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Thread: OS/8 programming overview?

  1. #1

    Default OS/8 programming overview?

    So I've picked up an SBC6120 kit now that my number finally came up on the waiting list Still need to get it assembled, but I'm starting to scheme up a little development project that I'm kinda hoping to have ready for the next VCFW However, OS/8 isn't like DOS where there's a million different introductions to programming for it just floating around on the Internet (or CP/M where it's so bare-bones that the actual official manual is a mere hundred-plus page paperback,) and while I could just sit down and poke through everything Bitsavers has in the way of documentation, I figure I might as well ask around and see if anyone can point me to a basic overview of how the environment is laid out from the programmer's point of view. Is it like bank-switched CP/M where the program mostly or entirely resides in its own little world except for a bit of dispatch code to transfer system calls to the OS residing in another bank? I did see some mention in some of the documentation of a couple pages in high memory (within fields 0-2, IIRC) that are reserved for the OS, but I'm not exactly clear on the details...
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  2. #2
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  3. #3

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    Thanks, but I'm not seeing anything on OS/8 specifically...? That seems to be more of an architectural overview and guide to specific assemblers/compilers. The PDP-8 architecture is amply documented online, thankfully - where I'm having trouble is in trying to find out about the specifics of the operating environment under that OS; granted, I could just go full bare-metal, but I'd like the use of some basic OS facilities at least while developing the initial core program.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

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    How about this?

    http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/p...ok_Apr1974.pdf

    You'll definitely be chewing on this one for a while.

  5. #5

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    Yeah, I do need to sit down and power through that at some point. However, skimming it at least pointed me in the right direction - looks like the OS/8 Software Support Manual has the answers I'm looking for.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

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    Yeah, basically OS/8 is a very very simple operating system. Flat file structure, etc. Nothing fancy--but then, you don't expect much from a PDP8, do you?

  7. #7

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    This makes me want to drag my DECmate II out now that the VR201 is free (since the DEC PRO 380 got a VR241). I'd like floppy software for it though. Is there an easy way to make DECmate compatible floppies on a PC with a 5.25"?
    I use my C128 because I am an ornery, stubborn, retro grouch. -- Bob Masse
    Machine room: http://www.floodgap.com/etc/machines.html

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    I once did a bunch of conversion from DECMATE WPS floppies. Each page of data was split between three sectors, with 6 bit escape codes. It was interesting.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ClassicHasClass View Post
    This makes me want to drag my DECmate II out now that the VR201 is free (since the DEC PRO 380 got a VR241). I'd like floppy software for it though. Is there an easy way to make DECmate compatible floppies on a PC with a 5.25"?
    Yeah, there's a DOS program called PUTR that can write RX50 floppies in a normal 5.25" drive. It's in the simh additional-tools kit. I've only ever used it with my 11, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't work with the DECMate as well.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post
    Yeah, there's a DOS program called PUTR that can write RX50 floppies in a normal 5.25" drive. It's in the simh additional-tools kit. I've only ever used it with my 11, but I can't imagine why it wouldn't work with the DECMate as well.
    It won't work because the DECMate II needs the slushware. The best way to make bootable DECMate II floppies are from images and Dave D.'s Imagedisk.

    Lou

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