SymbOS 2.1 First Beta released

SymbOS 2.1 First Beta released

by Prodatron on 02-05-2014, 11:31
Topic: Software
Tags: Prodatron, SymbOS
Languages:

Some things just get better as they age. 6.5 years after the first preview the Beta1 of SymbOS 2.1 is available now for the MSX. You can download it from its official homepage. Compared to the preview of 2007 it has several new features and improvements:

  • New MegaSD card driver, which works with the MegaFlashRomSCC+SD and OCM
  • Multiline textinput control: This is already used in the Notepad application
  • Driver setup utility for booting SymbOS in the correct way
  • Mouse wheel support for NYYRIKKIs PS2-USB-mouse-adapter
  • Optimized single line textinput control
  • Control Panel with "autosave" option
  • Optimized memory allocation methode when loading applications
  • Debugged "type"-command in SymShell
  • 64K cluster support (thanks to Nextor)
  • ...and some more details

All these changes also concern the Graphics9000 version, which is included as well. The current version of the SYMSETUP utility, which has to be called before booting SymbOS for the first time, doesn't contain hardware autodetection, so you need to configure the driver parameters manually. This will be fixed in the final version.

Have a look at the SymbOS thread on MRC if you have any questions. You can also use the HELP-function of the setup utility to get support when configuring the mass storage device drivers.

Relevant link: SymbOS website

Comments (64)

By karloch

Prophet (2059)

karloch's picture

02-05-2014, 11:59

Can't wait to test it! Big smile

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 13:30

Amazing! Running Naked in a Field of Flowers Running Naked in a Field of Flowers Running Naked in a Field of Flowers Running Naked in a Field of Flowers Running Naked in a Field of Flowers Running Naked in a Field of Flowers Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By Nautilus

Expert (74)

Nautilus's picture

02-05-2014, 14:31

Wow, very inspiring. Smile

By Dreamerm42

Hero (621)

Dreamerm42's picture

02-05-2014, 14:37

Works in Padial SD reader?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

02-05-2014, 16:08

Is there any information about the Padial SD interface available?
Found this website
I guess it's not MegaSD compatible. Is it compatible to Sharksym's MMC interface?

By ray2day

Champion (453)

ray2day's picture

02-05-2014, 19:46

Quote:

New MegaSD card driver, which works with the MegaFlashRomSCC+SD and OCM

What does this mean? Does it mean it doesn't work with the MegaFlashRomSCC+SD and a real MSX??
Or does it mean, the new MegaSD card driver works with the MegaFlashRomSCC+SD and OCM finally also?

By spl

Paragon (1461)

spl's picture

02-05-2014, 19:54

Greeeeat Big smile , I'll test it in my 1chipMSX and Zemmix NEO :3

By Grauw

Ascended (8396)

Grauw's picture

02-05-2014, 19:58

@ray2day it means the latter.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

02-05-2014, 20:41

ah yes, sorry, "works BOTH with the MegaFlashRomSCC+SD and OCM" LOL!
Btw, is there any other MegaSD compatible MSX-hardware?

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

02-05-2014, 21:46

I never succeeded in succesfully installing SymbOS and tonight, it failed again. I want to install Symbos in a directory named 'Symbos'. Is this even possible? Or does symbos only work when you install it in ROOT dir?

Anyway, after I copied all the files and dirs in A:/SYMBOS/ I booted SYMSETUP. I have MEGASD SCC+ in slot 23 and selected that device. Then the BOOT LOCATION. As driver I of course selected the MEGASD. But then it asks DRIVE LETTER. In MSX-DOS the MEGASD is DRIVE A. But in the symbos manual I somewhere read that in SYMBOS diskettestations are first mounted to A and B? And mass storage devices to C, D and so on? Anyway, I selected drive A anyway. Then I have to choose the CHANNEL? I have NO IDEA what that means. Then the partitions... I think my SD cards are not partitioned? Although when booting the MEGASD with CURSOR UP and have a look at the SD CARD INFO, I do see partition 1, 2, 3 and 4. Only 1 has data though, 2, 3 and 4 seem empty. Does this means my SD cards are not partitioned? Anyway, I choosed 0, not partitioned. Then I have to answer whether or not it is removable? I choosed NO.

Then it generates a CFG-file? But where is the SYMBOS.INI-file? It is not in the preview package. Do I have to copy it from the complete MSX package version 2.0?

All these questions. Anyway, I booted SYMBOS.COM and it actually starts Smile

But when I want to do anything, there's a message on screen: 'File not found: The file or the path don't exist. Please check your input.'

I have no idea where to check my input.

And as I said, again, I failed installing Symbos.

It's too difficult for me....

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 21:52

To bad you failed.

After booting SymBOS you have to set the SYSTEM PATH .. are you able to browse files when you go to START and then RUN and then BROWSE ?

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 22:01

- On your MegaFlash your A partition is probably partition 1. So choose Partition 1 as your partition in SYMSETUP.COM not 0
- Choose C as your drive and select the MegaSD as driver. (For the CARD slot choose the slot of your SD.. probably 0
- Choose Not removable
- Then save your settings.

If you not sure about your previos settings delete the CFG file and start blanco.

Then start Symbos!

Before you can do anything in SymbOS your have to set your systempath !! and save it !! ( then the symbos.ini file will be created) The systempath is in your case c:\symbos\ (if you setup your drive as C drive in SYMSETUP)

Save your settings!!

See my post!

Save Settings

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 22:06

If this is not working we have to find out how many partitions your SD card have. You can check this with CALL FDISK in basic. (Display partitions). I will help you if you provide me the information Wink Wink We will succeed!

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 22:09

Latok wrote:

I never succeeded in succesfully installing SymbOS and tonight, it failed again. I want to install Symbos in a directory named 'Symbos'. Is this even possible? Or does symbos only work when you install it in ROOT dir?

Oh yes you can choose every directory you want .. if you set it in SymbOS Wink
And I think you mean A:\SYMBOS\ (not A:/SYMBOS/)

With SYMSETUP.COM you just MAP your partition to a driver letter in SymbOS. (So C: is a good choice)

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

02-05-2014, 22:23

How on earth should I know I first have to start APPCP.EXE manually in order to save SYSTEM settings... Sigh... Anyway, edoz, thanks a lot! I selected the BOOT options you suggested (partition 1 and drive C) and now I can actually browse through files which previously didn't work, only showed garbage on screen Smile

Now I am going to manually boot APPCP.EXE. Do I have to choose 'A:\SYMBOS\' or 'C:\SYMBOS\'? In MSX-DOS it is drive A, but in SYMBOS it is DRIVE C, right? So 'C:\SYMBOS\'?

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 22:40

C:\symbos\ if this is the path where all the .exe files are located.

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 22:42

Oh.. And if you have a mp3 card you can play mp3 files with symbos Wink

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

02-05-2014, 22:57

I had an MP3 card which is now in repair. Somewhere. Somehow.

I got it to work! Thanks a lot, edoz. And of course, thx Prodatron for this amazing piece of software Smile

Please take this advice, make the install process absolutely dummy proof. It will give Symbos a huge boost in number of users.

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

02-05-2014, 23:07

Now I'm in search of Symzilla. Here it is stated it's in the download package, but it's nowhere to be found in the APPS-dir....

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

02-05-2014, 23:08

The installation is already improved in this beta release. But indeed there is still improvements needed maybe Wink on the other hand you now know how it works .. Wink maybe plug and play ...for hardware and automatically system path detection etc.

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

02-05-2014, 23:54

Latok wrote:

Now I'm in search of Symzilla. Here it is stated it's in the download package, but it's nowhere to be found in the APPS-dir....

Found it, it's in a 2007 preview package, to be downloaded from the symbos website :)

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

03-05-2014, 00:04

Yes. I think because it was released at that time.
bdw. If you search for my files it can be find here.

other symbos programs

maybe we have to create a app store for symbos. ;-)

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

03-05-2014, 00:51

Prodatron, are you planning to extend Symzilla in a way you can actually browse webpages when having connected an ObsoNet or DenyoNet to your MSX?

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

03-05-2014, 03:41

Looks excellent!
Cant wait to try it out

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

03-05-2014, 10:27

@Latok, sorry for this chaos, and thanks for trying it out and for your feedback! Smile A complete (automated) setup procedure was planned for the 3.0 release, but it seems, that I should do it already before, so it's my next task now. I also have to sort the download area on the website a little bit.
(btw, the only file, which is always placed in the root directory, is the SYMBOS.INI; hope that's not a problem)
Network support is the most important feature for the next major version. So yes, a DenYoNet driver has to be developed, and then let's see how far we can go with displaying websites in SymZilla. This was the goal of this application.

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

03-05-2014, 21:26

Is a mouse mandatory with symbos?
And what about gfx9000?

As soon as it has a "dummy proof" install with a total as possible auto detection of all possible hardware (and I have a mouse) I'd like to try Symbos...
I'm very curious since the first release but haven't tried it yet... Mostly since it has/had quite a hard install procedure (so I was told)...

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5366)

NYYRIKKI's picture

04-05-2014, 09:19

@Meits Using SymbOS without mouse is not fun although IIRC it is possible. GFX9000 is optional, you don't need to have it.

Install procedure requires you to read about 20-lines from readme.txt and I can imagine that it can be problem if you have not used to MSX hardware or if you don't understand English language. ie. to get diskdrive / hard drive to work, you need to understand what MSX cartridge slot or commandline parameter means. In Windows you don't have to worry about these kind of things... On the other hand in Windows fighting with drivers is 1000x more complex because all of the diversity. When you use HDD I would say the worst part is not the SymbOS it self, but the fact that you need to get MSX-DOS2 running first. That can be really pain and it does not help at all that the procedure is different for each interface.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

04-05-2014, 10:22

@Meits: As NYYRIKKI told, it is also possible to use a joystick or GRAPH+ARROW KEYS/SPACE as a mouse replacement.
I am now working on this "dummy proof" installer Smile

By Retrofan

Paragon (1214)

Retrofan's picture

04-05-2014, 10:32

@Prodatron: great!

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

04-05-2014, 14:54

NYYRIKKI wrote:

Install procedure requires you to read about 20-lines from readme.txt and I can imagine that it can be problem if you have not used to MSX hardware or if you don't understand English language. ie. to get diskdrive / hard drive to work, you need to understand what MSX cartridge slot or commandline parameter means.

I can't agree with this. The following issues I encountered are not solved by reading those 20 lines. And the issues are not always 'being a dummy' related. It's just a matter of making a well thought out manual before releasing something big as an MSX OS.

Latok wrote:

How on earth should I know I first have to start APPCP.EXE manually in order to save SYSTEM settings... Sigh... Anyway, edoz, thanks a lot! I selected the BOOT options you suggested (partition 1 and drive C) and now I can actually browse through files which previously didn't work, only showed garbage on screen Smile

Latok wrote:

I want to install Symbos in a directory named 'Symbos'. Is this even possible? Or does symbos only work when you install it in ROOT dir?

Latok wrote:

But then it asks DRIVE LETTER. In MSX-DOS the MEGASD is DRIVE A. But in the symbos manual I somewhere read that in SYMBOS diskettestations are first mounted to A and B? And mass storage devices to C, D and so on?

Latok wrote:

Then I have to choose the CHANNEL? I have NO IDEA what that means.

Latok wrote:

Then it generates a CFG-file? But where is the SYMBOS.INI-file? It is not in the preview package. Do I have to copy it from the complete MSX package version 2.0?

That said, with SYMSETUP.COM the install procedure has already been hugely improved and after edoz helped me out pointing to the APPCP.EXE file, edoz told me the SYMBOS.INI file is being created when you first save your settings and Prodatron answered me SYMBOS.INI is the only file that needs to be in ROOT dir, everything worked out just fine. Meits, I'm sure you are able to install SYMBOS when you give it a try Smile

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

04-05-2014, 15:54

I guess NYYRIKKI was referring to the old preview/release, which included a #readme.txt. The actual package didn't, as it was just meant as a quick beta release to have something to download after 6,5 years. TBH I didn't release something like this in all these years, so it was probably a little bit chaotic. So your feedback was very very helpfull, as during the last monthes only "SymbOS experts" like NYYRIKKI and Edoz were able to test the actual versions, and they already knew how to set it up.

Maybe Meits should wait for the new installer, want to minimize the risk, that more people are getting frustrated with the setup process Wink

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

04-05-2014, 16:42

Prodatron: Wink

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

04-05-2014, 16:56

Prodatron: Browsing through your website, a certain video brought a huge smile to my face. The Captain Future video. We obviously share the love for this great piece of anime history. I intensely watched it on German TV when I was a kid. Some years ago, I actually contacted Christian Bruhn complimenting him with his fantastic musical score for the series. He replied and said he was now convinced he made something special because apparently, on a weekly basis, he still receives mails from Captain Future fans giving him thumbs up. 30 years later! Also for his Silas and Jack Holborn work of course Smile Smile

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

04-05-2014, 17:06

Latok wrote:

Some years ago, I actually contacted Christian Bruhn complimenting him with his fantastic musical score for the series. He replied and said he was now convinced he made something special because apparently, on a weekly basis, he still receives mails from Captain Future fans giving him thumbs up. 30 years later! Also for his Silas and Jack Holborn work of course Smile Smile

This is absolutely crazy!! LOL!

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

04-05-2014, 18:27

Almost as crazy as creating a multi tasking operating system for MSX in 2014.

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

04-05-2014, 20:33

Almost ....? Wink

By Retrofan

Paragon (1214)

Retrofan's picture

06-05-2014, 09:39

V9990 is supported in Symbos, but what about OPL4? Maybe nice to add a driver for OPL4 too. (MIDI/MOD/S3M/MB/MSX-AUDIO compatible mode with ADPCM->PCM conversion on R800)

By Samor

Paragon (2029)

Samor's picture

07-05-2014, 15:33

SymbOS V.S.O.P.
Smile

By Latok

msx guru (3672)

Latok's picture

07-05-2014, 17:32

What does V.S.O.P. mean?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

07-05-2014, 17:54

Has to do something with old cognac LOL!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Very_Special_Old_Pale
Oh yes, terrible, how time passes ;)

By Samor

Paragon (2029)

Samor's picture

08-05-2014, 11:41

that was because of the first line in the article "Some things just get better as they age" Wink

By Samor

Paragon (2029)

Samor's picture

08-05-2014, 16:09

.... although being 6.5 years old, it could even be considered XO. The judges are still out on that one.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

08-05-2014, 17:37

XO ("extra old") is even more aged than VSOP? Big smile

By iamweasel2

Hero (524)

iamweasel2's picture

10-05-2014, 14:12

About browsing in websites with Symbos, I think maybe the link below can bring some ideas. If I understood correctly, all you need is a web browser that can understand basic html and a few tags to access even the most modern websites, through the use of a rendering proxy. This idea was already used in MSX with Fudebrowser, that allowed web browsing even on a MSX1. No need for JavaScript and other stuff in Symzilla. Wouldn't it be possible to surf the web in Symbos using a rendering proxy (even if the new browser was only available if the user is using GFX9000)? Smile

http://virtuallyfun.superglobalmegacorp.com/?p=3866

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

12-05-2014, 20:30

Just curious, did someone find any bug in this beta release ? And on which hardware you did the test ? Here it's running very stable..

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

12-05-2014, 21:54

@iamweasel2: Looks good! The only question is, if all the content including text is converted into images with a link-map? Didn't try it yet. If this is all based on images it will be probably not a good solution for the MSX I am afraid?

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

12-05-2014, 22:48

And what about the supported doc format in symzilla ? Maybe we can create sites that are hosted in that format.. Or convert html to symbos doc format ?

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

12-05-2014, 23:14

Or something like this link

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

13-05-2014, 00:09

@Edoz: I developed an HTML/XML to DOX converter end of 2009, but didn't finish it. Of course this will/should be a part of the final SymZilla Wink I am currently not sure if I should extend the DOX format first, as it doesn't support nested tables yet - and this could be a problem.

By iamweasel2

Hero (524)

iamweasel2's picture

13-05-2014, 02:32

Prodatron wrote:

@iamweasel2: Looks good! The only question is, if all the content including text is converted into images with a link-map? Didn't try it yet. If this is all based on images it will be probably not a good solution for the MSX I am afraid?

Indeed, the major problem is how to achieve a good image converted to run in MSX2/2+. In GFX9000 I believe you can achieve a good outcome with this protocol. Of course the script could be tweaked to not convert text to image (or use a different algorithm when converting text to image to maximize its readability) and give the best result considering the MSX VDP limitations. Another solution would be to change to script to generate not an image but a new binary format more suitable to MSX (like Fudebrowser protocol does) ? So maybe it would be worth to try this image protocol and see how it works.

By Retrofan

Paragon (1214)

Retrofan's picture

13-05-2014, 08:01

edoz wrote:

Just curious, did someone find any bug in this beta release ? And on which hardware you did the test ? Here it's running very stable..

Not yet, still waiting for the dummy installer...

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

13-05-2014, 11:51

Prodatron wrote:

@Edoz: I developed an HTML/XML to DOX converter end of 2009, but didn't finish it. Of course this will/should be a part of the final SymZilla Wink I am currently not sure if I should extend the DOX format first, as it doesn't support nested tables yet - and this could be a problem.

i assume this converter is running in windows ? Or do you the converted in symzilla ?

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

13-05-2014, 14:35

edoz wrote:

i assume this converter is running in windows ? Or do you the converted in symzilla ?

No, of course it's Z80 based Tongue It's currently running as a command line parameter tool in SymShell. Later I would integrate it into SymZilla as well.

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

13-05-2014, 17:37

Amazing ! I assume that this is without pictures.
maybe it is a good idea to make a converter for the PC incl. Pictures. Then you can send the html request to this services which sending the doc format to the msx. But then you have indeed independence from a windows PC.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

13-05-2014, 21:25

Yes, I guess a proxy would be the best like iamweasel2 suggested...

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

13-05-2014, 23:06

Would it be an option to create some sort of VNC client in Symbos to control a PC (or anything else for that matter) and have the host convert the display in a format that can be refreshed quickly on the MSX? In that fashion you are less limited by the content of the rich format you want to access and display. just a thought

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

14-05-2014, 00:15

That's another cool idea Big smile But first we need some network drivers Evil
The problem will be the huge resolution of todays PC, won't it? Well, SymbOS G9K has at least a resolution of 1024x212...

By Maggoo

Paragon (1195)

Maggoo's picture

15-05-2014, 00:37

Perhaps some of the great work from Konamiman could be adapted for the Symbos network drivers ? I think another challenge at the moment is finding network cards for MSX. As far as I know there isnt any commercially available at the moment.

I dont think the resolution is such a big issue. You would not need to display the entire host screen, only an area that corresponds to the size of your window around the cursor on the host.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

15-05-2014, 09:39

The Denyonet ethernet catridge would be my choice. I am sure that Konamimans work will help a lot for developing a network driver.

By Lord_Zett

Paladin (807)

Lord_Zett's picture

02-06-2014, 18:31

a way to creat a own theme is a nice extra so you can let it look like a msx os and not windows

By W76NearDark

Paladin (684)

W76NearDark's picture

05-06-2014, 10:27

...and how about support for the most awesome SCSI interface ever? The MEGA-SCSI that is.

If there is none it will still be useless to me, sad enough.

By slowerisbetter

Master (194)

slowerisbetter's picture

06-10-2014, 11:03

Prodatron wrote:

@Latok, sorry for this chaos, and thanks for trying it out and for your feedback! Smile A complete (automated) setup procedure was planned for the 3.0 release, but it seems, that I should do it already before, so it's my next task now. I also have to sort the download area on the website a little bit.
(btw, the only file, which is always placed in the root directory, is the SYMBOS.INI; hope that's not a problem)
Network support is the most important feature for the next major version. So yes, a DenYoNet driver has to be developed, and then let's see how far we can go with displaying websites in SymZilla. This was the goal of this application.

Major release is 3.0 right? Do you have a spec for driver writing (doesn't seem to be in the Symstudio docs) as I don't think DenYoNet would take a lot of work to do so would like to have a go at it... I am taking a few months off for meditation this winter, which, in my case, finally, means writing MSX software, so I want to prepare for some things before I begin (1 nov). One of my goals is to dive into Symbos dev to make it more usable. But networking is so crucial that I would suggest doing that the next minor release (2.2), not major. My humble suggestion that is.

By Prodatron

Paragon (1788)

Prodatron's picture

06-10-2014, 19:39

Your help with the network driver would be more than welcome!

There was already an API defined for a network driver in 2007, as there was already a working prototype of an ethernet card with own TCP/IP stack for the Amstrad CPC at this time (unfortunately never finished). TBH I have to dig it out first.
I will provide the API specs soon, and then we can see, if it make sense to keep or modify them - there is already existing network software for SymbOS which are based on this API. I will contact you directly!

Regarding 3.0/2.2: The network driver would be independant from the current version, as it should be implemented as a shared service, which is more or less handled like an application. My plan is to skip any other 2.x version and to go on with 3.0 directly, which should have some significant new features and apearance. 3.0 release is planned as soon as network support and some usefull network tools are available Smile

By edoz

Prophet (2171)

edoz's picture

06-10-2014, 20:54

Hi slowerisbetter! Trebmint will do a new version.. called Unify. That will be the replacement of Symstudio. At this moment symstudio is bit obsoleted Wink However, I have received a custom version of symstudio. That one is more a less better that the .95 version. But there are still things broken in this version that works well in the .95 version or visa versa.. If you want to have this version drop me a mail.. I can send it to you. I think Trebmint don't care if I do Big smile

But I doubt that you can develop drivers with it.. you can mix assembly and symbasic in the editor.