Nowind interface software updated

Nowind interface software updated

by Sky_hawk on 30-01-2013, 21:09
Topic: Development
Tags: Nowind
Languages:

Sky_hawk, one of the creators of the Nowind MSX interface that allows you to connect your MSX to your PC through USB, just announced that there's a new version of the Nowind interface software available.

The new 4.3 release brings no new features but includes several small bugfixes. More importantly, the updated download now also contains the needed Windows drivers and a MacOSX version of the commandline host application. It's highly recommended to update the interface firmware to version 4.3 as well, the updated nowind.rom file can also be found in the same package.

Relevant link: Nowind interface software

Comments (18)

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

SkyeWelse's picture

01-02-2013, 05:10

I'll definitely be upgrading mine to the latest firmware and I'm happy to see that this comes with a MacOSX version of the software. I've been using it with my PC when it's on, but I tend to use my Macbook Pro for practically everything so launching a disk file from this is most useful!

One question I still have regarding the device, is there any way to switch between one disk to another with ease? I never quite figured out that part.

Thanks for the update!

-Thomas

By Manuel

Ascended (18082)

Manuel's picture

01-02-2013, 11:58

One way is to simply stop the host program and run it with the other disk.

By yzi

Champion (444)

yzi's picture

01-02-2013, 13:03

Yes, as Manuel says. Stop the command-line nwhostapp by pressing Ctrl-C, and run it with another .dsk file. Then the MSX will see the other disk. I use this to add or change files (with wrdsk) to the same disk image. Ctrl-C and re-run, and the changes are visible on the MSX.

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

SkyeWelse's picture

01-02-2013, 20:22

Excellent! Thanks, I will try this out. I always thought that stopping the host resulted in breaking what was being read on the MSX, but I guess in the case of the MSX asking to switch a disk to a different disk, that doesn't matter. : )

-Thomas

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

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01-02-2013, 22:30

Stopping the host is like RIPPING the information media from the hardware, wouldn't that be bad? Oh wait! that is somewhat like RIPPING the magnetic disk from the heads reading it, which is sort-of exactly what changing a disk is Smile

Seriously, stopping the host process is not the most elegant way to change the disk, but, it is currently the only way. It would be sightly more user friendly if one disk could be changed while another is being used. The commandline client does not currently support such a scenario.

Greetings,

Jan

By yzi

Champion (444)

yzi's picture

02-02-2013, 11:39

Well, you of course wait for any read/write operations to finish, before stopping the host. Smile This is not very difficult, because you can see what's happening on the host and on the MSX. For example, when you're back at the MSX-DOS prompt, you can change the disk.

By djh1697

Paragon (1592)

djh1697's picture

04-02-2013, 22:13

Just a thought, can the NoWind interface be used with a MegaROMSCC? Load a dsk image with the ROM file on, then execute the loader?

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

Sky_hawk's picture

04-02-2013, 22:30

I'm not exactly sure what you mean, the nowind interface does not have megarom (mapper) hardware. Maybe a megarom could be patched to use the nowind mapper, or maybe patched to work in RAM.

Is that what you want?

Greetings,

Jan

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

SkyeWelse's picture

05-02-2013, 00:39

djh1697, If you mean can you use a dsk loaded with rom files to essentially take place of your A: drive, and then using commands such as Romloader or OPFX, to flash a rom into memory on the MegaFlashRomSCC, then yes, you can. I was able to do this before. When I first got my MSX, the first expansion cart I ever got was the MegaFlashRomSCC+ and I loved using it, but I didn't like having to always put roms onto a physical disk just to have it run the OPFX and install to the MFRSCC+, so I sought to get a Nowind since I thought having a USB interface would be the easiest and I used it instead of writing to a floppy disk.

Sky_hawk, I have now successfully completed the above steps using the Nowind and Ys I with saving a game to a userdisk.dsk file still hosted on my PC and switching back to the Game Disk. It was quite easy to do and I'm quite happy with the results! : ) I've also upgraded to Version 4.3 firmware.

One question I still had, was that I've still not able to get the Nowind to work with my Mac OSX Snow Leopard Macbook Pro. I downloaded the 4.3b zip from the Nowind website and unpacked the MacOSX binary application file and tried to launch it, but didn't see anything appear on my screen. I then opened Terminal, (which I don't use often, since I'm not really a programmer) and tried to see if I could launch the app there and didn't seem to work for me either). Perhaps I'm doing something wrong. I did read the manual and it said that the application for MacOS was tested on Lion and Mountain Lion. I'm currently running Mac OS X Lion 10.7.5. I did read some things about the software not showing right away in some cases and I may need to check /VAR/LOGS/MESSAGE, but to be honest, I didn't see this directory on my Mac anywhere and I believe I have all hidden files turned on.

If you don't mind, is there any way you could detail the process for how you would launch a disk file from MacOSX and what I should be seeing as I'm using the Nowind?

Thanks for your time!

-Thomas

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

Sky_hawk's picture

05-02-2013, 01:10

H thomas,

Good to hear you like the result you are getting from the nowind interface.
I would like to help you use it on macos as well. i expect you installed the nwhostapp in your 'Applications' folder, like any other program, by dragging it in there? If so, then starting it ( by clicking it) will not show anything, this is normal, for now. This is because i have not created a UI application for macos yet. i am working on that, but dont hold your breath Smile

In the mean time, you can start the nwhostapp from the commandline. open a console, type cd /Applications/nwhostapp.app/Contents/Macos

I might not have the uppercase/lowercase conmpletely right there, because i'm typing this from memory, you can use the tab key to complete the directory names

Now type something like nwhostapp -i /Users/yourusername/Desktop/somedisk.dsk

Assuming you disk image is on your desktop.
the challange here is probably to figure out the exact paths to use, which i cant really tell you because i dont know where you installed your application nor where exactly your disk images are Smile

Still i hope this helps a little, and if it does not, maybe you would be interested to help me make this more user friendly?

Greetings,

Jan

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

SkyeWelse's picture

05-02-2013, 04:11

Hi Jan,

Thank you very much for your reply and I think you've definitely gotten me closer! I am now able to at least launch the nwhostapp.app without issue. The main concern now is passing the needed arguments required to insert a disk file.

So for my purposes, I actually didn't place the application in the Applications folder. I simply kept it bundled with everything else in the zip, and I have that sitting on my desktop in a folder called "nowind".

So my easiest method to navigate straight to the directory was to 'Show Package Contents' of the nwhostapp.app and inside this, navigate to the MacOS folder and simply drag and drop this into a terminal window to show the path. Then copy this path.

Mine looked like:

cd Desktop/nowind/nwhostapp.app/Contents/MacOS/ <<- To call the Directory

open Desktop/nowind/nwhostapp.app/Contents/MacOS/nwhostapp << To Launch the App

Now comes the part where I would normally pass arguments to insert a disk file or series of disk files.

In my case, since I wanted to give Trilotracker a try, I tried to launch 'trilo.dsk'
open nwhostapp -i /Users/xxxxxxx/Desktop/nowind/trilo.dsk

I also took a copy of 'trilo.dsk' and packaged it inside the application contents folder so that it was sitting inside along with the nwhostapp inside of the MacOS directory, and tried doing:
open nwhostapp -i trilo.dsk

In each case, it appears that the argument '-i' is not recoginized by MacOSX and it simply gives me a list of Mac friendly Terminial ready commands to use, which mostly do not seem to apply except for one that I "thought" would work called '--args' which is supposed to pass arguments along with the program.

So for example I tried something like: open nwhostapp --args -i /Users/xxxxxxx/Desktop/nowind/trilo.dsk and it would at least launch the nwhostapp without issues, discover the Nowind device, but not load any disk images and send the MSX straight to Basic.

Definitely getting closer! : ) Thanks for your help, and I'd be happy to help make this more user friendly if you like. I'm coming from a non-technical background, so... It would be written for someone like myself. Simple to understand with long-winded explanations.

-Thomas

By yzi

Champion (444)

yzi's picture

05-02-2013, 08:52

I don't know if this helps, but "Starting in OS X 10.6.2, the open command can pass arguments to the application it opens by way of the --args flag."
http://superuser.com/questions/16750/how-can-i-run-an-applic...

Myself, I use the shell window, so this is not an issue for me.

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

Sky_hawk's picture

05-02-2013, 21:16

Hm, I think I at least figured out why the nwhostapp will not start from the osx GUI. Appearently an osx application does not receive any commandline arguments directly. So if you associate *.dsk with /Applications/nwhostapp and you click somegame.dsk then nwhostapp is started like:
/Applications/nwhostapp.app/Contents/MacOS/nwhostapp -psn_0_519233
instead of:
/Applications/nwhostapp.app/Contents/MacOS/nwhostapp somegame.dsk

I'm not sure what to do about this, as I'm not an OSX expert, I know just enough to compile applications on it, because that it is somewhat similar to linux.

Does anyone know how to fix this? So clicking *.dsk will start nwhostapp ?

I guess if needed I could make nwhostapp ignore the -psn argument, but as long as the disk-image argument is not passed, it will not really help. Also I think it would be good to have a terminal with logging open, so you can see it is running...

Anyone?

Greetings,

Jan

By Marq

Champion (387)

Marq's picture

07-02-2013, 08:50

One quick way to make scripts take parameters through GUI on Mac is Platypus: http://sveinbjorn.org/platypus

By Sky_hawk

Champion (267)

Sky_hawk's picture

09-02-2013, 19:06

Thanks for the tip that looks good!

Greetings,

Jan

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1155)

Wolverine_nl's picture

30-01-2018, 12:13

This old thread showed up and I have an answer for one of the questions:
Yes the Nowind (v2) can run next to a MFR, I did that in the past. Load the HD dsk image with Nowind and from there on the MSX2 went to the directory with the ROMs and flashed the ROM into the MFR.

Better late then never Wink

By enribar

Paragon (1125)

enribar's picture

30-01-2018, 13:35

Thankyou wolverine, now only a test with the GR8NET lacks.

By Wolverine_nl

Paragon (1155)

Wolverine_nl's picture

30-01-2018, 13:50

I will test that, i got both LOL!