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Thread: „Below the root” hangs on IBM portable 5155

  1. #11

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    Hm, I assume it doesn't do anything funny to INT 16 (hooking/revectoring) before it makes those calls?

    @kdr: Trixter has already confirmed that the game runs on his 5160, and I can confirm likewise (see near the bottom of this post for photographic proof, FWIW).

    As for the booter version, although it's not technically a "DOS game", it may be that it's available as part of a certain DOS Collection described by its title as 'Total'... but with this shady warez stuff, who can tell.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goostaw View Post
    what is going on? what would somebody check on their Ibm?
    I no longer have a 5155, but I do have an early 5160. I stripped down the 5160 to match a 'bare bones' 5155. So, my 5160 became:

    * 64-256KB version of 5160 motherboard, fitted with 256K of RAM, and fitted with the 11/08/82 revision BIOS. (I.e. matching the 5155)
    * Only cards fitted to motherboard: IBM CGA card, and IBM 5.25" Diskette Drive Adapter. (I.e. matching the 5155)
    * IBM 360K floppy drive
    * IBM 5160 PSU
    * CGA monitor.

    I downloaded 'Below the Root'.

    I created an IBM PC DOS 3.30 boot floppy, then copied the 'Below the Root' files onto that. No CONFIG.SYS nor AUTOEXEC.BAT

    Powered on the machine. It counted up to 256K of RAM, then it booted from the floppy. I executed LOADER.COM, and saw 'Below the Root' ask me to press either the K or J key. Pressed K and then I heard the floppy being accessed again, then saw and heard the introductory screens.

  3. #13
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    I was able to play Below the Root on my 5155 tonight.

    My epiphany was this: the only difference between a 5155 and a 5160 is the keyboard and the internal CRT, right? And since there's surely no way that the CRT could influence the software.... what about the keyboard?

    So I unplugged the 5155's internal keyboard cable and hooked up a genuine Model F from my 5160. And behold, the game worked! It asked me to select keyboard/joystick, waited for a keypress, played the intro, allowed me to select an item from the main menu, et cetera.

    The IBM 5155/5160 Technical Reference (the combined one from March '86) only has a single keyboard schematic and claims that 'the following descriptions are common to both the Personal Computer XT and IBM Portable Personal Computer'. But there must be a difference! Perhaps the Intel 8048 controller inside the keyboard has a different mask ROM? And somehow the game can detect this?

    *But now it gets even weirder.* I hooked up a generic XT keyboard to the 5155, and the game no longer worked: it immediately skipped to the main menu (without pressing any keys) and froze, just like with the 5155 keyboard. This generic XT keyboard is the one that I used to play the game on my generic turbo XT clone.
    Last edited by kdr; October 17th, 2020 at 05:18 AM.

  4. #14
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    Quick update... today the game was working with my generic XT keyboard. So far, I've seen it fail to work with both the 5160 keyboard and the generic XT keyboard, one time each. (The symptoms are the same as with the 5155 keyboard: doesn't wait for keypress, skips intro, doesn't accept input.) But I can't reproduce those failures. I still haven't been able to get the game to work even once with the 5155 keyboard, even if I press a bunch of keys -- filling the keyboard buffer until the BIOS beeps at me -- while the game is loading from the floppy.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by modem7 View Post
    I no longer have a 5155, but I do have an early 5160. I stripped down the 5160 to match a 'bare bones' 5155. So, my 5160 became:

    * 64-256KB version of 5160 motherboard, fitted with 256K of RAM, and fitted with the 11/08/82 revision BIOS. (I.e. matching the 5155)
    * Only cards fitted to motherboard: IBM CGA card, and IBM 5.25" Diskette Drive Adapter. (I.e. matching the 5155)
    * IBM 360K floppy drive
    * IBM 5160 PSU
    * CGA monitor.

    I downloaded 'Below the Root'.

    I created an IBM PC DOS 3.30 boot floppy, then copied the 'Below the Root' files onto that. No CONFIG.SYS nor AUTOEXEC.BAT

    Powered on the machine. It counted up to 256K of RAM, then it booted from the floppy. I executed LOADER.COM, and saw 'Below the Root' ask me to press either the K or J key. Pressed K and then I heard the floppy being accessed again, then saw and heard the introductory screens.
    For the quoted configuration, the following keyboards work (reliably) in Below The Root for me:

    * IBM 83-key keyboard ([photo])
    * Key Tronic model 101WN ([photo]), switched to XT mode
    * IBM 84-key keyboard (an AT-class keyboard) ([photo]) via an AT2X2KB converter

    ( I have no other types of XT-class keyboards. )

  6. #16
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    I wonder if this issue could have anything to do with the fact that the 5155 keyboard and some 5160 keyboards dont use the reset line on the cable. They evidently reset themselves at power up and therefore the motherboard can not force a keyboard reset later. See the following link http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/5150...oard_reset.jpg. Iknow this is talking about 5150 keyboards, but I know for a fact that my 5155 only uses {clock, data, 5v, ground} no reset.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ibmapc View Post
    I wonder if this issue could have anything to do with the fact that the 5155 keyboard and some 5160 keyboards dont use the reset line on the cable. They evidently reset themselves at power up and therefore the motherboard can not force a keyboard reset later.
    But even with the early (i.e. type 1) keyboard, the 5150/5155/5160 motherboard cannot force a hardware reset of the keyboard later.

    (Reset of type 1 keyboard is connected to motherboard's reset line. The POWER GOOD signal from the power supply going low is the only mechanism that can activate the 5150/5155/5160 motherboard's reset line.)

  8. #18
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    I wanted to try and narrow down the problem, so I found the booter image of Below the Root and made a floppy for my 5155. It booted into the game and everything worked fine, no matter which keyboard I had connected.

    So now I've been able to play BTR on my 5155 using the 5155 keyboard.

    I think that there must be some kind of interaction between DOS and the LOADER.COM stub. When loading that version of the game, I've seen intermittent failures of the game on my 5155 with several different keyboards, although the 5155 keyboard is the only one that consistently fails.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by kdr View Post
    I wanted to try and narrow down the problem, so I found the booter image of Below the Root and made a floppy for my 5155. It booted into the game and everything worked fine, no matter which keyboard I had connected.

    So now I've been able to play BTR on my 5155 using the 5155 keyboard.
    Wow. This pc booter from this link, which I have posted before, does not work for me, so I understand that you have any other?

  10. #20
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    I tried the booter version on my 5155 and got instant failure, when the same disk worked on a 5160 without issues. So not sure this is resolved, other than to say that BTR has issues on 5155 systems.
    Offering a bounty for:
    - A working Sanyo MBC-775 or Logabax 1600
    - Music Construction Set, IBM Music Feature edition (has red sticker on front stating IBM Music Feature)

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