Is BD-DOS lost to time?

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ThomH
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by ThomH »

I'm the last person who should end up in physical possession of it, ever, but I can definitely chip in towards purchasing it with/for @iss, if it's for sale. I suspect we won't get a second chance.

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Steve M
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Steve M »

I guess it will be at some point but I'll have to get the paperwork scanned.

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iss
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by iss »

One more step further with last Oricutron support of Byte Drive 500. :)
BD-500 emulation works with Oric-1 ROM 1.0 and with the Atmos ROM 1.1b.

THIS is the current portion of code handling the I/O read operations from BD-500 hardware. Most interesting is how read from address 0x317 affects the memory size being recognized by the HELLO program:

Code: Select all

    case 0x317:
      // 64k/56k mode depend on ROM chips
      bd->diskrom = bd->oric->rom16? SDL_FALSE : SDL_TRUE;
      break;
The whole thing is based only on "astrology" by now :). I've implemented a parameter in Oricutron.cfg file:

Code: Select all

; Specifies how ROMDIS disables ROM chip(s)
; related to BD500/BDDOS
; rom16 = yes - 64k mode (Default)
; rom16 = no  - 56k mode
;rom16 = yes
The purpose is to control if reading from 0x317 turns off the external ROM.
This is the result when the parameter is changed:
64k-56k.png
64k-56k.png (40.72 KiB) Viewed 938 times
Here is the Basic source of the HELLO program:

Code: Select all

10  '--- GREETING PROGRAM ---'   
20 ON ERROR GOTO 300
30  TEXT:WINDOW:CLS:NORMAL   
40  CR$=CHR$(13):QT$=CHR$(34):AD=#97FE
100 DEFKEY$(0) = CHR$(96) '` SYMBOL .
110 DEFKEY$(1) = "LIST"+CR$    
120 DEFKEY$(2) = "RUN"+CR$ 'RUN AUTO .
130 DEFKEY$(3) = "RUN"+QT$ 'RUN "" . 
140 DEFKEY$(4) = "DIR"+CR$ 'DIR AUTO .
150 DEFKEY$(5) = "HIYA KOFFERS!" 
160 DEFKEY$(6) = "LOAD"+QT$ 'LOAD"" .
170 DEFKEY$(7) = "HIRES"+CR$ 'HIRES .
180 DEFKEY$(8) = "COLOR 4,7"+CR$'TRYIT
190 DEFKEY$(9) = "TE.:MR."+QT$+"WORDPROCESSOR"+CR$  
200 'NOW DISPLAY CREDITS AND DATE .
220 DEF FN A(Q) = (40-LEN(A$))/2
230 A$="DOS DISK CREATED FEB 20 1984"
240 PRINTTAB(FNA(1));A$
250 IF SYS(20) THEN A$="64k" ELSE A$="56k"
260 IF PEEK(AD-1)=0 THEN A$=A$+" ATMOS" ELSE A$=A$+" ORIC1"
265 HTAB 0,2:PRINTTAB(FNA(Q));A$
270 A$="VERSION "+STR$(PEEK(AD))+"."+RIGHT$(STR$(PEEK(AD+1)),LEN(STR$(PEEK(AD+1)))-1)        
280 HTAB 0,4:PRINTTAB(FNA(Q));A$   
290 CAPS:VTAB 20:END
300 IF ERR(0) = 14 THEN RESET '^C !
310 STOP 
Line 250 handles ONLY two possibilities 64k or 56k - and this really puzzles me!
If it was 64k vs. 48k - it's clear and OK, but how is possible to have 56k and not the whole 64k? What do you think? :?

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Chema
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Chema »

Could the controller be putting his own 8k ROM in the overlay area, leaving other 8k of ram for the user?

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Steve M
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Steve M »

I'm not sure which version of BD DOS it is? I have documentation for DOS4 which includes BASIC v2. So I'd assume there has to be some overlay with the new Basic. I have an Oric with an expansion pack that houses a ROM chip with the Basic - I think that one is V3 BASIC.

After the initial software by Peter Halford, Dr Ray McLaughlin rewrote the DOS and Basic and there are several updates. Some of the updates didn't seem to work properly judging by the corrospondance I have, which led to further amendments.

Let me know if you want Basic V2 DOS 4 manual

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iss
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by iss »

Steve M wrote:
Fri May 22, 2020 9:44 pm
I'm not sure which version of BD DOS it is?
... Let me know if you want Basic V2 DOS 4 manual
The HELLO program reports version 2.2. Any information is wanted and highly appreciated, please!
Manuals and even some pictures of the hardware are real treasure :).

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iss
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by iss »

Some additional info about the released BD-DOS versions and their full naming:

BD DOS 2.2 with BASIC ROM 1.0 - this is what we have so far.
BD DOS 3.1b with BASIC ROM ?.?
BD DOS 3.2 with BASIC ROM ?.?
BD DOS 4.0 with BASIC ROM 2.0

With every next version some bugs were fixed and commands added.
Interesting is the BASIC ROM x.x part - for the tested version 'with BASIC ROM 1.0' means exactly ORIC BASIC 1.0 :).
After boot DOS loads itself in area #6800..#9800 and loads a copy of BASIC 1.0 (i.e. the Oric-1 one) in the whole RAM Overlay.
This copy differs from the original ROM in only 12 bytes - used to redirect keyboard and print to screen routines to the DOS code (I guess). It's little strange because you have to use the buggy ROM 1.0 even if you have an Atmos, but this is obviously changed and the later versions (i.e. DOS 4.0 with BASIC ROM 2.0) are Atmos BASIC 1.1b based, I think.

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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by mikeb »

From Personal Computer News (PCN) March 10 1984 :-

A review of the ITL Kathmill "hybrid" cable, describing it as a chips-on-ceramic-baked-in-resin (YUM!) device, and also mentioning it has its own ULA on board which implements the disk controller (so not a standard WD part, but a compatible emulation?)

Thought I'd better clip it and post it here for posterity.
Attachments
PCN-ITLHybrid2.pdf
(1.74 MiB) Downloaded 11 times

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Steve M
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Steve M »

Thanks Mike. I think those pages are in the collection Iss posted earlier.
The picture shows a 'naked' hybrid as the real ones have a 'blister' over the ICs. (I'm not sure if that is just protective or has some other use?)
Normally the plastic case is sealed shut. It's really an interface that is as wide as the cable. It's using miniature components which seems ahead of it's time. I guess if they used conventional components it would have been the size of a Cumana board.

As the components are so small it's a bit hard to tell how much they used custom-made components. They seemed to have a lot of difficulty with the 'hybrid' though.

I wonder if you'd be able to read a 3" disk? maybe do a disassembly? I could post something like that if you'd like to have a look.
I have yet to test whether the BD disks could work on other systems.

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iss
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by iss »

@SteveM: Thanks for all your BD-500 scanned docs. I converted them to PDFs and they should appear soon in DF library. ;)

For all impatient Oric-hackers here are temporary links:

BD-500-DOS-4.0-BASIC-2.0-Users_Manual.pdf ~ 56MB
BD-500-DOS-4.0-BASIC-2.0-Specs.pdf ~ 1.8MB
BD-500-DOS-4.0-BASIC-2.0-TypeMe.pdf ~ 2.4MB
Steve M wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:38 pm
I wonder if you'd be able to read a 3" disk?
The first option is to connect the 3" drive to an old PC and create image.
Else it's possible to read the 3" BD-500 disks with (for instance) Microdisc interface and 3" floppy drive. The only problem is that BD-500/BD-DOS uses sectors with 512 bytes each, so we need a new copy program ... which can be done soon ;).

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mikeb
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by mikeb »

Steve M wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:38 pm
the real ones have a 'blister' over the ICs. (I'm not sure if that is just protective or has some other use?)

I wonder if you'd be able to read a 3" disk? maybe do a disassembly? I could post something like that if you'd like to have a look.
I have yet to test whether the BD disks could work on other systems.
The "blister" is usually a blob of hard, opaque, epoxy (to protect any gold "bond wires" between the edge of the silicon and the board) -- it also prevents people staring at the chip and reverse engineering it (allegedly ;) ... and also importantly it keeps light off the chips, as all those silicon P/N junctions can be sensitive to light, and therefore misbehave when illuminated.

Case in point: Anyone that used a flash to photograph early versions of the Raspberry PI 2B ... (instant crash due to one bare-silicon device!)

I can't see any bond wires in the published "naked" pictures, so it could be this is one where they've mounted the parts on the ceramic backing, but not yet wired them across from the dies to the gold tracks, and then later blobbed the ICs and dipped the whole thing to protect it all.

Not sure if the second point was directed to me, but just in case, I can't read 3" disks (no drives/disks)

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Steve M
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Steve M »

OK, Mike.

Yes, my old PC with the floppy controller is not booting, so I can't convert things.
I've got some more memory but I think the BIOS settings arent' right. I need to have another look at it.

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Steve M
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Steve M »

iss wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 9:18 pm
Some additional info about the released BD-DOS versions and their full naming:

BD DOS 2.2 with BASIC ROM 1.0 - this is what we have so far.
BD DOS 3.1b with BASIC ROM ?.?
BD DOS 3.2 with BASIC ROM ?.?
BD DOS 4.0 with BASIC ROM 2.0
Looking at my disks I can expand this a little There is also
BD DOS 5.0 with BASIC v3.0
BD DOS 5.0 version 2(?)
BD DOS 5.0 with BASIC v3.1
BD DOS 6.0 with BASIC v4.0

(and I now have a DOS6.0 manual to scan !!!)

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Steve M
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by Steve M »

Some pics/
Attachments
P1270506b.jpg
P1270503b.jpg
P1270501b.jpg

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iss
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Re: Is BD-DOS lost to time?

Post by iss »

Steve M wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 4:23 pm
Looking at my disks I can expand this a little There is also
BD DOS 5.0 with BASIC v3.0
BD DOS 5.0 version 2(?)
BD DOS 5.0 with BASIC v3.1
BD DOS 6.0 with BASIC v4.0
(and I now have a DOS6.0 manual to scan !!!)
Wooow, this is incredible! :shock:
I can wait to have copy of all that stuff!

@SteveM: Do you have working Oric setup with Microdisc controller, 3" floppy drive (for reading of BD-DOS disks) and Gotek as second floppy drive (to store the dumped image and easy transfer to PC world) ?
I'm ready to create very quickly a copy program which will do the above job dealing with BD-DOS specific format!

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