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Telco -- Terminal Emulator (Questions/Answers/Downloads)

TI-99/4A Telco

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#1 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014 1:05 PM

I have a question for you software gods concerning Telco....

 

I know Telco has a 40/80 column toggle feature.  The toggles coding checks for a 9938 or 9958, if none is present, it stays in 40 column mode, correct?  Now if I understand correctly, the F18A does not functionally display things differently in text mode than the other 80 column cards, but just has less memory?  Am I right here?  I also believe I read somewhere that the F18A's memory *IS* adequate for 80 columns TEXT display.  I know Tursi was able to tweak BA-Writer with no issues. 

 

If such is the case, would it not just be possible to just force the toggle to on, or to functionally bypass or erase the code that checks for the 9938 or 9958?   

 

It would be interesting to see what the result would be.  I'm not an Uber Coder like you guys, but I have a 'gut feeling' that a couple of bytes in the right spot with a sector editor would make Telco 80 column 'full time only'.

 

Comments? Solutions? Fixes? Results? 



#2 eck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014 3:13 PM

You are right, that this checking-code can be skipped, to run Telco within the 80 col mode. I do not know anything about Telco, so have in mind, that the V9938 has a second color register and a table to put blinking chars on screen. If this program uses such features, than this would become a harder job to change for F18 use, I do believe. If it is a program like PrEditor, than a Diskassembler is your friend to find the code section to be jumped over.



#3 Lee Stewart OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Feb 6, 2014 6:30 PM

--- Ω ---:

 

I don't know whether Telco uses the extra memory that a 9938 can have; but, in 80-column text mode, it doesn't need any more memory than what is in the 9918A and F18A—it just needs to set the first 15 VDP registers properly (the 9918A only has 8 ) so that both the 9938 and F18A can use 80 column mode with no blinking characters allowed.  The only other issues are (1) insuring that the Value Stack and PABs are relocated elsewhere in VRAM if Telco uses them; (2) blanking the extra 960 bytes of screen VRAM (probably already handled if Telco thinks it's using a 9938) and (3) insuring that constants for SCREEN-END and SCREEN-WIDTH are changed to 1920 and 80, respectively, wherever they may be stored (again, probably already handled if Telco goes down the 9938 path).

 

...lee



#4 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 7, 2014 10:31 AM

You are right, that this checking-code can be skipped, to run Telco within the 80 col mode. I do not know anything about Telco, so have in mind, that the V9938 has a second color register and a table to put blinking chars on screen. If this program uses such features, than this would become a harder job to change for F18 use, I do believe. If it is a program like PrEditor, than a Diskassembler is your friend to find the code section to be jumped over.

 

Telco is a two color only program.  I have mine set to BLUE & WHITE, although I've started using Rasmus'  new PAL program as it really improves the contrast.  I do not remember Telco using ever using blinking characters, certainly not any color with the ANSI, so hopefully the job might be easier than we think.  <crossing fingers>  :-D



#5 Torrax OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Feb 7, 2014 9:22 PM

Telco with a 9938/58 will use the extra memory for overlays and buffers (It's mentioned in the documentation).  So a hack for the F18 would be tricky to do.

 

Is Art Green still around??  If so maybe he can release Telco's source code.



#6 eck OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014 1:50 PM

Hello, --- Omega ---!

 

The message from Torrax is not so good.

Lee is right, but I tried to say, that you might loose some "information". So on second thought, it would only be color- and or blinking-information. If you have the time, you might check this code with your F18 console:



       DEF  START
START  LWPI >8300
       LI   0,TEXT80
       LI   1,20
TMODE  MOVB *0+,@>8C02
       DEC  1
       JNE  TMODE                  setting 10 VDP registers
       MOVB @TEXT80+2,@>83D4
       LI   0,>4000                VDP RAM >0000 with write bit
       LI   1,>2A00                 clearing the screen
       LI   2,80*24                 with stars (>2A00)
       BL   @UP
CLEAR  MOVB 1,@>8C00
       DEC  2
       JNE  CLEAR                      done?
       LI   0,>5000                VDP RAM >1000 with write bit
       LI   1,160                   clearing the first 160   
       BL   @UP                     bytes of the color table
       BL   @BLINK
       SETO 2                       set 10*8 characters to one
       LI   1,10
       BL   @BLINK                    one line uses VR12 and VR13
       INV  2                       clear the rest of the color table
       LI   1,70
       BL   @BLINK
       LI   0,>4460                 first message prints on VDP 14*80
       LI   1,MESS
       LI   2,54                   place the byte count of your first message here
       BL   @UP
       BL   @MESSL1
       LI   0,>4500                second message @ line 16
       LI   1,MESS2
       LI   2,73                   and here for your second message 
       BL   @UP
       BL   @MESSL1
       LIMI 2                      make quit working?                   
ENDLOS JMP  ENDLOS
MESSL1 MOVB *1+,@>8C00             writes data to VRAM
       DEC  2
       JNE  MESSL1
       RT
BLINK  MOVB 2,@>8C00               fixed data to VRAM
       DEC  1
       JNE  BLINK
       RT
UP     MOVB @>8301,@>8C02          VWTR
       MOVB 0,@>8C02
       RT
TEXT80 DATA >0480,>7081,>0382,>4783,>0184,>F487,>0888,>0289  ten Video-Register
       DATA >1E8C,>108D                                          here
MESS   TEXT 'Ich verzichte hier bewusst auf den Text:'           place your own text here  
       BYTE 34
       TEXT 'Hallo Welt!'
       BYTE 34                                                 end text one
MESS2  TEXT 'Nanu?'                                          place your second text here
       TEXT ' Wollte ich nicht auf die Darstellung von '
       BYTE 34
       TEXT 'Hallo Welt!'
       BYTE 34
       TEXT ' verzichten!?'                                    end of line 16
ENDE   END  START

The program needs the E/A-module, because it is expecting a character set at >0800 in VRAM. Make a crash test, if you like. The second message prints in black and graywith a V9938 in place - no blinking here (VR13 is set to one and zero >10).

 

With the setup above only 16k Ram in the VRAM are seen with the VSBW, VMBW, VSBR and VMBR routines, which is important for the functionality of DSRLNK's, PAB's and stuff like this. Three quarter of the 64k VRAM are separated in pretty useless 3 byte chunks. To benefit from the two other 64k VRAM pages Telco needs special access routines which should crash your system even when they try to read or write to the first 16k VRAM. I can post a routine to test this, if you would like to check this too. 


Edited by eck, Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:35 AM.


#7 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014 2:18 PM

Hello, --- Omega ---!

 

The message from Torrax is not so good.

Lee is right, but I tried to say, that you might loose some "information". So on second thought, it would only be color- and or blinking-information. If you have the time, you might check this code with your F18 console:

       DEF  START
START  LWPI >8300
       LI   0,TEXT80
       LI   1,20
TMODE  MOVB *0+,@>8C02
       DEC  1
       JNE  TMODE                  setting 10 VDP registers
       MOVB @TEXT80+2,@>83D4
       LI   0,>4000                VDP RAM >0000 with write bit
       LI   1,>2A00                 clearing the screen
       LI   2,80*24                 with stars (>2A00)
       BL   @UP
CLEAR  MOVB 1,@>8C00
       DEC  2
       JNE  CLEAR                      done?
       LI   0,>5000                VDP RAM >1000 with write bit
       LI   1,160                   clearing the first 160   
       BL   @UP                     bytes of the color table
       BL   @BLINK
       SETO 2                       set 10*8 characters to one
       LI   1,10
       BL   @BLINK                    one line uses VR12 and VR13
       INV  2                       clear the rest of the color table
       LI   1,70
       BL   @BLINK
       LI   0,>4460                 first message prints on VDP 14*80
       LI   1,MESS
       LI   2,54                   place the byte count of your first message here
       BL   @UP
       BL   @MESSL1
       LI   0,>4500                second message @ line 16
       LI   1,MESS2
       LI   2,73                   and here for your second message 
       BL   @UP
       BL   @MESSL1
       LIMI 2                      make quit working?                   
ENDLOS JMP  ENDLOS
MESSL1 MOVB @*1+,@>8C00            writes data to VRAM
       DEC  2
       JNE  2
       RT
BLINK  MOVB 2,@>8C00               fixed data to VRAM
       DEC  1
       JNE  BLINK
       RT
UP     MOVB @>8301,@>8C02          VWTR
       MOVB 0,@>8C02
       RT
TEXT80 DATA >0480,>7081,>0382,>4783,>0184,>F487,>0888,>0289  ten Video-Register
       DATA >1E8C,>108D                                          here
MESS   TEXT 'Ich verzichte hier bewusst auf den Text:'           place your own text here  
       BYTE 34
       TEXT 'Hallo Welt!'
       BYTE 34                                                 end text one
MESS2  TEXT 'Nanu?'                                          place your second text here
       TEXT ' Wollte ich nicht auf die Darstellung von '
       BYTE 34
       TEXT 'Hallo Welt!'
       BYTE 34
       TEXT ' verzichten!?'                                    end of line 16
ENDE   END  START

The program needs the E/A-module, because it is expecting a character set at >0800 in VRAM. Make a crash test, if you like. The second message prints in black and graywith a V9938 in place - no blinking here (VR13 is set to one and zero >10).

 

With the setup above only 16k Ram in the VRAM are seen with the VSBW, VMBW, VSBR and VMBR routines, which is important for the functionality of DSRLNK's, PAB's and stuff like this. Three quarter of the 64k VRAM are separated in pretty useless 3 byte chunks. To benefit from the two other 64k VRAM pages Telco needs special access routines which should crash your system even when they try to read or write to the first 16k VRAM. I can post a routine to test this, if you would like to check this too. 

 

I would dearly love to, but I'm man enough to admit my faults, and my major fault?  I don't know diddly squat about assembly language programming.  It all looks Greek to me.  :(  I would REALLY, REALLY prefer to use Telco, as it's the one I used in the past and after playing with it few a few minutes it all came back to me.  

 

I'll be happy to check ANYTHING that is assembled and ready to test!  ---- THANKS!  

 

** I tried to assemble it, but it comes back with one error, a syntax one on line 37.


Edited by --- Ω ---, Sat Feb 8, 2014 5:58 PM.


#8 jacquesg OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014 5:46 PM

Telco with a 9938/58 will use the extra memory for overlays and buffers (It's mentioned in the documentation).  So a hack for the F18 would be tricky to do.

 

Is Art Green still around??  If so maybe he can release Telco's source code.

Art Green was not the author of Telco. Charles Earl was. Both were former members of the Ottawa TI Users Group. I have no idea if either one is still around.

 

Jacques



#9 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014 6:09 PM

Did I do something wrong here?  I'm not familiar enough to see what the error is...

gallery_35324_1072_1266259.gif



#10 Asmusr OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 12:10 AM

You need to change:

MOVB @*1+,@>8C00

 

To:

MOVB *1+,@>8C00



#11 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 12:54 AM

You need to change:

MOVB @*1+,@>8C00

 

To:

MOVB *1+,@>8C00

 

Thank you Rasmus, I did that.  It compiled and ran.  I got the same exact result on my F18A as I did in Classic99, here it is:

gallery_35324_1072_6683.gif

 

The blank is just the .gif starting over.  That's all I get.



#12 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 1:17 AM

 

Thank you Rasmus, I did that.  It compiled and ran.  I got the same exact result on my F18A as I did in Classic99, here it is:

gallery_35324_1072_6683.gif

 

The blank is just the .gif starting over.  That's all I get.

 

A quick glance at the code shows what appears to be a typo here:

 

MESSL1 MOVB @*1+,@>8C00            writes data to VRAM
       DEC 
2
       JNE  2
 

Change the above JNE 2 to "JNE MESSL1" then recompile and rerun.  So the code looks like this:

 

MESSL1 MOVB @*1+,@>8C00            writes data to VRAM
       DEC 
2
       JNE  MESSL1



#13 Torrax OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 3:59 AM

Art Green was not the author of Telco. Charles Earl was. Both were former members of the Ottawa TI Users Group. I have no idea if either one is still around.

 

Jacques

 

Oops... your right there, I just quoted the wrong name.  The usage of memory is on page 7 under Hardware Requirements. Here is the section on overlay usage:

 

On a basic system, up to 3 overlays will reside for use within memory. These will be the last 3 overlays used.  If a minimem is used, 4 overlays are available.  If a supercart or Super Space is used, 5 overlays are possible. With a 32K Super Space II, as many as 11 modules are available.  A TI with an 80-column card will support 27 modules, and a Geneve will support 29.  TELCO will automatically detect which type of cartridge is in use and configure the system accordingly.



#14 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 9:15 AM

 

A quick glance at the code shows what appears to be a typo here:

 

MESSL1 MOVB @*1+,@>8C00            writes data to VRAM
       DEC  2
       JNE  2
 

Change the above JNE 2 to "JNE MESSL1" then recompile and rerun.  So the code looks like this:

 

MESSL1 MOVB @*1+,@>8C00            writes data to VRAM
       DEC  2
       JNE  MESSL1

 

Adding the "MESSL1" resulted in no change.  :sad:

Having the @ before the *1+,@>8C00 results in a compile error.  :skull:

 

I basically have no clue what I'm doing...



#15 mizapf OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 10:10 AM

It's *1+ or *R1+, not @*1+.

 

(If you prefix the register numbers with an R, do not forget to add the "R" option when assembling.)



#16 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 10:42 AM

It's *1+ or *R1+, not @*1+.

 

(If you prefix the register numbers with an R, do not forget to add the "R" option when assembling.)

 

 "*1+" worked, "*R1+" results in an INVALID REGISTER.....



#17 Lee Stewart OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 1:05 PM

 

 "*1+" worked, "*R1+" results in an INVALID REGISTER.....

 

As mizapf said—to use *R1+, you must include the 'R' option when assembling.  That's a good idea because it makes for much clearer code.  All the 'R' option does is to include 16 EQUates for register mnemonics at the beginning of your program:  

R0     EQU  0
R1     EQU  1
  .
  .
  .
R15    EQU  15

...lee



#18 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 1:08 PM

 

Adding the "MESSL1" resulted in no change.  :sad:

Having the @ before the *1+,@>8C00 results in a compile error.  :skull:

 

I basically have no clue what I'm doing...

 

Sorry, I saw that the "@" sign error was corrected earlier and didn't think of correcting it in my reply.



#19 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 1:22 PM

 

Sorry, I saw that the "@" sign error was corrected earlier and didn't think of correcting it in my reply.

 

 No problem, anyway it compiled and ran (I assume as intended).

 gallery_35324_1027_12399.jpg



#20 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 1:42 PM

I guess that answers the question of whether Telco would be able to display two colored text in 80 columns with the F18A.  Yesssssss!

I could easily live without the color and flashing text if I had to.  On modern BBS's though, not having 80 columns is a major handicap.

 

THANKS GUYS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!  -- Now HOPE for a modified Telco can live on!  :-D



#21 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Feb 9, 2014 1:58 PM

I guess that answers the question of whether Telco would be able to display two colored text in 80 columns with the F18A.  Yesssssss!

I could easily live without the color and flashing text if I had to.  On modern BBS's though, not having 80 columns is a major handicap.

 

THANKS GUYS FOR ALL YOUR HELP!  -- Now HOPE for a modified Telco can live on!  :-D

 

One other option at least for the Hidden Reef and Heatwave -  both have 40-column output modes.  Turn on the ibm graphics, set to 40, and you'll be fine.  The option is on the main menu.



#22 eck OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:20 AM

Oops!

 

Sorry, --- Ω ---, for the trouble I made. 

 

Thanks to RasmusM and InsaneMultitasker for their help. 

 

Wow, Telco is a masterpiece according to what Torrax wrote. This auto detect features are super cool.

 

 After your system is scanned You have to modify the section where Telco is going into the 40 column mode but forcing the program to use the 80 col-setup with all these settings Lee mentioned in post #3 and return from there into the 40 col-section. You have to fool Telco here. If there is a way to separate the screen display routine from these overlay routines Torrax was referring to, than I can see a 'freeway' (to go). If not: somebody has to rewrite Telco for F18 users. And this should be a long road or so...  



#23 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 10, 2014 9:34 PM

Telco has the ability to print it's manual from diskette, which was great "back in the day" if you had a compatible printer hooked up to your computer...  Well, that day is long gone, but it would be cool to still have a manual, so I was wondering, has anyone ever scanned/copied a printed out manual into .PDF format?  If so, do you know where it could be obtained?   



#24 slinkeey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 10, 2014 10:43 PM

Telco has the ability to print it's manual from diskette, which was great "back in the day" if you had a compatible printer hooked up to your computer...  Well, that day is long gone, but it would be cool to still have a manual, so I was wondering, has anyone ever scanned/copied a printed out manual into .PDF format?  If so, do you know where it could be obtained?   

 

Can't you print it via HDX?



#25 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat May 10, 2014 10:51 PM

 

Can't you print it via HDX?

 

Well, my copy of Telco no longer has the documentation, so I'm unable to do that.  If I was to print it myself, I'd probably send it to "HDX1.TELCODOC" then import it into WORD, tweak the formatting and possibly even add photos, then save it as a PDF before printing and uploading it.  But at the moment, I cannot do jack shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...  :(







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