Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

discuss bbc micro and electron emulators (including mame) here!
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AJW
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Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by AJW » Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:58 am

What was great about Beeb emulators on RISC OS was being able to open up a disc image in the desktop and edit or manipulate the files. Also you could click on an exec file to launch. The downside was they could be too slow for older CPUs.

Coeus
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Coeus » Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:07 pm

AJW wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:58 am
What was great about Beeb emulators on RISC OS was being able to open up a disc image in the desktop and edit or manipulate the files. Also you could click on an exec file to launch. The downside was they could be too slow for older CPUs.
We these definitely disc images?

Working with the files inside a disc image is certainly possible with a modern OS - Unix supports FUSE (see https://github.com/SteveFosdick/FuseADFS for ADFS) and I am sure there will be a similar concept for Windows.

On the other hand, another way of transparently sharing between an emulated BBC micro and the host running the emulator is for the emulator to allow access to (part of) the host filing system from within the guest. The BBC Micro has a well-defined filing system API so one does not need to be restricted to tape and DFS. In B-Em VDFS provides this feature: see https://stardot.github.io/b-em/vdfs.html As that started life on a RiscOS BBC micro emulator I wonder if that is what you are remembering.

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by AJW » Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:46 am

In 6502em you could access the host RISC OS as if it was Beeb FS. In Beebit you could open the disc image into a RISC OS file window.
In Mac Beebem I can copy clipboard but that's all it seems.

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Coeus » Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:36 pm

AJW wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:46 am
In 6502em you could access the host RISC OS as if it was Beeb FS.
So that's probably where the VDFS idea came from.
AJW wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:46 am
In Beebit you could open the disc image into a RISC OS file window.
Does the Mac file manager have plug-ins? I am sure this could be made to work, just that I don't know of an existing implementation.
AJW wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:46 am
In Mac Beebem I can copy clipboard but that's all it seems.
So to get VDFS, like 6502em, you could either see if b-em will compile on the Mac or lobby to get BeebEm to include VDFS.

For B-Em, the Mac is not specifically excluded. It is supported by Allegro which is a the multi-platform library B-Em relies on and is otherwise quite BSD-like so there is no fundamental reason why it can't work on a Mac except that I don't have one to compile it on. If you were to try and find problems I'd be happy to help where I can.

For BeebEm, there is the VDFS implementation from J.G.Harston but I am not sure if this is Windows-only. I also don't think this has been merged yet. When I spoke to Chris (chrisn on this forum) he had concerns about security as I believe it allowed access to the whole of the host filing system (well, everything you, the running user can access). I cannot speak for him, but if that could resolved so it is possible to define exactly which part of the host filing system you would want the BBC Micro to see, he may be up for merging it.

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Diminished
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Diminished » Sun Aug 16, 2020 3:02 pm

Coeus wrote:
Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:36 pm
For B-Em, the Mac is not specifically excluded. It is supported by Allegro which is a the multi-platform library B-Em relies on and is otherwise quite BSD-like so there is no fundamental reason why it can't work on a Mac except that I don't have one to compile it on.
It can be done. I got it going last year, although I remember having to muck about with it for several hours before it worked.
Screenshot 2020-08-16 at 14.56.43.png

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helpful
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by helpful » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:27 am

Coeus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 6:07 pm
AJW wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 10:58 am
What was great about Beeb emulators on RISC OS was being able to open up a disc image in the desktop and edit or manipulate the files. Also you could click on an exec file to launch. The downside was they could be too slow for older CPUs.
We these definitely disc images?
Working with the files inside a disc image is certainly possible with a modern OS
So by that definition RISC OS 3.0 is a modern OS :lol:

Working with files inside disc images has been a standard RISC OS thing since 1991. I'm still waiting for other less modern OS's to catch up :-(

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: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Coeus » Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:57 pm

helpful wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:27 am
Working with files inside disc images has been a standard RISC OS thing since 1991. I'm still waiting for other less modern OS's to catch up :-(
The difference is that RiscOS is an Acorn OS so for them to offer backwards compatibility with their previous big success, the BBC Micro, would be an encouragement for people to upgrade. Also, Acorn already had the concept of interchangable filing systems from the days of the BBC micro, hence the ability to implement the net filing system for Econet and VDFS in an emulator being possible.

Microsoft and Apple would be less concerned with temping BBC micro owners, but the mechanism is there. If people really want this kind of integration then the answer is to develop the necessary module to do it.

When I say "modern" OS, I mean something that has moved on from the CP/M and early MS-DOS view of the world. These were operating systems that were tightly integrated with their disc-based filing systems and that filing system was the largest part of the OS. When networking began to take off in the PC world, the suppliers at first had to intercept all filing system calls and do the check for a network drive themselves. Later, MS-DOS acquired the re-director which could be used for this purpose.

So yes, RiscOS is a modern OS in that sense.

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Coeus » Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:11 pm

Oh, and for Windows, check out DFS explorer. I think that may be a graphical program to move files between Windows and a disc image. I didn't mention it originally because that is not quite the same as completely transparent use of disc images, but it does what many people need.

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Canalboy » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:02 pm

Hello All

Can anyone point me in the right direction? I have been trying to run Mirror Of Khoronz (the 1.10 version) by Derek Haslam on the RPCEmu 0.9.1 emulator. I have copied all relevant parts to HostFS::HostFS.$HardDisc4.Diversions and other apps work from here but not this one. If I Run !Mirror it merely responds with:

!Run Obey File for !Adventure
WimpSlot -min 1000K -max 1000K
Set WriteAdv$Dir (Obey$Dir)
RMEnsure SlidigHeap 1.02 RMLoad (WriteAdv$Dir).Modules.SlidingHp
Run (WriteAdv$Dir).!RunImage %*0

I have never used a RISC OS emulator before so this is my first attempt at running anything. As previously stated all other default apps seem to run from the Diversion directory. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I take it I can run .adf files via this emulator as well.

Regards

Canalboy

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DutchAcorn
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by DutchAcorn » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:31 pm

This really sounds like a question for a new thread.

HostFS is great for transferring files but in my experience it is not so great for running programs. You may get better results if you first copy the program to one of the emulated hard discs.

If you copy files to RiscOS an important thing to check is if the file type is set correctly. This is RiscOS specific.

Your best bet is to get a zip file and use an archiving utility in the emulator to unzip it, such as !Spark. This will retain the file type information. If you unzip it on a PC the file type information is lost.

Do you have a screen shot of what you see on the emulator? Specifically what the files look like in the !Adventure folder? You can open the application folder using shift-left double click.

You can also set the file type for each type manually using the middle mouse button, but obviously you have to know the file types.
Paul

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Canalboy » Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:49 pm

This is I think what you meant...
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Mirror.docx
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screenshot.png

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DutchAcorn
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by DutchAcorn » Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:07 pm

The files have been copied to HostFS without the file type information. The !Run file that you see in the window on the second image is set as type "Text" and is consequently not executed but x opened in a text editor.

If you have the !Mirror program in a zip file it would help to put that on the HostFS folder and change the file type to "Archive" in the emulator. Double click on it should then open the zip in an archive window allowing you to copy the program files with the file type information retained.
Paul

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scruss
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by scruss » Mon Aug 17, 2020 11:44 pm

helpful wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 2:27 am
Working with files inside disc images has been a standard RISC OS thing since 1991. I'm still waiting for other less modern OS's to catch up :-(
Macs have had this since System 7 in 1991, Solaris and other unices since the late 80s. Windows? Who cares?

Fuse on Linux takes virtual disk images to a ridiculous level: with sshfs, it makes a mounted disk out of a remote shell. I well remember using fuse and the now very broken Gmail filesystem to mount unused space in my gmail account as a filesystem. It was too good to last.

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Canalboy » Tue Aug 18, 2020 8:43 am

Another attempt.

1)Tried Shift-double-click on !Mirror to open the directory.

2) Clicked MENU button over the file called !Run and set its filetype to OBEY

3) In the same way, I set the !RunImage file to BASIC.

When I double click !Mirror I now get "This is not a relocatable module."

Canalboy
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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by DutchAcorn » Tue Aug 18, 2020 5:33 pm

There’s a sub directory “Modules” in the !Mirror folder. Try setting the file type of the files in that folder to “Module”.
Paul

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Re: Memories of RISC OS Beeb emulators

Post by Canalboy » Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:17 pm

Hello there Paul

I downloaded v 0.9.3 and after changing the file attributes on !Run to Obey and !RunImage to Basic the thing worked. I don't confess to understand why, only they possibly fixed a bug or some bugs in the newer version. I have checked and every other setting seems the same.

Your guidance was appreciated. The game itself is so much more detailed than its erstwhile Beeb version but then I guess that's what you can do with all the extra memory.

Canalboy

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