Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Fortunately... Unfortunately...

While I was waiting for my RAM to arrived, I tried burning an EEPROM for NitrOS-9 so that I could make the load time shorter and avoid the relocation problems I thought I was having. Well, it did not work.
Filled up Sockets! This would have cost
many hundreds of dollars back in the day.
Fortunately, my SRAM chips arrived early, so I got to work on installing them. Since the board expects EPROMS where I am putting the SRAM, I had to remove some jumpers that disabled writing to the sockets. I felt bad removing the beautifully wire-wrapped jumpers and replacing them with plastic jumpers, but it is for a good cause. With writing to the SRAM enabled, I tried booting. I thought it worked perfectly at first, but I realized I had run my expect script for the emulator instead of the real board. When I ran the correct script, I was sorely disappointed to find that everything was getting stuck just before the kernel was supposed to get loaded. After a lot of debugging, I figured out the problem. I had padded out the boot modules to align with the beginning of memory pages so that everything was easy to debug and compare to the source listings. Unfortunately, the emulated MC6809 was much more tolerant of scanning past the fill characters than the real MC6809. Once I got rid of the padding, everything started working... to a point. Where I was supposed to be greeted with the NitrOS-9 startup screen, I was getting gibberish:

Fortunately, this particular type of gibberish is recognizable as a baud rate mismatch, which makes sense. NitrOS-9 uses a completely different system for getting the baud rate than the CMS 9619 uses. After an adjustment to the terminal description files, I had an improvement:

YES! I was so excited until I hit the return key and... nothing. It does not respond with another prompt or an error or anything. Just stuck. More work to do...

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