Devilish Altair Serial Configuration Problem

Richard A. Cini rcini at optonline.net
Sat Jul 30 21:40:19 CDT 2005


All:

	This problem has been beating me up all day so I wanted to throw
it out to the group for ideas.

	In my 8800b, I have a Vector Graphics Bit Streamer serial board
(8251 chip) set for standard ports (0/1 parallel, 2 serial data, 3
serial command/status). I modified the Turnkey Monitor to use the ports
based on the VG instruction manual. The manual outlines initialization
and moving characters in and out. Works perfectly.

	Now, I want to get standard Microsoft BASIC paper tapes (8k or
Extended 4.0) working with this board. However, when I look at the sense
switch options, none fit using the Bit Streamer -- the parallel ports
are swapped with the serial ports in the order, and the data port comes
before the status port (all basically the opposite of what BASIC
expects). I also can't seem to find a toggle loader that works properly.

	So, I decided to pull out a Solid State Music 2p/2s board and
try to configure it to work with BASIC. I spent the better part of a day
trying different options with no success. Based on some basic testing of
the board I believe it works.

	Has anyone configured an SSM board to successfully work with
Microsoft Tape BASIC? What loader did you use? How about getting a
standard VG Bit Streamer working with standard MS Basic? 

	As an aside, I'm using Procomm from DOS on an old PC. Can one
use the "ASCII Upload" option to move the tape image over the line or
should I do something from DOS like "copy 8kbas40.tap com1:"?

	Thanks.

Rich

Rich Cini
Collector of classic computers
Build Master for the Altair32 Emulation Project
Web site: http://highgate.comm.sfu.ca/~rcini/classiccmp/
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