Pi Tubedirect

discuss both original and modern hardware for the bbc micro/electron
Muddyfunster
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Pi Tubedirect

Post by Muddyfunster »

Hey all,

I've been tinkering with my Pi Tube, mostly running some of the really cool mandlebrot and julia set programs from the old Acorn User archives (oh and playing Elite of course..). Rendering was lighting fast (as expected).

I'm looking for some ideas on what else to try with the Pi Tube on my Master.

I've seen the "overview" information over at http://www.sundby.com/index.php/pitubedirect-manual/#5

I'd really like to try to other implementations of basic but I'm at a bit of a loss on the "how" part (or any other tube software that uses the other cores rather than the 6502).

I'm currently using a Datacentre with a CF configured as a winchester disk and I don't have any other physical diskdrive other than the USB on the Datacentre.

Are there any guides or tutorials that I've missed? I would appreciate any guidance or directions!

Thanks
RobC
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

The 512MB CF image that I use on my DC is on Dropbox. I can PM you a link if you like. You just need to use the cfrestore utility to write it to a CF card.

It has DOS/GEM for the 80286 core, Panos for the 32016 and the ARM Eval utilities. I believe each one has its own version of BBC BASIC installed.

It's also got the ARM BASIC for the native Pi core and my ZX81 and Jupiter Ace emulators on it (plus my Spectrum and Amstrad CPC emulators but you need VideoNuLA to run them).

I've also got a disk image that will run Flex on the 6809 core from the DC's USB: see here for the latest version.

I can give you instructions for running most of this stuff if it would help.
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tricky
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by tricky »

Is doom ready for non-nula Beeb's?
RobC
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

tricky wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:50 pm
Is doom ready for non-nula Beeb's?
Without NuLA, it does run on a B/B+ or Master 128 in mode 1 (four colours, dithered) or mode 2 (8 colours). With NuLA, you get 16 colours in mode 2 with a better palette. trixster put a video up of the NuLA model B/B+ version here.

However, it's currently tied to one WAD as it needs modified palette and status bar lumps. I want to remove this requirement so people can use other WADs. There are also a couple of bugs in the B/B+ version that I need to fix.

And I still haven't got sound working - my Beeb time has been severely limited since I started a new job so I haven't looked at it in a while. Plus, my main work Beeb is playing up so I need fix it before anything else :(
Last edited by RobC on Sun Jul 07, 2019 9:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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BigEd
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by BigEd »

The PiTubeDirect project wiki might be useful - and, being a wiki, can always be improved:
Muddyfunster
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by Muddyfunster »

RobC wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:42 pm
The 512MB CF image that I use on my DC is on Dropbox. I can PM you a link if you like. You just need to use the cfrestore utility to write it to a CF card.

It has DOS/GEM for the 80286 core, Panos for the 32016 and the ARM Eval utilities. I believe each one has its own version of BBC BASIC installed.

It's also got the ARM BASIC for the native Pi core and my ZX81 and Jupiter Ace emulators on it (plus my Spectrum and Amstrad CPC emulators but you need VideoNuLA to run them).

I've also got a disk image that will run Flex on the 6809 core from the DC's USB: see here for the latest version.

I can give you instructions for running most of this stuff if it would help.

Hi Rob, thanks for your reply. I did try to PM you but I don't have PM privileges yet on the boards. I can read them but not reply to them.

A link to your CF image would be great and any guidance on using it / running this stuff would be really appreciated!

I think I have your email so I'll drop you a note there if that's easier.

Thanks!
RobC
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

Muddyfunster wrote:
Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:04 pm
I think I have your email so I'll drop you a note there if that's easier.
Thanks for your mail. Sorry if my reply is a bit long-winded!
Muddyfunster
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by Muddyfunster »

Rob, thanks for the mail, your reply was really helpful!
Last edited by Muddyfunster on Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

I find myself in a similar situation to Muddyfunster.

I managed to get my recently installed PiTubeDirect up and running and tinkered with the tests and demos in the PiTubeDirect Manual.

However, I'm struggling to get any further. I'm really interested in getting CP/M, DR DOS, etc. but most especially 6809 Flex up and running. I used to be very familiar with Flex back in the 1980s but I'm afraid my memory of all the details is now very faint. I'd love to "re-learn".

I have tried to follow other threads on this forum for some clues as to how to proceed from here but I'm struggling to find any clear instructions. Once upon a time I would have been able to follow the technical discussions but it's like a vicious cycle - until I can get some traction and my hands dirty again, I fear I might not find a way forward.

I have a BBC Model B, with 1772 DFS, single 5.25" FDD and an SD/Turbo SPI user port disc drive. I can also add a 3.5" FDD as a second drive though this is not currently connected.

Any help, pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Martin :)
RobC
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

I've PM'd you. Happy to try to help get FLEX and the other stuff up and running.
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danielj
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by danielj »

RobC wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:33 pm
I've PM'd you. Happy to try to help get FLEX and the other stuff up and running.
If people are happy to write public posts detailing things, I'm happy to make them into pinned threads. It'll save repetition as this question pops up quite a bit...

d.
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

RobC wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:33 pm
I've PM'd you. Happy to try to help get FLEX and the other stuff up and running.
Hi Rob, I don't seem to have permission to reply to PMs yet so I'm posting my reply here.

Thank you for the links. I'll have to have a go with the files you sent and see how it goes. I'm not sure I have a way of opening cf11.dat but I'll look into it.

I was able to open bbcflex9.dsd in beeb-em and have created an ssd equivalent. So is it a matter of copying the ssd image onto SD and booting from there or must it be on a floppy disc?

Many thanks.
Martin
Muddyfunster
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by Muddyfunster »

Hi Martin,

I'm not a BBC expert but I think "Beeb Image" or "ADFS" explorer can read the .dat file

viewtopic.php?t=14844 (for Beeb Image)

https://www.g7jjf.com/adfs_explorer.htm
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

Muddyfunster wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 12:24 am
Hi Martin,

I'm not a BBC expert but I think "Beeb Image" or "ADFS" explorer can read the .dat file
Thanks for the tip Muddyfunster.

I'll try those and see what happens.
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

RobC wrote:
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:33 pm
I've PM'd you. Happy to try to help get FLEX and the other stuff up and running.
OK, so I tried using BBCFLEX9 but no joy. Whether I try SHIFT+BREAK, *RUN !BOOT or just *FLEX, it just hangs at the prompt:

Flex.JPG
I'm sure I'm just missing something or doing something totally wrong.

Any suggestions??

Many thanks.

Martin
dp11
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by dp11 »

Try *ex.! Boot
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BigEd
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by BigEd »

dp11 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:17 am
Try *ex.! Boot
Or maybe

Code: Select all

*run !boot
?
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hoglet
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by hoglet »

You will need to split Rob's .dsd file into two seperate .ssd files, and then load them into drives 0 and 2. It would be better if someone did this once, and posted the two images ssf image.

From this thread, I can see it would be very helpful if we were to update the PiTubeDirect wili with a set of very deailed instructions for each of:
- CPM
- FLEX
- DOSPLUS
- PANOS

I'm happy to do any one of these, would anyone like to volunteer to edit the others?

Dave
Last edited by hoglet on Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
RobC
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

hoglet wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:11 am
You will need to split Rob's .dsd file into two seperate .ssd files, and then load them into drives 0 and 2.
I think I mentioned this in my PM but it may have got lost amongst the other info. I've not tried running FLEX from an MMC/SD interface but I can. Also, I have a vague recollection of an issue with GoSDC (possibly because there's no DFS catalogue on side 1?) but I can look at this too.

I could always create a cut-down single sided FLEX boot disk if that's easier...
hoglet wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:11 am
From this thread, I can see it would be very helpful if we were to update the PiTubeDirect wili with a set of very deailed instructions

Happy to do PANOS and/or FLEX.
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Elminster
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by Elminster »

Would be useful. I need to get Flex up and running on my SWTPC, but it would be much easier to play around/learn flex on Beeb platform in the short term.
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

dp11 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 5:17 am
Try *ex.! Boot
Tried this. It resulted in screen scrolling with lots of random characters.

:(
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

Or maybe

Code: Select all

*run !boot
?
[/quote]

Tried this too but nothing other than some random buzzing from the loudspeaker

:(
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

Firstly, a big thank you to all who responded to my calls for help with tips and links. This is a truly wonderful community where those with depth of experience are more than willing to share their knowledge with newbies like me.
hoglet wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:11 am
You will need to split Rob's .dsd file into two seperate .ssd files, and then load them into drives 0 and 2. It would be better if someone did this once, and posted the two images ssf image.

I did split the dsd file, in fact using two methods. The first was by loading the file in beeb-em and saving the !BOOT and FLEX files to an SSD image. Incidentally, there was nothing on Drive 2. The second method I used was via DFSImager. This again resulted in two ssd images with nothing on the second disc. Inspecting the file contents in DFSImager, it looks to me like both !BOOT and FLEX are identical files - something doesn't add up. Here are some screenshots:
Capture1.JPG
Capture2.JPG
Capture3.JPG
Capture4.JPG
hoglet wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:11 am
From this thread, I can see it would be very helpful if we were to update the PiTubeDirect wili with a set of very deailed instructions for each of:
- CPM
- FLEX
- DOSPLUS
- PANOS
Dave, that would be just brilliant! I think it's exactly what is needed and would definitely save duplication of questions and responses. In addition, I would suggest that the required disc images are stored somewhere centrally and linked to from the same documentation.

I wish I could volunteer some help with this but my knowledge is alas somewhat lacking at this point!

Once again a big thank you to everyone for all the help.

Martin
RobC
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

map856 wrote:
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:57 pm
it looks to me like both !BOOT and FLEX are identical files - something doesn't add up. Here are some screenshots:
That's deliberate - the two catalogue entries point to the same part of the disk. The idea is that you can boot the disk (doing SHIFT-Break) or *RUN FLEX and they have the same result.

I'll dig out my Turbo MMC interface and see if I can sort out a working FLEX boot disk in the next day or so.
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

RobC wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:05 pm

That's deliberate - the two catalogue entries point to the same part of the disk. The idea is that you can boot the disk (doing SHIFT-Break) or *RUN FLEX and they have the same result.

I'll dig out my Turbo MMC interface and see if I can sort out a working FLEX boot disk in the next day or so.
Oh, fair enough then. That makes sense. In my head I had assumed that !BOOT somehow runs the FLEX file. I'm very grateful for your help and look forward to testing your MMC boot disk.

One further question, once it boots into FLEX successfully, should I be able to read/use my old FLEX disks or are there more steps to follow before that can be done?

Thanks again,

Martin
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by RobC »

map856 wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 10:05 pm
One further question, once it boots into FLEX successfully, should I be able to read/use my old FLEX disks or are there more steps to follow before that can be done?
I've never tried this as I don't have any original FLEX hardware or disks but I think there may be an issue with sector numbers. I can't remember all of the details (although I think it was discussed in a thread on here at the time) but I think Flex uses sectors numbered 1-10 whereas the Beeb disk filing system uses sectors 0-9. I think I modded my FLEX drivers to subtract 1 from the sector number so real FLEX disks won't work.

Once we've got FLEX booting for you, we can investigate further. It should be possible to come up with a work around.
map856
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

RobC wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:09 am
Once we've got FLEX booting for you, we can investigate further. It should be possible to come up with a work around.
Thank you so much Rob. That would be absolutely magic! I have a SWTPC 6809 box that's been in storage since probably the mid 80s. I intend to bring it out and see if I can get it going at some point but I'd be more encouraged to do so if I knew my old FLEX discs are still ok.

You've been very helpful and I'm truly grateful for your patience and support.

Martin
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Elminster
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by Elminster »

I was going to say bring along the SWTPC to the next ABUG meet, but realised you're on a different continent.

I do plan to get around to updating my SWTPC inventory page (https://elminster.github.io/swtpc) with software I have. Forget now if I have flex, CPM or both on 8inch floppy.

It is one of the many things on my todo list.
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by map856 »

Elminster wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:00 pm
I was going to say bring along the SWTPC to the next ABUG meet, but realised you're on a different continent.
Ah yes! That would be nice indeed but I'm not just on another continent, but one that's as far away as you can possibly get :)

Thanks for the link to your SWTP page. This could come in very handy. I know I have lots of documentation on the SWTPC itself and also FLEX, some original and some photocopied way back when. It will be a big job sorting through it once I unpack it all but would be happy to scan and pass on anything that may be missing in your collection.

Cheers.

Martin
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Elminster
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Re: Pi Tubedirect

Post by Elminster »

When you get around to it just spin a thread off to the 'other vintage computer hardware, software and games' board on here. There isn't a forum for SWTPCs as such, even on http://www.vcfed.org/forum/forum.php it comes under 'other' and only a hand full of people post about SWTPC.
Last edited by Elminster on Thu Aug 08, 2019 9:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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