RISC iX - Cloned!

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hoglet
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby hoglet » Thu May 07, 2015 6:11 pm

Hi Fibble,
flibble wrote:That box is on my list to raid, but last time I was up there we couldn't find it in the pile :D It's in a big pile that's being sorted onto shelves.

Could you also add this to your list please?
http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/ ... attlezone/
It's one of the MIA titles for the Atom Software Archive.

Dave

RobC
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:32 pm

Having got my R260 working, I've tried to get RISC iX up and running.

I've written the disk image to a SCSI drive (IBM 2GB) using a Risc PC and it seems to have written it correctly. The ADFS partition shows up on the R260 and I can navigate the RISCiX partition with RISCIXFS.

However, when running !RISCiX, it prompts me to click OK to load the kernel and then the screen clears, some text ("System Message Pending") is displayed but then the screen fills with garbage and the machine locks up. I've tried both versions of !RISCiX linked in this thread but both give similar results.

This is all on RO3 with an Acorn AKA31 SCSI podule. I've tried downgrading to RO2 but the SCSI podule doesn't work - I suspect it's had a ROM upgrade at some point.

Does anyone have an idea of what might be going wrong? Alternatively, can someone confirm that they've got this running on RO3 with a >1GB drive?

Thanks,

Rob

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Wookie » Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:48 pm

RobC wrote:RO3 with a >1GB drive

Erm pre-Risc OS 3.5 can only handle upto 512Mb discs IIRC.
cheers Wookie
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:18 pm

Wookie wrote:
RobC wrote:RO3 with a >1GB drive

Erm pre-Risc OS 3.5 can only handle upto 512Mb discs IIRC.

I don't think that's the issue - in fact, I know now what the issue is or should I say was... :D

I realised that my AKA31 podule reports SCSI and CDFS - doing some digging, this seems to be the AKA35 upgrade.

I wondered if this was newer than RISC iX was expecting so, as my EPROM is the same size as the image Tom posted from his AKA31, I dumped the contents of mine and burnt Tom's image to it.

After a few false starts (which I think is down to the drive spin up time), it booted to RISC iX from RO2.

I'll put the RO3 roms back in tomorrow and see if that works too.

Update: Now working under RO3 - the drive spin up issue has gone but RISCiX seems a bit flakier as it sometimes complains about missing IRQs. (There's a possibility that this might be a hardware fault as the PCB was in a bad way when I bought it...)

Really pleased to finally get to use RISCiX so many thanks for this thread =D>

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:45 pm

dangardner wrote:Great news! I also spotted http://www.drobe.co.uk/archives/index.p ... au/RISCiX/ recently, which I don't think I've seen before. It contains riscosbits.zip which has a SecureBoot module ("Acorn Secure RISCiX filing system") which looks interesting.

Did anyone manage to grab this stuff? It seems that the Drobe archive is no longer available (unless I'm missing something).

Thanks,

Rob

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:59 pm

RobC wrote:
dangardner wrote:Great news! I also spotted http://www.drobe.co.uk/archives/index.p ... au/RISCiX/ recently, which I don't think I've seen before. It contains riscosbits.zip which has a SecureBoot module ("Acorn Secure RISCiX filing system") which looks interesting.

Did anyone manage to grab this stuff? It seems that the Drobe archive is no longer available (unless I'm missing something).

Thanks,

Rob


I think I have it, I'll check and let you know.

EDIT: Nope, it seems it's one of the sites I don't seem to mirror, probably because it's structure didn't lend itself to mirroring software. There are a few like that unfortunately. :(

EDIT 2: The wayback machine appears to have them https://web.archive.org/web/20020802125454/http://backwater.vetonline.vic.edu.au/RISCiX/... but doesn't... :(

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:04 pm

I've got this collection of files from there:

Code: Select all

backwater.vetonline.vic.edu.au/
└── RISCiX
    ├── MAKEDEV,fe6
    ├── MAKEsd1,fe6
    ├── mkarchive
    ├── mkfloppies
    ├── mkkernel
    ├── mksystem
    ├── readme
    ├── RISCiX.tar
    ├── RISCiX.tar.gz
    └── riscosbits.zip

Do you want to add them to your mirrors, Paul?

Drobe has been down for a few days. Has anyone got in touch with Chris Williams about it?

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Sat Mar 05, 2016 1:30 pm

davidb wrote:I've got this collection of files from there:

Code: Select all

backwater.vetonline.vic.edu.au/
└── RISCiX
    ├── MAKEDEV,fe6
    ├── MAKEsd1,fe6
    ├── mkarchive
    ├── mkfloppies
    ├── mkkernel
    ├── mksystem
    ├── readme
    ├── RISCiX.tar
    ├── RISCiX.tar.gz
    └── riscosbits.zip

Do you want to add them to your mirrors, Paul?

Drobe has been down for a few days. Has anyone got in touch with Chris Williams about it?


I'd be happy to host them, it may be useful to have them hosted on 4corn.co.uk too.

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:14 pm

Thanks to davidb, these files are now back online :D =D>

http://archive.retro-kit.co.uk/backwater.vetonline.vic.edu.au/RISCiX/

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:18 pm

It looks like the links aren't working at the moment. :( Perhaps you've already noticed and are fixing it as I write this. :)

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:30 pm

davidb wrote:It looks like the links aren't working at the moment. :( Perhaps you've already noticed and are fixing it as I write this. :)


Ahhh... new folder, I forgot to set the mime type to allow files without extensions! All fixed.

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Sun Mar 06, 2016 12:25 pm

Had to rush my mother to A&E yesterday so have only just picked this up but many thanks to all involved.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby helpful » Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:47 am

davidb wrote:Drobe has been down for a few days. Has anyone got in touch with Chris Williams about it?

I prodded Chris via Twitter a few days ago and after a bit of machine kicking Drobe is up again :-)

Bryan.
RISC OS User Group Of London - http://www.rougol.jellybaby.net/
RISC OS London Show - http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:04 pm

Thanks for doing the prodding, and thanks to Chris for doing the kicking! ;) I realise that keeping Drobe running is not his focus these days, so I appreciate the effort.

RobC
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Thu Mar 10, 2016 10:00 pm

Good to see Drobe back up and running.

On another note, I'm struggling to get X running in 256 colour mode. Has anyone got this up and running?

EDIT: Now figured how to do this - just had to modify the startx script to call Xarm with the -c8 parameter in the line that runs xinit.

Thanks,

Rob

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Amethyst » Sun May 22, 2016 7:53 pm

Hopefully this is not inappropriate for a first post, but...

Can someone kindly share the compiled Windows binaries for Arculator? I'd love to give RISC iX a try, but dread to think of trying to compile the emulator myself...

And has someone already played with IXI X.desktop that is supposedly part of the distribution?

On a different matter, I'll soon receive the two RISC iX Programmer's Reference Manuals (along with the other RISC iX manuals; but I believe those have already been scanned). It'd take a little while for me to scan them but if there's sufficient interest in them I'd gladly do it. :)

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby munchausen » Sun May 22, 2016 10:47 pm

Amethyst wrote:On a different matter, I'll soon receive the two RISC iX Programmer's Reference Manuals (along with the other RISC iX manuals; but I believe those have already been scanned). It'd take a little while for me to scan them but if there's sufficient interest in them I'd gladly do it. :)


Wow that'd be great! I really wanted to take a look at these but couldn't find them anywhere. I'd like to see how to write block device drivers, it might be possible to add support for IDE controllers of other machines. If they're ring binders it should be possible to take the pages out and run them through a batch scanner (if you have access to one) without having to turn every page manually. Though if it chews up any pages it would be unfortunate :(
Last edited by munchausen on Wed May 25, 2016 8:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Amethyst » Tue May 24, 2016 4:01 pm

Okay, the documentation is here. Mine is newer than the one hosted on 4corn as theirs pertains to RISC iX 1.0 and X.desktop 1.0.

As far as RISC iX is concerned, I have:

1. A540/R2xx Installation Guide - Issue 1, July 1990
2. RISC iX 1.2 User Guide - Edition 2, Issue 1, August 1990
3. RISC iX 1.2 System Administrator's Guide - Edition 2, October 1990
4. RISC iX X.desktop 2.0 Guide - Edition 2, Issue 1, July 1990
5. RISC iX 1.2.1 Release Summary (28 pages)
6. RISC iX Programmer's Reference Manual, Volume 1 (178 pages)
7. RISC iX Programmer's Reference Manual, Volume 2 (236 pages)

I'll see that I can get the last three items scanned - they're ring binders, so it's easy - and hosted somewhere (I'm open to suggestions as to where :)). It might take a little while though, perhaps I can start on the coming weekend. I'll let you know once they're ready. :)

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby flibble » Tue May 24, 2016 5:53 pm

Amethyst wrote:Okay, the documentation is here. Mine is newer than the one hosted on 4corn as theirs pertains to RISC iX 1.0 and X.desktop 1.0.

As far as RISC iX is concerned, I have:

1. A540/R2xx Installation Guide - Issue 1, July 1990
2. RISC iX 1.2 User Guide - Edition 2, Issue 1, August 1990
3. RISC iX 1.2 System Administrator's Guide - Edition 2, October 1990
4. RISC iX X.desktop 2.0 Guide - Edition 2, Issue 1, July 1990
5. RISC iX 1.2.1 Release Summary (28 pages)
6. RISC iX Programmer's Reference Manual, Volume 1 (178 pages)
7. RISC iX Programmer's Reference Manual, Volume 2 (236 pages)

I'll see that I can get the last three items scanned - they're ring binders, so it's easy - and hosted somewhere (I'm open to suggestions as to where :)). It might take a little while though, perhaps I can start on the coming weekend. I'll let you know once they're ready. :)


I'd love to host them on 4corn if you get to scan them :)

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Amethyst » Wed May 25, 2016 10:07 pm

flibble wrote:
Amethyst wrote:Okay, the documentation is here. Mine is newer than the one hosted on 4corn as theirs pertains to RISC iX 1.0 and
I'd love to host them on 4corn if you get to scan them :)

Ok, I'll drop you a line once they're "done" :)

By the way, I wonder what the "NSICT RISC iX [...] 1994" line printed when the OS boots up means. According to my release notes, 1.2.1's kernel has been versioned "RISC iX 1.2.1 made Fri Nov 30 09:57:43 1990". Does it mean the installation we have is using a kernel compiled in 1994, or is there more to it? And - pardon my ignorance - what does "NSICT" refer to? I'd be grateful if someone shed some light on this. :)

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Wed May 25, 2016 11:19 pm

Zarchos wrote:I don't know if it's available somewhere on the Net, so if it still had to be preserved, I've got a copy of this :

It would be interesting to know if it is different to this version. The cover is certainly different.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby SteveF » Sun May 29, 2016 4:05 pm

Amethyst wrote:By the way, I wonder what the "NSICT RISC iX [...] 1994" line printed when the OS boots up means. According to my release notes, 1.2.1's kernel has been versioned "RISC iX 1.2.1 made Fri Nov 30 09:57:43 1990". Does it mean the installation we have is using a kernel compiled in 1994, or is there more to it? And - pardon my ignorance - what does "NSICT" refer to? I'd be grateful if someone shed some light on this. :)

BITD I used to hang around on a talker, one user of which owned the nsict.org domain, and it looks like he still does: http://www.nsict.org

I doubt this is helpful, but I do have a recollection he used to use Acorn equipment. My best guess would be this is either a coincidence or he based his domain on seeing that login banner and gave it his own meaning, but I suppose it is possible that the installation was in some way cloned off a machine he (or a user of his domain) owned.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby DutchAcorn » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:32 pm

DutchAcorn wrote:I guess the Morley SCSI card is really not supported. The documentation is also quite specific about the Acorn SCSI card. Still strange that it is possible to format a RISCiX partition using the Morley SCSI formatter. Can't find any reference to RISCiX in the Morley SCSI card user guide...

Paul

Some 18 months later and with an Acorn SCSI card I got from Zarchos I finally have this working on my A310 (with RO3, 4MB and ARM3) :D
Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby SarahWalker » Sun Oct 02, 2016 11:43 am

What hard drives have people got RISC iX working with? I'm reasonably certain that it's not booting on my R260 due to my way-too-modern 9GB drive, but I'm a bit nervous about shelling out for another SCSI drive that isn't compatible.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:23 pm

SarahWalker wrote:What hard drives have people got RISC iX working with? I'm reasonably certain that it's not booting on my R260 due to my way-too-modern 9GB drive, but I'm a bit nervous about shelling out for another SCSI drive that isn't compatible.

I'm using a SCSI2SD device which works without any issues and emulates 4 x 2GB drives.

I also got it working with another drive (think it's 1.2GB). Can get the details or even loan it to you if you want.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby SarahWalker » Mon Oct 03, 2016 5:10 pm

Oh, it works on SCSI2SD? That sounds like a more sane option than trying to buy old SCSI hard drives on ebay!

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby RobC » Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:27 pm

SarahWalker wrote:Oh, it works on SCSI2SD? That sounds like a more sane option than trying to buy old SCSI hard drives on ebay!

Yes - I had to upgrade the firmware and write my own config file but it definitely works.

The config file I use and the process I followed is described here:
http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=10547&p=128232

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Boydie » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:34 pm

NSICT is the National Society for the Inversion of Cuddly Tigers. This started off as a joke at university, whereby it became a ritual to turn the cuddly tiger in a friend's room upside down. As a result, NSICT was born, later on becoming a location known to the (younger) Acorn and ARM community in Cambridge.
The NSICT kernel is a custom version of 1.21c, specially compiled for NSICT by one of the popular software houses of the day (I suspect as a joke). It's original owner bought an old R140 just to get the software license to run it, but over the years it migrated to an A540/R260. I first ran it on an expanded A310 around 1995. Can't say how it escaped into the wild (wasn't me).

As for drive size, the upper limit is 2 gigabytes. Apparently, the design of the filing system is such that anything larger than that wraps round to show as a drive of negative capacity! I've had it running off a variety of SCSI drives over the years; it doesn't seem to be fussy about the drive so long as it's a genuine Acorn SCSI card (no drivers for anything else). I believe its ST506 support also extends to the Acorn ST506 podule but have never managed to find a copy of 1.1x to install to try it out.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby crj » Wed Sep 06, 2017 1:34 am

Boydie wrote:The NSICT kernel is a custom version of 1.21c, specially compiled for NSICT by one of the popular software houses of the day (I suspect as a joke).

Actually, Acorn distributed a kit for building custom kernels with tuned parameters. I put the "NSICT" in there so I could tell it wasn't stock.

I've no recollection of anyone ever taking a 1994 build from me. The one I used until I finally retired my RISCiX box in 2005 was "NSICT RISCiX colonel admin #10 special: made Wed Oct 11 22:16:52 1995".

Now I have a question: how come people are wondering about the "NSICT", rather than "colonel" instead of "kernel"? (-8

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby ajw99uk » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:53 pm

Coming rather late to this party, though have been playing with RISCiX on and off for over decade.

To add my experience:

Hard discs of 1GB+ working with RISCiX - SCSI card is AKA32 with SCSIFS/CDFS ROM (except * which are fitted in an R140 with AKA31, with "Mk.III ROM")

Quantum Fireball 1.2S aka 1280S, 1.2GB
IBM DPES-31080, 1GB
Fujitsu 1606SAU, 1GB (needs a scsidm 'probe' to kickstart before booting from RO supervisor, fine from desktop)
*Seagate ST51080N, 1GB

An IBM DCAS-32160 failed because its capacity is slightly more than 2GB.

disktab entries found include NEC 1700S, Nomai 540MB (removable cartridge).

When using scsidm to prepare the disc, the RISCOS section can be up to 512MB for Filecore, with RISCiX partitions sitting in the space beyond that. Brian Brunswick wrote a utility allowing a partition in the RISCiX section to be accessible to SCSIFS and used as an additional Filecore drive.

Somewhat confusingly, disktab (as created from the iX version of scsidm - much easier than doing it by hand, once you've made the necessary /dev/entries) reports a cylinder count covering the RISCiX section only but the sectors count for the 'h' partition represents the whole disc.

scsidm sees the whole physical disk, so it seems possible to rewrite the partition table dusplicating the 4corn Root/Boot (as an aside why that and not Root/Swap?) partition values and appending a third (fourth, ... seventh) partition to make use of spare space when the 270MB image has been dd'ed to a larger HD. Oddity: the Root partition begins at sector 123001 but when starting a new table the starting sector offered by scsidm is 277489 - I suspect scsidm sees the 1.2GB HD and calculates the minimum RISCOS section, which is larger than the actual RISCOS section (60MB, circa 22%) on the original 270MB HD.

RISCiXFS configure values
I have four RiX partitions on a single HD:
0 Root the 4corn installation
1 Swap swap space
2 nz Alan Williams' installation downloaded from Drobe
3 hopside the hopside_root installation from jfc.org.uk (which includes an 8MB swapfile)

In /dev, these correspond to sd2a, sd2b, sd2c and sd2d.

Configuring 'partition 0' boots 4corn as Root no problem; 'partition 1' fails (understandably); 'partition 2' which should boot from 'nz' yields a kernel panic and reports 'root fstype 4.3 name /dev/sd2b' (which is swap, so the panic is understandable - but then how did the kernel load to get this far?).

'partition 3' boots with root name /dev/sd2c and comes up single-user but seems to be the hopside_root version, 'partition 4' immediately "fails to find object".

Either booting from the fourth partition of the third HD is overly ambitious or I need to populate /dev with sd2a, sd2b etc nodes (and maybe use sd2S for the swap space - I can see st0S there and the swap space seems to be automagically named sd2S by the system, so perhaps using sd2b as a nodename for the swap partition has been my mistake). Time to get a 'master' /dev set up and cpio it onto other partitions. Or dedicate a different HD to each installation, so always booting from partition 0/sdNa

I will experiment further!

UPDATE: with some additional nodes in /dev, it started working as expected for single-user booting, though for proper (multi-user) booting one would have to edit the fstab references to correspond to the relevant node names.

Cloning
For cloning an existing setup, use the guide at jfc.org.uk but I would suggest mounting the 'slave' at /0 and omitting the "grep -v /mnt" part of the tar command because (1) /mnt is not empty and (2) /0 will be seen so early in the ls -A1 process that recursion is not an issue.

Could one use dump and restore as an alternative, perhaps more efficiently and sidestepping the /dev cpio point? See http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/ ... html#CLONE for comparable process on SGI IRIX (xfs filesystem).

Ethernet
/etc/rc.net contains a conditional check on the EtherI/II driver, so better to leave "ETHERNET" blank near the top of the file and (given reports of Ether3 working) add an "ea0" section - though if Ether3 is ok "out of the box" then perhaps the en driver is sufficient for EtherII and Ether3. I have EtherI but can try EtherH later (with no real hope...).

Presumably those without econet can comment out the `econetup` command!

X session
Cannot get more colours, even with a -c8 or -c4 flag on startx, using monitortype 3 or 4. But having access to xedit in monochrome is a blessing!

Kernels
Details of the 4corn kernel are higher up this thread - thought it might be useful to list what else I have seen:

hopside_root contains two kernels
vmunix.orig 1.21b, 13/5/1992, 874,357 bytes (presumably the stock 1.21b kernel)
vmunix "test kwelton #161 special", 23/3/1993 (presumably built by Kevin Welton at Acorn)

Alan Williams' RISCiX.tar contains two kernels:
vmunix "1.21c test kernel root #1 special", dated 8/12/1993, 910,136 bytes
vmunix- 1.21c, no label, 7/9/1993, 909,763 bytes (same size as the "NSICT colonel #1 special" in the 4corn setup, but as it has no label I wonder if this is a stock 1.21c kernel)

I already had a couple of other kernels from an R260 donated to Bletchley Park, and thought it may be down to kernel differences that prevented booting with the SCSI card in slot 1 rather than 0 in my past experience. However, experiments this morning show that slot 1 seems fine, and better for keeping the SCSI card cool (I can see why the A680 reportedly had problems with is onboard SCSI overheating, and now regret not having kept a short ribbon cable). Slot 0 perhaps mandatory for RISCiX 1.xx in the R140, per notes in the old boot file).

vmunix 1.21, no label so assumed to be stock kernel, dated 30/11/1990, 838,925 bytes - won't boot with more than 4MB RAM (gets to "init: single user boot" but no prompt appears; with 4MB it works but shows what a speed difference the extra RAM makes!).
vmunix.NSICT-8Mb - 1.21c, label "colonel admin #2 special", dated 17/01/1995, 909,763 bytes
Last edited by ajw99uk on Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Running RISCOS: A5000, A540, R140, RiscPC, RPi B
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