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Geneve Questions!

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First Question - What's the latest release of MDOS (GeneveOS)?

    Looking on WHTech.com - I see a directory called Geneve and Geneve.new.

         Geneve.new has MDOS - now recommended to be called GeneveOS - to remove association with MyARC. -

                  6.50

         Geneve has also MDOS 6.7RC2 - Was MDOS 6.7 ever released?

 

Question #2 - Forth for MDOS (GeneveOS)

     Bill Sullivan (FDOS) (BRS Consulting?) worked for many years on a native Forth for the Geneve - I know John Carver was a serious user.

     I vaguely recall FDOS selling some of his TI Stuff to down size.

     Did anyone get Bill's Forth Source code?

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There was also McCann Software Forth for the Geneve.  Several commercial applications were written by Mike for the Geneve including The Printer's Apprentice (TPA), and The Geometer's Apprentice (TGA).  There may have been some fonts that went along TPA.


Beery

 

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Sorry for the Geneve.new folder - I once started with it with the intention to sort things, but lost it out of sight... I'll have to pick it up again.

 

I am using GeneveOS 6.50 on my real system and in MAME.

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Can Geneve load an regular EA5 program that loads at >A000?

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Just now, TheBF said:

Can Geneve load an regular EA5 program that loads at >A000?

Yes, in GPL mode (using the Editor/Assembler), or with the EXEC loader.

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2 hours ago, TheBF said:

Can Geneve load an regular EA5 program that loads at >A000?

Michael answered your question above.  Just a few comments to help you understand things.

 

When the Geneve boots up, it is in MDOS mode running the CLI (Command Line Interpreter).  It is pretty much your "MS-DOS" command.com style interface, except all the commands are built into MDOS such as copy, format, etc.  This is called MDOS mode.

 

In MDOS mode, you can run MDOS programs.  One such program is the GPL interpreter.  The GPL interpreter, it reconfigures the memory layout, video ports, etc. to look just like a TI-99/4A.  It has 5 speed modes so that you can run either faster or slower than a TI-99/4A.  It also has its own loader screen so that you can load Gram Kracker style modules such as Extended Basic, Editor/Assembler, etc.  From the Editor/Assembler you can run EA5 programs.

 

As Michael mentioned, there is also another program that can be run from MDOS mode called EXEC written by Barry Boone.  It setups up an emulated TI-99/4A prompt without the title bar screen or module screen that allows you to pass an EA5 program name to it to run.  So, as an Example:

 

A:>EXEC DSK2.TELCO

 

Assuming EXEC is located on the "A:>" (generally DSK1 unless reconfigured), it would EXEC from your floppy drive, then load Telco from DSK2.

 

In MDOS mode, you have full access when programming to all the extended (XOP) functions for programming that are built into the operating system.  This is dsr/video/math/memory/utilities/keyboard.  Programs here load beginning at >0400.  There are a few reserved memory areas above >F000 consisting of < 0100h bytes, but everything else is available.  The memory XOP allows you to identify and access other free memory if you need more programming space.  I've written stuff in the past that stored over 1.5 MB of data into memory when I had a large video display or stored large SoundFX VOC files in memory to be played.

 

MDOS mode has an AUTOEXEC file that allows you to load on bootup additional "drivers".  Myself, I have written some additional XOP libraries such as one for the TIPI in MDOS mode and there is also a "Windows" driver that there are probably fewer than a dozen programs would use I developed back in the 1990's.

 

The AUTOEXEC file also allows you to define additional ramdisk configurations for the HRD at various CRU's, change drive letters to corresponding devices (HFDC, SCSI, DSK, etc).  I think I have something 9 drive letters from "A" to "I" defined on my system.

 

Anyways, that is just a brief idea of the Geneve setup, etc.

 

Beery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, BeeryMiller said:

Michael answered your question above.  Just a few comments to help you understand things.

 

When the Geneve boots up, it is in MDOS mode running the CLI (Command Line Interpreter).  It is pretty much your "MS-DOS" command.com style interface, except all the commands are built into MDOS such as copy, format, etc.  This is called MDOS mode.

 

In MDOS mode, you can run MDOS programs.  One such program is the GPL interpreter.  The GPL interpreter, it reconfigures the memory layout, video ports, etc. to look just like a TI-99/4A.  It has 5 speed modes so that you can run either faster or slower than a TI-99/4A.  It also has its own loader screen so that you can load Gram Kracker style modules such as Extended Basic, Editor/Assembler, etc.  From the Editor/Assembler you can run EA5 programs.

 

As Michael mentioned, there is also another program that can be run from MDOS mode called EXEC written by Barry Boone.  It setups up an emulated TI-99/4A prompt without the title bar screen or module screen that allows you to pass an EA5 program name to it to run.  So, as an Example:

 

A:>EXEC DSK2.TELCO

 

Assuming EXEC is located on the "A:>" (generally DSK1 unless reconfigured), it would EXEC from your floppy drive, then load Telco from DSK2.

 

In MDOS mode, you have full access when programming to all the extended (XOP) functions for programming that are built into the operating system.  This is dsr/video/math/memory/utilities/keyboard.  Programs here load beginning at >0400.  There are a few reserved memory areas above >F000 consisting of < 0100h bytes, but everything else is available.  The memory XOP allows you to identify and access other free memory if you need more programming space.  I've written stuff in the past that stored over 1.5 MB of data into memory when I had a large video display or stored large SoundFX VOC files in memory to be played.

 

MDOS mode has an AUTOEXEC file that allows you to load on bootup additional "drivers".  Myself, I have written some additional XOP libraries such as one for the TIPI in MDOS mode and there is also a "Windows" driver that there are probably fewer than a dozen programs would use I developed back in the 1990's.

 

The AUTOEXEC file also allows you to define additional ramdisk configurations for the HRD at various CRU's, change drive letters to corresponding devices (HFDC, SCSI, DSK, etc).  I think I have something 9 drive letters from "A" to "I" defined on my system.

 

Anyways, that is just a brief idea of the Geneve setup, etc.

 

Beery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cool so one could do 

A:>EXEC DSK2.CAMEL99  

 

Is there a technical document on how to write programs for MDOS ?

My cross-compiler has a 64K segment reserved for the target program.  I could make a very FAT Forth system for Geneve. (not that many would care) :) 

 

 

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I believe there is a MDOS manual on the http://ftp.whtech.com site under the Geneve folder if I remember correctly.

 

Also, if you do not have a hard disk system (not IDE) or a RAM Disk then booting the Geneve from floppy will take a bit longer.  Booting from RAMDISK can be done but does require some sector editing.  so get all your changes in place with CYA first otherwise it will not pass the verification.

 

I know I have some floppy disk images here that boot quicker than if you make them yourself, i think they were called 'Jump Bootdisk', but if I recall they only worked with a Myarc FDC.

 

It's also good to note that to run the TI based programs in GPL you need to enable TI MODE within the AUTOEXEC file.   

Edited by Shift838
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10 hours ago, TheBF said:

Cool so one could do 

A:>EXEC DSK2.CAMEL99  

 

Is there a technical document on how to write programs for MDOS ?

My cross-compiler has a 64K segment reserved for the target program.  I could make a very FAT Forth system for Geneve. (not that many would care) :) 

 

 

The best reference for programming on the MDOS side of things is the GenPROG package.  I updated and created some PDF's for each XOP as well as the usage of the programs and at one point in time, they were on Whtech, but have since disappeared.  There is a much older genprog.zip file in the Geneve folder, however that is going to be difficult to read as I believe it was a 1990's word processor that was used to create those files.  I will see if I can upload the files to this group this evening.  If you don't see them this evening (10 pm EST), then shoot me another note as I likely forgot.

 

The other reference(s) I would suggest would be to get the MAME files I pointed to earlier that has the Bootdisk1.hd file in it.  It is full of source code and is the best way to start writing code for the Geneve.

 

As far as Chris's note about being able to boot faster, yes, that is possible if you have a properly formatted disk that is formatted to load just SYSTEM/SYS.  The TI FDC/CorComp FDC/Myarc FDC/ Myarc HFDC (as floppy controller) can all boot faster, but there is only one program, HyperCopy that can format the disk and it is only compatible with the TI FDC, CorComp FDC, and Myarc FDC.  It is not compatible with the Myarc HFDC. 

 

The disk needs to be formatted with Interlace=1, Skew=2.  HyperCopy is the only program that can do that.  Basically, before the Geneve is booted, is when it has zero overhead and can move data the fastest.  Thus, at Interlace 1, all 9 or 18 sectors are laid out in a continuous track and can be read in one revolution of the disk.  With a Skew=2, that is the minimal amount of time required for the heads of the disk to advance to the next track and be positioned to read the next track.  At higher interlaces, it requires multiple revolutions of the disk to read a single track.  So, at 18 sectors/track (double density) and a 480 sector SYSTEM/SYS file, it is possible to boot in under 6 seconds with the disk drive turning at 300 rpm.  At single density of 9 sectors/track, you would be looking at a 11 to 12 second boot time.

 

Now, that Interlace 1 configuration is not good to load other programs once MDOS is loaded due to the extra overhead.  That's where your standard formatting without using HyperCopy is the route to go.  I don't recall if the standard interlace is 3 or 4.  It is a number you do not have to concern yourself.  If the program prompts you for an interlace, use the default.

 

Beery

 

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43 minutes ago, GDMike said:

Would writing in forth,camel 9640, unleash the Geneve? This would be awesome.

 

In what respect? What do you have in mind?

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Looking to be able to access every part of ram, peripherals with forth, after booting up into MDOS and launching forth, not sure it can happen but,I in my case, I'm not interested in the gpl after forth boots. 

 

Edited by GDMike

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I suspect you are going to need a special "driver" if you want access additional "free" memory while in GPL mode in forth.  Basically, you will want to install an XOP that captures and keeps additional free memory in a page list, that you can then access from paged memory.  That way, you will know how many and which pages are free to use.  On the GPL side of things, you do not have access to the XOP's, but you can page memory in, and get access to where your "driver" (XOP) installed which would then have a list of free memory pages you could use.  That is if you want to use extra memory.  TIMODE does establish some free memory, but if you want even more memory, you have to get creative so that you do not step on other potential code.

 

It sounds more complicated than it is, and the source code pieces are really already out there, so it is not that hard.  My TIPI driver for MDOS could very easily be modified to get what you want without an issue to your needs.

 

Beery

 

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OK, here are the documentation files for GenPROG and for MDOS mode.  The Bootmame.zip file should have the actual files on the MAME image in the MDOS folder is where I typically place those utilities such as the assembler, linker, and maker programs

 

Beery

 

 

GenREFDsr.pdf GenREFVideo.pdf GenREFUtility.pdf GenREFMemory.pdf GenREFKey.pdf GenMAKE.pdf GenLINK.pdf GenLIB.pdf GenASM.pdf GenREFMath.pdf BootMame.zip

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I am not sure I have the lifespan left to use this computer. :) 

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16 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

As far as Chris's note about being able to boot faster, yes, that is possible if you have a properly formatted disk that is formatted to load just SYSTEM/SYS.  The TI FDC/CorComp FDC/Myarc FDC/ Myarc HFDC (as floppy controller) can all boot faster, but there is only one program, HyperCopy that can format the disk and it is only compatible with the TI FDC, CorComp FDC, and Myarc FDC.  It is not compatible with the Myarc HFDC. 

 

If I recall correctly, it was Dr. Jerry Coffey who documented what was called the jumpboot process.  There are some additional tricks to reduce the load speed even further, such as where and how you copy the file to the disk.  I cannot for the life of me remember where I have read the article, it might be something I have saved in my folder of printed information.  If I think of it tomorrow I'll go look in my binder.  There is mention of the commercial disk in this thread:

 

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"Ramdisk speed"? There is at least an upper bound to the data rate: 125 kbit/s (single density) and 250 kbit/s (double density). It won't get faster from a floppy for sure.

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Beery,

 If you can remember what fairs you did MDOS Programming sessions at, perhaps the tapes are available somewhere?

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9 hours ago, BeeryMiller said:

The greeeeeeen text in genASM has got to goooooooo...yikes!! Ok.  Nuff said. Wonderful stuff!! Thank you!!!

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1 hour ago, dhe said:

Beery,

 If you can remember what fairs you did MDOS Programming sessions at, perhaps the tapes are available somewhere?

There was only one fair I did a MDOS programming session, and somewhere it was taped as I recall seeing it sometime in the past 4 years while watching some video.  Not sure if it was a Chicago or Lima Faire.

 

I think the biggest part of that session was the handouts that gave examples for setting up memory, passing command line arguments, and details on the XOP's which are part of the file attachments above but in greater detail.


Beery

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6 hours ago, InsaneMultitasker said:

This is in the 9640 FAQ that DHE put together long ago ;)  I recall the instructions to create jump boot disks were written down, maybe in a newsletter or Micropendium. 

 

image.thumb.png.548deef9c596eed21b017be0a2c5c554.png

I still have some of the original Jerry Coffey Jumpboot disks I think in 3.5" disk format.  About the only thing I did not add to my note that could be used to speed of the boot process by a fraction of a second would be the actual placement of SYSTEM/SYS on the disk and maybe the an alternative skew on the first track to minimize the time to locate the File Descriptor Record and then advance to begin reading the first sectors of SYSTEM/SYS.  We are talking less than 0.25 seconds here so what I described above in an earlier post is something very easy for someone to create without much effort.

 

Beery

 

 

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On 10/28/2020 at 4:25 PM, BeeryMiller said:

There was also McCann Software Forth for the Geneve.  Several commercial applications were written by Mike for the Geneve including The Printer's Apprentice (TPA), and The Geometer's Apprentice (TGA).  There may have been some fonts that went along TPA.


Beery

 

If the existing FORTHs don't have all the XOPs implemented, it would be possible to write FORTH words to do them, using the FORTH assembler vocabulary. For instance, add more ways to allocate memory pages from the system, etc.

 

I am not familiar with either McCann or Bill Sullivan (FDOS)' FORTH. 

 

I've gotten back up speed writing in fbFORTH for the 4A (and other systems), but I do not have a FORTH for Geneve here. 

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I'm pretty sure Mike had all the work completed for Forth for the Geneve/MDOS with the XOP's.  I am not 100% sure I have those disks.  If I get some free time, I will investigate.

 

I do not remember a hard-copy manual for that software, so I am hoping the docs were on the disks(s).

 

Beery

 

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If someone would drop those PDF's on whtech in the Geneve area someplace, that would be great so they aren't lost.

 

Beery

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