Using RGBDOS with the VCC Emulator
There seems to be considerable confusion about how to use RGBDOS. The reason for this is that the DOS was incorporated by the VCC author who gave a link to my web site but no instructions. Also the .vhd virtual hard disk image was not created following my instructions and no mention of the Tools on the disk was made.
1) The RGBDOS commands as used by my version of RGBDOS for emulators.
COPY"filename.ext:drv" TO # #=0-255
A shortened version of the Tandy command. Unless you want to change the file name, you only need to use it once.
DIR [#] optional #=0-255
Displays the directory with drive number, free granules, and if installed the drive name.
DIR m TO n n&m=0-255 or variables
Displays ALL directories. Stop with BREAK, pause with SHIFT/ALT, restart with any key.
DOS [#] optional #=0-255
Works like normal. If an OS-9 boot disk is there, OS-9 will start. If no boot is found, then AUTOEXEC.BAS is looked for and run if present.
DRIVE ON (default setting) drives 0-3 access hard disk
DRIVE OFF or DRIVE OFF # drives 0-3 are floppies, if a number is given, it will be the last floppy. ex. DRIVE OFF 1 0-1 floppies 2-255 hard drive.
RENAME DRIVE #,"string" writes a disk name to specified drive. Variables may be used, ex. RENAME DRIVE X,A$ You can include CHR$(#)s with the string.
RUNM"filename.ext:drv",offset combines the Tandy LOADM and EXEC commands
DSKINI may be used within a Basic program without damaging the program.
All sectors on a .vhd image have 256 bytes and all tracks have 18 sectors. VHD disks can be pure Disk Basic, pure OS-9, or both. By default, $5A000 sectors have been assigned as a large OS-9 disk and the Disk Basic drives start after that. There are 256, 35track, Disk Basic drives on the .vhd image.
To accommodate this structure, RGBDOS has the Disk Basic offset stored at $D938-$D93A. If you want to use a .vhd formatted as a pure Disk Basic disk and don't want to have wasted space, you should change the ROM offset to $000000. This happens to be the default for HDBDOS in Drivewire.
With RGBDOS, you don't need to boot into OS-9 with a floppy. You can store your boot disk on any of the 0-255 drives. You can have several boot disks with differently configured OS-9 descriptors. However, you must tell OS-9 where the boot disk is located.
Note that any new boot disks MUST include in OS9Boot the Boot module for RGBDOS use and the emudsk driver and descriptor for .vhd use. These are included in the NitrOS-9 installation in the NITROS9 directory tree.
This brings us to the tools that are on the VCC .vhd image in drive 254. These include BOOT1.BAS, BOOT2.BAS, and LINK.BAS. LINK.BAS is used to tell OS-9 which drive contains the boot disk and is self prompting. The VCC author placed the boot disk on drive 255.
BOOT1 and 2 are example menu programs I wrote. I had intended the Tool disk to on drive 253 not 254 so these programs will need to be edited to match the .vhd disk. In fact you don't even need to use BOOT1 just follow these instructions.
1) Start VCC. You will get a message that "hard drives not found".
2) Cartridge/HD_drive0/Insert enter the location of the .vhd drive
3) Hit F9 to restart VCC There should not be an error message just OK
If you do a DIR, you should now see
DRIVE 0 FREE=67
Change the end of the line to read DRIVE254
Change the end of the line to DOS255
Now hit F9 and watch what happens. Obviously you will want to change the name in line 30.
RGBDOS includes Flexikey by Colin J. Stearman. This gives you repeat keys and buffers. Now the right arrow acts like the left arrow but in the opposite direction. Shift-right arrow will recall the previously typed line.
You can edit the recalled line before hitting ENTER to re-execute it. Position the cursor with the left/right arrows and use the shift-up-arrow to start entering characters. Delete characters with the down-arrow. Shift-down-arrow will truncate the line from the cursor.