Nextor 2.0 beta 2 released

by konamiman on 30-06-2013, 23:03
Topic: Software
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Konamiman has just released the second beta of Nextor, the disk operating system based on MSX-DOS 2. The improvements in this version are the following:

  • Fixed a bug that caused the RAM disk to not work properly.
  • Fixed a bug that caused the APPEND environment variable to have no effect.
  • At boot time, the number of drives assigned to device-based drivers is no longer fixed to two. Instead, one drive per device found is assigned (unless CTRL is pressed, see below).
  • Pressing the 2 key at boot time forces boot in MSX-DOS 1 mode, as the 1 key does. But in MSX Turbo-R, the R800-ROM mode is activated instead of the Z80 mode.
  • Pressing the 4 key at boot time in MSX Turbo-R causes the computer to boot in R800-ROM mode instead of R800-DRAM. Also, the largest mapper found is set as the primary mapper (instead of the internal mapper), and the 64K of mapped RAM allocated for the copy of the system ROMs are freed.
  • Pressing the SHIFT key at boot time no longer disables the Nextor kernels, but it does still disable the MSX-DOS kernels. This allows to disable the internal floppy disk drive.
  • Pressing the CTRL key at boot time assigns only one drive to Nextor device-based drivers, instead of one drive per device. This is useful, in combination with 1 (or 2) and SHIFT, to maximize the available TPA space when booting in MSX-DOS 1 mode.
  • It is now possible to disable Nextor kernels at boot time by pressing a key that depends on the slot where the Nextor ROM is placed. The key is Q for slot 1 and A for slot 2. For expanded slots, the keys are QWER for 1-0 to 1-3, and ASDF for 2-0 to 2-3 (there are keys for slots 0 and 3 as well, see the user manual for details).
  • The command line tools DEVINFO.COM, Z80MODE.COM, MAPDRV.COM, and the CALL MAPDRV command, now admit 0 instead of the slot number parameter, with the meaning of “the primary controller”.
  • Added a new tool: NSYSVER.COM, which allows to temporarily change the version number of NEXTOR.SYS (useful for the few programs that choke with a version number of 2.0).

The new version of the kernel, as well as the updated NEXTOR.SYS, tools and documentation, are available for download at Konamiman's MSX page. So, whether you are the lucky owner of a MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD cartridge or you are using the Sunrise IDE version or the standalone version, go ahead and update your bits!

Relevant link: Konamiman's MSX page

Comments (30)

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

30-06-2013, 23:12

Well, I did not receive any notification form the MRC crew but I see that I've been indeed accepted as a trusted user. Thank you. Smile

By the way, the disable keys for the MegaFlashROM SCC+ SD are R for slot 1 and F for slot 2, since the SD controller is in subslot 3.

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

30-06-2013, 23:56

@konamiman -- might have been a bit of miscommunication @MRC HQ, you should have had an email -- I'll check. Either way, great news and welcome to the ring of Trusted Users. I'm liking the concept already! ^_^

By Latok

msx guru (3673)

Latok's picture

01-07-2013, 00:04

Fantastic news! Thank you konamiman, going to update right away Smile

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

01-07-2013, 00:10

Remember to update also the NEXTOR.SYS, the tools and the user manual, not only the kernel!

By Latok

msx guru (3673)

Latok's picture

01-07-2013, 00:11

Also the tools?

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

01-07-2013, 00:22

Yes. With the new tools you do not need to remember in which slot is your kernel, just use 0 and it will assume the primary controller.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

01-07-2013, 01:13

Well, installing the new kernel using opfxsd results in a crash and an erased kernel. Now I can only update the kernel using recovery mode....Gonna try it now...

Update: Success. Just loaded the new kernel from floppy disk Smile

By Latok

msx guru (3673)

Latok's picture

01-07-2013, 02:03

Hm, there are some serious issues. First thing i tried after installing the new kernel was muplay to listen to some mgs files.....CRASH while loading directories.....Then I tried copying a file in MultiMente...CRASH!

And with previous nextor version I did not have these issues....

Konamiman, any idea whats going on?

By Meits

Scribe (5491)

Meits's picture

01-07-2013, 09:53

I guess I'll wait a little while then...

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

01-07-2013, 10:00

WUT!!! Question

Well, emergency mode then. First of all, here are links to the old bits in case you want to revert to beta 1:

Nextor Kernel beta 1 for MegaFlash SD (normal)
Nextor Kernel beta 1 for MegaFlash SD (recovery)
NEXTOR.SYS beta 1

Before you downgrade, however, it would be great if you could help me to gather further information on the problem while I get the time to investigate it:

  • Can you reproduce the crashes? Do they appear always when doing the same thing? Or do them happen randomly?
  • Try to copy the same files but using the regular COPY command, instead of MultiMente. If possible, do it multiple times. Does it still crash?
  • Try to copy a bunch of files without using the SD card (for example, from a floppy to RAM disk, or to another directory in the same floppy), to rule out problems with the SD driver.
  • Try to downgrade the kernel only, while maintaining the beta 2 of NEXTOR.SYS. Do the crashes persist?

Sorryyyy!!! ;(

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

01-07-2013, 13:33

"Good" news: I could reproduce the problem in blueMSX. Let me investigate it.

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

01-07-2013, 18:12

FIXED!!! Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

Please download again the kernel. The tools and the NEXTOR.SYS were ok.

The bug was in two lines that were corrupting a pointer. That's the problem when programming in Spain, there's corruption everywhere... oO

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

01-07-2013, 18:43

badum-tsssssssss! Nice & quick fix, Konamiman! Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

01-07-2013, 19:44

COOOL! New update...let's try it on both, IDE + MegaFlashSD Big smile

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

01-07-2013, 20:29

I just installed the fixed nextor kernel and indeed, it works fine now Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

01-07-2013, 20:30

2.0 beta 2.1 Wink

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

01-07-2013, 22:37

Installed without any problems ! Thanks for this update!

By enribar

Paladin (996)

enribar's picture

04-07-2013, 11:53

Hello, I didn't read entire thread, I only have one question:
I own a MegaFashROM SCC+ SD (and a CFIDE Combo), do you finally suggest me to update to this version of Nextor?
Because I use the MegaFlash to dump tapes (and the CFIDE too), so I have fear of corrupted files due to some DOS bugs...

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

04-07-2013, 13:56

i would say, make backups always Wink ... but at my place it was without any problems.
But, the name "Beta" : (Nextor 2.0 beta 2) says... that's running still in Beta Big smile Big smile Big smile
And you current version is also a Beta version .... lol... Big smile Big smile Big smile

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

04-07-2013, 17:55

I definitely recommend to upgrade your MegaFashROM SCC+ SD to the new version (it would be quite funny if I said otherwise!). But about the CFIDE, its Nextor driver still requires a lot of work, so I would recommend using Nextor on the CFIDE for testing purposes only.

By Louthrax

Prophet (2076)

Louthrax's picture

05-07-2013, 13:03

enribar wrote:

Hello, I didn't read entire thread, I only have one question:
Because I use the MegaFlash to dump tapes (and the CFIDE too), so I have fear of corrupted files due to some DOS bugs...

Just by cursiosity, which tools are you using to dump tapes (on a real MSX then)? Does it work better compared to the PC solutions ?

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

08-07-2013, 09:00

still no bugs found, i think konamiman you have to concider to remove the beta in the name Wink Maybe stable is the better word!

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

08-07-2013, 10:38

edoz wrote:

still no bugs found, i think konamiman you have to concider to remove the beta in the name Wink Maybe stable is the better word!

Well, indeed the plan is that the next version will be 2.0 final. But first, I want users to play around a bit to spot possible bugs or applications that don't work.

By DrWh0

Paladin (767)

DrWh0's picture

08-07-2013, 14:33

Konamiman, will we see write support in .DSK files? Wink

By konamiman

Paragon (1041)

konamiman's picture

08-07-2013, 15:11

Support for .DSK will come in version 2.1. But don't even dare to ask me for a schedule for that. Smile

By Meits

Scribe (5491)

Meits's picture

08-07-2013, 18:54

if so, it would be nice if there'd be some tool to extract files from the dsk files instead of dumping the dsk on a physical diskette first...

By Creepy

Champion (332)

Creepy's picture

12-07-2013, 15:09

Meits: rddsk.com and wrdsk.com read and write files from/to 720KB disk images.

By Meits

Scribe (5491)

Meits's picture

12-07-2013, 16:56

I need them Smile Will hunt them down asap... Thanks for mentioning... You deserve pie... Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3055)

sd_snatcher's picture

12-07-2013, 18:45

konamiman wrote:

Support for .DSK will come in version 2.1. But don't even dare to ask me for a schedule for that. Smile

You mean native floppy disk emulation? Big smile

Because today there's one set of disk emulation tools for each interface:

- MegaSCSI and MegaSD: Very good floppy disk emulation.
- Padial LPEMMCV8: excellent floppydisk emulation. Probably the best around. You could have a look at this one as an example.
- Synfox SD interface
- IDE interfaces have no native disk emulation. Must use one of the generic tools.

And that which brings some problems. Mostly related to remembering any of the following characteristics:

1) Babel:
- Remember the tool name or the command line parameters for all of them
- The way to signal a disk change is specific for each tool. It's also hard to remember all of them.
2) MultiDisk requirements: Some require the annoying disk concatenation, others support plain separated DSK images
3) Features:
- Some support write-protection emulation when the DSK image has the read-only bit set, some don't
- Some have good support for UserDisks: both on DSK image or on real floppy-drive
4) Restrictions:
- Some work without any patches, some have require specific patches for certain games.
- Some require quite some memory mapper pages, others not
- Some only work on a MSX Turbo-R, others work on any MSX with memory-mapper
- Some use plain DSK images, other require the disks to be loaded on their own format.
- I think none of them support some kind of "bad sector map" to force bad sector emulation for games that used this as a form of copy protection.

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3055)

sd_snatcher's picture

25-07-2013, 19:04

@konamiman

Please try to find a workaround for this MSX Turbo-R restriction too.

Probably if the Nextor kernel reports a higher version than 2.31 it will take over and avoid the built-in DOS2 force-diskbios1-on-HSTKE-use approach.