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BOOTCFG History of Achievements and Development

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BOOTCFG History of Achievements and Development

Notapor ~ » Mar Jun 20, 2017 2:20 am


System map of what BOOTCFG and
the LowEST Kernel, Level 1, currently
contain and can do:




BOOTCFG is the native configurator and boot loader for my LowEST kernel.

BOOTCFG is designed to run under DOS, although the tricks it contains
are useful for the PC platform in general.



Download it, it already contains the latest LowEST kernel
for the time it was last developed:
 BOOTCFG__v2017-06-16.zip




The current kernel contains an error in which the floppy drive needs to
be accessed at least once before loading the kernel, or else the kernel
won't be able to load external programs from the floppy. It's a bug
I need to find out how to fix, but at least after taking into account that
measure, I can freely run any tests that occur to me.

Today I added the "exittodos" command to the LowEST kernel console, with which
it has gained considerable more value as I can enter and exit my OS from DOS,
and as long as none of the external programs or kernel components I ran
have damaged the configuration DOS expects in its native environment,
I will be able to keep running stuff as if my OS was one more DOS application,
which is exactly what it becomes when loaded with BOOTCFG and its PATIO.COM
kernel-loading snippet for simple kernels like the LowEST kernel.








Once loaded, the LowEST kernel must not alter memory in the first Megabyte
without saving and restoring it first when done using it, since it is thought
to be fully compatible and fully friendly with DOS, so we must behave as if
it's always present in the first Megabyte.

Except for updating BIOS time variables and other similar configuration
in the first Megabyte, we must NOT overwrite the first Megabyte arbitrarilly
or carelessly to leave DOS intact and for being able to cleanly return to it.





It would be interesting to come up with a base system loader that allowed us
to concurrently load and unload any OS to return to the base system, which
should be a DOS-compatible system in the case of the PC platform.

It should be able to do so without rebooting the system and without statically
installing any OS in that computer, so as to avoid the monopolization of the
machine by a single OS, and the easiest usage of any OS at any moment as we
see fit without them having to alter the machine or disk configuration
or partitions just for it.



App Roach: Crazy Test Library/Snippets/API



EOF
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Add Simple Relocation Capability for LowEST Kernel, Level 1 Raw Executables

Notapor ~ » Jue Jun 22, 2017 2:01 pm











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EOF
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BOOTCFG - New Commands Added

Notapor ~ » Sab Jul 22, 2017 2:14 pm



Download the current source code:
Image BOOTCFG__v2017-06-16.zip

I have added new commands to the kernel console, and of course it shows
how to do those tricks so that others who need it can add those tricks
to their systems.

off -- This command
is intended to fully turn off as many things as we can
before manually turning off the computer.
It's intended to contain more and more cases
until we learn how to turn off the computer
by software. With this, the machine will need to be
fully turned off to use it again. So far I've seen
that the hard disks will stay turned off even when
pressing the reset button, which is good if what
we want is to turn off the machine and save power.

It will try to turn off the 4 default ATA hard disks,
will turn off the keyboard LEDs, will make the PIT
work as slow as possible, will make the screen go
black and in the best cases turn off its light using
standard VGA registers, and will finally halt the CPU
for being able to turn off the system mostly to avoid
the hard disks to suffer when suddenly cutting off power.

clk -- All times
specified in the kernel are now µs microseconds.
A debug command that will try to wait for 1 minute
before clearing the screen and re-printing the kernel
identification message. With this we can test how
accurate is our PIT waiting code. I currently can wait
58 effective seconds in a 2GHz machine and around 50
effective seconds in a 550MHz machine. It seems to vary,
it's notorious when at lest 60 seconds are waited.

The best I've achieved so far is using a PIT divisor of
1193180/298295 or around 4 microseconds per tick, and I
still don't know if it works in my 386DX. If not, I will
probably have to slow it down when working there.

disktest0/diskreadtest28 -- Another debug command
intended to read 28-bit LBA-compliant sector 0 from the
Primary Master ATA hard disk, so it shows how to read
sectors using PIO mode (reading through I/O ports),
so with that we can start studying partitions to finally
add, read, write files and directories, delete, create,
extend, shrink, read full and partial clusters...


Image I have added
an icon to the kernel file to start testing how to add
a graphic to my raw binaries that can be seen
immediately in any file explorer.

Now I boot kernel.ico
instead of kernel.bin. This icon of a cob-like fruit with the
grains inside is appropriate for my kernel and similar
enough to my previous icon of a flame from
NES Zelda 1.

I have added:

- Several data files for changing standard VGA
  modes (soon to be used).

- Code to drive the PC speaker (set frequency,
  read current frequency, turn on, turn off).

EOF
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IP for hosts file (email udocproject@yahoo.com to get updates if website becomes offline):
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