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jedimatt42

I need a new users guide to MDOS and the last 35 years

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Ok, I found on whtech, the MDOS 650 disk, that has the tool for formatting a bootable partition of the ramdisk. 

 

It works... I can finally boot the Geneve off something other than floppy. 

 

The SCSI controller / SCSI-to-IDE / IDE to CF - is too slow to respond to the GenMod Geneve unless I first load the OS, and then PDMA ON.. After that a reboot will find and load SYSTEM/SYS off the SCSI. But from a power off state, that doesn't work. 

 

The HRD works, the format tool created a 256k DSK6. I set the crubase on the HRD to 1400, and selected the 8bit option. The 16bit option didn't work. So now I have enough working to care about some other questions...

 

What is the 16bit option with regard to HRDs? The format tool's auto-discover feature suggests I do the crubase 1401, 16bit format.   This HRD is a SNUG one, that has a 16bit databus extension option to go to not-a-Geneve, so 16bit can't be about that... the Geneve has a 9995 CPU, with an 8bit data path, so the 16bit can't be about that... 

 

So what is it about? 

 

And why would the discover mode suggest it, but it not work? 

 

And, it is a 3Meg ramdisk, is a single 256k partition all I get? If not, how do I access the rest of it? 

 

---

 

I hate to multi part questions, but MDOS just doesn't make any sense to me yet.  

 

After loading SYSTEM/SYS it looks at the floppy for the AUTOEXEC file... I cannot figure out what drive letter the ramdisk would be given. What is the general workflow for creating a usable system that doesn't boot off floppy????

 

Through trial and error I found that the SCSI drive ends up as H:... but DIR A: through Z: didn't find the ramdisk.  DIR each of the DSKn eventually found the HRD was at DSK6. 

 

REMAP parameters don't make sense or I don't understand some first principle of MDOS that they assume I know, and I don't find docs for it that contain references to the HRD... REMAP seems to be about slots in the OS, and physical harddrive association... but those slots don't seem to have correlation to drive letters. 

 

---

I appreciate that the community had to wrestle this away from a failed company while it was in a half finished state. 

 

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The SNUG HRD with 16 bit is intended to connect to the SGCPU (TI-99/4P). If anything from SNUG works with the Geneve, it is by pure coincidence. Michael Becker literally hated everything from Myarc, as it appears from his documentations.

 

MDOS aka GeneveOS has its "sense" as being the operating system of the Geneve. I may have missed your point, though. I have been working with GeneveOS for the last 25 years as the environment where my applications run; I won't develop for the GPL mode as I consider it just a compatibility mode to run old software.

 

Since I use a ASCSI card, and I have no PFM+ or never EPROM, I always boot by floppy. After that, the SCSI drive is on H:.

 

Tim knows more about REMAP.

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Matt,

 

I'm not able to answer the SCSI questions as that would be more Tim's area.  

 

With respect to the HRD, you should be using FORM3MEG under MDOS to format the drive.  I think by last information until Tim releases MDOS 7.00, I think you should limit the HRD size to 800K due to the sectors/au issue.  From what I gather, the newer MDOS will partition a Ramdisk into a ramdisk and a hard drive image.  Biggest difference between the two is that the ramdisk will be limited to 3 subdirectories at root level, while hard drive will have the same capabilities for subdirectories as a regular hard drive.  (Tim, if my understanding is off, please let me know).

 

Once you have the HRD formatted, you need to use the REMAP command.

 

I have a setting with the Ramdisk (4000+) I received from Jim yesterday as a REMAP 7O ("oh", not zero).  Very old HRD's were 8 bit.  These were 180K to 256K max disks.  When they started using 32K chips, I think those were 16 bit HRD's.  I always use the FORM3MEG program to properly identify the CRU and 8/16 bit configuration and allow it to format the disk.

 

After formatting, then you can use the REMAP command.  In the example above, you then need to use the ASSIGN command such as ASSIGN G=DSK7:  This assigns drive letter G:\ to be DSK7.  If you want a list of  drive assignments, just type ASSIGN by itself.

 

You do not need to use the ASSIGN command to do a DIR DSK7. to get a list of files to any drive mapped to a drive number after it has been REMAP'd

 

The REMAP command and ASSIGN can both be used in the AUTOEXEC file.

 

The program CYA allows some modification and configuration of SYSTEM/SYS.

 

Hopefully this will get you started with a few answers and I see where M. Zapf has replied as well.

 

Beery

 

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Matt,

 

Does your Geneve boot up with the Swan, or text on the screen?  There are two version of the Swan eprom.   One for normal users, and one with a one byte change I proved to Ron Walters in the early 90's that limited the range of memory check for a GenMod system.  The text version that allows a prompt for booting from multiple devices, I never heard about the SCSI Memex issue.  I think Tony Knerr did that eprom, and I do not think the source survivied.  It is possible the load/sys file for the SCSI device may only need a longer timer loop before it is accessed to give the CF and/or whatever the toggle is for PDMA.  That's just a guess though.  I'm not sure if anyone has the source for the SCSI LOAD/SYS file.

 

Beery

 

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Someone long ago started classifying the ramdisks as 8-bit or 16-bit based on the CRU bit addressing capacity.  So the older ramdisks only have 8 bits to select the ramdisk 2k racks; the newer ramdisks have 16 bits.  Nothing to do with the SNUG 8/16 bit designation.  This designation lends itself to all sorts of confusion and obfuscation.   Basically, for a 2000/3000/4000/4000B you want to format as a 16-bit ramdisk.  You will see the cru for 16-bit represented as the base+1, or "1401", "1601", etc.  This is another historical designation to keep the 8- and 16-bit cards straight in software. 

 

remaps are documented in one of the MDOS documentation archive files.  I don't know if they survived the 6.50 release or if you have to go back a few versions.   Basically, you have 9 disk slots (1-9) and you have 20+ disk-based devices that you can map temporarily or permanently into the slots. If you want your horizon ramdisk to respond as DSK1, you can execute a remap command.   Similar commane SCSMAP exists for SCS1,2,3 devices. If you need to map SCSI ID 5 to SCS1, you execute a SCSMAP 15 to do so.

 

There was a Geneve manual update for version 6.00 that I was sent long ago.  I don't know if I still have it in my archives.  I don't recall if the author ever gave permission to distribute. 

 

 

 

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Sorry, left information out... it is the Genmod 1.0 boot rom. 

 

@BeeryMiller  So, why REMAP 7O : what does the 7 mean, and what does the O mean, cause I am incapable of memorizing things I don't understand.

Does this mean the drive that MDOS booted off of isn't even mapped by default? 

 

FORM3MEG detected and suggested 16bit mode... but the Geneve fails to boot. So I tried the 8bit mode instead. 

So as Mizapf suggests, the SNUG HRD17 is likely not fully HRD3000 compatible ( but that is jumping to conclusions - not a statement of knowledge ) 

 

This implies 16bit mode is about the ramdisk partition capacity... That makes sense...   The tool, FORM3MEG doesn't offer any details about what it produces. 

 

So, I expect in 8bit mode, I only get a 256k ramdisk... 

 

How do I know that it is device 'O' from REMAP's perspective? 

 

@mizapf ASCSI isn't boot compatible with the boot ROM's SCSI boot support either? Was ASCSI also a SNUG board? or is it your drive initialization latency? 

 

Reading ? Tony's ?  docs, the 1.0 boot ROM was all about getting SCSI to boot. 

 

@mizapf I'm curious what your boot process looks like... Do you 'patch' SYSTEM/SYS to know to find AUTOEXEC on the hard drive, or load AUTOEXEC from floppy too? 

 

What is common? What is practical? 

 

@mizapf yes, I don't care about GPL mode... I have a 4A for that. (personally) Just trying to get hardware working in MDOS.. starting with efficiently getting to MDOS. 

 

I don't mind if I have to leave 2.75 meg of the ramdisk on the floor. But if I do have to, I want to document that, if I don't have to, I want it documented how to utilize the rest. 

 

------------

 

To anyone replying, I'd like to know how it works for other devices too!  I am volunteering to ninerpedia up some concrete workflows... if I can test them on hardware or in mame.

 

Maybe we need a chronological approach... so it can then be summarized into current state of affairs... 

 

I'd like to build a table of: 

- Manufacturer

- Model

- MDOS device code

- Legacy Device Names

- BOOT ROM Versions

- Limitations

- Geneve setup documentation

 

 

I'd like to have a general Geneve users setup guide.. I HATE the idea of saying the knowledge is there in my MAME harddrive dump... because unless someone already knows the basics, they don't know how to analyze the significance of any file on that harddrive dump.  

 

-----

 

The minimal file set required is SYSTEM/SYS on a floppy. 

The SYSTEM/SYS in the distribution disks looks for an optional AUTOEXEC on floppy drive 1 / A: / DSK1. ( legacy devicenames matter, as they are also legal in MDOS ) 

There are a few commands that MUST be executed from an AUTOEXEC or they will not run: 

- TIMODE

- what else? 

To boot from another device, and load AUTOEXEC from that device, you have to edit the SYSTEM/SYS file.. how is this done? What edits can be done? 

- These edits are not covered in the MDOS documentation that I have seen. 

 

 

 

 

 

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So, there are a bunch of new HRD4000B's on the way.. will those work with people's Geneves? 

To what effect? Are they capable of being fully utilized as one drive? do you have to partition them into drives... what does the FORMAT3MEG do to 16bit cards? Does it create a maximum 3MEG partition and leave the rest on the floor? 

 

 

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Oh, and what is known about the differences between a SNUG HRD16 and the HRD3000 series? 

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My Geneve Boot EPROM is "Swan", 0.98. There is no SCSI boot code inside. So I boot by floppy in DSK1, which has an AUTOEXEC with some commands, setting the PATH, ending with a "H:".

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@InsaneMultitaskerJust checked, at least the description of SNUG's HRD16 states that there is an extra cable to connect to the SGCPU, allowing for a full 16 bit transfer. However, as you said, the 8/16 bit classification seems to refer to something different.

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Here seems to be some docs beyond the printed docs and changelogs I have...

 

http://ftp.whtech.com/Geneve/mdos/geneve_manual&mdos_docs/remap.txt

 

but they don't seem correct... DIR F: doesn't find my ramdisk, but DIR DSK6.  H: is my SCS1. by default. 

 

in REMAP the letters are drive types, not drive letters... I guess 'ASSIGN' is for that, but assign takes 2 drive letters, so how do you arrive at the original set of drive letters? 

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I can supply a couple of GENEVE Boot EPROM variants (all created by Tony Knerr). There are two variants of Vn 1.0 which presents a menu and allows booting from a SCSI device. One is for a GENEVE with the GenMod and the other is for non-Genmod GENEVEs. There is also a variant of V .98 which disables the RAM check. I can also do the standard Vn .97 and .98 in either Genmod or non-Genmod configurations. Contact me by PM if you are interested.

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1 hour ago, jedimatt42 said:

Sorry, left information out... it is the Genmod 1.0 boot rom. 

 

@BeeryMiller  So, why REMAP 7O : what does the 7 mean, and what does the O mean, cause I am incapable of memorizing things I don't understand.

Does this mean the drive that MDOS booted off of isn't even mapped by default? 

 

FORM3MEG detected and suggested 16bit mode... but the Geneve fails to boot. So I tried the 8bit mode instead. 

So as Mizapf suggests, the SNUG HRD17 is likely not fully HRD3000 compatible ( but that is jumping to conclusions - not a statement of knowledge ) 

 

This implies 16bit mode is about the ramdisk partition capacity... That makes sense...   The tool, FORM3MEG doesn't offer any details about what it produces. 

 

So, I expect in 8bit mode, I only get a 256k ramdisk... 

 

How do I know that it is device 'O' from REMAP's perspective? 

 

@mizapf ASCSI isn't boot compatible with the boot ROM's SCSI boot support either? Was ASCSI also a SNUG board? or is it your drive initialization latency? 

 

Reading ? Tony's ?  docs, the 1.0 boot ROM was all about getting SCSI to boot. 

 

@mizapf I'm curious what your boot process looks like... Do you 'patch' SYSTEM/SYS to know to find AUTOEXEC on the hard drive, or load AUTOEXEC from floppy too? 

 

What is common? What is practical? 

 

@mizapf yes, I don't care about GPL mode... I have a 4A for that. (personally) Just trying to get hardware working in MDOS.. starting with efficiently getting to MDOS. 

 

I don't mind if I have to leave 2.75 meg of the ramdisk on the floor. But if I do have to, I want to document that, if I don't have to, I want it documented how to utilize the rest. 

 

------------

 

To anyone replying, I'd like to know how it works for other devices too!  I am volunteering to ninerpedia up some concrete workflows... if I can test them on hardware or in mame.

 

Maybe we need a chronological approach... so it can then be summarized into current state of affairs... 

 

I'd like to build a table of: 

- Manufacturer

- Model

- MDOS device code

- Legacy Device Names

- BOOT ROM Versions

- Limitations

- Geneve setup documentation

 

 

I'd like to have a general Geneve users setup guide.. I HATE the idea of saying the knowledge is there in my MAME harddrive dump... because unless someone already knows the basics, they don't know how to analyze the significance of any file on that harddrive dump.  

 

-----

 

The minimal file set required is SYSTEM/SYS on a floppy. 

The SYSTEM/SYS in the distribution disks looks for an optional AUTOEXEC on floppy drive 1 / A: / DSK1. ( legacy devicenames matter, as they are also legal in MDOS ) 

There are a few commands that MUST be executed from an AUTOEXEC or they will not run: 

- TIMODE

- what else? 

To boot from another device, and load AUTOEXEC from that device, you have to edit the SYSTEM/SYS file.. how is this done? What edits can be done? 

- These edits are not covered in the MDOS documentation that I have seen. 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is some REMAP Information.  Basically, the first number is the DSK# and the Alpha assignment is the type of drive:

 

    Drive Alpha.             Device
          Assignment
          ________________________________________________________________
          A              Floppy #1 (Any floppy only controller)
          B              Floppy #2 (Any floppy only controller)
          C              Floppy #3 (Any floppy only controller)
          D              Floppy #4 (Any floppy only controller)
                                   (that supports 4 floppies)
          E              Internal Geneve  Ramdisk                  800K
          F              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 8 bit CRU >1400  256K
          G              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 8 bit CRU >1600  256K
          H              Internal Rave    Ramdisk
          I              HFDC Emulate File                         800K
          J              HFDC Floppy #1
          K              HFDC Floppy #2
          L              HFDC Floppy #3
          M              HFDC Floppy #4
          N              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 16 bit CRU >1400 800K
          O              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 16 bit CRU >1600 800K
          P              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 16 bit CRU >1000 800K
          Q              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 16 bit CRU >1700 800K
          R              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 16 bit CRU >1800 800K
          S              Internal Horizon Ramdisk 16 bit CRU >1900 800K
          T              Reserved for Future Expansion
          U              Reserved for Future Expansion
          V              Reserved for Future Expansion
          W              Reserved for Future Expansion
          

 

CYA which is included with the MDOS version that is distributed, has specific CRC values for each original version update distributed.  

 

I've included a FAQ file I think Dan Eicher authored.  Not sure if you have seen this document.

genevefaq05.txt

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1 hour ago, jedimatt42 said:

Here seems to be some docs beyond the printed docs and changelogs I have...

 

http://ftp.whtech.com/Geneve/mdos/geneve_manual&mdos_docs/remap.txt

 

but they don't seem correct... DIR F: doesn't find my ramdisk, but DIR DSK6.  H: is my SCS1. by default. 

 

in REMAP the letters are drive types, not drive letters... I guess 'ASSIGN' is for that, but assign takes 2 drive letters, so how do you arrive at the original set of drive letters? 

Use the ASSIGN command with no arguments will give you a list of current devices assigned to drive letters.  Use the REMAP command with no arguments and it will give you a list of the current Remapping as assigned.

 

Beery

 

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59 minutes ago, atrax27407 said:

I can supply a couple of GENEVE Boot EPROM variants (all created by Tony Knerr). There are two variants of Vn 1.0 which presents a menu and allows booting from a SCSI device. One is for a GENEVE with the GenMod and the other is for non-Genmod GENEVEs. There is also a variant of V .98 which disables the RAM check. I can also do the standard Vn .97 and .98 in either Genmod or non-Genmod configurations. Contact me by PM if you are interested.

Just for the record, the GenMod variations of the V.98 eproms check memory only up to page >39 while the stock version checked to page >3F.  In GenMod mode, page >3A is a shadow of >7A, and >BA that would cause various  cards to answer on the bus and would report an error.  It has been too many years since we dealt with this issue in MDOS as I know some pages were mapped out to avoid memory page conflicts.


Beery

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TONS OF GOLD IN THAT FAQ - TIme to get this stuff on the modern internet.

 

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30 minutes ago, BeeryMiller said:

Use the ASSIGN command with no arguments will give you a list of current devices assigned to drive letters.  Use the REMAP command with no arguments and it will give you a list of the current Remapping as assigned.

 

Beery

 

Ok, the assign docs are confusing me... but I think I have it now..

 

REMAP will designate a device type to a DSK<number>  

 

Then, on the second page of the assign docs, and in an 'and also' section the second value can be the device name, (not just another drive letter) as configured by remap... REMAP nT, then ASSIGN D=DSKn

 

And none of the device names have anything to do with what the 4A would have called them. 

 

I don't get what controls how assign output ends up as HDSn and SCSn and others DSKn... those must just be the device names in the master dsr... where everything not scsi or not a myarc harddrive is a DSK.

 

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So much of the Geneve information was distributed back when paper newsletters, list servers, forums (e.g., Delphi and GEnie) and BBSs were the norm.  Early OS distributions were physically mailed to people and updates assumed you were familiar with the past iteration(s).  And the user base was never that big to begin with if one believes that no more than a few thousand cards were produced. 

 

I jokingly asked my wife if she thought G.R.R.M. would finish his next GoT book before I released MDOS 7.0 (a joke that spurred my efforts to complete the ROS updates so that I could focus on the the Geneve for a while).   MDOS 7.00 was ready for release last year and then it corrupted both of my platters/drives in the span of a few days.  It addresses the ramdisk format by creating one bootable floppy partition and creating a hard drive partition using all remaining space.

 

Fortunately there are a good number of vocal Geneve users in the AA forum to answer questions.   ;)  I will look for the draft manual tonight.

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1 hour ago, jedimatt42 said:

I don't get what controls how assign output ends up as HDSn and SCSn and others DSKn... those must just be the device names in the master dsr... where everything not scsi or not a myarc harddrive is a DSK.

 

The initial assignments are set during OS compilation time. The DSKx names are defaulted to certain devices, some that need to be updated for this century.  During powerup, the OS checks the controller at CRU >1100 and assigns DSK1-4 to either the standard TI/CC/Myarc FDC controller (remap items A-D) or the Myarc HFDC controller (remap items J-M).

 

The CYA program can override many settings and make them permanent.  I would recommend steering clear of CYA for the short term. You can do most everything you need to accomplish with a simple AUTOEXEC file.

 

The native Geneve DSR uses a fully defined path and filename to access level 3 and level 2 IO,  can use both CPU and VDP ram for all operations, and is task-aware.  File IO in native MDOS mode is powerful, clean, and simple.  Had TI had required file.pathname for level 2 requests instead of unit numbers, we'd be in a much better place.

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1 hour ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

Fortunately there are a good number of vocal Geneve users in the AA forum to answer questions.   ;)  I will look for the draft manual tonight.

 

The evolution makes sense... and most of you still know all you need to.... My intention is to start writing content up on ninerpedia... that way the experts can criticize and correct, and it can be incremental... The MSX community has a nice wiki where every BASIC command is documented, every MSX DOS command is documented... I'll try and get through 'ASSIGN' and 'REMAP' this weekend. Most of the text will be plagerized, but I think ASSIGN and REMAP need a lot more meat in their descriptions.. it took me years now to figure out how ASSIGN works. 

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1 hour ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

 

Fortunately there are a good number of vocal Geneve users in the AA forum to answer questions.   ;)  I will look for the draft manual tonight.

I've asked these sorts of questions every so often for the last several years, and it has felt like pulling teeth. Experts can't understand where novices are coming from, and nobody is at one of the in-between states to bridge the mentoring gap.  

 

It does not help that the data is ARC'ed on whtech... that typically kicks my butt and makes me give up for a while. 

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50 minutes ago, jedimatt42 said:

I've asked these sorts of questions every so often for the last several years, and it has felt like pulling teeth. Experts can't understand where novices are coming from, and nobody is at one of the in-between states to bridge the mentoring gap.  

 

It does not help that the data is ARC'ed on whtech... that typically kicks my butt and makes me give up for a while. 

sorry, that is not meant to sound like a complaint, just a statement of the reality I am grateful for.  The great people here have tried to help each time, and I've failed to know how to ask the correct questions. 

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1 hour ago, jedimatt42 said:

sorry, that is not meant to sound like a complaint, just a statement of the reality I am grateful for.  The great people here have tried to help each time, and I've failed to know how to ask the correct questions. 

 

It was not taken as a complaint.  I know I go through periods where I have more time than others to check out this group and respond. I'm sure others are the same.  Winter time I am more responsive than summer, however this Covid virus has given me more time at home and a bit away from work to be more responsive.

 

Beery

 

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