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TIMXT Terminal Emulator Dev


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#1 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun May 14, 2017 2:27 PM

During the past few weeks I've been mulling over how to proceed with TIMXT and its development.  The code base needs some TLC and many of the routines could be more efficient if I just bit the bullet to rework or rewrite them.  I figured a development thread might help me collect my thoughts and share the periodic update. On that note...


A few AA members  (i.e., Paradroyd, duhproject) have twitter feeds where they post pictures of various BBS systems they connect to.  I noticed a few cool C64 BBSs and was curious how the color and graphics were being interpreted.  The C64 palette and character sets are different from the TI, and PETSCII has its own way of moving the cursor and controlling which graphics set to use. 


With the F18A, we can adjust the palette and use the text mode attributes to display colors, just like TIMXT handles ANSI colors today.  So I thought a good approach to redoing the core interpreter would be to try my hand at emulating PETSCII.


This week I incorporated the C64 extra graphics (thanks to Sometimes99'ers font collection) and finished all but two control routines for displaying the graphics and colors. The terminal window is hard-coded for 80 columns, though I might try to allow for a 40-column color mode to get closer to the C64 experience.


Note:  Particles BBS allows for PETSCII in 40 and 80 columns; of course, I chose 80 for my call ;)    Also, a few pictures show "@" and "]" in place of horizontal and vertical lines; I did not realize until later that there is some uniqueness to the PETSCII character sets that required me to redefine a few more characters.  Scorps portal has been down so I couldn't retake the photos. 


Don't mind the terminal status bar - I haven't updated it.  What you are seeing is PETSCII at 38.4K.


1. PLACEHOLDER - Current Release Files


Shift838 pulled the EA5 and FR99 images together.  This version is from early 2017 and should work with the standard RS232 and the nanoPEB.  Macros cannot be saved/loaded in this version; that will be corrected in the future.


Attached File  TIMXT_NANO.zip   13.56KB   12 downloads  EA option 5 files

Attached File  TIMXT_NANO.bin   32KB   11 downloads FR99 bin file

Attached File  TIMXT-v02c-2017-01-NANO-EA5.dsk   90KB   7 downloads  disk image (thx Schmitzi)


** The PETSCII version has not yet been released **


2. PLACEHOLDER - hardware configurations

TI terminal emulators generally do not support hardware handshaking.


a. TI/CorComp/Myarc RS232

The following cable is NOT configured for any RTS/CTS hardware handshaking, so be sure to turn it off if your modem is configured.  AT&K0 is one common command to shut down handshaking. 


RS232  - modem device


1     - 1
2     - 3
3     - 2
6     - 20
7     - 7
20    - 6


b. NanoPEB Serial - a standard DB9 to DB25 serial cable works well with the nano.  The nano's rs232 port is configured similar to that of a PC for easy connectivity.  This also means if you roll your own cable, be aware that the pins will be different. 


c. uberGROM cart UART

Connecting the UART to a modem device requires either a TTL-to-RS232 converter or a device that can operated at TTL levels.  There are only three required connections:  Ground, Receive, and Transmit. 



3. Links to other relevant threads:

RS232 Interrupts:  http://atariage.com/...2/#entry3462424

NanoPEB Serial thread:  http://atariage.com/...opeb-version-1/



**Edit: added placeholders for files and configurations

Attached Files

Edited by InsaneMultitasker, Sun May 21, 2017 3:20 PM.

#2 matthew180 OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 12:05 AM

Nice work!  That is looking really great.  Adjusting the palette to match the C64 colors is a nice touch.

#3 Paradroyd OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 4:27 PM

That's really looking good!


#4 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  



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Posted Mon May 15, 2017 10:09 PM

I am using tcpser as my 'modem' with a cable connected between the ubergrom cart and PC. I was having trouble with some systems and could not figure out what was wrong.   Paradroyd gave me a few ideas and bbs raw data image saves to play with, which then led me to installing a copy of Wireshark so that I could look at the packets being sent to tcpser and ultimately, to TIMXT. 


I found out that in addition to C64 PETSCII codes, there are other controls that systems like the C128 use (i.e., flashing, underlining).  TIMXT was not taking these into account and as a result, the screens were coming out wrong.  Here is a good before and after example :)


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#5 duhproject OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed May 17, 2017 2:35 PM

This is freakin' amazing! Well done. Can't wait to get my mitts on this. You'll need to pop up a PayPal tip jar or something for this!

#6 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  



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Posted Sun May 21, 2017 2:05 PM

Added some preliminary information and release files to post #1.  If you have info that would be helpful to place in the post, send me a PM or share it here for inclusion.


FYI,  I haven't released the PETSCII version.  I need to finish a few changes to the interpreter before that happens.  Memorial day weekend was going to be a programming weekend but family plans have made that unlikely. :ponder:   I might be able to share a test version out there this week, we'll see...

Edited by InsaneMultitasker, Sun May 21, 2017 4:36 PM.

#7 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:31 PM

Quick update... I've been bogged down by non-hobby items the past two months.   That said, I have made incremental progress.


1. The code base has been converted from my Geneve platter to text files on my PC.  I haven't upgraded to a fancy editor, so for now Notepad is my tool of choice.  xas99 is now able to assemble and create program images in the blink of an eye.  I started to clean up code, move things around, etc. as a result. 

2. Once the program is created, I copy it into the HDX server folder.  I can then load and run UBERHDX to execute the TIMXT program over the HDX connection. No more sneakernet!

3. I combined the TI RS232 and ubergrom RS232 routines.  The UART device and baud rate are now selectable.  

4. The PETSCII emulation works flawlessly with the ubergrom UART.  However, it drops characters with the RS232 card when I connect to a C64 system.  If I use the same routines to dial into TheKeep or Heatwave, no characters are dropped. I -think- what is happening is that the C64 is outputting slower than the other two, and for some reason this is allowing a routine to preempt the RS232 interrupt.  I have not been able to isolate the issue because it is the exact opposite of what you might expect, e.g., you would expect dropped characters from the faster system.


In between wracking my brain over item #4, I have jotted down a few future potential changes :

1. Moving the terminal status bar to row 26. 

2. Further simplifying the menu system.

3. Activating the settings save/restore options.


This time of the year is often quite busy with work-related efforts coming up to speed just in time to finish before the end of the year.  I'll share another update as time permits.

#8 Shift838 OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:31 PM



For your editor for the PC check out Notepad++


There are also TI Extended Basic and TMS9900 Language files that can be loaded in it so it makes it very readable..


Notepad++ main program can be downloaded HERE


TMS9900/TI-XB Language Highlighting file for Notepad++ HERE



Attached Files

Edited by Shift838, Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:42 PM.

#9 arcadeshopper OFFLINE  


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Posted Mon Sep 4, 2017 11:31 PM

So where do I find the ubergrom compatible version?



#10 acadiel ONLINE  



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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 6:37 AM

So where do I find the ubergrom compatible version?



I think it's still a work in progress.  The last version I had was hardcoded, and I think Tim needs to probably put in options for changing baud, regular RS232 to UART toggle, etc.

#11 InsaneMultitasker OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 3:48 PM

If you have an ubergrom setup that you would like to test, PM me and I will share the hard-coded version with you.  Neither my availability nor current status have changed since my July 25th post.  :(

#12 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Sep 5, 2017 7:30 PM

If you have an ubergrom setup that you would like to test, PM me and I will share the hard-coded version with you.  Neither my availability nor current status have changed since my July 25th post.  :(


How in the heck did I miss this thread or forget about it!?  :? 

Finally, something that excites me!  


I have an EEPROM burner, and a couple of free UberGROMs, but not one modded for WiFi.  If someone wants to sell me one (via PayPal), please PM me.  I'd love to be a beta tester on this project.


Ever since the FinalGROM came out I was wondering when I'd get to use the burner again...


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#13 LASooner OFFLINE  


    Chopper Commander

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Posted Wed Sep 6, 2017 2:00 PM

Did your eeprom burner come with that case? Mine came in an ill fitting cardboard box. 

#14 --- Ω --- OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Sep 7, 2017 3:58 PM

Did your eeprom burner come with that case? Mine came in an ill fitting cardboard box. 


Naww, mine came with the same crappy cardboard box! :lol:    I picked up that case at WalMart.  

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: TIMXT, BBS, Terminal Emulator, ANSI, PETSCII

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