01 April 1989
The content below is simply a reformatting of text as published decades ago by 9640 NEWS. The opinions and views expressed are not my (Jedimatt42) own. The content is published here to preserve and make accessible the technical data contained within.
Taken from the disk distributions archived at http://ftp.whtech.com/Geneve/9640 News disks v1-3/pc99 disks/
80TRACKS 18 DIS/VAR 80 Info on 80 Track Drives and MDOS AD 3 DIS/VAR 80 Advertisers Section DISKMGRDOC 15 DIS/VAR 80 Info on DKSMGR in MDOS-ARK DSKMGR-ARK 64 INT/FIX 128 Archived DSKMGR source code EDITOR-ARK 54 INT/FIX 128 Archived Comments and Questions FINALE 8 DIS/VAR 80 Info on when to see 9640 News Vol 1 #3 HFDCC 33 DIS/VAR 80 Info on 9640 and Myarc HFDCC HYPERCOPY 26 DIS/VAR 80 Review of HyperCopy INITIAL 19 DIS/VAR 80 Initial Welcome to Vol 1 #2 KUGEL-INFO 18 DIS/VAR 80 Info on KUGEL found in XHI-ARK MDOS 15 DIS/VAR 80 Info on additional MDOS commands usage MDOS-ARK 62 INT/FIX 128 Archive MDOS programs ORDERFORM 15 DIS/VAR 80 Orderform for SOFTWARE file PRGM-ARK 30 INT/FIX 128 Archived INFO on various pgm Languages QUAD-ARK 15 INT/FIX 128 Archived Source to QUAD in MDOS-ARK QUAD-DOCS 10 DIS/VAR 80 Info on QUAD in MDOS-ARK SOFTWARE 30 DIS/VAR 80 Software in 9640 News Library TIBASE 13 DIS/VAR 80 Info on TIBase and the 9640 X-DOC 38 DIS/VAR 80 Info on MDOS pgms in MDOS-ARK XHI-ARK 220 INT/FIX 128 XHI Version 2 pgms for Extended Basic
Many news files and programs are archived to conserve space. All filenames ending with [-ARK] should be unarchived using ARC1 found on 9640 News Vol 1 #1 with the EXTRACT option. I hope everyone enjoys this issue and I thank you for your support.
Software Available soon:
Distributor: Disk Only Software Genial Computerware
Author: Paul Charlton
Delivery Date: April 1, 1989
Program: Programmers Developer Kit
Suggested Retail: $69.95 plus shipping and handling.
Comments: This developers kit being released is reportedly to include all notes on usage of MDOS XOP's, along with Paul's Modified Linker, Assembler, and other utilies from MDOS for program development. Macros, batch files, and many other features too numerous to mention are included. I am purchasing this piece of software and will have comments in the next issue of 9640 News.
Vol 1, #2
(c) Beery W. Miller
Well, it looks like the second issue is here with some new programs and ideas. I received many suggestions to further enhance this newsletter regarding reviews, and other ideas that can only benefit 9640 NEWS. I thank everyone that has reviewed 9640 NEWS in their hometown newsletter, and especially Mike Dodd and Micropendium that have been of tremendous help in getting this newsletter off the ground and running. By the time everyone reads this, I should be pushing over 100 subscribers from all parts of the world. From Argentina, Denmark, West Germany, Italy, Canada, the U.S., and even Austria where the Geneve has taken a stronghold. Unofficially, I am told that at present there are approximately 1200 Geneve's in existence with 200 having been distributed in Europe. While not a large user base compared to the IBM or even the original TI-99/4A, we have seen quite a few programs come into existence because of the Geneve 9640 and I am sure that even more programs will arrive.
Not to cast a bad shadow on the newsletter and myself, but I would like to apologize to those that did not immediately benefit from MDOS V1.14. Some people may ask why many were not pleased with MDOS V1.14 and I will tell you why. It appears that even as I write, Tenex, (probably the leading Geneve distributor), is still providing MDOS V1.01 and GPL V0.99 and the early version of My-Word. While several subscribers have access to Genie, User Groups, Delphi, Compuserve, or other individuals, many people have not had the opportunity to obtain the latest releases of software that have been around quite some time. That is why in a separate file on disk, I am making available at minimal cost $2.50 (for U.S. and Canada), $4.00 (elsewhere) major pieces of software for the 9640 that have been placed on public domain services. I would like to remind everyone that the cost of the disk and postage you pay to receive said disk does not cover FAIRWARE, SHAREWARE, PAY-ME-WARE, or any other fees that the original author requests. You are OBLIGATED to pay for such software if you find it useful. Please allow 7 to 10 days turnaround time as I imagine I am going to have a rush on orders. Their is no minimum on the number of disks ordered, but all disks will be shipped DS/SD unless otherwise specified to simplify matters on my end. One other additional source where this same software can be found if you do have a modem is MIDNIGHT BBS at 501-735-9980. This is a Bulletin Board program run by Michael Dorman of West Memphis, Arkansas that can support 9600 baud communications and usually includes the latest software (sometimes even minutes old) for the 9640 and the TI-99/4A.
Now, I believe it is time to get on with the newsletter as I am going to divide each area into different topics.
80 Tracks on the Geneve 9640
I spoke with Lou the other day regarding the ability of MDOS to handle 80 track drives when formatting with the Cor Comp or TI disk controller cards. My initial understanding had been that from reading the addendums sent out by Myarc and comments on Genie, Delphi, and CIS, were that MDOS supported 80 tracks on all of the controllers. When I started receiving people's questionaires after sending out the first issue, I then realized that people with CorComp Controllers could not format 80 tracks and suspected the same thing with the TI controller card. As it turns out, MDOS supports 80 tracks if you are using a Myarc Disk Controller card (I don't know if you need to purchase the 80 track eprom) and could support it with the TI and Cor Comp cards, however Myarc has removed the support for this capability as Paul Charlton had written the support as indicated in messages obtained from Delphi.
This was when I spoke with Lou to determine the validity of these statements. Lou's comments were that yes MDOS could support the option and that it was not going to be provided free of charge. Lou felt for this option that if someone wanted it, they should pay for it by paying for it's option with the 80 track eprom for the Myarc Disk controller or a future version of MDOS.
Having thought over his statements and pondering the pro's and con's as I could stand to benefit if it was free, I am not upset. While Lou did not mention it, and I must emphasize it was never discussed, the option of MDOS being located on an EPROM has many interesting ideas. Initially, one would suspect that with MDOS being on an EPROM, it would essentially be protected except with the few people with an Eprom burner. On a marketing strategy, Myarc could use the option to their advantage to sell the Eprom with this being one of it's features. This is only speculation on my part as the only way to seemingly protect this option, would be in essence to have it on an eprom where it could not be freely exchanged. This is one decision by Myarc that as hard as it is for me at the moment, I must say I would have to side with them on that point. It is along the same lines as MS-DOS as they have advanced their operating system. With new features, you are required to pay for their updated version if you want them.
I know many people will probably fuss over Myarc's current position, but let's be realistic. While we have not been provided with Pascal or Adv. Basic as of yet, we have actually been provided more already with GPL (V1.04) and MDOS (1.14) than was ever anticipated when most people bought their computer. To me, I am not upset and I am still very proud of my Geneve 9640.
MYARC PERIPHERAL PRODUCTS
Call for the best prices on Myarc hard disk controllers, floppy disk controllers, Geneve 9640s, memory cards, and RS232 cards.
We're your source for TI Base and TI Artist software!
By Beery Miller
Application: MDOS disk utility program
Currently, DISKMGR as written is capable of formatting, copying, and performing a disk directory. The advantages of DISKMGR will be for the user wishing to format diskettes from MDOS without going thru the long and drawn out procedure of verifying each disk. DISKMGR, will not copy quicker or format faster that HyperCopy, as I doubt anyone will exceed Mike Dodd's achievements. DISKMGR was written using Clint Pulley's routines for disk sector access from his SDIR program. The functions for formatting and disk copying were written by myself except for the sector I/O request routine that I borrowed and used all over the place in the program.
I hope that with DISKMGR as it supports a two drive system and up to DS/DD copying and formatting, others will learn more about the MDOS A/L programming enviroment. This program was meant as a tutorial and a utility and I hope I have provided this to those wishing to dig deeper. DISKMGR should begin to provide those with a basic knowledge of assembly language what is required for disk access. Where possible, I attempted to explain in detail every step of the program and/or routines.
When writing this program, one thing I learned regarded the MDOS FORMAT XOP. While the XOP will format the disk, the user is still required to tell the computer to write the disk information required for sector 0 and sector 1 onto the disk to have everything set up properly. Otherwise, it could look like you may have 65000+ sectors available. If any user wishes to modify/add/change, feel free to do so. Nearly all of the routines are already in place to install the DS/QD option, however, I am unable to format a DS/QD disk to learn what information is required for sector 0 and sector 1. If someone would provide me with a printout of a freshly initialized DS/QD disk of sector 0 and sector 1 in hexadecimal format, I will more than gladly activate that additional option (this can be from any disk manager with a DS/QD option for formatting and merely providing me with the contents of sector 0 and sector 1).
The Myarc Hard and Floppy Drive Controller Card
I have been asked by many people what the Myarc Hard drive and floppy controller card was capable of doing/not doing on the 9640 and dispell several rumors.
First of all, I have the Myarc Hard Drive Controller and I am quite pleased with it's performance thus far on the 9640. Myself, I am using a Tandon 252 (10 Meg) hard drive. Currently, you can not use the floppy controller portion of the Controller card as MDOS does not support it. Myarc claims this will be resolved in subsequent releases of MDOS. This means you are required to still use your current controller card with the Myarc Hard Drive and Floppy Drive controller card at the same time. If you have a TI Controller card, you are still limited to DS/SD and not DS/DD nor DS/QD. Currently, the streamer tape backup feature is not available and will most likely not be available for quite some time (software just now being written). I have been told, but do not know this for fact, that as of V1.27 of the Myarc Disk Manager, it had difficulties initializing 80 megabytes of hard drive space. I know of people using 10, 20 and 40 megabytes without difficulty.
When/If you purchase the HFDCC, be prepared for problems. Of the 3 controller cards I have seen bought by friends (mine included), they had to be returned to Myarc for repairs when they were first received. Myself, I had a bad chip and when it was returned (2 1/2 weeks turnaround time), I discovered I still had problems although these were my fault by building my own cable and by not connecting all the pins in the edge card connector. A double edge card connector (34 pin) and another connector cable comes with the HFDCC so that you don't have to build you own (Mine was slightly different, although a friends Tandy 252 was able to use the supplied cables). Also, besides buying the hard drive controller card and hard drive, you will need a power supply to handle the hard drive.
[Editor's note: When connecting the wiring for the hard drive for the power supply, make sure you connect +5 volts to +5 volts and NOT -5 volts (even by accident) or you will burn your hard drive stepping motor as I did]
Currently with MDOS V1.14, the hard drive commands such as renaming a directory, creating a directory, etc, are not supported. Only by using the Myarc Disk Manager 5 can you perform these functions. The one command that is applicable within MDOS is the CD (Change Directory) command where you can go within a subdirectory.
The Myarc Disk Manager 5 is not bug free, but is approaching it. All users are requested to make hard drive backups by file copying instead of a complete backup as it is not reliable on the 9640. I believe I have an idea that may solve this for several people. When using MDM5 and doing a complete BACKUP to floppy (5.25 drive), if MDM5 finds an error writing to the disk, it halts the backup procedure completely. If you are 35 megs down of a 40 meg drive, you would have to start over again. I have found that by using a 3.5 inch drive and HIGH DENSITY disks, I have not had problems backing my hard drive. This could very well be related to a higher standard diskette where error probability is much lower. I was never able to make a successful backup with a 5.25 inch drive, only with a 3.5 inch drive. In addition, I think this is an appropriate area to mention that even if you have a 720K 3.5 inch drive and the Myarc Hard Drive controller card with a Cor Comp Disk Controller card, you can not format 80 tracks with DS/DD and get 2880 sectors. I have been told with a Myarc Floppy Controller this is possible although I have not tested it out.
For those people with the HFDCC, the following information should be noted. If you want full support of MDOS V1.14 as WDS1 and the AUTOEXEC from your hard drive, the following steps will be necessary. I will assume you will use a sector editor on SYSTEM/SYS and make the following changes. (do not use the brackets in the search feature) I used Disk Utilities by John Birdwell for this task.
1) Search for [hd] and replace with [WD] for all occurences.
2) Search for [DSK1.AUTOEXEC] and replace with [WDS1.AUTOEXEC] for all occurences
3) Install your AUTOEXEC file on your hard drive at the root directory.
4) Include the following line in your AUTOEXEC file so that the hard drive can be accessed from MDOS.
Editor's Note: If you do not perform step one, change step 4 to ASSIGN E=hdS1:
I always include one additional line in my AUTOEXEC file so that I can see where I am when using the subdirectories and changing subdirectories. It is:
I hope this dispels some of the rumors about the Hard drive controller card. The one last feature that is not supported yet is the EMULATE function that will only work when we are able to remove the secondary disk controller card. The EMULATE feature has the ability currently on a 4A system to treat a certain number of sectors on the hard drive as DSK1 that would be beneficial for programs like Forth and PR-Base.
Author: Mike Dodd
P. O. Box 183
Grafton, MA 01519
HyperCopy has to be one of the best programs available for the Geneve 9640. HyperCopy has been written in three different versions for each available disk controller card (TI, Cor Comp, and Myarc) permitting a smaller program rather than one larger program to accomodate the differences with each controller card. Mike Dodd, author of the program, has made great advancements in controlling the disk controller which everyone was lead to believe to be impossible from MDOS. For those that have not heard of HyperCopy, it is a disk copier that can format your disk in any type of format you desire.
HyperCopy in itself has many advantages. Besides copying disks, the program has the capability to format disks (any format is available) in less than 20 seconds for most formats with verification on. Not any other program can do that. Copying SS/SD disks can be accomplished in under 30 seconds easily and DS/DD disks can be copied and verified in under a minute.
HyperCopy also has another advantage making use of the speed of MDOS (Yeah, MDOS is quicker in some aspects to a 4A). That feature is that MDOS or the GPL mode of MDOS can handle the lower Interlace settings (i.e. 2 for SS/SD and 3 for DS/DD) that allow a disk to rotate fewer times resulting in the program being loaded quicker because MDOS can read and transfer data to/from disk quicker than it's 4A counterpart.
The last feature of HyperCopy that is totally new to the TI world is that of Skew. Now this might not be a good explanation, but think of it like this. By specifying different skew values, you are offsetting the beginning sector of each track from the index hole by a certain distance. What this provides in the long run, is that while your disks are rotating at 300 rpm and you are required to advance another track to read in a sector, your disk drive head must move out from the center of the disk (I think that is where track 1 is located). As it moves out from track one, it requires a certain time all the while the disk is rotating at 300 rpm. If you have specified a certain skew value to compensate for this offset of distance and time, by the time your drive head has moved, it is now at the beginning of the new sector on the track and can begin reading it instead of having to rotate 9/10 ths of the way back around the disk because it passed it. This means that it can be possible to cut the number of revolutions of a disk by half if your are reading a 360 sector disk to only 40 revolutions. That can translate to 8 seconds of read time to read in 360 sectors if you have the disk with an interlace setting of 1 and an appropriate skew. However, MDOS running as an operating system can not quite handle that speed so that is why the author, Mike Dodd, has default settings for your benefit. Using straight Assembly code and not having to have something interpreted as we saw with extended basic and the grom chips, etc., one can begin to understand what I mean.
HyperCopy besides support for disk to disk copying, also supports copying floppy to Ramdisk or Ramdisk to floppy. Something of a first for any rapid copying program. One last thing I would like to mention and that is about it's use on a 4A system. The 4A system is a slower computer and while it can handle a disk with various interlace and skew settings, it is able to eventually read the program into memory (i.e. while loading Telco formatted with DM1000 it may take 20 seconds, with the optimized formatting for the 9640, it may take 25 seconds). This means it is not in your best interest to format disks to be used on a 4A with HyperCopy using it's optimized 9640 settings. It will only slow the 4A computer down.
HyperCopy deserves a rating of an [A+]. It is one program that everyone should have, especially at the price the program is being offered ($20.00 plus $1.00 for shipping and handling). Please mention that you read about HyperCopy in 9640 News.
Method of operation: Extract with ARC1 (9640 News Vol 1,#1) and extract all files to a floppy disk drive.
Use: Load Extended Basic into Geneve then load your freshly extracted LOAD program from drive 1 and the rest is history.
XHI is a fairware program that has been brought to you by Alexander Hulpke and he asks that if you find the program useful, to please pay his suggested fairware fee. This program could have been easily commercial material and the author could have made a substantial amount, so please reward the author if you do use it.
As this program is fairware, this program (XHI-ARK) may be freely passed around (not the entire disk contents of 9640 News although I am sure it will happen) and will be uploaded on Genie and the other computer networks following the release here. This program had a prior release, however, earlier releases had bugs and interfered with various GPL versions and operating systems and Ramdisks as explained in the Documentation. With Alexander's latest release, it is now possible to display MY-Art pictures from Extended Basic if you are using the 9938 VDP chip. This means it will work with the Geneve 9640 and even with his latest version, it will work properly with the other 80 column cards available.
This program has more potential than some may initially imagine. First, now one can obtain high resolution graphics easily from Extended Basic and we may see more highly detailed extended basic games becoming available. If you write any games/software/etc using XHI and the 9640, I encourage you to submit them to 9640 News for widespread use in the 9640 world. Already, one programmer (wishing to remain nameless) is working on a desktop publishing program utilizing XHI that may see it's initial release here in time. If you ran the Load program that utilized an earlier release of XHI from 9640 News Vol 1, #1, you saw the potential for different font sizes and displays already available, and that was just the beginnings.
I included one additional file with the original XHI submitted and that was KUGEL-LOAD. This will load and display the single My-Art picture that is on the disk from the XHI-ARK archive and begin to show some of the potential. That picture was developed with KUGEL that is also included and it should be mentioned to terminate input with KUGEL at the last step requires using a capital Z in the input statement, although this is not mentioned anywhere.
Following the format of KUGEL-LOAD, anyone should be able to load their My-Art pictures from extended basic for display purposes. I hope everyone enjoys this program.
(Editor's comment: I have noticed problems accessing a hard drive system with use of displaying My-Art pictures, so I recommend accessing only floppy systems for display>.
Application: Available MDOS commands
Well, it looks like I learned something that has been available with MDOS V1.14 from John Johnson that I thought did not work. That being the PATH command. The PATH command will have some benefit for floppy disk users, but more benefit for the hard drive user. Basically, what it does is permit MDOS to look elsewhere for a program if it does not find it at the current path.
Floppy disk users may wish to add to their AUTOEXEC batch file the following line (up to their highest drive letter ending with a semicolon):
This will permit MDOS to look for a file at the various drive locations until it finds it if it does not find it at it's current pathname. Hard drive users may wish to include subdirectories and the PATH command should be set up as follows:
This will permit MDOS to search various subdirectores until it locates the files needed.
The CD (change directory) command is now available and will only be applicable to hard drive users unless Myarc opts to support subdirectories from MDOS on floppy systems with any controller card. By using in a batch file or at the MDOS prompt the CD command, one can drop into various subdirectories of your hard drive (read article HFDCC to see how you can display your location with a hard drive system) until you execute the reverse of a CD statement. If you have a subdirectory called MDOS and you want to be within that subdirector after having booted SYSTEM/SYS, the following command within your AUTOEXEC batch file will place you in that subdirectory:
If you wish to drop back a subdirectory, you can always type:
This will back you up on subdirectory. If you choose, you can even do something like this:
This would have dropped you three subdirectories deep within your hard drive system.
Mail Order Form to: Beery W. Miller 5455 Marina Cove #1 Memphis, TN 38115 USA Ship to: _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ Disk # Quantity Format Title ______ ________ ______ __________ 1 ________ DS/SD GIFNUDE01 2 ________ DS/SD GIFNUDE02 3 ________ DS/SD GIFNUDE03 4 ________ SS/SD GIF-PGM 5 ________ DS/SD GIFNUDE05 6 ________ DS/SD GIFNDUE06 7 ________ DS/SD GIFTUNE01 8 ________ DS/SD GIFTUNE02 9 ________ DS/SD GIFTUNE03 10 ________ DS/SD GIFTUNE04 11 ________ DS/SD GIFTUNE05 12 ________ SS/SD MDM5V1-27 13 ________ DS/SD C99-MDOS 14 ________ SS/SD GPLV1-04 (w/ My-Word V1.21) 15 ________ SS/SD ASSEMBLY ____________________________________________________________ Total #: _______ Disks @ $2.50 each (US/Canada) @ $4.00 each (Foreign delivery) Amount Paid $_______ (Check or money order) Note: The following statement must be signed before I will ship any of the above software. Some or part of the programs I order may be classified as Fairware, Shareware, or Pay-Me-Ware programs. I understand that if I order and use any programs on a regular basis, that the author of such program has required me to pay him his fee for the program besides any fees that "9640 News" has collected for shipping and handling costs. Copywrighted programs by Myarc, Inc have been placed onto public domain services and do not require any fees. Public domain programs require no additional fees unless you wish to display your generosity for that person's work. _________________________ (your signature and date)
Application: Tutorial A/L program
Author: Beery W. Miller
Included on this disk is a program called QUAD and it's source file called QUADRANT that hopefully will begin to show the simplicity in achieving various graphics features of MDOS. Essentially, the program will display some text up on the screen, wait for a keypress, draw a grid on the screen, and then wait for a control C (^C) to break the program. Nothing complicated, just something for the beginners in assembly language on the Geneve to work with and figure out. After you figure the source for this program out, you can proceed to work with the source code of DSKMGR located elsewhere on this disk and learn more features available.
I highly recommend obtaining the Assembly Language disk with the Assembler/Loader/MDOS Notes that I have compiled and placed in the software section of the newsletter. Many features of MDOS require the proper knowledge of syntax for handling memory, i/o, math, video operations, and other utilities. With some understanding the the MDOS notes that are available, and looking over other's source code that can be found elsewhere in the software section, you might find yourself writing assembly language programs in a very short period of time. Simple at first, then with practice............
Software List for Distribution by "9640 News"
The following software will currently be distributed by "9640 News" to all subscribers at the cost of disks, mailers and postage. I decided to begin distributing this software after I realized that there were so many people still using MDOS V1.01 and GPL V0.99 that were not benefited as much by MDOS V1.14 when I mailed it out in December 1988. Now, it will be your fault if you do not decide to update to existing releases of the operating system, GPL interpreter, and My-Word as released by Myarc on various Networks. I have also been asked to include other utilites such as GIF Picture files (these have no fees for fairware costs, etc) and by demand, I have also included additional disks of the existing c99-MDOS programming enviroment with all of it's utilities that I know of and I have also compiled the current use of MDOS-Assembly language XOP's as released by Paul Charlton.
I am not trying to make a profit from other people's work as some people do that advertise in Micropendium as that is why I have the costs as low as it can possibly be. My purpose is to maintain a high degree of interest in the computer before we lose those people that are with older, buggier versions of software that either did not have the contacts or resources to obtain the following software. If any author has a program that I make available wishes it to be removed, it will be removed instantly and I will refund any amount back to you if the program becomes no longer available.
Due to various program sizes and usages, the majority of the software will be in DS/SD format. GIF pictures were much too difficult to place on SS/SD disks as it was creating just to much blank space on the disk due to various program lengths. Myarc, Inc. Software will always be available as SS/SD software unless 1.1Xh (for HFDCC users) is larger than 360 sectors. So to begin with, here is the current software that I have had time to compile and make available. Use the order form provided on the disk and sign the statment at the end of the order blank if you wish to order any diskettes.
Disk#1:GIFNUDE01 Total= 720 Used= 689 Free= 31 [Gif pictures-nude] RUTH 273 D128 STELLA 197 D128 TERIW 217 D128 Disk#2:GIFNUDE02 Total= 720 Used= 720 Free= 0 [Gif pictures-nude] CLING 157 D128 DIXIE 88 D128 FLORIDA 75 D128 NICOLA 129 D128 WET 269 D128 Disk#3:GIFNUDE03 Total= 720 Used= 706 Free= 14 [Gif pictures-nude] KRISTINA 40 D128 MINDY1 72 D128 NIOMI 317 D128 NUDE1 90 D128 RACHEL2 58 D128 RED 49 D128 SFOX 78 D128 Disk#4:GIF-PGM Total= 360 Used= 37 Free= 321 [P.Charltons Gif pgm] GIF2 25 Prog GIFDOC 12 d 80 Disk#5:GIFNUDE05 Total= 720 Used= 705 Free= 15 [Gif pictures-nude] 48 141 D128 BEACH 57 D128 BOATGIRL 228 D128 CALL 37 D128 CATES 77 D128 CINDYW 53 D128 HAREM 24 D128 KRIS4 66 D128 MODEST 20 D128 Disk#6:GIFNUDE06 Total= 720 Used= 347 Free= 373 [Gif pictues-nude] LYNNA2 309 D128 MADONNA 36 D128 Disk#7:GIFTUNE01 Total= 720 Used= 649 Free= 71 [Gif pictures-cartoon] BATCH 2 d 80 BILLCAT 24 D128 BUGS 30 D128 CLIPART1 18 D128 CLIPART2 17 D128 ELEPHANT 36 D128 GARFIELD 16 D128 HWEEN 77 D128 MICE 28 D128 RAT 26 D128 ROGER1 257 D128 SMURFETT 22 D128 SNAKEHUNT 41 D128 TIGGER 53 D128 Disk#8:GIFTUNE02 Total= 720 Used= 672 Free= 48 [Gif pictures-scenic] BATCH 2 d 80 CAPPOWER 149 D128 HOUSE 101 D128 SPRING 116 D128 TULIPS 216 D128 WINTRAIN 86 D128 Disk#9:GIFTUNE03 Total= 720 Used= 506 Free= 214 [Gif pictures-scenic] BATCH 2 d 80 BENGAL 79 D128 CGABLE 59 D128 CURRIER 182 D128 DOS4 65 D128 EARRINGS 81 D128 HULK 13 D128 TREK 23 D128 Disk#10:GIFTUNE04 Total= 720 Used= 708 Free= 12 [Gif pictures-scenic] BATCH 2 d 80 GLASS 263 D128 LAKE 196 D128 MOONLITE 42 D128 MOUNTAIN 61 D128 PENGUIN 83 D128 RUSHMORE 59 D128 Disk#11:GIFTUNE05 Total= 720 Used= 717 Free= 3 [Gif pictures-scenic] BATCH 2 d 80 MONARCH 297 D128 PARROT 227 D128 RROSE 189 D128 Disk#12:MDM5V1-27 Total= 360 Used= 260 Free= 100 [MDM5 V1.27 for HFDCC only] MDM 7*D 80 MDM276 33*Prog MDM277 33*Prog MDM278 24*Prog MDM279 24*Prog MDM4 2*Prog MDM5 10*Prog MDMCB27 33*Prog MDMDB27 32*Prog MDMFV27 15*Prog MDMV 10*Prog UPDATE 35*d 80 Disk#13:C99-MDOS Total= 720 Used= 710 Free= 10 [c99 for MDOS] -C99LIBDOC 5 d 80 -C99MDOS 16 d 80 -LDR3DOC 9 d 80 C99C 58 Prog C99D 44 Prog C99LIB 61 d 80 C99MAN1 45 d 80 C99MAN2 48 d 80 C99MAN3 36 d 80 C99SPECS 39 d 80 CONIO_H 3 d 80 CSUP 12 D 80 LDR 12 Prog LDR_A 120 d 80 MDOS_C 13 d 80 MDOS_DOC 30 d 80 MDOS_O 5 D 80 OBJLIB_DOC 13 d 80 OLU 55 Prog OLU_C 49 d 80 OLU_DOC 17 d 80 STDIO_H 4 d 80 STDLIB_H 2 d 80 STRING_H 2 d 80 T$MDOS_C 6 d 80 T$MDOS_L 2 d 80 TIME_H 2 d 80 Disk#14:GPLV1-04 Total= 360 Used= 339 Free= 21 [GPL V1.04 and MyWord V1.21] CHARA1 5 Prog CONTROL 17 Prog EDITOR 49 Prog FORMAT 47 Prog GPL 27 Prog GPM 34 Prog GPN 26 Prog GPO 26 Prog GPP 26 Prog HELP 31 d 80 MW 14 Prog MWG 14 Prog MYCAT 21 Prog Disk#15:ASSEMBLY Total= 360 Used= 321 Free= 39 [Assembly notes on MDOS] ASM 9 Prog ASSM1 33 Prog ASSM2 18 Prog DSR/DOC 101 d 80 KEY/DOC 4 d 80 LDR 12 Prog MANAGE/DOC 22 d 80 MATH/DOC 35 d 80 NOTES/DOC 8 d 80 UTIL/DOC 14 d 80 VIDEO/DOC 63 d 80
Application: Data Base program
Author: Inscebot, Inc.
The TI community has seen many data base programs in existence over the years, but TI-Base far exceeds any other available data base program thus far. I am not going to provide a review of the program, but to make a few comments regarding it's use with the Geneve as I am sure that since you found 9640 News, you also managed one way or another to find a review/demo of the program before now.
First, I would like to say that Version 2.01 is compatible with the current MDOS (V1.14) and GPL (V1.04) that are available and I have not encountered any problems so far. I am using it for my data base program to manage all the information I am collecting from my subscription list. Secondly, it is in a degree, compatible with the hard disk drive to a certain point. On initial setup of the program, the MODIFY COMMAND SETUP should have included the following statement SET CURSOR 10 to slow the speed of the cursor movement down or it will simply be too fast. This is documented in one obscure spot in the manual. It appears that the program loads properly from a hard disk SUBDIRECTORY under a name DSK1. Under any other subdirectory name and I found problems. Even under loading of the special subdirectory, help files appear to only be available on floppy disk using the system, although a database file can 'sometimes' be properly accessed from the hard drive. I would highly recommend using floppy storage with the Geneve until a final MDOS is available to prevent that accidental loss of data files.
One last comment as I don't want to make this a review, but only to pass on information since V1.0X was incompatible with the Geneve, if you have data base needs, BUY TI-BASE. It is the best program next to Telco that I have ever seen.
Extended Utilities for MDOS:
This set of files in it's entirety may have been released prior on a network system by John Johnson, but he provided them here for everyone to use and enjoy. If I did not include this set of files on here, I probably could have left the DV80 files unarchived, but felt they were worth the extra effort to include in 9640 News.
Application: Replace MDOS commands
Directions: First Extract MDOS-ARK with ARC1 (Found on Vol 1, #1 of 9640 News) to a freshly initialized disk and read the following docs.
NOTE: Othere files other than those listed below may appear in the archive. These are additional MDOS programs and are not written by John Johnson, but were included here to help identify under what loading enviroment is required.
XDIR replaces DIR XTYPE replaces TYPE XDEL replaces DEL PROT replaces ATTRIB +P UNPROT replaces ATTRIB -P
Programmer: John A. Johnson
Date: 29 February 1989
Price: Public domain, but absolutely you are not to make a buck off this program! Some people take advantage of others that program as a hobby and sell their software in Micropendium adds. I don't think highly of companies that try to sell me what I've written. If you feel the same way, and if you feel that THEY are the real pirates, let the world know before they ruin it for all of us.
PLEASE SEND NO MONEY! I don't have time to write! If you want to spend some money, please support fairware and commercial publishers of other software that you use. Encourage these folks! Let them know that their efforts aren't for naught.
These programs run from the command mode of MDOS. To invoke them, simply type their names with the optional arguments like this:
XDIR [path][afn/ufn][`type][/pmsc?] XTYPE [path][afn/ufn][`type][/pmsc?] XDEL [path][afn/ufn][`type][/sc?] PROT [path][afn/ufn][`type][/sc?] UNPROT [path][afn/ufn][`type][/sc?]
Any argument enclosed in brackets is optional, which means that they need no arguments. However, they are handy at times, so here they are:
The search criteria
path can be a simple "B:" or "DSK2." or it can be as elaborate as you like, such as:
C:\DIR1\DIR2\DIR3\DIR4\ C:\ C:..\ hdS1.DIR1.DIR2.DIR3. DSK1.
or any other legal MDOS pathname.
Any legal MDOS ambiguous(afn) or unambiguous (ufn) filename can be used. The wildcard characters recognized are the "?" and the "*". The ambiguous filename can contain an unlimited number of "?" characters but you can only use one "*" in the filename. The "*" character can be used anywhere in the filename. Examples:
JAJ finds JAJ only J?? finds JAJ, JOE, JIM JA? finds JAJ ??? finds JAJ, BOB, GPL, GPM etc. J* finds all files at least two chars long starting with J. *J finds all files at least two chars long ending with J. J*N finds JOHN, JOHNSON, JOIN, etc.
Type specifies one of six different types of filenames that might appear when a command is used. They are:
`D display, fixed file `d display, variable file `I internal, fixed file `i internal, variable file `P program image file (invalid with XTYPE) `S sub-directory (invalid with XTYPE, XDEL, PROT, or UNPROT)
You can specify the filetypes you'd like displayed by indicating the tick "`" character (to the left of the '1' key) followed by the filetype as illustrated above. For instance, to see all program files on your disk, you might type "XDIR `p". Or to view all internal fixed files, try "XTYPE `I". To delete all display variable files with the suffix "-S", you could probably type "XDEL -S`d". To get really hairy and find all "-S" files on your hard drive, starting in the directory SRC\ASM\ and with a length of 6 characters or more, you could try:
By specifying this switch after your arguments, any output to the screen also goes to your printer. This is only available with XDIR and XTYPE.
By specifying this switch, screen output halts and waits for a key after 21 lines are scrolled. To abort the "more" routine, press ^X when you are prompted for 'more..' Only available with XTYPE and XDIR routines.
/S (single directory)
If you use this switch, you'll read thespecified directory only, not it's subdirectories. This gives you a "single" level directory like DIR. Applicable to all commands.
This tells the program that you'd like to confirm the operation with a prompt. When /c is specified, you'll be presented with the familiar TI Writer Y/N/A? prompt, asking for permission to perform the operation. Press N(o) to skip, Y(es) to execute the operation, or A(ll) to execute this and all operations following. This switch is available with all commands.
*************************************************************** ** IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT IMPORTANT ** ***************************************************************
The /c is a switch asking for permission to carry out a command. This is true with all commands except XDEL. If your winchester is assigned to drive B:, and you use the command "XDEL B:/C", guess what? You'll loose all the files on your winchester. So be warned, XDEL/c can be very useful in a batch file or for cleaning up a disk, but it can be extremely unforgiving since we have no "recover file" routine for the win. The /c option works exactly backwards in XDEL than with the other commands. To verify deletions, DON'T USE "/C"! To allow XDEL to delete files without confirmation, use /C.
*************************************************************** ** go back to sleep now ** ***************************************************************
Get a little help by using this switch. It reminds you of the correct syntax for the command you are using. Applicable to all commands.
by using the command as such:
you'll get a directory of the path you're logged into only (no sub- directory files will be displayed because of the "s"), the info will go to your printer because of the "p", and due to the "m", the screen display will pause after each screen of information is displayed.
XDIR and XTYPE
While printing with XDIR and XTYPE using the /p option, you can turn off your printer by pressing P. Turn off the "more" (/m) option by pressing M. You can skip a file or directory by pressing Control X (^X). This will automatically go to the next file or directory to be viewed.
PROT and UNPROT
Neither routine will bother with a file that's already protected or unprotected as does ATTRIB. These presently don't work with the hard drive using MDOS 1.14 due to software problems in MDOS. Hopefully when 1.1xH comes around, they will work just fine.
When XDEL is invoked WITHOUT the /C option, you'll be prompted as to delete or not. If you press 'A' for all, XDEL will still prompt you for permission to delete a protected file. To delete the file anyway, just press 'Y', and to delete all unprotected or protected files thereafter, press 'A' for all.
When you try to delete a protected file with XDEL, I first unprotect, then delete the file. Well, since UNPROT doesn't work on the winchester, you won't be able to delete protected files on that device. Sorry. Again, a problem with MDOS.
* Got the idea? Then enjoy! *
Questions and Answers
With this issue, I am creating a question and answer area to respond to various questions that you, the subscriber, have written and requested information. It is hoped by sharing this information in the newsletter, everyone will become acquainted with other aspects of the Geneve and also might solve some of their own problems.
Question (Curt Purdy): I am having a problem running the 800K block of my HRD with the 1.06 version of DOS although the 256K boot portion runs fine. I have been unable to get any specific feedback from other owners who may be having the same problem. Has their been a patch, etc?
Answer: When the release of MDOS V1.06 and subsequent versions of MDOS (V1.08 and V1.14), a new loader and modified operating system was made available on Genie. After you receive Vol 1 with MDOS V1.14, please respond and let me know if you have located the loader and operating system. It is with my understanding that MDOS V1.14 was going to be more compatible with the HRD (Phoenix Mod). As I have the old 256K HRD, I am not familiar with the 16 bit addressing except that the software exists. I hope this helps you.
Question (S. Affias): What is the use of JumpBoot if when I copy it, it loses it's unique features. I have a disk that loads My-Word without switching disks, and with Jumpboot, I lose all the convenience by the need to change diskettes. So it is a rather disappointing program as it stands now.
Answer: Jumpboot as you must know, provides a faster loading capability of SYSTEM/SYS. From reading your letter, it is my understanding you have the SS/SD version. If you only have SS/SD, then the only advantage you have is by saving 20-25 seconds by loading SYSTEM/SYS. If you have DS/SD or DS/DD drives, you could update (check with your distributor) and have more disk space to allocate (360 sectors for DS/SD and 720 sectors for DS/DD) and could also combine GPL and perhaps My-Word or your other utilities to provide faster loading times. As Jumpboot exists now, it can not be copied and retain it's integrity for fast loading to another disk as it's method of execution is a specially formatted disk.
Question (S. Affias): Can you write an AUTOEXEC program that will load and run My-Word all the way without stopping after the EA is loaded?
Answer: The existing My-Word provides a MWG file that is a Grom Module loader. By specifying MWG in the command line argument when loading GPL, one can load MWG and at the menu screen, select option 2 and My-Word can be loaded from the drive (With V1.21, Save Options (SO) should be used on unprotected files to save your options properly as MWG and MW both must be unprotected.
As an example AUTOEXEC file, here it goes (do not include the comments in brackets)
TIMODE [Sets up TIMODE for GPL] A: [Sets default drive A] A:GPL A:MWG [Loads GPL and after loading, MWG loaded] [You are now at the GPL menu and press enter to continue.]
Note: The above A: prompts in all three locations can be replaced with any location of the existing files once the Save Options (SO) of My-Word has been set.
Question (Dave LeFevre): Do you have a Delphi ID?
Answer: Afraid not. The only network that I am on is Genie and my mailing address there is B.W.Miller. If anyone wishes to leave me mail, or to pass any particular software along for review or beta testing, I will hold everything in strictest confidence with whatever your desires should be.
Question (Richard Broad): Does GBASE run with the E/A module?
Answer: Nope, GBASE runs under MDOS directly and should also be specified initially with a filename (DV80) that you either wish to create or continue to work with. From MDOS, you will need to type A:GBASE A:WORKFILE (WORKFILE can be any valid MDOS filename).
Question (Richard Broad): From Richard's letter, he comments about a recurring problem with part of a line being in capitals and the rest can be lowercase while using My-Word. Why?
Answer: My-Word is two editors in one. It is both a program editor accessed by PE, and a text editor accessed by TE. When you edit your tabs with ET, the location of a C on the line will indicate that all letter before it will be capitalized before that column. This was an added feature designed with the programmer in mind that would allow him to type all opcode in capitals, and any comments in lower case if desired. If you change the C in the line to either a T for TAB or a period (.), then you should not have the problem.
Question (Martin Zeddies): (This is regarding a MDOS program that is currently available on the computer networks). Where can I find the commands for the ROFF-formatter that runs under MDOS.
Answer: Martin, the ROFF formatter program should be identical to the same program that runs under GPL that was available a year or so ago. I believe (I don't use this program) that it either will only handle the COPY and INCLUDE statements, or it will handle the TI Formatter dot prompts. I believe the first statement is correct.
Question (Maritin Zeddies): I can't start the SINE program (A demo of fortran for the 9640 by A. Beard). Is it MDOS?
Answer: I ran my version, or at least tried to run it, and it seems it does not like any of my versions 1.14, 1.11, 1.08, 1.06, 1.03, and 1.01. I am afraid it may either be a bad copy, or it may have been for another version that Al Beard may have tested it on.
Question (Martin Zeddies): I can load the ENCRYPT program and it seems that the program will work correctly, but I don't know what it does. I can not find differences in the INPUT and OUTPUT file.
Answer: ENCRYPT is a program that encrypts a program by shifting bits in the file to something else that only the 9640 operating system recognizes. This prevents a correct disassembly of any MDOS program from taking place and someone changing the program. Actually, the program is different, although you will need to look at it with a sector editor and you will discover that any PROGRAM image file FOR MDOS does not look the same.
Question (Martin Zeddies): When I attempt to load the files FILEZAP and FILEZAQ, my system hangs up. What should I do to load and run the program correctly?
Answer: FILEZAP is another program that runs properly on my system that is a FORTRAN-MDOS program that is a sector editor. FILEZAP requires an argument of a filename to work on when you first enter the program. Something like A:FILEZAP A:AUTOEXEC should solve the problem and it will examine the first sector of AUTOEXEC. FILEZAP has now been updated to work with the mouse. (It may also be since your system locks up, that the disk you received became damaged during transit. If you have additional problems, let me know.)
Question (Berlin User via Martin Zeddies): The Geneve User has a HORIZON HRD+ Ram disk as Bootdrive with 1024 sectors over all. He writes me that he can not use more than 1024 sectors because the GENEVE search for the SYSTEM/SYS file is only at a 8 bit address and with a 8 bit you can only manage 256 kB (=1024 sectors) of the HRD. In Micropendium number 2/88 on page 32, Bud Mills writes about a Phoenix MOD which makes 2 drives on one HRD+ possible. One drive has a * bit address and the other has a 16 Bit Address. Now the Berlin-Geneve user wants to know what the "Phoeniz mod" is? Is it hardware or is it software? And where can I get this item ? How much it costs? I think that this problem could be of interest for more Geneve Users which have a Horizon Ramdisk in use. So I think you should answer the question in 9640 News.
Answer: Martin, myself, I have a Horizon Ramdisk with 256K that has 3 layers of chips piggybacked that I built myself. Since my purchase, Bud Mills has marketed the HRD 2000 and just recently the HRD 3000 where in the HRD 2000, 32K ram chips were used, and now with the HRD 3000, he is using 128K ram chips. I do not know about the Phoenix Mod if it is totally software, or it is partially hardware as I have never seen an explanation. I do know it requires some special software that does exists and I will locate it for you. I know several of my subscribers have the HRD with the phoenix mod and I would like to hear the responses of you with Martin's question. In particular, if you have the software for the HRD2000, then if it is not copyrighted, could you please mail a copy to me for all the subscribers to benefit. One last note to Martin, if your friend has the oldest version of the HRD series with the triple piggy backed chips to achieve 256K, I doubt very seriously that you can have 2 drives on the HRD, although I may stand corrected.
Question (Several Users): We have problems occasionally with booting HyperCopy. What might we be doing wrong?
Answer: HyperCopy requires a lot of memory to run so that it can use empty memory for temporary space. HyperCopy requires to the best of my knowledge, at least 128 K, perhaps more and to achieve this much free memory, I would recommend creating a temporary AUTOEXEC batch file that will drop the TIMODE and RAMDISK (don't use them) to solve your occasional problems.
Question (Several Users): I am having problems running Picture Transfer from MDOS V1.01. Why?
Answer: Picture Transfer uses the Encrypt program for protection in addition to other features of MDOS. As the code was not placed into MDOS until V1.08, you will require MDOS V1.08 or higher to run Picture Transfer.
Comment (Ken Woodcock): MDOS V1.14 apparently does not have hard disk support
Reply: Ken, it does, although you will need to use in your AUTOEXEC batch file the following statement to access your hard drive portion of your hard drive controller card (floppy drive support is still not available)
That should solve your problems and your hard drive will be at slot F.
Question (James McCulloch): I have a problem with the SYSTEM/SYS file 1.14. From reading the docs on the JUMPBOOT V2.0 I bought, it states that versions of MDOS later than 1.12 contain support for the HRD+ beginning with 1.13. However, when I boot up with 1.14, it will ignore my HRD+ in DSK7. Consequently, I am sticking to MDOS V1.08 since that is what is supported with Jim Schroeders's RAMDOS software patch to MDOS. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to reload another DOS into my HRD+ to enable it to be accessible from 1.14 MDOS.
Answer: Jim, I am afraid I don't know the answer for your HRD+ ramdisk along the same grounds as Martin Zeddies had previously asked. Someone help me that is more knowledgeable with the Horizon Ramdisk above 256K so that everyone can benefit (note: I am sending a copy of 9640 News to Bud Mills so that he can address these questions more appropriately for everyone and hopefully obtain the needed software for Geneve users).
Question (Ida McCargar): Do you belong to a user group and what about Mike Dodd? We would like to obtain your user group newsletter.
Answer: Ida, my user group is the Mid-South 99 Users Group, P. O. Box 38522, Germantown, TN 38183-0522 (This is one of your better User Group newsletters, although I have taken time away from it to write my own and the Geneve section is now really supported by Michael Dorman). Regarding the user group Mike Dodd belongs to in Tennessee, I read that he did not belong to the user group. I think Oliver Springs is quite a distance from Nashville (Tennessee is a very very long state) from something I read a while back.
Question (Richard Czarski): MYARC FDC MDM(?) -- Last word I got from Myarc was that the FDC MDM was not compatible with MDOS 1.14. Is there a compatible version floating around? All I can find is MDMV's and I don't think that they work with the FDC.
Answer: All MDM versions are compatible with MDOS for hard drive support, although MDOS does not support the HFDCC for disk I/O as of 1.14]
Question (Richard Czarski): FDC MDM option 5 program loader. Is there such an animal? It would be helpful to run it from a Menu program (if MDM is compatible with MDOS V1.14)
Answer: Yes there is a loader. It comes with the original V1.21 of MDM5 called MDMG. If you are using the Menu program of J. Johnson's and wish to use MDM5, a short 2-3 sector file called MDM4 is required. It can be found in the Software section for the latest version of the Myarc Disk Mangaer 5 for the HFDCC only.
Editor's Note: If you wish to submit an editorial relating to the Geneve 9640, please submit your article on a floppy diskette in DV80 format.
Comments from George Gaab:
I would like to see the development of an operating system like either Apple Works or Framework. One program that will do the main computer functions Word Processing, Data Base, Spreadsheet, Terminal Emulator with interchangeable files (not having to print to disk then reload!) and can operate in multi-task mode. Even if this type of program would cost $500 +! If we continue to want $20.00 programs, then why the heck did we need 640K for? We now have a machine that is capable of running this type of program if Myarc doesn't use up all the memory with their MDOS!
Comments from Leif Pedersen
Being a 9640 owner in Denmark is like living in a desert - you are very far away from everything. Right now we are only 8 Geneve-owners in this country scattered all over the region, so there are very few occasions to meet each other. To obtain as many news and inspiration as possible, we have formed a fraction of the 99'er user group - the Geneve Club Denmark.
Comments from Clint Pulley
Most of my knowledge about MDOS has been gleaned from the scanty documentation provided by Paul Charlton and many hours of pouring over disassemblies of MDOS, so I don't have anything written down in useable form right now. I tend to ferret out what I need to do a particular job and ignore the rest. I have just finished the floating point library for c99/MDOS (compatible with Bentley/Wible library for the c99/4A) using MDOS 1.14 and am finally getting to work on graphics and sound. Once that is done, I will rewrite the docs and put the "official" release of c99/MDOS together. This has take a lot longer than I thought last year, but I had no idea that I would have to write EVERYTHING myself.
Comments from Richard Czarski
New Horizon Ram Disk (including Phoenix)--For sure Hard drives are more exciting, but I would benefit from a little attention paid to the HRD+. Surely I can't be the only person who feels that this switching between 8 and 16 bit addressed ram disk is a pain. Is there a more elegant way of reading SYSTEM/SYS from the Ram Disk. I have the latest RAMDOS working pretty good with MDOS V1.14 and would appreciate hearing of any tips or problems at that point and method [hear you go people with problems and HRD+].
John Johnson's 80 col GPL menu (the one with 3 columns of choices on one screen)--Is it possible to include in one of your future issues, an unmodified version that loads in as a cartridge rather than part of the GPx chain. I have some programs that insist in an unmodified operating system, and hate having 2 sets of GPx on my Ram Disk. I would extract a cartridge from the one I'm using, but the print functions don't work and am hoping to come by a fully operational one. Please also include the name of the person who gets the $$ [Note to JJ, how about providing a version to 9640 News that operates out of g>6000 or higher and will save out appropriately, etc. if you find the time]
Monitors--Help! Presently I'm using an amber one and for words it's just fine. I am however developing an aversion to yellow pictures and want to purchase a new monitor. The problem is that most dealers assume a person owns a popular computer and can offer little advice to help me. I know enough to find a RGB analog monitor to work with this computer, but my concern is in finding one that will allow me to take advantage of the higher resolution that I hear is coming soon (and still afford to eat). What is needed are specifications that a person could use to compare with those of a monitor, and some explanation of what they are (i.e. resolution, bandwith, dot size, sync signal, persistency, etc.). Can a person use VGA or whatever as a guide? I've read of 10 to 60 second sync periods when turning on. Is this normal with all High Res monitors or just some Multisync types. Any assistance you or your readers could offer will be greatly appreciated. [His address is published above]
Comments from Mike Dodd (Regarding 9640 News Vol 1, #1)
RE: The RSBUG command in MDOS. No, it does NOT link to any supposed RSBUG in the EPROM. Many people have assumed this, but mistakenly. I am not sure if RSBUG does reside in the EPROM or not. I think that it may reside, but in partial form. I personally have never accessed any EPROM-based debugger. I have, however, used the RSBUG command, and can assure you that it does not link to any ROM-Based routine. The command is useless for anyone without special files and hardware.
RE: the ` feature of MDOS (e.g. DIR `DV). Not only can users use such commands as DIR `DF or DIR `P, but you can use such commands as DIR `D, for a directory of all display files, regardless of variable or fixed status. In addition, usage is not restricted to the DIR command. You can also use it with many other MDOS mode commands. For example: COPY A:*`F B: would copy all fixed files from Drive A to drive B.
RE: "4A support in MDOS". Yes, you can use VMBW, VSBW, etc. in MDOS. But why? Full screen routines are provided in MDOS. That is, in fact, the recommended manner of programming in MDOS -- let the OS take care of all the VDP stuff. There are occasions that usage of direct VDP access is to be desired, but great care must be taken, as MDOS VDP tables are not always stable. Perhaps the statement could be made that if one does not know enough to write VDP utilities on his/her own, that person should not use them. Furthermore, DSRLNK is useless, as DSR access is fully provided for by XOPs, same for KSCAN, and GPLLNK is totally impossible to implement in MDOS, as GROM doesn't exist. HyperCopy, to give an example, was written using direct VDP access, but as sparingly as at all possible. It make full use of the KSCAN and DSR XOPs.
RE: My-Word. All versions of My-Word allowed cataloging of a hard disk subdirectory.
RE: DISkASSEMBLER. I would highly advise against trying major modifications of MDOS, such as "to allow different DSR access". Minor modifications are fine, but if you get too heavy, you may kill yourself -- MDOS is a rather integrated program.
RE: "PROGRAMS MODIFIED". PC-Transfer has always, since day one, worked on the 9640. It was never "modified". I WROTE it on a Geneve. Somehow, rumors persist that either I had to modify it, or, worse, that it still doesn't work on a Geneve. I assure you that these are not accurate.
(Editor clarification from above comment: Running PC-Transfer from Extended basic provides no problems what-so-ever, however, if you attempt running from JJ's Menu program or perhaps the E/A module the EA#5 file for your controller card, you WILL have problems).
RE: "Programmers suggestions". According to Paul Charlton, John Johnson's suggestion will not work for any MDOS program taking more than one page of memory [i.e. any program longer than >1C00 bytes, or 28 sectors not coounting the directory sector(s)] (regarding the use of NOP as the first statement in assembly programs).
Comments about Hard Drive power supply places (Beery W. Miller)
When I first started considering purchasing a hard drive, I had to find a power supply adequate for my system. I discovered that American Design MO Componets, 62 Joseph St, Moonachie, NJ 07074, phone (201) 939-2710 had what I needed. They offer a Coleco power supply in the neighborhood of 60 to 70 watts (Item #9501) for about $25.00. This power supply is currently controlling a Tandon 10 MB hard drive and a Tandy 3.5" floppy drive at the same time without any problems. You will have to construct your own power cable to connect to your drives is it's only disadvantage, but I figured that out without any problem (all leads are clearly marked on the power supply). Just make sure that you do not connect into the negative 5 volt supply or you will damage hardware as I did mistakenly when I did not check my leads before turning the power on thinking I had everything correct much to my dismay.
Assembly Language Programming in MDOS
Comments by Beery Miller
Assembly language programming in the MDOS enviroment is beginning to take place. We have already seen three commercial releases of software that being HyperCopy, Picture Transfer, and DISkASSEMBLER. In addition, a few other programmers are developing some useful public domain utilities to replace some of MDOS.
The leader in public domain releases by far is John Johnson. John has just released XDIR and XTYPE that replace the use of DIR and TYPE from MDOS and claims he will end up replacing REN, DELETE, ATTRIBUTE, COPY and a few other functions to be fully supported within MDOS. John is providing full hard drive support of those utilities along with the use of wildcard capabilities. This is just a small project he has been working on.
His BIG project as some may already know is TRUN. TRUN is what some people think GPL should have been capable of doing. TRUN is a program that will load and run an EA#5 file from MDOS (so far only 8K in size) and run it as though you had previously loaded your GPL files. Essentially, what TRUN does is load your program into the lower part of upper memory, map the 9640 into a simulated 4A operating system, set the Video table up, and then attempt to run the program. With the current version, several programs are having difficulty with Keyscans, but several programs do run without problem. I have found Archiver III, Park-It (Hard drive parking utility by Jesse Slicer), and even TI-Artist (After the modification in Micropendium) from my hard drive system to work. TI-Artist, as many people will question, is larger than 8K in size, however, the initial loader for TI-Artist is a single file smaller than 8K. With this small loader file, it loads the remaining data it needs without any difficulty at all (watch out My-Art). I have found that some programs can almost load themselves such as TI-Base that also incorporates the same loading scheme and also the Myarc Disk Manager. The latter two freeze at the prompt for a keypress and require a system reboot if you make the necessary sector edit changes to relocate the keyscan function (this is a detailed procedure that I will not go into any detail since the programs never did run in the first place, but will explain in minor detail at the end of the article). TRUN will be a definite program to obtain for those of you that use a floppy drive system if you wish to bypass GPL loading. For the hard drive users, some, but little benefit will be gained as a hard drive owner can rapidly go between GPL, MDOS, and system reboot in a matter of seconds.
John Birdwell has commented that Disk Utilities was running under TRUN after just a few changes so we should see something from him as well in the not-so-near future. At the present, I am not aware of any other major pieces of software that exist written in assembly language.
Now, as I promised, a brief explanation of how to attempt to use TRUN with other programs. TRUN operates by modifiying all locations of the KEYSCAN opcode >000E,>XXXX (X could be about anything) and replacing it with the location of it's own internal KEYSCAN routine of >0460,>GHIJ (GHIJ must be replaced by the actual location of the KEYSCAN routine from the assembled program and as there are several vesions floating around, it will be up to the experienced programmer to locate those addresses. Next, by simple sector searching for >000E and replacing with >0460 (a BL instruction) and also the >GHIJ address as a two word or 4 bytes of code, you might be able to find something to run (Note: this is only required for files like TI-BASE, MDM5 to even advance them that far to the loading screen). It can be a complicated procedure and if you understand what I have explained and have a copy of the source, good luck to you. If you don't have the source code to TRUN, and you don't have the foggiest of what I discussed in the last paragraph, don't worry because you still might not get anything to work and without the source code, you have no starting point to work from.
ECHO OFF TIMODE RAMDISK 90 ASSIGN D=DSK5: ASSIGN E=DSK6: ASSIGN F=WDS1: ECHO Internal Ramdisk is DSK5 OR D: ECHO Horizon Ramdisk is DSK6 OR E: ECHO Hard Drive is WDS1 or F: PROMPT $n:$p$g F: CD BATCH ECHO ECHO ECHO A.. CLKM H.. HyperCopy O.. Reminders ECHO B.. DiskAssembler I.. Myart P.. SE ECHO C.. Filezap J.. PFORM Q.. TRUN ECHO D.. FixGif K.. GBASE R.. Terminal ECHO E.. Fractals L.. Print Set S.. GPL/Menu ECHO F.. GIF M.. PTYPE T.. TIMODE/NO ECHO G.. GPL/EA N.. QDE U.. Park Hard Drive ECHO ECHO
The above information is how I currently have my AUTOEXEC file set up. I set up TIMODE so that GPL can be accessed (required for GPL 1.03 and 1.04) and I partition a 360 sector (90K) internal ramdisk that is DSK5 (always). I then assign DSK5 and DSK6 (My 256K horizon Ramdisk) to Drive letters D and E and my hard drive to F as WDS1 (See note in HFDCC news file as you may be required to use hdS1 unless you sector edit). I then echo to the screen for my benefit to let me know that the ramdisks have been installed and the hard drive set up for my use. The PROMPT statement permits me to keep track of what subdirectory I am in when using the hard drive (not important with current floppy systems) and then I change my hard drive Directory (CD) to a subdirectory called BATCH that contains all of my BATCH files to load various programs by just typing a single letter. This is just one way to use a batch file. This should give everyone a start in the basic direction of batch file usage. Just remember that TIMODE must be in the batch file to use GPL and the SPOOL function is best left out of the batch file as problems occur when using it.
Application: Programming language allowing program
development from MDOS.
Author: Clint Pulley
C language for the 9640/MDOS enviroment is alreadys starting to shape up and in the near future, we will see the release of additional modules to further enhance what Clint has already written. My last conversation with Clint indicated he had just completed the floating points library (this was made possible by his receiving 9640 News and receiving MDOS V1.14) and was beginning the graphics support library. My congratulations go to Clint for such a strong drive in keeping our orphans alive. Clint commented that the floating points library would be compatible with Tom Bentleys floating point library for the TI-99/4A so we should see some rapid developments in the Geneve corner when his utilities become available. I believe his intentions are to release the final module support as one unit instead of slowly adding them to the software arena. I have encouraged Clint to include the ability to have available the c99-Windows utilities that have been previously developed by another author to be compatible with MDOS. If some of these ideas can be encouraged early on, it will allow software developers to recompile existing programs and to also create new one to run under the MDOS enviroment [I hope you are reading this Clint, as I doubt you would miss an article on C language (grin)].
Currently, Clint has written a Quick and Dirty Editor, a program image Create utility called LDR that converts previously assembled display/fixed 80 (MDOS Developed) programs into program image files, and an Object Library Utility that permits you to keep all of your include files under one filename, and several other small utilities.
The one thing that surprised me when I last contacted Clint was that I learned that nearly all of his programming has been without any Myarc support. Clint has been disassembling, compiling, recompiling, recompiling, and debuging his software with only the information that has been available from Genie, CIS, and perhaps Delphi. This has been quite an undertaking by any individual and I would suggest that if you program in C langauge, you reward Clint for his contributions as they have been tremendous and well earned.
Hopefully, next issue I will have a more in-depth review of C language for MDOS with the possibility anticipated release of some final software (I will gladly review/preview any utilities, etc Clint).
Fortran for the 9640
Application: Program development of MDOS programs using the
programming language of FORTRAN
Author: Al Beard
Al Beard is very, very near releasing his Fortran package for the 9640. Already, he has released several programs utilizing his new program. Two of my favorite programs are CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SIMON KIND and his FRACTALS program. The first program was originally written in basic which was converted last year into 99 Fortran and as of Feb 1989, it was released under 9640 Fortran. This one program has many achievements that are worth mentioning. First, Al has decoded the Graphics functions for your typical CALL CHAR, GCHAR, VCHAR, HCHAR, and other typical routines in addition to accessing sound from MDOS mode. Only two other programs so far have utilized sound and they would only beep at you. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE SIMON KIND is like music to my ears. We should be seeing once 9640 Fortran is released, music and other utilities being released.
My other favorite program using 9640 Fortran is that of his latest version of Fractals display from MDOS. A fractal is generated from an algebraic equation using imaginary numbers and statistical calculations (this is the best as I can explain it) that with different values, can generate different patterns and by varying one of the variables, it is possible to zoom in on the picture and see reappear under further magnification the object before magnification. It is an amazing set of calculations and data that can be generated and the data generates pleasant pictures. This program has utilized the high resolution of graphics with color definition pixel by pixel to show the versatility of this program.
One last program that I have never seen because people promised not to pass it around (that is something I respect and will honor with all of my subscribers if they wish to submit something for review, beta testing, etc) is a terminal program from MDOS utilizing the KERMIT protocol. From what I understand, this program at the last stage that I heard was able to transfer programs only thru direct RS232 connections. No modem transfer was available and it was still in it's simplest stages of development. I would not expect a release of this program for some time to come if at all as many developers will go onto something better when the mood strikes.
From what I have learned reading Al Beard's comments with his docs for his compiler, it will work both in 99 and 9640 mode. This should allow people to develop utilities for both the 4A and the 9640 with ease and without any complicated programming. Al comments that you should look towards your distributor to find out release information and cost. Hopefully, the next issue I will have a review of the program if at all possible.
[note from the editor]
Some people are already aware of it, but sometime in March (the 17th by the doctor), my wife is expected to have a baby. As many of you may imagine, a newborn is going to change things around somewhat and is going to change my time around that I have to prepare for this newsletter. Just to make sure you don't think that I have abandoned everyone, I should have Vol 1, #3 available sometime in June. I would have had this issue out about another 3 weeks sooner, however I found out that when you do not back your hard drive up regularly, and then connect the power supply up to the -5 volts instead of the +5 volts, you kill your hard drive. Unfortunately, I could not recover any of the hard drive contents although the integrity of the hard drive is probably fine (haven't repaired it yet), but the electronics of the stepping motor and another component on the the logic board were shot. If all goes as planned, I expect additional pieces of software equal to or better than XHI that is on this disk this month for Vol 1, #3.