Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

discuss emulators of 26-bit acorn systems e.g. arculator and rpcemu
Post Reply
steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:08 am

I'd like to trace some of the inner workings of the RISC OS 3.1 ROM during self test and startup code - so I'm wondering if any of the available Archimedes emulators contain (or can have enabled) debug tools which allow breakpoints/watch points/register dumps/etc. to be set. Does anyone know?

User avatar
SarahWalker
Posts: 1274
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by SarahWalker » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:25 am

Arculator doesn't I'm afraid - it was something that was always on my list but I never got round to it...

steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 5:50 pm

Ah, that's a shame, but thanks for confirming Sarah!

User avatar
kieranhj
Posts: 896
Joined: Sat Sep 19, 2015 11:11 pm
Location: Farnham, Surrey, UK
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by kieranhj » Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:04 pm

If you want to write the debugger Steve, I know we’d all be grateful!! :wink:
Bitshifters Collective | Retro Code & Demos for BBC Micro & Acorn computers | https://bitshifters.github.io/

User avatar
Pernod
Posts: 2091
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:01 pm
Location: Croydon, UK
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by Pernod » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:30 pm

Have you tried the MAME debugger? Archimedes emulation is not considered complete but should be good enough for your purposes.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:21 pm

kieranhj wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 7:04 pm
If you want to write the debugger Steve, I know we’d all be grateful!! :wink:
:lol:

Although I did actually write a reasonably complete ARM2 emulator on the RiscPC back in 1998, which could serve as a start point...

steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:25 pm

Pernod wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:30 pm
Have you tried the MAME debugger? Archimedes emulation is not considered complete but should be good enough for your purposes.
Now MAME is something I'd not considered, and didn't realise it had a debugger... I'll look into this. Thanks :)

steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:54 pm

steve3000 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:25 pm
Pernod wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:30 pm
Have you tried the MAME debugger? Archimedes emulation is not considered complete but should be good enough for your purposes.
Now MAME is something I'd not considered, and didn't realise it had a debugger... I'll look into this. Thanks :)
MAME Debugger works a treat!

I've spent an hour playing with the Archi emulation and the debugger. I haven't tried pushing it in any way, just sticking to Desktop and BASIC use, but over it's great, certainly fine for what I need. Although there are some issues with the default Archimedes computer setups (such as A5000 wanting to run RISC OS 3.00 ROMs :shock:), is feedback being sought? If so, where do I send?

User avatar
Pernod
Posts: 2091
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:01 pm
Location: Croydon, UK
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by Pernod » Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:55 pm

steve3000 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:54 pm
Although there are some issues with the default Archimedes computer setups (such as A5000 wanting to run RISC OS 3.00 ROMs :shock:), is feedback being sought? If so, where do I send?
I'll take any feedback, though I don't usually touch the Archimedes machines. All machines currently default to the OS they were originally shipped with.

You can select other versions of RISC OS from the internal UI BIOS options, or by adding '-bios 310' to the command line. The a5000 supports bios options 300, 310, 311, 319.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:46 pm

Pernod wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:55 pm
All machines currently default to the OS they were originally shipped with.
Ah ok, but I would suggest that, as the vast majority of A5000s shipped with RO3.10 or RO3.11 from the factory, that this should really be the default, in that case?

RISC OS 3.0 was only shipped for about 5-6 months in the very first A5000s, before a serious file handling/corruption bug lead to it being withdrawn and immediately replaced with RISC OS 3.1. Acorn continued to sell the A5000 with RO3.1 fitted from the factory, for at least a further 4 years.

Making RISC OS 3.00 the default for the A5000 would be a bit like making OS 0.1 the default for the BBC B (I checked - and it isn't :) )... Because, like OS 0.1 on the beeb, RO 3.0 is difficult to spot unless you know what to look for (I completely missed that it was 3.0 for about 20 minutes) and most software will fail or refuse to work (this is what gave it away for me).

But the biggest concern for me is that the casual user wanting to emulate Acorn's most popular high-end Archimedes, could easily assume that any resulting file corruption and software failing to load on MAME, is an issue with MAME itself and not realise that these are because it's running RO3.0.

User avatar
Pernod
Posts: 2091
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:01 pm
Location: Croydon, UK
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by Pernod » Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:26 pm

steve3000 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:46 pm
Ah ok, but I would suggest that, as the vast majority of A5000s shipped with RO3.10 or RO3.11 from the factory, that this should really be the default, in that case?
Fair enough, I'm not intimate with the various RISC OS versions so wasn't aware that 3.00 was buggy. I'll replace with 3.11.

The 3xx/4xx series currently default to Arthur 1.20, and the 4xx/1 series default to RISC OS 2.00. I wanted Arthur to be default on the early machines so that users would actually experience it.
- Nigel

BBC Model B: ATPL Sidewise, Acorn Speech, 2xWatford Floppy Drives, AMX Mouse, Viglen case, BeebZIF, etc.

steve3000
Posts: 2253
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 am
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by steve3000 » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:00 pm

Pernod wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:26 pm
steve3000 wrote:
Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:46 pm
Ah ok, but I would suggest that, as the vast majority of A5000s shipped with RO3.10 or RO3.11 from the factory, that this should really be the default, in that case?
Fair enough, I'm not intimate with the various RISC OS versions so wasn't aware that 3.00 was buggy. I'll replace with 3.11.
:) I'm sure that will benefit end user experience!
Pernod wrote: The 3xx/4xx series currently default to Arthur 1.20, and the 4xx/1 series default to RISC OS 2.00. I wanted Arthur to be default on the early machines so that users would actually experience it.
I completely agree re. Arthur - it's the (often overlooked) step between the BBC Master and multi-tasking RISC OS Archimedes. Some very early A305s/A310s came with Arthur 0.3, the A440 shipped with 1.2 (because 0.3 crashed if >1mb RAM). I'd suggest sticking with 1.2 though (or maybe having 0.3 on the A305...?) because it was the stable release and again most Arthur A305s/A310s shipped with 1.2.

One other mismatch I spotted this evening was A540 which seems to have RISC OS 2.00 loaded? It should have RISC OS 2.01, as this was created to use the extra hardware (>4mb RAM, VGA and SVGA clock, 12MHz RAM) on the A540, and was the only version of RO2 which shipped with the A540. I'd suggest defaulting to 16mb too, as this was the most unique point of the A540.

sirbod
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:44 am
Location: Essex
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by sirbod » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:50 am

steve3000 wrote:
Sat Aug 01, 2020 11:08 am
I'd like to trace some of the inner workings of the RISC OS 3.1 ROM during self test and startup code - so I'm wondering if any of the available Archimedes emulators contain (or can have enabled) debug tools which allow breakpoints/watch points/register dumps/etc. to be set. Does anyone know?
None of the emulators have debug tools unfortunately. It's very frustrating as I've lost count of the number of times I could have done with an ICE to debug issues.

I did email the author of RedSquirrel on several occasions, with the intention of fixing it's VIDC emulation bugs and adding a stepped debugger, but sadly never got a response.

User avatar
SarahWalker
Posts: 1274
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:56 pm
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by SarahWalker » Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:31 pm

sirbod wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:50 am
I did email the author of RedSquirrel on several occasions, with the intention of fixing it's VIDC emulation bugs and adding a stepped debugger, but sadly never got a response.
Graeme Barnes is currently working at ARM, and it's likely his contract is going to prevent him from doing anything with RedSquirrel. Plus he's probably lost interest in it now...

sirbod
Posts: 1113
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:44 am
Location: Essex
Contact:

Re: Do any Archimedes emulators have debug tools?

Post by sirbod » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:37 pm

SarahWalker wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 12:31 pm
sirbod wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:50 am
I did email the author of RedSquirrel on several occasions, with the intention of fixing it's VIDC emulation bugs and adding a stepped debugger, but sadly never got a response.
Graeme Barnes is currently working at ARM, and it's likely his contract is going to prevent him from doing anything with RedSquirrel. Plus he's probably lost interest in it now...
I asked if he’d be prepared to release the source code to me, as I was aware he was probably under contract.

If anyone knows how to contact him directly, either pass on my request or ask him to contact me please.

Post Reply

Return to “32-bit acorn emulators”