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Andromeda A6 OS Update Project Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 3rd November 2016
  #151
Quote:
Originally Posted by NEXUS-6 View Post
Me too..

Keep up the good work !!
COUNT ME IN!

F.
Old 3rd November 2016
  #152
Gear Head
Whatever it takes:-)
Old 4th November 2016
  #153
Gear Addict
 
J# Minor's Avatar
 

OK, thanks for the responses. The external display idea came because I've gained a fairly good understanding of the communications between the main OS and the front panel controller — enough to at least display pages if I had a tap on the serial line between the two. Plus, I've been semi-seriously looking for replacement displays, since mine is pretty dim.

Currently I'm on a different tack. I've been identifying C standard library and other support functions, hoping to reduce the "unknown function count" when looking at disassembled modulation code.

I'm "moving" to Vancouver in January. That's "moving" with quotes, because while my primary residence will be in Canada, I will be back in the US perhaps 40% of the time. It has nothing to do with the US presidential election, BTW.

My A6 will stay in the US for now. This isn't a problem, as at this point I rarely need to turn on the A6 for development tasks. The disassembled code speaks for itself quite well. I'll be looking for a second A6 once I'm settled up north, I think.

I continue to post near-daily status via Twitter at @a6osdev.
Old 14th November 2016
  #154
Gear Nut
 

Regarding your dim display, the Kurzweil K2000 had that issue and you could pull out the backlight EL panel and replace it with one from a similar size display.
Old 15th November 2016
  #155
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bklein View Post
Regarding your dim display, the Kurzweil K2000 had that issue and you could pull out the backlight EL panel and replace it with one from a similar size display.
I replaced the Kurzweil k2000 screen with a lovely display from retroillumination on ebay and its a joy to use and easy to replace - he seems to have a stacks of high quality screens for heaps of gear so would be a good contact!

Group buy?

https://www.facebook.com/illuminator808/
Old 14th March 2017
  #156
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor View Post
OK, thanks for the responses. The external display idea came because I've gained a fairly good understanding of the communications between the main OS and the front panel controller — enough to at least display pages if I had a tap on the serial line between the two. Plus, I've been semi-seriously looking for replacement displays, since mine is pretty dim.

Currently I'm on a different tack. I've been identifying C standard library and other support functions, hoping to reduce the "unknown function count" when looking at disassembled modulation code.

I'm "moving" to Vancouver in January. That's "moving" with quotes, because while my primary residence will be in Canada, I will be back in the US perhaps 40% of the time. It has nothing to do with the US presidential election, BTW.

My A6 will stay in the US for now. This isn't a problem, as at this point I rarely need to turn on the A6 for development tasks. The disassembled code speaks for itself quite well. I'll be looking for a second A6 once I'm settled up north, I think.

I continue to post near-daily status via Twitter at @a6osdev.
I am not on Twitter, is this project still active? (Hope it is)
Old 14th March 2017
  #157
Yes, it is still alive - I get Twitter updates about it every now and then. Thanks for the efforts!!!
Old 14th March 2017
  #158
F5D
Lives for gear
 
F5D's Avatar
 

J# Minor, thanks again for taking the huge effort to go through all this. Do you have an idea of how much have you managed to translate of the code at this point? How much of manual work does it require daily? If I understood correctly the method earlier, you have acquired and combined many tools that "reverse engineer" the code piece by piece. Can the software move to the next piece automatically and how much guidance does it need from you? Really interesting stuff.
Old 14th March 2017
  #159
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlavioB View Post
Yes, it is still alive - I get Twitter updates about it every now and then. Thanks for the efforts!!!
Thanx! Wonderful!
Old 15th March 2017
  #160
Gear Addict
 
J# Minor's Avatar
 

Warning: Neckbeard.

@F5D it's only semi-automated. The first stage is a disassembler from GNU binutils package. That takes binary in and produces crummy assembly language out. The next stage is a small tool I wrote that takes in the crummy assembly code, does some analysis, and spits out better assembly code. The analysis is stuff like this:
  • Fix cases where the disassembler spits out the wrong code.
  • Detect functions, data locations, and section boundaries, based on telltale patterns in the code, and on locations that the code accesses.
  • Mark each function/location as "known" = I've reviewed it and understand it, or "unknown" = I haven't got to it yet.
  • Give names to each function/location. Known ones have names I've assigned. Unknown ones get temporary names.
  • For each function, discover what other functions it uses, and what other functions use it.
  • Give each function a "WTF factor" (my term), which is just the count of unknown things it uses.
  • Output assembly code in the format I want.

The code that comes out (still in assembly language) will build and reproduces the exact binary that was fed into the chain. That's how I verify that the disassembly is correct. However, at this point it is just a stream of assembly instructions. There are no comments, no variables, nothing.

Now the hard part. I pick a single function, usually one with WTF = 0, and go through it instruction-by-instruction, trying to divine what goal the code seeks to accomplish. I add comments and replace generic names (register d3) with meaningful names (pot_raw_max). Usually, which is still a surprise to me, I do come to a good understanding of the function.

I give that function a name and mark it as known. Then I re-run the toolchain above. The new known function usually results in a some decreased WTFs. I pick another WTF=0 and repeat.

TL;DR: It's more the tool guiding me rather than me guiding the tool.

As for what % I have covered, I keep putting that off because I know it's going to be demoralizing to discover what small percentage it is. The complete assembly code file is roughly 200,000 lines long!

I usually spend an hour or two on it daily, usually in the very early morning before work
Old 15th March 2017
  #161
Lives for gear
 
lysander's Avatar
 

This is awesome work, I love your approach, kudos.
Old 26th March 2017
  #162
Gear Head
 
Graphic's Avatar
I don't understand much of this thread, but I'm excited for everything happening right now. There is a lot of potential for how this could transform the Andromeda.
Old 8th April 2017
  #163
Here for the gear
 

J# Minor, this is terrific work you are doing, hope it keeps you motivated (I guess the reverse engineering effort is rewarding on it's own).

If you ever encounter some undocumented sysex message handlers (I guess this is far down in your priorities of things that needs reverse engineering) it would be very useful for you to share details about those.

Also, which version of the OS are you working on? Would having more versions be helpful to you (I got my hand on an A6 which had the old 1.40.2 version, I saved the sysex dump of it if it is of any use) in order to compare what changed?
Old 20th April 2017
  #164
d_r
Here for the gear
maybe thats interesting for you:
https://www.amazona.de/superbooth-17...log-andromeda/
Old 20th April 2017
  #165
Lives for gear
 
goldphinga's Avatar
 

This one is way more classy.http://www.matrixsynth.com/2017/02/a...panel-mod.html
Old 3rd January 2018
  #166
Lives for gear
I sure hope that this is still happening. I have an A6 sitting in my studio that really wants to finally have a complete os
Old 4th January 2018
  #167
Gear Nut
J# Minor is still working on it, he posted a Twitter link not far back in this thread, where he posts occasional updates. It is just a massive amount of work.
Old 31st July 2018
  #168
Here for the gear
 

Does anyone know where I can download the 1.40.13 firmware?
Old 31st July 2018
  #169
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowkus View Post
Does anyone know where I can download the 1.40.13 firmware?
Does that really exist? I mirrored the old Andromeda and Ion sites before their server died, and the latest was 1.40.12. You can find it here: Index of /alesis/andromeda
Old 31st July 2018
  #170
Here for the gear
 

1.40.13 was a beta firmware, but the few mentions I've found on the Internet only seem to have good things to say about it.
Old 31st July 2018
  #171
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowkus View Post
1.40.13 was a beta firmware, but the few mentions I've found on the Internet only seem to have good things to say about it.
I might have that version installed, I will look. I was on the beta team for a bit. Doubt I have the file anywhere else anymore.
Old 1st August 2018
  #172
Here for the gear
 

It would be awesome if you have that file to share, as an interim solution until J# Minor creates something even better in the future.
Old 1st August 2018
  #173
Old 1st August 2018
  #174
Here for the gear
 

Awesome! Thanks!
Old 26th August 2018
  #175
Here for the gear
 

How do I determine what OS version my Andromeda is currently using?
Old 31st August 2018
  #176
Gear Head
 

J#Minor and all others involved,

Thanks so much for working on this project. I recently purchased a second hand Andy, so will check this thread and your twitter posts from time to time to see how the update is progressing. Best of luck in your endevour and I look forward to hearing more in due course. Much appreciated.

t_t

=========================

Lowkus,

To find out what version OS your Andromeda is running read page 268 of the Andromeda User Manual

https://7132afa424c2f1a2ab6d-54d68a1.../a6_manual.pdf

or

http://www.synthfool.com/docs/Alesis/A6_Manual.pdf


Other useful docs here

Alesis A6 Andromeda

and

A6 Andromeda Community Website
Old 2nd February 2019
  #177
Here for the gear
 

Many months have passed since last update.
How does the future of A6 custom OS release look in 2019?
Old 2nd February 2019
  #178
Here for the gear
 

Im trying to sell my OBXa to get an Andy. It is my all time favorite synthesizer.
Old 3 days ago
  #179
Lives for gear
 
NEXUS-6's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor
9 May 2018.

For the record, I'm not dead. Just hibernating.
Hope you are OK, thanks for all your effort on this awesome project!!!
Old 12 hours ago
  #180
Gear Addict
 
J# Minor's Avatar
 

Thanks all. I haven't touched it in a while, but I know I need to pick it back up. Currently on vacation. I'll post again in a week when I'm back.
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