Work-In-Progress Reports for July 2009

16 July 2009

KryoFlux - SDK Updates: We are now using the latest official SDK libraries, which are completely different to the old ones we had. We will base things on the official USB stack, and if that has problems as well we will seriously give up on these boards. If it works, we'll see if it can be used at least for reliably reading DD disks. (more)

13 July 2009

KryoFlux - Need More Power?: Generally USB is unreliable on some boards, and apparently this is a known problem. The Ukrainian board we have is particularly bad as one not-so-important USB feature does not work at all due to missing circuitry, and possibly using a PCB that was meant for a different chip in the first place. It's not a big thing, just annoying. For HD disks we may need something faster or at least with more on-board RAM to do it reliably. (more)

8 July 2009

KryoFlux - USB Communication: The communication must be super reliable during dumping, so the USB communication should be handled properly. It is probably easier to develop it using the original sample code provided by the ATMEL library. The ATMEL libraries have been rewritten since Cyclone20 was built, and their new SDK was made available recently on their website. (more)

6 July 2009

KryoFlux - Command System: Implemented a fairly intelligent command system that contains options that you can get or set. Getting an option always returns the current state - so if it's been changed since the last call by either the user or the firmware for whatever reason, it returns that. Firmware state is always validated before changes, therefore all option values returned are valid. (more)

4 July 2009

KryoFlux - Respecting Drive Requirements: Found a few datasheets for recent drives, and they have very strict timing requirements, even when changing the direction of head stepping. It's no wonder there is strange behaviour when the restrictions are not respected. These restrictions will be added to the dumping software, but it varies from drive to drive, just like we observed using our Amiga dumping/testing tool, CT. (more)

3 July 2009

KryoFlux - Host Software: Created simple PC host program, and added status message reports for each command. The reports are always sent once the operation has been completed. The USB protocol acknowledges packets, but we use a higher level USB protocol stack (WinUSB) that hides all the low level protocol details. Should the software be ported to other platforms it would probably use a higher level USB stack there too, just like it does on Windows. (more)

1 July 2009

KryoFlux - Work Started: Work has started on KryoFlux (please read if you have not already done so). There is going to be quite a lot in these updates, but we want to get it all documented. First things first though, we set up a command line environment for ARM compilation. The main unknown at this point is the USB hanging problem with these boards. (more)