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Thread: PC-DOS 3.2 for 5150

  1. #121

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    Here is the driver to enable the SRAM-in-boot-PROM-socket feature on the WD8003. Defaults to NIC base port 280 and segment D800 for the RAM window. Both configurable via command line arguments, can be run from command prompt or loaded as device driver in CONFIG.SYS. Thanks to Chuck for providing the parser function!

    WDSRAM.zip

  2. #122

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    @kdr can you give my driver a try? I tested that it writes the registers properly, but I'm still waiting on a SRAM chip to give it a real spin

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
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    44

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    @kdr can you give my driver a try? I tested that it writes the registers properly, but I'm still waiting on a SRAM chip to give it a real spin
    Yes, I'm planning to give it a try soon - thanks for putting together a proper driver!

    (Sadly the first WD8003 card has died [cause of death yet to be determined] so I need to install the spare.)

    I also have a couple of new arrivals: AT28C64 and AT28C256 EEPROMs and a 28-pin ZIF socket. I -think- that the 28C256 will work in the WD8003 card in SRAM mode, which would be great because then I can get started with doing some option ROM coding.

  4. #124

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    Yes the eeproms will work but the writes are pretty slow. You will have to make sure you pause after each 64 byte page to let the write cycle complete

  5. #125

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    Bit of a setback with this project. The SRAM chip finally arrived and I found out my driver does it's job just fine. However, there are a couple issues.

    1) The card actually USES the memory for network communications. After loading the packet driver and initializing the NIC, writes to the normal, built-in 8kB buffer located at the D000 segment will be mirrored onto the first 8kB of the add-on SRAM chip at D800. I confirmed this in DEBUG by filling 8kB at seg D000 and then reading back the same contents from seg D800. The reverse is not true, writes to D800 don't get duplicated to the factory SRAM buffer. I need to pour over the documentation of the packet driver and chip datasheets to see if this behavior can be altered with a register or something.

    2) The Last Byte exhibits the same "bad or missing CON" error when trying to load it as in installable device driver in PC-DOS 3.2. It works fine in PC-DOS 3.3, although

    3) it will crash if the memory is not 0 filled first. I'll examine that issue in further detail after 1)

  6. #126
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
    Location
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Posts
    44

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    After loading the packet driver and initializing the NIC, writes to the normal, built-in 8kB buffer located at the D000 segment will be mirrored onto the first 8kB of the add-on SRAM chip at D800.
    Hmm, that's interesting. I didn't spend enough time playing with the 32K SRAM configuration to notice that issue. Once I have a working 8003EP card installed I will double-check and see if I can confirm it.

    (I had the packet buffer configured at CA00 and the "ROM" configured at D000.)

  7. #127
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Outer Mongolia
    Posts
    3,252

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    Quote Originally Posted by maxtherabbit View Post
    1) The card actually USES the memory for network communications. After loading the packet driver and initializing the NIC, writes to the normal, built-in 8kB buffer located at the D000 segment will be mirrored onto the first 8kB of the add-on SRAM chip at D800. I confirmed this in DEBUG by filling 8kB at seg D000 and then reading back the same contents from seg D800. The reverse is not true, writes to D800 don't get duplicated to the factory SRAM buffer. I need to pour over the documentation of the packet driver and chip datasheets to see if this behavior can be altered with a register or something.
    That's weird. If that socket is meant for an EPROM maybe it's just flat-out a hardware bug? (Incomplete decoding?)
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  8. #128

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    Still not sure if this behaviour is by design or flaw, but changing the built-in shared memory to base address CA00 just moved the mirrored 8k to D800:2000.

    In other news, using The Last Byte's "exclude" option causes it to hang on initialization. I'm about fed up with it, are there any other pre-DOS5 compatible memory managers out there that will support fixed physical memory?

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Chicagoland, Illinois, USA
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    6,992
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    I got fed up with The Last Byte as well, which was one of the straws that broke the camel's back and prompted me to just patch my boot sector.

    FYI, I'm making a video about this experience, to compare and contrast the "proper" way vs. how I patched my sector.
    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)

  10. #130
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Galicia, Spain
    Posts
    198

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    Maxtherabbit, try this one

    hiload.zip

    I used it a lot in the early 90's with, back then obsolete, memory cards. It includes a high memory ram disk and TSR loader as well as full source code and extensive documentation.
    Last edited by dieymir; December 7th, 2020 at 01:12 PM.

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