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RE: Altair 8800 PROMS

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  • deramp5113
    Sounds interesting -- I ll have to try these this weekend. Where were you in the mid-70 s when MITS needed you? Mike --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com,
    Message 1 of 10 , Sep 13, 2013
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      Sounds interesting -- I'll have to try these this weekend. Where were you in the mid-70's when MITS needed you?


      Mike

       



      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <eberhard@...> wrote:

      I've just uploaded a couple of interesting PROM programs in Files > Altair 8800 EPROM Images > New and Modified EPROMS.

      The first is a new version of MBL, called MBLe. MBLe works exactly like MBL, except 3 improvements:

      1) the 88-HSR load routines have been replaced with load routines for the 2SIO's 2nd serial port - so you can use an RS232 high-speed tape reader to load from this port. (Does anybody actually have an 88-HSR?)

      2) The 88-PIO and 88-4PIO ports are initialized properly, so you can load from an OP-80 paper tape reader. (If you have an OP-80, you have probably been driven crazy trying to get it to work...)

      3) The loader will not try to skip over a checksum loader on the tape, if the leader character is null. This is actually really neat: if you dump memory with the TURMON monitor, you can then read that file back into memory with MBLe. (The original MBL couldn't read these files, because it got hung up trying to skip over the tape's checksum loader.)

      I suspect this is what MITS had in mind with the (otherwise useless) TURMON "D" command, but they didn't seem to get it working. With MBLe, it works great.

      The second PROM code I uploaded is my own replacement for TURMON, called UBMON, or Universal Boot Monitor. UBMON has all of the features of TURMON, plus adds three new commands:

      "B" boots from floppy, provided that you have a DBL PROM installed.

      "T" boots from paper tape or cassette tape, provided you have either and MBL or an MBLe PROM installed.

      "L" boots from hard disk, provided you have am 88-HDSK hard disk boot PROM installed. (I'll be posting this PROM code soon.)

      In all three cases, if you type the command and the required PROM is NOT installed, UBMON does the right thing - it simply ignores the command, rather than jumping off into the weeds.

      It was actually quite difficult to squeeze THREE more commands into the 256-byte PROM without losing functionality!

      For each of these PROM programs, I have also uploaded a comprehensive user's manual that was written very much in the spirit of the original MITS manuals for their PROM code.

      -Martin

    • deramp5113
      I used your new ROMs today to help christen my just finished Teletype refurb job. Booting into your updated TURMON ROM and using the Teletype as the console,
      Message 2 of 10 , Sep 14, 2013
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        I used your new ROMs today to help christen my just "finished" Teletype refurb job.


        Booting into your updated TURMON ROM and using the Teletype as the console, I entered "Kill the Bit" using the M command. Then I punched the program to paper tape using the D command. This is the first program I have punched on the Teletype.


        I cycled power on the computer to erase the program, then loaded the Kill the Bit paper tape using your updated MBL ROM. Worked great! This was the first program I have loaded into a computer via the Teletype reader.


        Nice small test compared to punching and loading 4K BASIC. Guess that's the next Teletype test.


        Thanks for the work on  the ROMs!


        Mike




        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

        Sounds interesting -- I'll have to try these this weekend. Where were you in the mid-70's when MITS needed you?


        Mike

         



        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <eberhard@...> wrote:

        I've just uploaded a couple of interesting PROM programs in Files > Altair 8800 EPROM Images > New and Modified EPROMS.

        The first is a new version of MBL, called MBLe. MBLe works exactly like MBL, except 3 improvements:

        1) the 88-HSR load routines have been replaced with load routines for the 2SIO's 2nd serial port - so you can use an RS232 high-speed tape reader to load from this port. (Does anybody actually have an 88-HSR?)

        2) The 88-PIO and 88-4PIO ports are initialized properly, so you can load from an OP-80 paper tape reader. (If you have an OP-80, you have probably been driven crazy trying to get it to work...)

        3) The loader will not try to skip over a checksum loader on the tape, if the leader character is null. This is actually really neat: if you dump memory with the TURMON monitor, you can then read that file back into memory with MBLe. (The original MBL couldn't read these files, because it got hung up trying to skip over the tape's checksum loader.)

        I suspect this is what MITS had in mind with the (otherwise useless) TURMON "D" command, but they didn't seem to get it working. With MBLe, it works great.

        The second PROM code I uploaded is my own replacement for TURMON, called UBMON, or Universal Boot Monitor. UBMON has all of the features of TURMON, plus adds three new commands:

        "B" boots from floppy, provided that you have a DBL PROM installed.

        "T" boots from paper tape or cassette tape, provided you have either and MBL or an MBLe PROM installed.

        "L" boots from hard disk, provided you have am 88-HDSK hard disk boot PROM installed. (I'll be posting this PROM code soon.)

        In all three cases, if you type the command and the required PROM is NOT installed, UBMON does the right thing - it simply ignores the command, rather than jumping off into the weeds.

        It was actually quite difficult to squeeze THREE more commands into the 256-byte PROM without losing functionality!

        For each of these PROM programs, I have also uploaded a comprehensive user's manual that was written very much in the spirit of the original MITS manuals for their PROM code.

        -Martin

      • mfeberhard
        That s great! Were you using the TURMON PROM or the one I called UBMON? --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, wrote:
        Message 3 of 10 , Sep 14, 2013
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          That's great!  Were you using the TURMON PROM or the one I called UBMON?



          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          I used your new ROMs today to help christen my just "finished" Teletype refurb job.


          Booting into your updated TURMON ROM and using the Teletype as the console, I entered "Kill the Bit" using the M command. Then I punched the program to paper tape using the D command. This is the first program I have punched on the Teletype.


          I cycled power on the computer to erase the program, then loaded the Kill the Bit paper tape using your updated MBL ROM. Worked great! This was the first program I have loaded into a computer via the Teletype reader.


          Nice small test compared to punching and loading 4K BASIC. Guess that's the next Teletype test.


          Thanks for the work on  the ROMs!


          Mike




          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

          Sounds interesting -- I'll have to try these this weekend. Where were you in the mid-70's when MITS needed you?


          Mike

           



          --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <eberhard@...> wrote:

          I've just uploaded a couple of interesting PROM programs in Files > Altair 8800 EPROM Images > New and Modified EPROMS.

          The first is a new version of MBL, called MBLe. MBLe works exactly like MBL, except 3 improvements:

          1) the 88-HSR load routines have been replaced with load routines for the 2SIO's 2nd serial port - so you can use an RS232 high-speed tape reader to load from this port. (Does anybody actually have an 88-HSR?)

          2) The 88-PIO and 88-4PIO ports are initialized properly, so you can load from an OP-80 paper tape reader. (If you have an OP-80, you have probably been driven crazy trying to get it to work...)

          3) The loader will not try to skip over a checksum loader on the tape, if the leader character is null. This is actually really neat: if you dump memory with the TURMON monitor, you can then read that file back into memory with MBLe. (The original MBL couldn't read these files, because it got hung up trying to skip over the tape's checksum loader.)

          I suspect this is what MITS had in mind with the (otherwise useless) TURMON "D" command, but they didn't seem to get it working. With MBLe, it works great.

          The second PROM code I uploaded is my own replacement for TURMON, called UBMON, or Universal Boot Monitor. UBMON has all of the features of TURMON, plus adds three new commands:

          "B" boots from floppy, provided that you have a DBL PROM installed.

          "T" boots from paper tape or cassette tape, provided you have either and MBL or an MBLe PROM installed.

          "L" boots from hard disk, provided you have am 88-HDSK hard disk boot PROM installed. (I'll be posting this PROM code soon.)

          In all three cases, if you type the command and the required PROM is NOT installed, UBMON does the right thing - it simply ignores the command, rather than jumping off into the weeds.

          It was actually quite difficult to squeeze THREE more commands into the 256-byte PROM without losing functionality!

          For each of these PROM programs, I have also uploaded a comprehensive user's manual that was written very much in the spirit of the original MITS manuals for their PROM code.

          -Martin

        • deramp5113
          I used your updated TURMON (UBMON) and your updated MBL ROM (MBLe). Mike --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, wrote:
          Message 4 of 10 , Sep 14, 2013
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            I used your updated TURMON (UBMON) and your updated MBL ROM (MBLe).


            Mike



            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

            That's great!  Were you using the TURMON PROM or the one I called UBMON?



            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

            I used your new ROMs today to help christen my just "finished" Teletype refurb job.


            Booting into your updated TURMON ROM and using the Teletype as the console, I entered "Kill the Bit" using the M command. Then I punched the program to paper tape using the D command. This is the first program I have punched on the Teletype.


            I cycled power on the computer to erase the program, then loaded the Kill the Bit paper tape using your updated MBL ROM. Worked great! This was the first program I have loaded into a computer via the Teletype reader.


            Nice small test compared to punching and loading 4K BASIC. Guess that's the next Teletype test.


            Thanks for the work on  the ROMs!


            Mike




            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

            Sounds interesting -- I'll have to try these this weekend. Where were you in the mid-70's when MITS needed you?


            Mike

             



            --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <eberhard@...> wrote:

            I've just uploaded a couple of interesting PROM programs in Files > Altair 8800 EPROM Images > New and Modified EPROMS.

            The first is a new version of MBL, called MBLe. MBLe works exactly like MBL, except 3 improvements:

            1) the 88-HSR load routines have been replaced with load routines for the 2SIO's 2nd serial port - so you can use an RS232 high-speed tape reader to load from this port. (Does anybody actually have an 88-HSR?)

            2) The 88-PIO and 88-4PIO ports are initialized properly, so you can load from an OP-80 paper tape reader. (If you have an OP-80, you have probably been driven crazy trying to get it to work...)

            3) The loader will not try to skip over a checksum loader on the tape, if the leader character is null. This is actually really neat: if you dump memory with the TURMON monitor, you can then read that file back into memory with MBLe. (The original MBL couldn't read these files, because it got hung up trying to skip over the tape's checksum loader.)

            I suspect this is what MITS had in mind with the (otherwise useless) TURMON "D" command, but they didn't seem to get it working. With MBLe, it works great.

            The second PROM code I uploaded is my own replacement for TURMON, called UBMON, or Universal Boot Monitor. UBMON has all of the features of TURMON, plus adds three new commands:

            "B" boots from floppy, provided that you have a DBL PROM installed.

            "T" boots from paper tape or cassette tape, provided you have either and MBL or an MBLe PROM installed.

            "L" boots from hard disk, provided you have am 88-HDSK hard disk boot PROM installed. (I'll be posting this PROM code soon.)

            In all three cases, if you type the command and the required PROM is NOT installed, UBMON does the right thing - it simply ignores the command, rather than jumping off into the weeds.

            It was actually quite difficult to squeeze THREE more commands into the 256-byte PROM without losing functionality!

            For each of these PROM programs, I have also uploaded a comprehensive user's manual that was written very much in the spirit of the original MITS manuals for their PROM code.

            -Martin

          • corey986
            I want to say thanks also, though I just loaded the MBLe program and have to test it later today. I use the SIO-A modified version of the MITS monitor, so I
            Message 5 of 10 , Sep 15, 2013
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              I want to say thanks also, though I just loaded the MBLe program and have to test it later today.  I use the SIO-A modified version of the MITS monitor, so I will need to do a little work first on it before I can swap my version out.

              Your timing is perfect, I had recently hacked my version of MBL differently to load turnmon format dump command tape.  Your solution in much better and cleaner, plus your manual looks great!!!

              Cheers,
              Corey
            • B Degnan
              I will try it out too, using your 1702 burner....thanks for doing this. Bill Sent from AOL Mobile Mail ... From: corey986 To:
              Message 6 of 10 , Sep 16, 2013
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                I will try it out too, using your 1702 burner....thanks for doing this.
                Bill

                Sent from AOL Mobile Mail


                -----Original Message-----
                From: corey986 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 03:01 AM
                Subject: [Altair Computer Club] RE: Altair 8800 PROMS




                I want to say thanks also, though I just loaded the MBLe program and have to test it later today.  I use the SIO-A modified version of the MITS monitor, so I will need to do a little work first on it before I can swap my version out.

                Your timing is perfect, I had recently hacked my version of MBL differently to load turnmon format dump command tape.  Your solution in much better and cleaner, plus your manual looks great!!!

                Cheers,
                Corey


              • mfeberhard
                I ve just uploaded version 1.01 of UBMON (my improvement to MITS TURMON), as well as a manual that matches. The significant improvement with this version over
                Message 7 of 10 , Sep 16, 2013
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                  I've just uploaded version 1.01 of UBMON (my improvement to MITS TURMON), as well as a manual that matches.


                  The significant improvement with this version over version 1.00 is that I have shortened the D command leader to 60 characters, and added a 60-character trailer at the end. This makes for a cleaner (and actually shorter) paper tape.


                  While I was at it, I did improve the comments in the code, to improve readability for a tight little piece of code.



                  --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <billdeg@...> wrote:

                  I will try it out too, using your 1702 burner....thanks for doing this.
                  Bill

                  Sent from AOL Mobile Mail


                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: corey986 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                  To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 03:01 AM
                  Subject: [Altair Computer Club] RE: Altair 8800 PROMS




                  I want to say thanks also, though I just loaded the MBLe program and have to test it later today.  I use the SIO-A modified version of the MITS monitor, so I will need to do a little work first on it before I can swap my version out.

                  Your timing is perfect, I had recently hacked my version of MBL differently to load turnmon format dump command tape.  Your solution in much better and cleaner, plus your manual looks great!!!

                  Cheers,
                  Corey


                • mfeberhard
                  Argh. Hang on a sec - I hosed the assembly. Stand by for 1.02 --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, wrote: I ve just
                  Message 8 of 10 , Sep 16, 2013
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                    Argh. Hang on a sec - I hosed the assembly. Stand by for 1.02



                    --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                    I've just uploaded version 1.01 of UBMON (my improvement to MITS TURMON), as well as a manual that matches.


                    The significant improvement with this version over version 1.00 is that I have shortened the D command leader to 60 characters, and added a 60-character trailer at the end. This makes for a cleaner (and actually shorter) paper tape.


                    While I was at it, I did improve the comments in the code, to improve readability for a tight little piece of code.



                    --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <billdeg@...> wrote:

                    I will try it out too, using your 1702 burner....thanks for doing this.
                    Bill

                    Sent from AOL Mobile Mail


                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: corey986 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                    To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
                    Sent: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 03:01 AM
                    Subject: [Altair Computer Club] RE: Altair 8800 PROMS




                    I want to say thanks also, though I just loaded the MBLe program and have to test it later today.  I use the SIO-A modified version of the MITS monitor, so I will need to do a little work first on it before I can swap my version out.

                    Your timing is perfect, I had recently hacked my version of MBL differently to load turnmon format dump command tape.  Your solution in much better and cleaner, plus your manual looks great!!!

                    Cheers,
                    Corey


                  • mfeberhard
                    Okay... I uploaded UBMON version 1.02, which shortens the D command s null leader from 136 characters down to 60 characters, and adds a 60-byte null trailer
                    Message 9 of 10 , Sep 17, 2013
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                      Okay... I uploaded UBMON version 1.02, which shortens the 'D' command's null leader from 136 characters down to 60 characters, and adds a 60-byte null trailer at the end.


                      Version 1.02 has been tested much more thoroughly than the still-born version 1.01 :-)


                      Squeezing this code to add functionality gets more and more tricky... the last byte was a humdinger.



                      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <eberhard@...> wrote:

                      Argh. Hang on a sec - I hosed the assembly. Stand by for 1.02



                      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                      I've just uploaded version 1.01 of UBMON (my improvement to MITS TURMON), as well as a manual that matches.


                      The significant improvement with this version over version 1.00 is that I have shortened the D command leader to 60 characters, and added a 60-character trailer at the end. This makes for a cleaner (and actually shorter) paper tape.


                      While I was at it, I did improve the comments in the code, to improve readability for a tight little piece of code.



                      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, <billdeg@...> wrote:

                      I will try it out too, using your 1702 burner....thanks for doing this.
                      Bill

                      Sent from AOL Mobile Mail


                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: corey986 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                      To: altaircomputerclub <altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Mon, Sep 16, 2013 03:01 AM
                      Subject: [Altair Computer Club] RE: Altair 8800 PROMS




                      I want to say thanks also, though I just loaded the MBLe program and have to test it later today.  I use the SIO-A modified version of the MITS monitor, so I will need to do a little work first on it before I can swap my version out.

                      Your timing is perfect, I had recently hacked my version of MBL differently to load turnmon format dump command tape.  Your solution in much better and cleaner, plus your manual looks great!!!

                      Cheers,
                      Corey


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