I think I might have found an undocumented VIC cartridge...

History and Preservation Issues

Moderator: Moderators

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4539
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Postby eslapion » Thu Dec 07, 2006 1:48 pm

nbla000 wrote:
eslapion wrote:JiffyDOS ?

JiffyDOS is an hardware solution, i don't like to modify Vic-20 and drives, my best choice is a cartridge and/or a loader as first file of a 1541/1581 disk


JiffyDOS, down to low level, is NOT a hardware solution, it is a replacement communication protocol for the IEC port that is SOLD as a ROM replacement for your drive and computer.

However, in reality it is a piece of software that resides at addresses normally used by your kernal. But in fact, there is nothing to prevent you from putting it at different adress ranges.

A real hardware solution is something like the parallel cable between the user port and internal 6522 unused port.

The beauty of jiffyDOS, on top of that is since it doesn't need to reprogram your external device, you could, in theory implement it in drives that don't even have a 6502 or compatible processor. You could implement it in an atmel or PIC processor that acts as a hard drive or other storage devices controller.

User avatar
Schema
factor
Posts: 1414
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 7:07 am
Website: http://www.jammingsignal.com
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Postby Schema » Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:06 pm

Good point eslapion. In fact, on a C64 you could, in theory, load JiffyDOS into the RAM under the kernal and simply switch to it.

eslapion wrote:drives that don't even have a 6502 or compatible processor. You could implement it in an atmel or PIC processor that acts as a hard drive or other storage devices controller.


One example of this is Jim Brain's uIEC flash-card drive replacement, which works with the JiffyDOS protocol.

User avatar
carlsson
Class of '6502
Posts: 5516
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:41 am

Postby carlsson » Fri Dec 08, 2006 6:37 am

nbla000: Sorry, I was stuck up in work from 8:30 AM (morning) to 12 AM (midnight) yesterday. When I finally got home, I had to crash into bed.

I will upload it later tonight. And yes, since it is the same code as used in VIMM etc, it will support 1541/1571/1581 (with some caveat about 1581 if I remember correctly).
Anders Carlsson

Image Image Image Image Image

User avatar
nbla000
Salmon Run
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:58 am

Postby nbla000 » Fri Dec 08, 2006 3:18 pm

eslapion wrote:JiffyDOS, down to low level, is NOT a hardware solution.

Thank's for explanations but for me hardware solution means open my old and precious vic-20, remove a rom, insert a new ones, close my Vic, Open my 1541-II, remove a rom...., Open my super precious 1581 etc. etc. etc.
Simply i don't like to do that, i know that JiffyDos is a good solution but not for me because i don't like to manage hardware.
Last edited by nbla000 on Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Schlowski
NoMess!
Posts: 857
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2004 12:20 pm

Postby Schlowski » Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:37 am

To be honest, nothing could be easier then to install JiffyDOS. I'm absolutely unable to do any electronics, soldering etc., but I installed JiffyDOS in my VIC's, C64's, 1541's, 1541-II's and 1581 all together in one afternoon.
And I'm very satisfied with it, just /menu instead of load "menu",8 for loading the Denial Collection 2 startmenu is worth all the work :-)
But I can understand your concerns about opening and changing somethimg in our good old hardware, I had to give me a punch to do that, too.

User avatar
nbla000
Salmon Run
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:58 am

Postby nbla000 » Sat Dec 09, 2006 10:41 am

Schlowski wrote:But I can understand your concerns about opening and changing somethimg in our good old hardware, I had to give me a punch to do that, too.


Thank's that's exactly the question, another reason is that i'm a collector too and i want to preserve objects in their original status.

I think that is a reasonable point of view.

eslapion
ultimate expander
Posts: 4539
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2006 7:50 pm
Location: Canada
Occupation: 8bit addict

Postby eslapion » Sun Dec 10, 2006 12:56 pm

nbla000 wrote:Thank's for explanations but for me hardware solution means open my old and precious vic-20, remove a rom, insert a new ones, close my Vic, Open my 1541-II, remove a rom...., Open my super precious 1581 etc. etc. etc.
Simply i don't like to do that, i know that JiffyDos is a good solution but not for me because i don't like to manage hardware.


Obviously you don't understand my point...

1st I installed jiffyDOS in no less than 10 various commodore drives over the last few months and I didn't manage to damage a single one of them.

2nd and most importantly, since jiffyDOS is really a software solution, what could possibly prevent somebody from making a version that does NOT require opening your computer and/or drive ? Absolutely nothing.

User avatar
Mike
Herr VC
Posts: 3102
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: Munich, Germany
Occupation: electrical engineer

Postby Mike » Mon Dec 11, 2006 3:32 am

eslapion wrote:2nd and most importantly, since jiffyDOS is really a software solution, what could possibly prevent somebody from making a version that does NOT require opening your computer and/or drive ? Absolutely nothing.

It really shouldn't be a problem to extend the VIC's kernal with the JiffyDOS routines. They could be soft-loaded, or put into a catridge.

As for the routines in the drive, I'd like to remind you, that the 1541 only has 2K of RAM. 0.75K of that is needed for the OS, 1.25K of them are provided as sector buffers. Hypra-System puts its routines into 2 of these buffers.

JiffyDOS doesn't need to write the routines into the drive's RAM, they're already there. A soft-loaded version will need to provide for this, and will need some rework in that sense.

Michael

User avatar
nbla000
Salmon Run
Posts: 2426
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2005 8:58 am

Postby nbla000 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 10:10 am

eslapion wrote:Obviously you don't understand my point...

Sorry, i'm not polemic, just i don't speak english well so i think that i cannot explain correctly my opinion.
In any case JiffyDos is a great solution, i just want to try other methods too.

I will focalize discussion to Mike and Carlsson's works.

According to Mike, this evening i will do some tests on real machine to check if a problem in Hypra-System fast-save routines is a VICE problem or not.

User avatar
carlsson
Class of '6502
Posts: 5516
Joined: Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:41 am

Postby carlsson » Mon Dec 11, 2006 1:31 pm

Aaah.. save. I don't think the turbo loader extracted from those demos supports any means of saving, at least not yet? But if the transfer algorithms are about the same, efforts could be joined.
Anders Carlsson



Image Image Image Image Image

User avatar
Mike
Herr VC
Posts: 3102
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: Munich, Germany
Occupation: electrical engineer

Postby Mike » Wed Dec 13, 2006 4:19 am

nbla000 wrote:According to Mike, this evening i will do some tests on real machine to check if a problem in Hypra-System fast-save routines is a VICE problem or not.

It had been a real issue, thank you for confirming the problem on real hardware. I've found the bug, and corrected it.
carlsson wrote:But if the transfer algorithms are about the same, efforts could be joined.

Then we should continue the discussion in the Programming section. Maybe you'd rename the thread you opened to "WIP: VIC-20 floppy speeder".

Greetings,

Michael

User avatar
Mike
Herr VC
Posts: 3102
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: Munich, Germany
Occupation: electrical engineer

Postby Mike » Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:00 pm

At the Personal Computer Museum website, I found a page about Waterloo BASIC. One paragraph mentions that the cartridge had been found again and archived in 2006. :)

Furthermore, one of the two authors left the following comment:
Trevor Grove on Monday, August 09, 2010
The VIC-20 product was a follow-on to the equivalent product developed for the Commodore PET (both 40 and 80-column versions). This was sold only as a drop-in EPROM chip for the vacant slot on the motherboard. A couple of different versions of the chip were sold, depending on the model of PET one had (the address of the vacant slot changed). A bootleg "soft" version was created somewhere along the way. It was quite amusing when someone would call for tech-support on the bootleg version, only to be told that they had an illegal product. I was one of the two authors of the original product. Somewhere in my basement I have the original source-code (on paper) and a full set of chips. -trg

Now that would be interesting comparing the original source-code, and the reconstruction I did in 2006 (which resulted in some bug-fixes and addition of the DOS wedge - made available for Mega-Cart). :wink:

User avatar
ral-clan
plays wooden flutes
Posts: 3528
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:01 pm
Location: Canada

Postby ral-clan » Sun Jul 03, 2011 4:21 pm

Mike wrote:At the Personal Computer Museum website, I found a page about Waterloo BASIC. One paragraph mentions that the cartridge had been found again and archived in 2006. :)


WTF! They totally ripped off the text of the Denial WIKI article that I wrote back in 2008 (almost word for word)!

http://sleepingelephant.com/denial/wiki ... ured_BASIC

They just removed the reference to the cartridge being archived in 2006 by a Denial member!

Addendum: I contacted Syd Bolton and he apologized - seems this was done by a volunteer. I told him he could use the text as long as a credit and link to the original article was given.

User avatar
ral-clan
plays wooden flutes
Posts: 3528
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:01 pm
Location: Canada

Re: I think I might have found an undocumented VIC cartridge...

Postby ral-clan » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:14 am

*** THREAD REVIVAL FOR 2017 ***

I am reviving this thread for 2017 because I have been in contact with one of the authors of this programming language, Trevor Grove. He gave me permission to post his response, and is willing to take other questions on his time with the University of Waterloo computing department if you post them here (I'll forward them).

Here is his response to me:

Thank you for your email.

Yes, I'm quite familiar with the VIC-20 cartridge. It's origin was in a
chip I developed as a drop-in addition product for the PET/SuperPet. I
did much of the development of the product. It was sold (primarily to
the enthusiast & high-school teacher market) as a ROM chip and language
manual. It came with instructions on how to insert the chip into one's
computer. We distributed several versions of it, which varied only on
which ROM slot they were destined for (different versions of the PET had
different 4K ROM slots available).

Technically, the VIC-20 product is equivalent to the original chip
product. When the VIC-20 came along, it provided a much more convenient
packaging opportunity -- no more "opening the hood" of your PET! Simply
plug in the cartridge, like any other game cartridge and boom -- a new
version of BASIC.

I wasn't personally involved with the development of the packaging for
the VIC-20 cartridge. That was handled by Waterloo Computing Systems
Ltd, (WCS) which was a spin-off from our group at the University of
Waterloo (and in which I was a shareholder). WCS looked after the
commercialization of stuff that came out of our research lab.

Actually, if you look at the website for the Barrie Computer Museum, at
page:

http://www.pcmuseum.ca/details.asp?id=880&type=software

you'll see that I added a comment there seven years ago (in 2010). I
don't know offhand if the Waterloo Computer Museum has a copy of the
cartridge (or a VIC-20 for that matter), but they are always happy to
receive Waterloo-related technology.

FYI when the Commodore 64 came along, which also had plug-in cartridge
capabilities, WCS (which was called WatCom by then) created cartridges
for BASIC (albeit not simply an extension of the existing BASIC -- it
was a whole new and different language). I was not involved with that
at all. I was however the principal author of the C64 WatCom Pascal
cartridge that provided a Pascal interpreter for the C64.

Regards,
-trg
Image Music I've made with 1980s electronics, synths and other retro-instruments: http://theovoids.bandcamp.com

User avatar
Mike
Herr VC
Posts: 3102
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: Munich, Germany
Occupation: electrical engineer

Re: I think I might have found an undocumented VIC cartridge...

Postby Mike » Fri Dec 22, 2017 9:19 am

ral-clan,

This thread here is, IMO, one of the great moments in Denial. :D

I fondly remember what was involved in this - your find and doing the dump of the cartridge, some careful analysis of the code leading to a whole documentation of all commands, even a scan of the manual re-appeared some time later.

Mega-Cart contains a slightly enhanced version, which includes the DOS-Wedge. That version can also be downloaded from my cartridge repository.

Cheers,

Michael


Return to “Collecting and History”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest