KEEPTIME v1.0, ROMSPEED v3.10 and NVRam 1.2.9

KEEPTIME v1.0 by Yvan Doyeux

KEEPTIME v1.0 is a patch to disable a system time reset when the battery of your Atari TT or Falcon's Real Time Clock (RTC) is dead.

Your Problem

"My Falcon loses the time and date whenever I switch it off."
"My Falcon always boots in low resolution."
"TOS is alway defaults to English with a QWERTY keyboard".

The Explanation

Whenever you shut down your Falcon, the time, date and NVRAM settings are saved into the RTC chip (the Real Time Clock is also referred to as the 'CMOS Clock', 'CMOS Battery', or 'NVRAM chip). The RTC's contains a battery which typically lasts 10-12 years; therefore, if the RCT has never been changed, it is long since dead.

If you are using TOS or MagiC operating systems, whenever you quit a program, an XBIOS function Gettime() occurs. This same function is found on TOS versions 3.xx (TT) and 4.xx (Falcon). If the Gettime() function finds that the battery of the RTC is dead, it will reset the time and date instead.

The Solution

While it is always better to replace the RTC, you can use KEEPTIME v1.0to in combination with ROMSPEED v3.10 and NVRam 1.2.9 to maintain functionality of your computer.

In order for KEEPTIME to work, your computer's TOS must be found in RAM - not in the ROM where it normally resides. Therefore, to copy TOS from the ROM to RAM, you must use ROMSPEED v3.10 by Uwe Seimet.  Place ROMSPEED.PRG in the AUTO folder before KEEPTIME.PRG.  When activated, ROMSPEED will use the memory management unit (MMU) to remap TOS in memory in order for KEEPTIME to locate TOS. Be sure that your XCONTROL.ACC file or other time/date setting tool is present in the hard drive's root directory.

Under the MagiC operating system, the same function Gettime() is used; however, you don't need to run ROMSPEED because MagiC is already loaded in RAM.

Even with these programs activated, your Falcon may still boot in low resolution with the wrong language/keyboard configuration.  This is due to the dead RTC's inability to keep your NVRAM configuration in memory. To fix this, use NVRam v1.2.9 by Centek which can write a bootable NVRAM configuration to floppy for each time you boot.

Summary of Procedures

1. Switch on the Falcon with the NVRAM floppy boot disk in drive.
2. Very quickly, the floppy disk boot program will load your NVRAM settings and then reset the computer.
3. Now your Falcon boots with the correct NVRAM settings. The boot disk will check to verify these settings.
4. ROMSPEED and KEEPTIME will proceed to load from the AUTO folder.
5. Once loaded, set the correct time and date should be set from the control panel.