27th November 2020
Firmware v0.922 Beta has been released for public testing! This one is a game changer - ROM files can now be uploaded into ROMX direct from disk without the need for booting into DOS and running the disk based utility. This combined with the description and information editing features introduced in v0.967 make it very easy to maintain the ROM images stored on your ROMX
Although this beta software has been tested extensively there is always the chance that something unexpected might go wrong. For that reason we strongly suggest that you write down or take a “screen shot” of the image descriptions shown on the main menu, along with the associated information text displayed on the information page. It's highly unlikely that any of the ROM images that are stored in ROMX will get corrupted but there is always a chance that the Firmware image (which also contains the descriptions and information metadata) may get incorrectly updated. If this were to happen, and you have a "backup" of the descriptions and information, then it's easy to restore the metadata using the Edit Description (CTRL-D) and Edit Info (CTRL-I) commands from the information page.
There are a couple other situations you should be aware of. This version will run on any Apple II or II+ that has at least 16K of RAM. When we start shipping units with this software it will automatically run on these machines. However, since you are currently running Ver 0.96x software there is still a requirement to have at least 32K to be able to run the disk based version of the software. Therefore, before trying to install your ROMX in a machine with less RAM, make sure you update the firmware first. The same holds true for our special ROMX4K.FIRM firmware that allows bank switching only in machines with less than 16K - first set up the board in a machine with at least 32K RAM. And in the event that you ever have to use the Recovery mode to restore firmware to a corrupted board, you will have to do this on a machine with 32K.
Now that we covered all of the fine print, let’s get on to the fun! Start by upgrading the firmware on your ROMX board:
- Download ROMX Beta 992.zip and extract the .dsk file.
- Transfer, load, and boot the .dsk file. Make sure it says VER 0.992.
- BRUN ROMX.DISK.
- This will present the familiar ROMX menu.
- Press U for Upload.
- You now have the option to load images directly from disk.
- Check that the Slot and Drive are correct for your system; use the S and D keys to change.
- Press P to display a list of image files and pick ROMX.FIRM from the list (Note: files with a + before the name have rmx metadata).
- Select Bank 0, press Y to confirm, and then U to upload. In about 15 seconds your Upload should be complete.
- Power cycle the computer.
Uploading images was never easier!
Other things to note:
- When using Manual Upload, the Image must now reside at memory locations $3000-$5FFF ($60FF if RMX metadata is included).
- Use the new INFO GEN 3 program to add metadata to your own images (especially for contributing to theromexchange.com).
Please provide as much feedback as possible. We welcome your comments and suggestions as well as any issues you want to report.
If you happen to have a MicroDrive/Turbo card then you may be interested in uploading the Applesoft Basic with SmartPort patch ROM. This image is identical to the standard Applesoft Image with Autostart ROM except for one byte. By changing the drive slot search routine at $FABB from $07 to $05, the Autostart ROM will find "SmartPort" devices that only match the first 3 of the usual 4 ID bytes that identify a bootable device. The MicroDrive/Turbo card from ReActiveMicro.com is such a device. With a standard Apple II or II+ you can only boot this card by typing PR#n. With this patched Image in the ROMX, the computer will find and boot the MicroDrive/Turbo automatically (assuming it's in the highest numbered slot).
And in the background, work continues on the Apple //e version of ROMX that we hope to make available as soon as possible :)