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J Tiers
03-25-2005, 11:20 PM
A while back I asked why a particular photo program was so darn slow.....MS Picture It.

Memory was suggested as the issue.

It was NOT.

I finally put another 256 meg in the machine, and the program slowed to half its former speed.

Turns out, it is just a POS. If you let it see a directory with more than about a dozen photos anywhere in it, even in subs, it wants to load them all in memory. So naturally, it found more memory, and went to town loading stuff.

Some want Bill Gates to burn in hell. I just want him to use his own stuff, bought froma store.

You know how it turns out that some televangelists have been pocketing the cash or doing what they condemn? Like Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Baker?

We'll probably find out that Bill Gates uses an Apple!

vinito
03-25-2005, 11:29 PM
Where else would he get ideas from?
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

BillH
03-25-2005, 11:37 PM
So lets hear it, "BillH you were right!" http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

[This message has been edited by BillH (edited 03-25-2005).]

CCWKen
03-26-2005, 12:35 AM
That was the reason I quit using it. I'm glad I didn't have to pay for it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Do you do a lot of photo mods?

I use Irfanview. You can do most of the simple mods; crop, resize, sharpen, balance, color enhance, color depth, grey scale, flip, rotate, red-eye reduction, text and has a few custom filters like; 3D, blur, emboss, etc.

It has batch processing, slide show and thumbnail processing too. With the free optional plugins, it will read over 40 different file types including CAD-DWG, DFX and HPGL2. Best of all it's FREE! (For personal use)

No popups or adds. I've been using it for the last three or four years. And it doesn't have that 3rd grade GUI look to it. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Give it a try: www.irfanview.com (http://www.irfanview.com)

jimfun
03-26-2005, 12:51 AM
"I bought an Apple to help me design my new Cray." Dr. Cray "I bought a new Cray to help my design my new Apple" Steve Wozniak.

Carl
03-26-2005, 01:25 AM
I use Picture It all the time and it works fine for me. I routinely pull up huge picture files with the program running and it doesn't do what you described. I've always been really happy with the program. It seems to me that I've had problems sometimes with two different applications interfering with each other. Right now I have a Kodak program that is causing problems with Image Preview on my computer. I will probably have to uninstall and reinstall the Kodak program with different option settings.

darryl
03-26-2005, 01:29 AM
I'll eat an apple if someone will give me a cray. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Ditto on Irfanview. I'm repeating myself here since I've suggested that a few times already, but it's a good program, free or not. Loads quickly and works quickly, without problems. Easy, and not boggy like some of those other pieces of ----. Something else about it, you can save a jpg in different quality levels, and if you go down to say 80%, it can cut the file size in half or less, without objectionable deterioration of the picture. Great for fast uploading and downloading of pictures!

tattoomike68
03-26-2005, 01:53 AM
Ms picture it worked ok for me but I dont like putting a cd in to use the goodies.

I use adobe photoshop 7.0 and paintshop pro 7.0 they will share plug-ins too.

I will have to download Irfanview and try it out.

ok I downloaded it, its great and has plenty of features,i dont always need a pile of menus. sweet http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

[This message has been edited by tattoomike68 (edited 03-26-2005).]

Evan
03-26-2005, 02:07 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Where else would he get ideas from?
</font>

Xerox.

plm
03-26-2005, 09:07 AM
Evan,

So true!

Interesting story of the Apple Boy's development of their first GUI. As I recall I think it was a Xerox research facility in Palo Alto (I think) that first developed a working concept of the GUI and Apple "borrowed" this idea. It is funny how some of the world thinks Bill is responsible for WINDOWS.

Also find it ironic the story behind the use of the Intel processor (8086?) over the Motorola 68000 in the first IBM PC.

When the PC was first introduced back in the early-mid eighty's we were selling to IBM disk drives. I remember on a trip to their Boca Raton facility where the PC was developed, I asked them why they chose Intel over the Motorola 68000. Their response was that, although they felt the 68000 was a superior processor, they chose Intel because it was a small company they felt they could control better than the larger Motorola.

I do have to give Bill credit for the slick move of getting the rights to DOS from someone else and the deal he made with IBM to get it on the PC and to allow him to resell it to others.

plm

HTRN
03-26-2005, 12:49 PM
It was called PARC which stood for Palo Alto Research Center. The Pbs series "revenge of the nerds" covered the development of the GUI quite extensively. The reason that Xerox today isn't a Megacorp that dwarfs both MS and Apple is upper management simply didn't get it. They were "copier guys"


HTRN

------------------
This Old Shed (http://http:thisoldshed.tripod.com)

Ryobiguy
03-26-2005, 01:13 PM
Has anyone seen "Pirates of Silicon Valley?" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168122/
That's a fun flick, especially the first half or so when they're building up the companies and really going big. I love how they show Bill just totally ripping off all his ideas "They did what? How long will it take us to copy it??" And I love how crazy Steve Jobs is - the part I remember most is him smirking and folding up his "90 hours a week and LOVING it" T-shirts.
Took me forever to realize that Bill was played by Michael Anthony Hall.

I'll have to check the listings for that PBS "Revenge of the Nerds," sounds interesting.

J Tiers
03-26-2005, 10:27 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by tattoomike68:
Ms picture it worked ok for me but I dont like putting a cd in to use the goodies.

I use adobe photoshop 7.0 and paintshop pro 7.0 they will share plug-ins too.

</font>

Dunno about that, my version is a bit back (2001), old enough that it isn't vulnerable (isn't on the MS list, anyhow) to the evil stuff. I don't need the CD for anything.

If there is a setting to improve it, I don't know about it. If I keep no more than a dozen photos in a directory, it is fine.

I also tried the Gnu Image processor. It does absolutely everything, but has NO user friendly features at all.

irfanview may be OK too.

Having just gone thru getting memory upgraded.....when the computer was made, PC133 was just one thing......now I needed PC100/133 memory. Everyone was blaming it on Gateway, but this is NOT one of the "use our stuff or die" versions.

Anyhow, after the last 42 meg via dialup download....it will be a while before I want to download anything.

I can recommend the Memorex 52/32/52 "Ultra" CD burner, installed easily, worked first time. Even on 98SE.

Had tried an Iomega, and after the attempt, I was ready to join up with Osama just for the pleasure of attacking that one individual part of the "great satan". Iomega was moved up to BEFORE Microsoft on my list.

Milacron of PM
03-26-2005, 10:42 PM
I once sold an Emco Maximat lathe/mill head combo to a guy in a small town in Georgia. I had business in Atlanta so I decided to deliver it to him in person as his town was only a few miles out of the way.

After he unloaded it with his tractor, we got to talking. I found out he was a doctor....Dr. Ed Roberts "Father of the PC"

He hired Bill Gates..back before Microsoft existed.

Here's a bio on Ed's baby, the Altair computer and the early days of the PC http://virtualaltair.com

CCWKen
03-26-2005, 11:05 PM
Holly smoke JT! You need to step up.

I can say that now that I have a new computer. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif My old 100Mhz lasted for more than 10 years. I think the clock gave up the ghost.

The Irfanview download is only 857Kb. Even on my dialup, it wasn't bad.

Forgot to mention:
Iview will also let you print the EXIF data to your digital pictures (selectively at any location). I didn't even know what EXIF was until I got my digital camera.

[This message has been edited by CCWKen (edited 03-26-2005).]

J Tiers
03-26-2005, 11:11 PM
I was looking around for computers at the time of the Altair. Them was the days....

I finally wound up with a SWTPC 6800. I still have it, and the terminal to run it, with documentation. I oughtta set it up and run it sometime when I am out of projects everywhere else........

I got a 6809 memory paging multitasking processor board to upgrade it, but never did that.

Just for comparison purposes, the word processing program (for instance) along with the OS and the document, ALL resided in 24K of memory. I could have installed up to 64K, but never did.

The really adventurous folks had connected 5 meg double height hard drives to their 6800 or 6809 systems.

The system I am reading this board on has far more memory, larger hard disk, and umplty-bump more processor power than the system 370 that the university had....

darryl
03-26-2005, 11:46 PM
I had a Timex 1000 computer.

J Tiers
03-26-2005, 11:56 PM
Step-up? maybe, I just don't want to get on the XP umbilical cord If I don't have to.

98SE is fine without interacting with MS at all. I really don't have an option to go to the penguin, too much dos and windows software that I still use.

EXIF? Whatzit? Sounds like a band from the 70's......

I do "high tech" to a certain degree at work.....but..............

I want a T-shirt with a "name tag" printed on it...one of those "Hi my name is" ones.....

It would say "Hi my name is ....Ned Ludd".

That along with "save the cows, eat a politician today" , "Cooked animals taste good", "Lawyers, the other white meat", and a few more like them.....seeing a pattern here?



[This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 03-27-2005).]

tattoomike68
03-27-2005, 12:21 AM
I made this on paint shop pro fast.
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v488/miketattoo68/bushmore1.jpg

jimfun
03-27-2005, 12:45 AM
Why don't you just wipe your butt with the Mona Lisa instead of discracing a beautifull monument like that.

BillH
03-27-2005, 11:49 AM
If we were to put a liberal up there, would be no choice but to blow up the mountain to restore the beuty of things.

plm
03-27-2005, 02:34 PM
J Tiers, D. Thomas,

Altair's and SWTPC's bring back memories of the good old days for me.

Had a home built SWTPC 6800 myself. Later got hooked up with a bunch of guys in a startup for early 5" disk drives and used the 6800 to develop the embedded code for the drives. It served me well - used it for about 8-10 years.

Thanks for the memories...

plm

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-27-2005, 04:43 PM
I've got dozzens of homebrew computers I've made over the years... I've made 8086's, 8088s, 286's, 386's, 486's, and a ton of 8-bit stuff.. I found some old pictures of a few of my homebrews:

My Intel 8088 w/8259 Interrupt Controller and a 16550 Uart:

Picture of my Homebrew 8088 Computer (Too big for some) (http://bbssystem.com/wirewrap/8088.jpg)


Picture of my Intel 486 Homebrew computer (component side) (http://bbssystem.com/wirewrap/486-top.jpg)


Picture of my Intel 486 Homebrew computer (Wire-wrap side) (http://bbssystem.com/wirewrap/486.JPG)

Those were definitely some great times... Now I can build super computers and simulate them without using a single wire instead of spending hours and hours wirewrapping or breadbording them up.

-3Ph


[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 03-29-2005).]

Carl
03-27-2005, 05:44 PM
...done very fast on Picture It.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v35/lathefan/761acf12.jpg

[This message has been edited by Carl (edited 03-28-2005).]

Paul Alciatore
03-28-2005, 11:51 PM
3 Phase,

Why don't you use that 8088 to reduce the size of that 5,000 MegaPixel photo of the manuals to something that will fit on my 19" monitor before posting it?

Paul A.

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-29-2005, 12:39 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Paul Alciatore:
3 Phase,

Why don't you use that 8088 to reduce the size of that 5,000 MegaPixel photo of the manuals to something that will fit on my 19" monitor before posting it?

Paul A.</font>

Here ya go..

http://bbssystem.com/wirewrap/mini/8088.jpg

-3Ph

Evan
03-29-2005, 03:01 AM
Just a few thoughts here. I am on the Paint Shop Pro alpha test team although since Corel purchased JASC I think that is a dead product. I am no longer bound by the NDA so I can talk about it. Unfortunately, and I still must be carefull what I say, PSP9 is not on my list of recommended software. It is simply too unstable. It was rushed out the door just in advance of the Corel deal, regardless of my and the other testers reccomendations. I worked on the PSP8 and 9 test phases. PSP 8 was released to market with a truly horrendous bug in the rendering engine. The line drawing routine was incapable of drawing any line width that was an odd number. This affected all fonts rendering as well as any preprogrammed shapes. It took JASC about 4 months to fix it after release to market.


As for Xerox, that is a very interesting story. The GUI was developed at PARC in the 70s. I had occasion to visit there in about 1977. As an employee I was allowed access to all but the most restricted areas. Some of the things I saw then are a bit hard to believe, they were so advanced. Remember, this is 1977 I'm talking about. I saw desktop computers with Highres displays capable of displaying two sided by side full page business letters on screens with a 16/9 aspect ratio. The computers were called the Alto and Xerox built about 500 of them. They were never sold but were the prototype for the Xerox Star systems. I saw a full color laser printer. They were already using the full WIMP interface. (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pointer). It was Alan Kay that took the idea of the WIMP GUI to Apple. He was frustrated by the utter lack of vision on the part of the upper management at Xerox.

It isn't well known how many of the ideas we take for granted were invented at PARC. Every single aspect of the computers we use now were developed at PARC. Even Ethernet was a PARC invention.


3Phase, would you please resize that pic down?

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-29-2005).]

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-29-2005, 11:33 AM
Don't like my Picture size? Call 1-800-328-7448.

I replaced it with a link.

-3Ph


[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 03-29-2005).]

andy_b
03-29-2005, 12:05 PM
the PARC comments got me thinking.
how much does/did all the R&D that went into developing all those products cost? didn't organizations like Bell-Labs once devote about 95% of their budget entirely to R&D. anyway, today there is less than 30% devoted to R&D, and that number is still on the way down. i have to wonder how many new innovations will come out of businesses that devote less and less funding to pure R&D. if the budget only allows for shareholder dividends and CEO bonuses, where does funding for development come from????

andy b.

J Tiers
03-29-2005, 12:23 PM
I did check out "Irfanview". It seems somewhat limited, but appears to do the things I want, although it is always resizing itself, very annoying.

About research:
Bell labs was at one time "THE" research organization. Other companies like 3M do still fund a lot of research, in areas where they think it will benefit them. But Bell Labs did unlimited pure research in many areas.

Bell Labs, in their naivete may also have been the single biggest reason for the Asian electronics boom. They sold unlimited patent rights to the transistor to Sony for the (even then) insultingly tiny figure of $25,000. Full, unlimited, rights to make, develop, etc, etc. They did retain teh patent itself, but that hardly mattered.

That has to be the biggest business blunder of the century. If they had even charged a small royalty, Bell Labs would have been set up for a long time. Instead they took their thirty pieces of silver and now they have pretty much been hung.

The CEO of Sony took a risk, admittedly. The other management at Sony were very unpleased with the idea, Sony had little money then. I imagine they changed their tune.

Evan
03-29-2005, 12:40 PM
At least Bell Labs had a patent. Xerox didn't even bother to patent most of their inventions. They let it all just walk out the door and didn't make a dime from it. Even less known was the fact that Xerox made and sold a line of supercomputers during the 70's and early 80s. They were extremely advanced for the time. However, once again the upper management even managed to kill that goose too.

A few more inventions from Xerox include the fax machine, the laser diode, color xerography, the laser printer and many others. Xerox also built the cameras for the Pioneer spacecraft. One of the reasons so few people know about these developments is that many of these inventions were developed by wholly owned subsidiaries that didn't carry the Xerox name. At one point in the early 80s Xerox had over 50 subsidiaries.

[This message has been edited by Evan (edited 03-29-2005).]

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-29-2005, 12:57 PM
If you took Apple's MAC GUI and compare it to the Microsoft GUI/GDI or X-Windows/Motif there is maybe .001% similarities in their actual implementation.. In fact, they are both completely different.. They may look alike, but what actually goes on under the covers is completely different.. If you contrast this with say... the Automobile, almost all cars and trucks have the same design and implementation..

If you were to compare products side by side based on how different their design and implementation was, this is how the GUI might compare to say....... Automobiles:

A Ferrari and a VW Thing = 95% same design/implementation.
The MAC GUI and the Windows GDI/GUI = .001% same design/implementation.
The MAC GUI and the X-Windows system = .001% same design/implementation.

To say MAC copied the GUI from PARC, or to say Microsoft copied the GUI from Apple, is like saying... "You copied my house because your house has windows and doors like my house does". PARC built a lot of prototypes which is a completely different engineering mindset from production. It's very easy to quickly prototype something that you know will never need all of the final details.

When the MAC first came out, I started writing development tools for it. The GUI interface was extremely painful to write programs for and it hindered a lot of programs functionality because most of the development effort was spent trying to deal with writing a GUI application. It would have been much better initially if the GUI was delayed a few years and the the GUI APIs were more carefully thought out.. When Microsoft came out with Windows 1.0, their API was much better than Apple's, but it still had lots of issues... Microsoft got to make more mistakes and learn from them when they initially designed and implemented OS/2 for IBM. They applied that knowledge in WIN32 when Windows 95 came out. Almost all of the GUI problems have been solved in WIN32 but still it's hard for people to transition, but it's trivial to start programming today in WIN32 or XLib compared to the Initial MAC implementation.

-3Ph

Evan
03-29-2005, 01:28 PM
Apple's first implementation of a GUI wasn't on the MAC, it was the LISA. It is amazing how much misinformation there is floating around. The LISA is commonly billed as the first commercially available computer with a GUI. Nonsense. Xerox was selling the Xerox Star 8010 in 1981, two full years before the LISA.

Although the GUI is very different "under the hood" the essential concepts were still based largely on the work of Alan Kay who defected to Apple from Xerox. Anyone that has actually used a Star 8010 will see the similarity immediately. I still have a couple of true optical mice from that model. Yep, optical mice in 1980, another Xerox invention.

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-29-2005, 03:19 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
Apple's first implementation of a GUI wasn't on the MAC, it was the LISA.</font>

Who said the MAC offered the first GUI? I certainly didn't. Did somebody else?


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
It is amazing how much misinformation there is floating around.</font>

It's not amazing to me.. I see people misinterpreting information and create false information all the time.. In fact, I'm still waiting to get more information about these non-existent hard disks that you claim write their bad sector lists to flash.


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:
The LISA is commonly billed as the first commercially available computer with a GUI.
Nonsense. Xerox was selling the Xerox Star 8010 in 1981, two full years before the LISA.

Although the GUI is very different "under the hood" the essential concepts were still based largely on the work of Alan Kay who defected to Apple from Xerox. Anyone that has actually used a Star 8010 will see the similarity immediately. I still have a couple of true optical mice from that model. Yep, optical mice in 1980, another Xerox invention.</font>

I definitely don't see any similarity between a MAC/Windows/XLib system at all. All three are completely unique with the exception of the look and feel which might look the same to a non-technical end.

-3Ph


[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 03-29-2005).]

BillH
03-29-2005, 04:02 PM
Who ever came up with the single button mouse should be shot.

J Tiers
03-29-2005, 04:27 PM
I think the point is missed......


The Xerox folks were the first ones to make almost any kind of mouse-based GUI.

Whether they "share code" or "look and feel" or whatever is totally irrelevant.

The point is that someone said there should be a mouse-based GUI and made one. There was no such thing before. It was "new and novel" in every patent office sense.
That person who did that was at Xerox, AFAIK.

Evan
03-29-2005, 04:57 PM
3 Phase,


<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">

Firmware (microcode) of the control microprocessor is a collection of programs required for operation of HDD components. Here belong the programs used for initial diagnostics, control of spindle motor rotation, data exchange with disk controller, buffer RAM, etc. In most HDD models firmware microcode is stored within internal microcontroller ROM; some models employ external Flash ROM.

Firmware data is necessary for functioning of internal HDD circuits and as a rule it remains hidden from users. Firmware data can be subdivided into the following types:

* Servo information or servo fields;
* Low-level format;
* Resident firmware microcode (operational programs);
* Configuration tables and settings;
* Tables of defects.


Connection between the logical disk space and physical disk format is established through a special program, i.e. a translator, which takes into account physical format, zone allocation as well as defective sectors and tracks to be skipped during operation.

Access to firmware zone is possible only in a special drive operation mode, i.e. factory mode. A drive is switched into that mode by a key command opening access to an additional set of factory commands. Those commands are used for such operations as reading/writing of firmware zone sectors, obtaining a map with locations of modules and tables in firmware zone, access to zone allocation table, conversion of LBA into PCHS and vice versa, launch of low-level format, reading/writing to/from Flash ROM and some other actions.</font>

http://www.acelab.ru/products/pc-en/articles/ModernHDD/

Some drives keep some defect data in the flash rom, some keep it on the platter and some keep some of it in both places.

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-29-2005, 05:39 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Evan:


3 Phase,




Firmware (microcode) of the control microprocessor is a collection of programs required for operation of HDD components. Here belong the programs used for initial diagnostics, control of spindle motor rotation, data exchange with disk controller, buffer RAM, etc. In most HDD models firmware microcode is stored within internal microcontroller ROM; some models employ external Flash ROM.

Firmware data is necessary for functioning of internal HDD circuits and as a rule it remains hidden from users. Firmware data can be subdivided into the following types:

* Servo information or servo fields;
* Low-level format;
* Resident firmware microcode (operational programs);
* Configuration tables and settings;
* Tables of defects.


Connection between the logical disk space and physical disk format is established through a special program, i.e. a translator, which takes into account physical format, zone allocation as well as defective sectors and tracks to be skipped during operation.

Access to firmware zone is possible only in a special drive operation mode, i.e. factory mode. A drive is switched into that mode by a key command opening access to an additional set of factory commands. Those commands are used for such operations as reading/writing of firmware zone sectors, obtaining a map with locations of modules and tables in firmware zone, access to zone allocation table, conversion of LBA into PCHS and vice versa, launch of low-level format, reading/writing to/from Flash ROM and some other actions.</font>

http://www.acelab.ru/products/pc-en/articles/ModernHDD/

Some drives keep some defect data in the flash rom, some keep it on the platter and some keep some of it in both places.




This is another example of how easy it is for someone to misinterpret the information you read..


"Firmware data is necessary for functioning of internal HDD circuits and as a rule it remains hidden from users. "

That "Firmware data" they are are referencing is stored on the disk. It even suggests that some drives store some or all of their Firmware on the disk. Maybe this is the section you didn't read, or understand:

"Modern HDDs also have extra capacity, but it is hidden from users and only drive microcontroller can access it. A portion of that extra space is allocated to HDD firmware, configuration tables, S.M.A.R.T. counters, factory information about a HDD, tables of defects, etc. The remaining part is held in reserve for substitution of defective sectors with the reserved ones."

At the very end, you'll see from Physical CYL0 to Logical LBA 0 is where all of the Service Data (Firmware data, tables, etc.) are stored..

Where exactly in that document did you see them say anything about writing bad sector/block tables to Flash? I'm curious because I read that as clearly stating bad sector/block tables are always in the firmware zone sectors residing on the disk.

-3Ph

CCWKen
03-29-2005, 06:59 PM
Here's my take on where GUI came from or who invented it first.

WHO CARES!

Some day when you guys are on Jepardy, you'll have a chance to win; Otherwise, the argument is of no value. All of the original GUI's were crap because the software and OS couldn't support it well enough to have customers. So the fact that who invented the first crap interface makes no difference. It's like who put the first electric lights on cars? Who cares. They weren't worth a hoot either.

The best invention to ever hit computing was the "Copy" verb. That was the single most advanced improvement in the industry. It laid the path for common routines and the GUI.

plm
03-29-2005, 11:03 PM
Fellow HSM’s,

Warning! This post is way off topic until the very last part. So skip to the end if you just want to see what I use for photo software.

We really should not be talking about this on this thread or forum. But, at the risk of being impolite and inappropriate, I might be able to clarify the usage of some of the different types of memory used for systems in your typical hard drive you would find in a desk top computer. I designed them for 23 years until I was fortunate enough to be able to retire last summer so my knowledge is fairly current.

From the paper mentioned at http://www.acelab.ru/products/pc-en/articles/ModernHDD/ I can see how one could assume the data used by the firmware is kept with the firmware in the non-volatile memory. From the paper:
__________________________________________________ _________________

Firmware data is necessary for functioning of internal HDD circuits and as a rule it remains hidden from users. Firmware data can be subdivided into the following types:
• Servo information or servo fields;
• Low-level format;
• Resident firmware microcode (operational programs);
• Configuration tables and settings;
• Tables of defects.
__________________________________________________ __________________
They could have been a little clearer. All of this data is kept in some sort of RAM; high-speed static RAM for use by the servo code; and slower static RAM and D-RAM for everything else. The only thing kept in the flash is code and not data.

I guess I could stop here but, I will elaborate a little more for those that might be interested.

First, component cost is everything and to use flash for storing defect information would simply be too expensive. Typically a budget of about 1 defect/megabyte of storage is used. Even when the gigabyte+ capacity drives started to emerge in the mid ninety’s the numbers started to add up quickly for the amount of memory required to hold the defect lists.

These lists, as mentioned in earlier posts, would be stored on the drive and, additionally, they are loaded into the data buffer for quick access to enable fast and accurate seeks. Overall, the paper referenced at http://www.acelab.ru/products/pc-en/articles/ModernHDD/ is basically accurate and serves as a good tutorial but, is somewhat antiquated. With the large drives of today, many new defect management schemes have since been developed and they all consist of the old tradeoff of price vs. performance. Incidentally, the 4-chip block diagram shown in the paper is now one chip.

With regards to using flash for the control firmware, it has always been tough to swallow the cost of flash for just the control code, especially when you can only budget the cost for about 128K bytes. Although not a new concept, the push is to have a small boot program in non-volatile memory to do just enough to spin the drive up and seek to the system sectors to load the balance of the on-line code. What is new is the use of a masked ROM to hold the boot code. In the past the use of a masked ROM to hold firmware was always a risky proposition at best in an embedded controller application. But do to the short life span and high volumes of a disk drive, it has become feasible today. Flashes will be initially used, but once the volumes ramp up, it will be replaced with a masked ROM.

Every resource of a drive is precious and the cost of each one is scrutinized at the fraction a penny level. Even the disk space the drive uses for its own resources are fought over between engineering and marketing. As an example, the portion of the servo burst field that contains the servo positioning information are called burst fields, there are typically four of these fields and each one might be 14 bits in length. If that number could be reduced to 13-bits it would be considered a major coup. Now that is only a savings of four bits for each servo burst which does not seem like much of a gain but, with the size of today’s drives it all adds up to storage they could be selling to the customer.

Don’t know how we got off on this topic but, to stay on topic, I use Photoshop and Photoshop Album – I’m happy with both of them.

Hope this information helps.

plm

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-30-2005, 12:20 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by plm:
Fellow HSM’s,

Warning! This post is way off topic until the very last part. So skip to the end if you just want to see what I use for photo software.

</font>

Who cares about photo software? http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

Hey Plm, where were you before when we last talked about this "Some drives keep some defect data in the flash rom" non-sense?

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//Forum1/HTML/010575.html

By any chance, did you ever work on any Corvus Systems hard disks? I have an old one I'm trying to build a custom host controller for and I'm looking for some help due to its age and lack of service documentation. Do any of your friends or contacts from the past have any Corvus experience?

-3Ph


[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 03-30-2005).]

plm
03-30-2005, 11:51 AM
Hi 3Ph,

I guess I missed that post. I was wondering where it was when I saw you alluding to the question of flash memory usage.

No, I did not work at Corvus. I worked initially at MiniScribe, Conner Peripherals, Maxtor, and finally at Seagate which bought the original Conner Design Center that was founded here in Colorado.

The Corvus is an old drive, it might even predate the old ST-506 interface – do you know what the drive/controller interface is? Or, if is not an industry standard, do you know what the pin-out definitions on the drives interface connectors (control & data connectors). In any case the data channel will probably be of an MFM type. Assuming you know the pin definitions, the biggest obstacle you will face is dealing with the MFM data.

Not saying it can’t be done but, there are some specific details you will have to get a handle on. The basic process when writing to the drive is to seek to the appropriate cylinder/head/sector, take your resident data on the computer, apply an RLL encoding scheme to it and sequence the bit stream out to the appropriate sector on the drive. Additionally, you will want to append a CRC or an ECC field at the end of the data. The read-back is the reverse of this process. This process is typically done in hardware but, with the speed of today’s processors and the slow data rate of the Corvus you could probably do this with code or, preferable, an FPGA.

I guess I am starting to ramble a bit. Why don’t we take this offline - Email me at pmurray80027atidcommdotcom (replace 'at' and 'dot' with '@' and '.'). I am going to have to fill you in on many more details; how to know where you are on the disk; determining the data rate to use; design of a dual-port or three-port buffer manager on your controller, etc. I’m willing to help you where I can.

plm

3 Phase Lightbulb
03-30-2005, 01:04 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by plm:
Hi 3Ph,

I guess I missed that post. I was wondering where it was when I saw you alluding to the question of flash memory usage.

No, I did not work at Corvus. I worked initially at MiniScribe, Conner Peripherals, Maxtor, and finally at Seagate which bought the original Conner Design Center that was founded here in Colorado.

The Corvus is an old drive, it might even predate the old ST-506 interface – do you know what the drive/controller interface is? Or, if is not an industry standard, do you know what the pin-out definitions on the drives interface connectors (control & data connectors). In any case the data channel will probably be of an MFM type. Assuming you know the pin definitions, the biggest obstacle you will face is dealing with the MFM data.

Not saying it can’t be done but, there are some specific details you will have to get a handle on. The basic process when writing to the drive is to seek to the appropriate cylinder/head/sector, take your resident data on the computer, apply an RLL encoding scheme to it and sequence the bit stream out to the appropriate sector on the drive. Additionally, you will want to append a CRC or an ECC field at the end of the data. The read-back is the reverse of this process. This process is typically done in hardware but, with the speed of today’s processors and the slow data rate of the Corvus you could probably do this with code or, preferable, an FPGA.

I guess I am starting to ramble a bit. Why don’t we take this offline - Email me at pmurray80027atidcommdotcom (replace 'at' and 'dot' with '@' and '.'). I am going to have to fill you in on many more details; how to know where you are on the disk; determining the data rate to use; design of a dual-port or three-port buffer manager on your controller, etc. I’m willing to help you where I can.

plm

</font>


Hi Plm,

Yea this predates the ST506 interface otherwise it would be a no-brainer http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif I'm trying to make a custom host controller that interfaces to the drives controller (A Z80 based controller/logic board) so the job should be easy once I figure out the interface and the command structure.

The MFM/NRZ encoder/decoders, server controller, and servo drivers are handled by the onboard Z-80 based controller so I just need to talk to the controller via (what appears to be) a TTL 8-bit bus interface. Corvus made all kinds of different host controllers (They offered an Apple Host interface card, an IBM host interface card, and also the Omninet controller for networked users).

-3Ph

UPDATE!! I just found all the Corvus information that I only dreamed of having:

Corvus Disk System Technical Reference Manual (http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/corvus/7100-03289_DiskSysTechRef.pdf)


11 and 20 Megabyte Drive Service Manual (http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/corvus/corvus_11-20mb_8inch_svc.pdf)



[This message has been edited by 3 Phase Lightbulb (edited 03-30-2005).]

plm
03-30-2005, 01:38 PM
3Ph,

I was hoping you were not going to have to deal with the RLL encoding/decoding. Most of the time that was done on the drive - just did not know with your vintage. Sounds like the only major obstacle you may have to overcome will be to generate some kind of ECC (not a CRC) code to send at the end of your data stream so you can possibly recover hard read errors that are within the limits of the ECC code.

Looks like you hit the jackpot on the manuals – I’ll try and look at them later. But from what it sounds like, the interface is pure digital. Hopefully the data stream is transferred in byte-wide sized words and, if not, it is probably in NRZ format but, that’s a piece-of-cake too.

Good luck,

plm