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A sudden problem with DISkASSEMBLER


atrax27407

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My system (in P-Box order):

 

1) AVPC Card

2) Flex Card Interface

3) SAMS Card (1 Meg)

4) HSGPL Card

5) Horizon RAMdisk (1 Meg DSK9 - 3200 sectors and DSKF - 888 sectors)

6) HRD16 (3 Meg - DSK4-8 and A-E)

7) TI RS232

8 BWG Disk Controller

 

I have two different copies of DISkASSEMBLER "broken" as program image files. They have worked faithfully for me for years without incident. Now neither of them work properly and even the original 5.25" disk from MG suddenly doesn't work. Everything I have tried shows that there is a good 32K VDP attached. SIZE in XB returns the proper values and using the CC-Per Diags module (from my HSGPL) returns "Zero errors" in both the bit test and bit retention test. I know that DISkASSEMBLER loads at the high end of the 32K VDP. All of my other programs work flawlessly except for MG EXPLORER which has a similar load pattern. Any ideas as to a cause of this sudden malfunction? I'm out of ideas..

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I am reliably informed that the Horizon ROS uses a small portion of VDP memory. That being the case, I thought that there might be a cumulative effect of having two Horizons in the PEB (DISkASSEMBLER worked fine with just one). I pulled the small Horizon out of the PEB with no change in results. Oh well, it runs fine in Classic99. I still have no idea why it suddenly stopped running correctly on my real TI system. Gremlins?

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Got another console to swap in? Applying my many Beers of Experience to the problem, it seems like a hardware issue to me. When you say it's worked for years, maybe it's time to reseat all the cables and cards or at least suspect a long-sitting and perhaps less often used system.

 

Seems like it's the things that have sat awhile develop noisy contacts, like a radio with a scratchy volume control. I have to shoot some CRC electrical contact cleaner spray into my TI's cartridge port every so often, and it doesn't hurt to clean the other ports while you're at it.

 

Over the years I've replaced more disk drives than anything, but maybe you're running it from the Horizon? You did say your disks were all giving errors, that could be a problem elsewhere or the drive is getting worn or dirty. Try a drive swap? Switch the Horizon cards? Try to eliminate what variables you can.

 

You don't happen to be the Atrax of Funnelweb fame by chance?

-Ed

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The original Atrax is Tony McGovern. Tony and I go back many years, however.

 

I did all of the usual reseat the cards, etc. Diagnostics shows no problem with VDP - zero errors. DISkASSEMBLER has loaded for years from my HRD16 without any problems. All of my other files load and run fine. I'm not concerned about it since it runs fine from an emulator.

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The mystery deepens! OK - I have done repeated checks of VDP with the CorComp Peripheral Diags module. It always returns "Zero Errors" in both bit and bit retention tests. I conclude that the problem isn't with memory expansion. I also did a memory test with my 1 Meg SAMS card and it checks out OK - no errors. I pulled the 1 Meg Horizon RAMdisk from the P-Box and the strange behavior still manifests itself with the Horizon gone Therefore I conclude that neither the SAMS nor the new Horizon are the culprit. There are no problems at all with the HRD16 - everything (except DISkASSEMBLER) loads fine from it. I completely removed the ROS and all of the files and re-initialized everything. The AVPC is working fine - it displays 80-columns with the full color palette and the full 192K of VRAM appear to be there. I guess this is going to be one of "the mysteries of the universe". I'm open to any suggestions.

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I know that you and I both use Funnelweb and our TI-99/4A setups have some similarities. Over the last little while I have had problems in running a DF80 program from FW on my HRD card using a script load. Recently I decided to try running the DF80 program (CLICKETY) from FW on a stand alone floppy disk and the program loaded properly. This leads me to believe that one of the FW files on my HRD is slightly corrupted. Now my problem is to figure which one of the various FW files is causing the problem. I will probably just reinstall all of the FW files from scratch on my HRD.

 

I wonder if your DISkASSEMBLER problem might also be caused by one of your FW files. Just a thought.

 

Jacques

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The problem has been identified. It seems that the Winfred Winkler GROM0 for the HSGPL "diddles the bits" in VRAM and that seems to be the problem. When I switched back to TONY Knerr's TKG0, it runs fine. However, that causes a problem running TurboForth from the HSGPL. Tony has promised a fix from ROM-only programs and I hope to have everything back to a semblence of normalcy shortly.

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The problem has been identified. It seems that the Winfred Winkler GROM0 for the HSGPL "diddles the bits" in VRAM and that seems to be the problem. When I switched back to TONY Knerr's TKG0, it runs fine. However, that causes a problem running TurboForth from the HSGPL. Tony has promised a fix from ROM-only programs and I hope to have everything back to a semblence of normalcy shortly.

 

Does anyone have a hex dump of the entire original TI character set (at least up to 128) such as you would find in a CHARA1 file?

 

Yes, this question is on topic. :)

 

Gazoo

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It used to, but not any more. ;)

 

Gazoo

 

I hated that when I had Diskassembler, Explorer, and Advanced Diagnostics. That was before I found the track copiers, and then before Atrax gave me the *ahem* fixed versions like 15 years ago :)

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The problem has been identified. It seems that the Winfred Winkler GROM0 for the HSGPL "diddles the bits" in VRAM and that seems to be the problem. When I switched back to TONY Knerr's TKG0, it runs fine. However, that causes a problem running TurboForth from the HSGPL. Tony has promised a fix from ROM-only programs and I hope to have everything back to a semblence of normalcy shortly.

 

I don't run anything other than TKGROM0 in my SNUG system (when I boot it up, which is rarely). Tony did a great job making everything work OK.

 

Is there any detriment to running TKGROM0 vs the stock GROM0 that comes with the HSGPL? I've never seen a list of pros and cons for the stock one vs. the Winkler one vs. TKGROM0. All I know is that Tony's ran what I wanted it without fuss.

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The Wilfred Winkler GROM0 allows for the selection of a bank by pressing the appropriate bank designation at boot. TKG0 uses the "parse through the banks with space" method. The Winkler GROM0 does some strange thing in VRAM which preclude running some programs that use space at the high end of VRAM. Winkler's will show ROM-only banks but TKG0 needs a small GROM header program to be constructed.

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Does anyone have a hex dump of the entire original TI character set (at least up to 128) such as you would find in a CHARA1 file?

 

Yes, this question is on topic. :)

 

Gazoo

 

Do you mean what is loaded by GPLLNK routines >16 (standard character set), >18 (small capital letters) and >4A (lower case letters [actually, small caps])?

 

...lee

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Do you mean what is loaded by GPLLNK routines >16 (standard character set), >18 (small capital letters) and >4A (lower case letters [actually, small caps])?

 

...lee

 

Yes, but the problem was solved, so it's no longer necessary. :)

 

Gazoo

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