Acorn documents

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Boydie
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Acorn documents

Postby Boydie » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:02 pm

A little piece of history, this one. Again, found on a floppy when Acorn bit the big one.

Seems to be a collection of letters, reports, some software, going back over several years. The reports on ARX and Xenix are quite informative. As is the WINLET folder, which seems to be dedicated to Rodime drives - isn't it reassuring to know that Acorn chose such an unreliable manufacturer after considerable investigation and thought? Does anyone have one that still works (my R140 was bought direct from Acorn as surplus warehouse stock in the mid-90s, never powered up; when I tried it a couple of years ago the drive was dead!)?

Level3FS may be useful - it would appear to be a hack for regaining access to Econet systems if all the passwords are lost/corrupted.

Apologies for the format of the files - that's how they came on the disk.
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AcornInternalDocuments.zip
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paulb
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Re: Acorn documents

Postby paulb » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:29 pm

Thanks for sharing these!

Do you know what format the ARX document is encoded in? I see that the Xenix memos are mostly plain text (and rather interesting), whereas the TinyKernel document ("to allow programs running on the 16032 second processor to have access to the BBC operating system") is roff-formatted and seems to be viewable by just running...

Code: Select all

man -l
...on the file (short of having to look up once again how to actually format such stuff properly).

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davidb
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Re: Acorn documents

Postby davidb » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:35 pm

Thanks for posting this!

jgharston might find the contents of the TinyKernel directory interesting as it's Tube related. The documents in that directory are processable using groff. I expect they were prepared for use with troff or something similar.

Many of the other documents are in a format I don't immediately recognise. For example, the ARX document starts with a series of commands like this, each preceded by a 0x80 byte:

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TS0
FN1,Times-Roman,12
FN2,Times-Bold,15
FN3,Times-Italic,10

Does anyone recognise this format?

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jgharston
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Re: Acorn documents

Postby jgharston » Sun Jul 09, 2017 7:50 pm

Very interesting, particularly the concrete confirmation that the RISC OS device:path formulation came from PanOS.

All the TinyKernal documents I've already typed up manually from printouts 20-odd years ago! (link) :)

So, was Xenix being developed in parallel with PanOS for the 32xxx? Or is PanOS Xenix with the serial numbers filed off? PanOS doesn't "look" Xenix-y.

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

paulb
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Re: Acorn documents

Postby paulb » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:15 pm

jgharston wrote:Or is PanOS Xenix with the serial numbers filed off? PanOS doesn't "look" Xenix-y.


Although there appears to be quite a bit of "standard" software available for Panos, much touted by Acorn when pitching the ACW as a mainframe replacement for the individual user, my impression is that it is a different animal. I've never actually seen it, let alone used it, though. But anything supporting some kind of C runtime could certainly get quite a bit of software ported to it: that's even the case with flavours of DOS.

Meanwhile, the Xenix documents give the impression that some progress was at least being made (or planned) on integrating it with the Beeb architecture, so we might be able to believe that it did exist in some form at Logica and other places.

RobC
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Re: Acorn documents

Postby RobC » Sun Jul 09, 2017 9:29 pm

davidb wrote:Many of the other documents are in a format I don't immediately recognise. For example, the ARX document starts with a series of commands like this, each preceded by a 0x80 byte:

Code: Select all

TS0
FN1,Times-Roman,12
FN2,Times-Bold,15
FN3,Times-Italic,10

Does anyone recognise this format?

My memory might be failing me but that TS stuff is View isn't it?

(And as others have said, many thanks again for all of this!)

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jgharston
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Re: Acorn documents

Postby jgharston » Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:51 pm

RobC wrote:
davidb wrote:Many of the other documents are in a format I don't immediately recognise. For example, the ARX document starts with a series of commands like this, each preceded by a 0x80 byte: (...)
My memory might be failing me but that TS stuff is View isn't it?
Ah yes, 0x80 at the start of a line is a View Embedded Command.

Code: Select all

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


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