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FUZIX: Unix on TI99?

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#1 Lord Vorkosigan OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:15 PM


What an attractive title, isn’t it? J


First a little introduction: My first computer in the eighties was a TI99/4A, and I spent hours on it trying to push it to his limits. Unfortunately, I only had an Extended Basic cartridge, so I never had the opportunity to try assembler, so I didn’t had any chance to compete with my friends with Commodore 64…

Few years later, I sold my TI99 and get an Atari ST, but I never forget this little box.

I recently discovered that there is a strong TI99 community, and I’m really (really!) impressed by what your guys are still doing with the TI99. I knew my TI99 could compete with C64, and you are proving it!

But now, there’s a chance to show that TI99 is BETTER than C64, as it could run Unix!


OK, I don’t have any TI99  to play with, and I don’t even get free time to do anything around it, but I wanted to share with you some information about Fuzix, as I’m sure some serious geeks on this forum could be interested into porting Fuzix to the TI.


So, Fuzix is a new project started by Alan Cox, one of the main contributor to the Linux Kernel. His aim was to do something small (small is beautiful) , and he started to port a System 5 Unix  to Z80. Many forks was done to the project, and now Fuzix is running on Z80, Z180, 6809, 6502, 68000 processors. The TMS9900 being a real 16 bit processor, why not Fuzix on TI99 or Geneva?


What is needed to get it is :

-          An open source ANSI C compiler. With GCC for the TMS9900, it’s seems we have one…

-          A timer interrupt with reasonable precision or a RTC

-          At least 32 Ko RAM, or banked RAM (SAMS?)

-          Lot’s of time...


Some links:

Alan Cox announcement: https://plus.google....sts/a2jAP7Pz1gj

The main project on GitHub : https://github.com/EtchedPixels/FUZIX

More information in the Wiki: https://github.com/EtchedPixels/FUZIX

Fuzix ported on a Tandy Coco2 : https://sites.google...cocoboot2/fuzix

Video of Fuzix on a MSX2 TurboR: https://www.youtube....h?v=RUIl--jNN2o


So, anyone interested by this challenge? J


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#2 RickyDean OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:55 PM

There are several TI99 emulator solutions that you can play with. JS99er.com, Classic99, PC99, V9T9 - dos version and Java version, Mess\Mame.

#3 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:59 PM

Sounds cool

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#4 Stuart OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:33 PM

Not sure if you've found it or not, and might be of interest - there are ports of LSX Unix and V6 Unix running on the TMS9995-based Mini-Cortex (http://www.stuartcon...mini_cortex.htm). Requires a little more hardware than the TI-99 provides unfortunately.

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#5 JamesD OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:34 PM

The 9900 is based on a TI 990 mini-computer CPU.  
I think there is already a Unix for it.
Stuart beat me to it.

Edited by JamesD, Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:35 PM.

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#6 mizapf OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:01 AM

Yes, but the mini-computer architecture was stripped down for the 9900, most painfully, dropping the supervisor mode (kernel mode). The 99000 series is the better successor of the original mini-computer.

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