Dumas - more information revealed

by konamiman on 22-04-2006, 17:38
Topic: Hardware

Konamiman and Daniel Berdugo have just revealed more information on the upcoming Dumas cartridge, which was announced in November 2005. Dumas is a three-in-one cartridge, offering Ethernet (ObsoNET), USB and a 512kB RAM mapper all in one.

The USB1.1 host controller was mainly designed to allow the use of USB based storage devices on MSX, but it can also be used for various other purposes. With several new BIOS function calls and even MSX-BASIC commands, developing MSX software that uses the USB functionality of Dumas becomes relatively simple. Combined with storage devices, you can even use FAT16 partitions and emulate Floppy Disk images in a way similar to ESE's MegaSCSI, which allows you to run even the most complicated sector-based software from a fast USB stick.

At the moment it is not yet clear when the Dumas cartridge will be finished, or what its price will be. As soon as more information becomes available, we will most definitely report about it.

Relevant link: Dumas information page

Comments (33)

By djh1697

Paragon (1699)

djh1697's picture

22-04-2006, 20:04

This device is just so cool! Especially the USB storage devices. Well done on developing such a useful cartridge! The device list looks great, but is there any driver support going to be avaliable for things like say a mouse? or a printer?

I want to be the first to say well done! Although I am sure other people have expressed the same sentiment!

By djh1697

Paragon (1699)

djh1697's picture

22-04-2006, 20:11

I forget, another question, will the device work with any MSX? including MSX1 ?

By BiFi

Enlighted (4348)

BiFi's picture

22-04-2006, 21:19

I think integrating a slotexpander is way overkill. Users tend to insert it in a subslot of their slot expander and will be disappointed it doesn't work. Furthermore, people who have a bigger mapper really don't care much about 512KB.

I think it's very well possible to combine all required ROMs for this device into 1 using a MegaROM system.

Nonetheless... It'd be cool to be able to use USB on MSX, as well as re-release of Ethernet on MSX.


Paladin (1012)

POISONIC's picture

22-04-2006, 21:44

A slot expander with some USB ports would be niceWink

or just 1 FPGA with all msx harware built in for your msx Tongue

By Manuel

Ascended (19330)

Manuel's picture

22-04-2006, 22:09

I agree with BiFi. I'd rather don't have the RAM, but have the possibility to put it in a slot expander.

Alternatively: make the RAM/slotexpander thing switchable?

By boblet

Master (187)

boblet's picture

22-04-2006, 22:10

or even! an actual msx case with real msx bits in!! Tongue

I'm sure there's lots of unexpanded msx's out there, especially msx1's which of course are the main ones that exist in the sunny land I hail from so to me it looks good, especially if I can just plug in an usb floppy or ide device etc. Plus of course it's great for bargain basement bog standard minimum msx2s that come with no exciting features as standard.

Hopefully I shan't be completely brassic when we get the final price when there's things to buy Smile

By Sousuke

Master (177)

Sousuke's picture

23-04-2006, 00:42

Also agree with BiFi, most people don't need those 512k, and I would also prefer to put that cart in a slotexpander, rather than in a primary. (hmm... maybe put up a poll? Wink)

How about a 'lite' version of DUMAS? Without the RAM? Tongue

Anyways, I'm already looking forward to the USB port! Also a nice idea to combine it with the ethernet-cart. It's really tha shiet! Big smile

Keep it up guys! Smile

By Ivan

Ascended (9342)

Ivan's picture

23-04-2006, 02:06

That's not a problem at all. Just insert Dumas in one slot and the slot expander with the rest of the cartridges in the other slot.

By msd

Paragon (1513)

msd's picture

23-04-2006, 02:53

ivan: And what if you want to use that other slot for a mapper. (512KB is nice, but not enough for everthing).

By djh1697

Paragon (1699)

djh1697's picture

23-04-2006, 03:36

Why doesnt the different features have some sort of hardware or software switch? Turn on or turn off different features?

By sunrise

Paragon (1091)

sunrise's picture

23-04-2006, 08:32

I would be basicly in favour to give it a mapper too. But indeed optional. Besides that i am curious about the chipset/chips used, since is it one chip, two of32 ,64 or whatever. I think there are cheaper chips of 4 MB or more what saves place on pcb.

By poke-1,170

Paragon (1783)

poke-1,170's picture

23-04-2006, 13:18

wow,usb ! also great for doing back ups on your pc, between msx and pc

By SaebaMSX

Hero (533)

SaebaMSX's picture

23-04-2006, 16:48

I just want to ask you here... will everybody here use 2 slotexpanders at the same time in their MSX? Else I don't get the problem here having a cart which already has built in the slotexpander circuitry.

512KB is not enough? Just add another bigger mapper in the other slot/slotexpander.

Does not compass use all memory in all slots/subslots? Other programs can't do the same? Search all the connected memory and use it. Just code tools compatible with all that memory. Tongue

I think that it is a cartridge very useful for most of users. And more in our MSX world that people don't like "spend" their money in MSX goodies, you get 3 MSX carts in 1.

Just my 2 cents... Tongue

By djh1697

Paragon (1699)

djh1697's picture

23-04-2006, 17:03

It will present me with a problem. I use a Brazillian MegaRAM, SCC, Sunrise CF. My machine is a TurboR.

Problem - the SCC wont work in the same slot as a MegaRAM! If I use DUMAS I will not be able to use either the MegaRAM or the SCC at the same time. I use a DDX slot expander, apparently you are supposed to be able to use the SCC & MegaRAM together in that slot expander, a simple adjustment of the mini-pin jumpers should be able to do this, however, I have never got this to work - so yes it sould cause me a problem Sad

By Ivan

Ascended (9342)

Ivan's picture

23-04-2006, 17:19

I do agree with SaebaMSX.

512 kB is more than enough. And I only plug my slot expander when I need it.

Anyway I'm sure that Nestor will be pleased reading your comments and suggestions to take them into consideration.

By Ivan

Ascended (9342)

Ivan's picture

23-04-2006, 17:22

Anyway I'm sure that Nestor will be pleased reading your comments and suggestions to take them into consideration.

And of course Daniel Berdugo, the HW designer.

By arnold_m

Master (173)

arnold_m's picture

23-04-2006, 18:34

If I understand the information about Dumas correctly, then the internal slot expander would also be needed for the combination USB+Ethernet and then it makes perfect sense to put in some memory as well. I will probably be quite happy with 512 KiB RAM, but people with larger memory expansions may disagree.

I'd say: Get a standard version (USB+Ethernet+RAM+software) working and into production first, and consider other possible combinations later.


Master (172)

KNM's picture

23-04-2006, 20:41

Agreed with Saeba´s words.DUMAS is an excpetional hardware !!!Can´t wait to have one!WinkWink

By konamiman

Paragon (1194)

konamiman's picture

23-04-2006, 21:40

There is a forum post thread about Dumas, in the hardware section. What about continuing this discussion there? (just for the sake of organization)

By Ivan

Ascended (9342)

Ivan's picture

23-04-2006, 21:44

By selios2000

Hero (564)

selios2000's picture

23-04-2006, 22:20

DUMAS works! It is insane to try to say that the cartridge has not so good features.. come on, the idea is totally brilliant and it will be a "must have" for all users that have got so many slot expanders, so many ram, and for the others that don't want all that things things in their MSX but a only cartridge that contains very good and terribly useful hardware.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

24-04-2006, 01:16

Will it work in an MSX1? That would be sooo cool Tongue

By msd

Paragon (1513)

msd's picture

24-04-2006, 08:07

The point is if you have a bigger mapper the 512KB of the dumas is not need and maybe even not wanted. And nobody can deside for me if 512KB is enough. I will deside that myself thank you very much Tongue

By spl

Paragon (1470)

spl's picture

24-04-2006, 10:11

selios2000, I totally agree with you Big smile

By msd

Paragon (1513)

msd's picture

24-04-2006, 11:43

And of course I agree that it is a great concept Smile

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

24-04-2006, 12:47

Actually I think it's very clever to integrate a 512kB mapper in Dumas, as everybody now knows that if someone has USB and/or Obsonet (ok, I'm neglecting the Obsonet cartridges that were already sold, I know), you can be damn sure that person has at least 512kB RAM as well... What I'm wondering is: can Obsonet also send his data to this 512kB memory 'straight away' to increase transfer speeds, or is this technically impossible? (/me no hardware dude)

By Bastiaan

Champion (333)

Bastiaan's picture

27-04-2006, 09:38

What a cool device!!!! Keep us informed about the progress of this handy piece of hardware.

If I may suggest 1 more improvement: if there is already an internal expander: use the 4th subslot as well.
A megaRAM function might be easy to integrate (or maybe some other usefull funtion)

(to stick to the Alexandre Dumas story: in some eppisodes there are 4 musketeers)

Keep up the good work!

By sinus

Expert (85)

sinus's picture

29-04-2006, 13:32

The whole project is fantastic and the team's achievements are incredible, to say the least. Of course, ideally users may imagine further features but... this Dumas device already seems to be an -ideal- multi-feature device that opens doors to so many modern and upcoming devices. It seems that the whole thing does actually work. What about developing an USB-MSX Cartridge Reader driver for those who will miss the use of a slot? Tongue Just kidding...
Very nice job indeed, state of the art. I can't imagine this is MSX1 compatible though, pieces of software like the Robsy's WAVer brought many MSX1 back to life, I can't imagine plugging such a thing in a 1983 computer! Wink Nothing vital behind this but I confess I like the idea!

By boblet

Master (187)

boblet's picture

01-05-2006, 14:54

I can imagine plugging this into a 1983 computer, just as much as I can plugging it into a 1990 computer. Smile

If it works with an msx1 I'll definately find the money to buy one somehow.

I just hope it doesn't end up costing something like $200 or so.

By msxholder

Champion (399)

msxholder's picture

22-04-2012, 01:26

Had an whery nice informative talk about new hardware today in Maarsen
Witch brought a new collection of ideas !
I hope for new innovative cartridges.
What's the future bring us?

By Manuel

Ascended (19330)

Manuel's picture

22-04-2012, 09:37

Unfortunately, it seems that Dumas has died.

By spacemoai1973

Ambassador (0)

spacemoai1973's picture

22-04-2016, 21:22

So it was never brought out? What jammer Crying

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6447)

mars2000you's picture

22-04-2016, 21:29

Even the info page has been removed ... Here's a copy on Web Archive :