Author Topic: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement  (Read 10611 times)

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Offline m_dr_m

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #100 on: 17:36, 07 May 21 »
You're not really going to use 'fda' as indicator for drive 'a'  ??
You haven't read how smart Unidos is. You can both point an explicit device (ide, fda etc) or a logical drive (a, b) assigned to such a drive.
That allows a lot of softwares to work on mass storage, even when re-initialising ROM 7 and current device, since A: is still pointing to the right drive/directory.
 
Regarding cooperation: you have a point. The thing is everyone has slightly different needs and visions, and it's also too much fun to start from scratch.
« Last Edit: 22:13, 08 May 21 by m_dr_m »

Offline zhulien

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #101 on: 17:21, 08 May 21 »
I like the way UniDOS is designed with the extension ROMS, i think this will definitely be what makes UniDOS a winner.  It would be great if the other DOS guys worked together though for sure.

Offline OffseT

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #102 on: 13:01, 09 May 21 »
Thanks. I will try to keep it as opened and expandable as possible and I hope it will be usefull for current hardwares, but also for upcoming ones.

Anyway, UniDOS 1.11 is now available from https://unidos.cpcscene.net (this is mainly a bugfix release, no new feature yet).

Stay tuned, next release will integrate new features, taking into account various remarks from users and developpers. ;D


About working together, I actually tried to contact some guys who already did some work releated to FAT support, but with no success (I have no problem with that, everyone has its own priorities); so I decided to create a FatFs node on my own because I guess that supporting X-Mass was important.
« Last Edit: 13:05, 09 May 21 by OffseT »

Offline OffseT

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #103 on: 12:18, 15 May 21 »
A preliminary version of the Nova DOS node is now available at https://unidos.cpcscene.net.


More info about Nova expansion card:
https://pulkomandy.github.io/shinra.github.io/nova.html


This is a very first version so that X-Mass users can immediatly take advantage of this card because NV-RAM support from FAT32 is a bit slow.
Of course, Albireo users can use it too. They won't notice as much speed boost, but it will safe write accesses to their MicroSD card (it will also consequently make the MicroSD card presence optionnal).
Also, Nova let you use UniDOS without any other additionnal hardware (just limited to floppies and tape).


Final version of Nova will provide a public API so that other programs/ROMs can also use it in a system-friendly manner.

Offline OffseT

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #104 on: 12:47, 25 May 21 »
A new version of UniDOS and its Albireo and FatFs DOS nodes is available.


It introduces |LOAD, |SAVE and |SAVEA RSX similar to the ones which can be found in Arnor Ltd. ROMs (Utopia, Maxam).
Theses can be used to manipulate files like original ones, but also directories (which can be used instead of regular LOAD/SAVE in BASIC program if you wish to avoid error management in this peticular use case).


I also enabled the capability to move file from a directory to another using |REN.

Pick this at https://unidos.cpcscene.net.


Offline OffseT

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #105 on: 11:55, 29 May 21 »
A patched firmware "u5" for CPC6128 was added to UniDOS website.

It should be useful if you want to use UniDOS in the most compatible manner but cannot install it in ROM slot 7, either because you have the wrong Romboard (such as X-Mem which cannot program slot 7) or because you could not patch your CPC6128 motherboard to disable/change internal ROM 7. Or course, you will need a Romboard which is capable of programming the lower ROM to install this firmware (which X-Mem can). Once this patched firmware "u5" is installed, most softwares which require the DOS to be in ROM slot 7 will work again while UniDOS is in ROM slot 5.

Detailled explanations are available in the installation page of the website, the files are available on the download page (one firmware per keyboard layout).

Please note that 6128plus do not have the ROM 7 issue (internal ROM 7 is auto-disabled when external is installed). You can still use this patched firmware on it if you whish, but you should prefer to directly update ROM 7 if you Romcard can (most can, i.e. FlashGordon or even good old Ramcard can).
« Last Edit: 12:09, 29 May 21 by OffseT »

Offline TotO

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #106 on: 13:23, 29 May 21 »
Nice, because it's not new that CPC 6128 can't replace the ROM7.

Again, it is the DDI task to provide the DOS ROM7 and not a ROM board.
An alternative DOS shouldn't replace it but complement it using ROM6 in example.

If a handful of softwares are incompatible since 30 years, it would be better to patch them.
(rather than drag a problem that has no solution for the next 30 years)

In this way, it is inappropriate to say that you are buying a wrong ROM board if you cannot replace the ROM7.
Especially if this expansion allows you in return to boot with the firmware of your choice and offer 512K of RAM.
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Offline OffseT

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #107 on: 16:51, 29 May 21 »
Yeah, in a perfect world, softwares would be perfect too.
But there is very little chance that the hundreds of softwares which require DOS in ROM 7 will be patched one day.


That said, maybe "wrong" was not the good wording, "inappropriate" might have been a better choice. :)
And I actually said that updating firmware was made possible by your X-Mem board (it is even mentionned on the website). 8)


So, for the end user which just want the things to work, there are two immediate solutions to get rid of this ROM 7 compatiblity issue:
1. updating ROM 7; which is directly possible on all CPC but the CPC6128 (which has to be fixed).
2. updating firmware ROM; which requires lower ROM compatible Romboard (such as X-Mem).

Offline TotO

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #108 on: 19:40, 29 May 21 »
That said, maybe "wrong" was not the good wording, "inappropriate" might have been a better choice. :)
The french version: "si vous avez la mauvaise ROM card (par exemple la X-MEM)", so I suggest that is not an english issue. ;)

The problem with ROM7 is that you can't ask to hundreds of users to hack their CPC 6128, because a compatibility problem may occur with softwares they didn't use. I don't said to patch everything, but the main programs always used today... May be we can list them? Because I have never encounter any problem with games using floppy disc, neither other ROM programs, since I'm using the X-MEM and the X-MASS with AcmeDOS, CubeMDOS or ImpDOS, but problems related to them. ;D

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Offline m_dr_m

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #109 on: 20:37, 29 May 21 »
I applaud TotOffset efforts to provide either:
* A neat solution that requires almost no effort to use old software.
* A neat solution that doesn't require to mod one's CPC.


FWIW, I personally prefer the lower ROM approach, as it allows other very useful features (see thread on this subject), and the Oxford PAO incompatibility doesn't really bother me.
Also, Chany isn't retired yet! When there are no new soft to crack, it can be fun to have old ones to patch.


Wouldn't a perfect world be boring, hence imperfect?

Offline GUNHED

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #110 on: 21:08, 29 May 21 »
1. updating ROM 7; which is directly possible on all CPC but the CPC6128 (which has to be fixed).
In Germany about 90% of the CPC6128 can replace ROM 7. I don't know much about other regions.
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Offline zhulien

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #111 on: 14:11, 03 June 21 »
The issue with other implementations of replacement or additional DOS ROMS is the <ROM7 recommendation.  You see, there is only 5 ROMS less than 7 not including ROM 0 and some non-DOS ROMS also require <ROM7.  To allow all the devices to be used at the same time like an installable filesystem, or devicedriver, the extension ROMS of UniDOS make a lot of sense.  But this system could have worked in <ROM7 also as the only additional DOS ROM below 7.  Personally I think it doesn't matter if replacing ROM7 or using <ROM7 as long as it works with the everything I use.  So far there is nothing good - Maxam 1.5 doesn't like M4, Utopia does odd things sometimes, I cannot easily copy things from my USB sticks to my X-MASS and to the M4... it's a crazy world with CPC DOS drivers "for AMSDOS"... and UniDOS is or something that works in a similar way looks to be the only solution.

Offline GUNHED

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #112 on: 19:53, 07 June 21 »
Yeah, right, way too much incompatibilities. The best thing is to have a monolithic OS.  8) 8) ;) :) :) :)
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Offline Audronic

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #113 on: 03:45, 08 June 21 »
In Germany about 90% of the CPC6128 can replace ROM 7. I don't know much about other regions.

Hi Gunhed
? Does that mean that there are hardware differences in the CPC6128's that will allow rom 7 to be Over Written (X-Mem)
I don't know where to look Does any body Know.
It may be a simple Patch to the Motherboard to allow X-mem to over write rom 7 ?
My Mother boards Z70290 MC0020B don't allow Rom 7 to be Over Written (X-Mem)


Gerald Can you help Please


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« Last Edit: 04:38, 08 June 21 by Audronic »
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Offline GUNHED

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #114 on: 04:53, 08 June 21 »
Hi Gunhed
Does that mean that there are hardware differences in the CPC6128's that will allow rom 7 to be Over Written ...

Exactly, there are different mainboards.
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Offline Audronic

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #115 on: 05:24, 08 June 21 »
Exactly, there are different mainboards.
I was wondering ? Are your CPC6128's That allow rom 7 to be over written identified as Schneider or something else ?
Thanks
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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #116 on: 09:44, 08 June 21 »
It is a very simple modification to add a switch to disable the internal ROM (or even install an alternate one directly inside the CPC).


I don't know about these CPC which could disable the ROM, as far as I know, no one has confirmed (I mean with logic analyzer testing on the ROM pins) if it is really disabled, or if it's active, but the X-Mass ROM is "stronger" and manages to send its own data on the bus (which could work, but is not so nice to the hardware).


If there is indeed a motherboard difference, this should be checked and documented, including the list of motherboard revision numbers where this works or doesn't work. And we can investigate how it was done and where the extra logic is added.

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #117 on: 10:29, 08 June 21 »
Perhaps Pin 42 On the expansion Bus  /ROMEN may be suitable ?
Connected to IC204 Pin 20 /CE


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Offline TotO

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #118 on: 10:52, 08 June 21 »

It is a very simple modification to add a switch to disable the internal ROM (or even install an alternate one directly inside the CPC).
Or use UniDOS as ROM6 and change nothing. The more "clean hack" is to replace the 6128 internal FDC ROM to have a new DOS.


I don't know about these CPC which could disable the ROM, as far as I know, no one has confirmed (I mean with logic analyzer testing on the ROM pins) if it is really disabled, or if it's active, but the X-Mass ROM is "stronger" and manages to send its own data on the bus (which could work, but is not so nice to the hardware).
I suppose that you want to say he X-MEM, as the X-MASS do not handle ROM. And the X-MEM ROM is automatically disabled when the CPC access the ROM7. In 2013, it was concluded that a bus contention using the Bryce Lower ROM has allowed to disable it on the mainboard MC00020G only. https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/disabling-rom-7/
« Last Edit: 10:54, 08 June 21 by TotO »
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Offline PulkoMandy

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #119 on: 11:25, 08 June 21 »
I suppose that you want to say he X-MEM, as the X-MASS do not handle ROM. And the X-MEM ROM is automatically disabled when the CPC access the ROM7. In 2013, it was concluded that a bus contention using the Bryce Lower ROM has allowed to disable it on the mainboard MC00020G only. https://www.cpcwiki.eu/forum/amstrad-cpc-hardware/disabling-rom-7/


Yes, I should not post too early in the morning before being fully awake. Sorry for adding even more confusion  :picard:


I meant rather the FlashGordon/MegaFlash or the Ramcard or other expansions that could replace ROM7. On all these interfaces there is a switch to enable or disable the external ROM7 to avoid the conflict with the internal one. But it can still be enabled for Amstrad Plus and "PreASIC" CPC, from what I understand. For the other versions, it seems to work, sometimes, but the hardware was not designed for it and personally I wouldn't recommend using that setup, especially when the mod to cleanly disable the internal ROM is not so hard to do.

Offline TotO

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #120 on: 12:32, 08 June 21 »
May be 30 years ago it was funny to read a fanzine and drill holes, cut tracks and solder wires into the CPC, but today?
Especially when the problem came from few old softwares doing direct access to ROM7 and not really from the CPC.

When you add a DDI-1 on the 464, you can't disable the ROM7 too. So, the good way is to replace the ROM IC.
I think that is the same for the 664 and 6128, if you require ParaDOS or UniDOS instead of AmsDOS at ROM7.

Looking the DDI-1/664/6128 FDC schematics, they don't allow to disable the AmsDOS ROM.
I think there are less softwares to patch (or not use) than CPC to hack around the world. ;D

Anyway, ParaDOS works fine at ROM6 for my usage since a decade. Why not UniDOS?
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Offline OffseT

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #121 on: 12:56, 08 June 21 »
Well, the only important things is that you have plenty of solutions to acheive the compatibility you expect. 8)


1. Basic compatibility: UniDOS in ROM slot <7 and default firmware.
2. Good compatibility: UniDOS in ROM slot 5 and the patched firmware "u5".
3. Better compatibility: UniDOS in ROM slot 7 and default firmware.


Case 1 is possible anycase but won't allow softwares which rely on ROM 7 to be run from UniDOS drives.
Case 2 is possible anycase but requires a X-Mem or M4 Board (for firmware external update).
Case 3 requires a capable CPC; means all CPC where ROM 7 is socketed (DD1, CPC664, fixed CPC6128) or Plus model with a Romboard (any but the X-Mem, as it cannot put ROM 7).


Anyway, ParaDOS works fine at ROM6 for my usage since a decade. Why not UniDOS?
I guess you never tried to launch OCP Art Studio, Oxford PAO, Digitracker... or any cracked game from a ParaDOS floppy.  ;D

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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #122 on: 13:02, 08 June 21 »
Anyway, UniDOS and the FatFs DOS node where updated.


UniDOS:
  • Hacker compatibility fix.
  • |COPY better error message handling.
FatFs:
  • Removed cache mode (it was slow and restrictive for upcoming enhancements).
  • Added Nova support to save main memory (it is automatically enabled when the board is detected).
  • Moved work buffers to a different place so that more (cracked) software are working on FatFs too (they were already working with Albireo).


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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #123 on: 14:51, 08 June 21 »
The Amstrad Plus provide the Firmware, BASIC and DOS ROM from the cartridge slot, so no problem with the expansion port.
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Re: UniDOS, the new multi-device AMSDOS replacement
« Reply #124 on: 15:08, 08 June 21 »
I was wondering ? Are your CPC6128's That allow rom 7 to be over written identified as Schneider or something else ?
All the Schneider CPC6128 I have (5 or 7 or so) can replace ROM 7 (and ROM 0 too). In Germany it's the regular case. Finally I got one CPC6128 (Schneider) which is not capable of ROM 7 replacement. Wow! It was unexpected.

For very long time all this legends of CPCs being incapable of replacing ROM 0 and ROM 7 were just uncertified legends (stories of the crazy), but today I have one of these non working CPCs in my hands - never believed in them before.


But back to topic...
My impression of UniDOS is up to now, that it's a great idea, but not finished yet. I'm looking forward to see the final result. Maybe this idea will work and unify the CPCs mass storage. Let us all hope the best for it.
« Last Edit: 15:11, 08 June 21 by GUNHED »
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