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New public FireTOS BETA Version

posted Mar 25, 2014, 7:05 PM by Troy Cheek   [ updated Mar 25, 2014, 7:05 PM ]
A new FireTOS BETA Version is now available which offers new functionality and some bugfixes. Since the operating system's last version (summer 2013), Didier Méquignon has improved FireTOS in several areas: USB, IDE, SD-Cards, System Clock Generator, and NVRAM/IKBD support. As with previous versions, this public BETA version can be written to the flash-ROM of the FireBee using FLASH060.PRG under FireTOS, or FLASH_CF.PRG under EmuTOS.

FireTOS public BETA

Details on the improvements:
  • The "USB HUB task fix" is for users who boot their FireBee into FreeMiNT directly, without an SD-Card which is mapped to drive "A". With the fix, USB mass storage drives (like USB Flash Drives) that are inserted after booting can be used without problems. Additionally, some USB keyboards and mice which didn't work before are now working.
  • The IDE driver now only uses LBA48 if the capacity of the attached HD drive exceeds 128 GB, as opposed to 8 GB before the update. This fixes problems previously reported problems with disks larger than 8GB.
  • SD cards under FireTOS received two big upgrades. Number one is that "SD-card Plug&Play" has been implemented. When starting up with an SD card inserted, the time to detect the SD card is now 1 second, which speeds up booting considerably, and the SD LED does not blink anymore during startup. When there is no SD card present during startup the SD LED will blink for 10 seconds, and the system will wait for a SD card to be inserted. Number two is support for multiple partitions on SD cards. The first partition will always be mapped as drive "A". If the TOS RAM disk is not in use, drive "B" can be used for an additional partition. Usage of the partition still requires a filesystem driver like FAT16 for drives up to 2 GB under TOS or FAT32/ext2 under MiNT. TOS limits have not changed.
  • The system tick of 200Hz had a drift of 1%, due to a small coding error. This also caused drift of the time-of-day clock. This is now fixed.
  • The previous implementation of the FireTOS control panel feature "Replace NVRAM" made a "Replace NVRAM fix" necessary. The "Replace NVRAM" option was originally meant for broken real time clocks in Atari Falcons: in the case of a broken battery the computer would use the IKBD Atari keyboard clock. This caused a problem when using a USB keyboard on the Firebee, since USB keyboards have no clock: this caused TOS to hang waiting for the keyboard time. Didier created a fix for this within one day after a user reported his problems: TOS now only waits for a short time for the keyboard to respond and then continues with normal boot.
  • The most recent improvement applies when running EmuTOS from the FiretOS initial menu: all EmuTOS exceptions are now displayed. Previously, the CF68KLIB exception handler prevented the display of address error and illegal instruction exceptions.