[Coco] Nitros9 and Smartwatch

Bill Pierce ooogalapasooo at aol.com
Sat Dec 10 16:38:07 EST 2016

Christopher, I understand entirely where you are coming from. My main purpose for answering your post was to point out that there are fewer differences than you think. I was away for quite a while myself. When I quit using the Coco, OS9 was at the "Kevin Darling" patches. When I finally got seriously back into it, we were at NitrOS9 3.2.8. It took some getting used to, but I finally grasped the whole renaming thing and then realized that only a few things had actually changed and most of them for the better.

If you need help at any time, you're welcome to email me and I'll be happy to help you. I probably spend more time in NitrOS9 in VCC on my PC than I do in Windows :-)



Bill Pierce
"Charlie stole the handle, and the train it won't stop going, no way to slow down!" - Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull


My Music from the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer 2 & 3
Co-Contributor, Co-Editor for CocoPedia
Global Moderator for TRS-80/Tandy Color Computer Forums

E-Mail: ooogalapasooo at aol.com



-----Original Message-----
From: piperfox74 <piperfox74 at gmail.com>
To: CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts <coco at maltedmedia.com>
Sent: Sat, Dec 10, 2016 3:57 pm
Subject: Re: [Coco] Nitros9 and Smartwatch

Bill,I suspect you disagree precisely *because* you’ve been using OS-9 since Level I, and likely with no gaps, and the changes for you were gradual and you’ve already absorbed them and perhaps don’t even remember there were changes. Of course for you it’s a “no brainer” as you say. However, I hadn’t touched a CoCo, or used OS-9 (or NitrOS-9) in ~20 years when I tried to start picking this up as a hobby again, and I’m using Tandy OS-9 reference material to try to learn.Here’s one example of what I’m talking about. You say in your message,> From the user's point of view, "dir" is still "dir", "load" and "save" still load  and save, and ALL old OS9 software runs just as it did before with no modification.However, that’s provably false. In the Complete Rainbow Guide for OS-9 (page 32), the dir command accepts two options: e to show more information and x to see the current execution directory. If I type those very sample commands, e.g. “dir x” or “dir e” into NitrOS-9, I just get an “Error #216”. That’s very frustrating for someone coming to this from ancient prior experience with OS-9. Eventually, I figured out and internalized that for some reason the options now must be preceded with a hyphen, but it’s exactly those differences I’m talking about.Christopher> On Dec 10, 2016, at 14:48, Bill Pierce via Coco <coco at maltedmedia.com> wrote:> > Christopher, I tend to disagree with your assesment of OS9 vs NitrOS9. I have been using OS9 since OS9 L1 (and currently use NitrOS9 for my OS9 programming projects) and I find very few differences between MW OS9 and NitrOS9. The one major difference being that several modules were renamed. Those that were renamed are not accessable by the user and cause no problems to the end user.> The thing I find in NitrOS9 that seems daunting to people is the vast amount of drivers that have been developed through the years. This would be the same if we were still using Vanilla OS9 as those drivers would still be needed for all the new hardware.> > The only thing that was done to NitrOS9 was that, in the beginning, it was disassembled and converted to use 6309 instructions. Later, the speeded up and more efficient modules were converted back to run on 6809 as well, then back ported to Level 1 as well as Dragon and a few others. In fact, a TON of old OS9 bugs are long gone and at the moment, we have the best incarnation of NitrOS9 ever!> > From the programmer's standpoint, all system calls are the same and work the same (I use them every day in my projects). None were changed. A few were added, but they make things more convenient for the programmer, though using any new calls would kill a program's backwards compatability. For example, my MShell File Manager cannot be used with old OS9, in fact, it can't be used any farther back than NitrOS9 3.2.6 (I believe), due to a system call added then which I use that speeds up certain functions by about 200%. Before I started using this call, it would run on ANY version of Coco OS9 or NitrOS9.> From the user's point of view, "dir" is still "dir", "load" and "save" still load  and save, and ALL old OS9 software runs just as it did before with no modification. I do not see a learning curve at all for past OS9 users. The problems I see people having with NitrOS9 has more to do with using the new hardware... these problems would be the same if we were still using vanilla OS9, just buggier.> The only thing I see as a learning curve for past users is getting used to about 5 or 6 name changes and then only if you're making new boots as that's the only time you'll need to know what they are for. The new names are close enough to the originals that most can be recognized... i.e. cowin vs windint, covdg vs vdgint.. to me it's a no brainer.> I see people complain about some cmd syntax changes, but I know that those (very few) cmds were already available and widely used by most of the Delphi OS9 crowd before NitrOS9 was introduced. A good example is tmode. If you want the old cmds, just pull them off a master disk from the Color Computer Archives, they all still work :-)> > As for documentation, the docs for NitrOS9 are right there on SourceForge in the NitrOS9 Documentation WIKI. In fact, they read almost identically to the original OS9 docs, but with a few names changed and a few system calls added. In fact, a few things have been expanded and now include a little more info.> As for tthe old books, ALL old OS9 educational and instructional books still apply to NitrOS9. Once you know the few name changes, it all still works the same.> > I do agree that there needs to be better documentation (in all areas), but someone has to write it first and I don't see that happening anytime soon. In my own software projects, documentation is a part of the programming process. I won't release a program without at least a cheat sheet, but most times there's a full manual in PDF format.> > > > > > > Bill Pierce> "Charlie stole the handle, and the train it won't stop going, no way to slow down!" - Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull> > > > My Music from the Tandy/Radio Shack Color Computer 2 & 3> https://sites.google.com/site/dabarnstudio/> Co-Contributor, Co-Editor for CocoPedia> http://www.cocopedia.com/wiki/index.php/Main_Page> Global Moderator for TRS-80/Tandy Color Computer Forums> http://www.tandycoco.com/forum/> > E-Mail: ooogalapasooo at aol.com> > > > > > > -----Original Message-----> From: piperfox74 <piperfox74 at gmail.com>> To: CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts <coco at maltedmedia.com>> Sent: Sat, Dec 10, 2016 10:56 am> Subject: Re: [Coco] Nitros9 and Smartwatch> > Thanks Robert.I’m fine with reading documentation. :-) There just needs to be documentation to read.I have both Rainbow guides to OS-9 and OS-9 Level II, but I’ve found at least through some cursory trial and error that there are sufficient differences between Tandy/Microware OS-9 and the modern NItrOS-9 that learning material for the former doesn’t help all that much with the latter. Especially when compounded with attempts to integrate with modern software and hardware such as DriveWire and CocoSDC.One thing that might help would be access to original Tandy/Microware OS-9 media, with no modifications. That would at least offer a better transition from being able to understand OS-9 to then understanding how NitrOS-9 differs. As it stands today, I only have access to either very modified OS-9 boot disks or modern NitrOS-9, neither of which really corresponds well to the OS-9 manuals and books I have available.I understand I’ve got two separate issues. My eagerness to get a RTC working (without reliance on DriveWire and being tethered to a DW server), and my lack of thorough understanding of OS-9 and NitrOS-9.It’s coming along, though. I find this kind of playful exploratory learning suits me well, I'd just benefit from some up to date documentation that tries to pull all the variables into a cohesive picture.Christopher> On Dec 6, 2016, at 22:56, Robert Gault <robert.gault at att.net> wrote:> > piperfox74 wrote:>> <snip>>> <rant on>>> Regarding software and documentation, I find it a bit odd to argue that any piece of software, no matter how simple, “does not need documentation”. I’d say a pervasive attitude like that in the community could turn away newcomers. I’ve been away from the CoCo seen for a very long time, and I was quite young back in the ‘80s and ‘90s when I was heavily into these computers. I’m eager to get back in, learn as much as I can, and help out others if possible, but the overall lack of consistent documentation for all of the new toys (especially DriveWire and Nitros-9) make this endeavor more of a struggle than it perhaps needs to be.>> >> Regarding the Smartwatch integration in Nitros-9. All I could find was the repository disk image smartwatch.dsk with three executables: getclk, swread and swset. No documentation at all. How is a newcomer supposed to know how these work, and know there’s “no good reason to use getclk”?>> >> I’m not meaning this to sound like I’m jumping on you. I appreciate your help, as I appreciate this entire community of bright, eager people looking to keep the CoCo alive as long as possible. I’m just hoping to express that focusing a bit on documentation and covering those topics that the “old timers” consider common knowledge or too simple to document might encourage more participation and help bring in new people to the community.>> <rant off>, and thank you!>> >> Christopher>> >> > > If you are serious about understanding OS-9/NitrOS-9, you will have to do much reading and studying. At least go through the Level-2 owner's manual. It looks like the manual has been broken up into several parts in the O section of> http://www.colorcomputerarchive.com/coco/Documents/Manuals/Operating%20Systems/> > Unfortunately you will find that the OS has evolved since sold by Tandy and many of the efforts found in the NitrOS-9 project are undocumented. Getclk seems to turn the Smartwatch into a stop watch based on a test I ran today.> > Your current problem with the Smartwatch not working has nothing to do with lack of documentation. You could determine what is wrong via tests of your hardware which is what I asked.> You have shown you can read EPROMS in both sockets of the Disto mini controller. That should mean that the Smartwatch would work if plugged correctly into either socket and suggest that your Smartwatch may be either damaged or the battery has failed.> > Robert> > > -- > Coco mailing list> Coco at maltedmedia.com> https://pairlist5.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/coco-- Coco mailing listCoco at maltedmedia.comhttps://pairlist5.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/coco> > -- > Coco mailing list> Coco at maltedmedia.com> https://pairlist5.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/coco-- Coco mailing listCoco at maltedmedia.comhttps://pairlist5.pair.net/mailman/listinfo/coco

More information about the Coco mailing list