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Author Topic: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer) (Read 47089 times)

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #60 on: 2013.February.15. 00:37:54 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
So am I right in thinking 1.x is Elan, 2.x is Enterprise?
I think the name change is before the version change. The Technical Answers already have a Enterprise Computers name, and the later EXOS 1 document also.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #61 on: 2013.February.15. 09:37:22 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
And you are quite right the original intention was for everything to fit in the internal ROM with no BASIC cartridge
This means my unofficial EXOS 2.2/2.3 project just restore the original conception!

Probably you don't know what is this :-)
The idea come from: for the onboard ROM socket 64K address area decoded, but only 32K ROM chip used. I think because only the 32K the highest capacity in 1984/85
I replaced the ROM with 64K EPROM then plus 32K are free for use :-) I added the BASIC ROM, then no cartridge needed. Both in the BASIC and EXOS some bugs fixed. And added a Super WP 2.6, this bugfixed and extended version of the 2.5 version which is come from the German company. For the remaining space I writed a Quick Memory Test program with lot of features (for example the RAMDISK can survive cold reset).

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #62 on: 2013.February.15. 10:04:41 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
This means my unofficial EXOS 2.2/2.3 project just restore the original conception!

Probably you don't know what is this :-)
The idea come from: for the onboard ROM socket 64K address area decoded, but only 32K ROM chip used. I think because only the 32K the highest capacity in 1984/85
I replaced the ROM with 64K EPROM then plus 32K are free for use :-) I added the BASIC ROM, then no cartridge needed. Both in the BASIC and EXOS some bugs fixed. And added a Super WP 2.6, this bugfixed and extended version of the 2.5 version which is come from the German company. For the remaining space I writed a Quick Memory Test program with lot of features (for example the RAMDISK can survive cold reset).
I had some clues to what you had done from some of the other posts and documents on here - very good work and yes, you have restored reality to the original spirit of the design :-)

I tried to look at your web site http://enterprise.iko.hu/ but my browser, which is Google Chrome running on Windows 7, gives me a warning about virus / malware on the site, so I do not like to proceed! I don't get this on any other web sites. Unfortunately it does not indicate any particular files. Do you know what might be causing this?

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #63 on: 2013.February.15. 10:43:47 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
I tried to look at your web site http://enterprise.iko.hu/ but my browser, which is Google Chrome running on Windows 7, gives me a warning about virus / malware on the site, so I do not like to proceed! I don't get this on any other web sites. Unfortunately it does not indicate any particular files. Do you know what might be causing this?
I not have idea :-(
Now I installed Chrome and don't say anything bad! Also checked on other machine but don't see any problem.
I just use pure html, no Java, no Flash, no CSS, no PHP no anything which is make the web slow and unrealiable.

Other pages which are on the homeserver.hu (ep.homeserver.hu and tvc.homeserver.hu) get warnings by google (also in the Firefox) in the last few days because other site on same server are infected :-(
It is can be a problem if I have a links for these pages? Now I removed the Link tags for these.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #64 on: 2013.February.15. 10:54:08 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
I not have idea :-(
Now I installed Chrome and don't say anything bad! Also checked on other machine but don't see any problem.
I just use pure html, no Java, no Flash, no CSS, no PHP no anything which is make the web slow and unrealiable.

Other pages which are on the homeserver.hu (ep.homeserver.hu and tvc.homeserver.hu) get warnings by google (also in the Firefox) in the last few days because other site on same server are infected :-(
It is can be a problem if I have a links for these pages? Now I removed the Link tags for these.
Thank you. I think I may have been getting confused - your site works ok but it looks familiar - I have already been there. But as you say the other homeserver.hu sites don't...so they are safe to ignore the warning, and to visit? Sorry for confusion :oops:

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #65 on: 2013.February.15. 11:03:28 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
But as you say the other homeserver.hu sites don't...so they are safe to ignore the warning, and to visit? Sorry for confusion :oops:
Yes, there is the google report, the problem with the computerbooks.hu site.
And the ep.homeserver.hu are mirrored at our server.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #66 on: 2013.February.15. 12:21:25 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
No WP, but the BASIC have some primitive word processing (type and print) capatibilities.
About the early WP function can you confirm my theory?
I think with the TYPE command the BASIC stopped reading commands/program code from the Editor channel and then it is used for text editing, and the text is can be send to the printer by the ECHO or COPY commands.

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #67 on: 2013.February.15. 19:43:34 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
About the early WP function can you confirm my theory?
I think with the TYPE command the BASIC stopped reading commands/program code from the Editor channel and then it is used for text editing, and the text is can be send to the printer by the ECHO or COPY commands.
Unfortunately I couldn't even remember what the TYPE command did until I just went and looked it up! Clearly we intended it allow editing of a document or letter etc. but I'm not sure what you were meant to do with it after that eg. how to print or save it. Sorry, not a very useful answer :smt090

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #68 on: 2013.February.15. 21:31:46 »
Quote from: Zozosoft
I got the original English user manul few months ago (previously we never have it :-( ), I will scan it shortly!
Done :-)

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #69 on: 2013.February.15. 21:58:35 »
Thank you ; that is much appreciated! :smt038
« Last Edit: 2013.February.16. 20:01:51 by MrPrise »

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #70 on: 2013.February.16. 11:10:03 »
Bruce!
Can you remember what the chip problems are? You say the wired prototypes worked well. What happened when the first real chips arrived?
We think it is a very big problems found because it made a long (and fatal) delay!
« Last Edit: 2013.February.16. 12:43:14 by szipucsu »

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #71 on: 2013.February.16. 12:46:15 »
No unfortunately I can't. The wired prototypes also had problems, not because of any design flaw but because the signal paths that would be fraction of a mm in a chip were several cm long in wires.

But back in those days it took a long time between making an alteration to the design, and the final chip being produced (and was very expensive each time it was done). Many years later I worked on another project that used a custom chip, but we were able to try the design out in an Altera ULA-type device first - much better!
« Last Edit: 2013.February.16. 20:01:08 by MrPrise »

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #72 on: 2013.February.17. 11:47:20 »
Probably an easier question :-)
What do you remember about the EXDOS evolution?

Currently we have these versions: 0.3, 1.0, 1.2, 1.3, 2.0
The 1.0 is the officially released version in the EXDOS cards. The 1.3 came from the Enterprise Computers Gmbh in the Enterprise Disk Drive which has a built in EXDOS card.
we got the others from internet friends few years ago.

The 0.3 has most of the commands.

In the 1.0 the commands ATTR, EXIT, ATDIR, ASSIGN, BUFFERS, MAPDISK has been removed (painful lack of ATTR), some of these are available in IS-DOS.
The code is significantly rewritten. I think because run out of ROM space (the 0.3 is also 16K) needed the command removal.
This version has some bugs, for example stack cannot be on the Page 0 when te FISH called.

The 1.2 is probably a bug fix release, same capatibilities with the 1.0, code sligthly modified.
Now I think this is the latest version from the IS.

The 1.3 is modified version of 1.2, by the German company. All messages and its handlers modified for two languages (English/German). It is in 32K EPROM with lots of free spaces.
Later in Hungary some unofficial modifications from this version: German replaced with Hungarian. For the free spaces some of removed commands have been put back (ATTR, ATDIR, ASSIGN, MAPDISK), and the IS-DOS has been also put to the ROM.
Currently this is the mostly used version.

And the most interesting version the 2.0!
It is about 99.99% same as the 1.2, the code has been minimally modified at the low level floppy routines:  added a big delay! The normal EXDOS uses 30 clock cycles for between sending the command to the WD and firstly reading the DRQ bit. This modified version uses a 120 cycles!
This is meainingless in the normal Enterprise, it is make randomly data loss errors (first DRQ missed).
But the Hitachi Super Z80 (which is later licensed back by the Zilog then called as Z180) executes the instructions with less clock cycles. On faster CPU this modification can have a reason!
Probably, this version for the promised (but never released :-( ) new super EP?
« Last Edit: 2013.February.17. 12:15:15 by szipucsu »

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #73 on: 2013.February.17. 18:23:52 »
Well anything called 0.x I'm pretty sure wasn't intended for full release and would have been what would now be called an alpha (or possibly beta) release to someone - I can't remember who! I don't actually remember removing commands but your guess that it was because of ROM space problems seems very likely - it was a continuous problem in those days. I think 1.2 was the last release I saw.

I had never heard of that disk drive with the built in EXDOS card before. Whoever did 1.3 had obviously seen 0.3! And probably had source code.

I think you must right about the 2.0 timing changes - the Germans clearly had control of EXDOS by then. What a shame that machine never appeared!
« Last Edit: 2013.February.17. 22:27:02 by MrPrise, Reason: Removed long quote. No need to duplicate the previous post, if your reply is next. »

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: Q&A with Bruce Tanner (IS-BASIC writer)
« Reply #74 on: 2013.February.17. 19:12:58 »
Quote from: BruceTanner
And probably had source code.
It is clear the 1.3 and 2.0 created by source code level modifications. Another example the Super WP 2.5 from the Gmbh. I'm sure the German company got all sources from UK. This is our last hope: somebody from the Enterprise Computer Gmbh might find us and have these.
As you wrote the sad story: the IS closed suddenly, and you couldn't save anything.
Many years ago (about 15) I emailed with David Levy and he also told he doesn't have anything related the Enterprise.
« Last Edit: 2013.February.18. 18:50:41 by szipucsu »