GSX-80 anyone? - CP/M

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  1. GSX-80 anyone?

    Does anyone have an original GSX-80 distribution from DRI, that could be
    made available? The one at Gaby's site is incomplete and even with all
    pieces findable on the Internet one won't get the full distribution.
    Mostly I am missing the skeleton driver source and wasn't there a
    Tektronix 40xx driver from DRI?

    Thanks,
    Udo Munk
    --
    The real fun is building it and then using it...


  2. Re: GSX-80 anyone?

    Hello, Udo!

    > Does anyone have an original GSX-80 distribution from DRI, that could be
    > made available? The one at Gaby's site is incomplete and even with all
    > pieces findable on the Internet one won't get the full distribution.
    > Mostly I am missing the skeleton driver source and wasn't there a
    > Tektronix 40xx driver from DRI?


    Obviously, you do not seem to remember that I made a lot of work with GSX,
    20 years ago, since it is the PORTABLE graphics systems for all the versions
    of CP/M (8-bits and 16-bits) (also available for MS-DOS).

    Ok. Now the problem is what you mean by "an original GSX-80 distribution
    from DRI". GSX is providing you with drivers. I remember a famous article by
    Andrew R.M. Clarke (the Editor of the CP/M User Group (UK)) saying that you
    were obliged to write your own driver...

    If I remember well (I write this from emory), under 16-bits, there are
    GSX-86 v1.0, v1.1, v1.2, and v1.3 (which uses Display Manager). Under
    8-bits, I have only seen GSX-80 v1.0 and v1.1. "Gaby" and the Retroarchive
    Web sites probabaly have them.

    Normally, GSX was provided with the application that used it. That's how I
    got it, in the DR-GRAPH and DR-DRAW binders (I discovered GSX for the
    Amstrads, then used it on my Epson QX-10).

    What is incomplete in the "Gaby" version?

    What do you mean by "the full distribution"?

    > Mostly I am missing the skeleton driver source


    Which "skeleton"? (There are drivers for screen, printer, plotter, metafile,
    and video.)

    > and wasn't there a Tektronix 40xx driver from DRI?


    Yes, I mentioned it. The Tektronix 4010 was the "standard" graphics screen,
    at the time. So, Digital Research got (from GSS, the company that developed
    GSX) at least 5 packages. The decided to buy and release DR-GRAPH and
    DR-DRAW, but only specialists like me know GSS-KERNEL, GSS-PLOT, and
    GSS-4010 (also known by the name "DR Access10" see my message by this name).

    (So far, I have been unable to find the last 3 packages. They are mentioned
    in some advertisements published by DRI, 25 years ago.)

    Ho! I was forgeting: there is a 160-pages listing of the Epson FX-80 High
    Resolution printer driver (8080 source code) "floating" somewhere in
    Germany... (I sent it to Tilmann Reh, 20 years ago, but have no idea what it
    has become.)

    Right now, on the Internet, you can find my disassemblies of GENGRAF and
    GSX-80.

    Yours Sincerely,
    Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France




  3. Re: GSX-80 anyone?

    On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 00:28:31 +0200, Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France wrote:

    > Hello, Udo!
    >
    >> Does anyone have an original GSX-80 distribution from DRI, that could be
    >> made available? The one at Gaby's site is incomplete and even with all
    >> pieces findable on the Internet one won't get the full distribution.
    >> Mostly I am missing the skeleton driver source and wasn't there a
    >> Tektronix 40xx driver from DRI?

    >
    > Obviously, you do not seem to remember that I made a lot of work with GSX,
    > 20 years ago, since it is the PORTABLE graphics systems for all the versions
    > of CP/M (8-bits and 16-bits) (also available for MS-DOS).


    I have no idea what you did 20 years ago, but I do remember that I wrote
    a GSX driver for my Janich&Class video card ca. 1982. And then I wrote
    Ratfor and Fortran programs to draw stuff on it with the GSX API.

    > Ok. Now the problem is what you mean by "an original GSX-80 distribution
    > from DRI". GSX is providing you with drivers. I remember a famous
    > article by Andrew R.M. Clarke (the Editor of the CP/M User Group (UK))
    > saying that you were obliged to write your own driver...


    Well, I mean that what DRI distributes as GSX-80, the complete files. What
    is available nowadays is a half complete disk image from an Amstrad system.
    For a Janich&Class video card I was obliged to write my own driver of
    course, which I did. If I remember right the distribution I had came with
    various video drivers, like for Tektronix terminals, and those are missing.
    Also I a had a skeleton driver source from DRI which I used as start for
    writing my own driver. How else would one know the functions to implement,
    argument passing and all the nasty details. All missing on the disk images
    available so far. Even the C-BASIC examples on this disk are not
    complete, include files missing.

    > If I remember well (I write this from emory), under 16-bits, there are
    > GSX-86 v1.0, v1.1, v1.2, and v1.3 (which uses Display Manager). Under
    > 8-bits, I have only seen GSX-80 v1.0 and v1.1. "Gaby" and the
    > Retroarchive Web sites probabaly have them.


    Not really.

    > Normally, GSX was provided with the application that used it. That's how
    > I got it, in the DR-GRAPH and DR-DRAW binders (I discovered GSX for the
    > Amstrads, then used it on my Epson QX-10).


    I had GSX but none of this applications, might have been v1.0; I don't
    know anymore.

    > What is incomplete in the "Gaby" version?


    Incomplete drivers. No skeleton driver source. Broken C-BASIC examples.
    Even gengraf is missing to load the GSX RSX and first driver.

    > What do you mean by "the full distribution"?


    Just all files that made a usefull GSX-80 distribution.

    >> Mostly I am missing the skeleton driver source

    >
    > Which "skeleton"? (There are drivers for screen, printer, plotter,
    > metafile, and video.)


    DRI provider a skeleton driver source you could use as a start for writing
    your own driver, same as skeleton BIOS source for CP/M.

    >> and wasn't there a Tektronix 40xx driver from DRI?

    >
    > Yes, I mentioned it. The Tektronix 4010 was the "standard" graphics
    > screen, at the time. So, Digital Research got (from GSS, the company
    > that developed GSX) at least 5 packages. The decided to buy and release
    > DR-GRAPH and DR-DRAW, but only specialists like me know GSS-KERNEL,
    > GSS-PLOT, and GSS-4010 (also known by the name "DR Access10" see my
    > message by this name).


    Thought so, also missing and I sure would like to use it before I write
    one.

    > (So far, I have been unable to find the last 3 packages. They are
    > mentioned in some advertisements published by DRI, 25 years ago.)
    >
    > Ho! I was forgeting: there is a 160-pages listing of the Epson FX-80
    > High Resolution printer driver (8080 source code) "floating" somewhere
    > in Germany... (I sent it to Tilmann Reh, 20 years ago, but have no idea
    > what it has become.)


    An Epson FX driver is included which seems to work. But I want a Tektronix
    driver of course.

    > Right now, on the Internet, you can find my disassemblies of GENGRAF and
    > GSX-80.


    Yep, at least gengraf.com can be reconstructed from your disassembly.

    > Yours Sincerely,
    > Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France


    Udo Munk
    --
    The real fun is building it and then using it...


  4. Re: GSX-80 anyone?

    Hello, Udo!

    > I have no idea what you did 20 years ago, but I do remember that I wrote
    > a GSX driver for my Janich&Class video card ca. 1982. And then I wrote
    > Ratfor and Fortran programs to draw stuff on it with the GSX API.


    Me, I never wrote a GSX driver or, rather more precisely, never finished my
    laser printer driver. Mostly, I used high-level PLs, but also had a 8080 ASM
    demo program.

    > Well, I mean that what DRI distributes as GSX-80, the complete files. What
    > is available nowadays is a half complete disk image from an Amstrad

    system.
    > For a Janich&Class video card I was obliged to write my own driver of
    > course, which I did. If I remember right the distribution I had came with
    > various video drivers, like for Tektronix terminals, and those are

    missing.
    > Also I a had a skeleton driver source from DRI which I used as start for
    > writing my own driver. How else would one know the functions to implement,
    > argument passing and all the nasty details. All missing on the disk images
    > available so far. Even the C-BASIC examples on this disk are not
    > complete, include files missing.


    If you are talking about GSX-80, then there were only v1.0 and v1.1 (that I
    got with Amstrad DR-GRAPH). As for the "various video drivers", the big
    problem of GSX is precisely the lack of video drivers (most drivers are
    printer drivers)! Personally, I never saw any source code: when I
    disassembled the DDFX8HR driver, this was so as to have something to read...
    I did it just by reading the "GSX Programmer's Guide", which explains the
    parameters for each function.

    > > What is incomplete in the "Gaby" version?

    >
    > Incomplete drivers. No skeleton driver source. Broken C-BASIC examples.
    > Even gengraf is missing to load the GSX RSX and first driver.


    I think that you are making a small error about CBASIC. CBASIC was a
    "pseudo-compiler", running INT files. All the GSX demos for the Amstrads
    were done with CBASIC Compiler Version 2 (CB-80 -- CB-86 is also available,
    for CP/M-86 and MS-DOS).

    > > What do you mean by "the full distribution"?

    >
    > Just all files that made a usefull GSX-80 distribution.


    I had the idea to re-read the GSX-86 v1.3 article that I published on the
    comp.os.cpm Newsgroup (apparently, v1.2 was just a mechanical translation
    from 8080 to 8086). It only deals with MS-DOS, and does not provide a list
    of the drivers. I just know, from experience, that each version had a
    different (increasing) number of drivers.

    > DRI provider a skeleton driver source you could use as a start for writing
    > your own driver, same as skeleton BIOS source for CP/M.


    As explained above, the only source code I know is the one on "Gaby" Web
    site. 20 years ago, I never saw any source code.

    > An Epson FX driver is included which seems to work. But I want a Tektronix
    > driver of course.


    ? Do you have a Tektronix 4010? I don't remember its resolution, but under
    CP/M-86, VGA should be available. And my custom CP/M-86 Plus system runs at
    400-MHz... From memory, it was taking 2 minutes to print a page on the
    FX-80. I think that a 4-MHz Z-80 is too slow for graphics. At 400-MHz, the
    screen is filled instantly.

    > Yep, at least gengraf.com can be reconstructed from your disassembly.


    Yes, this was Version 1.1, the one distributed with the Amstrads.

    Several years ago, there was an American that said that he had everything
    GSX for the Visual 1050. I encouraged him to set up a Web site, and share
    his programs, but he disappeared...

    Yours Sincerely,
    Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France




  5. Re: GSX-80 anyone?

    On Wed, 10 Sep 2008 21:24:08 +0200, Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France wrote:

    > If you are talking about GSX-80, then there were only v1.0 and v1.1 (that I
    > got with Amstrad DR-GRAPH). As for the "various video drivers", the big
    > problem of GSX is precisely the lack of video drivers (most drivers are
    > printer drivers)! Personally, I never saw any source code: when I
    > disassembled the DDFX8HR driver, this was so as to have something to read...
    > I did it just by reading the "GSX Programmer's Guide", which explains the
    > parameters for each function.


    There weren't many video drivers, because there weren't many video cards
    at this time. The available disk image only includes video drivers for
    this Amstrad system, anything else was stripped.

    > I think that you are making a small error about CBASIC. CBASIC was a
    > "pseudo-compiler", running INT files. All the GSX demos for the Amstrads
    > were done with CBASIC Compiler Version 2 (CB-80 -- CB-86 is also
    > available, for CP/M-86 and MS-DOS).


    I know what C-BASIC is and I looked through the incomplete example code.
    And if I remember right DRI had language bindings for all kind of
    programming languages and not just for C-BASIC, also stripped from this
    disk.

    > ? Do you have a Tektronix 4010? I don't remember its resolution, but
    > under CP/M-86, VGA should be available. And my custom CP/M-86 Plus
    > system runs at 400-MHz... From memory, it was taking 2 minutes to print
    > a page on the FX-80. I think that a 4-MHz Z-80 is too slow for graphics.
    > At 400-MHz, the screen is filled instantly.


    As every UNIX user I got a Tektronix 4014 (emulation), which you
    also get for Windows if you install a MIT X11 server and xterm
    (both comes with Cygwin e.g.). No problem to draw on that, but I thought
    it would be nice to use GSX-80. It was proved in the 70s already, that a 2
    MHz 8080 is not too slow, if used with some sort of vector processor for
    the graphics, Tektronix terminals via serial port e.g.

    Here is an example that can be tried on emulated hardware:
    ftp://ftp.unix4fun.org/z80pack/sourc...f/spacewar.asm

    Of course the ancient 8-bitters are too slow for high resolution 16
    million colors bitmapped graphics devices, but that's ok, such hardware
    didn't exist at that time anyway. For fancy stuff we just use 21 century
    equipment.

    Udo Munk
    --
    The real fun is building it and then using it...


  6. Re: GSX-80 anyone?

    On 2008-09-10, Udo Munk wrote:
    > As every UNIX user I got a Tektronix 4014 (emulation), which you
    > also get for Windows if you install a MIT X11 server and xterm
    > (both comes with Cygwin e.g.).


    MS-DOS KERMIT also has Tek 4010 emulation, especially interesting in
    that it obeys the ANSI color escape sequences in 4010 mode, allowing
    plots to be made in a variety of colors. Works OK under XP if your
    serial port is one of the standard COM ports (doesn't work with USB
    serial ports, for example). I used it just last year to draw some plots
    during the initial phases of my current project at work.
    --
    roger ivie
    rivie@ridgenet.net

  7. Re: GSX-80 anyone?

    Hello, Udo!

    > There weren't many video drivers, because there weren't many video cards
    > at this time. The available disk image only includes video drivers for
    > this Amstrad system, anything else was stripped.

    (...)
    > And if I remember right DRI had language bindings for all kind of
    > programming languages and not just for C-BASIC, also stripped from this
    > disk.


    I have understood! What you have seen is a copy from an Amstrad 173KB
    floppy! And, indeed, some files (listed in one of my messages, when I was
    looking for them) were not provided with the Amstrad, since their floppies
    contained only 173KB, versus the "standard" 243KB of 8" disks. Me, I got the
    missing DR DRAW font files from Rich Beaudry, when he found several GSX
    floppies for an MS-DOS NEC APC-III (apparently, this was the last computer
    for which GSX was implemented).

    As for the "language bindings", this was the "GSX Programmer's Language
    Reference Manual", which contained the source code to use Pascal/MT+, PL/1,
    DRC, CBASIC Compiler, and FORTRAN-77 (8-bits or 16-bits).

    This reminds me that, during several years, I searched for a DEC VT-100 with
    the Digital Engineering "Retro-Graphics Model VT640" board... If someone has
    this rarity that he no longer needs, I could use this screen as a kind of
    "portable screen", if not a driver.

    > Here is an example that can be tried on emulated hardware:
    > ftp://ftp.unix4fun.org/z80pack/sourc...f/spacewar.asm


    Yes! I remember seeing it in the CP/M User Group "Software Library"!

    > Of course the ancient 8-bitters are too slow for high resolution 16
    > million colors bitmapped graphics devices, but that's ok, such hardware
    > didn't exist at that time anyway. For fancy stuff we just use 21 century
    > equipment.


    Another possibility is the NEC uPD 7220 GDC, that was used on the Epson
    QX-10. This chip provided a very easy to program Graphics Display
    Controller. The QX-10, in 1983, had VGA resolution graphics, and I could
    program them without assembly language programming, just sending the correct
    commands via the I/O ports to the GDC. (Unfortunately, nothing as
    powerful/simple exists on the IBM Clown). For years, I produced business
    graphics under GSX-80, on my Hewlett-Packard HP7470A Grapics plotter, and
    nobody ever complained about their qualities... Yet, I was the only man in
    town still with a 8-bits computer! Everybody else had a "PC" (or a Mac), but
    could not do the same (color printers were not common, back then). (There is
    a "7220" directory in the GSX files of "Gaby".)

    Too bad that so many files from Digital Research disappeared. I am
    fascinated by the products launched by DRI in 1983: Access Manager, Display
    Manager, DR GRAPh, DR DRAW, Dr. Logo, CP/NET, Concurrent CP/M... It was
    really a creative year!


    Yours Sincerely,
    Mr. Emmanuel Roche, France




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