Difference between revisions of "REX Release 4.9"

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(Created page with "== Supported Models == M100 and T102, with either REX or REX2. T200, with REX. PC-8201 and PC-8300 with REX3 == New Features == * Y2K Fix - REX now automatically fixes the y...")
 
 
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 +
 
== Supported Models ==
 
== Supported Models ==
M100 and T102, with either REX or REX2.
+
*  Model 100 and Tandy 102 with either REX or REX2
T200, with REX.
+
*  Tandy 200 with REX
PC-8201 and PC-8300 with REX3
+
*  NEC PC-8201 with REX3
 +
 
 +
 
 +
 
 +
=== M100 note ===
 +
 
 +
  In Europe and UK, and probably elsewhere, there are newer versions of M100 that have different boards.
 +
  Model numbers are 26-3801B and 26-3802B.
 +
  It isn't clear if REX works in those systems; until I can verify, assume REX does not work in anything
 +
  but a USA/Canada equivalent M100 (meaning it has a Modem, and the custom ROM pinout).
 +
  ***UPDATE*** confirmed that UK M100s need to use a US main ROM image.  Options include getting a
 +
  new main ROM burned using a known good binary image, or wiring your computer up using Main ROM Management feature.
  
 
== New Features ==
 
== New Features ==
 +
*  QUAD support - has been removed from release 4.9 as of revision 254.
 
*  Y2K Fix - REX now automatically fixes the year displayed in MENU.
 
*  Y2K Fix - REX now automatically fixes the year displayed in MENU.
 
*  PC-8201 support (including TAB key in addition to SHIFT-F5 to bank-switch, like T200)
 
*  PC-8201 support (including TAB key in addition to SHIFT-F5 to bank-switch, like T200)
Line 11: Line 25:
 
*  REX status indicator in MENU - the active Option ROM (for each bank) is indicated in the display
 
*  REX status indicator in MENU - the active Option ROM (for each bank) is indicated in the display
  
== Bug Fixes ==
+
== REX Functionality Overview ==
* none at this time
+
REX remains similar to release 4.8, but several major new capabilities have been added. The differences are outlined below.
  
== REX Operation Overview ==
 
REX is relatively unchanged from release 4.8.  The differences are outlined below
 
 
'''Quick Menu Features'''
 
'''Quick Menu Features'''
  
 +
For commonly used functions, now some shortcut keys are available in MENU.  This avoids the need to start REXMGR to perform simple operations like ROM switching and backing up your RAM.
  
multi-bank machines (PC-8201, PC-8300, T200) now have unique active RAM images and active OPTION ROM images on a per-bank basis.  
+
Summary of commands:
 +
*  <CNTL-O>: Switch Option ROM - REX will display available Option ROMs, and the user can use arrow keys to move the cursor to the desired selection.  <ENTER> to activate the new selection and start that ROM.  <ESC> to exit.  The Active Option ROM is indicated with a *.
 +
*  <CNTL-B>: Back up RAM - REX will prompt the user to confirm, and if confirmed will copy RAM to the active RAM image, performing a backup.
 +
*  <CNTL-R>: Restore RAM - REX will prompt the user to confirm, and if confirmed will copy the active RAM image to RAM, performing a restore.
 +
*  <CNTL-X>: Hooks removal - REX will prompt the user to confirm, and if confirmed will remove all hooks relating to REXMGR from the laptop operating system, effectively disabling REX.  REXMGR remains in the MENU, so REX can be easily reinstalled.  Also, the Active Option ROM is accessible using the usual ROM start procedures.  This feature is useful when it is desired to run the Option ROM without REX active.
  
== Upgrade Procedure (M100/T102) ==
+
'''Multi-Bank Operation'''
  
'''Current release for M100/T102 is dated April 26, 2011 9:37PM and has a checksum of 98B5.'''
+
Unlike Model 100 and Tandy 102, multi-bank machines PC-8201, T200 have an advantage in that the user has up to 3 distinct memory spaces to work with. Prior to release 4.9, all of those banks would have the same Option ROM active.  In Release 4.9, multi-bank machines now may access unique active RAM images and active OPTION ROM images on a per-bank basis.  For example, TS-DOS, UR-2 and R2C can be assigned to each bank, and each bank can have an associated RAM image.  This means the user can simply TAB between spaces and quickly use different Option ROMs, and each RAM space can be backed up separately.
  
'''Current release  for T200 is dated April 26, 2011 9:37PM and has a checksum of 5D6C.'''
+
In REX Manager, images are marked with '*' next to the name when that image is ACTIVE in the current BANK. Images that are ACTIVE in OTHER BANKS are marked with '#'.  Pressing B or b in REX Manager will indicate the BANK associated with an image, as well as the block number the image occupies in REX flash memory.
  
'''What you need'''
 
*  REXU1.CO or REXU2.CO
 
*  REX148.BR or REX248.BR
 
*  your favorite TPDD device connected to the laptop
 
  
The upgrade procedure is quite simple.  The upgrade package contains a program called REXU#.CO (the upgrader tool) and a 16k binary image of the new REX software load called REX#48.BR, where # is 1 for M100/T102 or 2 for T200.
+
'''Y2K Fix'''
  
 +
Prior to Release 4.9, users wanting a fix for Y2K would have needed to make use of Main ROM Replacement via REX.  This requires a hardware modification.  Now, a Y2K patch is automatically applied when in MENU.
  
Why 16k?
+
== Rebuilding REX ==
*  the goal of the upgrade is to jam in new software on top of your existing directory
+
*  we need to preserve your directory information
+
  
 +
  In order to use revision 254, users must do a complete rebuild of their REX.
  
The upgrade assumes you have a working REX or REX2 running software release 4.7.  If you are on a previous release, please apply all prior upgrades in sequence (4.5 --> 4.6 --> 4.7 --> 4.8).
+
All rebuilds to REX are `clean sweep` upgrades, meaning <B> you must save off all important stored RAM images to a TPDD device.</B> After the upgrade, you can re-load your important RAM and OPTROM images into REX. The FLASH memory in REX is completely wiped.
  
 +
'''Please see the section below for specific software release bundles.'''
  
The upgrade tool REXU# runs in RAM and relies on a connected TPDD device to make the software upgrade image available.
+
'''What you need'''
 +
*  for M100 or T102: RF149.CO, RXF149.BR, TSD100.BX
 +
*  for T200: RF249.CO, RXF249.BR, TSD200.BX
 +
*  for PC-8201: RFN49.CO, RXFN49.BR, TSDNEC.BX
 +
*  your favorite TPDD device connected to the laptop
  
 +
Place the files in the root directory of your TPDD device for loading.
  
'''REXU1 Description'''
+
In order to make a "clean sweep" and make sure that no issues with older software, for the initial installation of 4.9 we take the approach of wiping the old directory, and all the flash contents (from block 6-31; the user space) and initialize things to default.
  
What will REXU# do?  It will-
+
A note about Rom Replacement - if you are using this feature then you know that your main OS roms are stored in block 2-5. Those blocks are not erased, and they stay in place and operational the whole time. My three test machines are all running with REX based main roms.
*  restore your system to nominal (hooks table, REX timer hook, delete OPTROM traces)
+
*  allow you to SAVE your SYSTEM (current software + directory, 32kb) to TPDD
+
*  load the 16kb new software load into block 0
+
* copy the contents of block 0 to block 1
+
* restart REXMGR to reinstall the new version of REX
+
  
  
  
'''Steps to a happy upgrade'''
+
'''Step 1'''
 +
So then, the first thing to do is for you to 'Save' all your existing RAM and OPTROM images
 +
(the ones that you both want to keep and are not already stored on a PC somewhere) out of REX
 +
and onto your favorite TPDD device.  Please go through your saved images, decide what you want
 +
to save and use again, and get them out of REX.  After we install R4.9, all those images will
 +
be wiped.  You will have to reload anything you need.
  
1.  Start the upgrade from a cold booted laptop.  While not necessary, it ensures the laptop is working nominally with no lurking problems.  If you have important data please save your current RAM image to REX, and then to TPDD if needed.
 
  
 +
'''Step 2'''
 +
Load the rebuild tool:  Load into RAM the RFx49.CO file using the TPDD device. 
 +
You will need to CLEAR0,55000 to run the program.  But, don't run it yet.
  
2. Regarding your saved RAM images with important data saved within - please back those up to an external TPDD device using the SAVE function. In case there is a problem, you will be glad you did - it will ensure your data is safe should the REX directory get garbledThis takes only a few minutes.
+
'''Step 3'''
   
+
  Remove REX software from the laptop.   This is an easy step - just go into REXMGR and press F7
 +
(or SHIFT-F4 in PC-8201/8300)to DEINstall REX software.   
 +
  You should find yourself at MENU with RFx49.CO in the directory of the laptop.
  
3. Download the upgrade package, and place the 2 files in your favorite TPDD device or emulator so they are accessible to the LAPTOP.
+
'''Step 4'''
 +
  Issue the BASIC command CLEAR0,55000.  Exit BASIC and run RFx49.CO from Menu. 
 +
RFx49.CO will do the necessary steps of erasing blocks, loading the REX software,
 +
copying it to backup block 1, and then loading TS-DOS into block 8.
  
'''DELETE ANY PREVIOUS COPIES OF REXU#.CO and REX#48.BR!!!!'''
+
'''Step 5'''
 +
Once RFx49.CO completes, you should be able to start REXMGR.  Power cycle the laptop. 
 +
Cold restart the machine to clean out any funny memory stuff.  Enter BASIC and type either
 +
 +
CALL63012 (M100/T102)
 +
CALL61167,2 (T200)
 +
EXEC62394 (PC-8201)
  
 +
Voila!  You should see REXMGR in the MENU, and you should see the fancy new OPTROM indicator in the top right corner.  You are now running release 4.9!!!!
  
4. Upload the program REXU#.CO to the laptop.  Issue the command (M100) CLEAR0,59960 or (T200) CLEAR0,58104 in BASIC so that REXU#.CO can run.
+
== REX Release 4.9 Upgrade Packages ==
  
 +
The following files may be downloaded and used to upgrade your REX from an older release to R4.9 revision 254.  Because the directory structure is new in release 4.9, users must do a full rebuild when on 4.8 or older. Remember a full rebuild will completely wipe and rebuild your REX so save important data to a TPDD device!
  
5.  At the prompt, press Y to save your current SYSTEM to TPDD.  It is recommended that you save your existing image just to be safe.  Keeping the system image allows you to revert to that if something unforseen happens during the upgrade.  Provide a unique filename (something like REXBAK to safely identify the system image backup.
 
  
 +
<table border="1">
 +
<tr><td>Status</td><td>Release</td><td>Model</td><td>Description</td><td>File</td><td>Revision</td></tr>
  
6. At the prompt, proceed to upgrade the software image by pressing Y, or quit the application using N, Q or ESC. (N, Q and ESC are equivalent).  Confirm your intention to upgrade the system by confirming with Y at the next prompt, or abandon using N.  If you confirm the upgrade, the upgrade process will proceed by erasing the first 16k of the system image, containing the system software, and replacing it with the binary image REX#48.BR stored on TPDD.
+
<tr><td>Beta</td><td>4.9</td><td>M100/T102</td><td>REX Release 4.9 Rebuild Package</td><td>[[Media:R49_M100T102_254_rebuild.zip|R49_M100T102_254_rebuild]]</td><td>254</td></tr>
  
 +
<tr><td>Beta</td><td>4.9</td><td>T200</td><td>REX Release 4.9 Rebuild Package</td><td>[[Media:R49_T200_254_rebuild.zip|R49_T200_254_rebuild]]</td><td>254</td></tr>
  
'''Be careful to keep the laptop powered up during the flash process!'''
+
<tr><td>Beta</td><td>4.9</td><td>NEC</td><td>REX Release 4.9 Rebuild Package</td><td>[[Media:R49_NEC_254_rebuild.zip|R49_NEC_254_rebuild]]</td><td>254</td></tr>
 
+
 
+
REXU#.CO will load the new software into block 0, and copy the software to block 1, then it will restart REXMGR to complete the installation.
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
'''DONE!'''
+
 
+
== REX Release 4.8 Upgrade Package ==
+
 
+
Standard REX SYSTEM images contain the REX Manager software (16kb) and the default directories (16kb), and are 32kb binary files.  Upgrade images include only the REX manager software (16kb).
+
 
+
For M100/T102, images have filenames of REX1XX.BR, and T200 images have filenames of REX2XX.BR, where XX is the release number.  Upgrade program REXU1.CO or REXU2.CO are included as applicable in the upgrade package.
+
 
+
For those interested, here is the current source for REX Manager.
+
 
+
[[Media:Release 4_8 source April26_2011.zip|Release 4_8 source April26_2011.zip]]
+
 
+
 
+
 
+
<table border="1">
+
<tr><td>Status</td><td>Release</td><td>Model</td><td>Description</td><td>File</td><td>Cksm</td><td>Submitter / Date</td></tr>
+
<tr><td>GA</td><td>4.8</td><td>M100/T102</td><td>REX Release 4.8 Upgrade Package</td><td>[[Media:REX148_upgrade_April26_2011.zip|REX148_upgrade_April26_2011.zip]]</td><td>98B5</td><td> [[User:Sadolph|Sadolph]] 04:18, 27 April 2011 (PDT)</td></tr>
+
<tr><td>GA</td><td>4.8</td><td>T200</td><td>REX Release 4.8 Upgrade Package</td><td>[[Media:REX248_upgrade_April26_2011.zip|REX248_upgrade_April26_2011.zip]]</td><td>5D6C</td><td>  [[User:Sadolph|Sadolph]] 04:18, 27 April 2011 (PDT)</td></tr>
+
 
</table>
 
</table>
  
 
== About Main ROM Management  ==
 
== About Main ROM Management  ==
 
Please see the main REX wiki page for a description of this feature - how to prepare a ROM image, how to modify the hardware, and how to load REX with images.
 
Please see the main REX wiki page for a description of this feature - how to prepare a ROM image, how to modify the hardware, and how to load REX with images.
 
== Rel. 4.8 Known Issues ==
 
 
* T200 - screen gets garbled sometimes after ram image swap.  Non critical, fix in next release.
 
 
== Rel. 4.8 bug reports/work arounds ==
 
 
none at this time.
 
 
== Enhancement Requests ==
 
 
<table border="1">
 
<tr><td>Status</td><td>Description</td><td>Requester / Date</td></tr>
 
<tr><td>Unknown</td><td>Support for so called Paired Switching, where a RAM image is swapped and an OPTROM image is switched in the same step. </td><td>[[User:Sadolph|Sadolph]] 05:17, 15 August 2009 (PDT)</td></tr>
 
<tr><td>unknown</td><td>Support for TPDD-2, for drive 1: (0: is supported).</td><td>[[User:Sadolph|Sadolph]] 04:36, 19 April 2009 (PDT)</td></tr>
 
</table>
 
 
 
nb: to put a username+datestamp just type 4 tildes <nowiki>~~~~</nowiki>
 

Latest revision as of 18:22, 22 November 2018


Supported Models

  • Model 100 and Tandy 102 with either REX or REX2
  • Tandy 200 with REX
  • NEC PC-8201 with REX3


M100 note

 In Europe and UK, and probably elsewhere, there are newer versions of M100 that have different boards.
 Model numbers are 26-3801B and 26-3802B.
 It isn't clear if REX works in those systems; until I can verify, assume REX does not work in anything
 but a USA/Canada equivalent M100 (meaning it has a Modem, and the custom ROM pinout).
 ***UPDATE*** confirmed that UK M100s need to use a US main ROM image.  Options include getting a 
 new main ROM burned using a known good binary image, or wiring your computer up using Main ROM Management feature.

New Features

  • QUAD support - has been removed from release 4.9 as of revision 254.
  • Y2K Fix - REX now automatically fixes the year displayed in MENU.
  • PC-8201 support (including TAB key in addition to SHIFT-F5 to bank-switch, like T200)
  • Multi-bank support - see description below
  • Quick Menu features - see description below
  • REX status indicator in MENU - the active Option ROM (for each bank) is indicated in the display

REX Functionality Overview

REX remains similar to release 4.8, but several major new capabilities have been added. The differences are outlined below.

Quick Menu Features

For commonly used functions, now some shortcut keys are available in MENU. This avoids the need to start REXMGR to perform simple operations like ROM switching and backing up your RAM.

Summary of commands:

  • <CNTL-O>: Switch Option ROM - REX will display available Option ROMs, and the user can use arrow keys to move the cursor to the desired selection. <ENTER> to activate the new selection and start that ROM. <ESC> to exit. The Active Option ROM is indicated with a *.
  • <CNTL-B>: Back up RAM - REX will prompt the user to confirm, and if confirmed will copy RAM to the active RAM image, performing a backup.
  • <CNTL-R>: Restore RAM - REX will prompt the user to confirm, and if confirmed will copy the active RAM image to RAM, performing a restore.
  • <CNTL-X>: Hooks removal - REX will prompt the user to confirm, and if confirmed will remove all hooks relating to REXMGR from the laptop operating system, effectively disabling REX. REXMGR remains in the MENU, so REX can be easily reinstalled. Also, the Active Option ROM is accessible using the usual ROM start procedures. This feature is useful when it is desired to run the Option ROM without REX active.

Multi-Bank Operation

Unlike Model 100 and Tandy 102, multi-bank machines PC-8201, T200 have an advantage in that the user has up to 3 distinct memory spaces to work with. Prior to release 4.9, all of those banks would have the same Option ROM active. In Release 4.9, multi-bank machines now may access unique active RAM images and active OPTION ROM images on a per-bank basis. For example, TS-DOS, UR-2 and R2C can be assigned to each bank, and each bank can have an associated RAM image. This means the user can simply TAB between spaces and quickly use different Option ROMs, and each RAM space can be backed up separately.

In REX Manager, images are marked with '*' next to the name when that image is ACTIVE in the current BANK. Images that are ACTIVE in OTHER BANKS are marked with '#'. Pressing B or b in REX Manager will indicate the BANK associated with an image, as well as the block number the image occupies in REX flash memory.


Y2K Fix

Prior to Release 4.9, users wanting a fix for Y2K would have needed to make use of Main ROM Replacement via REX. This requires a hardware modification. Now, a Y2K patch is automatically applied when in MENU.

Rebuilding REX

 In order to use revision 254, users must do a complete rebuild of their REX.

All rebuilds to REX are `clean sweep` upgrades, meaning you must save off all important stored RAM images to a TPDD device. After the upgrade, you can re-load your important RAM and OPTROM images into REX. The FLASH memory in REX is completely wiped.

Please see the section below for specific software release bundles.

What you need

  • for M100 or T102: RF149.CO, RXF149.BR, TSD100.BX
  • for T200: RF249.CO, RXF249.BR, TSD200.BX
  • for PC-8201: RFN49.CO, RXFN49.BR, TSDNEC.BX
  • your favorite TPDD device connected to the laptop

Place the files in the root directory of your TPDD device for loading.

In order to make a "clean sweep" and make sure that no issues with older software, for the initial installation of 4.9 we take the approach of wiping the old directory, and all the flash contents (from block 6-31; the user space) and initialize things to default.

A note about Rom Replacement - if you are using this feature then you know that your main OS roms are stored in block 2-5. Those blocks are not erased, and they stay in place and operational the whole time. My three test machines are all running with REX based main roms.


Step 1

So then, the first thing to do is for you to 'Save' all your existing RAM and OPTROM images 
(the ones that you both want to keep and are not already stored on a PC somewhere) out of REX 
and onto your favorite TPDD device.  Please go through your saved images, decide what you want 
to save and use again, and get them out of REX.  After we install R4.9, all those images will 
be wiped.  You will have to reload anything you need.


Step 2

Load the rebuild tool:  Load into RAM the RFx49.CO file using the TPDD device.  
You will need to CLEAR0,55000 to run the program.  But, don't run it yet.

Step 3

Remove REX software from the laptop.   This is an easy step - just go into REXMGR and press F7 
(or SHIFT-F4 in PC-8201/8300)to DEINstall REX software.  
You should find yourself at MENU with RFx49.CO in the directory of the laptop.

Step 4

Issue the BASIC command CLEAR0,55000.  Exit BASIC and run RFx49.CO from Menu.  
RFx49.CO will do the necessary steps of erasing blocks, loading the REX software, 
copying it to backup block 1, and then loading TS-DOS into block 8.

Step 5

Once RFx49.CO completes, you should be able to start REXMGR.  Power cycle the laptop.  
Cold restart the machine to clean out any funny memory stuff.  Enter BASIC and type either

CALL63012 (M100/T102)
CALL61167,2 (T200)
EXEC62394 (PC-8201)

Voila! You should see REXMGR in the MENU, and you should see the fancy new OPTROM indicator in the top right corner. You are now running release 4.9!!!!

REX Release 4.9 Upgrade Packages

The following files may be downloaded and used to upgrade your REX from an older release to R4.9 revision 254. Because the directory structure is new in release 4.9, users must do a full rebuild when on 4.8 or older. Remember a full rebuild will completely wipe and rebuild your REX so save important data to a TPDD device!


StatusReleaseModelDescriptionFileRevision
Beta4.9M100/T102REX Release 4.9 Rebuild PackageR49_M100T102_254_rebuild254
Beta4.9T200REX Release 4.9 Rebuild PackageR49_T200_254_rebuild254
Beta4.9NECREX Release 4.9 Rebuild PackageR49_NEC_254_rebuild254

About Main ROM Management

Please see the main REX wiki page for a description of this feature - how to prepare a ROM image, how to modify the hardware, and how to load REX with images.