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Full text of "OS-9 Newsletter - Volume III No. 11B (1992-11-30)(Bellingham OS-9 Users Group)(US)"

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OS-9 Newsletter 

Volume III Issue 1 IB 

Bellingham OS-9 Users Group 

November 30, 1992 

Disk Crash 

Why? And what can you do about it! 

Basics by Dave Gantz 
There are 4 primary parts to a system disk. The OS9Boot file, 
the bootstrap on track 34, the SHELL module and the 

GRFDRV module located in the CMDS directory. If any 
one of these gets damaged (sufficently if not totally trashed) 
then the disk will not boot. However the way it looks when it 
comes up on the screen will often point to the source of the 
trouble especially if your boot contains a 40 or 80 column 

If the disk just flashes the screen quickly when you type 
DOS then most likely your bootstrap file is trashed (the 
bootstrap is what IBM'ers would consider a hidden file since it 
is on the disk but there is no visible entry in the directory). If 
it comes up with the old 32x16 VDG screen with OS9 Boot 
displayed then track 34 is ok. 

Now we should look to see how far it is getting 
with loading the OS9Boot file. This is where it is helpful to 
have the 40 or 80 column TERM. If it gets far enough to 
display the copyright info, in 40 or 80 columns then the 
OS9Boot file is most likely ok and we ca n look at the shell 
and grfdrv modules. Guess I should note, 
just to be as complete as possible, that the 
startup file, SYS and DEFS directories are 
all optional and you should be able to boot 
without them. If its not getting to the 40 or 
80 column screen then the OS9Boot 
file itself is probably damaged, which means 
that it will boot to an extent but not get to 
the 40 or 80 column screen at all, and 
display the FAILED message on the 
original 32x16 screen. 

Now you should have some idea of 
where to look for the specific problem. Here 
are some ideas on how to fix each: (In all 
cases you will have to be under OS9 to do 


If the problem is with the track 34 
bootstrap then the quickest, easiest way to 
fix (assuming you have enough free 
contiguous sectors on the disk to do so) is to 
use Burke & Burke's EZGEN utility to 
rewrite the bootfile, when you exit EZGEN 
Cont'd next page 

Attn: OS9 Underground subscribers 

There have been several complaints posted on Bulletin Boards 
recently about subscription problems with the OS9 
Underground. The editor/publisher, Alan Sheltra, has 
indicated that there were some problems with the 
incorporation of the 68XXX Magazine with the OS9 
Underground, due primarily to incomplete records being sent 
to him from the 68XXX Magazine publisher. Apparently those 
problems have been resolved and putting together the latest 
issue is well underway. 

The October-November issue is behind schedule currently but 
will be worth waiting for. However, if you have not received 
your September-October issue of the OS9 Underground then 
you should phone, write, or otherwise contact Alan at the 
below listed address. 

OS-9 Underground 

4650 Cahuenga Blvd. Suite #7 

Toluca Lake. CA 91602 


CoCo/OS9 publications, such as the OS-9 Newsletter, OS9 
Underground and The Rainbow need your support and 
sometimes your patient understanding. 

-- Rodger Alexander, OS-9 Newsletter Editor « 


Disk Crash by Dave Gantz, Gene Krenciglowa and Dave Kelly P 

Analysis and Remedies to fix crashed disk 
New IRQ " Hack" by Eddy Cardone P 

This one is all done inside the CoCo very neatly! 

Network your CoCo throughout the house with phone lines 
B f ham OS-9 U.G. Public Domain Library Update P 

Recently added files since the August listing 
Review: NitrOS-9 by Alan DeKok P 

Patches OS-9 Modules for 6309 "Native mode" operation 
OSK: How many platforms? by Michael Kearney P 

FHL/Kix30, Atari Falcon, Amiga 4000 
PC to CoCo Transfer by R. W. Kemper P 

How To transfer data between computers using the "null" modem method 
Letter from the Editor Pg* 9 

Magazine format: "To Be Or Not To Be" 
Club Activity Report Pg. 10 


♦ 2 OS-9 Newsletter ♦ 

fixing that problem, of course you can cobbler the disk, but that takes the boot files and kernal from memory to create a 
new bootfile and if they are not identical to the ones that are on the disk, then you may get a good disk, but loose some stuff too, 
so cobbler is not recommended for repair work. Another route would be to use OS9GEN to create a new disk using the old 
disk's OS9Boot file as a source. 

If the problem is the OS9Boot file itself, I've used a utility called dEd to repair the damaged module(s) within the OS9Boot 
file without moving or changing the size of the boot file. I "DED /Dn/OS9Boot" then Link to the bad module(s) and use the 
Verify option to verify the modules CRC which sometimes gets scrambled even though the rest of the module is actually intact. 
The same technique can be used with the shell and/or grfdrv modules. To determine which modules are bad in the OS9Boot 
file or the shell or grfdrv modules in the CMOS directory, just use the ident command: 
Idcnt -s /dn/OS9Boot 

Ident -s /dn/cmds/shell 

Ident -s /dn/cmds/grfdrv 
Look for a ? in the 4th column instead of a period, also have your speaker volume turned up because if a truly bad module is 
found the terminal bell will beep too. 

Couple more things. If you cannot read the disks root directory from OS9 then the disk is considered trashed and usually 
unrecoverable. Usually I'll get an error #253 when trying to get a directory of the root directory, and the disk will not boot. 
Other possible errors and definitions: 

ERROR # Meaning 

253 Non Sharable file (or in some cases just a trashed disk) 

249 Wrong type (usually an RSDos disk or one that is too large) 

247 Seek Error (system can't find a sector that should be there) 

244 Read Error (found sector but can f t read it) 

243 CRC Error (The CRC doesn't match that which was recorded) 

213 NON Existing Segment (Damaged file structure) 

These are the errors I've encountoured on the root directories (as well as sub directories) of un-recoverable disks. 

--Dave Gantz;FidoNET,OS9 Echo- 

' Advance Solution by Gene Krenciglowa 

I had this finally happen, much to my alarm, where Dir or Free would fail, but the track was readable, just a few key 
sectors were garbaged. dEd3 was able to read track 0. Logical Sector Number (LSN) was garbaged along with a few other 
root directory sectors. First, reconstruct LSN as much as possible from viewing, with ded, the contents of a good disk, then 
move on to the actual root directory. If there is not much left of the root directory, then try scanning the disk, with the find 
command in ded, for file descriptor sectors and rewriting the root directory with the information from any file descriptor sectors 

Form a byte sequence from likely file attributes (FD. ATT) and owner user ID (FD.OWN) which are the first three bytes of a 
file descriptor sector. One such byte sequence is $0b0000 for attributes — r-wr and owner $0000. A sector beginning with such 
a byte sequence may be a file descriptor sector, and so the detective work continues by looking at the file segment list and so on. 
If you cannot read the disk's root directory on track with ded or similar disk editor, then a recovery may be doomed or not 
worth the effort. 

- Gene Krenciglowa;FidoNET, OS9 Echo — 

Step bV StCP by Dave Kelly 
I spent an hour reconstructing a disk last night. To help overcome the fear I encountered several years ago when I had to do this, 
I thought I would show what I did. 

When I did a dir on the disk the last line looked like this: 
buttlS.c butt!6.c 
ERROR 213 

_ ^ TecoraTthe vital^inf6"oh^li^cirJ4"tfius 

OS-9 Newsletter 

Several files were missing. So I got out the Tech Manual and dEd and proceded to scan through the directory. I found a sector 
that looked like this: 

62 75 74 74 32 31 2E E3 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 

1 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 OB 





6 62 75 74 74 32 34 2E E3 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 

7 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 02 0E 

8 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 

9 oo oo and so on. 

The FF's are the garbage. The first two lines read like this: 

62 75 74 74 32 31 2E E3 00 00 etc 
b u t t 2 1 . c 

00 00 00 02 0B < go to sector for file descriptor 

Note that E3 does not equal "c" but instead is "c" + 128 (or the Hex value of "c" [63] + Hex equivalent of 128 [80] which 
equals E3 which represents EOF (End of File)) 

Lines 2 thru 5 should contain information on 2 files. I looked at sector $020B to confirm the existance of a file descriptor 
header. It was there. Where are the other files? I was lucky this time, the headers exist at sectors $20C and $20D. 

I added a name, using hex numbers and adding $80 to the last letter to lines 2 and 4. Then I entered the $02 OC to the end 
of line 3 and $02 OD to the end of line 5. 

I then examined the file descriptor headers. The file at $20C was intact. The one at $20D was not. It did not have the 
number of bytes to load, 4 bytes starting at $09- FD.SIZ. To find out what the four bytes should be you need to look at the 
beginning of the actual file. The five bytes starting at $10 tell where the file starts (example: 00 03 FE 00 08 ). I went to sector 
$3FE and counted the sectors times $FF plus the bytes in the last sector. I then entered the numbers starting at sectors $09 of the 
file descriptor header. 

Example: sector 


00 07 03 


255 X 7 + 10 - 1795 $FF X $7 + $A 

Always think in HEX numbers 


Its not all that hard, just frightening the first time. Just read* 
the Tech Reference section 5 of your OS-9 Manual and ask* 
questions. And always remember to reconstruct the file before i 
any data is written to the disk. 

- Dave Kelly;FidoNET, OS9 Echo -- 
- OS9 Community Network, Region 19 Coordinator • 


Great Stuff 
for your OS-9 System 





Hard to find items 

Hitachi 63 09 chip & socket $ 1 2 

Kel Am custom 'Y' Cables (Call) 

5 1 2K Ram Chips/Kits (Call) 
Phone (206) 692-5374 

41 N.W. Doncee Drive, Bremerton, WA98310 

* years— and we've developed lots of 

We've been in the software business for over 10* 

excellent * 
software over that time. We don't have room in • 

it this space to tell you everthing, but we'd love to * 
send you our catalogue listing all of our products. * 
Great stuff like our Ved text editor, Vprint text J 
formatter, Cribbage, Magazine Index 
Ultra Label Maker, VmaiL amd more. 

System, * 

So you only get what you need, please specifiyj 
OS-9 or OS9/68000! 

Bob van der Poel Software 

PO Box 355 PO Box 57 

Porthill, ID Wynndel, BC 

US 83853 Canada VOB 2NO 

Phone (604)-866-5772 



OS-9 Newsletter ♦ 

A Better "HACK" 
to fix the RS-232 

IRQ bug problem 

This fix replaces previous "hacks" to use the hardware interupt provided by the Tandy RS232 Pak, instead of getting it after it 
circles the entire computer. 

I he original fix has you tie all pin 8's on the Multipak together, then, on the RS232 Pak, cut the jumper wire, next to the 
rompak connector, which connects the 6551 IRQ line to pin 8 of the RS232 Pack Rompak connector. Then run a wire from the 
6551 side of the open jumper to pin 3 (IRQ line) of the 6809, by catching the pad where the front of R2 is soldered to the top 
of the board. That fix seems to work fine, but creates the necessity for a wire, running from the Multipak to the CoCo. 

This fix uses a general purpose glass diode 1N914, or Radio Shack RS 26-1103, to couple the interupt signal from pin 8. of 
the rompak connector, to pin 3 of the 6809. It is all done inside the CoCo, without the need for any external wires. The only 
catch is that if you have made the earlier fix, you must reconnect the jumper, on the RS232 pack, back to the original position, 
so that the interupt sent by the 655 1 gets to pin 8 of the edge connector. 

Pin 8, on the edge connector, on the CoCo III, is hard to get to. as the foil runs on the bottom of the board, but there is a pad 
on the top of the board, located between resisters R39 and R45. 

Refer to the diagram below for the location of the pad, and the direction of the diode. The cathode of the diode must go to pin 
8. as the IRQ is a negative going pulse. 

Note: It is still necessary to tie all the pin 8's of the multipak together, because of the design of the Multipak, switching 
between slots (which is done a lot during use of the ACIA. Disk drive, and Hard drive) causes interupts to be lost. 

-- Eddy Cardone;Delphi;OS9 Sig -- 



Pad connected to pin 8 
of RomPak connector 
Located between R39 
and R45 

CoCo -3 

Use RS 276-1103 for D1 (General Purpose Glass Diode) 

RGB Transistors 

Editor's Note: There has just been released into the Public Domain a file called CLOCK60HZ.AR Includes replacement 
clock drivers for the Tandy's 60Hz Clock driver and Disto and B&B clock drivers that eliminates the need for any hacking! 

♦ OS-9 Newsletter 


RS-232 "null" Modem Cable (Table 1} 

RS-232 Pak 

RS- cable 

pin 2 data out 

pin 2 data in 


pin 3 data in 

pin 4 data out 


jump pins 4 & 5 (RTS,CTS) 


pin 7 

pin 3 ground 


jump pins 8 & 20 (CD,DTR) 

pin 1 carrier detect 


RTS - Request To Send, CTS 

- Clear To Send 

CD - Carrier Detect, DTR 

- Data Terminal Ready 

CoCo Lan Networking 

Network CoCo f s all over the place 

With OS-9 you can run extra terminals from your main 
CoCo and still work on it too (no dedicating one machine as a 
file server). To start with you need another terminal, I 
originally used my old CoCo I, the gray dinosaur. Now I use 
a newer CoCo III with 80 columns. To use the CoCo III, I 
needed a terminal emulation program. Trying to be cheap so 
I didn't have to buy a disk controller to use my second drive 
with my CoCo III, I initially used CC Talk from the 
November 1984 issue of Rainbow, but switched to 
MikeyTerm so I could use 80 columns. I copied the 
MikeyTerm to cassette so I now had a cassette driven 
terminal package. All I needed now was a cable. 

I built two cables 
for the fun of it, one 
using 25 ft of 
speaker wire and 
the other using 
standard phone line 
and modular jacks. 
The cable for the 
speaker wire was 
built as shown in 
Table 1. To connect to the RS-232 Pak you need a male RS- 
232 plug (Cat No. 276: 1574). 

The phone line cabling is what I really wanted; since, I 
could build two short cables that could be connected by 
phone lines, eliminating the bulky cabling normally required 
for cables longer than a few feet. The phone lines initially 
gave me a lot of trouble because the lines are switched as 

Boxl Box 2 

black yellow 

red green 

green red 

yellow black 

This made building the connector real fun. Your phone 
lines should be the same as what I've listed above unless the 
phone company is really trying to confuse us. 

Now to make the cable, you'll need a male RS-232 
connector with cover to look nice (Cat No. 276-1 549B); a 
four pin male connector, just like the printer cable for the 
CoCo; and two Quick-Connect Modular Jacks (Cat No 279- 
355). All of the parts should be available at your local 
Radio Shack. Now connect everything up as detailed in the 
Table at the end of the article. 

This will allow you now to connect the two computers 
with any length of phone line that you have available and 
makes for a neat set-up. Just think, you have one of those 
small laptop computers, with a terminal package and a RS- 
232 port on it, you could connect phone jacks all through the 
house anand just plug your cable with the RS-232 head and 
Modular jack into a phone line, plug the phone line into 
your CoCo jack in the wall and you have access to your 

main- M frame M CoCo anywhere in the house. Keep your 
recipes in a database, put your old CoCo in the kitchen, plug it 
into the phone jack you installed in the kitchen, and you can 
access the main-"frame M CoCo. The only drawbacks I've 
noticed so far is you don't get graphics emulation or Multi- 
Vue from your terminals (maybe a good communications 
package could solve that, but MikeyTerm works great for 
my needs). 

If you get lost with the connectors just build a simple 
continuity checker, I built one with a 330 ohm resistor, a 
LED, and about 15" of wire along with two 1 1/2 volt C 
batteries for power. Tape one end of the wire to the negative 
side of the battery, connect the other to the resistor side of the 
LED, touch the other side of the LED to your positive side of 
your batteries to make sure everything works. If it doesn't 
light, check your connections. If it still doesn't light then 
trv turning your LED around. _____ 

Once I had the 
hardware built, all I 
had to build was the 
password file in 
/dd/sys, start the 
TSMON command 
with the LOGIN 
command in mem- 
ory, and away we 
go. I used the following shell script to set everything up: 
load /dd/cmds/login 
onerr goto errtrap 
echo [1] Bit Banger - /tl 
echo [2] Use Modem - /t2 
echo [3j Use RS232 Pak - /t3 
prompt Enter Choice: 
echo Starting Bit Banger Port for Terminal 10 
xmode /tl bau-1 pag=13 eko=l upc=0 par=l 
nice 25 /usr/cmds/tsmon /tl& 

if %9=2 
echo Starting Modem Port for Terminal 10 
xmode /t2 bau=4 par=l pag=13 eko=l upc=0 
nice 75 /dd/emds/tsmon /t2& 

if %9=3 
echo Starting RS232 Port for Terminal 10 
xmode 03 bau=l par=l pag=13 eko-1 upc=0 
nice 75 /dd/emds/tsmon /t3& 

echo "Invalid Selection" 

goto -Minis 

echo An error %* occurred, check device status. 
(Note 1 used the xmode from the SACIA patch). 


OS-9 Newsletter ♦ 

Once youVe started this process load MikeyTerm or some other com package into your other computer, hit the return key and 
you will get a login prompt. Log in and you now have a multi-user system. 

I'm constantly amazed with the power of this machine, at work I use a VAX 8200 under VMS, an AT&T under Xenix and 
(yech!) a Z-150 under (bigger yech!) MS-Dos. The CoCo compares with the VAX and the AT&T (a little slower), but really 
outshines the M S-Dog machine. 

RS-232 Pak 

Table 2 

I Box 1 I Box 2 

I I 


pin 2 data out I green 

pin 3 data in | red 

jump pins 4 & 5 Inone 

pin 7 | black 

I red 
f green 
I none 
j yellow 


I pin 2 data in 

I pin 4 data out 


fpin 3 ground 



jump pins 8 & 20 (yellow (black I pin 1 carrier detect (yellow) 

One final note: I've since downloaded the uucp tools and I have e-mail capability between my two machines now. Good 
luck setting up your CoCo LAN. 

-Ed C.;Delphi:OS9 Sig - 

Bellingham OS-9 Users Group 

Public Domain Library 

This is an UPDATE list affiles that have been 
added since the August '92 listing. 

Applications Public Domain Disk 1 

Catalog Catalogs disk files for easy reference 

Clyde_v2 Annimated graphics display for use as a 

screen saver 

Graphics Public Domain Disk 3 

Pubfonts More Home Publisher fonts converted from 

"Graphicom-Part HI". Basic font converter 
included in package. 

Miscellaneous Public Domain Disk 1 

XlOContrl OS9 Software to control the PC version X10 

Appliance Controller (req. RS-232 Pak) 

Multivue Public Domain Disk 1 








UNIX version (non graphics) with color and 

sound added 

Creates module that executes other 


Grade tracking program for students 

Rolodex application for MultiVue 

Latest version with all bugs removed 

New, fancier replacement for MultiVue 

Patches Public Domain Disk 2 

Rename IPatch to permit full path names in second 

descriptor. Wordprocessors will be able to 
properly save temp files with patch. 

Vemac Patch to improve operation of help options 

in VED editor 
Scfed2 Kevin Darlings Patch to SCF system module 

to enhance the keyboard buffer 
OS9p3 Boot module that will PRINTERR message 

when and error occurs 

Programming Public Domain Disk 3 

GuiliblO Graphical User Interface C library by James 

Delaney & Daniel Hauck 
C_env Mouse driven front end for the microware® 

GFX3 Enhanced graphics module for Basic09 

written in C 
CARRAY Corrects C-Compiler bug in which 

multidimension arrays are partitioned 

Sound Music Public Domain Disk 1 

Play5 Newest PLAY module 

Telecommunications Public Domain Disk 3 

Adqwk30 Offline message reader 

Supercom22 Newest version of Supercom terminal 

Utility Public Domain Disk 7 


Saves deleted files to a "JUNK" directory. 

(Smart Erase) 


Hard Drive backup utility version 1.1 


TSMon, Password, Login, NewUser 

improved replacements 


OSK type mdir with search and type options 


Simple Directory Copy utility. 


Newest ARchive utility 

OS-9 Newsletter 


Software Review 

by Alan DeKok 


Weil, I finally got a copy of NitrOS9, 
and installed it on my system last night. 
After about an hour of fiddling in order 
to get a boot disk with modules that it 
liked (floppy systems....), it took roughly 
20 minutes for the whole installation to 
go. Then I re-booted and rooted around 
to see what neat new toys I had. 

It includes: most bug fixes (I didn't 
check for "all" of them), 80x25 windows, 
enhanced grfdrw and MUCH faster 
screen updates. If you ever had reason to 
complain about the slowness of OS9 
screens, (and have NitrOS9) then SHUT 
UP! It's not a problem anymore <grin>. 
Scrolling was about 35% faster, and 
things like PROC and PAL AP just went 
joom onto the screen, whereas before 
you could actually see them print out the 
individual numbers and lines. 

I tried out a bunch of programs, and 
everything seems to work the same as 
before. The documentations included 
are quite straightforward and idiot proof 
(heck, even I understood them). If you 
can make a new boot disk, installing this 
package is not much more complicated 
than that. 

The only thing I didn't like, was some 
programs (games) expect a (40/80) by 24 
screen, and the patches gave a 
(40/80)x25. This resulted in an extra 
line of junk at the bottom of the screen, 
but this would happen anytime you 
extended the screen, and there's not 
much you can do about it. 

Soooo... I'm satisfied. It works, it 
didn't crash on me, and it's FAST. 
Exactly what I was looking for! 
- Alan DeKok;FidoNET,OS9 Echo -- 

Origin: Micro80 Computer Club of 
Ottawa BBS (1:163/306) 

r NitrOS9 + 6309 **^ 







How many platforms are there? 

r irst thing, I am not a "programmer", 
yet. I am more the hardware type, but 
am trying to learn C. I am writing this 
as personal opinion only and I hope 
it doesn't offend anyone. Anyway, on 
with the show 

After working in television for 13 
years, I've decided to start my own 
video, audio, computer services 
company. I will use a couple 486 
computers for voice mail and some other 
things. But it's the audio/video 
computers that are causing me to 
have brain spasms. I can't afford a 
Cray, Silicon Graphics or Sun(yet!) so 
I'm looking at the Amiga-4000. the 
Atari Falcon030 and the FHL Kix/30. 

Now as I understand it, the Kix/30 is 
Microware 68k compatible "right out of 
the box". From all the stuff I've read 
about the others (A LOT!) there was a 
"rumor" that the latest version (2.4?) of 
OSK was being ported to the Atari 
Falcon. And according to the 
Amiga literature the CPU in the 4000 is 
"Motorola 68040 compatible". 

Now I was thinking (dangerous 
habit-don't try it unless you are willing 
to accept the consequences!) if all the 
folk that had a hand in the OS9-LV2 
upgrade could convince Microware to 
port OSK over to the Amiga_4000 and 
the Atari Falcon030, Microware along 
with it's programmers could grab a 
share of an international market. Think 
about it. For the first time (that I can 
remember) computers that already have 
a market, hardware wise (Ataris, 
Amigas) are closer to being able to run 
OSK "at power up" than ever before. 
With the expertise that some of you 
have with OS9/K, combined with the 
hardware of these new machines 
(browse the Amiga and Atari forums 
and read the specs on the AmigajlOOO 
and Falcon()30), things could get 
interesting in the home computer 
market. Think about it. With Big 
Blue on the way out/down, there will be 
a gap that needs to be filled. 

There are some die hard CoCo 
OS9'ers out there (like myself) that don't 
really want to give up OS 9, but want 

more computing power. But before I 
spend $2600 or $3000 on a 
new computer system, I want to know 
that I will have hardware support! And 
with these new machines being released 
WITH FCC Class B ? if I can run OSK 
on either of them I might be tempted to 
BUY more than one. And it sure would 
be nice to be able to nm programs on 

Again, I am not a programmer. BUT 
if I were, I would think long and hard 
about this one. After all, are you 
programming just to make other people 
happy; or to make money, make yourself 
happy, and then make other people 
happy, in that order? These thoughts, 
ramblings and stuff are my own 
opinions. I hope I do not offend anyone. 
But I was just thinking about how home 
computers have changed and have 
become business/home computers. The 
CPUs have been narrowed down to 
basically two (68xxxs and 386/486s). 
Operating Systems have been narrowed 
down to a few (Dos, OS/2, U*ix). OSK 
has a place in there. Especially since 
the new hardware is being designed to 
integrate audio. video and 
voice recognition. OSK should fit quite 
well in that type of hardware 

This could be the OSK opportunity 
of a lifetime. 
» Michael Kearney;Delphi,OS9 Sig -- 

MM/1 Computers 

Pacific Northwest Dealer 

11 L'tTTIMir 

PHONE/FAX: (206) 377-8897 





OS-9 Newsletter ♦ 

At£ast ! 



is in 




Go to the 

Message Menu and 


OS9 or PNW 


On the OS9 echo you'll be 

reading 20-30 messages daily 
about your favorite subject and 
you're invited to reply to 
anyone's message. 

On the PNW echo you'll be 
reading 5-15 messages daily 
from "the guys" Dennis Mott, 
Donald Zimmerman, Rodger 
Alexander, Chris Johnson, 
Randy Kirschenmann, Steve 
Hammond, Dave Gantz and and 
others from around the Pacific 
Northwest. Maybe, someday.... 
even Terry Laraway?? 

PC to CoCo transfer 

W you need a fenmnal ptograoi, 

we'll even provide you with one for it^§ 
Just send $1 fo cover the cost of the di$k] 
ami pc^tage a&d wur'p|re$s;% • fe ; 

; 4404 mm® ham ;^ia^h^9^a6 1 


It finally happened. After 10 years of 
COCOing, with the last 4 or 5 of them 
in OS-9, I found myself one day with a 
120 Meg HD, 8 Meg ram, 1 
Meg SVGA. i486d\/33 MS-DOS system 
on my desk. And I had a small problem. 

The problem: I had 3 Meg+ of text 
files on the COCO system that I 
didn't want to lose. The COCO was 
going to end up in the storage room. So 
I had to find some way to move those 
files to the MS-DOS system. 

I considered uploading all the files to 
my workspace on DELPHI, but decided 
against it. DELPHI is a long distance 
call for me. and it would have cost a 
small fortune to transfer more than 6 
Megs at 2400 baud. Since the two local 
BBSes shut down a while back I'd have 
the same problem if I tried to do the 
same thing with a regular BBS. 

I tried using the PCDOS/OS-9 disk 
transfer program, but for some reason 
it didn't work quite right. Perhaps the 
format of DOS 5 disks is slightly 
different or something. 1 didn't know 
what was wrong, just that I still had to 
get the files moved before the wife ran 
out of patience. 

So, it seemed like I only had two 
choices left: 1) Type everything 
over. <NOT a very pleasant idea!>, or 
2) Hook the two computers together and 
go with computer to computer transfer. 

I went for choice 2 and it went like this. 
Step 1 Remove all control codes from 
the text files and change the names to 
something acceptable to MS-DOS. I did 
this with a BASIC09 program, and had 
it add the original filename as the first 
line of the file so later on I'd know what 
it was without looking through the 
whole thing. 

Step 2 Move ail the OS-9 files to the 
same directory to make it easier to find 
them once the transfer gets started. 
Another simple BASIC09 program took 
care of this. 

Step 3 Get the hardware to interconnect 
the computers. I have a Disto SC-2 on 
the COCO and have been using /T2 to 

run the modem. That gave me a DB25 
connection to work with on one end. 
The MS-DOS system has a 
DB25 connection as COM1. so I had 
DB25 connectors to work with on both 
ends. With a quick trip down to Radio 
Shack to pick up a null-modem adapter 
and a gender changer, about $5.00 each, 
I had the hardware I needed. 
Step 4 Hook it all up. This is simple, as 
long as you've got enough room to get 
the two computers close to each other. I 
ended up with one sitting on top of the 
other, one monitor on the desk and one 
on a bookshelf, one keyboard on the 
desk and the other one in a drawer, and 
an extension cord running across the 
room. What a mess! 

Step 5 Get the two computers to talk to 
each other. This ended up taking a little 
while. I tried using terminal programs 
on each end first. But they didn't want to 
transfer the files unless I used xmodenr 
What I ended up with was Procomm 
Plus on one side, and the OS-9 Shell on 
the other. 

Step 6 Set the ports for the highest 
possible speed. This is actually a part of 
step 5, but since I ended up working 
from the Shell I had to do it again. The 
SC-2 is good up to 9600 baud, so that's 
what I set it for with XMODE /T2 
BAUD=06. Alt-P in Procomm let me set 
for COM1 and 9600 baud. 
Step 7 Test transfer a file to make sure 
everything is working. It was, but it 
wasn't. ASCII download in Procomm 
was working fine, but something about 
the COCO wasn't set up right. LIST 
TEXT001.TEX > /T2 kept on 
stalling after a few lines had been sent, 
and wouldn't continue until I hit a key 
on the other computer. A little hair 
pulling and a couple of cups of 
coffee later I realized what I needed was 
XMODE /T2 -PAUSE. What can I say, 
it was starting to get late. 
Step 8 Transfer the files. 1 didn't want 
to sit at the computers and 
type filenames the whole time, so I left 
Procomm in the ASCII download mode, 
and had a simple BASIC09 program 

♦ OS-9 Newsletter 


transfer all the files, sending the name of each in a header line 
before it sent the file. Another simple program on the other 
end could split them back up later on. 

Step 9. Clean up. Disconnect everything. Put the COCO and 
hardware in the storage room. Put everything back where it 
belongs (dust the desk first). Write & run the QBasic program 
to split the big file into smaller files. 
Step 10 Finished. 

Couple of more points: 

When you've got a directory full of files to work with (like I 
had a few times here) an easy way to get all the file names in 
one place is to redirect an unformatted directory listing to a 
file (DIR -U > FTLS). If the directory routine you're using 
won't give an unformatted listing you can still use it, just edit 
the file to remove the extra information. 

The BASIC09 and QBASIC programs I used saved a 
considerable amount of time, and didn't take long to write. As 
an example, here's the listings for the programs used in steps 8 
and 9. The other programs were just as simple, and just as 
helpful. (The filelist was called "fils". The ASCII download 
was called M os9stuff txt") 

This is the basic09 program used to handle files in step 8: 
OPEN #pl,"fiIs":READ 
READ #pl, nam 

SHELL "echo START OF FILE "+nam+" > /t2" 
SHELL "list "+nam+" > /t2" 
CLOSE #pl 

This is the QBASIC program used to split files apart again: 

OPEN "os9stuff.txt" FOR INPUT AS #1 
OPEN "junkfilcjnk" FOR OUTPUT AS #2 

LINE INPUT #1, lin 

GOSUB samefile 
IF MIDS(lin, LEN(lin) - 4, 1) = "." THEN 

GOSUB newfile 

GOSUB samefile 




CLOSE #1, #2 

SHELL "del junkfilcjnk" 



nam = LTRIM$(MID$(Hn, 14)) 



PRINT "Working on: "; nam 


PRINT #2, lin 

Final note : 

I'm absolutely certain that there's other ways of doing what I 
did. Better, sexier, more "professional" ways. Some of which 
you could probably go out and pay $200.00 for. But, THIS 
WORKED! And it'll work again when needed. That's why I'm 
posting it. If you need it, use it. 

-- R.W. Kemper;Delphi, OS9 Sig - 
23 Nov 92 

re: Newsletter Format 

I ID sure that most everyone was pleased by the magazine 
format that was used in last month's issue of the OS-9 
Newsletter. It certainly was a classier appearance. However, it 
did present a problem. 

The cost of having our local print shops photocopy and put 
together the newsletter in that format cost twice as much. 
Being of Scotch decent (or so I claim), I sought a cheaper way. 
I personally photocopied the masters and put them together 
myself. A labor of love I admit, but also very time consuming. 
Just to put together 40 copies took an hour. And we are 
growing with five more subscriptions in just the past two 

It takes about 20 hours per month to gather, edit, organize, 
paste and screen format the Newsletter, At that point I want to 
be done with it. Often the Newsletter is completed by the 1st 
of the month and then sits there in a heap for several days 
waiting for me to run off the mail labels, and then to stamp 
and dump them in the mail box. Such a simple task and yet I 
find that so difficult to do. 

What this all is leading up to (if you haven't figured it out 
already) is the return to the original format to save the extra 
labor and cost. Perhaps in the furture we'll try the magazine 
format again. But in the mean time. . . 

If you would like to contribute your talents to our 
Newsletter, PLEASE feel free to contact me. We appreciate 
submissions of articles that can be shared with our readers, 
and it makes my job easier too. 

Rodger Alexander, Editor-Publisher 

OS-9 Newsletter, 3404 Illinois Lane, Bellingham WA 98226 

Delphi: User name "SALZARD" 

FidoNET: OS9andPNWechoes(l:3401/301) 

♦ 10 

OS-9 Newsletter ♦ 

Club Activities Report 

Bellingham OS9 Users Group - Longview/Kelso CoCo Club 
Ml Rainier CoCo Club - Port O'CoCo Club - Seattle 68xxxMug 

Bellingham OS-9 Users Group 

Our monthly meetings are normally scheduled on the 4th 
Wednesday of each month. However, considering the 
Thanksgiving Holiday, we moved our meeting to the 24th and 
then canceled it altogether. But despite the cancellation of our 
regular meeting, we still had a couple of "mini" meetings in 
which we did our video taping of the 6309 installation and a 
GIMIX maintenance meeting . 

On November 4th we had a small meeting to review the 
recent attainment of the original System and Application 
master disks. We found one of the OS-9 Level Two Master 
disk had gone bad, but everything else seemed to be OK. The 
Sculptor database disk was still sealed. But there are still 
some master disk missing. We found copies of the Introl C- 
Compiler, but not even a backup of the Microware C- 
Compiler. It was interesting to see that Microware sold the 
ASMbler and EDIT as a separate package from the OS-9 
System. We found at least 3 separate print spoolers and a 
program called DO which was a batch or script file processor. 
If this qualifies as "vapor ware" we may include it in our PD 

Since the GIMIX system is now being used by students to 
play games, word processing, multiple choice testing and 
learning "C\ a greater familiarization of the security system is 
needed. Wcs Payne has been working on completing his 
ZIPS applications. This makes logging in on the GIMIX 
more like logging on to a Bulletin Board over your telephone 
modem. Each user is routed through a tracer program that 
checks each individual's status and permissible access to the 
computer to a much greater extent then just the standard file 
and directory attributes that OS9 normally provides. Even the 
activity of the logged on user is kept in a special data file for 
viewing by the "Super User" at a later time. 

Our second mini meeting was a video tape session with myself 
and Craig DuBois our club "camera man". We had earlier 
attempted to video tape this session several months ago but 
Craig's video camera was not working properly. Craig 
borrowed a new Motorola video camera from a friend at work 
which was more sensitive to lower lights and had better color 
and the macro zoom seemed to have a greater depth of field. 

To make a long story short, the taping went quite smoothly 
with super close ups making the "piggy back" mounting of the 
6309 obvious and straight forward. We did have some 
problems with the new camera clipping the first word of each 

scene so we will edit some of the audio portions of the tape to 
correct those problems. 

We displayed B&B f s Booster software installation at the 
end of the tape and perhaps later (if I get my Xmas present) 
we will be able to include the installation of NitrOS9. (See 
review in this issue) 

As a final step, we showed the un-edited video tape at the 
Seattle 68xxx meeting for critique. Other than a criticism that 
I turned the wire wrap tool the wrong direction (huh?), 
everyone seemed to think it was a pretty good tape. 
-- Rodger Alexander - 

The Bellingham OS-9 Users Group meets at Fairha\>en 
Middle School 110 Parkridge Rd, Bellingham, WA, on the 
4th Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Call (206) 734- 
5806 for more information. 

Port CoCo Club 

November was a cool, rainy night. Only a small group of 
brave souls came together to share in the glow of talking and 
learning about the CoCo. We started the meeting with a little 

All the CoCo users of Washington have been honored by 
Mid Iowa & Country CoCo's disk based magazine "Upgrade 
National Diskletter." The November issue opens with a CoCo 
version of the 1989 stamp of Washington. Also our 
most fanatical CoCo supporter, Terry Laraway, was honored 
with his name beside the stamp. Well, deserved, Tern! The 
diskletter is only $12 annual from Terry Simons, 1328 48th, 
Des Moines I A 503 1 1 . Phone 5 15-279-2576. 

Russ Griggs had been part of Port O'CoCo during it's 
formative years. Last week we learned that he had suffered a 
stroke some time before and is working his way back to 
health. We sent him a card from the group. On the lighter 
side, Les Bulyar (one of our OS-9 heavy-weights) accepted a 
free pass to South Sound Cinema for becoming a year older in 
November. In fact, the day of the meeting was actually his 
birthday! That's commitment. 

We also looked at the actual State of Washington 
document stating that we had become a non profit 
organization. We were incorporated on October 20, 1992. 

We also read a letter from one of our former members. 
Dan Statham is now in West Monroe, Louisiana. Not onlv 

♦ OS-9 Newsletter 

11 ♦ 

has he moved away, he has changed his platform. He's now 
DOS based so he has his complete CoCo system, software 
and books available. If anyone is interested, he may be 
reached at 241 Blanchard #5203, West Monroe LA 71291- 
7385. Phone (318) 324-8656. His list of stuff is 3 1/2 pages 

Another piece of information was a monthly magazine 
devoted to the TRS-DOS machines (Radio Shack Model I, III, 
IV Computer News SO has a lot of information, 
hardware and software for those machine. If you or anyone 
you know could benefit the address is Post Office Box 680, 
Casper WY 82602-0680. It's a 48 page monthly offering for 
only $24 annually. 

Lastly, the great news for those of you who have not 
purchased a color monitor yet. Radio Shack is closing out the 
CM-8s at only $49.95. These monitors were originally $300. 
They are hard to find, but well worth the search! For an 
additional $45 you can get a three year service contract 
for them. 

Our first presentation of the evening was by Gene Elliott. 
He is our "Tower of Power" builder. He has all the drives 
installed. He has all the plugs on the back of the CoCo 3 case 
wired out the back of the tower. He has the numeric display 
spelling "CO" and plans to cut the plate larger so he can add 
an additional display so that it will read, "COCO." He is 
going to use the turbo switch for switching in and out of the 
hi-res mode for the joy stick. He is toying with the idea of 
creating a slot on the top or the back so RomPaks can still be 

The wildest idea of all, though, is,,gpipg tp be installed in 
his own tower. He has learned of a defunked Video8 
camcorder. He is exploring the idea of mounting the 1 inch 
monitor into the face of his tower Xvith the eye piece. Thus he 
could "look into the tower" to see the video ifisplay from 
his CoCo. Now, that's not all. If he can swing it he may 
mount the Video8 transport mechanism into one of the drive 
slots so he can tape all the information generated by the 
computer! ! ! 

The case Gene is using is from Circo Computer Systems. 
It is ideal for the mother board of the CoCo and even the old 
larger multipak interface. The cases are $89 plus $5.50 S&H 
(Better prices are possible with group orders.) The model is 
the CC-310-D mini tower w/PS. Ask for Ken when you call 
1-800-678-1688. By the way the cases can be colored 
anything you want (there may be a slight charge for colors). 
The address is 148 8th Av #D, City of Industry, CA 91746. 
Phone (818) 369-5779. 

A more down to earth idea for both the club's and his tower 
is to mount a sturdy handle on the top for easy transporting. 
Wc hope to see our nearly complete system at our special 
Holiday Meeting on December 21st. 

The December meeting will be more a party than a 
presentation. ALL are invited to see and play with our tower 
and to bring your non-computer loving significant other. Just 
bring a bag of goodies and a dollar and you will have festive 
fun. Monday 7 p.m. December 2 1st. See you there! ! 
-- Donald Zimmerman -- 

The Port O'CoCo Club meets the third Monday of each month 
at 7:30 in the "Stock Market" Grocery on Mile Hill Drive in 
Port Orchard. 

OS-9 Level Two 

and the 

Tandy Color Computer-3 

written by 
Rodger Alexander and Scott Honaker 


OS-9 Level Two and the Color Computer-3 

written and compiled by 
Rodger Alexander and Scott Honaker 

The first half of the manual guides you as a "first time user", 
and advances you in five easy chapters with helpful 
homework sessions to give you hands-on experience. 
The second half of the manual features "Hardware Hacking" 
units with complete diagrams and instructions to install a 
CoCo into a PC-Case, make a Keyboard Extension Cable, 
upgrade the Tandy Speech Sound Pak, convert a Tandy 
Modem Pak into an RS-232 Pak, add a 4th disk drive, and 
build your own Hard Drive Interface. 

OS-9 Software Disk included 

Mail your $5 order or inquiries to: 

Bellingham OS-9 Users Group 

3404 Illinois Lane 

Bellingham, WA 98226 

(206) 734-5806 

Washington State BBS List 


— Lonview/Kelso — 

RiBBS (FidoNET) 

(206) 425-5804 


— Spokane — 
RiBBS (FidoNET) 

(509) 325-6787 


— Bellingham — 

PC-Board (PC-Net) - CoCo Conference #5 

(206) 676-5787 


— Tacoma ~ 
RiBBS (FidoNET) 

(206) 566-8857 


-- Anacortes — 




Bellingham OS-9 Users Group 

OS-9 and the Color Computer 

Tutorial and Hardware Hacker's Manual. 
/ncludes 5-1/4 Disk of (360K) of upgrade software 


Color Computer Video Library $10 | 

Fixing the MultiPak IRQ * Installing Floppy Drives 

Installing 512K Memory * Installing B&B Hard Drive I 

Installing 6309 CPU " 

OS-9 Newsletter $10/yn ■ 

12 monthly issues packed with OS9 Update, Tutorials, ■ 
Listings, Classifieds and PNW "Club Activity Reports" | 

Mail your order to: Bellingham OS-9 Users Group I 


is prohibited without 


OS-9 Newsletter 
3404 Illinois Lane 
Bellingham, WA 98226-4238