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MyArc Extended BASIC II MAME setup

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9 hours ago, Ksarul said:

I know there is a version of the EPROM for the Foundation 128K/512K card (I've seen that one in action and I think I even have it installed in one of the two Foundation cards I own), but I've never seen one for the Rave GrandRAM.

OK, it's probably the Foundation card I was thinking and not the Rave card.


Beery

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, retroclouds said:

Thank you all for the clarification. Yes, having the source code would definitely help.

 

On the other hand if it does run in MAME, its debugger could be used for digging deeper.

At this time I don’t know how capable the debugger is though. I looked at it many, many moons ago when it was still MESS.

 

At least with the debugger we would for example see how often the cartridge space is accessed,

after XBII has loaded and while it is running. What I for example do not know at this time, is if the MAME debugger

can view paged memory.

 

But still, sounds doable to me.

Having said that, it’s something I’d like to take a look at, as soon as I have a first version of my Stevie editor out of the door.

Would make a heck of a winter evening project.

The debugger will look at whatever is in the current memory range.  I thought I have changed data in that view, but I may stand corrected.  If I did, then the display for the instantly remapped memory if I was writing to a mapper page on the Geneve was instantly in view.

Edited by BeeryMiller

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1 hour ago, mizapf said:

 

The debugger has not changed over the years.

 

You can view paged memory, but only in the way it would be done during runtime. That is, you must set the respective CRU bits; this is possible in the Memory view window (CTRL-M).

 

However, for such kinds of debugging I recommend patching the source code.

 

P.S.: I just noticed that the debugger does not allow setting values; this is obviously a problem I have to check.

 

Hmm, no writes??? I thought for sure I have done that in the past.  Can't say whether it was within MAME or with MESS.

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Posted (edited)

This morning I went through and scanned this thread closely.

Also looked at Ninerpedia and some other places to collect an overview of the different Extended Basic versions out there.

Note: In this thread I only listed the versions related to Myarc XBII.

 

As far as versions go, this is what I summarized:

  • (1) Armadillo Basic on the TI-99/8
    • Written in assembly language
    • Possibility to load & save Extended Basic programs from DV80 files
    • 60K of free space for program code (170K) if 128K memory expansion installed
    • Source code available on whtech (needs verification)
       
  • (2) Myarc Extended Basic II on the TI-99/4a is basically (1), the Armadillo Basic found in the TI-99/8:
    • Written in Assembly language 
    • Versions known to exist: v2.10, v.2.11, v.2.12
      • Memory map changed to match TI-99/4a (+Myarc MEMEXP1) instead of TI-99/8
      • FREESPACE removed, memory allocation changes, comma instead of dash in list command, ...
      • Removed loading/saving extended basic programs from/to DV80 (at least in >v2.11)
    • Unclear if source code exists
       
  • (3) Myarc Extended Basic II for the Geneve
    • Written in Assembly language
    • Variant of (2), it’s the initial version of Extended Basic shipped with the Geneve
       
  • (4) Myarc Advanced Basic (ABASIC)
    • Written in Assembly language
    • Based on (3) ?
    • Unclear if source code exists

 

This is what I understand on the technical setup of Myarc Extended Basic II:

  • Myarc MEMEXP-1 128K (or 512K) memory expansion card required
    • Has 8K DSR in >4000-5fff (program loader, RAMDISK setup code, spooler?)
  • Myarc Extended Basic II cartridge required (Basically a RAM cartridge, something comparable to a superspace cartridge)
  • Disk with Myarc Extended Basic II interpreter


Workings:

  1. Upon powerup the DSR in the MEMEXP-1 pushes a file loader into cartridge space >6000->6fff 
  2. The file loader is triggered and the Extended Basic II interpreter is loaded into the appropriate MEMEXP-1 memory pages
  3. In the cartridge space the memory management routines required by the interpreter are stored (required for banking the appropriate MEMEXP-1 pages)

 

Note: not sure if (3) is moved there by the loader or if’s copied from the DSR space. Needs verification.

 

If there’s interest, then I’ll create a new thread in the Development subforum for research. It’ll also include a first version of the memory map (as found on Ninerpedia).

 

EDIT: 06-28-2020; Created a separate thread in the development subforum. Look there for the latest details.

 

 

Edited by retroclouds
Link to thread in development subforum
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Myarc ABasic source code for the Geneve is available.

 

I would not think one would want to ever try and convert it for use on the 4A as it uses XOP’s heavily.

 

Beery

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5 hours ago, retroclouds said:

 

...... If there’s interest, then I’ll create a new thread in the Development subforum for research. It’ll also include a first version of the memory map (as found on Ninerpedia).

I would be interested in a development thread. since SuperspaceII could be used for the cartridge and we have the ROM & disk software, the development of a DSR and memory compatible is all that's needed (yes, I know that's a lot). my dream would be a TIPI or CF7 style device. I have played with this  BASIC (in MAME and before in PC99), it enables the 99/4 to have access to all the VDP power of the machine in BASIC, something that should have been done from the beginning. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 1:00 PM, BeeryMiller said:

Hmm, no writes??? I thought for sure I have done that in the past.  Can't say whether it was within MAME or with MESS.

I found the problem. I used the wrong variable (word address instead of byte address), so the write operations in the debugger were sent to address/2. It is a quite old bug indeed, introduced by me at end of April 2016, MAME release 0.173. (Mind that we are 50 (!) releases later today.)

 

Actually, the issue only occurs for the TI-99/4A console, not for the Geneve or other systems.

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Just gave MYARC BASIC V2.12 a try in mame on my linux box.  I am so impressed with how fast it runs.

This would have been a killer, if it had been easily available back in the days.

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4 minutes ago, retroclouds said:

Just gave MYARC BASIC V2.12 a try in mame on my linux box.  I am so impressed with how fast it runs.

This would have been a killer, if it had been easily available back in the days.

so true. if TI had just done something along these line; a side car addon to complement the hexbus maybe, instead of trying to create a whole new computer? with this the BASIC is now fast with lots of graphic capabilities like it should had. sigh.   

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An update on the Myarc XBII manual- I have now scanned all the pages, and made some initial amendments- additions and deletions, and alterations as required for the several updates.  Next tasks are to prepare five new appendices ( On PRE SCAN commands, on relational/logical expressions, on numeric accuracy, and using the Function keys in programs; and using Machine Code);  then will come the detailed read through adding notes and corrections and references.  Then to go through my notes to add any tips and hints, and a sixth appendix of my graphics programs for MyarcXB.         We are getting there- there is just so much to sort through...

Oh yes, another item- I need to add the Myarc RAM card details and CALL PART, CALL EMDK and CALL VOL in there somewhere...

The end result should be fairly up to date and authoritative.  

Gold star if you had noted the command modifer: SAVE "RD.GAME",INTERNAL.... that will be added under SAVE.

 

 

IMPORTANT- I cannot recall seeing in this forum a note regarding the Myarc RAM card- the original 512k ram cards were unable to run Myarc XBII.  The Myarc XB2 product included the module with 8k ram, a disk with the operating system files, plus a replacement EPROM for the memory card with a new DSR.   If you are using a Myarc Memory Card, real or emulated, there is a remote chance it has the older EPROM without MXB support.
 

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One had to purchase Myarc XBII in order to get the updated Eprom that came with XBII on disk and the 8K module.  I think price was somewhere around $100, maybe $149.

 

This was Myarc's way of controlling pirating of the software.  Otherwise, anyone that had a Myarc 512K card and a GramKracker could easily run the software.  Fewer people were able to burn Eproms back then so it was easier to control the pirating.


Beery

 

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5 hours ago, blackbox said:

An update on the Myarc XBII manual- I have now scanned all the pages, and made some initial amendments- additions and deletions, and alterations as required for the several updates.  Next tasks are to prepare five new appendices ( On PRE SCAN commands, on relational/logical expressions, on numeric accuracy, and using the Function keys in programs; and using Machine Code);  then will come the detailed read through adding notes and corrections and references.  Then to go through my notes to add any tips and hints, and a sixth appendix of my graphics programs for MyarcXB.         We are getting there- there is just so much to sort through...

Oh yes, another item- I need to add the Myarc RAM card details and CALL PART, CALL EMDK and CALL VOL in there somewhere...

The end result should be fairly up to date and authoritative.  

Gold star if you had noted the command modifer: SAVE "RD.GAME",INTERNAL.... that will be added under SAVE.

 

 

IMPORTANT- I cannot recall seeing in this forum a note regarding the Myarc RAM card- the original 512k ram cards were unable to run Myarc XBII.  The Myarc XB2 product included the module with 8k ram, a disk with the operating system files, plus a replacement EPROM for the memory card with a new DSR.   If you are using a Myarc Memory Card, real or emulated, there is a remote chance it has the older EPROM without MXB support.
 

thank you for all the work you are doing.

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https://atariage.com/forums/topic/248687-ti-99-docs-manuals-ebooks-lost-found/?do=findComment&comment=4577821

That is where you can find an up to date revised and authoritative manual for v2.12 Myarc XBII.



 

Phew. That was hard work- but there we are- the Myarc Extended Basic II version 2.12 manual.
Crisp 480dpi scans in four zips of TIF image files for you to read, print, OCR or PDF.

Updated to cover the revisions and additions (and deletions!), with some extra material- 16 new pages plus lots of extra sections on lots of pages.  The first zip includes a scan of my module label, although the label has seen better days.

My manual has also seen better days but I have cleaned it up a lot.  The original pages were supplied to me in loose pages, mostly (but not all) measuring 215mm x 152mm. Supplied wrapped in cellophane and with three binder holes (I could not buy a binder to fit here- probably a standard US-only size!!).

Myarc XBII required a module, a floppy and a special EPROM for the Myarc 512k ram card. It allowed much larger Extended Basic programs, 32 or 40 column screen display and bit map mode- one of only a few bit map offerings that let you detect if a particular pixel was on or off.  Now if we could get it to run on an FG99 plus 32k ram plus SD card device...

Edited by blackbox
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