Soon to be released REX Release 4.6

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Supported Models

M100 and T102, with either REX or REX2.


New Features

  • Main ROM Replacement feature, allowing users to load and update the main system ROM
  • ROM2/Cleuseau is now supported
  • REX system information and acknowledgements display added
  • Checksum added into TPDD routines
  • Improved bank switching
  • Stronger directory structure testing
  • Minor changes to MENU controls
  • More descriptive Help files


Bug Fixes

  • the 12 block limitation in Release 4.5 is resolved
  • an issue affecting overall stability was identified and fixed

REX Operation Overview

RAM/ROM/OS Menu

REX is an option ROM switcher that also includes RAM backup and switching functions. REX manages RAM or ROM data in 32k blocks, refered to as images. Option ROMs may be loaded into REX images and selected for use, and your system RAM may be copied to or restored from REX images. Images are grouped by type (RAM/ROM/OS). SYS images are reserved for system use. Images may be 'Load'ed or 'Save'd to/from TPDD.

Filename extensions are

 .BX is used for Option ROM images
 .BY is used for RAM images
 .BZ is used for OS images
 .BR is used for REX system images

Images may be 'Name'd, 'Copy'd or 'Kill'ed. Up to 16 images of any one type are allowed, with 24 images in total. An Image is 'ACTIVE' when in use by REX, and is marked with a *. There must always be one active RAM and one active ROM or OS image. You cannot kill an active image. Active status is changed by selection of a new image using the <ent> key. OS images are option ROMs that act as independant operating systems.

Keyboard Commands

 b Block number information
 e Hints on <ENTER> key functions
 i Information on REX system
 c Checksum of menu entry image
 s Toggle directory sort order
 ent Take action for selection
 tab Show directory for next image type
 esc return to menu


Function Keys

 F1 Display help screens
 F2 Load/Save image from/to TPDD
 F3 Copy image to REX
 F4 Delete image from REX
 F5 Rename the image
 F6 Reserved for future function
 F7 Deinstall REX software from laptop
 F8 Exit REX Manager

SYS Menu

This menu is used to manage system related tasks, primarily management of the loaded main ROM images used when REX is replacing the internal ROMs. See the Wiki to learn the steps required to configure your laptop for ROM Replacement, and how to create ROM images that are compatible with REX. (ROMs require a small change so that REX can detect the hardware configuration.) REX Manager screens now indicate the status of the ROM Replacement function. In the top left corner there is a single highlighted character, one of (M, P, S). This character indicates which system ROM is in use - internal or REX based.

 M - standard internal ROMs in use
 P - Primary ROM (block 2)in use
 S - Secondary ROM (block 4) in use

When the internal ROM is in use, REX cannot provide ROM Replacement. Primary or Secondary ROM images may be 'Load'ed via selection from menu. When the laptop is configured to provide the system ROM, the power-up default is to use the Primary ROM in block 2. It is a good idea to leave this block configured with the standard image. 'Use' command allows the user to select either Primary or Secondary ROMs for use. This selection is tracked in the active block directory, so that system state is always restored on power up. Timestamps are recorded also. Messages are shown above the entries to give some information about the block under the cursor.

Keyboard Commands

 b Block number information
 i Information on REX system
 c Checksum of menu entry image
 tab Show directory for next image type
 esc return to menu

Function Keys

 F1 Display help screens
 F2 Load image from TPDD
 F3 Select ROM image for use
 F7 Deinstall REX software from laptop
 F8 Exit REX Manager

Upgrade Procedure

The upgrade procedure is quite simple. The upgrade package contains a program called REXU1.CO (the upgrader tool) and a 16k binary image of the new REX software load called REX146.BR.

The upgrade assumes you have a working REX or REX2 running software release 4.5. This is a mostly safe assumption, since all REX and REX2 to date have been only got Release 4.5.

The upgrade tool REXU1 runs in RAM and relies on a connected TPDD device to make the software upgrade image available.

Steps

1. Download the upgrade package, and place the 2 files in your favorite TPDD device or emulator so they are accessible. Upload the program REXU1.CO to the laptop.

2. Power up the laptop, start REX Manager, and de-install the REX software by pressing F7. Return to MENU.

3. Make sure that you CLEAR memory for REXU1.CO. From BASIC issue the command CLEAR0,60460. Return to MENU and run REXU1.CO.

4. The upgrade tool first allows the user to make a full system backup by indicating Y or N at the prompt. In REX, the system is a 32k binary image that includes your current software load, and your current directory. 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 to safely identify the system image backup.

5. Proceed to upgrade the software image by indicating Y or N, or quit the application using 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 REX146.BR stored on TPDD.

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

6. Power cycle the laptop, and from BASIC issue the command CALL63012. This should start REX Manager again, and you should now be using release 4.6. You will observe that REX will notice the system upgrade, and will back up the software image to the backup block. This is normal and will happen only once.

DONE!

REX Release 4.6 Upgrade Package

REX SYSTEM images contain the REX Manager software package, including the default directories, and are 32kbyte binary files. For M100/T102, images have filenames of REX1XX.BR, and T200 images have filenames of REX2XX.BR, where XX is the release number.

In the upgrade package, 16k system images with only the software are provided, because you will want to keep your directory data.


StatusReleaseModelDescriptionFileSubmitter / Date
GA1.0M100/T102REX Upgrade PackageREX_4.6_Upgrade.zipSadolph 13:06, 13 June 2010 (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. 4.6 Known Issues

  • Startup of REX Manager is slow. I will be making improvements in the next release.
  • No ability to transfer files from stored RAM images is a pain. Look to the next release.

Rel. 4.6 bug reports/work arounds

None yet!

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 import of file from frozen RAM image to the thawed RAM image. RAM images can be used in a way similar to subdirectories. Therefore it is useful to be able to retrieve files from frozen RAM imagesJhoger 08:16, 16 April 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 ~~~~