REX Release 4.9

From Bitchin100 DocGarden
Revision as of 19:43, 11 January 2015 by Sadolph (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search

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 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

Bug Fixes

  • none at this time

REX Operation Overview

REX is relatively unchanged from release 4.8. The differences are outlined below

Quick Menu Features

multi-bank machines (PC-8201, PC-8300, T200) now have unique active RAM images and active OPTION ROM images on a per-bank basis.

Upgrade Procedure (M100/T102)

Current release for M100/T102 is dated April 26, 2011 9:37PM and has a checksum of 98B5.

Current release for T200 is dated April 26, 2011 9:37PM and has a checksum of 5D6C.

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.

Why 16k?

  • the goal of the upgrade is to jam in new software on top of your existing directory
  • we need to preserve your directory information

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).

The upgrade tool REXU# runs in RAM and relies on a connected TPDD device to make the software upgrade image available.

REXU1 Description

What will REXU# do? It will-

  • 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

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.

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 garbled. This takes only a few minutes.

3. Download the upgrade package, and place the 2 files in your favorite TPDD device or emulator so they are accessible to the LAPTOP.


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.

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.

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.

Be careful to keep the laptop powered up during the flash process!

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.


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.

Release 4_8 source

StatusReleaseModelDescriptionFileCksmSubmitter / Date
GA4.8M100/T102REX Release 4.8 Upgrade PackageREX148_upgrade_April26_2011.zip98B5 Sadolph 04:18, 27 April 2011 (PDT)
GA4.8T200REX Release 4.8 Upgrade PackageREX248_upgrade_April26_2011.zip5D6C Sadolph 04:18, 27 April 2011 (PDT)

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.

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

StatusDescriptionRequester / Date
UnknownSupport for so called Paired Switching, where a RAM image is swapped and an OPTROM image is switched in the same step. Sadolph 05:17, 15 August 2009 (PDT)
unknownSupport for TPDD-2, for drive 1: (0: is supported).Sadolph 04:36, 19 April 2009 (PDT)

nb: to put a username+datestamp just type 4 tildes ~~~~