RX50 on RQDX3 on 2.11BSD

Jason T. Miller jasomill at shaffstall.com
Fri Jun 9 06:40:15 AEST 2000

> 	I freshly formatted a floppy.  That's one nice thing about the RX33,
> 	the RQDX3 can format floppies using ZRQF?? - RX50's meant getting 
> 	preformat'd media or a Rainbow to do the formatting from what I
> 	remember.
Unless you have a Shaffstall 6000 -- a really cool piece of equipment once
made by my current employer, which is basically a box full of floppy
drives (3.5" HD, 5.25" 48tpi, 5.25" 96tpi, 8", and a few, but not mine,
have the Amstrad 3" 'flippy-disk') which are all _really_ well-aligned
(20% better than OEM spec) and an intelligent disk controller (which is
actually an 8085-based SBC) in a PC. About the only disks I _can't_ read
(or write or format) with this thing are the 2.88MB 3.5"
'extended-density' disks -- and I have a NeXTstation to read those.
Needless to say, I've got no problem formatting RX50s, in any interleave.

> 	write: Read-only file system
> 	2+0 records in
> 	2+0 records out
That's what I get.

> 	That probably should have been 2+0 and 1+0 since dd read two sectors but
> 	only successfully wrote one.   A bug in 'dd' perhaps that it doesn't
> 	decrement the output count on a write error.
I noticed that, too.

> 	After doing the "disklabel -W ra9" the "dd" works fine and the floppy
> 	compares identical to the input file.
Still haven't tried it. Had to watch the Pacers game and get some needed

> 	The MSCP driver hasn't changed in quite a while so if you retrieved
> 	2.11 fairly recently the problem's not a bug in ra.c that I can
> 	see (or if it is, it's particular to the RX50 somehow).
I've gone over ra.c several times -- that's a fun piece of code. I've
written device drivers before, but really, was this a test of DEC
software engineers by DEC hardware engineers?

> 	One more thing I stuffed into the system.  You'll also find 
> 	"sigaction" and friends along with RTS/CTS flowcontrol (for devices
> 	which support it), and numerous other goodies imported from 4.4BSD (the
> 	latest addition was 'pselect(2)' just a couple months ago).
Well, all my serial cables are three-wire (yes, I'm lazy, but I get
1.8K/sec via SLIP at 19200, so I'm not too concerned), but the 'numerous
other goodies' I like.

As for the userland environment, it's "vanilla BSD" and that's exactly
what I know and love. Give me 2.11BSD on a PDP over Solaris on an
UltraSPARC any day (well, if anyone wants to _give me_ and UltraSPARC,
I'll do the responsible thing and reevaluate my claims -- and SunOS [4.1.x
that is] is a decent OS, but anyway, I digress). The only thing I want is
command history and filename completion in the Bourne shell (having grown
used to Bash -- although it's a big memory pig and I admit I use it only
for the previously mentioned features, though I like the PS variable magic
characters, too -- I'm thinking about trying to hack the CH features of
tcsh (never been a C shell fan) into sh, maybe we should start a 2BSD
'ports' collection? Any suggestions for a name of this shell? Any
suggestions for freeing up my time to write it :)?

Also, when I get my RX50 toolset for FreeBSD working, should I put it in
the archive? It'd probably be more interesting to PUPS'ers than the
FreeBSD community At Large.


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