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Author Topic: New member introduction (Read 2088 times)

Offline JSP

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New member introduction
« on: 2017.June.27. 16:07:16 »
Hi

A couple of days ago I joined the site as 'JSP', so here is a small introduction.

I got an EP128 fairly early (serial number 00679) in the mid eighties in Denmark, including a CUB monitor and a diskettestation. Not long after I bought it the whole thing went bust as you all know. Still I enjoyed the machine for its advanced features, and every few years sinde then I have dusted it off and played with it for a few days. But with little or no access to information, it never got more serious than that. However some time ago I discovered this site and the excellent emulator ep128emu. With access to a lot of information and fresh impulses from the site and not having to use desk space for the physical computer, I am still not losing interest. So I guess it must be serious this time, which just proves there is life after 60 :) The logical next step was to join a community - se here I am.

Is anyone aware of other Danish users, by the way?

I speak and can read English and some german, but Hungarian is beyond me, sorry.

I include the obligatory picture of the system as an attachment...

regards
Jesper

Offline BruceTanner

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #1 on: 2017.June.27. 16:13:11 »
Nice :) and welcome.

I wonder if there will be life for the Enterprise after 60 :shock: :shock: :shock:

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #2 on: 2017.June.27. 16:20:46 »
Hi Jesper, welcome here!

Nice config! And with Danish keys??? You made it or you bought it with these? I already have the Danish ROM but never see modified keyboard.

Can you send Serial Number photos for the big Enterprise inventory?

You contacted with the other Enterprise users in Denmark? We know other danish users made a RAM expansion, modem card, etc. With the modem card existed a Enterprise BBS! Then I thought serious Enterprise life in Denmark.

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #3 on: 2017.June.27. 16:28:53 »
I wonder if there will be life for the Enterprise after 60 :shock: :shock: :shock:
I think he is talked about his age :-)
Anyway I hope most of us will be alive in 2044 then Enterprise still alive :ds_icon_cheesygrin:

Offline endi

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #4 on: 2017.June.27. 16:47:46 »
helo new member

do you know danish users? we always hunting for home made programs :)
Vigyázat! Szektás vagyok! :)

Online gflorez

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #5 on: 2017.June.27. 19:30:28 »
Welcome  JSP. Once in a time I also thought like you that I was the only Enterprise owner on my country, Spain....

That Danish keys are darker than the stock ones, but have the same shape. Surprising... I only have seen, English, German and Arabic keyboards. Even for Zozo is the first time...

Is it original?
« Last Edit: 2017.June.27. 20:30:33 by gflorez »

Offline JSP

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #6 on: 2017.June.29. 13:03:19 »
Hi

My EP128 is in mint condition and is stored in the original packaging, also in good condition, whenever it is not on my desk. So I wouldn't be surprised if it survived the next 30 years too. Especially now that I use the ep128emu emulator most of the time, so there will be no wear and tear on the hardware. Besides I have a number of old 8 bit home computers of different brands in my collection (It is kind of a hobby), and they have all survived 30+ years in good shape though some of them have yellowed over the years. So unless there is a battery leak or something similarly disruptive they will live for many years to come.

The danish keyboard keys may be a set of prototype keys or regular production line keys. I don't know. I was a retailer of home computers then and lived close to the company that distributed them in Denmark and had a chance to visit them. So I may have got 'preferential treatment' as far as the keys are concerned. But their rarity may also reflect that very few machines with danish ROMS were ever sold.

During my tenure as a home computer salesman in the mid eighties we sold Commodure stuff, Amstrads, MSX, TI99/4a and the somewhat odd Sord M5 (A sort of pre MSX computer that looked a bit like a Spectrum). We looked at the Enterprise, and that was when I bought my own, because I was interested and impressed by some of its features. But quite frankly, them were wery hard to sell, when everyone just kept asking - how fast is the BASIC interpreter and how many good games are there. Besides there were Amigas and Atari STs in the horizon.  So we decided not to sell them in the shop despite my personal interest in the machine, which from the shops view was a good decision, because the distributor went bust shortly after. Sigh!

I have included a picture of the serial no of the EP128.

Anyway... now for the future.... Does anyone know of any books on machine code programming for the Enterprise in english or german? I do have the Technical information Guide for EXOS 2.x and a guide called IS-BASIC technical Manual to help me. But both suffers from a lack of examples and are far from ideal, when you are trying to get to understand the EP environment. And I have run into a few things (so far), that I do not understand.

Let me give you an example... I wanted to check out the workings of the line parameter table. So her we go in BASIC...

  100 PROGRAM "show_lpt.bas"
  110 !
  120 ! Open a video channel and
  130 ! display some lines of
  140 ! easily recognizabla data
  150 !
  160 SET VIDEO MODE 0
  170 SET VIDEO COLOUR 0
  180 SET VIDEO X 40
  190 SET VIDEO Y 24
  200 OPEN #10:"VIDEO:"
  210 DISPLAY #10:AT 1 FROM 1 TO 24
  220 CLEAR SCREEN
  230 PRINT #10:"AAAAABBBBB"
  240 PRINT #10:"CCCCCDDDDD"
  250 PRINT #10:"Paged in segments:";SPEEK(255,16380);SPEEK(255,16381);SPEEK(255,16382);SPEEK(255,16383)
  260 !
  270 ! Get line parameter table address
  280 ! from fixed adrs LP_POINTER in
  290 ! system segment
  300 !
  310 LET LPTPTR=16372
  320 LET SEGM=255
  330 LET LPT=SPEEK(SEGM,LPTPTR)+SPEEK(SEGM,LPTPTR+1)*256
  340 ! Check out the contents of lpt block 1-2
  350 !
  360 FOR B=1 TO 2
  370   LET LPT_B=LPT+16*B
  380   PRINT #10:""
  390   PRINT #10:"------ block ";B;" -----"
  400   PRINT #10:"lpt block";B;"address:";LPT_B
  410   PRINT #10:"SC:";256-PEEK(LPT_B)
  420   PRINT #10:"Colour mode:";PEEK(LPT_B+1) BAND 96
  430   PRINT #10:"Video mode bit pattern:";PEEK(LPT_B+1) BAND 14
  440   PRINT #10:"LM and RM:";PEEK(LPT_B+2) BAND 63;PEEK(LPT_B+3) BAND 63
  450   LET LD1LSB=PEEK(LPT_B+4)
  460   LET LD1MSB=PEEK(LPT_B+5)
  470   LET LD1=LD1LSB+LD1MSB*256
  480   PRINT #10:"LD1 line data pointer:";LD1
  490   PRINT #10:"Content of first 10 bytes of LD1:"
  500   FOR I=0 TO 9
  510     PRINT #10:PEEK(LD1+I);
  520   NEXT
  530   PRINT #10:
  540 NEXT
  550 DO
  560   LET A$=INKEY$
  570 LOOP UNTIL A$<>""
  580 CLOSE #10
  590 TEXT 40
  600 END


This is al very well... except that the data pointed to by LD1 is not the character data I expect. LD1 (byte 4 and 5) which in text mode is supposed to point to the content (ie. text character indexes) points to something else. A search of memory reveals that the data I look for is located elsewehere in memory. So obviously I am doing something worng. Suggestions are welcome. Please...it bugs me!

In this specific example the data is in fact found exactly 16384 bytes lower (that is as if the address is right but in the wrong Z-80 page.). That is hardly a coincidence. But printing out the number of paged in pages during the execution of the program at different times, shows no changes. Is this a case of BASIC swapping a segment in and out between each interpreted line in BASIC? If so I probably have to extract this type of information using a small MC code program, where I do have control over paging during execution.


Offline geco

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #7 on: 2017.June.29. 14:49:13 »
This is al very well... except that the data pointed to by LD1 is not the character data I expect. LD1 (byte 4 and 5) which in text mode is supposed to point to the content (ie. text character indexes) points to something else. A search of memory reveals that the data I look for is located elsewehere in memory. So obviously I am doing something worng. Suggestions are welcome. Please...it bugs me!
Here the problem is LD1 gives back Nick Address, I guess in your case it was between 0c000h-0ffffh (which is FF segment), but FF segment is paged in on page2 (8000h-0bfffh range) this is the reason why you had to sub 16384.

Probably the best solution would be to check also which memory segments are paged in by system variables ( unfortunately I do not know from my mind, but it should be BFFx )

Online gflorez

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #8 on: 2017.June.29. 18:08:24 »
From Nick's point of view, the memory he can see is fixed as this:

Segment FC ------> from 0000h to 3FFFh
               FD ------> from 4000h to 7FFFh
               FE ------> from 8000h to BFFFh
               FF ------> from C000h to FFFFh

Nick can't access segments of memory other than those. Also it sees its address range as a whole Ram area of 64KB.

But on the other hand the Z80(thanks to Dave's pagination abilities) can have "ANY" Ram segment paged on any of its four 16KB pages, even repeated.

This has its difficulties when accessing the LPT, but you only have to manage the memory through Nick's point of view.

To access the video memory like Nick would do from Basic, it is better to use the SPEEK and SPOKE commands, because the target segment is fixed,  but think that the values returned or poked are within a 0 to 16383 range, 0000h to 3FFFh. Then, if you read, for example  the 8433(20F1h) position on the 255(FF) segment with PRINT SPEEK(255,8433), the result will be actually the value stored on the 57585(E0F1h) position on the video memory from Nick's point of view. This is because you are working on the FF segment, and it is seen by Nick as 20F1h+C000h=E0F1h.

Then, writing the video memory, with the SPOKE command you acces the memory by a window of only 16KB, but you can't mistake if you put the relevant segment number. For example, if you want to put a 230(E6h) on the 3456(0D80h) position of the 253(FD) segment, you use SPOKE 253,3456,230. But actually you are poking to the second 16KB of the video memory, this is, you must add 16384(4000h) to the address to know where is from Nick's point of view, 19840(4D80h).
« Last Edit: 2017.June.30. 01:57:43 by gflorez »

Offline JSP

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #9 on: 2017.June.29. 21:36:06 »
Hi

Thanks. I think I get it.

So now I have modified the program a bit.

495 LET LD1S=MOD(LD1,16384)

496 ! This filters out differences between Z80 and Nick paging and leaves me with a 16 Kb interval
397 ! suitable for SPEEK and SPOKE in text 0 mode.

510 PRINT #10:SPEEK(255,LD1S);

This returns the expected data.

regards
Jesper

Offline Zozosoft

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #10 on: 2017.June.30. 12:35:33 »
My EP128 is in mint condition and is stored in the original packaging, also in good condition, whenever it is not on my desk. So I wouldn't be surprised if it survived the next 30 years too.
I'm also hope it! But some problems possible:
The most possible problem the keyboard membrane. It is can break at the motherboard connection, also when the machine don't used, because these membranes are more than 30 years old. If it is happened then possible to cut few millimeters at the connection, and wait for the next break :oops: It is can be repeated 3-4x then the connection tail will be to short and can't connected. Fortunately now you can buy brand new membranes, it is produced in UK and also in Hungary.

Another possible problem the dried out electrolytic capacitors. The problematic boards have a Philips capacitors. If I remember right: only in EP64 machines see these capacitors. Anyway it is easy repairable problem.

Quote
The danish keyboard keys may be a set of prototype keys or regular production line keys.
Can you make some more photos about the keyboard?

I guess the distributor have a grandiose plans about the Enterprise this why ordered danish keys.

Quote
I was a retailer of home computers then and lived close to the company that distributed them in Denmark and had a chance to visit them.
It is the Semicap ApS? (from the international distribur list)
If yes then the extra "S" label on your machine warranty label will mean the Semicap?

Quote
But their rarity may also reflect that very few machines with danish ROMS were ever sold.
You machine also come with the Danish ROM? Previously I thought the Danish version are also home made like the Hungary version which is made from the German version.

Your manuals for the machine are Danish or English versions?
I have one Dansih Setup Guide which are very early version, because using ELAN name, and talking about version 1.x ROM versions.

Quote
I have included a picture of the serial no of the EP128.
Thanks!
Can you also made photo of the EXDOS serial?


Quote
Does anyone know of any books on machine code programming for the Enterprise in english or german?
No :-(
You can find all know international Enterprise magazines on my page, probaby you can find some examples.
Hungarian books exist (Gépi kódú programozsás = Machine code programming), probably you can try it translate with Google or Chrome :oops:
HTML version Part 1
HTML version Part 2

The most useful way: look around the forum, you can find many topics about the machine code programing, and also many programs with sources.
And you can ask we will help to you!

Quote
guide called IS-BASIC technical Manual to help me.
Wow! We never see it!
Can you scan it?

Please look around on my page about books, technical or historical documents, magazines, etc. And if you have something what we currently not have (or you have a different version) then send it to the collection?

Offline JSP

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #11 on: 2017.June.30. 21:40:10 »
Hi

Yes, it is Semicap ApS, though I suspect the warranty is void by now :-)

The ROM was provided by Semicap ApS. I think that Semicap had them made together with the keys. I did not make it myself. Danish characters are activated by typing ':DK'. So I can switch between ':UK' and ':DK' for english or danish keyboard. with matching character sets. At that time other computers on the home computer market got customized keyboards for the danish market or at least talked about it, so Semicap tried to stay ahead of the competition by having them produced for the Enterprise conmputer.

It is actually strange. As I see it Enterprise and in this case Semicap did most things right.... superior text and graphics. a cool design, reasonable manuals, hardware expandable beyond anything contemporary, attempts af giving better support than, say Commodore, etc. All squandered because it got out so late and probably lacked a clearly targeted customer segment - no killer application to define it and thus no interest.

The standard manuals - The start Guide, The Demonstration Manual and the Programming Guide - were translated to danish and put together in one manual (Yes, Semicap really tried to do things right!). As for the IS-Basic Technical Manual I can see that you already have the chapters on your page with tech. information on IS-BASIC (chapter 16-21), so unfortunately no new undiscovered treasure here :-)
 
I have included a  picture of the EXDOS serial number, and some close-ups of the danish keys.

I have two issues of a danish user magazine issued by a danish user club. One of them mentions the new danish ROM/set of keys from Semicap, which confirms that Semicap was the source of both. I'll see if I can scan them for your collection.

Online gflorez

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #12 on: 2017.July.01. 13:53:51 »
Hello again JSP.

Then, I think that all the Enterprises sold in Denmark were with English keyboards, because that spare keys don't apply to German Keyboards.

Also, German cartridges have two 16KB sockets while English ones have only one 16/32KB socket. So the Danish chip is a 32KB one with Basic.Rom+DK.Rom inside.

Isn't it?

Offline JSP

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #13 on: 2017.July.02. 13:43:36 »
Hi

Yes, it has a 32 Kb ROM with a label saying 'DK.BASIC 1.1'

Offline JSP

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Re: New member introduction
« Reply #14 on: 2017.July.02. 13:50:54 »
I have scanned a couple of Danish user magazines and some brochures from Enterprise for the EP128, that might be of interest for Zozosoft's collection. However they are too large to include here it seems as I get rejected. Where should I send them?