SymbOS MSX multitasking operating system - help needed!

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By karloch

Prophet (2157)

karloch's picture

14-01-2014, 23:57

The MegaFlash ROM SCC+ SD is an amazing device, I think it's the best SD adapter (+SCC+Memory Mapper) out there. I would love a SymbOS driver for it.

@Podratron: However, I understand it can be quite frustrating that everyone start again asking for more storage device drivers for SymbOS, so... no pressure! You already did something amazing accomplishing one of the long goals of MSX, so I'm more than grateful with the OS in his current state. Even so, anything more will be VERY welcome Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3499)

sd_snatcher's picture

15-01-2014, 00:57

Quote:

However, I understand it can be quite frustrating that everyone start again asking for more storage device drivers for ...

This is one of the main reasons to code the MSX as the standard states: by using the BIOS routines instead of direct hardware access.

These days this has become even more important. We just don't have enough manpower to code specific routines for every possible existing MSX hardware/extension.

The MSX standard was created too flexible for the restrictions that direct I/O programming causes. Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By Prodatron

Paragon (1808)

Prodatron's picture

15-01-2014, 01:20

@Sd_snatcher: We had this discussion already several times, but unfortunately it seems, that the MSX BIOS routines can't be used in the SymbOS environment (because of the multitasking and different memory mapping situations). If someone would be able to write a "generic driver" for SymbOS, which can access any MSX disc bios, that would be great of course. There is not much more to do than providing a sector read and a sector write routine.

@Edoz & Karloch: I am quite sure, that we will have some more drivers later this year. Usually such a driver isn't any kind of rocket science, especially for non-FDC-based devices like IDE- and SD-card-adapters. I have some plans regarding this topic...

I am currently working on the boot loader again. There was a lot of criticism in the past regarding setting up SymbOS (general issues, drive letters, location of the SYMBOS.INI). Hope to solve these issues with the next release. I will remove autodetection from the boot loader itself, also remove fixed drive letters (A, B=floppy, C=harddisc). Instead of that there will be a little setup tool (which then includes the autodetection) and/or the requirement for more exact command line parameters for the boot loader.

By karloch

Prophet (2157)

karloch's picture

15-01-2014, 01:39

Sounds promising Prodatron. Maybe easing the setup procedure will get SymbOS in the hand of more users. I admit the setting up it's not obvious at all in the current state and the MSX is a more complex system due to the diversity of his hardware (both, computers and expansions).

I already consider SymbOS useful for: lightning fast Commander-like app for file management, lightning fast full screen text-mode and at last lightning fast text editor. I think that focusing in setup and development tools would be nice, but that's just my though Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3499)

sd_snatcher's picture

15-01-2014, 02:06

@Prodaton

Don't worry, I didn't say that to offend you (or anyone btw) in any way. You know that I find SymbOS an admirable job, don't you? Smile

BTW, do you have a source skeleton for the disk driver? That would help a lot!

Quote:

Instead of that there will be a little setup tool (which then includes the autodetection) and/or the requirement for more exact command line parameters for the boot loader.

This will be really very welcome! I have a SD card that I use in three different interfaces:

- Padial LPE-MMC-V8-BASIC
- IDE interface (with SD->IDE adapter)
- MegaSD, built-in on One Chip MSX

As you might imagine, it's quite troublesome to make the current version of SymbOS boot properly from this very same SD card in the three different interfaces. AFAIK, I also couldn't make it work with the Padial LPE-MMC-V8.

By RockRiver

Rookie (27)

RockRiver's picture

17-01-2014, 05:40

Thanks for development again, Jörn.

- I saw Prodatron's turboR 512k SymbOS system uTube videos. And I was thinking "512k it's enough?"
I'm trying to start 1024k SymbOS on turboR (512k internal, but bigger external RAM mapper added) with memTR by Armando "Ranones". [Yeah, it's MSX-DOS1 util but SymbOS starts from DOS1 too Nishi ]
I could do that making floppy boot. From HDD [sunrise CF ide] I cannot. Seems like memTR only works from floppy, otherside hangs oO I write this to notice about.
Maybe some RAM code trick like NTI's GEM (gameboy emulator) on that new boot loader ? Please, understand me. Isn't a request. turboR sometimes is not standard MSX... But it's very nice to see R800 CPU and v9990 VDP working toguether for SymbOS. [Yes (you're right)... you think well: stop crying and update your(me) tR with internal 1048k Evil ]

-Great!! that our "old friends" TXT files are readable now.
On SymbOS 3 [well, we will see and buy that Cool ] DOX, pseudoHTML, will be a fact with SymStudio help Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

-Some chiptune files support from future SymbOS/SymAMP versions ?
. AYC (PSG-YM derivative file) Meisei MSX1 emu can make YM files. I think AYC are smaller than YM files -better for Z80- . Fkey (french CPC coder) offers help about that
. KSS support ? MSX-DOS KSSplay cannot use SCC sounchip, sig!! [Ok, we have MGS players that use all PSG, FM and SCC] MGS support then... Cool joke, sorry!
. VGM [great ValleyBell development, his openMSX and MESS mods can rip Moonsound chiptune too]
Plain S.MasterSystem VGM PSG for Playsoniq or other MSX soundchip VGM support will be easy?
. And finally SID support for Playsoniq on SymAmp ? Yeahh crazy idea

ok! Another time I must play the devil's advocate: I know we could make easily MP3 from that Chiptunes-Sounchips and SymAMP supports MSX MP3 cards.

Thanks a lot Prodatron and Nyyrikii for your great code work on music files too.

By PingPong

Prophet (3885)

PingPong's picture

17-01-2014, 08:13

Prodatron wrote:

@Sd_snatcher: We had this discussion already several times, but unfortunately it seems, that the MSX BIOS routines can't be used in the SymbOS environment

Considering the general quality of msx bios routines (speed, code size) i vote for no-bios at all.
;-)

By hit9918

Prophet (2921)

hit9918's picture

18-01-2014, 02:49

@Prodatron,
what is the problem in using the bdos sector read?
The not-floppy devices are quick, the time of disabled interrupt is no problem?

The floppy could need hardware acess to have no stutter with music playing.

The floppy, 5 rpm 9 sectors, sector rate is 45/second.
A sector read takes 1.1 PAL frames.
Still could have 2 interrupts within two frames.
One interrupt often is much late, it is heard with arpeggio, but rest is perfect.

In case the sector lies so odd in time that it hits two irqs, one could cancel the read and serve interrupts.

By karloch

Prophet (2157)

karloch's picture

18-01-2014, 11:29

Just a though, would it be possible to write a generic, slow BIOS driver that works on every MSX machine and IDE/SCSI interface? I think that's better than being non supported. Then if you are lucky to have an specific one, you will get faster I/O, like hardware accelerated.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5917)

NYYRIKKI's picture

18-01-2014, 12:56

Yes, it would be POSSIBLE to write slow BIOS driver, but it is not an easy task. SymbOS is an operating system that does not care at all about the stuff what BIOS needs to work as it completely ignores it. -> We don't have any BDOS disk driver tables, hooks etc. in memory. Even if we skip stuff like interslot call and call the PHYDIO directly from #4010 in the disk ROM slot, we still need stuff like DOS HDIV16 hook populated as well as HBGFD and HENFD. Some implementations need even more functionality, like custom few byte workspace.

This means that in each load operation we need to "stop SymbOS", break it to make memory MSX-compatible, call standard routine & restore SymbOS memory.

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