ColorPaint

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ColorPaint

Postby Tempest » Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:24 pm

Is there anything special I need to know about running ColorPaint? I plugged in my ColorPaint cartridge and the system didn't seem to detect it (went right to Basic). I have the jrIDE plugged in though, is there any known issue between ColorPaint and the jrIDE? I don't think my cartridge dirty, so maybe it's just dead.

On a side note, there was a form in my box that said you *might* be able to obtain a 3.5" version of ColorPaint from the company who developed it (not IBM). Anyone know if such a thing exists?
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Brutman » Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:39 pm

The way I remember it you have to use the 'g' command at the DOS prompt to actually start the ColorPaint program.

Cartridges can be lumped into three categories:

  • Cartridges that hijack the boot process; these are usually games
  • Cartridges that add DOS or BASIC programs
  • Cartridges that install BIOS ROM extensions. (A hard drive BIOS on a cartridge is a good example of this.)

Technically, all cartridges are of the third type. But I like to differentiate between cartridges that only provide a ROM extension vs. cartridges that do one of the other two things.
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Tempest » Fri Mar 27, 2015 6:07 am

Ok I'll try that tonight. I just wanted to test my mouse and see if it's working and ColorPaint seemed the easiest way to do that. Maybe the next version of the jrIDE BIOS can have that G option on the list?

I took a look at the card in the box that mentioned the 3.5" disk version. It's a generic card (no mention of ColorPaint) so it may or may not have actually come with it. The company is called Software Publishing something or another. If it's a generic card that would explain why it said there MAY be a 3.5" version of this software.
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Brutman » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:19 am

Hmm, that's interesting. If I boot DOS first I can use the 'g' command from a DOS prompt to load ColorPaint. But if I use the boot menu to tell it to boot from a cartridge or BASIC it does not work. That should be the correct option to use.

We should not need another menu option for ColorPaint. The "BASIC or Cartridge" option should work for ColorPaint if it is following the convention.

I'm wondering if ColorPaint is looking for the presence of the floppy controller and refusing to run if it finds one and DOS is not loaded. The instruction book is very specific; if you have a diskette drive you have to boot DOS. If you do not have a diskette drive then it will run automatically after booting. There is no option for having a diskette drive but not booting DOS first, and I don't know if that is an oversight or the authors being very explicit.

It's an easy thing to find in the ColorPaint code; I'll look this weekend. (Or somebody can just try it on a machine without a JrIDE, but with a floppy controller.)
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Tempest » Fri Mar 27, 2015 8:24 am

How weird. I wonder why ColorPaint does that? I wasn't aware a cartridge could add commands (like G) to DOS. Why G? Why not ColorPaint or something?

I wonder if any other utility programs like Lotus 123, Managing your Money, or Electric Desk do that (although that one has disks as well)?
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Trixter » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:31 pm

That is, in fact, exactly what they do. I don't recall if I've seen an explanation on how they do that; Mike, do you have something that explains the "DOS hook" on your website?
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Brutman » Fri Mar 27, 2015 12:59 pm

The technical reference has the information. I'm not sure if I've written a human readable version yet.

A cartridge like ColorPaint should either tell DOS that it has commands in ROM that can be run or it should hook the interrupt vector that loads BASIC when the boot from the floppy controller fails. My theory is that they are not installing that interrupt vector hook if the floppy controller is onboard. Which seems strange ...
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Brutman » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:46 pm

Confirmed. ColorPaint is borked.

Like I said above, a cartridge looks to the system like an extension ROM. The technical reference describes how the extension ROM can make itself look like just a container for DOS programs, BASIC programs, or just a plain extension ROM. Every extension ROM gets a chance to initialize at system boot and some of them will drop you right into a game, such as Mine Shaft. Others (Cartridge BASIC) will hook the interrupt vector that gets Cassette BASIC started. You can do any number of things during that initialization code; the sky is the limit.

So ColorPaint is weird in that if you have DOS booted the 'g' command will fire up the ColorPaint program from ROM. And if you have a machine with no diskette controller it will just fire up like a game. So this implies it is hooking the interrupt vector that is used to start Cassette BASIC. But if you have a floppy controller installed in the machine, it will not do anything unless you boot DOS. You don't get the option to just play with ColorPaint as you would play with Cassette BASIC if you did not have a boot floppy.

I didn't bother looking for code. I just disconnected my floppy controller and tried it. Sure enough, on a machine with a jrIDE but no floppy controller you can get ColorPaint to fire up by using the menu and telling it to boot from a cartridge. But if the floppy controller is installed then you can't do that.

There's not really much for me to fix. The the cartridge is reasonable then the menu option will work as intended.
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Tempest » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:54 pm

I booted to DOS (DOS 5) and typed G but it jsut said 'Bad Command or File Name'. Am I doing something wrong?
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Re: ColorPaint

Postby Brutman » Fri Mar 27, 2015 5:59 pm

There is no trick that I can see. I just tried it with both DOS 3.3 and IBM DOS 5.02.

You are using IBM DOS, right? There is no reason for MS-DOS to be cartridge aware.
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