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HP Forum Archive 08

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Old IL-9114 disks
Message #1 Posted by Simon Strach on 19 Mar 2002, 7:08 p.m.

In the 70ties and 80ies I used to be a power-user of HP HH, starting off with the HP35 in 72.

I must have spent at leaest 10.000 $ then in HP-calculators and peripherals.

I was one of the founding members of the CCD Germany, you might recall the respective module.

After the 41 CX(Y) I had an HP 48 and now I own an HP 49G.

I still believe the 41 is THE superiour machine, and hasen't found it's successor yet. HP should have developed it further, 10 times the speed and memory, but not as sophisticated as the 49G, which is too complex for my taste.

I have a question someone might be able to help with:

I used to have a 9114B IL-diskdrive, which I sold long time ago. Now with the super emulator V41 R7( a really fine job!) I would like to run extensive programs on nuklear theory which I developed in 86.

I have same 40 disks, all formatted on the 9114, which of course are not DOS/Win compatible.

I looked at various converters (LIF and others), but don't seem to get any data out of them. No program files, nor ROM-files.

Does anyone know a way to get the data via the DOS-floppy-drive to the V41 R7? I tried the converter, it ran for ages and then prompting the message no valid data (or so) found.

Tips or work-arounds are most welcome.

Simon Strach, Koeln, Germany

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #2 Posted by Dan M (Vermont, USA) on 19 Mar 2002, 9:43 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Simon Strach

Dear Simon:

Many thanks for your past efforts, including the (in?)famous CCD ROM. I'd like to see one of those someday.

One problem that I encountered in the past is that LIF disks formatted by the HP41-9114 cannot be read by the LIFUTIL program. The HP41 did not use or recognize disk volume labels, but the LIFUTIL program requires them. I had modified an old program from the PPC Journals to have the HP41 add a volume label to a disk. This required the Extended IO module (and a 9114 drive!), but I don't remember where I stored the program or the details... I could re-invent it easier than finding it again!

I do believe that you can rescue your old programs and run them on the V41 R7 emulator. I have had good luck with both LIF and LIFUTIL, using a PC drive to extract files from LIF (9114) disks.

I have successfully used these both quite recently, on a "modern" laptop PC with very good results. For lots of files at once, I like "LIF" (which appears to be less common) because it is run from a DOS prompt and can be set up multiple times in a .BAT file.

You should be able to extract the files from your old 9114B disks onto a PC somehow, and then use Leo Duran's most very excellent hp41uc program to convert them to .RAW files which can be directly read by the V41 R7 emulator.

Please email me or post here if you need more information.

I've been recently looking at LIF files and disks again, as I am trying to figure out how to put Tony Duell's LIF images back onto LIF disks from a MS operating system. It seems it would probably be just as easy (and more ethically satisfying) to convert myself to linux and be done with it.

Best of luck, and please don't give up.

Dan Bellows Falls, Vermont USA

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #3 Posted by Tony Duell (UK) on 20 Mar 2002, 5:52 p.m.,
in response to message #2 by Dan M (Vermont, USA)

If you're having problems writing my images to physical disks under MS-DOS, you're welcome to e-mail me to ask questions. Yes, I know I GPLed stuff which implies there's not necessarily any support, but equally, I do love old HPs and will help if possible. Years ago I wrote a program for MS-DOS to read PERQ workstation (8") disks. It directly programmed the disk controller and DMA chip. Although not directly applicable to reading 9114 disks, it might give you some hints. I think the terms on that were 'copyright ARD, but distribute for the benefit of PERQ-fanatics'. I am certainly not going to object if it's used for the benefit of HP calculator hackers either. Be warned that you'll probably need a fair understanding of the PC's disk controller and DMA chip -- when I was writing both the PERQ disk program and the LIF utilities for linux, I had the IBM PC/AT TechRef, the Intel 8272 datasheet (disk controller) and the Intel 8237 data sheet (DMA chip) open in front of me...

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #4 Posted by Dan M on 20 Mar 2002, 8:25 p.m.,
in response to message #3 by Tony Duell (UK)

Hi Tony,

Regarding your LIF image files: I had not intended to write a DOS-level disk writing program, as I have absolutely no understanding of the PC's disk controlller. My idea was to write some program (C?, "VisualBasic?") to go through the image file, and extract the files into a format I'm used to (.p41, .raw, .txt, whatever). It shouldn't be that hard to do. Once I have those, I am very comfortable writing them to disk.

I would like to toy around with ROM files myself, as I am slowly trying to get into 41 m-code. I have an EPROM - ROM emulator for the 41, a variety of EPROM - ROMs, and got a great little EPROM programmer at a surplus sale the other day. I don't have a MLDL -yet- but would like to get one or build one soon. When I have the time.

Thanks for your help,

Dan M

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #5 Posted by Tony Duell (UK) on 21 Mar 2002, 2:06 p.m.,
in response to message #4 by Dan M

What you are asking for already exists -- but for linux. My lifutils distribution contains programs to produce a directory of a disk or image, to extract a file from a disk or image, and to turn several types of files (HP41 programs, sdata (== HP41 data), text, etc) into printable text. OK, as I said it's for linux, but it's distributed as C source, so you're welcome to try porting it to other OSes, or to get ideas from it, or... FWIW, the best reference I've found for the _logical_ structure of a LIF disk is in the back of the HP71 IL module user manual. It's better than the official LIF specification I borrowed from the HPCC library

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #6 Posted by Tony Duell (UK) on 20 Mar 2002, 5:45 p.m.,
in response to message #1 by Simon Strach

As regards which is the better calculator, if I want to do complex calculations, I use my 48. If I want a 'hackers toy' -- a fun machine to program and use, then I choose a 67, 41 or 71. I don't know what this says about me (other than I have an excessive number of HP calculators). Now for the main problem. If you were running linux I'd 'blow my own trumpet' and recomend my lifutils for linux. They certainly can read 9114 disks. They can produce directories, extract individual files, turn HP41 binary programs into listings, etc. I've not done much with ROM image files (type E070) yet -- I'm only just getting into HP41 m-code. But I have written programs to turn such an image into the '2 bytes for each HP41 word' format used by some emulators (I believe). And to scan the FAT of the latter type of file and display the functions in the ROM. Apart from that, somebody suggested the problem was a lack of volume label on an HP41 disk. If you could borrow a 9114 and some controller that allows low level access to HPIL (I would suggest either a 41 + IL module + DevIL ROM or an HP71 + IL module) then you could read in block 0, stick a volume label in the first few bytes, and write it back to the disk. Reading/writing 'alien' disks is hard under MS-DOS though. I've done it, but I didn't particularly enjoy it. You virtually have to program the disk controller and DMA controller yourself. If you want to try writing your own MS-DOS programs to read 9114 disks, you're welcome to e-mail me and I'll give any help I can (it's not really suitable for posting here, though).

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #7 Posted by Frank Glitz on 21 Mar 2002, 5:11 a.m.,
in response to message #1 by Simon Strach


I did a lot of "near hardware" assembler programming for MS-DOS PCs and might possibly be able to write a conversion program if someone can provide a detailed description of the HP-9114 disk format. Or simply tell me where to find it...

I had the same problem with LIFUTIL, it doesn't work with HP-9114 disks.


Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #8 Posted by Tony Duell (UK) on 21 Mar 2002, 2:13 p.m.,
in response to message #7 by Frank Glitz

You might look at article 260 in the articles forum. This is my documentation on the file format I used for the disk images, and how it relates to a physical disk. The disk format is 77 cylinders, 2 sides, 16 sectors per track (per side, so 32 sectors per cylinder). HP pu some odd stuffon the higher cylnders relating to bad track replacement, etc. I've never tried to decode this -- all I do is use good quality disks (so there are no bad tracks), and format them on a real 9114, so the HP stuff is put there. And then only bother with the first 77 cylinders. You don't need to understand the logical structure of a LIF disk to write one of these images to a physical disk, but if you're interested, the reference I most used when I was writing the lifutils for linux was at the back of the HP71 HPIL module owner's manual. The HP71 IL IDS was handy too, but not essential.

Re: Old IL-9114 disks
Message #9 Posted by Frank Glitz on 21 Mar 2002, 3:50 p.m.,
in response to message #8 by Tony Duell (UK)


thanks for your reply. I'll take a look at the stuff you suggested. I just restored my old development environment and will start working asap.

The instant I have a result I'll post a message here.


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