Acorn Atom Econet

discussion of games, software, hardware & emulators relating to the Acorn Atom
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oss003
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Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:14 pm

Hi guys,

I'm trying to understand how econet on the Atom is working by disassembling the Atom Econet rom v3.50.
I've read in the 'Econet System User Guide' that there is a disc with Atom Econet software called: File Server Master Disc
This disc has 2 Atom directories: $ATOMLIB with file server + some utilities and $PRINTER with a printer server.

Does somebody has a copy of this disc?
Thanks...

Greetings
Kees

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jgharston
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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby jgharston » Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:20 pm

The closest I can find without a lot of searching is this: http://mdfs.net/temp/SYS5FS.zip

Code: Select all

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

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:28 am

Thanks, I'll have a look.

I think it's a BBC disc including the Atom libs.
Maybe level1 fileserver disc?

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Kees

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby BeebMaster » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:18 pm

The hierarchical file structure wasn't introduced till the Level 2 file server. In Level 1 users had a single-letter-DFS directory allocated to them and the file server disc was an unmodified DFS disc, so if there are directories with full names being referred to it must be at least a Level 2 type layout. By Level 2 the disc had been partitioned into the AFS0 Econet file system hierarchical layout which was hidden from normal use.

What page in the Econet System User Guide is that reference on please?

I can't find any Atom file server code. Early Econet marketing documents show a diagram of a network layout with Systems as file servers and Atoms as network stations, later BBC Micro+2nd processor as server with BBC Micro and Atoms as network stations, so maybe there never was officially an Atom file server?

On the other hand I did think I had seen an Atom running as a file server at some event or other but I may be wrong. (Or possibly the Atom + disc pack + BBC BASIC + full complement of RAM could be persuaded to run BBC Micro Level 1?)

The official Acorn BBC Micro Level 1 file server is written in BASIC so that might be a good starting point for understanding Econet protocols etc.
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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:29 pm

BeebMaster wrote:What page in the Econet System User Guide is that reference on please?

In the Econet System User Guide:

utils.png
Printerserver.png
And in an Econet flyer:

fileserver.png

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Kees

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:36 pm

I think a system 3/4/5 fileserver will run on an Atom, just the econet hardware addresses are different.
I'll have a look at JGH's SYS5FS.ZIP file, maybe it's a system 5 fileserver which can be converted to the Atom.

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Kees

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby BeebMaster » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:48 pm

Thank you. The Econet flyer predates the BBC Micro and the description of the network facilities is fairly primitive so I would say that is talking about a Level 1 type implementation. The references in the Econet System User Guide are more advanced, talking about directories, so that must be Level 2 or later. I would say the File Server Master Disc for Level 2 must at some point have had three separate libraries for Atom, System and Beeb, as the user guide mentions, and Acorn would have dropped the Atom and System versions later on when only Beebs were being used in Econet.

I haven't seen an early version like that, hopefully someone can turn it up.
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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:52 pm

Can an Econet Atom communicate with a BBC level2 file server?

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Kees

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby BeebMaster » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:00 pm

Yes, any server, even Level 4.

Actually the Master 128 (possibly later machines as well) has problems communicating with Level 1 because it transmits all the commands in lower case which aren't detected by the L1 file server which only does an upper case check. That's not a problem on the Atom of course.
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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby BeebMaster » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:03 pm

I do have an original Level 2 File Server Master Disc, probably the one referred to, which I bought on E-Bay in November 2004. I just checked, but it only has one library, $.Library. All the files on the whole disc are date-stamped 29/2/1984, which I reckon is long after Acorn stopped supporting Atom and System machines.
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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:08 pm

The Econect System User Guide is from March 1983 so maybe there were more versions of the File Server Master Disc.

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby jgharston » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:08 am

Phil Mainwaring prodded me to do some more digging, and down in misc.incoming.unsorted.misc was a bunch of Sys/Atom DOS disk images, one with a System Level II File Server on it with the bonus of System and Atom networking utility commands *DISCS, *INF, *PROT, *REMOTE, *UNPROT, *USERS, *VIEW.

I've tidied it into it's own place in http://mdfs.net/Apps/Networking/FServers/

Note that as it's a System/Atom DOS disk, the main directory is ' ' (space) not '$'. You can select it in DFS with *DIR " " There's also some odd characters in the disk title so your printer may jump into life!

I've also found I've got several versions of each level of BBC file server, so I'll tidy them up into their own places as well.

Code: Select all

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

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oss003
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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby oss003 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:51 am

Thanks Jonathan, looks like the missing printer-, file server and Atom econet commands.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby jgharston » Mon Nov 27, 2017 4:16 am

We did some testing of these utilitie4s at ABUG last week and they didn't work. A brief look at the code showed them to be making direct JSRs into the middle of the Econet code. I've disassembled them and enough of the Econet ROM to find out what they are trying to do, and it's fairly clear that these utilties are for a specific version of the Econet ROM that isn't Atom Econet 3.50 or System Econet 3.40 or 3.50.

I've patched them to use what seems to be the correct routines in Atom Econet 3.50, so when we get a couple of Atoms together on an Econet we can test them.

Code: Select all

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

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Re: Acorn Atom Econet

Postby sPhilMainwaring » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:26 am

Good work Jonathan - both at ABUG and here - is there a link to the "patched" stuff?

Cheers :)


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