Torch Graduate

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IBM portable PC
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Torch Graduate

Postby IBM portable PC » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:01 pm

I just paid a Kings ransom for one of these last week and should receive it next week.

Does anyone have any tips to share?

I'm looking at adding an AST Sixpakplus to add; Serial, Parallel, 384K RAM, RTC and game port. I'm also going to test it with my IBM 5161 System Expander:

http://www.computinghistory.org.uk/det/21352/IBM-5161/

I've found the manuals and believe it will boot a standard DOS floppy.
WISH LIST: Acornsoft C Compiler PDF manual, Anything 68008/68000 related, LVL Upgrade manual/ROMS, Watford Floppy Drive Selector, Commodore (CBM) PET ROM/S for CST Procyon IEEE-488 Interface", Beeb on a Eurocard systems

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Arcadian
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Arcadian » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:58 pm

Just checking you're aware that the support discs are available here:
http://www.stairwaytohell.com/essentials
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk

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IBM portable PC
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby IBM portable PC » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:38 am

Arcadian wrote:Just checking you're aware that the support discs are available here:
http://www.stairwaytohell.com/essentials


No, I didn't know that! Thank you very much.
WISH LIST: Acornsoft C Compiler PDF manual, Anything 68008/68000 related, LVL Upgrade manual/ROMS, Watford Floppy Drive Selector, Commodore (CBM) PET ROM/S for CST Procyon IEEE-488 Interface", Beeb on a Eurocard systems

IBM portable PC
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby IBM portable PC » Wed Nov 19, 2014 8:41 am

I also have various 286-486 upgrade cards for XT's which I'll try along with an IDE controller and a SCSI HDC controller.
WISH LIST: Acornsoft C Compiler PDF manual, Anything 68008/68000 related, LVL Upgrade manual/ROMS, Watford Floppy Drive Selector, Commodore (CBM) PET ROM/S for CST Procyon IEEE-488 Interface", Beeb on a Eurocard systems

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george.h
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby george.h » Wed Nov 19, 2014 1:55 pm

I used to have one and used it to connect to PC based bulletin boards (BITD) using an early US Robotics internal modem card and Telix SE. I'm pretty sure it only takes 8-bit ISA cards (can't remember if it's PC or PC-XT, or even if there is a difference!) so anything needing 16-bit is a no-goer.
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Prime » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:33 pm

george.h wrote:I used to have one and used it to connect to PC based bulletin boards (BITD) using an early US Robotics internal modem card and Telix SE. I'm pretty sure it only takes 8-bit ISA cards (can't remember if it's PC or PC-XT, or even if there is a difference!) so anything needing 16-bit is a no-goer.


IIRC PC (5150) and XT (5160) cards are the same. The main difference between the two machines was that the XT has 8 expansion slots whereas the PC only has 5. So you sometimes come across a card with a wide plate on the back for the PC which obviously had more space between each slot.

On a standard PC or XT, you can (clearance permitting) use a 16 bit IDE combo card for everything EXCEPT the IDE, so with the correct drivers you can have HD 1.44M/1.2M floppies, parallel, serial & games all on one card.

The same is true for a fair number of 16 bit VGA cards, they either auto-detected or had a jumper to set them to be 8 bit.

There is also a hardware design & BIOS to allow the use of IDE && || compact flash drives on an 8 bit PC.

Cheers.

Phill.

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george.h
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby george.h » Wed Nov 19, 2014 4:07 pm

Hi Pill (is it double "L"?),

Your memory is probably working *much* better than mine (who am I again? :lol: ) but what you said all sounds very familiar. I'd guess that the Graduate has the slot arrangement for XT 8-bit cards then as I don't recall a US Robotics Sportster internal PC card being for ye olde original PC, only XT/AT.

It also rings bells regarding the use of 16-bit cards in 8-bit slots (connector placement and board clearance allowing). I remember vague things about that sort of stuff when I was doing support in NEC Peripherals UK with regards to the VGA/SVGA cards we sold then. The 8/16 bit selection caused havoc with the BIOS on the SCSI card we sold to drive our CD-ROM (1x speed!!!!) :wink:

George
Pic Caption: "One day son, this will all be yours..."

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Pernod
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Pernod » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:39 pm

I know it's an old post but any chance of getting the ROMs dumped from this? Looks like three to dump.

Without a circuit diagram this could be quite a challenge to emulate, but having the ROMs would be a good start.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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Pernod
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Pernod » Wed Aug 09, 2017 2:10 am

I'm struggling to understand how the Graduate boots as there's no ROM in the Beeb to communicate with it.

So the Graduate contains a 6502 ROM which is somehow transferred to the Beeb, via JIM? Pressing BREAK causes the Graduate to reset (boot) which must then cause an IRQ from the 1MHz bus. What does the Beeb do in this situation that could cause the 6502 code from the Graduate to be transferred via the 1MHz bus and begin execution?
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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1024MAK
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby 1024MAK » Wed Aug 09, 2017 3:07 am

The Acorn OS includes a test quite early on in the start up code to test for an external device. I forget the details, but I think it maybe so control can pass to an Acorn test device. It may be making use of this in some way.

Mark
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hoglet
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby hoglet » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:44 am

1024MAK wrote:The Acorn OS includes a test quite early on in the start up code to test for an external device. I forget the details, but I think it maybe so control can pass to an Acorn test device. It may be making use of this in some way.

This is it:

Code: Select all

...
DA77  58                 X       CLI               ; Briefly allow interrupts to clear anything pending
DA78  78                 x       SEI               ; Disable interrupts (All VIA IRQs are disabled)
DA79  24 FC              $.      BIT &FC           ; Check bit 6 (An IRQ occurred)
DA7B  50 03              P.      BVC &DA80         ; If not, skip
DA7D  20 55 F0            U.     JSR &F055         ; JMP (&FDFE) : Execute code in FRED
...
F055  6C FE FD          .l..     JMP (&FDFE)

It requires the device to generate an interrupt on reset.

Dave

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1024MAK
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby 1024MAK » Wed Aug 09, 2017 11:26 am

Yeah, that's what I was thinking of :D

Mark
For a "Complete BBC Games Archive" visit www.bbcmicro.co.uk NOW!
BeebWiki‬ - for answers to many questions...

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Pernod
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Pernod » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:53 pm

hoglet wrote:

Code: Select all

...
DA77  58                 X       CLI               ; Briefly allow interrupts to clear anything pending
DA78  78                 x       SEI               ; Disable interrupts (All VIA IRQs are disabled)
DA79  24 FC              $.      BIT &FC           ; Check bit 6 (An IRQ occurred)
DA7B  50 03              P.      BVC &DA80         ; If not, skip
DA7D  20 55 F0            U.     JSR &F055         ; JMP (&FDFE) : Execute code in FRED
...
F055  6C FE FD          .l..     JMP (&FDFE)

It requires the device to generate an interrupt on reset.

Dave

Thanks, that explains it well. Shouldn't it read 'JMP (&FDFE) : Execute code in JIM''? So at startup the Graduate will expose a page of it's 6502 ROM in JIM to begin execution, and transfer itself to RAM. I'd not encountered any other devices that make use of this. All I need now are the ROMs.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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hoglet
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby hoglet » Wed Aug 09, 2017 1:29 pm

Yes, it should.

Comments I think are Eelco's:
https://acorn.huininga.nl/pub/docs/sour ... 201629.asm

Dave

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Pernod
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Pernod » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:39 am

I now have the ROMs, thanks Jules Richardson, and am trying to get the thing running in MAME. This won't be easy without schematics but worth a challenge.
The I8088 side is standard IBM-PC and so fairly straightforward, and is running, albeit minus the 1770 being hooked up. The 6502 ROM does contain download code in it's first page, and when mapped at &FD00 has an execution vector at (&FDFE) to execute at &FD00. So it seems I just need to generate an interrupt on RST, but when?

I'm currently generating the interrupt from the 1MHz bus when RST is cleared, ie. when BREAK is released, but isn't being picked up to trigger the code. Since the test hardware PET/FIT apparently do something similar I looked at their schematics, which are elsewhere here, but they don't seem to have the IRQ line from the 1MHz bus connected so not much help. Any suggestions on how the RST and IRQ lines are supposed to be connected?
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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jonb
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby jonb » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:47 am

Sorry, thickie question here - I didn't know what the Torch Graduate is so headed over to Chris's Acorns. Do I take it it is a co-processor that implements a sort of "PC in a box" that uses the Beeb as a keyboard / display?

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Pernod
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby Pernod » Sat Nov 11, 2017 11:51 am

jonb wrote:Sorry, thickie question here - I didn't know what the Torch Graduate is so headed over to Chris's Acorns. Do I take it it is a co-processor that implements a sort of "PC in a box" that uses the Beeb as a keyboard / display?

Yep, just connects to the 1MHz bus to use the Beeb for keyboard, video, serial, parallel ports. Doesn't even require a DFS or any specific ROM in the Beeb.
- Nigel

BBC Model B, ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, etc.

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jonb
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby jonb » Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:29 am

Sweet!

So you're playing Commander Keen on it?

crj
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Re: Torch Graduate

Postby crj » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:51 pm

Intriguing!

Does anyone know which range of OSes support that?


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