SymbOS 3.0 beta release

SymbOS 3.0 beta release

by edoz on 01-07-2015, 23:10
Topic: Software
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Prodatron released a new beta release of SymbOS last Sunday. SymbOS is a graphical user interface (GUI) based multitasking operating system for Z80 based supported home computers. SymbOS provides true Multitasking and a complete windows like GUI. The new SymbOS 3.0 beta release comes now with Ethernet (network) support for our beloved MSX!

It seems that network support is introducing a complete new world for a multitasking environment on a 8-bit Z80 machines. The amount of possibilities is still crazy! There already some interesting new network applications in this new beta preview!

SYMBOS 3.0 BETA What is included?

BASE SOFTWARE

  • SymbOS 3.0 beta (kernel allows now network communications between applications)
  • Control Panel
  • SymShell 2.0 beta

NETWORK DAEMON

  • DenYoNet driver (Real driver for the amzing DenYoNet network adapter)
  • Localhost driver (Allows to run network applications without real hardware)

GUI APPLICATIONS DEVELOPED WITH UNIFY

  • Battleship (First peer to peer network game for SymbOS)
  • Symple messenger (Simple chat program)

SYMSHELL BASED APPLICATIONS

  • SymTel (Telnet client)
  • WGet (Tool which can be used to transfer files using the http protocol)
  • NsLookUp (Domain name lookup)
  • NetStat (Check your TCP connections)
  • Nettest (Small commandline network application for test purpose)

If you want to give this SymbOS beta release a try we would be very happy if you report any issues with this release on the forum so bugs can be removed before the final release. If you have SymbOS 2.1 already installed you can simply replace the files in your SymbOS directory (from the package) If you don’t have SymbOS installed please install SymbOS 2.1 first and then simply replace the files afterwards.

You can download the package here

Relevant link: SymbOS

Comments (48)

By Daemos

Paragon (1668)

Daemos's picture

01-07-2015, 23:30

prodatron you are a hero and not to forget about the helping hands. This amazing project just keeps getting better and better and there is no giving up on it. Amazing!

By snout

Ascended (15187)

snout's picture

02-07-2015, 01:30

what Deamos said. Ad infinitum.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

02-07-2015, 02:32

Thanks so much, and yes, without Trebmint and EdoZ this wouldn't be possible at all. SymbOS development wouldn't work without Trebmints Unify IDE (former SymStudio) and EdoZ fast application coding and QA at all! I am so glad, that they are on board!

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

02-07-2015, 02:39

And don't forget: Dennis and Yobi did a great job, without it this wouldn't be possible at all...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MHMZlFhZE4

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (2880)

sd_snatcher's picture

02-07-2015, 02:56

It's just fantastic! Kudos 4 everyone in the project!

By makinavaja

Master (204)

makinavaja's picture

02-07-2015, 06:18

FAN TAS TIC!
tomorrow I will give it a try!

By makinavaja

Master (204)

makinavaja's picture

02-07-2015, 06:26

If tomorrow everithing works, then I will have to update my 8bit cyber coffe album Big smile_
https://flic.kr/s/aHsjHgV7ZR

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

03-07-2015, 12:02

karloch found a bug during the update. If you upgrade your 2.1 system to 3 beta please disable SymbOS extensions first and save this in the control panel or by using the start-menu.

After you disabled the extentions replace the files with the files in the beta package. Then start SymbOS again. As Prodatron and I already running a higher version of the extensions we didn't notice this.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

03-07-2015, 12:36

Or just delete "symexten.exe". It seems that it is currently not compatuble with the 3.0 (which comes with an advanced desktop).

By Maggoo

Paragon (1182)

Maggoo's picture

04-07-2015, 05:32

This is freakin awesome ! Now I am even more upset not to have a DenYoNet!

By syn

Paragon (1885)

syn's picture

04-07-2015, 11:48

Quote:

◾Battleship (First peer to peer network game for SymbOS)

would this be the first game on the MSX that you can play through the internet?

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

04-07-2015, 16:32

I'm not sure.. But if so it can only get better as this game is a simple one :-)

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

04-07-2015, 20:11

Btw. Battleship is even "realtime" now (optional): As you can see the other player moving his cursor over the playfield Smile

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

07-07-2015, 19:24

Question. I have a working symbos 2.1 verison. Copied the files in the zipfile from the beta over it. COpied the content of the msx directory, over the file in the main directory.
I started it and still symbos 2.01 came up. Then I read this topic and deleted symexten.exe. Now, when I start it, and go to the help, it still says release 2.1. Am I doing something wrong ?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

07-07-2015, 20:14

The appinfo.exe hasnt been updated yet, which is always static regarding the version. You can see the real version when starting SymShell.

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

08-07-2015, 07:42

hmm, doesn't say 3.0 beta, says 2.0 beta ?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

08-07-2015, 07:48

The first line shows the SymbOS version (should be something with SymbOS [MSX 3.0-1506...]). SymShell itself is at version 2.0 beta currently (the third line). Sorry for the confusion Big smile

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

08-07-2015, 19:07

Okay, thanks for clearing this up.
SOme other questions:
- Where can I obtain the multi color icons ? Are they included in the zipfile and if so, where can I find them ?
- I have a directory with sgx files, but when I want to use them for background they aren't recognized. When I place them in the main root, they are. Is this a bug ? Are subdirectories not supported for background (desktop) pictures ?
- Do you have a nice background for symbOS 3. If not, maybe it''s a good idea to include them when the final 3.0 release comes Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

08-07-2015, 21:54

TheKid wrote:

Okay, thanks for clearing this up.
SOme other questions:
- Where can I obtain the multi color icons ? Are they included in the zipfile and if so, where can I find them ?
- I have a directory with sgx files, but when I want to use them for background they aren't recognized. When I place them in the main root, they are. Is this a bug ? Are subdirectories not supported for background (desktop) pictures ?
- Do you have a nice background for symbOS 3. If not, maybe it''s a good idea to include them when the final 3.0 release comes Smile

The multi color icons, or better say the advanced start-menu and desktop are not in this BETA release and will be in the next release. Beside the 16 color icons you could have as many icons you like and it is easier to manage it. The icons are embedded in the ExE file so you don't need ICON files normally. The advanced desktop will come with the right click menu and a properties windows. Also the start menu could have sub menus and more items. Of course you need more memory to enable all those features. But unfortunately you have to wait a while for the next release Wink

Here a preview screen shot as we showed last time in Nijmegen.

About your background problem. I do not have that here. Did you define the complete path in the display settings ? Like c:\directory\picture.sgx ? There are some backgrounds in the download section on msx.org It is a good idea to make a nice collection of backgrounds next time.

Did you already played around with the network ? Very cool that you are trying it! That is a good motivation to make it better and more stable ;)

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

09-07-2015, 07:31

Hi Edoz, thank you for the reply. The icons look great, can't wait for the final 3.0 Smile
My sgx files are in the directory a:\symbos\graphics\misc\backgr1.sgx. They can be viewed with symsee (picture viewer). It select them by control panel, display. I can select them but the background stays blue. When selecting a sgx file in a:\symbos the are shown. So there is nothing wrong with the sgx files.

Yeah, would be nice to have some 'official' symbos 3.0 backgrounds to choose from.
I haven't played with the network yet, but I intend to this weekend.
Anywayz, thanks for the quick replies and keep up the good work, I'm very impressed Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

09-07-2015, 08:35

Strainge. I just created a subdirectory and again a subsirectory in my c:\symbos\ folder and copied move a SGX file to there. Next i added it as the background.

Are you sure you did not select a background color ? And what happen if you switch between those ?

Do you have your path and boot drive correct in the system icon in the control panel ?
Which hardware do you use ?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

09-07-2015, 10:21

The length of the background picture path is limited to 32 chars. Sorry for not having an error message here, but I will add it!

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

09-07-2015, 19:20

Yes, that was it. All together I had 37 chars Smile I placed them in another folder and now it works Smile An error message would be nice.
Another question: Can the sim commander have a rename option. I tried to rename my folder but couldn't, so I had to create a new folder and move the files there. Also using the astrix (shift-8) to select all files in a folder would be a nice feature aswell.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

09-07-2015, 22:32

@TheKid: good idea I added it to the ToDo list, thank you! Smile

Yesterday EdoZ and me recorded a network session in SymbOS, and quite a nice video clip has been made out of it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3arrALdYcU

Hope you enjoy it! :)

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

10-07-2015, 07:55

haha, great video. Is this the birth of the first online msx game Smile

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

10-07-2015, 09:29

TheKid wrote:

Can the sim commander have a rename option.

Renaming works, when you do not select any files/directories (not even one) and press the "move" button. The file/directory below the current line can be renamed then.
As soon as one or more files are selected ("inverted") SymCommander wants to move them to the destination in the other list.

By floppiefrans

Master (235)

floppiefrans's picture

10-07-2015, 21:35

Hi Prodatron!

Where can I find/download the music you used in the very nice videoclip you made?

Greetings,
Frans

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

10-07-2015, 21:45

Hi Floppiefrans,

it's mentioned in the description Smile

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1462)

RetroTechie's picture

13-07-2015, 04:25

There is no source code available for this OS, why? Do you expect to make money out of this @ some point?

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

13-07-2015, 22:37

And what if they do ? You should be thankfull that all the work these guys put into this project is free to download as it is !!

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

13-07-2015, 23:23

The most application are with source code included.
See: source apps

When Unify is ready I will think about to give my sources to be open also. Maybe people could use it.
.
But I have to say my sources are a bit worse as I'm the most worse msx programmer ever ;)
I program in unify as I have a big windows machine with a lot of ram and long string names etc. ;)
So I thing my code could be 10 times smaller ;) but the good part is that trebmints compiler makes it good again ;)

By RetroTechie

Paragon (1462)

RetroTechie's picture

14-07-2015, 04:42

TheKid wrote:

And what if they do ? You should be thankfull that all the work these guys put into this project is free to download as it is !!

Agreed... I'm thankful for any new MSX software released, with or without source. This OS is an impressive achievement. Nishi And for that, author(s) deserve all kudoz they're getting.

That said, this OS could benefit greatly from having source code out there. For example, users could contribute source code patches directly. Rather than only report bugs, relying on 1 or 2 developers to investigate issues and code fixes + improvements. If author(s) lose interest for a while, development could continue. If author(s) lose interest permanently, project could continue regardless. With source code out there, the OS may go places where it wouldn't go otherwise. Etc, etc, etc.

I can understand a commercial argument for keeping sources closed. But that makes NO SENSE WHATSOEVER given the targeted platforms with their limited user base. For example personally, I have no interest in contributing to a closed-source OS. I might have, if it were open source. Regardless whether small hobby OS or popular software. That's a potential contributor lost right there. Sad Surely I'm not the only one who feels that way.

So this is not criticism. Just a genuine puzzlement Question as to the reason(s) why sources for the OS itself aren't out there.

By TheKid

Paladin (703)

TheKid's picture

14-07-2015, 08:05

@RetroTechie: Okay, I understand your point of view and I can relate to it. It really is a shame when a project isn't finshed because developpers lost interest or worse, the code is lost (wasn't that the case with the dune clone 'Dome').
Apperently Edoz thinks the same way and made the source avaiable prior to your post Smile

By Trebmint2

Master (208)

Trebmint2's picture

14-07-2015, 17:52

I assume you're talking source for the OS rather than for apps. As Edo says source for apps has and will be supplied. However for the OS there is a very good reason and that is as we have already seen splintering. Prodatron is producing his OS to work across various different machines, and that's his goal. An application should be able to run on all the symbos targets excluding very specific apps like rom launchers etc... The problem being that if you release the source we then have MSX / CPC / Enterprise / Pcw coders all start to alter the source to be more hardware specific and ultimately you will end up with 4 / 5 or 10 different versions all of which will not run each others apps. It would be like a Linux issue but worse making developing harder.
For instance if the source was available whats to stop me creating TrebOs which uses the MSX hardware sprites, meaning we can have much cooler games??? Okay it wont work for CPC and Enterprise anymore but who cares cos we're MSX users.
The only way I could see this working would be for a committee who can agree on what source is admitted into symbos, and while Prodatron is still coding it seems not really worthwhile thing to do. There is a roadmap for symbos which perhaps Prodatron should expand on more
There is also no commercial reason whatsoever. Symbos is free and always will be. If at some point somebody wants to charge for an app then thats up to the author ???? But symbos at core will be free.

By Manuel

Ascended (14788)

Manuel's picture

15-07-2015, 10:06

The source could still be opened and Prodatron could act like a benevolent dictator and be open for pull requests. If the submitted patches are not OK, he simply doesn't integrate them. If they are, he does.

There will then be a risk that it is forked for specific systems... but the question is whether that will really get traction.

At least something could be done to continue SymbOS when Prodatron takes a long break again or gets hit by lightning or something. That alone would make it worthwhile, wouldn't it?

Also, if the source is open, other people could learn from it or (if allowed) use portions of it for other purposes. The worst thing that could happen from that is that more software will be developed for Z80 systems... not bad, right?

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

15-07-2015, 15:44

Can you give me examples of MSX software from which the sources have been released by the initial developer and later picked up by other programmers and developed further? I can't think of one at the moment. I do know many examples of abandoned development though, never being continued by others. Although the sources have been made available. X-tazy, Meridian.......

So, for me, defending the publishing of MSX sources is a very theoretically opinion. The benefits just won't happen. People won't continue the work. And I also don't believe the sources will be read for educational purposes. We should just be glad there is a Prodatron working on this OS. And if he quits, it's over.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7532)

Grauw's picture

15-07-2015, 20:18

Latok, I love you man, but I can’t disagree more with you here, in every regard Smile.

Latok wrote:

Can you give me examples of MSX software from which the sources have been released by the initial developer and later picked up by other programmers and developed further?

I think you it’s a bit unfair to compare with projects that had a post-mortem source release. Joining an active project and community is much more interesting than to continue an abandoned one all by your self. They weren’t abandoned for no reason.

But, if you want an example: Moonblaster. Several useful mods are created (e.g. MIDI and OPL3 support), and TNI’s MoonSound Music Studio is based on it. The 1chipMSX’s firmware is also the result of many people collaborating, we would all still be using version 1.0 had the source been closed. Of course openMSX is also a succesful ongoing open source MSX project.

Among my own projects, my Glass assembler has recently been integrated in the OpCode IDE and the author has also expressed interest in contributing. For VGMPlay I’ve collaborated with l_oliveira, he has made an adaptation to work with some homebrew sound modules, something that would’ve never been possible if VGMPlay hadn’t been open source.

There’s also positive effects not directly contributing to the software itself; I’ve pointed several people to Synthesix and VGMPlay source code as reference implementations for sound chips, MIDI interfaces and certain programming patterns. I’ve looked at MB1.4 source code to help me implement sample loading for MSX-AUDIO. I’ve learned a lot of things by studying disassembled BIOS source code. Most definitely, source code is read by me and many others.

So, I want to add a voice of support for an open-source project as well. For me being able to see the source would be very educational I think and it would give me better insight in the system. Also support for hardware that you don’t own yourself can be added by 3rd parties (e.g. ObsoNET), and once someone does you’ve probably earned a permanent contributor.

I wouldn’t be scared of forks, typically people want to collaborate and want their changes to appear upstream if it is open to contributions. And honestly, if you expect that 5-10 versions would appear that means there would actually be a lot of interest in it! I would see that as a good sign, rather than a bad one… Of course it is entirely up to the SymbOS team :), but I think it would be a good idea.

And actually this is not about SymbOS alone — I wish a lot more MSX projects would consider going open source! There’s nothing to lose, and a lot to gain for both the projects and the community as a whole, in my opinion.

By Manuel

Ascended (14788)

Manuel's picture

15-07-2015, 22:58

If the source is closed, the benefits will definitely not happen. If it's open, they *may* happen. I don't see how it could be negative. There's only a potential for positive effects.

But, of course, it's all the author's choice. Just stating my opinion here. It doesn't change anything about how great SymbOS is.

By Latok

msx guru (3581)

Latok's picture

15-07-2015, 23:14

Many points taken, Grauw. And I also read sources, so I definitely should correct myself there. Hell, together with snout, we're even building a library consisting of standard routines (comments included) which we want to publish in order to get beginning programmers to level up. We're using Glass for that Smile

Why did I post it then? Dunno, it just sounded so theoretical, so easy to just ask for open source. If I would be Prodatron, I would also be very cautious with it. I wonder why the 1chipMSX updates from KdL are the only updates and considered to be 'official'. Anyway, good example. Just as MB1.4 and openMSX are. Thanks for that Smile

By Protoman

Resident (44)

Protoman's picture

21-10-2016, 05:49

SymbOS is looking really promising!! Smile I tried to replace the existing SymbOS 2.1 files with the ones from the SymbOS 3.0 beta archive, and now my SymbOS hangs after booting with a blank desktop. I only see the menu bar and mouse cursor, but the system is frozen... Is there an actual 3.0 beta installer disk? Thank you!! Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

21-10-2016, 08:25

Protoman wrote:

SymbOS is looking really promising!! Smile I tried to replace the existing SymbOS 2.1 files with the ones from the SymbOS 3.0 beta archive, and now my SymbOS hangs after booting with a blank desktop. I only see the menu bar and mouse cursor, but the system is frozen... Is there an actual 3.0 beta installer disk? Thank you!! Smile

Hi! The last package can be found here:
Link to last release

On that page you can find a manual as well. Use symsetup.com in msxdos to install symbos.
Do you have a mass storage device? Because that would be handy. Please remove the old installation and start clean.
If you need any help just let us know.

By Protoman

Resident (44)

Protoman's picture

22-10-2016, 07:59

Hello! Thanks for the link to the install package! Yes, I'm using a Sunrise / Maxiol CF IDE interface for my mass storage device on my MSX2+ Sony HBF1-XV with 512Kb internal RAM upgrade. I'm still waiting for my GR8NET adapter to arrive, so I can't yet test the networking features... Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

22-10-2016, 08:25

That is the perfect! I hope that you're able to install it! Please let me know if it was working yes or no or if you need help!

By Protoman

Resident (44)

Protoman's picture

22-10-2016, 09:06

Yes, I just installed SymbOS 3.0 beta with no problems! Smile The system "feels" a bit speedier and I'm loving the updated features like right click on the desktop, the menu trees in the Start Menu and the blue color of the window borders (instead of orange!) LOL! I'm looking forward to using the networking!

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

22-10-2016, 23:55

Protoman wrote:

Yes, I just installed SymbOS 3.0 beta with no problems! Smile The system "feels" a bit speedier and I'm loving the updated features like right click on the desktop, the menu trees in the Start Menu and the blue color of the window borders (instead of orange!) LOL! I'm looking forward to using the networking!

Yes! The content of the forms (Windows) are now default blue. But You can change the color in the color You like.
Im glad you like the new layout. Prodatron did a nice job on all the new features. The gr8net is a very cool device! You can use the SD card from the gr8net as well in Symbos. Currently I am working on a network boot disk which boots symbos from your gr8net using internet only. Then only gr8net cartridge is needed in your msx and you can use gr8net sd and network!

If you want you can find my last IRC program over heremy symbos applications

I see that you are from Japan.. I'm sorry but kanji is not supported currently. Prodatron is working on the final version of 3.0 which has some new features for keyboards as well. Then it is possible to save and load keyboard layouts.

Is MSX still used a lot in Japan? And are still meetings?

By Protoman

Resident (44)

Protoman's picture

25-10-2016, 08:04

That network boot disk sounds like a great idea! LOL! Actually, I'm in Osaka at the moment, so I'm not too sure about MSX meetings (they might still be in Tokyo). I'll be moving to Tokyo later this year, though! I've seen a lot of MSX equipment and games in certain specialty shops like "Game Kanteidan" in Nipponbashi, Osaka and "BEEP" in Akihabara, Tokyo. "Super Potato" retro game stores in Osaka and Tokyo have mostly MSX games and not really any hardware. The "BEEP" shop specializes in retro computers like MSX, PC-8801, PC-9801, Sharp X68000, etc. Smile

I received my GR8NET today and I tried setting everything up using DHCP within SymbOS 3.0. I can connect to my router at 192.168.0.1 when testing the telnet application and I see the Tx and Rx LEDs flashing when I type on the keyboard while connected. However, I only get a "Server not found" message when testing the SymZilla browser. I tried the addresses "www.symbos.de" and "www.google.com"... Is this version of the browser capable of connecting to websites?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

25-10-2016, 21:35

Hi Protoman, it's an honor for me to have a SymbOS user in Japan, the origin of the MSX!
You are right, SymZilla is currently not able to do network connections. It was written before we had the first working network daemon. Thanks to EdoZ, who is currently creating DOX-based website, I will probably add real network connection to SymZilla very soon.

By edoz

Prophet (2097)

edoz's picture

26-10-2016, 08:02

Hi Protoman! Good that you were able to use your GR8NET with telnet! Fun is to connect to the hispa bss on bbs.hispamsx.org We also created a small IRC client which can be downloaded on my page .. you find there also some network applications like symbus.. and 2 small MSX network games (Battleship and snake)

Indeed Symzilla is not "ready" to connect but hopefully it will be in the future! About the network boot disk. There is still a issue with the mapper mode on the GR8NET .. (This is a SymbOS related) We need to fix this first before releasing this boot mode. (This is only a problem when you use the mapper mode on the Gr8NET when you don't have internal ram on your MSX)

But it is very nice to hear that you were able to use it all!

My MSX profile