View Full Version : Propeller OS update

Mike Green
11-13-2006, 02:39 AM
I'm trying to get a new version of the Propeller OS ready before Thanksgiving. In addition to fixing some bugs and adding some minor commands, I've tentatively decided to support the new tiled VGA driver rather than continuing to support two separate VGA drivers (lores and hires) that are not really compatible. This will allow the OS to provide the same interface to application programs regardless of the display driver being used.

To simplify the file system, I'm only going to support 32K x 8 EEPROMs as the first EEPROM on an I2C bus (address select zero). Previously, the OS would check every 64K x 8 slot in the address space by seeing if the same EEPROM appeared in both 32K x 8 halves of the 64K x 8 address space. This won't be done any more.

The OS now can now properly run programs that don't use the OS and supply their own I/O drivers for everything.

Depending on how things go in the next few days, I'll post the TV version first since it's already working. I'll post the new VGA version as soon as it's working

There'll also be a little bit more documentation on the commands and their use.

11-13-2006, 05:22 AM
That's great news Mike. You made my day.
It can always be complicated later for those who want it.



Mike Green
11-13-2006, 11:19 PM
Here's the TV version. There's a Quick Start Guide and the beginnings of a Manual. You may notice that there are references to the Hydra in the documentation. Andre' Lamothe was very kind to provide one of his prototypes and the OS does work on the Hydra as well. The use of a standard 128Kx8 EEPROM makes a huge difference and the ability to plug in another 128Kx8 EEPROM on an expansion card makes transferring programs from the Propeller Tool very easy. I will post the Hydra version when the Hydra is available for sale. The differences between the two versions are strictly those dictated by the hardware differences between the two devices (which connectors are connected to which pins, etc.) Functionally they're the same.

I will post the VGA versions when they're working. It may be near the end of the month. From the standpoint of writing applications to run under the OS, the TV and VGA versions will appear the same other than the screen size and the way colors are defined. I plan to have several basic color names (like Black, White, Red, Yellow, Cyan, Blue, Grey, etc.) defined in the display object. That should make some use of color easier. You can always make up your own display-specific color codes.

Note that the use of 32Kx8 EEPROMs is supported only for the boot EEPROM attached to pins 28/29. Any other 32Kx8 EEPROMs will appear to be duplicated in a 64Kx8 address space (two identical 32Kx8 EEPROMs - write to one and the other changes as well).

Post Edited (Mike Green) : 11/13/2006 4:24:39 PM GMT

Mike Green
11-14-2006, 12:18 PM
In honor of Ken Gracey's announcement that the Hydra may be available before Thanksgiving and given that I will be on-the-road without my computer beginning Friday, attached is the current version of the Hydra OS. It is essentially identical to the Propeller OS also posted on this thread. The TV video output pins are different and the keyboard and mouse hardware is a little different from that on the Propeller Demo Board, so a slightly different driver is needed. The Hydra's clock crystal and PLL multiplier are different as well. With the standard 128Kx8 EEPROM and the 128Kx8 memory expansion card of the Hydra, the OS is actually very useful. The game programs from the Hydra's book and CD can easily be loaded into the extra slots in the EEPROM and run from there with the OS.

Comments, bug reports, and suggestions for the manual are appreciated.