[Oberon] Re (2): Copy or reinstall A2?

Michael Schierl schierlm at gmx.de
Fri Jul 23 00:08:25 CEST 2021

Am 22.07.2021 um 14:06 schrieb Liam Proven:

> A useful discovery has been that if you boot a DOS USB, the BIOS
> emulates a hard disk and DOS thinks  it's running on a read-write hard
> disk drive. This being an OS with no direct USB support of its own at
> all.

You wanted to say, an OS with no direct Hard Disk support on its own.
(It is the same if you boot from an IDE/SCSI/SATA hard drive).

(The emulated USB hard disk can be quite slow, but probably does not
really matter for DOS anyway.)

> So, normally, if you plug a USB drive with a DOS-readable filesystem
> (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, etc.) into a DOS PC, nothing happens.

In case the DOS PC has one of the three common pre-USB3 host controllers
(UCHI, OHCI or EHCI), you can load USBASPI.SYS in DOS and access USB
storage devices that way.

> But the BIOS emulation has some desirable side-effects. If you boot a
> DOS USB _with a 2nd USB drive inserted_ then DOS can see that too, for
> instance.

May work, but not guaranteed. It may even depend on whether both drives
are connected to the same root hub or not (in case your machine has many
USB ports and more than one root hub). Guaranteed is only that the
device booted from is emulated as disk 0x80.

> I have been considering trying to build some bootable images of DOS
> with Oberon-for-DOS installed and ready to run.

What is your experience with support of contemporary mice/touchpads in
DOS? Oberon without mouse would not be much fun.

> Not sure if anyone
> would be interested in that. It may be a way to have a live bootable
> Oberon environment, for example, without needing Oberon to support
> this.

Using some of the Oberon versions that run on Linux/X11 may be even
simpler. Run them on a contemporary Linux kernel, and you should have
better hardware support than the BIOS provides.



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