L3 Server Changelog

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AndyF
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L3 Server Changelog

Postby AndyF » Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:51 pm

Does such a thing as a Level3 server 'changelog' exist for what was changed between 'official' versions ? :)

I can recall I think asking this a long time ago but I'm unable to find the topic, it might of been on the mailing list back then though.

The most 'popular' version seems to be 0.92 as its 'date friendly' although logic would say that 1.07 would be the one to use. There was a patch for this version on the mailing list at one point but I was unable to get it to work too. It may of been in a private mail to me I can't remember and no longer have it anyway.

Incidentally was there a later version (and its just MIA) for the 8bit machines ? 1.08 ? :-k

I do note the original 'unpatched' one (yes, I have an original floppy still of it) also displays the serial number, something I do not remember seeing (or I've forgotten) "back in the day" as well.

Summary is, is there some kind of "changelog" for what did actually change between official versions ? I guess the changes would be very minor and potential bug fixes, although I could look at the code and compare myself I'd have no idea what I was looking at as I can just about cope with Z80 but not 6502.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Jan 02, 2016 9:05 pm

Not that I know of, something like this would be handy. The Level 3 file server error codes listing in the Econet Design & Installation Guide, and also in one of the Acorn Econet application notes, has various "solutions" recommending upgrading to the latest issue, saying things like "should not happen after version 1.06" etc, so that might be a bit of a clue to some of the bug fixes in the very last versions.

Version 0.92 in common use is generated by applying JGH's date-fix patch to version 0.90. I think it also skips the test for the presence of the real-time clock dongle, but I can't exactly remember as both stations I use L3 0.92 with (Station 200 and Station 128) have a dongle.

One of the emulators comes with a disc image containing various versions of the L3 code - 0.90, 0.92, 1.03, 1.04, 1.06 and 1.07. I did think 1.08 was on there, or I'd seen it, but apparently not. It's item number 73 on the BeebMaster to do list to work through all the versions and try to figure out the differences.

The only differences which were immediately evident when I tried each of them a long time ago (apart from different start-up version numbers) were that some of the versions could auto-read the time and date, so you weren't prompted to enter it when the server started, and some displayed the time on the monitor screen in hours and minutes only, no seconds.

I always thought it would have been nice if they'd used mode 0 or mode 3 for the monitor, too many operations take up more than one line in mode 7 due to long pathnames etc. Since it's running in the second processor, the amount of screen RAM needed wouldn't have been an issue.
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby AndyF » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:43 pm

Hi Ian, :D , long time no speak. I've been meaning to fire an email your way for a while actually.

BeebMaster wrote:Not that I know of, something like this would be handy. The Level 3 file server error codes listing in the Econet Design & Installation Guide, and also in one of the Acorn Econet application notes, has various "solutions" recommending upgrading to the latest issue, saying things like "should not happen after version 1.06" etc, so that might be a bit of a clue to some of the bug fixes in the very last versions.

Version 0.92 in common use is generated by applying JGH's date-fix patch to version 0.90. I think it also skips the test for the presence of the real-time clock dongle, but I can't exactly remember as both stations I use L3 0.92 with (Station 200 and Station 128) have a dongle.

It would be useful although (to me at least) it may be beyond my understanding but it would still be nice I think.

Yes 0.92 does skip that check. :) An original floppy gives a 'Clock Failure' message, even with my (dead) dongle. That was before I dismantled it however. :oops:

BeebMaster wrote:One of the emulators comes with a disc image containing various versions of the L3 code - 0.90, 0.92, 1.03, 1.04, 1.06 and 1.07. I did think 1.08 was on there, or I'd seen it, but apparently not. It's item number 73 on the BeebMaster to do list to work through all the versions and try to figure out the differences.

The only differences which were immediately evident when I tried each of them a long time ago (apart from different start-up version numbers) were that some of the versions could auto-read the time and date, so you weren't prompted to enter it when the server started, and some displayed the time on the monitor screen in hours and minutes only, no seconds.


With the usual floppy that's floating about the following is present, tested with a 'B to avoid it trying to find any inbuilt 'time' :)

V0.90 = No 'dongle' check. No date patch. It lists it is registered to Barton Computers.

V0.92 = No 'dongle' check. Date patch. Instead of the serial (my original has a serial displayed if I remember correctly) its also got the secondary line of text changed to "Pre-Release IV.05" , I do wonder what that means actually ? :)

V1.03 = 'Dongle' check present as it throws the 'Clock Failure' message. Unable to test further. I suspect the date is not patched however. Change between this and previous versions the secondary line displays the FS number: "File server station 254"

V1.04 = 'Dongle check' present, same as V1.03 I am unable to test further. It also has the secondary line for the FS number too.

V1.06 = 'Dongle' check present, again same as V1.03 and V1.02 with regards to the secondary line message and unable to check any more.

V1.07 = No 'Dongle' check. No date patch. Secondary line displays FS number as per 1.03 / 1.04 / 1.06

I *do* remember having a (private) email conversation with someone on the mailing list (I remember as I was being told off actually) but they did have a patch for 1.07 but I was not able to get it to work due to my misunderstanding I think hence the telling off :oops:

Regarding auto reading of time, I'm not sure I've always used JGH's 'StartFS' (with a couple of minor tweaks) to start mine. I have cheated when its ran on a 'B before and just inserted the date/time at 00:00:00 01/01/88 on startup.

BeebMaster wrote:I always thought it would have been nice if they'd used mode 0 or mode 3 for the monitor, too many operations take up more than one line in mode 7 due to long pathnames etc. Since it's running in the second processor, the amount of screen RAM needed wouldn't have been an issue.


That's an interesting thought. I do remember trying to extend 'StartFS' to include a M to switch the monitor off at startup but it seems the keyboard buffer is flushed once the 'start' command has been accepted. I could be wrong but it won't accept it easily it seems to 'auto off'

:)

I may try to see if I still (I doubt it) have a copy of the email and / or patch for 1.07. Call it my OCD but later versions that display the FS number it would look lots better if it was either left aligned or centred, its odd that its spaced 'three in' and looks untidy to me.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:41 pm

JGH's source code for the date-patch exists, it's used to generate version 0.92 from version 0.90 and is written in BASIC, so it could be adapted to work with a different version of the file server code if the locations in the later version could be cross-referenced with the earlier version.

I just had a go with 0.92 to try forcing mode 0, after fixing a line jammed error (probably the downstairs clock not reaching upstairs so I unplugged it) then a no clock error (upstairs clock had become detached from its power transformer!) It's something I had tried before but I actually thought for some reason that it went back into mode 7. This time it didn't - I could force mode 0 by typing * at the Command: prompt and then CTRL-V-CTRL-0 to do a VDU22,0. It worked, but you lose all the header and the date and it still wraps at 40 characters!! I suppose it stands to reason, it must define a text window for the monitor output to leave the header and footer on the screen all the time.
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby AndyF » Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:01 pm

Thanks.

That is interesting to know about the patch, the one I have appears to be a code file although I'd have to check this.

I (might) have an archived copy of the mails about the 1.07 patch still on a backup cd but I'd have to really hunt for them and there's no guarantee I do have them but I will spend an hour checking this when I get a moment.

Thanks for 'forcing' a different Mode too :D , I would only guess 7 was used initially for legibility on possibly a nasty monitor (given that it may be switched off most of the time?) , I would guess it would be possible to alter the code to define a window in either 0 or 3 as well though.

Something tells me that you have to be careful when doing mods to this code as I think I can recall JGH saying (please correct me if I'm wrong) something along the lines of it does not check what space is available via the normal means it just "assumes" certain memory space is there for its own use, this may be why it will not run without a co-pro as despite the memory map there would (in theory!) be enough ram to make it "work" in a M128 =P~ :-k

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby IanB » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:23 pm

I have version 1.24 of the Level III fileserver software.
I was told that this version had been upgraded to support extended econet calls used by the Archimedes but I got it from an internal Acorn source so it may never have been officially released.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby AndyF » Thu Jan 28, 2016 4:28 pm

IanB wrote:I have version 1.24 of the Level III fileserver software.
I was told that this version had been upgraded to support extended econet calls used by the Archimedes but I got it from an internal Acorn source so it may never have been officially released.


Wow that's quite a version leap. :) Although I would (suggest) that not all versions were released anyway along the same lines that not all issues of the 'B made it "out the door" so to speak.

Its interesting that you have such a high version ie: 1.2.x although I would also guess they might of added the extended calls at say 1.1.x and then thought "Its a major change so we better increase the branch" so it just changed to 1.2.x

Does it look the same ? I would guess so. I guess what I am saying is what do you have on the second line of it ?
From memory my original floppy had the serial displayed there but I'd have to fish it out and check (I still have it thankfully)

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Ottly » Thu Jan 28, 2016 10:59 pm

Hi IanB,

Is 1.24 available to download? I wouldn't mind checking it out.

Thanks Scott.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby IanB » Sat Jan 30, 2016 5:47 pm

Ottly wrote:Is 1.24 available to download? I wouldn't mind checking it out.

I've attached an ADFS L image with the following files:
FS - Level III file server 1.24
PATCHFS - BBC BASIC patch to remove the clock check
PATCHEDFS - A ready patched version of the above

The patch removes the clock check but leaves the date fixed at 1st Jan 1984

FS124.zip
Level III file server 1.24
(46.6 KiB) Downloaded 41 times

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby AndyF » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:49 pm

Thank you. :D

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Ottly » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:19 am

Thank you very much for sharing IanB.

I have one of those Acorn Econet Level 3 Real Time Clock Modules. I'm curious if the thing will work.

Time to find out. :-)

Scott.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby AndyF » Sun Jan 31, 2016 3:57 pm

Ottly wrote:Thank you very much for sharing IanB.

I have one of those Acorn Econet Level 3 Real Time Clock Modules. I'm curious if the thing will work.

Time to find out. :-)

Scott.


Unfortunately I would be very surprised if it did. The batteries inside tend to die and they are very difficult to disasssemble. I tried as no one (appeared) to have done this previously as mine did not work with an 'unpatched' L3 server.

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5164 :oops:

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Ottly » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:11 am

Thanks for the info AndyF, that thread and photos was an interesting read. Was curious as to what was in that little black box.

I'm pleased to report however that my Clock Module Works! I've even set the time and date, switched the machine off and back on (Its a Model B with Original 6502 CoPro) and it remembers the Time and Date that I had set. I doubt if it would retain the time and date for to long though as I imagine the battery is pretty shot.

If I disconnect the Clock Module and try starting the server it reports "Clock Failure" with a * prompt.

One difference I've noticed with FS version 1.24 is a *USERS listing will display system privilege users and whether they have system's privilege.

FS version 0.92 does not show logged in System Privileged users when *USERS is used.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Ottly » Tue Mar 08, 2016 11:30 am

Hi Everyone,

STOP THE PRESS.....STOP THE PRESS.....

The last couple of days I've been playing around with copying files and creating directories etc.. using the new Level 3 File Server version 1.24 that IanB kindly shared with us all.

For some reason I decided to try a *DIR ^ and what blew me away was that it actually worked!!! Yes you read right, it WORKED!!! This was done using my Model B with NFS 3.6 ROM.

So I then went about trying it on all the earlier versions of the Level 3 file server. FS3-092, FS3-103, FS3-104, FS3-106 & FS3107. None of them would support *DIR ^ as we all know and expect.

So I went back to using FS3-124. I went into the LIBRARY directory and tried and *DIR ^ and I got the standard NOT FOUND error message. I then went back into the other directory where it was originally working from and tried it. It worked there. The difference being that the LIBRARY directory was originally created on the disk using as earlier version of the Level 3 Server FS3-092. But the directory which worked was created originally when running FS3-124. So there you have it. In order for *DIR ^ to work with FS3-124 the directories must of been created using FS3-124 as the operating server. Its backward compatible with file systems created using older versions but *DIR ^ won't work. This must be due to a pointer to the parent directory not being created during the directory creation process with the older versions of the Server Code. I haven't had a look using a hex editor of the disk yet to see where this new parent directory pointer is stored. I'm sure beebmaster or someone else will get onto looking into that at some stage.

So I'm very happy to have discovered this as it was my main gripe with the Level 3 server.
I hope the rest of the econet fans on here are just as excited as I was when I discovered this!

Thanks, Scott.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby jgharston » Tue Mar 08, 2016 12:41 pm

Ottly wrote:For some reason I decided to try a *DIR ^ and what blew me away was that it actually worked!!! Yes you read right, it WORKED!!! This was done using my Model B with NFS 3.6 ROM.

At the last ABUG meeting we were discussing this. The FileStore uses the same file system as the L3FS, and the FileStore allows ^. Examining the disk showed that the FIleStore always created an entry for ^ as the first entry in a directory, so it is just another directory entry but *CAT is tweeked to start listing frmo the second entry instead of the first entry. It also explained why documentation on how many entries a directory would hold varied between 255 and 254. It would be 254 when oe of the slots was pre-used to hold ^.

We then wondered if L3FS could be back-patched to support ^. Manually poking a directory entry for ^ would allows ^ to work in filenames. It would need *CDIR tweeked to always add that entry to new directories, directory scanning calls to start at entry 2, and *DELETE to ignore the presence of the ^ entry.

So, it looks like the support was already done!

What happens if you *CAT a 'new' directory, one that has a ^ entry, with an old version of FS? Do you see the ^ entry? Is it possible for you do post a sector dump of a 'new' directory to see how it's stored and if it does match the FileStore?

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Ottly » Tue Mar 08, 2016 1:30 pm

jgharston wrote: What happens if you *CAT a 'new' directory, one that has a ^ entry, with an old version of FS? Do you see the ^ entry? Is it possible for you do post a sector dump of a 'new' directory to see how it's stored and if it does match the FileStore?


When I *CAT a 'new' directory with a ^ entry on FS-093 it displays as normal. Can't tell the difference.

Happy to do a post sector dump of a 'new' directory, can you point me in the best direction to do this? I was going to plug the Compact Flash card into my PC and have a browse using a disk hex editor but I can't find my Compact Flash to USB adapter, any other options? Its currently plugged into an external datacentre.

Scott.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby jgharston » Tue Mar 08, 2016 7:41 pm

Ottly wrote:Happy to do a post sector dump of a 'new' directory, can you point me in the best direction to do this? I was going to plug the Compact Flash card into my PC and have a browse using a disk hex editor but I can't find my Compact Flash to USB adapter, any other options? Its currently plugged into an external datacentre.

The best ADFS sector editor we've got at the moment is WEDITOR. It's rather user-unfriendly, but you can use it to browse through the disk structure until you find the directory.

Alternatively, IDEDump is a bit more user friendly, but use more low-level addressing of the disk, and only reads IDE devices.

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby IanB » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:58 pm

Ottly wrote:For some reason I decided to try a *DIR ^ and what blew me away was that it actually worked!!! Yes you read right, it WORKED!!!


I'd forgotten about that particular useful feature of 1.24 although I used it a lot back in the day. I haven't used 1.24 recently as my server HD died in storage so I ended up using Level 4 on a RISC PC after getting my DIY econet podule working.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Jan 28, 2017 3:33 pm

I'm just about to try this - hopefully I'll find it's more reliable and stable than v. 0.92 which has given me no end of trouble with FS Error 53, broken directory, and now, inexplicable no reply errors when trying to enter a directory.

Can the date-fix patch be adapted to work with 1.24?
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:30 pm

I like, I like!

I just navigated to one of the directories that stops part way through a *EX and ends up with No reply - and on the file server screen it said "Disc error 61 at sector ..." I suspect that's a volume overflow error because it was an illegal disc sector - so I wonder if the SIN of the next sector in the directory has become corrupted. At least there's something to go on now!

Let's see what happens to one of the dirs that crash the server with File Server internal error 34...
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:42 pm

Version 1.24 did quite well really, I got plenty of FS Error 53 or Broken dir, but it wasn't killing the file server with an internal error. Well, until the last thing I tried, and it broke down with internal error &B - but then, I was deliberately trying to break it.

However it does seem more reliable than the 0.92 version which admittedly reports itself as a "pre-release" version. I think I'll move to version 1.24 permanently once I've done a few more tests.
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby jgharston » Sat Jan 28, 2017 10:17 pm

BeebMaster wrote:Can the date-fix patch be adapted to work with 1.24?

I'll have a look when I get back home. Busy recoving data from dodgy hard drives in Leicester atm.

Code: Select all

$ bbcbasic
PDP11 BBC BASIC IV Version 0.25
(C) Copyright J.G.Harston 1989,2005-2015
>_

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Ottly » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:39 pm

Hi Beebmaster,

Yes 1.24 is much more reliable. I've been using it since IanB uploaded it. Almost 2 years now and haven't looked back. Seems to support the Archimedes more reliably also. With the earlier versions I would sometimes get weird server crashes.

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:25 pm

Oh yes - crashes practically every day. I just started trying again with the reconstruction of my server disc of Teletext pages, moving them from dirs within dirs going down 20 levels, which is how I originally grabbed them from broadcast, to a much simpler structure of channel.date.magazine then however many dirs inside the magazine directory to take all the pages in that magazine. That gives a structure of 4 or 5 levels max.

I do this on RISC OS so I can drag and drop, it's much easier being able to visualise it using the Desktop than trying to keep track of everything using a text-only system. But RISC OS doesn't cope very well as it apparently has to traverse up and down the whole directory structure to access each file - I don't know whether this is because there's no parent information in the directories or whether it does this anyway. I believe it sends the full directory path from the root for every file it needs to access, which also has the effect of limiting the number of levels I can reach in some cases.

For these reasons and probably others I find that the file server crashes inexplicably quite regularly. The mildest form is an error at the user station, FS error 53 or broken dir, but sometimes the server itself exits with an internal error, and sometimes it just gives no reply or not listening errors when the clock is still ticking on the monitor screen.

So I'm hoping that when I get round to starting a new server disc and operating it with L3 version 1.24 it will be a lot more reliable and allow me to finish the job I started 2 years ago!

Interestingly, the code is the shortest of all the versions around, so maybe they optimised it quite a bit for this version - and it's dated 1987 so perhaps Acorn had already found problems using their new Archimedes as Econet stations and fixed some of the problems.
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby BeebMaster » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:29 pm

Here's another thought...the earliest version of the FileStore code, in ROM, appears to be 1.31. That's not much of a leap from 1.24 (less so than the previously latest-known version of L3, 1.07). So maybe the FileStore used the same code, tweaked for use with the slightly different hardware.
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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby DutchAcorn » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:32 pm

Here's the dump of the L3 Fileserver ADFS partition, version 1.01, copied by Multiwizard from one of his Winchesters. See this thread: http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13798
Attachments
FileServer1_01.zip
(32.9 KiB) Downloaded 19 times
Paul

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Re: L3 Server Changelog

Postby Multiwizard » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:57 pm

DutchAcorn wrote:Here's the dump of the L3 Fileserver ADFS partition, version 1.01, copied by Multiwizard from one of his Winchesters. See this thread: http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13798

Thanks Paul... =D>


Greetings, Wim... :-)


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