Block availability map

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In computer file systems, a block availability map (BAM)[1][2][3][4][5] is a data structure used to track disk blocks that are considered "free" (available for new data). It is used along with a directory to manage files on a "disk" (originally a floppy disk, and later a hard drive).

In terms of Commodore DOS (CBM DOS) compatible disk drives, the BAM was a data structure stored in a reserved area of the disk (its size and location varied based on the physical characteristics of the disk). For each track, the BAM consisted of a bitmap of available blocks and (usually) a count of the available blocks. The count was held in a single byte, as all formats had 256 or fewer blocks per track. The count byte was simply the sum of all 1 bits in the bitmap bytes for the current track.

The following table illustrates the layout of Commodore 1541 BAM. The table would be larger for higher-capacity disks (described below).

Total byte Bitmap byte 1 Bitmap byte 2 Bitmap byte 3
Track 1 blocks available Blocks 0-7 Blocks 8-15 Blocks 16-23
Track 2 blocks available Blocks 0-7 Blocks 8-15 Blocks 16-23
... ... ... ... ...
Track 35 blocks available Blocks 0-7 Blocks 8-15 Blocks 16-23

The bitmap was contained in 3 bytes for Commodore 1541 format (single-sided) disks because it had 17 to 20 sectors per track (note 3 bytes can hold at least 20 bits).[6] Similarly, the Commodore 1571 used 3 bytes for the bitmap of each track, but the BAM was twice the size because there were twice as many tracks when formatted as double-sided.[7] In contrast, the Commodore 1581 disk drive used 5 bytes for the bitmap because the disk format had 40 blocks per track (note 5 bytes can hold 40 bits).[8]

In the bitmap of any format, a 1 bit indicated the block was available (free), while a 0 bit indicated the block was not available (used), and the bitmap data was stored low-byte first. So the first byte held a map for blocks 0 to 7, the second byte held a map for blocks 8 to 15, and so on. Within a byte, the bitmap was ordered low-bit first. For example, the first byte would represented block 0 with the least significant bit and block 7 with the most significant bit.

Storage devices by Creative Micro Designs, intended for use with CBM computers, also used a Block Availability Map which served the same purpose. However, these devices (FD-2000, FD-4000, and CMD-HD) did not include a count byte, and the bits in each byte were reversed (high-bit first). Although the bits were reversed (compared to CBM formats), the bytes were still stored in the same order (low-byte first).[9]

Bitmap byte 1 Bitmap byte 2 ... Bitmap byte 32
Track 1 Blocks 0-7 Blocks 8-15 ... Blocks 248-255
Track 2 Blocks 0-7 Blocks 8-15 ... Blocks 248-255
... ... ... ... ...

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Englisch, Lothar (1984). The Anatomy of the 1541 Disk Drive. Grand Rapids, MI: Abacus Software. p. 89. ISBN 0-916439-01-1. 
  2. ^ 1541 User's Guide. Commodore Business Machines. 1982. p. 9. 
  3. ^ 1571 User's Guide. Commodore Business Machines. 1985. p. 23. 
  4. ^ 1581 User's Guide. Commodore Business Machines. 1987. p. 34. 
  5. ^ FD Series User's Manual. Creative Micro Designs. 1992. p. 108. 
  6. ^ 1541 User's Guide. Commodore Business Machines. 1982. p. 65. 
  7. ^ 1571 User's Guide. Commodore Business Machines. 1985. pp. 108–109. 
  8. ^ 1581 User's Guide. Commodore Business Machines. 1987. pp. 119–120. 
  9. ^ FD Series User's Manual. Creative Micro Designs. 1992. pp. 112–114.