VOGONS


First post, by jvernet

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Hi,

I'm searching for two Victor 9000 a system disk. It seems to be made of unobtainium....

Those prePC do not use standard IBM PC disk format. No disk image exist, no way to build those disk from anything than a Victor...

If somebody gave such disk an can make copy, or lease them...

Thanks !

Reply 1 of 5, by Jo22

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Hi! No problem! Have a look at this link.

Good luck! 😁

Edit: I see. Making a disk "bootable" is a challenge, perhaps..
Best bet would be to create some sort of "ROM DOS" that can be installed in a slot.
- Or straight into the "BIOS" ROM sockets..

Edit:

jvernet wrote on 2020-08-29, 12:46:

Those prePC do not use standard IBM PC disk format. No disk image exist, no way to build those disk from anything than a Victor...

If the Sirius 1 has a Shugart compatible interface, someone with another Sirius and a System Disk could install a
Gotek as a secondary drive and use FORMAT/DISKCOPY/SYS/.. command to create a backup of the disk..
Depending on the Gotek's Firmware (FlashFloppy, HxC etc), the result would be a RAW image (1:1).

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 2 of 5, by jvernet

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Nor Gotek nor HxC provide any compatibility with the Victor... All known disk were archived on the link you provided, EXCEPT 512 bytes of the first sector of a boot disk.
It seems that, in the TOSEC archive dedecated to MAME, there is two bootable disk for mame. Can't find anything 🙁. (can't find how or where TOSEC is downloadable ??).

Anyway, there is no known way to write a readable disk from a standard PC (GCR encoding).

Some say that the Victor may be bootable thru serial port. Can't find any clue of that.

Reply 3 of 5, by Jo22

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Well, another viable alternative would be to use a pseudo Sirius/Victor emulator and run the propritary firmware somehow.
Once it runs in emulation, it can be modified and wrote back into an EPROM for use on the real thing.
Or it can be used in emulation to figure out how the floppy format works (by the help of a debugger, disassembler etc).

That being said, an emulator would be very handy, anyway. Even it would be very basic only.
The problems would go away, as soon as the Sirius version of MS-DOS is up and running.
If we knew enough about the boot strap code and if we knew if the Sirius/Victor has an equivalent to "Option ROMs",
we could either simply attach a copy of DOS right next to the firmware (like a binary copy; copy /b bios.bin+dos.bin biosdos.bin) and write the result into an EPROM. Or a pair of EPROMS.
Or if the matter would be more complex, we could add a little daughter card with a tiny address logic to the "BIOS" sockets of the Sirius/Victor.
It would need to be designed similar to a RAM/EPROM expansion board for an old TNC from the 1980s, I assume
That way, we could insert extra code in a clean way at the memory location we need without tampering with the Victor/Sirius bus.

Anyway, these are only ideas. I don't own a Sirius 1/Victor 9000, after all.
If I did, it would gladely make you an image or would send you a floppy.

Edit: I'd look for TOSEC on archive sites, such as the Internet Archive.. 😉

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"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 4 of 5, by jvernet

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MAME emulate the Victor. There is only 2 boot disks that work (cpm96 and MSDOS 1.25).
Somebody is looking if he can modify the ROM. There is no"option ROM" in the Victor (hence no 640k limitation).
Another possibility the ROM have is to boot some code thru serial port. ROM sources are available.

Still no luck to find somone with a working Sirius and some boot disk 🙁

Reply 5 of 5, by Jo22

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Thanks for the feedback! I really appreciate it! 😄
Well, it's a start, at least. So we have the boot code for DOS 1.x, at least.
So a pro in ASM or machine language programming might be able to adapt it for loading DOS 2.x/3.x system files.

Or maybe it's even possible to convince the SYS command of DOS 2.x to run on DOS 1.25 ?
I got this method working on DOS 7 in conjunction with DOS 6.22 SYS.COM, at least.
It involved changing DOS version number and a temporary drive letter (another partition, floppy drive, RAM disk).

Edit: Once we are this far, maybe an emulated Sirius/Victor could be used to transfer the data over to the real one via serial.
Or maybe someone is able to write a host program (Windows/Linux/Mac etc) which provides data to the real PC.
The makers of the XT-IDE Universal BIOS, for example, made such an untility: XUB can boot via serial port, too.

If I had a Sirius/Victor machine, I would gladly send you a physical copy of a boot disk.
Unfortunately, I have no access to such a machine. If I see one, though, I'll ask its seller/owner for a copy.

That being said, maybe PCem/86Box will someday add Victor emulation.
At this point, the community might be able to help or source physical copies of these boot disks.
Until then, the Sirius 1/Vic 900 remains an oddity very little people ever heard of.
Which is a shame, since that machine is a pioneer in its own reign, similar to the IMSAI 8080 used to be in the Z80s days.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//