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Article #618 (635 is last):
From: Michael Current 
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.news
Subject: OMNIVIEW XL/XE
Posted-By: xx004 (Atari SIG)
Date: Sun Feb 21 22:57:43 1999

From: "John K. Picken" 
>Newsgroups: comp.sys.atari.8bit
Subject: Re: OMNIVIEW OS
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 1999 05:36:09 -0800
Organization: Posted via RemarQ, http://www.remarQ.com - Discussions start
here!
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=BA  Following is the partial text of the photo-copied "docs" that    =BA
=BA  came with my OMNIVIEW XL years ago. The original was an 8" by    =BA
=BA  6" booklet with no date. My comments are limited to this and     =BA
=BA  the box which follows the last of the stuff I typed in.          =BA
=BA                                                                   =BA
=BA  John Picken                                                      =BA
=BA  yg473@victoria.tc.ca                                             =BA
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Omniview XL/XE
by
CDY Consulting

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Table of Contents

The New Features.........................   1
The Overview.............................   3
The 80 Column E: Mode....................   3
Theory Behind OMNIVIEW XL/XE.............   4
Technical Details........................   4
Memory Map and Variables.................   6
OMNIVIEW Patches for LJK Program.........   7
Using OMNIVIEW XL/XE with the ATR8000....  11
Optional Installation Instructions.......  13
OMNIVIEW XE Installation Instructions....  17
OMNIVIEW XL Installation Instructions....  18

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NEW OMNIVIEW XL/XE FEATURES

OMNIVIEW XL/XE now have several new features which solve the
compatibility problem associated with the 800XL/130XE. OMNIVIEW XL/XE
does this by having an ultra compatible 400/800 style OS which will copy
itself into RAM, freeing up the $C000 page. In addition, OMNIVIEW XE has
resident ramdisk handlers which allow you to use the extra 64k of RAM in
the XE as an ultra fast disk drive. Add the other outstanding features
of OMNIVIEW XL/XE, namely, 80 column emulation under SpeedScript 80,
Letter/Data Perfect, BASIC, MAC65, ATR8000 CPM, rtc., and the Fastchip
floating point package for signifigantly faster math operations, and you
have an outstanding value for any 800XL/130XE owner!

Improved 400/800 compatibility:

(Developed by CAL COM, 5295 Cameron Drive #505, Buena Park, CA 90621)
The OMNIVIEW XL/XE operating system runs virtually every piece of
software written for the ATARI computer. Besides being coded closely to
the older OSB, it also has the capability of copying itself into RAM,
freeing up the $C000 page for your applications. This means 4k more RAM
for programs like Visicalc, modem programs, word processors, etc. It
also means added compatibility with highly protected games which look
for ROM in the $C000 page as a part of their misguided protection
schemes (e.g. Electronic Arts).

To copy the OS into RAM (from $D800 tp $FFFF), hold down the SELECT key
while pressing RESET. To restore the OS to ROM, press RESET by itself.
From=20this point on, the RAM version of the OS will be preserved, even if
you switch the OS to ROM and back to RAM. Thus, any changes you may make
to the OS in RAM remain in effect as long as you do not power down. In
addition, if you hold down the SELECT key during powerup, the OS will be
copied into RAM and it will stay in RAM even if you press RESET. Please
note that the 80 column emulation is not available when running the OS
out of RAM.

There are two other features designed to give increased compatibility:
the cursor speed and the OPTION key BASIC activation during powerup. The
cursor speed is the same as the original XL/XE OS to remain compatible
with the SYNAPSE software (SYNCALC, SYNFILE+, etc.) which speed up the
cursor. Also, the meaning of the OPTION key during powerup is just
opposite of the original OS: hold down the OPTION key to activate BASIC.
This seems to be the preference of most people. In addition, there is
the added function of the HELP key. Instead of using CTRL-1 the HELP key
now functions as the scroll control for program listings.

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Turning on 80 columns:

80 column emulation is activated fropm the keyboard by typing CTRL-a and
hitting RESET. To return to 40 columns, type a key without CTRL and hit
RESET. Don't try this if running OS in RAM. Also see "Technical
Details".

Changing screen colors:

Switch the screen colors in the 80 column mode by holding down the START
key while typing a letter. If this does not work (as in Letter Perfect),
try holding down the START key while pressing RESET. However, since this
combination is also used to install the ramdisk handlers, read the next
section before using this second technique.

Installing the resident Ramdisk handlers: (130XE only)

The resident Ramdisk handlers in OMNIVIEW XL/XE allow you to use the
extra 64k RAM of the 130XE as an ultra fast 512 sector single density
disk drive in conjunction with any DOS which uses standard SIO calls
($E459 and $E453) and does not hide itself underneath the cartridge or
OS (e.g. Atari 2.0s, MYDOS, SMARTDOS, etc.). In addition, you will find
it possible to use the Ramdisk with boot programs like Letter and Data
Perfect.

The installation is simple: Type a number (1 to 8) corresponding to the
drive number you wish to assign the Ramdisk, hold down the START key,
and press RESET. (Note: If you are using DOS 2.0 and it is not
configured for more than 2 drives, it will be necessary to configure it
accordingly. First boot up BASIC with DOS 2.0, then, after you have a
`Ready' prompt type `POKE 1802,15 for 4 drives or `POKE 1802,131' for 8
drives. Now go to DOS, write the DOS files back out to the disk. You
have now configured DOS to accept either 4 or 8 drives online.) Continue
to hold the START button down until DOS returns or you go into BASIC.
The reason for this is to allow the ramdisk handler enough time for the
installation process. If you do not hit a number prior to pressing
START/RESET, drive 1 will be assumed. In Letter/Data Perfect this
combination is also used to change the screen colors, so assign the
Ramdisk as drive 3 if you do not wish to use it in these environments.
For example, in BASIC:
 1) Type DOS to go to DOS. Now type 2 and START/RESET to install the
Ramdisk as drive 2.
 2) Since you are now back in BASIC, go to DOS again, format and write
DOS files to drive 2. (Note that we suggest doing a directory on the
drive # you have assigned the ramdisk to. This is to show the DOS that
the drive exists)
 3) Now type 1 and START/RESET to install the Ramdisk as drive 1 if you
so desire.

You can use the enclosed files on the SpeedScript 80 diskette to install
the ram disk handlers. The files named INSTALL1 and INSTALL2 are the
ramdisk installation files. To use them simply load them from DOS
depending on

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which drive you wish to assign the ramdisk. You will still have to
format the disk you have assigned to be the ramdisk. Again we suggest
doing a directory on the drive number the ramdisk has been assigned.

To create your own file in assembly language type as follows:

  LDA #2 (the 2 denotes the drive number, this can be changed)
  STA $94
  LDA $D301
  AND #$7F
  STA $D301
  JSR $CFAE
  LDA $D301
  ORA #$80
  STA $D301
  RTS

Note that any attempt to use more than 512 sectors of the Ramdisk will
result in an I/O ERROR.

The Overview of OMNIVIEW XL/XE

OMNIVIEW XL/XE takes advantage of the high resolution graphics mode
built into the ATARI to grenerate an 80 column screen editor essentially
identical to the ATARI screen editor (E:, S:). Thus, you can use
OMNIVIEW XL/XE in any environment where you would normally use the 40
column "E:" (e.g., BASIC, Assembler/Editor, Mac/65, BASIC XL, modem
programs, etc.). The character font was specially designed to be legible
on an ordinary TV set! A monochrome monitor is recommended, but not
really necessary for casual 80 column operation. The Bit-3 versions of
LJK's Letter and Data Perfect have been modified to support OMNIVIEW
XL/XE, along with SpeedScript 80. Other programs are very likely to
follow once software developers realize the potential of the OMNIVIEW
XL/XE.

Use of OMNIVIEW XL/XE 80 column E:

You can activate the 80 column mode in most environments (e.g. BASIC,
DOS, etc.) by hitting CONTROL a-RESET. This will do a normal warmstart
except that 40 column E: and S: will be replaced by 80 column E: and S:.
In addition, the 80 column mode can be activated from assembly language
with `JSR C001' or from BASIC with `X=3DUSR(49152)'. Once activated, the
80 column E: acts just like the ATARI 40 column E: except for a few
minor points. First, the logical line is 80 characters long (1 physical
line) instead of 120. If you wish to edit a line longer than 80
characters, as you might in BASIC, hit SYSTEM RESET to take you back to
40 column mode. Secondly, you cannot set the tabs as you can in 40
column mode. Thirdly, neither split screen nor

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line drawing is supported. However, there is a feature which will allow
a mixture of 80 column text and graphics on the screen. This will be
described later.

Thus, any program which uses pure E: in its simplest form (no split
screen or line drawing) for its screen I/O should work in 80 column
mode. Even programs which reference and manipulate internal E: variables
(ROWCRS, COLCRS, LMARGN, RMARGN, OLDCHR, etc.) should work fine because
every effort was made to preserve the meanings of these variables in 80
column mode. One possible exception would be a program which relies on
characteristics specific to a 40 column screen like, for instance, that
the line will wrap at the 40th column. Likewise, programs like VISICALC,
ATARIWRITER, MEDIT, etc. will not work because their internal design
assumes a 40 column screen.

Theory Behind OMNIVIEW XL/XE

OMNIVIEW XL/XE uses ANTIC mode F (BASIC GRAPHICS 8), which gives you a
resolution of 320 by 192 pixels. If you use a 4 by 8 character cell,
this gives you exactly 80 columns by 24 rows. One drawback to this
scheme is that it uses $1E00 bytes (almost 8k) of memory for the screen
data alone. This is rarely a problem and, when it is, you can always
drop into the 40 column mode anyway. Another drawback is that the format
of the screen data is not nearly so convenient as BASIC GRAPHIC 0 (which
is essentially stored as ATASCII). Each character must ve translated to
pixel data represented by bits in noncontiguous bytes in screen memory.
This gets especially tricky when E: goes to read a character from the
screen! This requires a search of the character data table to find a
match for the pixel data representing that character. You can see how
this could be quite slow, but this part of the code has been optimized
for speed and the small delay is hardly noticable. For example, it will
take a fraction of a second longer for the machine to respond when you
type a line of BASIC and hit RETURN.

Technical Details

When you activate 80 column mode with CNTRL-a/RESET, `JSR $C001', or
`X=3DUSR(49152)', OMNIVIEW XL/XE initializes the 80 column screen and
installs the 80 column E: and S: in the handler address of the table at
$31A (HATABS). Afterwards, all CIO calls to E: and S: will get vectored
into OMNIVIEW XL/XE. By the way, when OMNIVIEW's E: GET CHAR routine
fetches a character from the keyboard, it vectors through the K: entry
in HATABS instead of cheating like the OS does and calling the keyboard
handler directly. This would allow you to redirect the keyboard input if
you so desire.


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As mentioned earlier, there is a way to mix 80 column text and graphics
on the same screen. While the first line of text is always the top row,
the last is set with the variable BOTSCR ($2BF), which ranges from 0 to
23. If you were to set BOTSCR to anything less than 23 then you could
use the remaining lower part of the screen for anything you wanted by
simply modifying the display list. Also, since OMNIVIEW uses graphics 8
to generate the 80 column characters, there is nothing to keep you from
drawing on the screen directly. This opens up all sorts of exciting
possibilities which were inconceivable with the other dedicated 80
column boards for thje ATARI. For example, wouldn't it be nice to have a
word processor which would allow you to draw diagrams in with the text?
Some software developer ought to jump on that one and incorporate that
into the enclosed 80 column version of SpeedScript 80 the comes with the
OMNIVIEW XL/XE at no charge. Contact CDY for the source code for
SpeedScript 80.


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Here is a memory map of the screen data area:

RAMTOP*256       ->RAMTOP HOLDS THE NUMBER OF PAGES OF RAM
RAMTOP*256-$126  ->FUTURE BUFFER FOR LAST LINE DELETED (LINBUF)
RAMTOP*256-$1F0  ->BEGINNING OF DISPLAY LIST
RAMTOP*256-$1FF0 ->BEGINNING OF DISPLAY DATA (SAVMSC)
RAMTOP*256-$2001 ->LAST BYTE OF FREE RAM (MEMTOP)

Here are the definitions of OMNIVIEW XL/XE variables:

DSTAT      $4C    USED TO SAVE STATUS
TEMP       $50    TEMPORARY REGISTER
HOLD1      $51    TEMPORARY REGISTER
LMARGN     $52    LEFT MARGIN (0-79)
RMARGN     $53    RIGHT MARGIN (0-79)
ROWCRS     $54    ROW CURSOR IS ON (0-23)
COLCRS     $55    COLUMN CURSOR IS ON (0-79); DISCERNS BETWEEN ODD
                  AND EVEN CHARS DURING SCREEN OUTPUT (OUTCHJ)
LFTMSK     $56    INVERSE VIDEO MASK FOR EVEN COLUMNS
RGTMSK     $57    INVERSE VIDEO MASK FOR ODD COLUMNS
SAVMSC     $58    2 BYTE POINTER TO BEGINNING OF DISPLAY DATA
OLDCHR     $5D    INTERNAL FORMAT OF CHARACTER UNDER CURSOR
OLDADR     $5E    2 BYTE POINTER TO CURRENT CURSOR POSITION (ALSO
                  SEE COLCRS) WITHIN SCREEN DATA
ADRESS     $64    2 BYTE POINTER TO CURRENT CHARACTER
MLTEMP     $66    2 BYTE POINTER WHERE NEXT CHAR WILL BE OUTPUT
                  (ALSO SEE COLCRS) WITHIN SCREEN DATA
RAMTOP     $6A    NUMBER OF 256 BYTE PAGES OF RAM AVAILABLE
BUFCNT     $6B    BUFFER COUNT DURING E: GET CHAR
BUFSTR     $6C    RETAINS START OF LOGICAL LINE DURING E: GET CHAR
                  (ROW/COL)
DILIST     $70    TEMP 2 BYTE PTR USED DURING GENERATION OF DISPLAY
                  LIST
TEMP1      $79    TEMPORARY REGISTER
INSDAT     $7D    TEMPORARY REGISTER
LINBUF     $7E    2 BYTE POINTER TO A LINE BUFFER JUST PAST DISPLAY LIST
GPRIOR     $26F   PRIORITY SELECTION REGISTER
HOLD3      $29D   TEMPORARY REGISTER
ESCFLG     $2A2   ESCAPE FLAG; USED TO DISPLAY CTRL CODES
TMPROW     $2B8   TEMPORARY STORAGE FOR ROWCRS
SCRFLG     $2BB   SCROLL FLAG; SET IF SCROLL OCCURRED
SHFLOK     $2BE   FLAG FOR SHIFT AND CONTROL KEYS
BOTSCR     $2BF   THE NUMBER OF TEXT ROWS AVAILABLE FOR PRINTING
MEMTOP     $2E5   2 BYTE POINTER TO THE TOP OF FREE MEMORY
CRSINH     $2F0   CURSOR INHIBIT FLAG; NON-ZERO TURNS CURSOR OFF
ATACHR     $2FB   LAST ATASCII CHARACTER READ OR WRITTEN
CH         $2FC   INTERNAL HARDWARE VALUE OF THE LAST KEY PRESSED
DSPFLG     $2FE   DISPLAY FLAG; NON-ZERO WILL DISPLAY CTRL CHARS
SSFLAG     $2FF   START/STOP FLAG; NON-ZERO WILL SUSPEND SCREEN
                  OUTPUT

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Use of OMNIVIEW XL/XE WITH LJK'S Letter Perfect

Any version of Letter Perfect which supports the Bit-3 board can, with
the appropriate patches, be made to work with OMNIVIEW XL/XE. Some
special fixed entry points were added to OMNIVIEW XE/XL to provide the
necessary hooks and these can be used in your own software if needed:

CURSNJ $CFB1 TURN ON CURSOR @OLDADR ($5E)
CURSFJ $CFB4 TURN OFF CURSOR @OLDADR ($5E)
DELRTJ $CFB7 CLEAR TO EOL, BASED UPON MLTEMP ($66) AND COL # IN REG Y
OUTCHJ $CFBA OUTPUT CHAR IN ACC TO SCREEN @MLTEMP ($66) AND COLCRS ($55)
SCROLJ $CFBD SCROLL SCREEN UP
SCRLDJ $CFC0 SCROLL SCREEN DOWN

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=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=
=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=BB
=BA  The balance of page 7 and pages 8-10 consist of sector editing   =BA
=BA  instructions to enable use of Letter Perfect and Data Perfect    =BA
=BA  with OMNIVIEW. Since I've never met, or even heard of, anyone    =BA
=BA  who uses these, I'll be d***ed if I'll waste the time typing     =BA
=BA  them in. Additionally, given some of the obvious errors in the   =BA
=BA  foregoing text, who knows what the sector data is in reality?    =BA
=BA                                                                   =BA
=BA  Pages 11-12 consist of instructions for use with the ATR8000,    =BA
=BA  (almost as rare as Letter Perfect). About the only thing of      =BA
=BA  interest to non-ATR users is that the ATRMON (terminal           =BA
=BA  program and cursor controls for CP/M) code is in the portion     =BA
=BA  of the ROM occupied by the XL/XE diagnostic, i.e. $D000,         =BA
=BA  which is mapped into $5000-$57FF when ATRMON is active. From     =BA
=BA  the PORTB manipulation in the RAMdisk number code snippet, I     =BA
=BA  surmise that this portion of the ROM contains a bit more than    =BA
=BA  the docs indicate. Interestingly enough, the authors omitted     =BA
=BA  to warn the programmer to avoid the $5000-$57FF address range    =BA
=BA  when assembling the RD number thing and made no mention of       =BA
=BA  $94 in the equates above. Oh well, from my experience with       =BA
=BA  Omniview on a 256XL, the RD never worked properly anyway and     =BA
=BA  really wouldn't have been very useful since it only exploited    =BA
=BA  64k of extra RAM (why I hate code in ROM).                       =BA
=BA                                                                   =BA
=BA  I never received pages 13-18 (No, I don't do my own upgrades!)   =BA
=BA                                                                   =BA
=BA  jkp                                                              =BA
=BA  18 Feb 99                                                        =BA
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=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=
=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=CD=BC




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