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Author Topic: SymbOS (Read 100319 times)

Offline Povi

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« on: 2006.June.14. 10:26:40 »
This is the answer from Prodatron (author of SymbOS) about an Enterprise port:
Quote
But maybe we can already discuss about an Enterprise port. I would like to know some data about the EP:
- what are the bankswitching possibilities? In which ways can the Z80 access more than 64K?
- what are the screen modes/resolutions? How is the video ram organized and where in memory is it placed?
- are there standard floppy drives and file systems existing?
- are there emulators for the Enterprise available? Do they contain a monitor/debugger?
 
In any case I will try to organize an EP and maybe a EP-SymbOS could be possible in the future :-)
*** Speicherplatz zu klein

Offline Zozosoft

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« Reply #1 on: 2006.June.14. 11:48:07 »
Quote
But maybe we can already discuss about an Enterprise port. I would like to know some data about the EP:
- what are the bankswitching possibilities? In which ways can the Z80 access more than 64K?

Yes, the total addressable space is 4096K. The memory is segmented. Each segment is 16K, the total 4096K=256*16K segments. Numbered from 00H to FFH
The Z80 memory space is divided to 4 pages
0000H-3FFFH: page 0
4000H-7FFFH: page 1
8000H-BFFFH: page 2
C000H-FFFFH: page 3
You can switch any segment to any Z80 page. The page select ports are the B0H-B3H (in the DAVE chip), this select segments to page0-page3.
Any segments can be a ROM or RAM.
The default memory configuration:
00H-03H internal ROM
04H-07H external ROM cartridge socket (for Basic interpreter or other programs)
F8H-FBH second 64K RAM of EP128
FCH-FFH first 64K RAM (The EP64 only have this)
The top of FFH segment used by the EXOS (operating system) for system areas.
Many hungarian machines have 521K memory extensions. (And new memory extension cards will coming :) )

Quote
- what are the screen modes/resolutions? How is the video ram organized and where in memory is it placed?

The NICK chip (video chip) have great feauters. You can define the screen memory everywhere in the video RAM, you can define differentc screen modes to every pixel line!
Easy work to bulid CPC type screens.
The NICK can access 64K video RAM, from the Z80 this is the FCH-FFH segments.
 
Quote
- are there standard floppy drives and file systems existing?

EXDOS the disk controller card, using standard floppy disk drives (40 or 80 tracks, 1 or 2 side: from 180K up to 720K), can use up to 4 drives.
The disk format is standard MS-DOS compatible, FAT-12 filesystem. The disk format is officialy 9 (or 8) sectors/track. Unofficially up to 11 sectors/track, and tracks up to 90 (this is depend of the current floppy drive, but up 84 tracks is "standard")
The disk controller use WD 1770/1772 controller chips.
With some hw modiffications (developed by me :) )the EXDOS can use HD floppy drives (1.2/1.44Mb), using the standard PC compatible HD disks, or unnofficialy format up to 22 sectors/track on 1.44Mb disks.
The EXDOS have built in RAMDISK support, the RAMDISK is use standard FAT12 filesystem.
On Enterprise you have many points where can handle the disks.
With EXOS calls, this is file level access, and with the EXDOS command calls, can use any EXDOS commands (this is standard DOS commands, CD, COPY, MOVE, REN, FORMAT, etc).
With EXDOS calls can use DOS, CP/M like calls (File controll blocks and etc).
With other EXDOS calls can read/write any sectors of any EXDOS logical drives.
And the floppy handler part of the EXDOS have direct entry point, this is the DISKIO calls, with this the low level handler for floppy drives.

And now I developed IDE disk controller card :) some words about this will coming...
 
Quote
- are there emulators for the Enterprise available? Do they contain a monitor/debugger?

The EP32 is have, but not too perfect :( but I hope will coming new better version :)

Offline Zozosoft

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« Reply #2 on: 2006.June.14. 11:49:31 »

Offline Prodatron

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« Reply #3 on: 2006.June.15. 16:29:38 »
Hi,

thanx a lot for the information! I have already seen, that an EP port will be possible! And good to know, that the emulator has a debugger, too (ok, just a small one).
Please be a little bit patient with the port, I first have to finish the MSX version. But now porting SymbOS to the EP should be even faster, as I already made all these porting-experiences on the MSX  :)

CU,
Prodatron

PS: Because of the port I bought a EP64 some days ago. Is it possible to order a memory expansion and/or a disc drive somewhere?

Offline MrPrise

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« Reply #4 on: 2006.June.15. 16:33:36 »
Quote from: "Prodatron"
And good to know, that the emulator has a debugger, too (ok, just a small one).

What OS are you using for the development?

Offline Prodatron

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« Reply #5 on: 2006.June.15. 16:58:12 »
Quote from: "MrPrise"
What OS are you using for the development?


Currently I am using Windows XP.

Offline MrPrise

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« Reply #6 on: 2006.June.15. 17:03:39 »
Quote from: "Prodatron"
Quote from: "MrPrise"
What OS are you using for the development?


Currently I am using Windows XP.

The reason why asked that is because my emulator (unreleased) works under Linux only (yet). It has a built-in debugger, disassembler, you can use breakpoints too. I think its debugger is slightly usable than the EP32's debugger (maybe I am just prejudiced ;-), but at least it is bigger :-D). My emulator is in pre-alpha, there is no sound, but most of the programs are working on it. If you would like to try my emulator please let me know and I will revamp it because Im currently working on its new UI which is not working yet.
This offer is stand for anybody else too who use Linux, of course.

Offline Prodatron

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« Reply #7 on: 2006.June.15. 17:06:48 »
Ok, cool! I think it will take some weeks until I can start with the EP, but then I will try to instal Linux to test your emulator.

CU,
Prodatron

Offline lgb

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« Reply #8 on: 2006.June.15. 17:36:42 »
Quote from: "MrPrise"
If you would like to try my emulator please let me know and I will revamp it because Im currently working on its new UI which is not working yet.
This offer is stand for anybody else too who use Linux, of course.


I'd like to try it as "anybody else who use Linux" :-)

Offline MrPrise

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« Reply #9 on: 2006.June.15. 17:44:10 »
Ok. I'm going to make a simple website for my emulator and I will inform you if there is any progress. I can quote Depeche Mode: "It's just a question of time" ;-)

Offline lgb

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« Reply #10 on: 2006.June.15. 21:32:41 »
Quote from: "MrPrise"
Ok. I'm going to make a simple website for my emulator and I will inform you if there is any progress. I can quote Depeche Mode: "It's just a question of time" ;-)


Thanks, and please note that all we need is the source ("use the source, Luke") the website can wait :)

Offline MrPrise

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« Reply #11 on: 2006.June.15. 21:42:24 »
Quote from: "lgb"
Quote from: "MrPrise"
Ok. I'm going to make a simple website for my emulator and I will inform you if there is any progress. I can quote Depeche Mode: "It's just a question of time" ;-)


Thanks, and please note that all we need is the source ("use the source, Luke") the website can wait :)

I know ;-) But the source is not really "user-friendly" (yet) and I dont want to release such an ugly thing.  :oops:

Offline Zozosoft

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« Reply #12 on: 2006.June.16. 13:01:46 »
Quote from: "Prodatron"
I bought a EP64 some days ago.

You are very lucky! :) I never see real EP64, only on photos :(
Where you bought?  Many times I searched on the Ebay, but not found any Enterprise :(

Quote from: "Prodatron"
Is it possible to order a memory expansion and/or a disc drive somewhere?

When you want it? Now or in the future? :)

Offline Zozosoft

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« Reply #13 on: 2006.June.16. 13:34:34 »
I promised few word about the hard disk controller:
The prototype card have two IDE channels, I think the series will be with one for HDDs and one CF socket.

The ROM handler program using everywhere 32 bit LBA sector numbers, no fucking CHS :) (Only at the lowest level converted to the CHS, if the current drive not support the LBA mode). This is enought to addressing up to 2TB :)
Parst of the program:
Low level command set: read/write sectors, read drive identify informations, etc. Will be available entry point to this routines, like as EXDOS DISKIO (this is the floppy low level routines in the EXDOS ROM)
Initialisation program, this allocate memory from the EXOS, detect controller cards, hard disks, an read the partition informations, make table with all partitions datas.
EXDOS Extension interface: at the system startup, the EXDOS ask every ROM extension programs, who have disks, which needed handled by DOS. If any ROM have disks, report to the EXDOS, have many logical disks, and address of the device driver program.
Not needed to work with files, directories, FATs, etc! The EXDOS will do these functions!
Only needed this functions: read/write sectors, and format disk.
The EXDOS (written in 1985!) can handle logical disks up to 32MB, with FAT-12. Without any modifications!
This means: now you can use 21 (F:-Z:) FAT-12 partitions, every can be up to 32MB size, this is total 672 MB. More than enought :) I think all Enterprise program in the world is about 2-300 MB :)
In the future, after I fully disassembled the EXDOS, I want to recompile with FAT16 and 32 bit sector addressing support.

The IDE ROM program have very high level commands to accessing disks, can read/write sectors with EXOS commands. I written this feature for the FDISK utility, at this way easy to write disk utilities in IS-BASIC :)

Offline Prodatron

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« Reply #14 on: 2006.June.19. 01:25:52 »
Wow! When do you think this card will be available?
If I am able to extend my EP64 (I bought it on ebay-UK) with more memory I will buy two cards for sure. I think today an IDE interface (+more ram) is one of the most important extension for an 8bit machine!
SymbOS already supports FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32, so it should run fine with your controller and big harddiscs. But the maximum is 128GB, as currently I am not supporting the atapi protocol. LBA is limited to 128GB (2 ^ 28 * 512). But hey, who cares! :)