Recent improvements in the freebee emulator

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Aharon Robbins

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Feb 17, 2021, 3:34:36 PM2/17/21
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Hello All.

Just a quick note to let anyone interested know about recent work
on the freebee emulator:

1. There is now a simple man page that provides an overview of
the 3B1 and freebee.

2. You can scale the display independently in the X and Y directions by
scale factors from 0 to 45. This is useful on large / high resolution
displays.

3. The 3B1 serial port is now emulated! This allows remote login from
the 3B1 to the host or vice versa, as well as file transfer.

4. All of the filenames and several other features that used to be
hard-coded are now configurable via a configuration file in TOML
format. For example, the RGB values for the display color.
Configuration of more things is on the way (I hope).

Check it out!

Arnold
--
Aharon (Arnold) Robbins arnold AT skeeve DOT com

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 18, 2021, 9:00:59 PM2/18/21
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So cool! Now that you have serial working, can you add C-Kermit to your drive image? Then my life will be complete ;-)

Aharon Robbins

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Feb 19, 2021, 7:00:37 AM2/19/21
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Can you point me at a version that will compile on that vintage
a system?

At the moment I'm pretty much out of cycles for this stuff...

Arnold

In article <97439a15-21b5-4138...@googlegroups.com>,

J Booth

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Feb 19, 2021, 1:38:32 PM2/19/21
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Binaries are kicking around.
Version 5A(189) is here:
http://www.unixpc.org/3b1/caltech/kermit.gz

In David's VCF disk image, he includes a newer version 5A(190) at:
/usr/local/bin/kermit

There are also even newer version 8 binaries here, but the executables are pretty big (650k-700k):
https://www.kermitproject.org/ckbinaries.html#att

I think it's supposed to be self-contained executable without additional auxiliary files.

Jesse

Aharon Robbins

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Feb 20, 2021, 1:09:44 PM2/20/21
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In article <f2f2e0f8-bb74-494b...@googlegroups.com>,
Cool. Thanks.

I note that the freebee dist includes Jesse's README.serial.md
describing how to do file transfer over the serial port.

Aharon Robbins

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Feb 21, 2021, 2:37:46 PM2/21/21
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I put the version 8 binary onto my disk image as /usr/local/bin/c-kermit.
I also updated Brian Kernighan's awk while I was at it.

Enjoy,

Arnold

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 22, 2021, 7:42:53 AM2/22/21
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Thanks for this! I was able to transfer a 20M tar file of customizations from my 3B1 into my full-lots-sw.img freebee and still have enough room to untar it and copy the stuff I want. I'm not sure how much other than /usr/peter that will be, now that you've pre-loaded so much software. If I come up with anything that looks generally useful, I'll itemize it and share the disk image back.

--Peter

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 22, 2021, 4:18:27 PM2/22/21
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3B1 vs freebee running Tower of Hanoi in emacs 18.59, see vid here: https://youtu.be/g1JIqP-C0tY

freebee is running on this $70 Pi 400 whole-computer-in-a-keyboard: https://www.raspberrypi.org/blog/raspberry-pi-400-the-70-desktop-pc/

Cheers -- Peter

J Booth

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Feb 23, 2021, 1:43:13 AM2/23/21
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Great use of the Pi 400! I wonder why the 3b1 looks to be running faster than FreeBee. I’d expect the Pi 400 to be able to run full speed. I’ll have to play around on my machine and compare to your hardware footage.

Jesse

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 23, 2021, 7:17:37 AM2/23/21
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I was a bit surprised, too. Happy to run a test or three if you like.

J Booth

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Feb 26, 2021, 1:06:35 AM2/26/21
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Peter, I realized tonight that the FreeBee Makefile default is to build the debug, not the release build. Probably worth trying rebuilding with BUILD_TYPE set to release in the Makefile. I'm about to try out on my Raspberry Pi 4 - man, can't believe how fast these are!

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 26, 2021, 8:40:22 AM2/26/21
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Ah, good tip, will try and revert

J Booth

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Feb 26, 2021, 11:59:38 AM2/26/21
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I tested with 'release' instead of 'debug' but didn't notice a change on RPi 4. If I encounter anything else to help performance on RPi, I'll let you know.

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 27, 2021, 6:41:41 PM2/27/21
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Running with release is a lot faster on the Pi 400, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9nB1WibEKM

Aharon Robbins

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Feb 28, 2021, 12:45:26 AM2/28/21
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Cool! It's amazing (to me) that you have a still-working 3B1!
Take good care of it. Glad to hear that compiling for release
makes a difference.

Arnold

In article <8b903655-d6bd-4d07...@googlegroups.com>,

J Booth

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Feb 28, 2021, 12:53:13 AM2/28/21
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> Running with release is a lot faster on the Pi 400, see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9nB1WibEKM

Good deal. Glad to hear it. I like the side-by-side comparison so you can see how wide the framebuffer is (720x348) versus the 4:3 CRT. If you want to scale the Freebee window to 4:3, you can use x_scale=1.0, y_scale=1.55 in the .freebee.toml config file but you'll get artifacts. You can also use x_scale=2.0, y_scale=3.0 (no artifacts) but the window will be pretty huge (1440x1044).

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 28, 2021, 7:39:03 AM2/28/21
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I will try to keep it running! Already lost one hard drive due to it getting (barely) bumped while powered off - always park the heads for safety, d'oh. Found a replacement MFM drive on eBay for a non-extortionate price, and was indeed able to format it and reinstall the Foundation Set et al. off I-hate-to-even-calculate-how-old floppies.

I have a collection of MC680xx machines from that era. The 3B1 is my favorite, but on of the prototype BBN BitGraph terminals is the rarest. I have a production unit plugged into one of the 3B1's serial posts so I can login to it and play adventure. ;-)

--Peter

P.S. my current 3B1 was a Fathers Day gift from my wife Hollie, who found it by monitoring this group until someone was offering one to a good home. I had given away my original two and my MightyFrame back in 1993.

Peter Schmidt

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Feb 28, 2021, 7:40:32 AM2/28/21
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Ah, that was going to be my next step, so thank you for saving me having to figure out the settings for myself. :-)

Forrest Aldrich

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Feb 28, 2021, 1:24:57 PM2/28/21
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I read that the QEMU emulator may support m68k, found this reference:

https://github.com/vivier/qemu-m68k

I'm not sure that others support the chipset (ie: Vmware, Parallels) --
tho I'm sure this has already been explored.

I'm just responding in context.

A long time ago, I had someone perform a PAL upgrade to my 3b1 and it
broke it. I was so mad, but that was the end. Now, I wished I had
kept it around to further repair it.

I don't really see UNIX PC or 3b1 for sale anymore...


_F

Peter Schmidt

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Mar 2, 2021, 7:30:01 AM3/2/21
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Apropos of losing an MFM drive to merely bumping into a powered-off 3B1, I made a video of booting the Diagnostic Disk to park the disk heads. How quaint! ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWfHHnAr6PI

David Gesswein

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Mar 7, 2021, 9:24:05 PM3/7/21
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In article <s1gn5k$1m1v$1...@gioia.aioe.org>,
Forrest Aldrich <for...@forrie.com> wrote:
>
>I don't really see UNIX PC or 3b1 for sale anymore...
>
>

I couple have sold on ebay in the last 6 months. Last went for $551 in January.

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