88915 29-JUL 18:49 OSK Applications
From: BOBROGERS To: ANYONE (NR)
Although I have been a subscriber to Delphi for a while I am a new visitor
to the FORUM of the Delphi OS-9 area. I have previously been a subscriber
to Compuserve, GENIE, and BIX. Delphi seems to me to be the best deal
My system is a Hazelwood QT20x, with 2.5 meg of ram, 30-, 60-, and 245-meg
hard disks, 720-k 3.5- and 5.25-inch floppies, a SyQuest 44-meg removable
disk hard drive, four modified Heathkit H-19 terminals, an Anchor Patriot
2400-baud modem, Panasonic dot-matrix and HP LJ4P laser printers, and a
(censored) PC, plus a cheap PC lap-top. The H-19’s are modified for umacs,
with more function codes on the function keys. I bought the QT20 in January
1988, and have it rack-mounted with other equipment. My old computer is a
Technico, based on the TI TMS 9900, still working. (Yes, that is four! So
I am an EE.)
Here is my accumulated list of questions, comments, and problems:
1. I am having problems with booting from a hard disk having 512-byte
sectors. The QT20 won’t do it. I bought the latest boot ROMs from
FHL, but they don’t do it either. When I dissassembled the ROMs I
found references to the number 256, but nowhere any 512s. It seems
to me that one possible difference in the later ROMs is that the
boot will try to find a 256-byte-per-sector drive on the SCSI bus,
and will fail if it does not find one. I have noticed the system
booting from the SyQuest (not /h0)! I want to retire the two small
hard drives and use the one big one. Dissassembling on this machine
is no easy task. I learned on a PDP-8! It still amazes me what could
be done with 4-k of ram and a 32-k hard disk.
2. Will the Teac dual floppy drive work properly with the QT20?
I haven’t found out whether or not the new Teac will work with 720k
5 1/4″ disks or only the 3 1/2″ size for 720k.
Which current tape backups will work with the QT20? I am currently
using a SyDos 44-meg removable cartridge hard drive for backups.
Will the cheap tape drives intended for connection to the floppy
controller work? What about software? Or must I find a SCSI model?
What about the SCSI DAT? FHL says the old Teac tape cart drive works
but I haven’t seen one available. From what I have seen MicroWare’s
backup software may not be strictly SCSI compatible.
The SyQuest drive exibits a curious behavior. Using FHL’s fbu one
another floppy disk inserted, and fbu will do about 20 meg more.
I have discovered that OSK provides only about 47 entries for
file segments, and this is exhausted after about 22 meg. You can use
one of the PD file utilities to look at that – I forget which one.
I’ll probably move the SyQuest to my other (censored) machine when
I find a better backup device for OSK. I did have a lot of trouble
formatting the SyQuest carts.
3. Does any one have a print spooler for OSK? It seems almost a scandal
to me that MicroWare would ship a multi-user system with no print
spooler, and let users mangle each others print jobs! I am working on
a print utility to print one, two, and four pages per sheet on the
laser, and will upload it when I am satisfied with it. Maybe I can
make it spool also! I think spooling would involve a common data area
the way conf (below) does.
4. Has anyone else tried a new HP LJ IV-P with the QT20? I have had
trouble with the parallel port driving the laser; a serial port works
sort of OK, and maybe it is just as well to use the serial port for OSK
and the the parallel port for my other (censored) system. However, the
laser cannot keep up at serial speeds above 2400, despite XON and XOFF!
And not perfectly at 2400 – drops a character sometimes. More trouble
with OSK? Maybe there should be hardware control CTS/RTS for serial
driving the laser?
Using the parallel port the laser prints only a few characters and hangs.
If one operates the printer on-line switch several times during the print
job you can get it to print the whole page. Seems like this must be a
problem with the ACK signal from the laser not being accepted as an
interrupt by OSK – too narrow, too fast, wrong timing? I have not
‘scoped it yet.
In brief, OSK doesn’t work well with my beautiful new HP LJ 4-P. Of
course it works perfectly with the unmentionable system!
5. I downloaded TEX from Delphi a while back but have not been able to
get it to work because I can’t make any fonts. Makefont says it
can’t find the basefile. It made the basefile OK, and it is there with
ewr permissions. Any one else had trouble? Where are the files supposed
to be? I have tried several places. I had to modify the makefont.b
program from what I got by downloading; makefont.b does work, but
metafont (by another name) does not. (Even with full path names.)
6. TEX will need a “dvi2lj4p” driver for my new HP LJ IV-P 600dpi laser.
I’ll write it if I can find enough information. Or has someone done
this or planning to do it? TEX to a 600dpi laser should be excellent!
I want to print the TEX and METAFONT manuals!
7. I saw somewhere that OSK software for a CD-ROM drive exists. I have
been delayed on this project because I didn’t want to pay for the
higher-priced SCSI versions of CD-ROM drives, and bought a cheap
(not SCSI) drive for my other (censored) machine. I have bought several
of the Prime Time Freeware (largely UNIX) CD’s. I had been working on
talking to the SCSI bus for a 9-track tape drive using a NCR controller
board, but stopped when a power supply problem damaged the NCR, and
I could not justify the expensive repair-exchange. It waits for me to
figure out what is wrong with the NCR board. I wrote a bunch of software
for my Kennedy and DigiData 9-track tape drives, and it was partially
working as long as the NCR board was working; and I was going to upload
it except for a possible problem with about 6 lines of assembly code
which I got by dissassembly and lifting from another program.
8. Along the same lines, what about page scanners? I believe that some
available scanners (for MacIntosh?) connect to the SCSI bus. We will
need drivers, which shouldn’t be too hard to write. I have the SCSI-2
document from Global. But what about OCR software? Has any one seen
OCR software written in C for UNIX?
9. What experience has anyone had with the newer high-speed modems?
I am waiting for enough reasons to justify a 32bis modem with
automatic protocol negotiation, such as USRobotics. But modem
technology is changing so rapidly! It has seemed to me that Zmodem
has been a better deal than 9600 baud, mostly because some hosts do not
seem able even to keep up with 2400, let alone a higher speed, and
the Zmodem protocol for downloading files by using larger blocks and
not waiting so often for the receiver to respond via satellite, makes
for faster downloads. I suspect that most telephone traffic is handled
via fibre optics now anyway. One of the AT&T trans-continental fibre
optics trunk cables runs through our front yard (easement.) Besides,
for just talking to Delphi, who can type at 960 characters per second
I have seen somewhere that the ne
w high-speed modems may require hardware
(not XON/XOFF) control for full operation. OSK on my QT20 does not
monitor RTS/DTR/CD &c. See next item.
10. I am also concerned with the Carrier Detect signal from my modem in
answer mode for log-in as a remote user. OSK does not concern itself
with a loss of carrier, and if anything happens on the line the remote
user may not be able get back in because the host OSK monitor may be hun
Bad, bad OSK! Yes, I know about the carrier loss signal available in
c, but I have not figured out yet how to implement it.
11. It continues to annoy me that OSK Version 2.4 has been available
to everyone else for several years, but not yet for the QT20. I am
told that it has ANSI C. Although I have downloaded them I do not
have GNU C or C++ working. I need help from a better software guru
I did receive version 2.3, but conf, working on 2.2, does not work
on 2.3, and I haven’t figured out what changed in the C compiler’s
or OSK’s handling of a program common data area from 2.2 to 2.3. We
could use a “wall” utility.
12. Has anyone been able to get Peter Dibble’s software for accepting
PC formatted disks to OSK, in the OS-9 Insights book. I typed the
whole thing in and tried to compile it. No goot! Was this for the
That’s enough for now! I look forward to comments from anyone. HELP!
Dr. Bob Rogers (BOBROGERS)