Virtual IIGS for Chrome, Active GS!

It’s a simple pluggin for Chrome, download it and you are good to go.  As a bonus, check out The Lost Treasures of Infocom!

No really!

Besides the disk swapping, it’s pretty cool!

Planetfall!

Planetfall!

 

telnettable Altair 8080 clone!

complete with Zork!

Trying 192.222.136.174
Connected to micronick.com.
Escape character is ‘^]’.

Welcome to my Altair 8800 Clone !
Press ENTER…

A>dir
A: ZORK1 COM : ZORK1 DAT : ZORK2 DAT : ZORK3 DAT
A: ZORK2 COM : ZORK3 COM
A>zork1
ZORK I: The Great Underground Empire
Copyright (c) 1981, 1982, 1983 Infocom, Inc. All rights
reserved.
ZORK is a registered trademark of Infocom, Inc.
Revision 88 / Serial number 840726

West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with
a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.

>

As seen on reddit!

Be sure to check out the web page for a live picture of the machine in action!

SAGE CP/M disk fun

Wow this was without a doubt one of the more confusing things I’ve ever done.

So here is the problem.  I want to delete some files from an IMD disk image, and then copy some new ones in.  Easy right? .. maybe.

Ok first up the easiest tool I’ve found to manipulate CP/M disk images is cpmtools.  Even better their pre-compiled binary is for Win32, so I’ll run it with Wine on OS X.  which works fine.  Although there is one slight problem, cpmtools doesn’t read the IMD disk format.  So you will have to download imd118.zip from a backup of the late author’s computer.

Now using IMD you need to convert the OS disk into a ‘raw’ or ‘binary’ file.  Naturally IMD is a MS-DOS program so firing up DOSBox, I ran:

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 8.35.58 PM

Uncompressing, so easy!

IMDU CPM68K12.IMD CPM.RAW /B

And a few seconds later I had my raw file.  Now the next thing was to manipulate the image in cpmtools.  cpmtools has a database of disk drive types, and naturally there is no definition for the SAGE2.  However thanks to a friend of mine (hi Lorenzo!) I took at look at 22disk, and found their demo version did in-fact have a definition for the SAGE:

BEGIN SAG2 Sage IV – DSDD 96 tpi 5.25″
DENSITY MFM,LOW
CYLINDERS 80
SIDES 2
SECTORS 8,512
SIDE1 0 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
SIDE2 1 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
ORDER SIDES
BSH 4 BLM 15 EXM 0 DSM 315 DRM 63 AL0 080H AL1 0 OFS 2
END

Which is great, however it took a bit of experimenting to work out how to format this information for cpmtools.  I compared a bunch of known formats, and then managed to work this out:

diskdef sage2
seclen 512
tracks 160
sectrk 8
blocksize 2048
maxdir 128
skew 1
boottrk 2
os 2.2
end

And now I can look at the image file!

$ wine cpmls -f sage2 CPM68K12.RAW
0:
ar68.68k
armath.sub
as.sub
as68.68k
as68symb.dat
asgo.sub
brwnies.txt
copy.68k
core.sub
cpm.sys
ddt.68k
ddt68000.68k
dump.68k
e.sub
find.68k
halt.68k
init.68k
linkcore.sub
lnk.sub
lo68.68k
m.sub
mcc.sub
mince.68k
mince.swp
mind.sub
orbit.sub
p.sub
pe.sub
pip.68k
print.68k
red.sub
redasm.sub
sage4utl.68k
sagebios.sys
screen.68k
setenv.68k
setprntr.68k
sig.txt
space.sub
spacem.sub
startup.sub
stat.68k
tlnk.sub

So I tidy up the image, and copy it back to the IMD program for compressing.  And this was, without a doubt the most difficult to figure out, until after a bunch of searching, and Lorenzo once more again pointed me in the direction of bin2imd

not intuitive!

not intuitive!

So yeah.

BIN2IMD X.RAW X.IMD DM=2 N=80 SS=512 SM=1-8 /2

And the best part is that it worked!  So now I was able to transfer over a binary version of com.68k, com2.68k, along with Zork, and fire it up!

8080 Zork on 68k CP/M

8080 Zork on 68k CP/M

Unfortunately the interpreter doesn’t work right.  It could be the disk transfers fault, maybe the SIMH SAGE emulator, or even the 8080 emulator.  But it worked this far.

Can any Chrome users test this link?

http://vpsland.superglobalmegacorp.com/janus3/#dungeon

You can now easily download the scriptable Amiga emulator, and even better inject your own ADF’s and whatnot. Naturally you’ll want the AROS ROM’s one & two. You can even download my ADF.

It may take a minute to boot, but you should get something like this:

Dungeon for Amiga

Dungeon for Amiga

This is a bootable diskette with the version of Dungeon I built using DICE.

DICE C Compiler for the Amiga

So on my last adventure through some disk corruption on my Amiga, the natural thing to do is find some kind of MD5 checksum program to then compare signatures of files being copies to ensure that they are being copied correctly.

While there were several great C compilers for the Amiga when it was a viable platform, the one left standing today is GCC.  Which is fine and all, but it is rather large, and unwieldy.  And won’t run on a computer with 2MB of RAM (In the off chance that I want to run it on the 600).  But that is when I found out that the source code (dice.com has moved!)  to old DICE compiler is available!  DICE, was originally a public domain compiler then turned commercial then finally turned freeware.  For its time it was thought as a highly capable compiler as reviewed here. Also of note is that is was written by  Matt Dillon, who later went on to DragonFLY BSD fame.

So I thought I’d try something completely different.

So after extracting the 3.15 binary distribution (which also included cross compiling from linux/i386), and following the install notes I tried to build a md5 program that I had found into an AmigaDOS binary.  And it didn’t work.  It turns out that it is missing include files related to AmigaDOS.  And I was further unable to build DICE C from within DICE C.

So after a lot of searching, I came across this, a cut down “Mini DICE” that was bundled with Amiga Shopper, meaning it has the following limitations:

  • Only small library modules are included.
  • No Bitfields
  • No floating point
  • No pragmas
  • No register variables/arguments
  • The maximun executable program size is 40K
  • Each source file can only have up to 4 procedures
MiniDice

MiniDice

Wow that is.. limiting.  But it does have several of the needed include files, and a nice setup program to get going.  At first I tried doing a full-sale overlay of the ‘3.15 binary’ version but I broke something to do with REXX and how DICE links.  So instead I just overlaid the core compiler, namely dcc, dc1, dccp, das, dlink, dmake, fdtolib & fdtopragma.

I was then finally able to compile md5.  I went ahead and started to build some of the source, and so far using a combination of dmake & vmake I was able to rebuild das, dcc, dlink, dc1 and dccp.  I went ahead and created backups of my somewhat improved dice, and dice with source code.  Some programs build fine from the command line, others you need to invoke the visual build tool.

So how is the environment?  I tried to build Dungeon (dung27s.zip) for the heck of it, but the visual makefile tool couldn’t handle a project with 33 files.  I suppose I could have made a library and gone through with some linking hell but that seemed like work.  Instead I just typed in all the C files from the command line, and compiled it that way.  Taking care of a warning and a few errors and I actually got a binary!

Dungeon on the Amiga

Dungeon on the Amiga

Even better, it runs!

 

Transferring data into CP/M with SIMH

This has been an exersize in insnaity..

So for some strange reason I wanted to load up Zork into SIMH‘s less featured (and much simpler) altair 8080 emulator.  The catch is the disk format which for the life of me I couldn’t get to work in any of the CP/M disk access tools.

The Altair z80 emulator as part of the same SIMH package includes a far more complicated setup, but out of the box it CANNOT read the disk image from the 8080 emulator.  After digging around it seems that one of the ‘approved’ methods of getting stuff into CP/M was to load it into memory, and just save the block (provided it fits in the 64k, more on that later).  The syntax really is quite simple:

load zork1.com 100

And that’ll load it up at the normal program entry point (just like an MS-DOS COM file!)..

Except it doesn’t want to work.

What?

but of course it works on the z80.

No problems here!

Which is great but the z80 can’t read the 8080’s disks..!  So after digging through the source code, I find this small gem that the z8080 has been changed to use a much larger disk size!

#define MAX_TRACKS 254 /* number of tracks,
original Altair has 77 tracks only */

So yes, by changing that to 77 I can now boot off the 8080’s boot disk on the z80!  Of course it also means that I’m unable to ‘see’ the hardisk in the z80, or any of the other great peripherals as no doubt the altair CP/M disk hasn’t been configured for all of these fine things.  I also tried only altering one of the disks on the z80 for 77 tracks, but once more again it seems that CP/M has an everything/nothing type idea for a disk controller.

But the load command works on the monitor, and the Altair CP/M can handle two disks, so its enough for me to format the B: drive ( a copy of the CP/M disks) and work with that.

Once you’ve loaded a program into memory, you toggle back to CP/M and run the ‘save’ command which then dumps how many pages back to disk.

For example, the program STAT is 5,248 bytes in size. 5248/256 = 20.5. Thus, the save command would be:

A>SAVE 21 STAT.COM

Pretty simple, right?  But what happens if you have a file greater than memory?  Well first I thought I could compress it, and I’d forgotten just how many old compression programs there were for CP/M, crunch, arc, zoo, zip … Finding MS-DOS equivalents wasn’t too bad (thanks for dosbox!) but I couldn’t get the 84kb data file into the memory limit, so I figure’d I’d just split the file into something on  a 256 byte boundary.  Loading them into RAM wasn’t too hard, as saving them out.. but how do you join them together on CP/M?  I found PLENTY of utils to split files, but nothing on putting them back together!

On MS-DOS you can just do a copy /B file1+file2 bigfile

But I couldn’t find out how to do this on CP/M until I looked further into the PIP command, CP/M’s answer to copy.

To join a binary file it goes something like this:

>PIP sd.com=sd.001[OV],sd.002[OV],sd.003[OV]

So with all that work, I was now able to create a zork1.dsk that the 8080 emulator is capable of playing!

Zork1 finally loaded on the SIMH Altair 8080

And for the curious, here is Zork1, in the old Altair 77 track format.

 

 

Dungeon for the SHARP x68000 (on NetBSD)

Dungeon on the x68000

Its been a while since I’ve added a new port of Dungeon (zork!) so here we go!

Building f2c was a snap on the x68000, it just took a while..

Getting data into the VM was easy, just make an ISO image, and mount it.. Getting data out was.. a challenge, as the floppy doesn’t work under NetBSD, and it didn’t seem to want to see my other hard disks, just my root.  Well thankfully it’s virtual so I just did a:

tar -cvf /dev/sd0c dungeon.tar.gz

NEVER do that on a real machine kids!!!

Anyways here you go, for anyone who loves zork & the m68k!

Follow up on Dungeon (zork) for RT-11

I have documented the install steps back here, a long while back.  However recently I did get a request for a binary for this for someone to try to load up  on a physical PDP-11.  The steps sure are duanting and of course time consuming for a first time user, so while I was building dungeon again, I thought I should take this opertunity to package this up and make it more accesable for everyone.

This is the output of my ‘effort’ although the real thanks to this goes to Bob Supnik ,not only for writing SIMH making it possible, but also for porting Dungeon to Fortran way back then.

Extract the archive using 7zip, then run pdp11.exe and it should boot you up into RT-11.  Then just type in

RUN DUNGEON

And you should be teleported to the open field west of a big white house with a boarded front door…

Open Mailbox

Infocom Games

feelies!

Did you ever love Zork?  Personally I was into Planetfall.  And what made Infocom cool was the ‘feelies’.  I guess it’s pretty obvious that if you found me here, then you know all about the rise and fall of Infocom, and how it was how they wanted to diversify into business applications… And their portable strategy backfired big time.

But back to the games.  While talking to someone and the topic of Infocom came up, I had to see how many I had as I’d managed to buy one of the ‘collection’ sets of Infocom games.  Sure I felt like “I had them all” but after finding accardi-by-the-sea I found out that not only was I missing some, but they actually had every version of these games that had been released!

Talk about an exceptional collection!

And if you love all the packaging, check out here & here.