Sharpworks Fast Loader

Post Reply
User avatar
mz-80a
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:46 am
Location: Devon, UK
Contact:

Sharpworks Fast Loader

Post by mz-80a » Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:37 am

Hi,

One of Sharpworks' current projects is to produce a fast loader program to enable tapes to be loaded and saved much more quickly than the Monitor usually does but also to keep reliability. We're nearing completion of it in fact. I've just uploaded a video showing a 'trial run' of the program where I load BASIC SA-5510 (the MZ-80A's BASIC) at standard speed from the standard tape, then I save it in the new 'fast' format and finally I load it back in via the fast load. The video is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdRuNBkzs9Y

And so you can see that we nearly halve the loading time. We are still saving two copies of the program (in the same way that the usual Monitor routines do), just in case there is a checksum error / bad tape etc but obviously we stop loading if the first copy is loaded in correctly.

Hopefully this is going to be of use to people and I'll have a lot more information towards the end of this month when we should be releasing it (in some beautiful packaging). So far the loader is compatible with MZ-80A and MZ-80K (a special MZ-1200 version will be made as it has less RAM). I'm also looking to make it compatible with MZ-700.
MZ-80A Secrets
https://mz-80a.com/

Sharpworks (Sharp MZ homebrew)
http://mz-sharpworks.co.uk/

goev
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:33 pm

Re: Sharpworks Fast Loader

Post by goev » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:50 pm

This is really cool!
Have you tried converting a "fastloaded" program to WAV and load it using a PC and a cassette adapter like this one?
22082025_max.jpg
22082025_max.jpg (24.86 KiB) Viewed 1051 times

User avatar
mz-80a
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:46 am
Location: Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Sharpworks Fast Loader

Post by mz-80a » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:29 pm

Yep. And it worked :)

Although I would usually use one of those for transferring from laptop to Sharp.

When I'm transferring from Sharp to laptop I usually use a hi-fi separates tape deck with USB soundcard.

MZF Studio is capable of reading the fast WAVs as long as it's set to MZ-80B import mode :)

It won't read the standalone compiled ones though as they contain a sort of bootstrap to load the fast data.
MZ-80A Secrets
https://mz-80a.com/

Sharpworks (Sharp MZ homebrew)
http://mz-sharpworks.co.uk/

User avatar
mz-80a
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:46 am
Location: Devon, UK
Contact:

Re: Sharpworks Fast Loader

Post by mz-80a » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:31 pm

However, the EmuZ-80A emulator seemed to read it all quite well too when I last tested! This is why I feel like it's the superior emulator, it reads WAVs natively.
MZ-80A Secrets
https://mz-80a.com/

Sharpworks (Sharp MZ homebrew)
http://mz-sharpworks.co.uk/

Post Reply