartridge is removed and not replaced with another cartridge for any reason, the number of configuration changes required is zero (since there is no need to 'unsuppress' the external cartridge). The reason I'd advocate disabling the PBI HDD functionality entirely when using a different cartridge (non-SIDE, that is) instead of simply turning off the ATR swap button (which - as said - explicitly disables the external cart) is that even when the ATR swap button is turned off, the PBI HDD functionality still reads from the CCTL region, and this can upset certain flash cartridges with address-based banking.

With my 'alt' firmware, it's not even necessary to explicitly change and 'SIDE Hardware' or 'PBI HDD' settings: you may simply create two configuration profiles (three in total being allowed) - one for SIDE2 operation and one for 'other cart' operation, and swap between them by jumping into the BIOS menu and pressing '1' or '2', followed by 'C', 'Esc' or system reset. [​IMG] upload_2020-6-4_15-39-18.png

Finally: although in 99 per cent of cases there is no need to use the ROM content of the SIDE/SIDE2 on an U1MB machine, one possible exception would be when you wish to use a hard disk while running a 400/800 OS. Since that OS has no PBI support, the PBI HDD will not work. You can still get at the HDD via the SDX 'SIDE.SYS' driver, though, and since that is built into the SDX ROM on the SIDE cart, this is one rare occasion when you might want to boot the SDX ROM on the cartridge itself rather than on the U1MB, since it'll give you easy access to the hard disk with an 800 OS. But this is a real corner case scenario, and better solutions exist (such as placing the SIDE.SYS driver inside of the U1MB SDX ROM).

This really looks more complex written down than it does when one is confronted by the hardware, but as we can see, some of the most basic 'convenience' features can still be overlooked.

Just remember: in the majority of cases, when used in an U1MB machine, the only thing that matters on the SIDE/SIDE2 cart is the compact flash card slot. Everything else on the cartridge is aimed at operation with a stock (non-U1MB) machine.​

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