RISC iX - Cloned!

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flibble
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RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby flibble » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:00 pm

Successfully read from one working disc to a file, and back to a second disc :)

Hope to make this available for others at some point.
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IanS
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby IanS » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:15 pm

That's fantastic.

What is that running on?

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davidb
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:27 pm

Excellent! =D> Did you use this guide?

steve3000
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby steve3000 » Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:30 pm

Great job!!!

By 'disc' I assume you mean hard disc image and not original installation discs? (if they even existed as floppy discs?)

As I recall iX was available on the R140 (a 4mb A440) and R260 (8mb+ A540).

Were these different versions of iX and which one have you got there?

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paulv
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:11 pm

That is super cool =D> =D> :D :D

... and I've got a nice 8MB A440/1 with 36MHz ARM3 in it which should be able to run RISCiX quite nicely as long as my SCSI card is suitable :?:

It'll definitely be cool to see it running even if it's not much use for anything else.

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby dangardner » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:13 pm

Brilliant news, thank you! Does this mean we can try to get it running in an emulator now? If you need somewhere to host a disk image, I can make some space available.

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flibble
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby flibble » Thu Dec 04, 2014 11:51 pm

What is that running on?

An A540 with 4MB of RAM, off a SCSI disc.

Did you use this guide?

No, I put the scsi disc and podule in my RISC PC, wrote a program to read chunks from the scsi disc to a big file on ADFS. Then put another drive in and ran the reverse program, to go from a file on ADFS to write directly to the SCSI disc (I suppose it's the RISC OS equivilent on linux's 'dd').

By 'disc' I assume you mean hard disc image and not original installation discs?

Yes it's an image of the whole HD, including the risc os partition on the front as well.

Were these different versions of iX and which one have you got there?

Yes there were a few versions, this is the later 1.2.1c (which I think was the last), I think 1.2.x was standard on the second generation (R260). This version can only run off SCSI discs, some of the earlier ones could run off ST506.

Does this mean we can try to get it running in an emulator now?

Yep, this is a great step forward for that. Though the emulator would need to emulate the SCSI podule.

Running it under emulation would be great as everyone will get to have a go :)

If you need somewhere to host a disk image, I can make some space available.

Thanks for the offer, but I think I've got enough space. A compressed copy of the image file is 49M. I might set up a torrent for it, if it's likely to be popular :)

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davidb
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:32 am

However you managed to do it, this is excellent news! It might even be possible to use a RISC iX system to build a version of Helios for that hardware, using the Helios-NG sources. I'd be interested to see if that could be done.

Prime
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Prime » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:50 am

One is tempted to wonder if a lot of the partitioning / copying etc could be done on a Linux machine ?

I seem to remember seeing something about Acorn partition types in Linux.

I would also imagine that Linux may have some sort of support for the RISC iX partition / filesystem too, so you may be able to generate a large tar file of the RISC iX contents to be restored to the partition which would solve the problem where people didn't have an existing disk to clone.

Cheers.

Phill.

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davidb
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:19 am

Prime wrote:One is tempted to wonder if a lot of the partitioning / copying etc could be done on a Linux machine ?

I seem to remember seeing something about Acorn partition types in Linux.

Some kernels have support for partitions with ADFS filesystems.

I would also imagine that Linux may have some sort of support for the RISC iX partition / filesystem too, so you may be able to generate a large tar file of the RISC iX contents to be restored to the partition which would solve the problem where people didn't have an existing disk to clone.

It may be using a recognised BSD filesystem, so it would in principle be simple to do that. Edit: The 2.6 kernel has support for RISC iX partitions in fs/partitions/acorn.c but it may not be enabled by default on all distributions.

I was recently playing with a disk with a partitions for NetBSD again but couldn't get RISC OS to recognise the ADFS partition in RPCEmu. However, the disk image itself should work fine in a real machine. I created the partitions using the bb_netbsd tool that comes with the acorn32 port of NetBSD, and I suspect that it uses the same structure on the disk to indicate RISC OS/BSD partitions as you would use for a RISC OS/RISC iX combination. A look at the image data would be enough to verify this.

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flibble
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby flibble » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:22 am

Prime wrote:One is tempted to wonder if a lot of the partitioning / copying etc could be done on a Linux machine ?

To do what I did on Linux you would need

A scsi card with a 50 pin connector

The following commands

# put original disc in PC
dd if=/dev/<scsidiscname> of=/path/to/imagefile bs=1M

# put empty disc to copy to in PC
dd if=/path/to/imagefile of=/dev/<scsidiscname> bs=1M

It would have been a lot simpler on linux, but I didn't have an old enough scsi card.

Prime
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Prime » Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:43 pm

flibble wrote:It would have been a lot simpler on linux, but I didn't have an old enough scsi card.


I believe you can get adapters from 50 pin to 68 or even 80 pin for a reasonable price on ebay etc.

Should work with a 50 pin true SCSI drive, might have problems with one of the bridge board type setups like the Beeb used. Tried that one with the Xibec adapter in my RM XW40, but could not get the PC to recognize it even with an old Adaptec 1540 / 1542.

Cheers.

Phill.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby SarahWalker » Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:14 pm

Interesting stuff! If this becomes available in time, I might have to have a play with this and Arculator over the holiday...

steve3000
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby steve3000 » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:29 pm

It would be great to do a little reverse engineering and work out how reliant on SCSI the iX code really is.

Does iX have its own drivers for the SCSI podule? Or does it route all HDD access through the RISC OS SCSI modules?

I hope the latter - in which case it may be possible to remove the SCSI reliance by redirecting all SCSI SWIs through a 'sham' module sitting on the RISC OS side, which could redirect them to a partition image stored on another filing system - ADFS or IDEFS...

paulb
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulb » Fri Dec 05, 2014 9:40 pm

steve3000 wrote:It would be great to do a little reverse engineering and work out how reliant on SCSI the iX code really is.


That's an interesting point: does RISC iX come with sources? Obviously, it was a product bearing the copyrights of various Unix giants and had a restrictive licence, but Unix tradition also involved providing the sources to recompile the system (at least up to a point), and I have vague recollections of such things being mentioned in reviews. (None of this meant very much to me at the time, though, as I had yet to experience Unix personally, so I wouldn't have paid such things particular attention.)

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paulv
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:02 pm

steve3000 wrote:Does iX have its own drivers for the SCSI podule? Or does it route all HDD access through the RISC OS SCSI modules?


IIUC, RISX iX does not use any of the RISC OS components whatsoever so you'd have to switch out the RISC iX SCSI components for replacements which supported IDE hardware.

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby SarahWalker » Fri Dec 05, 2014 10:24 pm

Yes, RISCiX uses all it's own drivers - using bits of RISC OS would be a liability for a Real Operating System in terms of stability, performance etc. Plus it's intended to run standalone; to my knowledge the prototype A680 (and probably M4) booted straight into RISCiX with no RISC OS / Arthur component.

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Zarchos » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:21 pm

M4 ? Wazzat ?

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IanS
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby IanS » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:56 pm

Zarchos wrote:M4 ? Wazzat ?

A bit rare:-

"A development computer for RISC iX. Apparently only 2 were built and one was subsequently destroyed"

http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... rs.html#M4

Zarchos
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Zarchos » Fri Dec 05, 2014 11:58 pm

IanS wrote:
Zarchos wrote:M4 ? Wazzat ?

A bit rare:-

"A development computer for RISC iX. Apparently only 2 were built and one was subsequently destroyed"

http://chrisacorns.computinghistory.org ... rs.html#M4



Ah ok.
Thanks.
Happy to have learnt sthing new today.

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BigEd
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby BigEd » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:06 am

You can see an M4 if you go to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shiftbrea ... 5675946009

steve3000
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby steve3000 » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:33 am

BigEd wrote:You can see an M4 if you go to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shiftbrea ... 5675946009

Ohh, I didn't realise there was one (well two!) on display - nice!

Looks like that PCB is the right shape to fit the old Archimedes box, but component layout is a little different.

Any idea what the spec of that is (looking at the pics, I'd guess Arm2, 8mb maybe with onboard SCSI?) and more importantly, does it actually work?

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby SarahWalker » Sat Dec 06, 2014 8:54 am

From the photos it looks a big bigger than a normal Arc board. I'd guess specs are probably similar to A680? Not enough detail really to see.

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BigEd
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby BigEd » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:29 am

I've posted my own photo at
https://plus.google.com/u/0/10704982391 ... e4A2KKigrW
and maybe we'll hear from TNMoC about whether or not it works. My photo isn't terribly clear either.

Zarchos
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby Zarchos » Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:47 am

M4 : MEGA machine IV !

It's got a SEGA little something :D
I love that :lol:

Thanks for the photos and the infos, very interesting.

They were not sleeping at Acorn's !

=D>

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flibble
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby flibble » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:25 pm

Disc Image, writer program and instructions, now uploaded.

http://www.4corn.co.uk/articles/riscix121c/

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paulv
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:55 pm

After reading the instructions I have a question.

Is there any reason why an Arc can't be used to write the image to the SCSI drive installed directly rather than using a second RISC OS machine as per the instructions?

Paul

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flibble
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby flibble » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:04 pm

paulv wrote:After reading the instructions I have a question.

Is there any reason why an Arc can't be used to write the image to the SCSI drive installed directly rather than using a second RISC OS machine as per the instructions?


An Arc is a RISC OS machine so it'll work :)

I just used a second one, as I didn't have another drive in the arc to copy the disc image file from.

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paulv
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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby paulv » Mon Dec 08, 2014 5:11 pm

Cool so I can go from my IDEFS drive with the image to the SCSI drive all on the one machine.

I've got some 50-pin SCSI drives of various vintages, I think I just need an AKA31/32 to plug in to and a heap load of time to do it all.

I'm thinking this A410/1 should be a nice machine to install to as it should give around R260 performance levels :D

Paul

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Re: RISC iX - Cloned!

Postby davidb » Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:32 pm

Nice work! It looks like there are at least two partitions on that disk. I wonder if there's a tool available to extract them to separate images.


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