QuickBASIC on the jr?

Software related questions

QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby jharre » Mon Aug 26, 2013 3:51 pm

Has anybody successfully run MS QuickBASIC 4.5 on the PCjr? After I install it, the program will load but attempting to navigate the IDE menus results in lots of 'bleeps'. (That's the computer bleeping, not me cursing.) It seems to beep when pressing a key and when releasing it. My guess is that this is because the program is expecting a standard PC keyboard and gets very confused with the output of the PCjr keyboard.

Does anyone know a workaround? Barring that, is there a full-screen editor that works well on the jr for programming - hopefully without cryptic "twister-style" :o commands. I've used TED from the PC magazine utilities and it works OK for small stuff.

While I'm thinking of it, NASM-IDE seems to do pretty much the same thing.
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby James » Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:36 am

I have run both QuickBASIC and VB/DOS successfully on the PCjr (736KB, 600Kb+ available). The VB/DOS was too slow to be useful but the IDE ran, compiled and the output code ran fine. The only BASIC compiler I ever had a problem with on the PCjr was PowerBASIC. The IDE ran fine but the output code did not always run as expected. PowerBASIC is normally a excellent high performance compiler but the late Bob Zale wrote it in assembly and probably bypassed the BIOS in places to improve performance.

As far as an editor, you could probably just use QBASIC.
-PCjr (1989)-DOS 3.3, Racore Drive II, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, jrExcellerator, Tandy Mod, Serial Card, Combo v2, Config Plus, IBM Parallel Port, Megaboard, Xircom PE3-10BT
-PCjr (2001)-DOS 3.3, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, NEC v20, Parallel Port, Comswap, Xircom PE3-10BT
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby jharre » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:47 am

Well, its encouraging that it runs on your machine. It is probably something silly that I'm doing wrong.

You mention QBASIC which I think is only available on later versions of DOS. I'm using PC DOS 3.30 with 584K memory free - maybe that's the difference? QB should only need 384K minimum to run. Perhaps I need to dig out my copy of PC DOS 5 and modify it to run on the jr. Do you recall using any command line options to run it? Nothing seems pertinent in the manual.

If I load it from the command line with a program, like "QB DEMO1.BAS", it will load the program and run it by pressing F5. Scrolling up and down through the program seems to work, too. Its just when using the IDE menus things go wonky. The only way out is the ol' three finger salute.
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby James » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:46 am

A bit of bad news

My PCjr has the PC Enterprises Combo V2 cartridge. Among its features is a keyboard buffer and some Keyboard bug fixes. If I remove the cartridge I get the same results as you did on both QuickBasic and QBasic. Sorry.

I recently spoke to the the people that used to own PC Enterprises (his son actually). He was nice enough to look to see if they had any PCjr parts left. Sadly no. I didn't ask him about licensing but I wonder if we could get the OK to make a run of Combo V3 cartridges, either physically or built in the jrIDE.
-PCjr (1989)-DOS 3.3, Racore Drive II, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, jrExcellerator, Tandy Mod, Serial Card, Combo v2, Config Plus, IBM Parallel Port, Megaboard, Xircom PE3-10BT
-PCjr (2001)-DOS 3.3, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, NEC v20, Parallel Port, Comswap, Xircom PE3-10BT
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby jmetal88 » Wed Aug 28, 2013 9:54 pm

James wrote:A bit of bad news

My PCjr has the PC Enterprises Combo V2 cartridge. Among its features is a keyboard buffer and some Keyboard bug fixes. If I remove the cartridge I get the same results as you did on both QuickBasic and QBasic. Sorry.

I recently spoke to the the people that used to own PC Enterprises (his son actually). He was nice enough to look to see if they had any PCjr parts left. Sadly no. I didn't ask him about licensing but I wonder if we could get the OK to make a run of Combo V3 cartridges, either physically or built in the jrIDE.


I'd love to have a keyboard buffer/bug fix cart. There are a few games that I've tried that run perfectly on the PCjr with enhanced Tandy graphics and everything, but choke when you press certain key combinations. Windows 3.0 has problems with the keyboard as well, where it won't let you type a backslash (which is awful when trying to type the path to a file in, although I did discover that some things will allow a forward slash as a directory separator).
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby jharre » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:27 pm

Looking at what the Combo cartridge does on the "Options and Accessories" page, it certainly seems worthwhile to at least ask if we can make some. Even if we had to pay a few dollars per cartridge as a royalty for using the code, it would be nice to have that functionality.

VB/DOS? Wow, I haven't spun that up for ages. There is a full copy buried out in the garage somewhere, but I think the install floppies are 3.5" and may be high density.
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby James » Fri Aug 30, 2013 5:03 am

jharre wrote:VB/DOS? Wow, I haven't spun that up for ages. There is a full copy buried out in the garage somewhere, but I think the install floppies are 3.5" and may be high density.


VB DOS was painfully slow and I don't know if it would work without the Combo Cartridge. I uninstalled it almost immediately.

I wonder If any of these compilers are fully functional under DOSBox. DOSBox has good but limited compatibility with DOS but since the compilation process is internal to the compiler, e.g. not using DOSBox's unsupported print functions, it should be useful as a development platform but not testing platform.
-PCjr (1989)-DOS 3.3, Racore Drive II, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, jrExcellerator, Tandy Mod, Serial Card, Combo v2, Config Plus, IBM Parallel Port, Megaboard, Xircom PE3-10BT
-PCjr (2001)-DOS 3.3, jrIDE-128 MB DOM, NEC v20, Parallel Port, Comswap, Xircom PE3-10BT
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby Trixter » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:31 am

James wrote:I wonder If any of these compilers are fully functional under DOSBox. DOSBox has good but limited compatibility with DOS but since the compilation process is internal to the compiler, e.g. not using DOSBox's unsupported print functions, it should be useful as a development platform but not testing platform.


I've done that and it works well as long as you don't try to get TOO PCjr-specific in your coding (ie. simple 16-color graphics and 3-voice sound work, but don't try to bang on the hardware directly or use the vertical retrace interrupt or change palette index entries, etc.). The only "gotcha" is that the default keyboard map has combinations on it that will clash with your IDE (for example, CTRL-F9 will immediately exit DOSBox). The solution is a custom keyboard map that pretty much disables all custom mappings.
You're all insane and trying to steal my magic bag!
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby jharre » Thu Apr 24, 2014 3:07 pm

I'm happy to report that I found a solution to this problem. While skimming through a CD from Larry Teague ("jrAlaskan"), I found an article mentioning the same problem, "INT9JR.DOC" by John Bongiovanni. An excerpt:

Code: Select all
The big symptom was the character was being entered on both the make and break
of the keystroke.  Ha, bet I caught you with terminology there!  The "make" of
a keystroke is simply the key being pressed down, the "break" is when the key
is released.  The hardware treats these as two different events, telling the
computer a different thing for the make and break of the same key (the
difference is that the make scan code's high bit is low, while the break's is
high).  This to me meant that the break keystroke was losing its high bit
before it got processed by the INT 9H routine, which translates scan codes
into characters.  That was also why the shift keys got stuck in the QB3
editor; the computer never saw the break of the shift key, so it assumed you
were always holding it down.


To solve the problem, he wrote a TSR and a device driver that handle the odd INT9 behavior of the PCjr back in May of 1987. I used the TSR and my QB v4.5 now runs without a hitch. Many thanks, John, where ever you are.
Attachments
INT9JR.zip
Fix Quick Basic keyboard problems: INT9 handler
(4.96 KiB) Downloaded 205 times
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Re: QuickBASIC on the jr?

Postby MikeModified » Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:00 pm

The TSR works great! The .SYS stops ALL keyboard input with my system (or does it lock it up?).

Tested with QB 3.0 and MS-DOS edit.com (still slow to load :D )

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