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Thread: EBOS (Exatron BASIC Operating System)

  1. #1

    Default EBOS (Exatron BASIC Operating System)

    Hi,

    From the "Archiving the obscure" Dept.

    I'm on the hunt for this program. EBOS which stands for Exatron BASIC Operating System for use with the Stringy Floppy. Written by Thomas Wheeler in 1980 (version 1.4). I have the manual but does any one have the binary? I want to put it here: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz...sf_archive.htm

    Any leads appreciated.

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  2. #2

    Default

    Correction. This is officially known as ESOS (Exatron Stringy Operating System) (even though the manual title say "Exatron BASIC Operating System")

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for keeping the Stringy Floppy alive, Tez! There are not too many of this interesting TRS-80 accessory left out there. It filled a need at the time...relatively affordable storage above and beyond what cassettes could offer, especially on the Model I.

    I hope to start imaging some of my wafers and get the images into your archive soon.

    This is the only reference I have to ESOS. It's from the Exatron catalog.


  4. #4

    Default

    I thought there was a ROM too?

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
    I thought there was a ROM too?
    Yes, the standard stringy floppy OS was in ROM. But, that was only 2K so they also released an enhanced OS on wafer with more features that wouldn't fit in the ROM.

  6. #6

    Default

    Yes, it was interesting how the ESF tapped into that "unused" section at the top of Level II ROM reserved space to provide functionality. Came with a keyboard debounce routine if need and could co-exist with a disk system.

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    Yes, it was interesting how the ESF tapped into that "unused" section at the top of Level II ROM reserved space to provide functionality. Came with a keyboard debounce routine if need and could co-exist with a disk system.
    A nice feature which was lost on the Model III version since the MIII used that "unused" section of the memory map. The MIII version had a cassette connection and required a special boot wafer for the stringy OS. Much more convoluted to use. Although by that time, the stringy floppy's days were over as the mini floppy disk drives were becoming more affordable and powerful ie. the DD drives available on the Model III.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pski View Post
    I hope to start imaging some of my wafers and get the images into your archive soon..
    Reading them in the original drive seems to be a bit problematic due to breakage. As a thought experiment I've been imagining other ways of recovering the data that put less stress on the tape.

    How are you planning on reading your tapes?
    P.S. I believe I read that it is a linear format so even if you get a breakage it would not necessarily kill all the files on the tape (if you could repair the break).

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by exidyboy View Post
    Reading them in the original drive seems to be a bit problematic due to breakage. As a thought experiment I've been imagining other ways of recovering the data that put less stress on the tape.

    How are you planning on reading your tapes?
    P.S. I believe I read that it is a linear format so even if you get a breakage it would not necessarily kill all the files on the tape (if you could repair the break).
    I plan on using my existing stringy floppy drive to read the wafers. I tested it a few years ago with some of my wafers and it worked well. These wafers were apparently stored in ideal conditions.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pski View Post
    Yes, the standard stringy floppy OS was in ROM.
    I can get access to an Exidy Sorcerer that has the custom monitor ROM for the Exatron/ASP Microcomputers Stringy Floppy and intend to dump that ROM.
    The drive itself has a further 2K 'controller' ROM which I would like to read as well - is there also one when used on a Tandy?
    If you're interested and they haven't already been dumped perhaps you could read the equivalent ROM's in your machine and drive?
    These could then be presented to the MAME project to try and inspire a developer to take on the task of emulating it as a peripheral that could be run against a number of the vintage machines in that project with which it was compatible.

    Quote Originally Posted by pski View Post
    But, that was only 2K so they also released an enhanced OS on wafer with more features that wouldn't fit in the ROM.
    From a preservation point of view this sounds like a rather precious wafer then.

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