Nextor 2.1 beta 2 released

by konamiman on 29-04-2019, 16:25
Topic: Software

It's been three months since Konamiman revived the 2.1 branch of Nextor with the release of the first beta version, and now here comes the second one! The list of changes and fixes is quite large, the most relevant ones are:

  • The mechanism for selecting partitions to map at boot time has changed. Now instead of scanning a file named NEXTOR.DAT in the root directory of the partition filesystem, Nextor chooses the first available partition having the "active" flag set in the partition table. This flag can be set and reset using the built-in FDISK tool.
  • Related to the above, at boot time Nextor will now scan the first nine partitions of each device including extended partitions (previous versions only scanned primary partitions).
  • Nextor will now try to load MSXDOS2.SYS if NEXTOR.SYS is not found in the boot drive (but without NEXTOR.SYS the Nextor command line tools won't work).
  • A new "temporary" disk emulation mode has been introduced. In this mode the data for the disk emulation session is stored in RAM right before the computer is reset to start it; the session ends the next time the computer is reset.
  • The existing "persistent" disk emulation mode has changed. Now instead of searching for a NEXT_DSK.DAT file in the root directory of the partition, the Nextor kernel searches for a pointer to the data for the emulation session in the partition table of the device (the emulation data itself is still inside a file, which can be located anywhere in the device). Also, pressing 0 to boot in normal mode will also delete the data pointer so there's no need to further delete anything manually.
  • "One-time boot keys" introduced. This is a mechanism (and a related command line tool) to boot nextor simulating the pressing of selected boot keys, without having to physically press them.
  • "Boot key inverters" introduced. This is a couple of bytes in a fixed position of the Nextor kernel ROM that can be used to invert the meaning of the boot keys; for example, if you invert SHIFT then the MSX-DOS kernels will be disabled by default. The MKNEXROOM tool can be used to set these inverters in an existing ROM file before flashing it to your device.
  • The numeric keyboard can now be used additionally to the regular keyboard as boot keys and to change disks in emulation mode.
  • Fixed the bug that caused COMMAND2.COM to crash at boot when the computer booted with one single drive (e.g. when using Carnivore in a computer without internal floppy disk drive).

    See the full list of changes, and details about the new features, in the Nextor user manual. Also, make sure to download the tools file that includes the updated EMUFILE.COM tool (the old one doesn't work with this version).

Relevant link: Nextor 2.1 beta 2 release in GitHub
Relevant link: Konamiman's MSX page

Comments (6)

By konamiman

Paragon (1211)

konamiman's picture

29-04-2019, 16:26

Note for users of devices affected by the "booting with one single drive" bug: if you have a "bricked" beta 1 device and need to boot in COMMAND2.COM in order to fix it, here's how you can do it:

1. Boot pressing 3 to go directly to BASIC

2. Run the following to set Nextor's sector buffer pointing to the PLAY buffer:

POKE &hF34D,&H80
POKE &hF34E,&HF9

3. Now CALL SYSTEM will work

By sdsnatcher73

Enlighted (4298)

sdsnatcher73's picture

29-04-2019, 18:51

@konamiman: great job on this new release with so many new features and lots of bug fixes! Already flashed it to my Carnivore2 and it is working great so far!

By KdL

Paragon (1485)

KdL's picture

29-04-2019, 19:36

Hi konamiman, the beta 2 is okay with 1chipMSX, thank you so much.

I want to tell you that I encountered a bug with "NSYSVER.COM":
- if the version entered is less than 2.00 the program will no longer be able to modify the version again. It will be notified that the version is not supported forcing me to restart the system.

By konamiman

Paragon (1211)

konamiman's picture

30-04-2019, 10:46

Hi KdL, thanks for your report. NSYSVER.COM was never intended to set a version smaller than 2.00, and was never tested in such scenario, so it's normal that it fails. Smile

In the future, if you find other issues with Nextor would you please be so kind to report them directly in GitHub? That helps me keep things more organized.

By KdL

Paragon (1485)

KdL's picture

30-04-2019, 11:06

Okay thanks! Smile

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3675)

sd_snatcher's picture

01-05-2019, 17:33

Thank you so much for all your effort to release a new version of Nextor!