[SPAM] - Re: Troubleshooting RX02 - Found word(s) cartridge cartridges in the Text body

From: Jerome H. Fine <jhfinexgs2_at_compsys.to>
Date: Wed Feb 9 20:02:31 2005

>Eric Smith wrote:

>>Sellam writes about RT11 running on a PDP-11/23:
>>But being how easy it is to program the hardware, I can see myself
>>developing some custom tools (unless they already exist) to be able to do
>>some stuff that I want, like slurping an entire disk and dumping it to the
>>serial port block by block so you can re-create a disk image on a PC and
>>then read the files from that using PC-based tools. Does anything like
>>this already exist?
>I normally use a ZIP drive attached to a SCSI controller, and use PIP
>to copy an entire disk into a file on the ZIP disk. Then the ZIP
>cartridge can be read on a PC.
>However, Qbus and Unibus SCSI cards tend to be expensive.
Jerome Fine replies:

You are correct - Qbus SCSI host adapters are still expensive.
However, both a SCSI Iomega Zip drive (SCSI Insider) and
a Sony SMO S-501 are now very inexpensive as are most
small (under 9 GBytes) SCSI hard drives, especially the 3 1/2"
SCSI hard drives from Seagate. But the Zip media at that
time were only 100 Mbytes (actually exactly 3 RT-11 partitions).
So for removable media, the Sony was preferred.

For file transfer to / from a PC <=> PDP-11, I found that the
Sony SMO S-501 was about the best for my purposes.

I used to use the SMO media as backup for Hitachi DK515-78
EDSI (600 MByte - 20 RT-11 partitions) disk drives as well.
When I finally became confident of the E11 emulator, I also
found that it was possible to use the Sony SMO S-501 to
hold my RT-11 files. Each S-501 media is 300 MBytes per
side for a total of 600 MBytes (only one side can be used at
a time in the S-501 drive which is incorrectly called a 600 MByte

The big advantage on the PC of the Zip and the Sony is that they
are removable media and Windows has no problem is making
the drive be on-line.

The advantage with a SCSI hard drive is that RT-11 can use it
AS IS! BUT I also found that Windows refuses to allow
the SCSI hard drive to be placed online. The solution was to
use a Sony drive instead at boot time, but have the SCSI hard
drive with the correct SCSI ID (same as the Sony SMO drive)
already cabled into the 50 pin SCSI cable. Turning off the power
for the Sony SMO drive and turning on the power for the SCSI
hard drive (after the boot was complete with NO media in the
Sony SMO drive) was sufficient to fool Windows and allow E11
to use the SCSI hard drive directly with RT-11.

>I'm not sure if Kermit is able to transfer an entire disk image.
>Certainly if you can use PIP to copy the disk into an image file
>(on a larger medium), you could Kermit that file.
As mentioned elsewhere, the command:
uses the program DUP.SAV under RT-11. This would cause a problem
if the device was a full RT-11 partition - no single RT-11 file can be as
large as an RT-11 partition of 65535 blocks. But it is possible to split
RT-11 partitions into smaller files. What would be even better is to be
able to use some compression as well. Then Kermit could be much faster.

>If all else fails, I'd be willing to help you write a program to do
>it. A few years ago I started writing one to dump RK05 cartridges
>out the serial port, but the need for it evaporated before I finished
As mentioned, there are already a number of alternatives. BUT
if you only have a serial line, the maybe you could incorporate
compression as well. The Zip implementation should be well
know at this point although I have other priority things for myself.

>I've found that PDP-11 software development is much easier using
>John Wilson's E11 simulator (free demo available) or Bob Supnik's
>SIMH, rather than on a real PDP-11.
> http://dbit.com/
> http://simh.trailing-edge.com/

Especially E11 which seems about 10 times faster
than SIMH. Not surprising since E11 is written
in assembler for speed. Note also that E11 has
a VT100 emulator as part of the interface to the
user. KED under RT-11 runs very well on 104 key
PC keyboards which are close to a VT220 LK201
keyboard. Some hardware (ATI AGP adapters) also
support 132 character text lines under KED. Since
I program is MACRO-11, that aspect is vital. What
E11 also supports is up to "12 Consoles" on a PC
monitor using the <Alt/Fn> keys. While full windows
like with Microsoft windows are not supported under
E11, it is possible to have the TSX-PLUS type windows
(which were used back in the early 1980s well before
Microsoft windows were around), but with the PC there
is no delay in drawing the screen that is present with
a 9600 baud serial terminal.

For commercial work, the "Full" version of E11 has
extra features over the hobby version which make it
worth the convenience.

Sincerely yours,

Jerome Fine
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Received on Wed Feb 09 2005 - 20:02:31 GMT

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