Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

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KarateEd
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Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Tue May 14, 2019 3:03 am

Hi Folks,

I have a server with pretty barebones RISC 3.7.

What I need to do is load it up with software. It does have a 3-1/2 floppy which I think is going to be useful to get some basic programs on it.

I don't see any kind of browser on it so even when I do connect it to the internet, there really won't be a way to 'see' the internet, however, is there a package that I can get online that will allow that function?

I think once I'm online I can get most software to load, remember it is RISC OS 3.7.

This is a server system w/8M or RAM so should run quite well with almost anything of the day.

Thanks for any tips and hints provided.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards and 1recently received Omnibus A7000+ server which is a work in progress.

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Tue May 14, 2019 4:02 pm

One more question. I tried to do a configure using an application on the server and it wiped out the config file that had all the network settings in it. Before that happened I could ping from my PC to the server and could also ping my router from the server.

Where can I find the commands for networking to rebuild this file.

Just in case you think I was doing something goofy for this to happen, when I saved the file, there were 10 commands in there. The program appeared to be working and now when I try to run it and add back in IPs and such, it won't let me do it......very strange.

This is RISC OS 3.7
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Tue May 14, 2019 6:36 pm

One more thing:

When I tried to use the editor again, I got the following:
ConfigEditor.png
Does anyone know a way to make this thing work by any chance? I know it's a long shot but there are a lot of very smart people on here.
Last edited by KarateEd on Tue May 14, 2019 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by IanS » Tue May 14, 2019 10:21 pm

KarateEd wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 6:36 pm
One more thing:

When I tried to use the editor again, I got the following:

ConfigEditor.png

Does anyone know a way to make this thing work by any chance? I know it's a long shot but there are a lot of very smart people on here.
That doesn't look like any config editor I've ever seen on a RISC OS machine, so it's probably custom to the Omnibus. Is this the device based on an A7000(+?) motherboard?

What is it you want to do with it? Do you want to keep it original, or just turn it into a standard RISC 3.7 machine?

I think you need to post a lot more detail, pictures, what does it show on screen as it boots, does it boot to the desktop etc. You mention running an application and editing a file. Be specific, which app, which file, how did you launch it, was it a standard RISC OS app.

Most people have never seen or used an Omnibus device (me included), you need to help us out.

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Wed May 15, 2019 2:06 am

ok Ian,

I hear ya.....I'll post back with more information when I boot it up again tonight. It's also a first for me and I'm hoping to be able to use it mostly as a normal A7000+ with networking capabilities under 3.7. Tell you what.....I will take a lot more pictures of it, including what I think is in it according to another utility I've found on the machine so......stay tuned and we'll start slow and move up into the stratosphere with it.....and while doing that hopefully I'll learn a lot more about RISC OS and getting things working properly under it.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by SteveBagley » Wed May 15, 2019 6:51 am

I have a couple of Omnibus serial engines here — they are just normal A7000+ motherboards with a 4-port backplane and an Ethernet podule in a 1u rack case. (There’s normally a few other podule as well, and the network slot is used to interface with the front panel controls.)

If you just want to use it as an A7000, the easiest way to set it up is probably to just copy uniboot onto the hard drive and set it up as any other RISC OS machine. Although I’d recommend preserving the contents of the HDD as is beforehand as a record of the Omnibus setup, since there aren’t many left in service.

If you are interested in using it as an Omnibus machine, I know an ex-Omnibus engineer who might be able to help configure it.

Steve

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Wed May 15, 2019 6:56 am

SteveBagley wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 6:51 am
I have a couple of Omnibus serial engines here — they are just normal A7000+ motherboards with a 4-port backplane and an Ethernet podule in a 1u rack case. (There’s normally a few other podule as well, and the network slot is used to interface with the front panel controls.)

If you just want to use it as an A7000, the easiest way to set it up is probably to just copy uniboot onto the hard drive and set it up as any other RISC OS machine. Although I’d recommend preserving the contents of the HDD as is beforehand as a record of the Omnibus setup, since there aren’t many left in service.

If you are interested in using it as an Omnibus machine, I know an ex-Omnibus engineer who might be able to help configure it.

Steve
Hi Steve,

Wondering if you have the 4.!Internet.!Configure file. The editor wiped that out (well technically I did by trusting the program to work). If you have a working file I'm wondering if you could post it to me @ karateed at shaw dot ca?

I think that would go a long ways to get the network going then once I get a 3 button P/S 2 mouse, I'll be able to deal with preserving the files. That would be my first step once it's connected to the network.

I will probably set it up as a normal RISC machine for now but down the road would like to look at it in the other mode of true Omnibus. I'm not real familiar with RISC OS so I will likely need some help just to get it working as it should as a RISC PC.

Thanks much.....btw.....would you be that engineer?

Seems like a lot of really brilliant people on this site.
Last edited by KarateEd on Wed May 15, 2019 6:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Wed May 15, 2019 8:24 am

As promised - a few screen prints..... will do some actual hardware shots tomorrow as time permits, almost bed time here, well 1:15 AM
Included Hardware.png
This shows what hardware is in the machine
Mbuf Manager error.png
I get this when I do a CTRL R
This one requires a bit of explanation - The CMOS doesn't seem to be holding it's settings if I leave the server off for a few minutes so...... I need to do a CTRL R to get the machine to boot. Once I've booted it up once, if I boot it again within a minute or 2 then it comes up on it's own. I get the above message on CTRL R and the message below on normal boot up. Don't know why. In either case, clicking CANCEL finishes the boot session normally.

Edit: I thought Alex had mentioned the battery was pulled before it could leak....so checked back on our chat session and sure enough, he did say that. I couldn't find where the battery was but now that it's been confirmed, I'll have a closer look. I have a battery to put in place. I'll put it somewhere off the mainboard to ensure no leakage to destroy anything. It's very nice to have a machine so clean and in such pristine condition.
On Bootup.png
Shows basic system and files loading at startup
File Missing error on boot.png
This shows a file is missing on startup and gives an error. Cancel to go to Desktop
Standard HW.png
HD, floppy and Apps as typical RISC OS
Typical RISC.png
The other side of the screen
HD-1st part.png
First screen showing root of HD
HD-2nd part.png
Second part of same screen showing rest of HD
Main !Configure file.png
This !Configure file is the file that became empty when I ran the editor. I had added one more entry and it saved blank.
Some Utilities.png
These are in the Utilities folder
Hardware pics to come and then what i hope to achieve.
Last edited by KarateEd on Mon May 20, 2019 4:30 am, edited 3 times in total.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Wed May 15, 2019 5:48 pm

One more thing, after re-reading Ian's post.....
Configuration editor.png
Configuration editor access and information
This is what I ran that basically wiped out the !Configuration file which had the networking information in it. I was actually able to change values manually in that file (I changed the server name and the IP to reflect my home network).

What I didn't realize was this editor was 'managing', though poorly, that particular file (4.$.!Internet.!Configure) so when I tried to add one more entry, for some reason it wiped out all the entries and now the editor won't work at all nor does networking. If it did, I might be able to fix much of it.

Hence the lost file......I need more patience. I have a 3 button mouse coming in a few days so that will certainly make things 'safer' to do and explore.

It might be noteworthy that I was able to ping both my router from the server and ping the server from my Win10 PC before this happened so networking was essentially happening.
Last edited by KarateEd on Wed May 15, 2019 6:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Wed May 15, 2019 11:55 pm

Here are some pics of the hardware. If you see anything you'd like included, please ask and I will do so.

For now, these are the exterior pictures except for the full server view of the insides.
Server Overview.png
The overall view of the server.
Connections.png
This shows the connections possible under the hood or at least with the front panel removed.
Front and top cover in place.png
Connections are protected when the top cover is on and the front panel is installed on the front. This is a server and is typical of even today's servers.
Front and top cover loose.png
This shows the connections with the top cover pushed back.
Front Panel.png
This shows no network at the moment. When I got it, an IP showed and the name that's on the back followed by CTL
Red dot is flashing.png
Though you can't see it, there is a red LED that is slowly flashing when the machine is on. I don't know if it has significance.
Back Panel connectors.png
This shows all the back panel connectors. This box potentially has a lot of function beyond your normal A7000+
HD and floppy orientation.png
This shows how the floppy and the HD are oriented on the front panel area.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Thu May 16, 2019 12:03 am

The rest of the story. I'll repost the overall inside of the server.
Server Overview.png
Repost of the overall insides of the server.
2 Gig Drive.png
The HD and it's specs
A Major chip.png
Shows the ARM processor and a few other major chips near it.
AVS Timecode Card.png
I believe this is the timecode card. If somebody knows different, please let me know. Don't really know what it does.
Genlock Card.png
This is the Genlock card that I believe syncs the timing of video between different devices.....I think.
Main Board connectivity.png
This shows how the 2 motherboards are connected together.
Power and fans.png
The power and fans
PSU.png
There is always a PSU. Don't think this one will ever have a nasty smell.....
Again, if there is interest of more photos of the inside of this server, please let me know and I'll try to accommodate you.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards and 1recently received Omnibus A7000+ server which is a work in progress.

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Thu May 16, 2019 12:09 am

Just a thought on what I would first like to do.

In my mind the software on this server needs to be archived. With that in mind, I'd first like to get this machine connected to a network. The reason of course is that would be the most expedient way to back up this device.

My next step would be to try to get it configured for what it was intended......video broadcast, something I know nothing about but am pretty sure there must be someone on here that does. If not, then this part is likely to not come to fruition but it would be wonderful if it can.

Regardless of the above results of it's intended use, I would then turn this into a regular A7000+ that can access the internet and be useful to me in that regard....I hope. This would only come to reality if and when the previous step has success or if it is found to be impossible to make it work as intended. Again, another full HD backup would be done in order to keep the working state intact somewhere for posterity.

These are just first thought and I believe all of these steps may take a fair amount of work initially, but it will be fun.
Ed...... :-)

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by SteveBagley » Thu May 16, 2019 12:13 pm

What you've got there is an Omnibus Serial Engine -- it's designed to be rack-mounted alongside a broadcast video recorder, disk server, vision mixer or other bit of broadcast hardware, and connects to that kit via RS422/RS232 (hence the RS232 podule in the machine). The machine would be sent instructions from (originally, later versions run on Windows I believe) a RiscPC running the Omnibus software. The basic idea was that the Omnibus User Interface (see the references to OUI in some of your images) would enable people to push one button, and the system would sequence all the various machines to do things (e.g. for example, push one button in the gallery and the software, will start a video playing a news item at exactly the right point and also control the vision mixer to cut from the studio camera to the signal from the video recorder). From the look of the label on yours, I suspect it was being used to control a device that stored a range of still images and enabled them to be called up as needed.

The device is made of a standard A7000+ motherboard connected to a custom 1U 4-port backplane, a network podule, a gen-lock podule (almost certainly, so that the machine could be synchronised cuts etc to the video signals in the studio, not to be confused with the normal consumer genlock that was used to overlay images), and the aforementioned serial board. In the A7000+'s network port, there's a custom board with a PIC micro controller that drives the LCD display on the front of the machine. Oh and apparently two bathroom plug chains to hold the front panel on :)
KarateEd wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:09 am
In my mind the software on this server needs to be archived. With that in mind, I'd first like to get this machine connected to a network. The reason of course is that would be the most expedient way to back up this device.
Definitely, and you may well find there's also software for other Omnibus products stashed on there :) Easiest way, might be to pull the Hard Drive and image it using dd (on unix)…
My next step would be to try to get it configured for what it was intended......video broadcast, something I know nothing about but am pretty sure there must be someone on here that does. If not, then this part is likely to not come to fruition but it would be wonderful if it can.
Getting it up and running will be tricky, but definitely interesting if you can -- you'll need something to control (i.e. a piece of broadcast gear -- or at least something that emulates the RS232 interface of a broadcast video gear), and a machine running the OUI software to control it.

Steve

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Thu May 16, 2019 4:32 pm

SteveBagley wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:13 pm

Definitely, and you may well find there's also software for other Omnibus products stashed on there :) Easiest way, might be to pull the Hard Drive and image it using dd (on unix)…

Steve
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the information.

Currently I have no unix machines so doing it that way is a problem, for now.

I can probably create a Unix machine though. I have a machine that just needs a hard drive. Unfortunately, at the moment, I don't know much about Unix/Linux but it shouldn't be hard to figure out what I need to do to create a backup image. It's mostly just the command base I suspect. My job entailed work on Win machines......arggghhhhh

So, if I understand this, backing up the drive won't work on a Win10 or any other Windows machine? Not that I love Windows, I don't but it's what I have at the moment. I don't have Apple.

So, if you were building a machine to get this backed up, what version of Unix/Linux would you use?

This is obviously the first step.

The next step will be to see if networking can be achieved on the machine. That should be possible with the inclusion of the aforementioned file (4.$.!Internet.!Configure).

Does anyone know where I can get a printout of this file or a copy so I can manipulate it for this server?

Anyway, thanks again Steve for this start on what to do.
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards and 1recently received Omnibus A7000+ server which is a work in progress.

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by Kazzie » Fri May 17, 2019 12:44 pm

Just drifting in on this conversation...

'dd' is a core command-line utility that's part of just about every unix and linux distribution you'll find. So whichever you choose, you'll be able to use it to image the hard drive.

As for which distribution to choose, Ubuntu Linux has a reputation for being friendly to new users, and has a large community-run support network in the Ubuntu Forums and the Q&A-style Ask Ubuntu.

(I don't have any personal experience with Ubuntu, as I use a more "advanced" distribution. The above recommendation is based on Ubuntu's general reputation.)
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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by SteveBagley » Fri May 17, 2019 1:37 pm

KarateEd wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 4:32 pm
Currently I have no unix machines so doing it that way is a problem, for now.

I can probably create a Unix machine though. I have a machine that just needs a hard drive. Unfortunately, at the moment, I don't know much about Unix/Linux but it shouldn't be hard to figure out what I need to do to create a backup image. It's mostly just the command base I suspect. My job entailed work on Win machines......arggghhhhh
Actually, I just noticed you have a Pi running RISC OS in your sig. This gives you two options, a) boot it into Raspbian (via a different SD card) and use DD from that to image the drive and b) potentially, access the drive directly via RISC OS (I assume it is able to!). In both cases, you'd just need a USB TO IDE adaptor (I got one that could handle, 44pin/40pin/SATA drives off amazon last year quite cheaply)...

Steve

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Re: Omnibus w/RISC 3.7 - need to network connect

Post by KarateEd » Fri May 17, 2019 7:59 pm

Thanks Steve,

This sound like a plausible plan. It could alleviate having to worry about building a Linux box.

What are the actual commands and syntax one would use under Rasbian?

Thanks,
Ed...... :-)

3 working Beebs, 1 RetroClinic Master, 1 normal Master, 1 A3010, 1 Pi2 RISC OS, 2 broken but to be worked on Beeb Motherboards and 1recently received Omnibus A7000+ server which is a work in progress.

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