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dhe

Geneve 2020 Questions and Answers!

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I've been reading the TM 990/10 docs, and it's brought up a number of questions....
 
Have you considered creating a hypervisor layer with an Arduino or pi?
 
One of the nice features of the 990 chassis, was plug and pray - each slot was tied to a specific cru address, so need to set them.
 
Two nice add on's that were made for the 4a, that would be nifty to build in, was Mack Mccormic published a circuit diagram when he was writing an assembly tutorial for Micropendium, that would slow down a 4a, to a craw so you could see what was happening in assembly, by playing with interrupts. The other, also interrupt focused was Jeffery Browns terminal emulator, where you programmed a non-maskable interrupt.
 
When I was using a Genève mostly, I always loaded a little program that was tribute to the Amiga, when an illegal opcode was executed, it had a TSR popup with Guru Meditation Error, that usually mean code had wondered off into some area, that it shouldn't have - like executing data! 😃 IT would be neat if that situation could be handled by a hypervisor.
 
When you get ready to release cards, maybe we can get Beery's permission to include his HD Image on an SD Card, that could save people years of trying to track down source code and get it transferred.
 
A Geneve is faster than a TI, a GenMod Geneve is faster than a Geneve, where do you think Geneve 2020 will fall on the speed scale if you end up using 6Mhz TMS99105's?
 
 

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 Hi mizapf, sorry if that wasn't clear, as I really didn't know who wrote it, I remember I got it off 9640 news and always loaded it before a session.

 

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Our very own Beery Miller published an action packed Disk-O-Zine called 9640 News. A bit like Genial Travler - except for the Geneve.

 

Maybe if we ask him nicely he will release all the goodness!

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12 hours ago, dhe said:

 Hi mizapf, sorry if that wasn't clear, as I really didn't know who wrote it, I remember I got it off 9640 news and always loaded it before a session.

No, nothing to be sorry, I'm happy to hear someone else has been actually using it! 🙂 I had an Amiga in those times as well, and from there I got the idea to make use of the MID interrupt.

 

I always wondered why this feature was disabled in MDOS / GeneveOS. Just a few days ago I noticed that DM-1000 which I was using with the Horizon emulation has a minor bug; it runs over a 0000 at some point. This would have caused a MID with the Geneve, while it would not have been noticed with a TI. So maybe the authors of MDOS considered this to cause more trouble than benefit.

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I consider the program to be very valuable. About the time the Geneve came out, the TI community was experiencing a pandemic of it's own. Corrupt software, either from bad diskettes, poorly aligned drives, bad BBS downloads etc. Many times, these were blamed on the hardware - people would say  'my Geneve keeps locking up'. Guru Meditation PROVED, the Geneve wasn't just 'locking' up, and in fact pointed directly to the problem. I remember at least two cases, where Guru, spurred me on to get new copies of the software, and that ended up being the fix to my 'lock up problems'.

 

So, thank you for the Guru!

 

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Hey, I welcome suggestions & feature requests! This project originates in imagination. 
 

 

15 hours ago, dhe said:
 
I've been reading the TM 990/10 docs, and it's brought up a number of questions....
 
Have you considered creating a hypervisor layer with an Arduino or pi?


Not clear exactly what you imagined? There will be a supervisor (BIOS) as that's a feature of the 99105. I understand a hypervisor to mean a manager of virtual machine containers, which boggles my mind.

 

Supervisor on the 99105 gets the first look at all interrupts. It has even more decisions to make about INT2 or MID, including dropping into the debugger. I will leave it open to forwarding to MDOS in case you set the INT2 vector there.  
 

Coprocessors are an idea I've imagined. An Arduino, ATMEGA328, is more powerful than a 99105 and doesn't seem fair. I considered a TI '430 but that's in the same class. If there's going to be a co-processor it should be a 9995. Some jobs it might do are: controlling the boot process, serial IO, disk IO.

 

 

 

15 hours ago, dhe said:
One of the nice features of the 990 chassis, was plug and pray - each slot was tied to a specific cru address, so need to set them.

Fixed CRU addresses for devices, too much of a bedrock assumption in our software.  Geneve2020 will make extensive use of byte/word-parallel CRU IO, which will add to the fixed address map! For instance, the video card can respond at memory >8C02 in GPL mode, but CRU >8C02 in BIOS mode.

 

15 hours ago, dhe said:
 
Two nice add on's that were made for the 4a, that would be nifty to build in, was Mack Mccormic published a circuit diagram when he was writing an assembly tutorial for Micropendium, that would slow down a 4a, to a craw so you could see what was happening in assembly, by playing with interrupts. The other, also interrupt focused was Jeffery Browns terminal emulator, where you programmed a non-maskable interrupt.

 

NMI is built-in. Speed control is something I've deferred, as it is a big detail-oriented job. My thinking is that the FPGA will insert wait states to match GPL speeds etc. But how many? It could add a bazillion if you like. A single-stepping debugger is a possibility--TI describes how to use NMI for single-stepping, in the University Board 990/189 coursebook/manual. Probably some other places too.

 

I'm thinking of a way to make low-level patches easy. BIOS will accept a startup script, written in FORTH (which includes the assembler). In there, you can add pretty much anything you think of. This script would typically just say BOOT-MDOS, but the possibilities are wide open. It could change the NMI behavior for instance.

 

16 hours ago, dhe said:
A Geneve is faster than a TI, a GenMod Geneve is faster than a Geneve, where do you think Geneve 2020 will fall on the speed scale if you end up using 6Mhz TMS99105's?
 

It will be faster :)

 

You could look at Stuart's Breadboard benchmarks for one. 

 

Keep the ideas coming!

 

 

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11 hours ago, dhe said:

Our very own Beery Miller published an action packed Disk-O-Zine called 9640 News. A bit like Genial Travler - except for the Geneve.

 

Maybe if we ask him nicely he will release all the goodness!

All of 9640News was released to the public domain some 15 to 20 years ago.  


It is available for download at several locations:

 

Index of /Geneve/9640 News disks v1-3/9640 NEWS disks for Geneve (whtech.com)

 

9640 News | Jedimatt42

 

 

 

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Sorry, I do not know enough technical details about the Geneve to see if this is feasible or not.

But what would absolutely be great is, if interrupts could be bound to high-resolution (non-maskable?) timers.

Would make reliable multitasking a lot more feasible.

 

Obviously would require OS modifications for supporting all this. But with the source code being available....

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GPL Questions:

 

 

One of the mill stones MyARC had hanging about their neck, was being able to run module software.

   Their first decision was no plug in for module, they had Peter Hoddie, write C-Save.

 

 Issue 1, C-Save didn't know how to save all modules.

 Issue 2, Not all modules worked on the Geneve. I remember Mike Maksimik spent a lot of time making modules work.

              Broadly speaking problems seemed to fall in to four large categories.

              a) Bad hygiene on VDP register setup, things you got away with on the TMS9918, no longer did

                        you get away with 96k of RAM and much more complicated V9938 with more registers.

              b) Modules that either played fast and loose with the KSCAN routine, or tried to directly access the keyboard and joysticks via CRU.

              c) Direct access to I/O devices like the sound chip.

              d) Loose programming that worked on the 4A, because the 256 bytes of scratch pad RAM would roll over.

 

 Then you often times had module files, and you thought, is this the FIXED moon patrol from Mike, or just an original dump of Moon Patrol?  There never was a good database of patches or fixed modules put together. (Still isn't).

 

   Two other questions for the architect....

 

    I never saw from Myarc, what the maximum Grom banks that could be used.

    I also never clearly understood, if the Geneve could support modules with RAM memory like

       SuperSpace, SuperSpace II or Minimum.

    Also, Myarc promised P-Code compatibility, I heard rumors of a pcode file but never saw it.

         Now, this could have been for two reasons (or more) - their Grom Operation couldn't emulate a

         P-Card, the Geneve's hardware wasn't compatible with a p-card. Maybe someone got it to run and all the disk-based utility had problems, not unlike some of the modules, or faster term, etc.

 

         In Candyland, I'd like to have full emulation of the P-Code card, and maybe emulation of the SNUG HSGPL card.

 

 

 

 

 

image.thumb.png.e2b2443c228af9a0d8fdcff92c11441f.png

 

 

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2 hours ago, dhe said:

 

 

         Now, this could have been for two reasons (or more) - their Grom Operation couldn't emulate a

         P-Card, the Geneve's hardware wasn't compatible with a p-card. Maybe someone got it to run and all the disk-based utility had problems, not unlike some of the modules, or faster term, etc.

 

         In Candyland, I'd like to have full emulation of the P-Code card, and maybe emulation of the SNUG HSGPL card.

 

I was playing (briefly) with the PSYSTEM and I thought the PSYSTEM may be running as it should.  Now, as far as compatibility with P-Code, no idea.

 

As far as the SNUG HSGPL card, seriously doubt any separate card for Groms is going to work as things were hardwired in the gate array I think would prevent that.

 

As far as having 8K ram space at >6000 to >7FFF, that is already there.  You can load the Editor/Assembler module and you have the 8K of memory there already.

 

Beery

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