VOGONS


First post, by keenerb

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Tandy HX/TL/etc. have a smallish DOS boot rom that is used if no bootable media is found.

Is it possible to replicate that with option ROM slots on network cards/etc?

Reply 1 of 6, by Jorpho

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It is possible to boot floppy images over the network, if that's what you're asking. See for instance Making the "ultimate NETWORK boot floppy" ? .

As for booting the ROM specifically, I would be inclined to say "no". I think PCem does support emulating the ROMs if you just want to see what they are like.

Reply 2 of 6, by keenerb

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Jorpho wrote:

It is possible to boot floppy images over the network, if that's what you're asking. See for instance Making the "ultimate NETWORK boot floppy" ? .

As for booting the ROM specifically, I would be inclined to say "no". I think PCem does support emulating the ROMs if you just want to see what they are like.

THanks. I mean, the option ROM itself has COMMAND.COM and the system boots directly from that data, no network involved at all.

Looks like there's a device that should work; M-SYstems "disk on chip" shoudl work in my floppy disk controller's EEPROM slot and give me 16mb of bootable storage. What an interesting solution!

Reply 3 of 6, by stamasd

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I have an 8-bit ISA card, unknown manufacturer, that has 4MB of flash on it which is write-protected; the flash is recognized at boot as a drive (guess part of it is a BIOS extension that allows that, as it works on any machine) and it has DOS 5.01 on it. It allows any machine with an ISA slot to boot DOS without any drives attached. I guess there would have been a driver or utility that allowed removal of the write protection so you could alter the contents of the flash and possibly upgrade to a later DOS version, but I don't have it.

I use this card to quickly and easily test motherboards. 😀

I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O

Reply 4 of 6, by keenerb

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That may actually be the same thing I'm looking at. It's an 8kb EEPROM with onboard 16mb flash that it maps in and out of that window and presents as a normal DOS disk.

I ordered a few, hope they get here soon...

Reply 5 of 6, by BloodyCactus

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Sure. My 486 board has 3x512kb roms that can hold a 1.44mb disk image and is used as a read only drive (good for a rescue disk). The tandy roms I have seem to have a dos 2.something boot disk embedded in them.

You could easily make an option rom that would fit on some cards if you could fit a micro boot disk on it. (ie: 3com network card that has an empty socket).

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Reply 6 of 6, by Jo22

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keenerb wrote:

Looks like there's a device that should work; M-SYstems "disk on chip" shoudl work in my floppy disk controller's EEPROM slot and give me 16mb of bootable storage. What an interesting solution!

Yes, something similar has been done with DOCs, I think.
These chips used some kind of bank-switching thing and could also be installed like typical EPROMs..

Disk On Chip in NIC boot rom socket
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/comp. … ded/iMJdaR9-2EA

By the way, someone also made an ISA card for these little guys.
Looks quite interesting, like an SSD-equipped FileCard (aka HardCard) from another age. ^^

doc2isa1.jpg
Read article (translated)

DOC2000.jpg
(another picture)

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