Axxxxx J. Dubrexxx
xx xxxxxx Street
xxxxx, CT 06xxx
Micro Computer Systems &
C-Pro Users Group
24 Nov. 1985
Enclosed, please find these two
printouts and an 8" disk (1.2 MB, DS-DD). The files are NT-CHESS.N85 and
HLP-CPCD.N85. They were written with WordStar v.3.30. I hope you find them
suitable for publication.
The accompanying letter is a
plea for help. Frustration level is very high due to the lack of required
files and tools. The letter summarizes the procedures and problems in customizing
C DOS 8-16 v.3.1D.
My situation prompted proposing
a system with two physical terminals, each with four virtual terminals.
The Freedom 100 terminal has served well for a year and a half. Now, I
have a HR31-200 RGB color monitor and a 5151 keyboard.
Reading the Global.equ file reveals
the possibility of modification to allow a system to support both terminal
types. This would allow us to use both the 'old, as well as the 'new’ terminal.
This should be appropriate to many of C-Pro members.
I would like to thank you for
making the savings available through the September circular. The items
were delivered promptly and seem to function correctly.
Finally, if Viasyn chooses not
to provide for all possible cases, they should at least provide all the
work files as well as necessary utilities.
ACTUAL LETTER FOLLOWS:
Printed : Winter ‘85-86
Ladies & Gentlemen:
HELP ! ! !
I have owned and operated a CompuPro
816B (85/88), dual 8" drive, S-100 system for a year and a half. The system
has been upgraded constantly. A summary is shown in the table below.
Unit Purchased Price Vendor
256k (4 RAM-16's),
512k M-D/H, SS-1, I-3&4
$7000 CCT 4/84
PC Video board,
C Dos v3.lD
700 TCM/ONETCO 9/85
20MB Hard Disk w/Disk-3,10MB
Tape, Disk-l 2100 S-100
512k RAM (2 RAM-22's)
2100 N/A 2/85
HR31-200 RGB Monitor,
600 N/A 9/85
There are two problems. First,
how to make this $12k unit work together. Second, how to communicate the
specifics of problem number one.
As soon as the problem became
clear, I made calls to S-100, then TCM/ONETCO and finally to Viasyn. The
first two did not have a solution. The Viasyn service representative said
they would only work through a system center.
Part 1: The initial Problem
GenCCPM.cmd makes CCPM.SYS from
six *.RSP and seven *.CON files.
(l.a) The RSP files are PIN, VOUT,
STATLINE, SHELL, ABORT and DIR.
(l.b) The CON files are SUP, MEM,
SYSDAT, XIOS, CIO, BDOS and RTM. (XIOS means eXtended Input/Output System.)
The SHELL.rsp for use with PC-DOS,
and XIOS.con designed for use with the PC Video board,are much larger files.
C-DOS supplies XIOS320T.CON, which
is a 28k/224-Recd file.
The PC Video disk included XPCS340T.CON,
which is a 56k/434-Recd file.
It is clear the X 1/0 Sys for the
PC Video board is double the previous file size.
It is clear we need a XPCS320T.CON
file to GenCCPM an appropriate CCPM.SYS file.
Part 11: More Problems
In order to use Link86.Cmd to
produce a XIOS.Con file, we need CProXIOS.Inp plus 29 *.OBJ
files. They are:
InitEnt NP8087 SerIn
PCMode InitVec ConOut
Dentry HDisk PIC
Vscreen SerVar SerData
Part III: Preliminary Call for
I can not find a PCKey.obj file
on any of the four C-DOS disks nor on the PC Video disk.
HeadEntr.obj does not exist. It
must be assembled from the composite *.A86 files.
All composite *.A86 files are present
as are the required *.LIB and *.EQU files.
The Global.equ file is easy to read
and modify. It seens to be the only file requiring modification.
PROBLEM: The required assembler
is RASM86.cmd. This is NOT provided by Viasyn or DRI.
Part IV: An Alternate Approach
The previously mentioned calls attempted
to find a working xpcs320T.CON file. The people I spoke to seemed unaware
that the PC Video board requires an X 1/0 Sys which is double its predecessor.
None of the parties initially contacted
deemed it their responsibility to build such an X 1/0 Sys file.
The required RASM86 assembler, w/
utilities, retails around $200.
I concur with my fellow C-Pro UG
readers. This is an unreasonable price to pay just to put a standard system
together one time.
Part V: Some Speculation
I built a CCPM.SYS using the available
XPCS340T.CON file. The "3", is for Disk-3 controller and the "40" is for
a 40MB disk drive. ( MB defines mega-byte )
The hard disk boots and initiates
AUTO.SUB; but, "MFORM.CMD M:" must be manually invoked.
The system looks for 40MB for five
drives: A-E. It can only find three drives (A-C) with space: 5.1MB, 10MB,
and 10MB respectively. This totals 25.1MB.
The delivered system, which was
not compatible with the PC Video board, found four drives (A-D) containing
7.2 MB, 7.2MB, 3.6MB and 3.6MB respectively. This totals 21.6MB.
If one supports a conservation law
for total formatted hard disk storage space, then one must find the additional
3.5MB disk space highly suspect.
Thus, we NEED an XPCS320T.CON file!
-OR- is it possible S-100 delivered
a 30 MB hard disk formatted in excess of 25 MB?
All three drives work OK to date;
except for A, they have minimal data stored on them.
The tape unit seems to work OK.
Note, only new or bulk erased tapes can be formatted.
Part VI: Possible Solutions
I am willing to construct an XPCS320T.CON
file. (I also believe I am capable of the same.)
This file should be able to support
two physical con soles: a PC-type with four virtual terminals and a TTY-type
with four virtual terminals, also.
I would be amenable to making said
system available through C-Pro UG.
HELP ! HELP ! HELP
Viasyn could send us all the required
files along with RASM86 and support programs.
Either S-100 and/or TCM/ONETCO could
pressure Viasyn into releasing the items, in #1 above, through them
Either S-100 or TCM/ONETCO, or both,
could at least offer the required RASM86 files for about half price.
(We still would have to pay in excess of $100 for the privilege of beating
our heads against a file assembly.)
All parties could claim it the other's
responsibility, leaving us out in the cold and alone!
I prefer #1 or #2; could live with
#3; and reject outright #4 as totally unacceptable!
Do NOT forget the elusive PCKEY.OBJ
My daily 'office' hours are
4:00-8:00 p.m. Eastern Time.
Axxxxx J. Dubrexxx
C-PRO U G POB 2146
Woodbridge VA 22193
TCM/ONETCO 14057 Jefferson
Davis Hwy Woodbridge VA 22191
14455 N. 79th Street Scottsdale
3506 Breakwater Court Hayward
ED NOTE: A.J. is THE example
of someone willing to go to great lengths to build his own system. Unfortunately,
he left a damn good supplier (CCT who would have kept all the individual
pieces working together) for the vagaries of cheaper suppliers via mail
order. As you can see, he bought CCPM 3.1 several months prior to deciding
hard disk held try out, so he could not have
possibly specified the required configuration then. S-100 ads state that
they will supply drivers for the hard disks they sell - don't they? Neither
ONETCO nor S-100 has the horsepower to "pressure" Viasyn into anything,
nor can you really expect them to sell software below cost and remain in
business (especially when the end-user expects first rate support regardless
of the price as witnessed above .... PCVideo
+ CCPM for $700????)