BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

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Wheel_nut
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BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by Wheel_nut »

I have modded my Beebs to take 27512 EPROMs in the three lower order Sockets and a 32kB Static RAM in Socket IC101 (Banks B an F).

I want to install a "standard" set of ROMs in all three computers to allow me to switch seamlessly between them but cannot seem to find the right set and order in which to install them. The functions I want are:

Bank E - Basic 2
Bank A -MMFS (I use ZMMFS which also claims Sideways RAM B Bank F)
Bank 6 -DFS (1.2 on the 8271 and 2.26 on the 1770)
Bank 2 -Advanced ROM Manager - to allow me to disable e.g. DFS when only using MMFS

In addition, I want to install:

Bank C Basic Editor 1.32 (or 1.44 once I have mastered its use)
Bank 8 Beebugsoft Toolkit + v2.05
Bank 4 Acornsoft GXR Graphics Extension ROM
Bank 0 ADT - Advanced Disc Toolkit 2.00

Before I commit these to EPROM, Can any of you with experience of these ROMs advise me on:

1) Are any of these ROMs unnecessary because all of their salient features are provided with one or more of the others?
2) Is my chosen heirarchy correct or is there a better order to avoid conflicts?
3) In your opinion or experience, is there something else or better that I should install?
4) Any other Gotchas?

I have been staring at this for a few weeks now and am on my third iteration, having already discovered that DFS needs to be below MMFS and GXR is best installed as low as possible ... so would appreciate any ideas.
#1 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 1770 DFS + Dual TEAC Floppy
#2 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Dual Floppy + Speech
#3 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Cumana Single Floppy + PiTubeDirect on KenLowe's Tube Level Shifter
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by BeebMaster »

I don't use that many utility ROMs, but one must-have for me is ADT 2.00. So much so that when I took the cartridge out of Station 114 which contains it the other day (dusty contacts causing problems again) I found after about 5 minutes that I couldn't manage without it.

The good thing about ADT is that you can prefix all its commands with "A" to avoid any command clashes.

I've never used a BASIC editor, just plough away with what the BASIC ROM provides. Most people I've spoken to on the subject detest the cursor editing in BBC BASIC, but it's all I've ever known and I can cope with it. Occasionally (Master only though) I use EDIT which is handy for doing global find and replace of variables etc. or partial renumbering, say to move a chunk of code into a procedure. It's also a nice alternative to *BUILD for making exec files.

I would have thought GXR has to be lower than BASIC as its main function is to implement unknown PLOT codes, apart from that I wouldn't think it matters where it goes. I would say keep the main filing system ROM as high as possible so all its commands are trapped first before any duplicates in utility ROMs (like ADT).
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by Wheel_nut »

BeebMaster wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 10:30 pm
I don't use that many utility ROMs, but one must-have for me is ADT 2.00. So much so that when I took the cartridge out of Station 114 which contains it the other day (dusty contacts causing problems again) I found after about 5 minutes that I couldn't manage without it.

The good thing about ADT is that you can prefix all its commands with "A" to avoid any command clashes.
Thank you for your contribution BeebMaster.

I agree that ADT 2.00 is essential and also for me, ARM 1.13 because its *KILL function disables a ROM until Switch-Off unlike the ADT *UNPLUG which restores after a Break or Ctrl-Break.
EDIT: Also, with Beebugsoft Toolkit+ 2.05, you can prefix all its commands with "B" to avoid any command clashes.
I've never used a BASIC editor, just plough away with what the BASIC ROM provides. Most people I've spoken to on the subject detest the cursor editing in BBC BASIC, but it's all I've ever known and I can cope with it. Occasionally (Master only though) I use EDIT which is handy for doing global find and replace of variables etc. or partial renumbering, say to move a chunk of code into a procedure. It's also a nice alternative to *BUILD for making exec files.
I haven't found a simple EDIT function which will edit EXEC files on the Beeb (like you have on the Master). I was hoping that one of the Toolkits would provide this but they all seem to be BASIC Editors. I am playing with the *EDIT in Toolkit + 2.05 but can't say that I like it. :(
I would have thought GXR has to be lower than BASIC as its main function is to implement unknown PLOT codes, apart from that I wouldn't think it matters where it goes. I would say keep the main filing system ROM as high as possible so all its commands are trapped first before any duplicates in utility ROMs (like ADT).
Yes, GXR has to be below BASIC (and some others though I don't know which ROMS it conflicts with) but I cammot get the STH MMenu to boot up with GXR anywhere in the machine. I am about to give up and remove GXR from my setup as I don't think I need it and would rather have the STH Menu working for the Games compendium.

If you know of a simple Editor which will edit EXEC files like !BOOT and other simple files to set up the Function Keys, please point me in the right direction.
Last edited by Wheel_nut on Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#1 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 1770 DFS + Dual TEAC Floppy
#2 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Dual Floppy + Speech
#3 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Cumana Single Floppy + PiTubeDirect on KenLowe's Tube Level Shifter
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by BeebMaster »

I just tried VIEW, and it edited a !Boot file nicely, and doesn't shove a lot of formatting control codes in when you save it which I thought might happen.

I'm not familiar with the STH Menu but GXR might be pushing PAGE up, so try *NOGXR first. A lot of software has been written on the basis that it's safe to assume (or set) PAGE at &1900 on a BBC B with disc.
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by Wheel_nut »

BeebMaster wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:32 pm
I just tried VIEW, and it edited a !Boot file nicely, and doesn't shove a lot of formatting control codes in when you save it which I thought might happen.
I have View so will have a play with it. It does seem like a sledgehammer to crack a nut and I am surprised that none of the toolkit/ utility ROMs that I have include a simple Text file editor. I can't for the life of me remember what I used when I used the Beeb as my primary Home Computer :?
I'm not familiar with the STH Menu but GXR might be pushing PAGE up, so try *NOGXR first. A lot of software has been written on the basis that it's safe to assume (or set) PAGE at &1900 on a BBC B with disc.
Good Diagnosis. =D> I just checked and Yes, GXR pushes Page up to &1C00 with DFS enabled and &1100 with the DFS *KILLed, so i plan to exclude it from my standard ROM set. I use ZMMFS which runs in Sideways RAM and leaves Page at &0E00 with the DFS *KILLed.
#1 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 1770 DFS + Dual TEAC Floppy
#2 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Dual Floppy + Speech
#3 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Cumana Single Floppy + PiTubeDirect on KenLowe's Tube Level Shifter
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by Wheel_nut »

I thought that it might benefit others facing this conundrum if I documented my deliberations over selecting a standard ROM set to install in my Beebs. The main objectives were:

1) To have a single 27512 EPROM providing all of the hygiene functions required to run a Beeb with DFS and MMFS SD Storage
2) To have an optional second 27512 EPROM providing a Toolset to facilitate all of the Utility and BASIC Programming aids.
3) To avoid conflicts between same named functions in the ROM set chosen, and where these are unavoidable, to order the heirarchy such that the desired function is automatically selected.

The four Functions common to the Toolset I have chosen are:
*ENVELOPE - common to ADT2.00 and Toolkit+2.05 (Similar function)
*MENU - Common to ADT2.00 and Toolkit+2.05 (Completely different functions)
*ROMS - Common to ARM1.13, ADT2.00 and Toolkit+2.05 (Similar function; different look)

Note 1: ADT Functions can be selected by prefixing with A and Toolkit+ by prefixing with B.
Note 2: I decided not to install Acornsoft GXR as it pushers PAGE up and inhibits the STH Games Compendium.
Note 3: I selected VIEW J3.00 by J G Harston as it starts in Insert Mode rather than Overwrite Mode and other enhancements.

With these considerations, I have installed the set below, leaving Socket IC52 and Sideways RAM Bank 11(B) free:

ROMs.png
With acknowledgments and thanks to Beebmaster, Pernod and JGHarston who helped me with these deliberations, - Robin
#1 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 1770 DFS + Dual TEAC Floppy
#2 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Dual Floppy + Speech
#3 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Cumana Single Floppy + PiTubeDirect on KenLowe's Tube Level Shifter
SteveF
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by SteveF »

Wheel_nut wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:09 pm
Good Diagnosis. =D> I just checked and Yes, GXR pushes Page up to &1C00 with DFS enabled and &1100 with the DFS *KILLed, so i plan to exclude it from my standard ROM set. I use ZMMFS which runs in Sideways RAM and leaves Page at &0E00 with the DFS *KILLed.
According to the GXR manual (http://mdfs.net/Docs/Books/Manuals/AcornGXR.txt):
If an odd numbered socket is used (which on an unexpanded machine means the rightmost socket or the third from the right) then the default will be that the Graphics Extension ROM is switched on and three pages of workspace claimed (ie PAGE is increased by &300). If the ROM is fitted in an even numbered socket then the ROM will not be active and no workspace will be claimed until it is explicitly turned on.
So if you do want to include it in your standard ROM set, perhaps just try switching it to an even-numbered socket? This seems a bit strange as your initial post says it is in bank 4 and last time I checked 4 was even :-). Maybe the manual has it backwards and if you try switching it to an odd-numbered bank it won't claim workspace by default?

It definitely has this behaviour, whichever way round it is. I remember when I was a kid my parents got a family friend to install the ROM in my BBC B a few days ahead of my birthday, but it was installed in the "claim memory by default" bank and I noticed it was there after investigating why stuff had suddenly stopped working due to the higher PAGE. :-)
Last edited by SteveF on Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BBC B - Which Utility/ Toolkit ROMs do you use?

Post by Wheel_nut »

SteveF wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 12:32 am


According to the GXR manual (http://mdfs.net/Docs/Books/Manuals/AcornGXR.txt):
If an odd numbered socket is used (which on an unexpanded machine means the rightmost socket or the third from the right) then the default will be that the Graphics Extension ROM is switched on and three pages of workspace claimed (ie PAGE is increased by &300). If the ROM is fitted in an even numbered socket then the ROM will not be active and no workspace will be claimed until it is explicitly turned on.
So if you do want to include it in your standard ROM set, perhaps just try switching it to an even-numbered socket? This seems a bit strange as your initial post says it is in bank 4 and last time I checked 4 was even :-). Maybe the manual has it backwards and if you try switching it to an odd-numbered bank it won't claim workspace by default?
Hi SteveF,

Wow, I should have RTFM! :oops:

Yes, in my original setup, I had the "Tools" EPROM in the "Even" Socket IC52 and I believe (though can't be certain) that I did the Page checks there. I have now installed the Tools EPROM in the "Odd" Socket IC88. This would allow me to put GXR in IC52 if I wanted to persevere with it though running it in my Sideways RAM would push Page up by &300.

I think I have now erased and re-written the EPROM so further testing will have to wait until i blow another one. I have to say that I haven't really found the need for GXR in my Two EPROM base setup so may be some time ...

Robin
#1 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 1770 DFS + Dual TEAC Floppy
#2 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Dual Floppy + Speech
#3 BBC Model B Issue 7 + 8271 DFS + Cumana Single Floppy + PiTubeDirect on KenLowe's Tube Level Shifter
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