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Problems writing CF trying to install ElfOS on Elf2000

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  • erd_6502
    First off, does anyone (besides Bob ;-) have an Elf2000 with a Disk I/O board running ElfOS? I finally put all the elements together and booted ElfOS on my
    Message 1 of 3 , Sep 13, 2005
      First off, does anyone (besides Bob ;-) have an Elf2000 with a Disk
      I/O board running ElfOS? I finally put all the elements together and
      booted ElfOS on my Elf2000 and ran Starcross using Mike Riley's
      'zrun3'. The odd thing is what I had to go through to get that far.
      I'm looking for any input from folks on what worked for them and what
      didn't.

      Starting conditions: Elf2000 w/v60 ROM and Disk I/O board, 20MB
      SanDisk CF, ElfOS image for Elf2000 from elf-emulation.com, working
      20MB image file from elf emulator from elf-emulation.com.

      So I pipe in the hex image for ElfOS down the 16550 on my Disk I/O
      board at 9600 baud. I 'run 3000' and get the menu. I select item 1
      to init the hard drive - the LED pulses, and the block count ticks up
      on the terminal... all is well. I select item 2 from the menu to make
      the file system. I can't recall if it divined the right number of
      blocks the first time, but between retries and reboots, I did get the
      expected number of blocks and some reasonable output. I select item 3
      to write the system area. I select item 4, and I'm pretty sure I had
      to have a reboot in there to be able to install executables, but I am
      also pretty sure I've seen a comment somewhere (elf-emulation.com?)
      that it's a known issue to have to reboot between some of the steps.
      I answer 'y' to every prompt, installing everything, then select 5 to
      boot ElfOS.

      Nothing.

      The CPU seems to get stuck with $FCF7 on the TIL-311 address displays.
      I reboot and try 'boot' - no ElfOS prompt. I stuff the 20MB CF card
      into a CF reader and use 'od -t x1 /dev/sda | head' to peek at the
      front of the card - the output seems random and bogus. I run the same
      command on an image file that works with the emulator - less random
      bytes and large areas of 0x00... seems reasonable for the front of a
      filesystem. I use SEDIT, Mike Riley's sector editor embedded in the
      Elf 2000 ROMs - I get the same bytes with it that dd gives me with the
      card stuck on a Linux box. CF reads seem to be working.

      I stick the CF card back on the Linux box and issue 'dd
      if=disk_image.ide of=/dev/sda bs=1000000' and it tells me that it
      writes out 20+1 records - perfectly normal. 'od...' reports back the
      same initial contents as the image file I start with - progress...
      there's nothing wrong with the card. I stuff that in the Elf2000 CF
      socket and tell the ROMs to BOOT and *bam* an ElfOS prompt! I fire up
      zrun3 and play a few turns of Starcross... success!

      Now to test if ElfOS can write the CF card where the OS install
      program seemed to have failed... I copy ZRUN3 to DUMMY. No errors. I
      type "DUMMY STARCROSS.Z3" and get the game... DUMMY is a working copy
      of ZRUN3. I save from within the game, and the results are
      successful, including a restore. I even make the /BIN directory and
      move around a couple of the system executables (DIR, SAVE...) and they
      still work. ElfOS must be able to write to the CF card.

      So... after all of this... did anyone else have problems installing
      ElfOS by importing the ASCIIfied version of the OS file and stepping
      through the menu? As far as I can tell, I was not able to write to
      the CF card using the normal procedure, but I was able to use an Elf
      emulator to import the OS install application, build a disk image file
      and populate it, then dd that image file to a CF card then boot from
      it.

      It would seem that there's something that the install image does with
      CF cards that ElfOS itself does differently when it comes to writes.
      Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?

      Installation difficulties aside, it was a great thrill to see the
      Infocom banner come up on my Elf2000. I've been playing with 1802s
      and with interactive fiction for a long time (almost 25 years), and
      it's amazing to finally be able to merge the two. I still remember
      the frustration of owning a Commodore-64 and having to go to a
      friend's house to play Zork I on his Apple II because Infocom didn't
      support the C-64 yet. Now, interactive fiction comes to a machine
      that I'd never have bet could handle the demands. It was years into
      my 1802 experience before I ever saw one with more than 256 bytes of
      memory.

      Thanks for any hints or tips anyone can provide about what I might be
      doing wrong. Clearly at some level, things must be working because I
      can run programs, create files, etc. It's just hard to figure out why
      the install process doesn't seem to _write_ to my CF card.

      -ethan
    • rileym65
      Ethan, I am glad to hear that you have zrun3 up and running on the Elf2K!! on your install issue,,,at step 1. did you do the quick or full version?? i have
      Message 2 of 3 , Sep 13, 2005
        Ethan,
        I am glad to hear that you have zrun3 up and running on the Elf2K!!
        on your install issue,,,at step 1. did you do the quick or full
        version?? i have found that the full version often leaves the card in
        an unreliable state (error recovery) and can cause problems with the
        following steps... The quick mode reads the ID sector from the card
        and uses that to compute the disk size, I have not run into any
        problems in the install procedure when using the quick mode of step 1.

        So as a word of advice to anybody installing Elf/OS on whatever
        system, use the quick mode of step 1. I need to go back and do a
        rewrite of the full mode.

        Mike

        --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, "erd_6502" <erd_6502@y...> wrote:
        > First off, does anyone (besides Bob ;-) have an Elf2000 with a Disk
        > I/O board running ElfOS? I finally put all the elements together and
        > booted ElfOS on my Elf2000 and ran Starcross using Mike Riley's
        > 'zrun3'. The odd thing is what I had to go through to get that far.
        > I'm looking for any input from folks on what worked for them and what
        > didn't.
        >
        > Starting conditions: Elf2000 w/v60 ROM and Disk I/O board, 20MB
        > SanDisk CF, ElfOS image for Elf2000 from elf-emulation.com, working
        > 20MB image file from elf emulator from elf-emulation.com.
        >
        > So I pipe in the hex image for ElfOS down the 16550 on my Disk I/O
        > board at 9600 baud. I 'run 3000' and get the menu. I select item 1
        > to init the hard drive - the LED pulses, and the block count ticks up
        > on the terminal... all is well. I select item 2 from the menu to make
        > the file system. I can't recall if it divined the right number of
        > blocks the first time, but between retries and reboots, I did get the
        > expected number of blocks and some reasonable output. I select item 3
        > to write the system area. I select item 4, and I'm pretty sure I had
        > to have a reboot in there to be able to install executables, but I am
        > also pretty sure I've seen a comment somewhere (elf-emulation.com?)
        > that it's a known issue to have to reboot between some of the steps.
        > I answer 'y' to every prompt, installing everything, then select 5 to
        > boot ElfOS.
        >
        > Nothing.
        >
        > The CPU seems to get stuck with $FCF7 on the TIL-311 address displays.
        > I reboot and try 'boot' - no ElfOS prompt. I stuff the 20MB CF card
        > into a CF reader and use 'od -t x1 /dev/sda | head' to peek at the
        > front of the card - the output seems random and bogus. I run the same
        > command on an image file that works with the emulator - less random
        > bytes and large areas of 0x00... seems reasonable for the front of a
        > filesystem. I use SEDIT, Mike Riley's sector editor embedded in the
        > Elf 2000 ROMs - I get the same bytes with it that dd gives me with the
        > card stuck on a Linux box. CF reads seem to be working.
        >
        > I stick the CF card back on the Linux box and issue 'dd
        > if=disk_image.ide of=/dev/sda bs=1000000' and it tells me that it
        > writes out 20+1 records - perfectly normal. 'od...' reports back the
        > same initial contents as the image file I start with - progress...
        > there's nothing wrong with the card. I stuff that in the Elf2000 CF
        > socket and tell the ROMs to BOOT and *bam* an ElfOS prompt! I fire up
        > zrun3 and play a few turns of Starcross... success!
        >
        > Now to test if ElfOS can write the CF card where the OS install
        > program seemed to have failed... I copy ZRUN3 to DUMMY. No errors. I
        > type "DUMMY STARCROSS.Z3" and get the game... DUMMY is a working copy
        > of ZRUN3. I save from within the game, and the results are
        > successful, including a restore. I even make the /BIN directory and
        > move around a couple of the system executables (DIR, SAVE...) and they
        > still work. ElfOS must be able to write to the CF card.
        >
        > So... after all of this... did anyone else have problems installing
        > ElfOS by importing the ASCIIfied version of the OS file and stepping
        > through the menu? As far as I can tell, I was not able to write to
        > the CF card using the normal procedure, but I was able to use an Elf
        > emulator to import the OS install application, build a disk image file
        > and populate it, then dd that image file to a CF card then boot from
        > it.
        >
        > It would seem that there's something that the install image does with
        > CF cards that ElfOS itself does differently when it comes to writes.
        > Does any of this sound familiar to anyone?
        >
        > Installation difficulties aside, it was a great thrill to see the
        > Infocom banner come up on my Elf2000. I've been playing with 1802s
        > and with interactive fiction for a long time (almost 25 years), and
        > it's amazing to finally be able to merge the two. I still remember
        > the frustration of owning a Commodore-64 and having to go to a
        > friend's house to play Zork I on his Apple II because Infocom didn't
        > support the C-64 yet. Now, interactive fiction comes to a machine
        > that I'd never have bet could handle the demands. It was years into
        > my 1802 experience before I ever saw one with more than 256 bytes of
        > memory.
        >
        > Thanks for any hints or tips anyone can provide about what I might be
        > doing wrong. Clearly at some level, things must be working because I
        > can run programs, create files, etc. It's just hard to figure out why
        > the install process doesn't seem to _write_ to my CF card.
        >
        > -ethan
      • erd_6502
        ... It s been a long road, but getting there was definitely worth it. ... I ve done both. ... Hmm... now that you mention it... I think I had more luck with
        Message 3 of 3 , Sep 13, 2005
          --- In cosmacelf@yahoogroups.com, rileym65 <no_reply@y...> wrote:
          > Ethan,
          > I am glad to hear that you have zrun3 up and running on the Elf2K!!

          It's been a long road, but getting there was definitely worth it.

          > on your install issue,,,at step 1. did you do the quick or full
          > version??

          I've done both.

          > i have found that the full version often leaves the card in
          > an unreliable state (error recovery) and can cause problems with the
          > following steps... The quick mode reads the ID sector from the card
          > and uses that to compute the disk size, I have not run into any
          > problems in the install procedure when using the quick mode of step 1.

          Hmm... now that you mention it... I think I had more luck with step 2
          after I did a Quick step 1.

          In any case, since it's been asked elsewhere, yes, I know you can't
          hot-swap CF cards with the Disk I/O board... all of my former testing
          (SanDisk vs Lexar and other non-SanDisk CF cards) was done with
          complete power cycles between card swaps. For those that weren't in
          on the rounds and rounds, my efforts showed 100% success with any size
          of SanDisk I tried (from a few meg up to 1.0GB) and 100% failure
          (couldn't even identify the card with SHOW IDE from the ROM prompt) in
          Lexar and other non-SanDisk-brand devices. There's no obvious reason
          why that should be so, but empirically, there it is. If you happen to
          be having problems with the Disk I/O card and you are trying a
          non-SanDisk card, try changing brands. I just wish I could find my
          stack of 20MB cards - I have a fistful I got off of eBay a while back
          for like $3 each in a Dutch auction. I have a similar stack of 4MB
          cards that were $1 each, but they aren't SanDisk, and they don't seem
          to be recognized in the Elf 2000 (but they work in PCMCIA slots on
          laptops under Linux and in digital cameras). It's entirely possible
          that all 8-bit CF modes are not created equal from brand to brand.

          I have a spare 20MB card (so I don't have to mess up my working
          one)... I'll try playing with SEDIT and the ElfOS install image tonight.

          One install question - is there any error checking with the step 4
          executable installation phase? I.e. - if the filesystem is missing or
          corrupt, will it look like things succeeded? I've had things both
          hang after about 4-6 pulses of the activity LED, and seem to work
          normally. In neither case was I able to go back and boot, suggesting
          that step 2 or 3 had failed.

          -ethan
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