Tape image archive question: EXBASIC/HBBASIC/TED/HASL/BUG versions

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Mike Ladwig

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Apr 9, 2022, 8:08:44 PMApr 9
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Hello everyone! Got all the .H8T archives converted (separate thread on KCS) to .WAV files for my cassette -based system and so far all the binary software loads and runs without error; some Basic software does too.

Does anyone know anything about all the different versions of system software like EXBASIC, BHBASIC, BUG8, etc.?

I'm having some issues with loading/running some basic programs and wonder if there are version dependencies or memory issues (my system only has 32k)?

Thanks,
mike.


Glenn Roberts

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Apr 9, 2022, 10:03:13 PMApr 9
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The Tape OS manuals are on the GitHub site. E.g. here is BASIC:

https://sebhc.github.io/sebhc/documentation/software/tape/Software%20Reference%20Manual%20595-2048%20Section%205%20-%20BH%20and%20Extended%20BH%20BASIC.pdf

There were some changes starting with 10.02.00 - scroll down to page 118.

32K would have been considered an extravagant amount of RAM for running from tape (BHBASIC required 8K and Extended BHBASIC required 12)

Early versions of HDOS technically could run on only 16K, though 24, 32 or even 48 would be much more practical if one could afford it (as I recall 16K boards were $300). I think my H8/H17/H19 system bundle from Heathkit came with only 16K of RAM, which I had to expand to 48 to do much of practical use.

Sent from my iPad

On Apr 10, 2022, at 2:08 AM, Mike Ladwig <mdla...@gmail.com> wrote:

Hello everyone! Got all the .H8T archives converted (separate thread on KCS) to .WAV files for my cassette -based system and so far all the binary software loads and runs without error; some Basic software does too.
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Joseph Travis

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Apr 9, 2022, 11:50:17 PMApr 9
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Hey Mike,

Unfortunately, there are incompatibilities between the different versions of BASIC. The saved images are not compatible between the different versions however, you can load old version programs into the later version (10.02.xx) of BASIC by using the OLDLOAD command.  Also, early versions had a USR() function that the newer versions don't support and some other anomalies I don't remember.

BTW - The work you did is very cool!  I look forward to the video demonstration!

Regards,
Joe Travis n6ypc 

Mike Ladwig

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Apr 15, 2022, 9:10:11 PMApr 15
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I got back to poking at my cassette system a bit today. I decided to load all the system type software and see what versions I had. All appeared to load correctly (single beep). I noticed an interesting pattern in that the lower numbers in the names ran correctly, but higher numbered versions just resulted in a hang. I'm wondering if some of the versions aren't intended for cassette systems:

BHBasic 1: 05.01.01
BHBasic 2: 05.01.02

ExBasic 1: 10.01.02
ExBasic 2: 10.02.01
ExBasic 3, 5, 6: Hang

Ted8 1: 3.01.01
Ted8 2, 6: Hang

HASL8 1: 4.01.01
HASL8 2, 6: Hang

Bug8 1: 02.01.01
Bug8 2, 6: Hang

Anyone know?

Regards,
mike.

glenn.f...@gmail.com

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Apr 15, 2022, 9:45:56 PMApr 15
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Mike: these are the images that you converted from .H8T to .WAV?  and you got the .H8Ts from Les’ site on github?

 

I can tell you that the .H8Ts work.

 

What is your console configuration?  H8-5 only?  No H8-4 installed?  The later versions auto-detect the serial card and give priority to the H8-4.  If you’ve got one that’s where it will look for the console.

 

If H8-5 what BAUD is the console port wired for?  And is IRQ 3 enabled for the console?  If H8-4 say more about how you configured the board. 

 

What do you mean by “hang”.  What exact steps did you perform?  I can try to reproduce (but from the H8Ts)…

 

 

  • Glenn

Joseph Travis

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Apr 15, 2022, 9:47:34 PMApr 15
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Hi Mike,

I believe all of the ones you see hanging are expecting an H8-4 serial I/O board with a terminal connected to port 350Q.  After the program has loaded, you may need to press the SPACE bar (for auto baud rate detect) to receive the initial program signon message then press RETURN to get the program prompt.

Regards,
Joe Travis n6ypc


Joseph Travis

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Apr 15, 2022, 10:47:31 PMApr 15
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I just verified (using H8T files) each of the programs Mike listed as hanging.  Each one is in fact looking for the H8-4 Serial I/O board.

I have both the H8-4 and H8-5 boards installed in my computer.  I loaded each program, pressed the SPACE a few times on the H9 terminal connected to the H8-5 and got no response.  I then pressed the SPACE a few times on the H19 connected to the H8-4, received the initial signon message, pressed RETURN and got the second signon message along with the program prompt.  They all worked the same way.

Regards,
Joe Travis n6ypc

Mike Ladwig

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Apr 16, 2022, 12:12:11 AMApr 16
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Yep, you were right. The later versions need a tap or two on the space bar after hitting go on the keypad -- then they work perfectly.

I have a H8-5 at 1200 baud and no other serial cards. There is something going on in the later versions that needs the space bar initialization; IDK if it's related to baud or card type detection. I think I have some software on my IMSAI that has a similar baud detection capability.

Thanks!
mike.

Glenn Roberts

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Apr 16, 2022, 4:53:00 AMApr 16
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The SPACE trick is how the console driver figures out the BAUD rate. Since it knows what character is being sent it listens at different BAUD rates until there is no error. The same approach carried over to HDOS of course, however HDOS saves the information on the boot disk so you only have to do it once. I think Gregg Chandler posted here a while back about some of the challenges in getting this to work reliably.

As Joe says, if you have both H8-4 and H8-5 boards installed the later releases (3 and beyond) will only look for port 350 on the H8-4. Versions 1 and 2 only know about the H8-5 (the -4 hadn’t been introduced yet). If you have only the H8-5 all versions will work. What I hadn’t realized is that the SPACE logic is apparently still used even if only an H8-5 is detected. That’s a little counterintuitive since the BAUD rate is hard wired on that board.

I had done some disassembly of the later console driver (version 3 and up) but never got far enough to fully understand the logic. David Troendle may have scans of the source listings somewhere so those might turn up at some point…

Sent from my iPad

On Apr 16, 2022, at 12:12 AM, Mike Ladwig <mdla...@gmail.com> wrote:

Yep, you were right. The later versions need a tap or two on the space bar after hitting go on the keypad -- then they work perfectly.
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