SymbOS MSX multitasking operating system - help needed!

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By scratch_disk

Expert (72)

scratch_disk's picture

17-05-2006, 18:50

This particular thread is a strong reason for other people to visit MRC, and it is another reason for me to stay alive (i'm getting overexcited here).
Thank you Prodatron. You proved to me and many others that we have a wrong feeling about our beloved MSX. It's like an alien that has come from the space and is showing us the way.
I'm in anticipation to see a fully-functioning MSX SymbOS.

By dvik

Prophet (2200)

dvik's picture

17-05-2006, 19:15

Yeah, this is definately one of the most exciting MSX projects in a long time. And the progress is unbelievable, do you have an army of code slaves in your basement Prodatron or just good design to start with?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1811)

Prodatron's picture

17-05-2006, 19:28

Thanx for all the compliments, that's very motivating! Smile

@Wolf: No, usually no parts of the screen are stored in a storage buffer. This happens only for the (small) pull down menu and drop down lists to speed them up a little bit. But when you move or close a window, the part of the screen behind it will be just redrawed. Because of the fast low level screen routines this way is possible without big delays. So you can open up to 32 windows and they won't need any additional memory Smile Only the description of the content of a window (the controls) needs to be stored.
@Dvik: Seems, that I didn't make too many mistakes with the general structure of SymbOS. I am also surprised about the progress, but the biggest reason for this is the great VDP! On the Amstrad the screen routines took 1 month, on the MSX 3 days.

By spl

Paragon (1470)

spl's picture

17-05-2006, 19:41

Prodatron, how bigger can be an app written for Symbos under MSX? Now in MSX you have more main memory to execute apps, or I am wrong?


By flyguille

Prophet (3028)

flyguille's picture

17-05-2006, 19:49

Well, prodatron, i see ... but I am worried about how expandable is all?

CPC guys too lazy?... as same that here... Tongue

iirc cpc swap all the 64kb of ram at once!

how did you re-scheme all in msx?

is your GUI to run objects like the equivalent of TIMMERS?

By diederick76

Expert (114)

diederick76's picture

17-05-2006, 19:52

I'm also getting more and more excited here, visiting this thread about once every hour (hope my boss doesn't mind ;-). I downloaded the visual editor and there don't seem to be any problems running it under Linux using Wine. Guess it's programmed properly as well!

I can't wait to boot my MSX using SymbOS and trying out my first Hello World in it!

By karloch

Prophet (2157)

karloch's picture

17-05-2006, 20:42

What could I say... You are AWSOME Prodatron!! It seems like it was yesterday when a friend CPC user showed me the SymbOS website. I couldn't never imagine that it would be ported to MSX.

I'm really eager to see it working and how fast will it be.

About HD interfaces, I know that Sunrise IDE and MegaSCSI are the most used. I recomend you to get an IDE CF adapter from Sunrise, it's an exceptional piece of hardware.


Enlighted (5938)

NYYRIKKI's picture

17-05-2006, 21:09

I just can't stop saying "Oh my god!". Prodatron: I think, that you are also going to get the credit of first implementing FAT32 on MSX. Few questions:

Does SymbOS support FAT12 or does it need FAT16 partition to run from?
Am I correct, that current CPC applications for SymbOS can be run directly on MSX as well?
I can see, that maximum resolution is 16000*16000, but how many colors SymbOS applications can have?

I must say, that first time I have a feeling, that we are going to have a OS (other than MSX-DOS), that will attract also application developers. This will definately bring us whole set of features not seen on MSX before.

By PingPong

Prophet (3898)

PingPong's picture

17-05-2006, 21:27

This is a very good job prodatron!

Uhm, a question:

On CPC z80 run at 4 Mhz, while on MSX only 3.5Mhz. Also CPC has (o no?) contended vram, but msx has slow I/O port access to vram

As you can see during the porting:

a) Can you perceive slowness with respect to CPC on MSX in cpu only tasks?
b) How much is the cost of VRAM I/O Based that you have experieced?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1811)

Prodatron's picture

17-05-2006, 21:56

@Spl: Every app can have up to 63K memory in one piece. Of course it can reserve more, but then it can't address the additional ram directly.
@Flyguille: What is a "TIMMER"? The controls are described in the "desktop data records" document. You are right, on the CPC I always need only one OUT for remapping the memory, on the MSX I need 2-4 OUTs. I just hope, that it will not slow down the whole thing too much, but it doesn't seem so. The MSX version works with the same banking configurations like the CPC version with the exception of the file manager.
@NYYRIKKI: Yes, FAT12 is also implemented. That's what you see on the last screen shot, the directory of a FAT12 hd partition. I am very happy, that FAT is the native format of the MSX! Amstrad has this more primitive CP/M format, so it was good luck, that I already implemented all the FAT stuff, otherwise the port would be much harder.
Most applications will run directly on the MSX. I didn't modify MineSweeper and won't need to modify most of the other ones. There will be some issues, if they manipulate the graphics and of course if they access the hardware directly.
Currently the standard controls can only have 4 colours. That makes the applications portable for every screen mode very easy. But I will introduce 16 and 256 colour graphic controls, so that you can also have more colours in the future.
@PingPong: Well, the CPC Z80 has 4MHz "official", but only 3,2-3,5MHz in practice because it is stopped sometimes, when the video hardware needs to access the RAM. The I/O access to the MSX vram usually is as fast as CPU memory access, if you work with larger blocks (OUTI/OTIR is as fast as LDI/LDIR). In general ALL MSX low level screen routines in SymbOS are faster than the CPC ones! Smile So it seemed to be just a rumour, that the MSX has a disadvantage here, for me the VDP is a GREAT advantage!

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