WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks - DEC

This is a discussion on WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks - DEC ; In article , billg999@cs.uofs.edu (Bill Gunshannon) in alt.sys.pdp11 wrote: > >That's interesting. I was under the impression that the PRO could run >normal PDP-11 software (mine is running RT-11 and I assumed it was not >a custom version but just ...

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Thread: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

  1. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    In article <5p8v6mFq3ilrU1@mid.individual.net>,
    billg999@cs.uofs.edu (Bill Gunshannon) in alt.sys.pdp11 wrote:

    >
    >That's interesting. I was under the impression that the PRO could run
    >normal PDP-11 software (mine is running RT-11 and I assumed it was not
    >a custom version but just plain old RT-11. It was on it when I got it!)


    The 'custom' version that accommodated PRO weirdness was called
    RT11v5. Changes in BSTRAP, RESORC, VDT, ERROR LOG, new stuff, DW,DZ
    and PI handlers. DEC claimed that it would run 85% of the stuff that
    ran on traditional RT11, the show stopper being the huge size of PI
    (Professional Interface) handler. 3540 words, leaving IIRC only
    ~15kW below the USR on FB. Over 50% real address space for operating
    system, what's left is for the user, not good. I had a demo model on
    loan from DEC for a few months - they weren't selling very well* -
    hit the problem with my own stuff straight away and DEC's "easy fix"
    of VBGEXE turned out to be nastier than I thought.

    >As for the built in Keyboard/display, My Terak's all do that too. But it
    >is mapped to the address of a normal PDP-11 console so real PDP software
    >runs just fine. Plus, you can turn it off and set the serial port to
    >the Console SLU address and run a terminal on it instead. The only non-
    >compatable PDP-11 device is the floppy, which is not the same in hardware
    >as an RX01/RX02. But an RT-11 driver was provided and enough info to
    >write a driver for other OSes (which I plan to do at some point, just so
    >I can put 8" disks on some of my other systems.)
    >
    >>
    >> (Don't ask me why DEC did it like that. It's a pain, and another reason the PRO
    >> was a failure.)


    It just *had* to be different so as not to compete with the
    micro-PDP11 and the traditional PDP11. Might have sold better if RT
    has been available from day one, not two years later and VT100 as
    standard, PRO video and kybd as optional extras. It would have needed
    to sell at the same sort of price differential wrt a real PDP11 as
    that between a DECmate and a real PDP8.

    >
    >Interesting info, even if I have to wonder about some of it. I am
    >certainly looking forward to actually having time to play with the
    >PRO and now I even which I had a chance to get a couple more. Would
    >be easier to do a lot of this playing if I had a development system
    >as well as a testing and production system. And an ethernet card!! :-)
    >



    * On the condition that it had to be boxed up and ready for
    collection at 48 hours notice if they needed it for a demo. It never
    happened!

    Regards,

    David P.


  2. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    Bill Gunshannon wrote:

    (snip)

    > Interesting!! Seems like they created an awful lot of extra work for
    > themselves. Did DEC actually design the PRO or was it done outside?


    I remember once the process of installing Kermit on a PRO.

    There is a complication in getting an executable file installed,
    though I don't remember what it is now. There is nothing like
    the unix

    chmod +x

    to tell the system that a file is actually executable.
    Just loading the bits isn't enough, though.

    -- glen


  3. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks


    I think I managed to get VMS run mkimage (SRI) and save an image of a
    RX50-floppy a few years ago, I've used it for RL02's too.

    ^P.Lj

    "Christian Corti" skrev i
    meddelandet news:39cvv4-emn.ln1@news.online.de...
    > Johnny Billquist wrote:
    > > Hmm. Trying to check out fdutils, but can't really say if it will do

    enough to
    > > allow you to play with RX50s. Anyone tried?

    >
    > Since RX50s are MFM, 80 tracks, 10 sectors/track, single sided, 250
    > kbit/s disks, a correct 'setfdprm' will do the trick.
    > Oh, BTW, this is what I've just found (author unknown):
    >
    > "Reading and Writing Real RX50 Floppies
    >
    > The emulator is not able to read and write real RX50 floppies directly.
    > However, on a Linux system, it is possible to convert RX50 floppies to
    > disk image files, and vice versa. A 1.2 MB 5.25" floppy drive is needed
    > for this. The following entry should be added to the /etc/fdprm file on
    > the Linux system that has the floppy drive attached:
    >
    > # size sec/t hds trk stre gap rate spec1 fmt_gap
    > RX50 800 10 1 80 0 0x14 0x01 0xDF 0x18
    >
    > Then, assuming the 5.25" floppy drive is /dev/fd1, the RX50 parameters
    > should be set from a shell prompt (as root) with:
    >
    > setfdprm /dev/fd1 RX50
    >
    > Next, the dd command can be used to read and write RX50 floppies. For
    > example, to convert an entire floppy into an image file:
    >
    > dd if=/dev/fd1 of=floppy_image
    >
    > This should produce a 409,600 byte file. To write an entire floppy from
    > such a file:
    >
    > dd if=floppy_image of=/dev/fd1
    >
    > I have had very good luck reading Pro floppies this way. However, for
    > disks that I have written, I've had some problems reading the last couple
    > of tracks on a real Pro."
    >
    >
    > > As for cpmtools, that's probably not going to help.

    >
    > No, not for RX50s, that's right.
    >
    > Christian
    >




  4. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    glen herrmannsfeldt skrev:
    > Bill Gunshannon wrote:
    >
    > (snip)
    >
    >> Interesting!! Seems like they created an awful lot of extra work for
    >> themselves. Did DEC actually design the PRO or was it done outside?

    >
    > I remember once the process of installing Kermit on a PRO.
    >
    > There is a complication in getting an executable file installed,
    > though I don't remember what it is now. There is nothing like
    > the unix
    >
    > chmod +x
    >
    > to tell the system that a file is actually executable.
    > Just loading the bits isn't enough, though.


    Well, yes and no.
    The trick is that executable files needs to be contigous. Not that tricky at
    all, if you just know it. :-)

    Johnny

    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  5. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    On Wed, 7 Nov 2007, Johnny Billquist wrote:

    > Bill Gunshannon skrev:
    >> ...
    >> start playing with my PRO. It sounds like cool box.

    >
    > It has its points, but not being done like any other PDP-11
    > definitely hurts.


    And Brian McCarthy said as much on DecuServe years ago.

    - Rob


    --

    Rob Brown b r o w n a t g m c l d o t c o m
    G. Michaels Consulting Ltd. (780)438-9343 (voice)
    Edmonton (780)437-3367 (FAX)
    http://gmcl.com/


  6. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    Bill Gunshannon skrev:
    > In article ,
    > Johnny Billquist writes:
    >> Bill Gunshannon skrev:
    >>> In article ,
    >>> Johnny Billquist writes:
    >>>> Bill Gunshannon skrev:
    >>>>> In article ,
    >>>>> Johnny Billquist writes:
    >>>>>> However, from what I've read it also
    >>>>>> requires a rather slow PC to work (timing issues).
    >>>>> That will eventually be a problem, but I think there are a lot of
    >>>>> people, like me, who have kept things like 16mhz 386's around (heck,
    >>>>> I even at least one 8088 PC still runable in my basement datacenter.)
    >>>>> The big show stopper is going to be the limited number of disk controllers
    >>>>> capable of dealing with these early formats.
    >>>> I keep a real RX50 or three around instead. :-)
    >>> The drive won't get over the controller issue. Some modern controllers
    >>> can not even do single density so it doesn't matter what drive you
    >>> connect.

    >> Um, I have my RX50 connected to VAXen and PDP-11s. :-)
    >> I don't play with anything smelling like a PC unless I really have to.

    >
    > Which, taken back to the original discussion of Teledisk begs the
    > question, "Of what value would Teledisk images be if all you have are
    > VAX and PDP-11 systems?"


    Touché! :-)
    But if I just would have a PC hooked to the net, then some program to recreate
    the images, given that you don't have a machine with a real RX50.

    For my own personal needs, a raw dump of the images is much better, since I'll
    just write it on a real RX50 drive.

    >>> I have never seen P/OS. I guess from what I read I assumed it was much
    >>> closer to RSX than it now seems to be.

    >> It is really close to RSX, so much so that most of the source of the OS is
    >> shared. However, of course you have to have device drivers that are written for
    >> the hardware you actually have, and that's where it differs mostly.
    >>
    >> I would say I think you assumed a PRO was much closer to a normal PDP-11 than it
    >> is. :-)

    >
    > Yes, I had. I know it is physically different (Neither QBUS nor UNIBUS)
    > but I assumed they maintained compatability like they had between the
    > above two mentioned architectures by making the devices at least look
    > similar.


    A lot of people would wish that. And it's very unfortunate that it isn't.

    >>> Thanks once again for a wealth of useful information. Definitely want to
    >>> start playing with my PRO. It sounds like cool box.

    >> It has its points, but not being done like any other PDP-11 definitely hurts.

    >
    > Well, I'll play with it but I don't see it replacing real PDP-11's in
    > my chain of interest. :-)


    Same here...

    It's a machine to have for the curiosity of it, but it won't replace a PDP-11.
    And I'm one of those guys who don't care much for emulations either. Prefer the
    real machines.

    I'm making an exception with E11, since have that one configured as an 11/74. I
    doubt I'll ever get a real one.

    Johnny

    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  7. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    Bill Gunshannon wrote:

    (snip, someone wrote)
    >>Actually, the RX01 is an industry standard IBM format.
    >> All diskettes for 8" were preformatted,


    > As were all 5.25" floppies, although not necessarily in a format that was
    > usable on the computer system they were purchased for. :-)


    As far as I know, they were always certified, that is, tested with
    real bits. At least in the early (pre-IBM PC) days I never knew any
    that had a known standard format. Then again, other than DEC all
    systems that I knew of did both low level and high level format as
    one operation. In most cases there was no way to look at the
    existing format, if any.

    -- glen


  8. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    Johnny Billquist wrote:

    (snip, I wrote, regarding the P/OS file system)

    >> to tell the system that a file is actually executable.
    >> Just loading the bits isn't enough, though.


    > Well, yes and no.
    > The trick is that executable files needs to be contigous. Not that
    > tricky at all, if you just know it. :-)


    Is that what it was? There was a special process to install kermit,
    but I don't remember any documentation of how that process actually
    worked. It was much more difficult than on most other systems.

    thanks,

    -- glen


  9. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    glen herrmannsfeldt skrev:
    > Johnny Billquist wrote:
    >
    > (snip, I wrote, regarding the P/OS file system)
    >
    >>> to tell the system that a file is actually executable.
    >>> Just loading the bits isn't enough, though.

    >
    >> Well, yes and no.
    >> The trick is that executable files needs to be contigous. Not that
    >> tricky at all, if you just know it. :-)

    >
    > Is that what it was? There was a special process to install kermit,
    > but I don't remember any documentation of how that process actually
    > worked. It was much more difficult than on most other systems.


    Well, there could be one more thing as well. Images needs to have the attributes
    set to 512 byte fixed size records.
    But people often manage to solve that one, but get caught by the contigous thing.

    If you're not used to RSX, this can be a headache, but if you're used to it,
    it's fixed almost without thinking.

    Johnny

    --
    Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
    || on a psychedelic trip
    email: bqt@softjar.se || Reading murder books
    pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol

  10. Re: WTB P/OS or RT-11 System Disks

    Johnny Billquist wrote:
    (snip)

    > The problem is that Unix can't deal with the fact that an RX50 floppy is
    > in a totally different hardware format to normal PC floppy drives.
    > What teledisk do is to actually reach down into the hardware and
    > reprogram the floppy controller to deal with something akin to RX50 format.


    There are two differences. One is 96 track/inch, which is drive
    hardware specific. The OS doesn't know about that at all.
    The other is 10 sectors. I believe that requires reducing the gap
    between sectors at format time. That is programmable on all PC
    floppy controllers that I know about. It is not determined by
    drive hardware.

    > There are articles on the net about which floppies, drives and
    > controllers actually work for teledisk to do this. Not all will do.


    > The RX50 have 10 sectors/track. 80 tracks and 96 tpi. Single side. 400K
    > capacity per disk.


    > A Unix system without a real RX50 drive would probably never be able to
    > read or write a RX50 floppy. If you were to hack the floppy controller
    > extensively, you maybe could, but that means hacking in the kernel,
    > since doing that from user space probably never would be possible to do
    > coherently.


    An HD floppy drive runs 96tpi, so all you need to do is convince it
    to write 10 sectors at DD data rates and write current. That isn't
    hard on most drives. 10 sectors/track is a software question, where
    linux is about as easy as any. Some DOS systems had a loadable floppy
    driver that let one configure tracks, sectors, sides, etc., at boot
    time.

    -- glen


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