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Thread: OS/8 boot screen

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default OS/8 boot screen

    Over the past few days I have installed Roland's boot loader circuit board in my PDP8E. I watched his you tube films a bunch of times and noticed that when his OS/8 loads, his console displays a bunch of stuff on boot. The resolution is too poor to actually see what is displayed. I wanted to know why his OS/8 displays this information, whereas my OS/8 just starts with the period prompt. I messaged Roland and he said that his RK05 disk image was the games image. I did not use that image I used the diag image. So I was thinking why are these different. I suppose I could use the other image, but what makes them different. So, I started to look in the OS/8 documents for information. I thought that maybe something was different in the BUILD, but didn't find anything in that. I came across the SET command in the System Reference Manual. Here I found SET SYS INIT. Which looks like this command is capable of running the INIT.CM file on boot. So I made a INIT.CM file that had the VER command in it. Then at the OS/8 period prompt, I entered, .SET SYS INIT. Then after rebooting, now the OS/8 version is displayed, then the period prompt. Pretty neat. I figure that I could put some other stuff in the INIT.CM file. I tried
    Code:
    VER
    DIR RKA0:   /or SDA0: for serial disk
    This didn't work. Only the VER was displayed. I next tried reserving the lines
    Code:
    DIR RKA0:   /or SDA0: for serial disk
    VER
    This time the DIR was executed and the VER ignored. Apparently only one line is recognized? Then I tried this
    Code:
    VER; DIR RKA0:   /or SDA0: for serial disk
    This did both. I also tried adding a line with TYPE RKA0:TEXT.TX. This displayed the text in the text file. I tried to put the DATE into the INIT.CM file but apparently the DATE is not kept once the PDP8 is turned off and then re booted. This is kind of a neat function. So far I have not seen much about it other than the SET command. Does anyone know of other items that can be place in the INIT.CM file or documentation regarding it? Roland could you post a screen shot of your boot console screen? Thanks Mike

  2. #2

    Default


    this?

    built into os/8 there is a way to set a message to appear upon boot. You'd have to consult the OS/8 manual. I messed with this, I recall you create a file with a certain name and the OS will display its text. Something like that.

    Bill
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
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  3. #3
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    Default

    Bill, thanks for the screen shot. On my machine, INIT.CM is used for the text of the boot screen. I can also include some 'real' stuff, like VERsion, MEMory. On your screen the bottom half looks like text from a file. The top half may not be. Can you tell? What I'd like to have on my screen is stuff that I never remember, like Port Addresses, drive names, OS/8 restart address. Anything that may help me. Mike

  4. #4

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    the top half is simH starting up, then the boot screen appears in CAPS underneath starting from "FIELD SERVICE ... "

    This is the standard disk most people have for booting up a PDP 8 with OS/8. My actual disk packs have this too, more or less. If you consult the OS/8 manual there's a whole section on how to set this up and save updates to the file, etc. No better how-to than that.

    Bill
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
    Youtube: @billdeg
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  5. #5
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    Thanks, Bill. Are you talking about the OS/8 Handbook? I have the April 1974 issue. I also have the Field Service Software Assistance Brochure. Do you have a INIT.CM file? Both of these documents I have mention the INIT.CM file but no listing. If you do have the file, could you list it? I appreciate you help, Mike

  6. #6

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    all you do is edit the file using a text editor, and reboot. Keep editing until you're happy with what you have. I have the same info you read here on how to set up and include an init message
    https://www.pdp8.net/os/os8/os8_general.shtml

    Apparently the key is to understand how to use BUILD properly. I'd mess around with simH to get it right first before committing changes to an actual RK05 boot pack. You may not know that RK05 packs need to be partitioned into two parts.
    Last edited by billdeg; January 31st, 2019 at 10:14 AM.
    @ BillDeg:
    Web: vintagecomputer.net
    Twitter: @billdeg
    Youtube: @billdeg
    Unauthorized Bio

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