Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

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mlouka
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Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Thu Jan 04, 2018 8:45 pm

Anyone got EXROM or UTILRAM from Tubelink? Both were supplied on disk in 1987 and could be loaded into sideways ram. EXMON was also available as an EPROM.

See for example the ad here: http://mdfs.net/Software/BBCBasic/BBC/AdvBasic/Tubelink.txt or on page 182 here https://archive.org/details/AcornUser065-Dec87

They appear to be especially useful for Model B users with 65c02 2nd processors, and emulate some of the features of MOS 3.x. I'm curious as to whether this combination is more compatible (especially with more recent filing system solutions like MMC/SD-cards) than the Master Emulator ROM (which doesn't work with MMFS, for example).
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby billcarr2005 » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:23 pm

mlouka wrote:Anyone got EXROM or UTILRAM from Tubelink? Both were supplied on disk in 1987...


Thought I recognised "Tubelink", so had a quick check and I've got UTILRAM... whether the disk is readable is another matter :P
I'll attempt to transfer it at the nearest available opportunity, or sooner if possible :)

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:43 pm

mlouka wrote:Anyone got EXROM or UTILRAM from Tubelink? Both were supplied on disk in 1987 and could be loaded into sideways ram. EXMON was also available as an EPROM.
...
I'm curious as to whether this combination is more compatible (especially with more recent filing system solutions like MMC/SD-cards) than the Master Emulator ROM (which doesn't work with MMFS, for example).

I was sure I had copied of them, but checking I've only got versions of MER. In what way does it not work with MMFS? (Or I suspect more likely, in what way does MMFS not work with MER?)

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:52 pm

A quick skim through the disassembly shows MER trampling on bits of language workspace and usage of &0A80-&0AFF as a string buffer and does something with the mouse/trackerball workspace. I could probably rebuild it to tidy up its memory use.

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$ bbcbasic
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby sweh » Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:07 pm

Rgds
Stephen

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mlouka
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:10 am

Thanks for the responses so far.

A couple of replies:
No, Advanced RAM Utilities is a different product.

With MMFS and the Master Emulator ROM, using commands that access the DFS (e.g. SRLOAD) gives an error message about invalid/unknown file system.
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Fri Jan 05, 2018 12:12 am

billcarr2005 wrote:
mlouka wrote:Anyone got EXROM or UTILRAM from Tubelink? Both were supplied on disk in 1987...


Thought I recognised "Tubelink", so had a quick check and I've got UTILRAM... whether the disk is readable is another matter :P
I'll attempt to transfer it at the nearest available opportunity, or sooner if possible :)


Great — that sounds promising.

Thanks,
Michael
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby billcarr2005 » Fri Jan 05, 2018 1:26 am

Luckily was readable :) (tracks 10 onwards were unformatted!)
Attachments
UTILRAM.ZIP
Tubelink UTILRAM
(10.69 KiB) Downloaded 12 times

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Fri Jan 05, 2018 8:58 am

billcarr2005 wrote:Luckily was readable :) (tracks 10 onwards were unformatted!)


Thanks -- seems to run ok on in BeebEm so will be interesting to try it on a real beeb with 2nd processor this evening.

Michael.
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:48 am

mlouka wrote:With MMFS and the Master Emulator ROM, using commands that access the DFS (e.g. SRLOAD) gives an error message about invalid/unknown file system.

So MMFS is trampling on DFS's workspace? Have you confirmed that by disabling/removing MMFS?

The SRAM commands that are in the same ROM as DFS 2.xx use the top 20 bytes of the private workspace of the ROM it's in, ie DFS's workspace, so if you trample on that you can get problems. I seem to remember somebody getting problems from this. But you say you're trying to use MER's SRAM commands.

Looking through the MER code, the SRAM commands use &AE0-&AFF as workspace and PAGE to HIMEM as a file buffer.

'Unknown file system' would happen if you use -somefs-filename and somefs is an unknown file system. -disk-filename should work. MER uses its own inbuilt table of filing system prefixes, so wouldn't understand -mmfs-filename, but understands TAPE, ROM, DISK, DISC, ADFS, NET and VFS.

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$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
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>_

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:44 pm

jgharston wrote:
mlouka wrote:With MMFS and the Master Emulator ROM, using commands that access the DFS (e.g. SRLOAD) gives an error message about invalid/unknown file system.

So MMFS is trampling on DFS's workspace? Have you confirmed that by disabling/removing MMFS?
.


Did a little extra testing now and it appears to be specific to MMFS. With a "real" DFS then the MER works, and it also seems to work ok with TurboMMC, but with MMFS I get "Bad filing system name" when using SRLOAD. I didn't test again now, but I recall getting the same error message for pretty much any FS-oriented calls via the MER-MOS commands with MMFS.

MIchael.
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Sat Jan 06, 2018 1:46 pm

mlouka wrote:
billcarr2005 wrote:Luckily was readable :) (tracks 10 onwards were unformatted!)


Thanks -- seems to run ok on in BeebEm so will be interesting to try it on a real beeb with 2nd processor this evening.

Michael.


Back on topic: UTILRAM seems to work for what it does, although EXROM is the most interesting of these two tools, since the clock and printer buffer functionality are less useful in 2018 than they would have been in 1987, but the configure/status seems to work ok, also with the 2nd processor. Only negative with it is that it (surprisingly) doesn't accept *ST. or *CO. shortcuts for STATUS and CONFIGURE, and the MER has some nice extra commands for loading and saving the configuration to file.

Not sure if the manual describes any non-obvious functionality/tips here -- do you have that too Bill, or just the disk?
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Sat Jan 06, 2018 2:06 pm

mlouka wrote:Only negative with it is that it (surprisingly) doesn't accept *ST. or *CO. shortcuts for STATUS and CONFIGURE


A little further testing reveals that UTILRAM supports *ST. as a shortcut but not *CO. Just tried it in BeebEM with all there ROMS removed just to make sure that it wasn't because some other ROM was claiming "CO." and I see the same effect there as on my real beeb.
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:20 pm

mlouka wrote:Did a little extra testing now and it appears to be specific to MMFS. With a "real" DFS then the MER works, and it also seems to work ok with TurboMMC, but with MMFS I get "Bad filing system name" when using SRLOAD. I didn't test again now, but I recall getting the same error message for pretty much any FS-oriented calls via the MER-MOS commands with MMFS.
I wonder if MER is internally virtually prefixing all filenames with a filing system prefix for the current filing system, and then falling over in the obvious case of where it's a filing system it doesn't know about. A test would be to do the same with HADFS, VDFS, DOSFS or RAMFS and see if the same error occurs. I'll have a prod when I've finished me tea.

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$ bbcbasic
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby hoglet » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:22 pm

jgharston wrote: I'll have a prod when I've finished me tea.

See explanation here:
http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewto ... 84#p190684

It's all down to the file handle values.

Dave

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:25 pm

mlouka wrote:
mlouka wrote:Only negative with it is that it (surprisingly) doesn't accept *ST. or *CO. shortcuts for STATUS and CONFIGURE

A little further testing reveals that UTILRAM supports *ST. as a shortcut but not *CO. Just tried it in BeebEM with all there ROMS removed just to make sure that it wasn't because some other ROM was claiming "CO." and I see the same effect there as on my real beeb.

That's because *CO. matches *CODE in the MOS as the MOS is checked before any sideways ROMs are checked. If you really really want to embed abbreviations in code you should only abbreviate it to such an extent where it still makes sense in English, ie *Config. *Desk. *Del. not *co. *des. *de.

Strictly, you should *never* embed abbreviations in code for exactly this reason, you have absolutely no control over what system your program may be running on and psychic abilities are not something that can be added to computer code.

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$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
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>_

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Sat Jan 06, 2018 8:27 pm

hoglet wrote:
jgharston wrote: I'll have a prod when I've finished me tea.

See explanation here:
http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewto ... 84#p190684
It's all down to the file handle values.

Ah, got there before me. Yes, non-unique file handles.

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:46 pm

jgharston wrote:That's because *CO. matches *CODE in the MOS as the MOS is checked before any sideways ROMs are checked. If you really really want to embed abbreviations in code you should only abbreviate it to such an extent where it still makes sense in English, ie *Config. *Desk. *Del. not *co. *des. *de.

Strictly, you should *never* embed abbreviations in code for exactly this reason, you have absolutely no control over what system your program may be running on and psychic abilities are not something that can be added to computer code.


I wasn't suggesting using it in code -- it's just convenient from the command-line if you are already accustomed to using it on the Master where *CO. always maps to CONFIGURE (and not CODE, ref. page 192 of the user manual). Of course, on a Model B with MER or UTILRAM there would be no guarantee what *CO. ends up trying to do on an arbitrary machine, as another ROM with higher priority could grab it although I doubt that *CODE is the culprit in this case as that would surely have prevented it working in MER (but it does, and I don't think we have *CODE on OS 1.2?)?
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby crj » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:54 am

*CODE was definitely there in OS 1.20 . I remember it fondly from my earliest attempts at hacking 6502 assembler, before I had sideways RAM and could do things properly. (-8

I'm pretty sure it wasn't in OS 0.10, but have no idea whether or not it was in OS 1.00 .

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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby mlouka » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:50 pm

crj wrote:*CODE was definitely there in OS 1.20 . I remember it fondly from my earliest attempts at hacking 6502 assembler, before I had sideways RAM and could do things properly. (-8

I'm pretty sure it wasn't in OS 0.10, but have no idea whether or not it was in OS 1.00 .



:D
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Re: Tubelink EXROM and UTILRAM

Postby jgharston » Tue Jan 09, 2018 9:30 pm

crj wrote:*CODE was definitely there in OS 1.20 . I remember it fondly from my earliest attempts at hacking 6502 assembler, before I had sideways RAM and could do things properly. (-8
I'm pretty sure it wasn't in OS 0.10, but have no idea whether or not it was in OS 1.00 .

It's in OS 1.00. OS 1.20 is almost identical to OS 1.00, just with an intense trawl for bugs and optimisation opportunities.

OS 0.10 is really bare-bones. It misses a lot of functionality (no Speech, no service calls, no serial, no ROMFS, no lots of other stuff) and has a lot of fossilised development code. It was essentially the VDU, sound and keyboard drivers, TAPE, and nothing else.

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$ bbcbasic
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