"Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Trixter » Tue Mar 21, 2017 3:06 pm

I don't think you will (have the same compatibility issues), but please let me know if you do.
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Vorticon » Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:30 pm

Really great project!
Unfortunately, TDL is not unpacking the files on my system. It is creating the appropriate directories under c:\temp\cache, but they are empty. When it tries to unpack a game, I get the help blurb from pkunzip thus indicating that there is something wrong with the unzipping command.
Any suggestions?

Update: It turned out that I had a different version of pkunzip on my C drive and that was throwing TDL off. Everything worked just fine once I removed that version. TDL is performing exactly as expected!
For the record, I have a V32 processor and 2 backpack drives on board (3.5" and CD-ROM) and their drivers are not causing any issues. I actually burned a CD on my PC with the TDL files and transferred them to the Jr that way :)

-Walid
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Tempest » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:44 am

That's weird. I was either getting reboots on everything or that gray file manager screen. My system has the following setup:

DOS 5.0
Tandy Mod
Thin Font module
JrIDE card
Backpack 3.5 drive (assigned to drive B)

That's it. Nothing else special about it. Why am I getting a bunch of reboots? The system works fine with other hard drive installed games and disk booters, so I think it's in good working order.
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Vorticon » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:01 am

Tempest wrote:That's weird. I was either getting reboots on everything or that gray file manager screen. My system has the following setup:

DOS 5.0
Tandy Mod
Thin Font module
JrIDE card
Backpack 3.5 drive (assigned to drive B)

That's it. Nothing else special about it. Why am I getting a bunch of reboots? The system works fine with other hard drive installed games and disk booters, so I think it's in good working order.


I have the Tandy mod as well and I am running DOS 5.0, but not the Thin Font module. I have the full 768K RAM complement. My 3.5" backpack is also assigned to drive B, the CDROM to drive H, and I also have a zip drive running concomitantly as well as drives D to F. So yeah I don't think the drivers for any to these are an issue. I don't get reboots and for the games that allow it I am returned straight back to TDL after the game is ended. The only problem I have is with games written in BASICA, and these hang the system as expected because of the memory requirements of BCASICA and not through a fault with TDL.
Could the Thin Font module be the problem?

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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Tempest » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:59 am

I guess it's possible, but I can't see why that would be. I can turn off the thin font, but I can't remove it since it's a drop in replacement chip. Turning the normal 'fat' font back on didn't help.

What I can do is see if one of these games is something I already have on my hard drive and try running it that way (outside of TDL). If it also reboots then we know that the problem is with something on my system not liking the game, if it doesn't reboot then we can probably assume that there's something in my system that doesn't like TDL. Either way, it would be odd that the font mod is causing the issue, but I suppose if it is doing something with a memory address that TDL is trying to use then it might be an issue.

@Trixter - If you're going to be at MGC I can bring my PCjr for you to look at.
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Trixter » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:25 pm

I appreciate you guys giving this a go. While I'm happy it's working for Vorticon, I'm concerned about Tempest's system. There is clearly something wrong that is causing the reboot, and while I don't think it is TDL itself, I think it is something TDL is kicking off and want to identify what that is.

I think Vorticon was onto something when he found his pkunzip was in the path before the bundled one. TDL has all "actions" defined in the file HANDLERS.INI. In HANDLERS.INI, you can specify a custom PATH statement to look for the helper utility for each section. The default ZIP action looks like this in HANDLERS.INI:

Code: Select all
[ZIP]
type=extraction
description=Compressed Archive (PKZIP)
; pkunzip's EMS and XMS support assumes it is not operating as a child
; process, and causes problems for the parent if called as such.  This
; breaks TDL's swapping mechanism, so we disable EMS and XMS usage with
; the -+ and -- options.  This should not cause any problems.
launcher=pkunzip.exe -+ -- -d %s %d
locations=utils;distro\utils;c:\utils\common


So, maybe Tempest has the same issue? Tempest, try these four things to troubleshoot:

1. Change the locations= line in the [ZIP] section of HANDLERS.INI to this:

Code: Select all
locations=c:\menu\utils


(or wherever you put the TDL). This will force TDL to look only in that location for the pkunzip.exe I provided.

2. I made a new version of TDL with better logging. Grab it and try using it to see if it works better: ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/temp/TDL.EXE You may also want to grab the updated HANDLERS.INI from ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/misc/temp/HANDLERS.INI as it has better messages.
(All of you might want to grab these anyway, as the new TDL.EXE has a new feature: Hit F2 to "tag" your favorite titles, and CTRL-F toggles the display between all titles and only favorites.)

3. Edit TDL.INI and make sure "forcelogging=enabled". (If something reboots, post the last few lines of the TDL.LOG file so I can see what was being attempted right before the reboot.)

4. If you are still getting empty directories/gray screen, exit TDL and look at TDL.LOG to see what pkunzip command-line it was trying to execute, then do the same thing yourself at the DOS command-line. See if it works.

I'm planning on being at MGC for at least Saturday afternoon, but I'm not sure that's going to be conducive to troubleshooting on the show floor. But if there's a corner you can set it up with a keyboard and monitor, then sure, I can poke around.
Last edited by Trixter on Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Trixter » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:33 pm

Vorticon wrote:The only problem I have is with games written in BASICA, and these hang the system as expected because of the memory requirements of BASICA and not through a fault with TDL.


You can work around that by making sure the launcher= line in handlers.ini for [BAS] files uses gwbasic.exe. It's not ideal (the colors are wrong in graphics modes) but it does execute things and return successfully.

Somewhere on the forum Mike mentioned about how ROM or Cassette BASIC could be used with jrIDE, but I can't seem to find it at the moment. If that is something that can be made portable, I'll try to include the workaround with the TDL distribution.

Could the Thin Font module be the problem?


I doubt that very much. It's just a font ROM replacement, right? I'll check the tech ref to see if there is a dedicated font rom.
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Trixter » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:59 pm

Vorticon wrote:I actually burned a CD on my PC with the TDL files and transferred them to the Jr that way :)


For extra credit, you can try to launch files that are still located on the CD: Edit TDL.INI to change proglocations= so that the first path points to your CDROM drive (so if your CDROM drive is D:, it would look like proglocations=d:\archives or something).
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Tempest » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:23 am

I can try this this weekend. I just put my PCjr away to get my 5150 out to do some testing with this so it might be a bit (wish I had room for both). I guess it's possible that there could be something physically wrong with my jr that TDL is triggering, but that seems a bit far fetched since it works fine with regular games (although the cartridge port is kind of wonky).

I'll bring it to the show and maybe we can find a quiet corner to work in. There should be a PCjr monitor at the show so maybe we can borrow that so I don't have to lug mine?

One final thought, I have one of jmetal88's keyboard adapters, there's no way that could be causing the issue is there?
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Re: "Fill your jrIDE" project now ready for testing

Postby Vorticon » Fri Mar 24, 2017 12:32 pm

Tempest wrote:
One final thought, I have one of jmetal88's keyboard adapters, there's no way that could be causing the issue is there?


I have that one as well and it's not an issue...
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