Firebee and EmuTOS status ..

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oehansen
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Firebee and EmuTOS status ..

Postby oehansen » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:09 am

Just came accross BeeKey, and BeePi and was a bit fascinated with it. What I noticed, was that this was running in high resolution with EmuTOS as the OS.

I'm still running FireTOS as the background OS for my Firebee. But it crossed my mind, that IFF BeeKey can do it, then so should the FireBee, right? But I recall someone saying, that some stuff would be lost. Recall something about the USB keyboard, USB support and possibly the SD card as well. Well, don't recall exactly ... but I remember there was something that would be lost, and wouldn't work in an all BaS, EmuTOS setup.

So, I'm asking here ... what is the status? Is BaS and EmuTOS a complete replacement for FireTOS now?

BlankVector
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Re: Firebee and EmuTOS status ..

Postby BlankVector » Sun Feb 26, 2017 10:57 am

oehansen wrote:Just came accross BeeKey, and BeePi and was a bit fascinated with it. What I noticed, was that this was running in high resolution with EmuTOS as the OS.

Indeed, I discovered EmuTOS the same way 10 years ago. Someone pointed me some ready to use ARAnyM / FreeMiNT distribution, and I noticed that strange ROM used for bootstrap: EmuTOS. It supports explicit acceleration for ARAnyM, and combined with fVDI driver for ARAnyM, this provides the fastest and most colorful FreeMiNT environment.

oehansen wrote:I'm still running FireTOS as the background OS for my Firebee. But it crossed my mind, that IFF BeeKey can do it, then so should the FireBee, right?

Yes, but with one big detail: FireBee has a ColdFire CPU, while fVDI (currently) only exists for 68000. It had been a real pain to port EmuTOS and FreeMiNT to ColdFire, the same has just not been done yet for fVDI. And it would not be an easy task as fVDI has many assembler source files (on the other hand, C programs just require recompilation). Also, I have no clue of how to use FireBee extended video modes. These 2 points makes that no fVDI driver for the FireBee will appear soon. On the other hand, as I understand, FireTOS internally uses a special patched fVDI fork, but that's quite mysterious.

oehansen wrote:But I recall someone saying, that some stuff would be lost. Recall something about the USB keyboard, USB support and possibly the SD card as well. Well, don't recall exactly ... but I remember there was something that would be lost, and wouldn't work in an all BaS, EmuTOS setup.

EmuTOS for FireBee has no support for USB keyboards. It would require PCI driver + USB driver + keyboard driver, and this has not been done yet. Quite a huge task.

Also, you will lose... 680x0 compatibility. Because, by design, EmuTOS for ColdFire is the real thing: there is no emulation. Programs compiled 100% for ColdFire such FreeMiNT, TeraDesk, etc. work perfectly on EmuTOS for ColdFire, and at full speed. EmuTOS also provides its own SD card driver for FireBee: it works fine.

If you want to have a try, that's easy: just put DIP switch #5 down. This will boot BaS + the old EmuTOS provided in your flash. Then you can safely switch back to FireTOS by putting the switch back.

There is also another option to try EmuTOS (but it is not the preferred one). On the FireTOS boot menu, select EmuTOS.
In this mode, FireTOS continues to work behind the scenes, and it patches EmuTOS. 680x0 is still not supported, but USB keyboard is supported: FireTOS simply forwards USB keystrokes to EmuTOS.
As FireTOS tasks are still running behind the scenes, that may cause additional bugs to EmuTOS, or even not work at all. So I don't recommend that mode.

oehansen wrote:So, I'm asking here ... what is the status? Is BaS and EmuTOS a complete replacement for FireTOS now?

Not really, as most FireBee users want 680x0 compatibility, USB keyboard, and extended video modes. And this is not likely to change soon.


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