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Troubles with Indus GT CP/M

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I am trying to work with this system and I have several problems.  Any help is welcome.

At first let me explain my working environment.  I use the Altirra 3.90 emulator.  I got a corrected CPM disk image in XFD-format.  I got other Indus disk images from http://www.retrobits.net/atari/indus.shtml

My first problem I can't boot terminal disk from the Indus drive.  This drive boots other disks, for example Indus GT System Master Disk but not Charger 40/80 Col. Terminal disk. :(  So I have to set the Indus drive as D2: and boot from the terminal disk inserted into D1: and  D1: is a generic Atari disk drive.  Then I put the CPM disk into D2: and boot from it.  I get the CP/M prompt and can use the system. 

My next problem comes when I try to use utility ICDS.COM from RAM Charger Utility Disk.  I just put this disk into D2: and run this utility.  It seems that it doesn't work. :( I can't even show a directory listing for any drive with it.  The system just hangs after I enter A: or 1: after its prompt for the show directory command. :( Maybe RAM Charger Utility Disk is corrupted like the RAM Charger CP/M Boot disk and need to be in XFD-format?  Without this utility I can't add files to CP/M disks. :( 

There is also a question about contents of the RAM Charger CP/M BIOS disk.  It seems that it contains no files.

It seems that any disk error hangs the system. :( Is it the emulator error or this crash is also natural on real hardware?

I seek more technical information about the Indus GT.  Is there any way to get a timer value for a CP/M program?  I checked the Indus schematics and found out that the Indus doesn't use NMI and it uses masked interrupts only from drive control circuits.  So there is no possibility to use any timer inside the Indus. :(  There are only chances to get timer from the Atari host.  Is there any documentation about how the Indus communicate with the Atari?  I tried to dig into Firmware ROM sources - https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Indus GT Firmware ROM Source - but I have been not able to find anything relevant. :(

Thank you very much in advance for any help.
 

Edited by vol

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On the real drive, don't you physically have to hold down a couple of buttons to enter CP/M mode? Not having the actual physical buttons on the front panel may be the limitation here?

 

You have to consider that the A8 essentially becomes a serial terminal for the Indus GT. For this reason I don't believe you control the boot process via the A8 as it's essentially a dumb terminal.

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On 2/14/2021 at 3:50 AM, vol said:

I am trying to work with this system and I have several problems.  Any help is welcome.

At first let me explain my working environment.  I use the Altirra 3.90 emulator.  I got a corrected CPM disk image in XFD-format.  I got other Indus disk images from http://www.retrobits.net/atari/indus.shtml

My first problem I can't boot terminal disk from the Indus drive.  This drive boots other disks, for example Indus GT System Master Disk but not Charger 40/80 Col. Terminal disk. :(  So I have to set the Indus drive as D2: and boot from the terminal disk inserted into D1: and  D1: is a generic Atari disk drive.  Then I put the CPM disk into D2: and boot from it.  I get the CP/M prompt and can use the system. 

My next problem comes when I try to use utility ICDS.COM from RAM Charger Utility Disk.  I just put this disk into D2: and run this utility.  It seems that it doesn't work. :( I can't even show a directory listing for any drive with it.  The system just hangs after I enter A: or 1: after its prompt for the show directory command. :( Maybe RAM Charger Utility Disk is corrupted like the RAM Charger CP/M Boot disk and need to be in XFD-format?  Without this utility I can't add files to CP/M disks. :( 

There is also a question about contents of the RAM Charger CP/M BIOS disk.  It seems that it contains no files.

It seems that any disk error hangs the system. :( Is it the emulator error or this crash is also natural on real hardware?

I seek more technical information about the Indus GT.  Is there any way to get a timer value for a CP/M program?  I checked the Indus schematics and found out that the Indus doesn't use NMI and it uses masked interrupts only from drive control circuits.  So there is no possibility to use any timer inside the Indus. :(  There are only chances to get timer from the Atari host.  Is there any documentation about how the Indus communicate with the Atari?  I tried to dig into Firmware ROM sources - https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Indus GT Firmware ROM Source - but I have been not able to find anything relevant. :(

Thank you very much in advance for any help.
 

FYI, It is quite an undertaking to set everything in Altirra to a usable level, similar to actual HW/SW config. for CP/M, especially if you don't have a pre-loaded / configured HD image for SIDE2, with everything you need inside.

 

So here's what you can do in Altirra the absence of a Hard Drive:

  1. Please, use the attached ROMs to configure in Altirra FIRMWARE manager:
  2. With the above roms, configure Altirra as XL/XE machine, with U1MB memory config. and add Indus/GT device as DRIVE #1.
  3. Fire-up Altirra, and jump into U1MB BIOS by hitting F6 on splash-screen. Once there, hit 1 (Profile #1) and configure:
    • SST icon:
      • 1088KB ram
      • Select XE03-FP.f14 at OS slot
      • SDX enabled
    • on HD icon:
      • Enable PBI
      • Enable HD (it does not matter if there is no actual HD device. We still need this option)
    • on BIOS settings icon:
      • Set BIOS Logo to "BOOT"
  4. Without yet leaving BIOS, press "ALT" and "D" keys, to bring .ATR disk-image menu. Load the following .ATRs, in the exact same order:
  5. Close above dialog, and once back in BIOS, press "B" to boot system... As SOON as splash screen appears, press "D", and select "2". What we are trying to do here is to instruct SDX (hosted in U1MB) to boot CONFIGS from D2:, since we have an Indus/GT as D1. This will save us a ton of trouble, and also gives us the chance to boot a better CP/M terminal, from a better environment.
  6. As soon as SDX begins to boot, you will see a list of config. fles. Choose "_BEST" and hit ENTER. Let SDX boot.
  7. Once on SDX prompt, type "-SDX80COL -CPMTERM". Wait until screen goes greenish / or blueish (empty) and cursor on top-left.
  8. Go to Altirra's System->Console Switches->IndusGT Boot CP/M switch, and you should immediately boot into CP/M

The CP/M (first) image attached above was specially prepared for you, since it has corrected sectors, and Jeff Reid's ICDS 1.1 (it is actually a copy of my working CP/M floppy). Also, it has latest INIT utility, which will format an actual CP/M floppy on IndusGT with an optimized interleave for highest possible speed (much, much better than slow-ass CP/M copies you see around).

 

The terminal you will be booting is TRUB's terminal, modified for nicer screen colors. The Atari DOES NOT become a dumb-terminal. On the contrary, it becomes a FILE SERVER, as well, for the CP/M machine running in Indus/GT. You can go OUT to SDX by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-Q and then IN again by typing -CPMTERM at SDX prompt, which you will grow to appreciate very much as you use the system.

 

Let me know if this helps a bit more. I am not sure I can help you with system timers within Indus and its CP/M BIOS. But, again, I am not really sure why your benchmark depends on it, other than reading time for reporting purposes only.

 

Let me know how it goes.

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On 2/15/2021 at 9:28 PM, Faicuai said:

FYI, It is quite an undertaking to set everything in Altirra to a usable level, similar to actual HW/SW config. for CP/M, especially if you don't have a pre-loaded / configured HD image for SIDE2, with everything you need inside.

 

Let me know if this helps a bit more. I am not sure I can help you with system timers within Indus and its CP/M BIOS. But, again, I am not really sure why your benchmark depends on it, other than reading time for reporting purposes only.

 

Let me know how it goes.

Wow! :) I have gotten the super Atari 800!  What could such a machine cost in the 80s?!
I could successfully load CPM.  I found something like a RAM-disk with CPM-files but it contains folders... How can one use folders under CP/M?  I am also impressed much by the presence of well known BBC Basic.
Despite of having so a good virtual machine I am still stuck with the same problems. :( I can't use ICDS.COM - when I try to show a folder contents it hangs. :( BTW I noticed that utilities for CPM are still missed the very useful ZSID utility, they offer only much less useful DDT. :( So my first task is to move ZSID on a CP/M-disk.
And I still have some hope that there is a way to reach timers from a CP/M program.  I am almost sure that the Indus drive hardware doesn't have anything that could help but there should be some ways to get the Atari800 memory...  However if the only way for this is to write a custom terminal emulator program that this will be too strong for me and I will give up my attempts to get timings. :( Indeed my π-spigot implementation needs a timer values but just for timing and for nothing else. ;) 
Anyway thank you very much.  I am very impressed by capabilities of the 8-bit Atari's.  If Atari managers hadn't slowed down the development of this machine, it could have been much more mainstream and famous.

Edited by vol

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19 hours ago, vol said:

Wow! :) I have gotten the super Atari 800!  What could such a machine cost in the 80s?!

 

(...)


Despite of having so a good virtual machine I am still stuck with the same problems. :( I can't use ICDS.COM - when I try to show a folder contents it hangs. :( BTW I noticed that utilities for CPM are still missed the very useful ZSID utility, they offer only much less useful DDT. :( So my first task is to move ZSID on a CP/M-disk.
 

(...)


Anyway thank you very much.  I am very impressed by capabilities of the 8-bit Atari's.  If Atari managers hadn't slowed down the development of this machine, it could have been much more mainstream and famous.

 

At the heart of modern computer history, lies a "trilogy" of companies and products. Only three: Apple, IBM and Atari. These companies are connected not just in space, but also time. 

 

Steve Jobs worked for Atari where he proposed creating a Personal Computer division. Steve Jobs later tried to hire Don Estridge (IBM/PC project leader, out of IBM-Boca Raton, Florida's facilities) to work into apple... And IBM considered the 800, the "boss", the real McCoy as their own OEM product-line:

 

56B6FFE5-D59D-4D18-83D5-C32A3369666C.thumb.jpeg.31820501b23e9224871ce31deb71a930.jpeg

 

You see, Atari. campus once extended many, many buildings in Sunnyvale, CA and beyond. Atari itself is pretty famous, especially for those who know history well. And all of that by 1979, 1980... 

 

The 800 was designed to compete with the Apple/II. It was the first (and most important) shot the company had at making a strong impact where Apple was already a leader, Therefore, the designs, architecture and products that came out of that effort where never really matched. later on.

 

ICDS handles two media-descriptirs: numbers 1: 2: refer to Atari-DOS (double-density) format. A: B: refers to CP/M format.

 

Try that first. I will try to help you with that Utility and loading it, if I find it.

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The biggest problem with CP/M was the vast number of proprietary disk formats at the time. A DOS that runs across a vast number of platforms hampered by a plethora of disk formatting schemes, all incompatible with one another.

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4 hours ago, Faicuai said:

 

56B6FFE5-D59D-4D18-83D5-C32A3369666C.thumb.jpeg.31820501b23e9224871ce31deb71a930.jpeg

 

 

Just watching "For all Mankind", an alternate history of NASA. I realise we need an alternate history of personal computing as well, in which this came through. (Is that image real or just photoshopped? I always thought talks between Atari and IBM did not progress to a level where one would have prepared hardware mock-ups. Hope the second book of Atari history will eventually see the light of day despite the untimely passing of Curt Vendel.

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5 hours ago, Faicuai said:

Steve Jobs worked for Atari where he proposed creating a Personal Computer division.

I think he had employment there, I don't know whether he really did any work that was actually his own however...

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8 hours ago, Faicuai said:

 

At the heart of modern computer history, lies a "trilogy" of companies and products. Only three: Apple, IBM and Atari. These companies are connected not just in space, but also time. 

 

Steve Jobs worked for Atari where he proposed creating a Personal Computer division. Steve Jobs later tried to hire Don Estridge (IBM/PC project leader, out of IBM-Boca Raton, Florida's facilities) to work into apple... And IBM considered the 800, the "boss", the real McCoy as their own OEM product-line:

 

The 800 was designed to compete with the Apple/II. It was the first (and most important) shot the company had at making a strong impact where Apple was already a leader, Therefore, the designs, architecture and products that came out of that effort where never really matched. later on.

 

ICDS handles two media-descriptirs: numbers 1: 2: refer to Atari-DOS (double-density) format. A: B: refers to CP/M format.

 

Try that first. I will try to help you with that Utility and loading it, if I find it.

Thank you very much for this interesting information.  However there was a more known computer trio, the holy trinity (Commodore, Apple, and Tandy), which started popular personal computer production.  Atari was the fourth.

I have read that Atari management wanted to sell more the Atari 2600 console than to promote the new Atari 400/800 line. :(

ICDS really doesn't work for me.  :( Are there other ways to transfer data to a Indus CP/M disk?  Indeed it is interesting can ICDS work on real hardware or not?  Maybe it is a bug of emulation.  ICDS is an utility on the disk image you sent me.   Thank you again.

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41 minutes ago, vol said:

Thank you very much for this interesting information.  However there was a more known computer trio, the holy trinity (Commodore, Apple, and Tandy), which started popular personal computer production.  Atari was the fourth.

I have read that Atari management wanted to sell more the Atari 2600 console than to promote the new Atari 400/800 line. :(

ICDS really doesn't work for me.  :( Are there other ways to transfer data to a Indus CP/M disk?  Indeed it is interesting can ICDS work on real hardware or not?  Maybe it is a bug of emulation.  ICDS is an utility on the disk image you sent me.   Thank you again.

I've not tried in emulation.  It definitely works on real hardware - I've transferred dozens of floppies both directions as well as virtual floppies (ATRs, hosted on PC).  I am not aware of any other way to get data onto a CP/M disk.  Sparta DOS X has a CP/M driver, but it is still a read-only driver ta this point.

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4 hours ago, vol said:

Thank you very much for this interesting information.  However there was a more known computer trio, the holy trinity (Commodore, Apple, and Tandy), which started popular personal computer production.  Atari was the fourth.

I have read that Atari management wanted to sell more the Atari 2600 console than to promote the new Atari 400/800 line. :(

ICDS really doesn't work for me.  :( Are there other ways to transfer data to a Indus CP/M disk?  Indeed it is interesting can ICDS work on real hardware or not?  Maybe it is a bug of emulation.  ICDS is an utility on the disk image you sent me.   Thank you again.

 

Of course, but from those three only Apple came in with something really ground-breaking, for the end-user / consumer. And those three do not share the same ground-breaking / innovative roots and place-time connections as Apple / IBM / Atari, which is presumablywhy they appear in Top-25 PCs of all time:

 

https://www.pcworld.com/article/126692/greatest_pcs_of_all_time.htmlhttps://www.pcworld.com/article/126692/greatest_pcs_of_all_time.html

 

Anyhow, and without further ado, I will be testing ICDS on the Altirra environment I sent you above, and see what the hell is going on with it, because it works nicely on real hardware.  In fact, I can even launch WORDSTAR hosted on the Atari/800 on a .ATR linked via its PBI-Bios extension, and located on its internal drive, and all this from CP/M prompt running off Indus/GT... And ICDS works in the exact same way, as well.

 

Cheers!!

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If the latest firmware for FujiNet provides CP/M emulation, which appears to act in a similar fashion to CP/M under the Indus GT, why can't you just use RunCPM on a FujiNet? How fast is the emulated processor on the ESP32 microcontroller?

 

EDIT: I've been looking this up as I have a spare C64 user port WiFi board with an ESP8266 microcontroller, looking into it there's code for using this exact microcontroller to emulate a CP/M environment with a Z80 at 14Mhz and I already have the board configured ready to go.

 

Hmmm. Could be interesting.

Edited by Mazzspeed
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On 2/19/2021 at 8:53 AM, vol said:

Are there other ways to transfer data to a Indus CP/M disk?  Indeed it is interesting can ICDS work on real hardware or not?

Ok, so here's what you can do to first check if everything is working properly on the setup and images I previously sent you:

 

1. Boot CP/M on Altirra following the exact same instructions posted above.

2. Once booted, go to Altirra and attach the SAME 180K image as Drive B (it is OK to momentarily replace the larger SDX we had there first).

3. Delete a file from CP/M boot A: drive like "peekram.bas" for instance. (issue an "ERA peekram.bas" command from CP/M prompt)

4. Launch ICDS right after.

5. Once there, type "A" and then "B:*.*". You SHOULD see a complete directory of B: image (identical to A: at boot time). Directory will progress slowly, as all traffic is SIO-to-SIO.

6. Now, issue a COPY file command on ICDS, and specificy "B:peekram.bas, A:" as argument. ICDS should immediately being transferring that file from B: image to A: image. (REMEMBER that both images are, in fact, CP/M 180K formatted images).

7. Once complete, hit "CTRL-C", and you should be back to CP/M command prompt logged on A: (boot) drive.

8. Once there, type "MSBAS529" and let it load. Once loaded, type " LOAD "PEEKRAM.BAS" ".... Verify with LIST that file is loaded.

 

If all of the above runs fine, you are now READY to start transferring files from CP/M formatted disks on B:  to A: image.

 

Let me know how it goes.

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7 hours ago, stepho said:

I thought I knew IBM PC history and Atari history quite well but that was a new one for me.
Found some more info at http://forum.6502.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5256

 

Confirmed !! Tom Hardy himself!

 

That´s REALLY nice detective work! ;-)

 

👍💪

 

Edited by Faicuai

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On 2/19/2021 at 9:18 PM, Faicuai said:

 

Of course, but from those three only Apple came in with something really ground-breaking, for the end-user / consumer. And those three do not share the same ground-breaking / innovative roots and place-time connections as Apple / IBM / Atari, which is presumablywhy they appear in Top-25 PCs of all time:

 

https://www.pcworld.com/article/126692/greatest_pcs_of_all_time.htmlhttps://www.pcworld.com/article/126692/greatest_pcs_of_all_time.html

 

Thanks, however it looks like an Apple ad The machine's coolness factor--an Apple trademark to this day :) IMHO Apple II success depended much on their dominance in the US schools which had rather a special background.  IMHO the Atari 800 can easily beat the Apple II in a fair fight.

On 2/21/2021 at 6:50 PM, Faicuai said:

Ok, so here's what you can do to first check if everything is working properly on the setup and images I previously sent you:

 

1. Boot CP/M on Altirra following the exact same instructions posted above.

2. Once booted, go to Altirra and attach the SAME 180K image as Drive B (it is OK to momentarily replace the larger SDX we had there first).

3. Delete a file from CP/M boot A: drive like "peekram.bas" for instance. (issue an "ERA peekram.bas" command from CP/M prompt)

4. Launch ICDS right after.

5. Once there, type "A" and then "B:*.*". You SHOULD see a complete directory of B: image (identical to A: at boot time). Directory will progress slowly, as all traffic is SIO-to-SIO.

Thank you very much but I am again stopped on item 5, my system hangs :( It shows red 1b in the drive mini-window.  Indeed, B:*.* changes nothing.

 

icds-hangs.png

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