A9 Home and new to RISC OS

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Bat
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A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:33 am

Hi,
I picked up an A9 from Wakefield on Saturday.
Fired it up and it looks like its got a bare OS and nothing else.
I've got a 256Mb usb stick plugged in, but can't make out if it doesn't recognise it or I can't seem to find the "Filer" app to access it?
I'm reading through the OS 3 manual but its assuming I've got an FDD :roll:
Can anyone give some pointers please?
Cheers,
Gavin (I've come over here as I've annoyed the 8bitters too much! :lol: )

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:14 am

Hi,
I've also noticed that unless I plug the keyboard in after its booted the mouse won't work?
Also if I change the screen resolution the next time I boot up its not saved the changes, I can't see a way to shut it down other than pulling the plug?
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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jgharston
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by jgharston » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:26 am

Switcher (icon at bottom right) -> Shut down.
Image

Or Shift-Ctrl-F12.

Code: Select all

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

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:52 am

Hi,
Thanks JG :D
That confused me! I tried everything I could think of to get that and then pressed the scroll wheel on the mouse and presto! :roll: :lol:
Ok, so now I'm getting somewhere...
In the Resources:$ folder the icons for Apps and Discs have an open folder with pages showing but I can't access them. Plain folders open fine?
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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jms2
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by jms2 » Mon Apr 23, 2018 11:45 am

I can't answer your question about the Resources filing system as I don't have a Risc OS machine to hand and I don't use mine all that often anyway. However I do have a basic tip about Risc OS which will hopefully help you understand the logic behind finding the Shutdown command:

- To use Risc OS, you need a 3-button mouse.
- The buttons are:
Left= "Select", for selecting things and generally making things happen.
Middle = "Menu", for bringing up context-sensitive menus
Right = "Adjust", which is the same as Select but slightly different (ie, a minor variation on the same action).

- Sometimes you can use key+mouse combinations such as shift-click, or shift-drag.

... so to get the menu which contains the main system functions, you need to click "menu" on the main system icon. The other icons on the icon bar will produce their own menus as well.

Another important point is that you can get a command line by pressing F12. At the command line, *HELP shows a list of possible commands, pressing return on a blank line returns to the desktop. *BASIC starts BBC BASIC. And finally *SHUTDOWN will do the same thing as clicking Shutdown on the desktop.

I hope this is useful!

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:40 pm

jms2 wrote:I can't answer your question about the Resources filing system as I don't have a Risc OS machine to hand and I don't use mine all that often anyway. However I do have a basic tip about Risc OS which will hopefully help you understand the logic behind finding the Shutdown command:

- To use Risc OS, you need a 3-button mouse.
- The buttons are:
Left= "Select", for selecting things and generally making things happen.
Middle = "Menu", for bringing up context-sensitive menus
Right = "Adjust", which is the same as Select but slightly different (ie, a minor variation on the same action).

- Sometimes you can use key+mouse combinations such as shift-click, or shift-drag.

... so to get the menu which contains the main system functions, you need to click "menu" on the main system icon. The other icons on the icon bar will produce their own menus as well.

Another important point is that you can get a command line by pressing F12. At the command line, *HELP shows a list of possible commands, pressing return on a blank line returns to the desktop. *BASIC starts BBC BASIC. And finally *SHUTDOWN will do the same thing as clicking Shutdown on the desktop.

I hope this is useful!
Very! :D
I'm still in need of some help with the keyboard on boot and what usb sticks will work and what format do they need to be?
I think the apps are there (17 files listed) but I can't open the folder???
Cheers :)

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Mon Apr 23, 2018 3:50 pm

Bat wrote: In the Resources:$ folder the icons for Apps and Discs have an open folder with pages showing but I can't access them. Plain folders open fine?
Hi,
Ok. Figured this out... If you have a folder open elsewhere on the screen it shows the icon with the pages. When you close it the icon changes to the plain folder.
It looks like I have no apps installed. Where can I download them and how do I get them onto the machine :?:
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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geraldholdsworth
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by geraldholdsworth » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:34 pm

Bat wrote:It looks like I have no apps installed. Where can I download them and how do I get them onto the machine :?:
RiscOS Open website would be a good start: https://www.riscosopen.org
Gerald Holdsworth
Repton Resource Page
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:18 pm

Hi,
Thanks guys that's ace :)
How can I get them on to the A9 though?
I've got USB ports, RS 232 and network connectors that's it...
If it needs drivers for a USB stick I'm in the smelly stuff! #-o
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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geraldholdsworth
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by geraldholdsworth » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:59 am

Can't help RE the USB side. On my RiscPC, I need to manually add each USB device to a list for it to see it. On my Raspberry Pi, it sees it automatically. I've never seen, or used, an A9 Home so have no clue. Hopefully someone will come along who knows more, or you can contact the supplier direct for help.
As for getting stuff onto the machine - I assume it has a network port and you can hook it into your Broadband router? Only issue then is (apart from how to set up the network, but we'll come to that), does the A9 come with a browser installed?
Gerald Holdsworth
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by geraldholdsworth » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:04 am

Done a quick bit of research. The A9home is supplied by CJEMicros (http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/products/a9home.shtml) - Chris Evans is pretty good with support and sometimes posts on these forums. The software for the USB uses the Simtec USB stack (http://www.simtec.co.uk/products/SWUSB) - Simtec are bad at not responding to emails...or, at least, used to be.
Gerald Holdsworth
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:47 am

Hi,
Thanks Gerard, I've been looking at the same things last night.
Somehow, by luck more than judgement I think, I've got !MassFS in the apps folder. :)
Only problem being I haven't got enough stack apparently! :shock: :roll: :lol: #-o
IMG_20180424_104104.jpg
Cheers :)

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by geraldholdsworth » Tue Apr 24, 2018 9:57 am

I would try (and this is just guessing) dragging the red bar (System heap/Stack), currently at 124K, to something bigger.
If you SHIFT-double click on !MassFS it will open the directory and their may be a !Help file held within (or middle button over it and see if there is a help option).
Gerald Holdsworth
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:15 am

Hi,
Thanks!
It never crossed my mind to just drag it across as I'd read somewhere the red bar meant it was set by the computer.
Anyway, even with it at 3040, as far as it will go, I still get the same message. :x
Help is greyed out on middle click, probably due to the lack of a help file in the directory...
Cheers :)

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jms2
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by jms2 » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:17 pm

What happens if you click on USB in !Configure?

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:41 pm

Hi,
I get USB config with Core, Drivers and Files icons.
I clicked on Drivers, then open directory. Here I added the app file "!08-06-50U" from the !MassFS directory as there are other files in there with the same icon. Rebooted but still refuses to work!
Cheers :)

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Tue Apr 24, 2018 4:50 pm

Progress!
IMG_20180424_164147.jpg
I plugged my old card reader in and all these icons appeared at the bottom! :D
Not sure about the question mark on each one?
I had tried this previously and nothing happened. I'm guessing adding the massFS driver into USB has got this working. It's still flakey you have to plug it in after booting up and sometimes only reads the cards properly on the second attempt.
Here's a picture off the micro SD card. Not sure why the quality is not very good?
IMG_20180424_165406.jpg
I've now installed NetSurf but clicking the icon tells me I've not got an app that loads this type of file...

Cheers :)

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helpful
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by helpful » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:02 pm

The bad news is that the A9home was a rather beta test machine with a very beta test OS version, so your RISC OS experience is going to be a rough ride :-(

Its USB setup does require manual fiddling as others have mentioned, and you'll probably find it will only deal with memory sticks/cards of less than 2GB.

RISC OS 4.42 was the first and only full 32bit(*) build of RISC OS 4. As such it is not compatible with any software produced pre 2003ish. Also as so few were sold and it was pretty much an abandoned product, most new software will never be tested on it and might not work either! In particular Aemulor and ADFFS, the two bits of software available to help run old stuff, probably won't work on it, No other version of RISC OS works on the A9home.

(* if you're new to RO, you'll see 26/32bit mentioned in software compatibility lists. Although being 32bit chips, the early ARMs only had a 26bit program counter. Later ARM chips, like in the A9home, dropped this and went full 32bit, breaking all software not written in BASIC.)

Sorry to not be more positive, they were cute little machines for the time, but if you want to play with RISC OS now then you'll be much better off getting a RaspberryPi and putting RO5 on that.
Bat wrote:I've now installed NetSurf but clicking the icon tells me I've not got an app that loads this type of file...
That sounds like the sort of error you get if you've unzipped it on a PC and then transferred it across. Do not do this! Always unzip on RISC OS otherwise all the filetypes get lost.

Your best way around this is to download the self-extracting SparkFS, transfer that file across to RISC OS, settype it to Utility and run it get the read-only SprakFS. Use that to unzip NetSurf.

(to set a file's type, click the menu (middle) mouse button over it, slide over the File 'sparkfs'... submenu, go down to SetType and enter Utility into the writeable menu option)

Bryan.
RISC OS User Group Of London - http://www.rougol.jellybaby.net/
RISC OS London Show - http://www.riscoslondonshow.co.uk/

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Wed Apr 25, 2018 6:26 pm

Hi,
Thanks Bryan :)
I'm going to have to try and figure out how to undo what I've done. I've already dragged and merged boot and system files :(
I think this one may have been cleansed or something?
There's no sound folder, none of the bundled apps, I've no idea if what I've got is missing components that make it run properly or I'm just the victim of half an OS #-o
Good news is I didn't pay anywhere near the £616 a new one costs!
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:48 pm

Hi,
Well I've had a few days off from this, which seems to have helped I think ? :lol:
I've now got SparkFS installed and running, this enabled me to get NetSurf installed.
I have somehow configured the network settings to get me on the t'interweb :o :shock: 8)
If nothing else I can at least use this little blue box to browse *. :D
Thanks to all for the contributions, I now feel like I know something about RISC rather than being sure I knew nothing like at the start! =D>
Cheers,
Gavin :)
IMG_20180428_194427[1].jpg

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Sat Apr 28, 2018 7:24 pm

geraldholdsworth wrote:Can't help RE the USB side. On my RiscPC, I need to manually add each USB device to a list for it to see it. On my Raspberry Pi, it sees it automatically. I've never seen, or used, an A9 Home so have no clue. Hopefully someone will come along who knows more, or you can contact the supplier direct for help.
As for getting stuff onto the machine - I assume it has a network port and you can hook it into your Broadband router? Only issue then is (apart from how to set up the network, but we'll come to that), does the A9 come with a browser installed?
Hi Gerald,
Is there some instructions on how to add a USB device somewhere please?
My card reader sort of works but I have to leave the machine on for 5 minutes after booting before I dare to plug it in and then they don't always get along! :roll:
Cheers :)

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by geraldholdsworth » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:48 am

Bat wrote:Is there some instructions on how to add a USB device somewhere please?
I can't find the documentation I used, and I can't remember off the top of my head how to do it (haven't touched my RiscPC in a few years - it got superseded by a Raspberry Pi!!!). I thought the Simtec website covered it, but have found http://www.riscos-usb.com. Still can't find the documentation though...unless it has changed with the new version of !MassFS.
I can remember that you need to type a '*' command (*usbdevices, IIRC), then look for the details of the device you're adding, and add the parameters given to a text file inside the !MassFS directory.
Gerald Holdsworth
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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:18 am

Thanks Gerald :)
I'll take a look at that.
I've been going through the risc 5 manual this morning in between snoring so will try and get things backed up before I meddle, which isn't at all like me! :o
Cheers :)

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by hubersn » Fri May 18, 2018 1:29 pm

A9home is USB1.1 only. Use small sticks, at most 2 GiB and FAT12/FAT16 if you want to use them with the bare system (because RISC OS integrated DOSFS had not been extended to handle FAT32 and long filenames back then). You have to configure MassFS to explicitly include the USB stick to be "supported" - don't remember the details anymore.

Try to inspect this download: http://a4com.de/riscos/down/a9utils.zip

It might contain useful stuff for the A9home.

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by z0m8ied0g » Fri May 18, 2018 4:38 pm

Bat wrote:Hi,
I picked up an A9 from Wakefield on Saturday.
Fired it up and it looks like its got a bare OS and nothing else.
It was made by www.advantage6.com, its runs Risc OS 4 (not sure about 6) but I don't think its compatible with Risc OS Opens version.
If you live anywhere near Manchester then get yourself to RONWUG ronwug.org (third wednesday of the month) as one of the designers comes to our meeting. Also there are several people who come that own A9s and would probably sort any issues you have pretty quickly.
Acorn... lots of Acorn... http://blog.retroacorn.net

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Re: A9 Home and new to RISC OS

Post by Bat » Sat May 19, 2018 1:39 pm

Hi guys,
Thanks for the replies :)
I've tried the patch and was going to post how amazing it was to have it working. :)
However, once I re-boot it won't regonise what has already worked!
I've tried 3 different USB sticks, it's regonsied each one and I've been able to view the contents but once I've restarted nothing happpens when I plug them in :(
Each time I plugged a different stick in it regonises it but then refuses to after restart.
Any ideas please?
Cheers,
Gavin :)

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