SIDE3 Beta Loader

The SIDE3 Loader

Following the release of the SIDE3 cartridge in September 2020, development of the SIDE3 Loader has been ongoing, and in July 2021 I embarked on a considerable re-write which resulted in the loader having full read/write access to FAT partitions on the SD card. Not only this, but the UI was enhanced with context menus and drop-down lists, and the loader gained a full complement of file management tools, including a recursive copier and the ability to create new disk images ‘on the fly’. Moreover, the read-only ‘mini FAT DOS’ present in older versions of the loader was replaced by a complete CIO DOS with read/write capability and a command processor.

The FATFMS disk operating system

Below is a (not exhaustive) overview the features now on offer:

  • Read/write support for up to eight FAT partitions with long filenames
  • 64KB FAT directory buffer allowing the browsing 1,024 files per folder
  • Fast recursive search facility
  • Intuitive context menu system
  • CAR/ROM file loading, ATR mounting, XEX loading
  • Powerful file management tools (recursive file copier, delete, rename, etc)
  • Windows-style cut/copy/paste facilities and keyboard shortcuts
  • PDM audio playback
  • BASIC file loading
  • Built-in FATFMS (an Atari/SpartaDOS FAT workalike with CLI)
  • Autorun facility
  • Bookmarks/favourites
  • Launcher shortcuts and aliases (with hotkey launching)
  • Disk image creation
  • History (remembers your most recently used XEX, ATR and CAR files)
  • Support for SD cards/FAT partitions of up to 128GB
  • Time/date stamping of new and modified files (via real-time clock)
  • Simultaneous HDD/ATR/CAR emulation
  • Bootable, OS-level disk image and HDD support with U1MB when present
  • Limited ATR support without U1MB
  • Remember the last accessed partition, folder, or file

Below is a table which compares the features offered by several popular multi-cart solutions:

 

SIDE3 User Manual (Draft)

SIDE3 Loader Manual (Draft) 270622