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Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
06-05-2014, 08:19 PM
Post: #1
Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
Good news for owners of the HP Portable Plus: the PIL-Box and the ILPer software are working great with this machine, and it is possible to access a disc image file on PC using the drive C: on Portable side.
This is a convenient way to exchange programs between Portable Plus users.

It probably also works with the Portable (not Plus) but I can't test it.

I put on my Web site three disc image files, two with utilities and commands that I burned into EPROM years ago, and the version for the Portable Plus of my Emu41 emulator.

J-F
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06-05-2014, 09:05 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2014 09:40 PM by rprosperi.)
Post: #2
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
JF

This is truly amazing; yet another reason to want a PP.

How does ILPer, a Win32 app, run on the Portable Plus? Can any Win32 implementation be working on the Plus?

Also, the recent IL-related utilities on your HP-IL Resource Page are quite interesting; Using ILCtrl will be interesting to explore the loop from the "other" end. Can it co-exist with an HP-75?

And ILvlif appears to be a step towards what seems to be a never-solved problem, namely, how to easily exchange Windows files with LIF volumes. Much research has revealed there are lots of techniques that 'almost' work, but none that make it a simple file_copy level procedure to extract files from LIF to windows (or Linux, Mac, etc.) or vice-versa.

Is this the ultimate goal?

If anyone else thinks this is a good goal, please note so by reply so JF (and/or others) have some idea if this is really worth the effort.

Maybe I'm the only one crazy enough to want to assemble new sets of LIF volumes for playing with the 71B, 41C and 75C (sorry, I don't have a Portable Plus, nor any of the myriad HP workstations which supported LIF)?

I'm aware that I can accomplish some of the above by using Pil-Box and ILPer to move files from LIF_vol_1 -> device -> LIF_vol_2 but this is incredibly slow and tedious, 1 file at a time. (see JF I did read your reply in December to Joe about the 'unintuitive' process of converting through the DOS EMU71 emulator, but (thankfully!) I use 64-bit Windows so it's not an option).

For other folks wondering about the Pil-Box for HP-IL access, you can 'test drive' what it's like to use the Pil-Box by running ILPer with EMU71 (and EMU41). Very cool stuff, lots of fun, and pretty easy to get it all working.

--Bob Prosperi
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06-05-2014, 09:22 PM
Post: #3
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
Thank you Jean-François !

Great work !

I still use EMU41P I bought from you on my Portable plus and will burn the utilities and commands to EEPROM and test during my July holidays.

Great addition to the Pil-Box which is now a real hub with SH-41CL, Hp-71 and PP connected to today's world !

Merci encore !

Cordialement

Etienne
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06-05-2014, 10:11 PM (This post was last modified: 06-05-2014 10:17 PM by Dave Frederickson.)
Post: #4
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
(06-05-2014 09:05 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  How does ILPer, a Win32 app, run on the Portable Plus? Can any Win32 implementation be working on the Plus?

ILPer runs on the PC. The Portable PLUS has an HP-IL interface. The Portables aren't even 100% DOS compatible, much less Win32. Even finding DOS programs that run on the Portables is a challenge.

(06-05-2014 09:05 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  And ILvlif appears to be a step towards what seems to be a never-solved problem, namely, how to easily exchange Windows files with LIF volumes. Much research has revealed there are lots of techniques that 'almost' work, but none that make it a simple file_copy level procedure to extract files from LIF to windows (or Linux, Mac, etc.) or vice-versa.

HPDir works for copying text files to/from LIF images compatible with ILPer and Fdio works nicely for creating LIF disks compatible with a 9114 from those images.

Dave
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06-05-2014, 10:38 PM
Post: #5
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
(06-05-2014 10:11 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  
(06-05-2014 09:05 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  How does ILPer, a Win32 app, run on the Portable Plus? Can any Win32 implementation be working on the Plus?

ILPer runs on the PC. The Portable PLUS has an HP-IL interface. The Portables aren't even 100% DOS compatible, much less Win32. Even finding DOS programs that run on the Portables is a challenge.

(06-05-2014 09:05 PM)rprosperi Wrote:  And ILvlif appears to be a step towards what seems to be a never-solved problem, namely, how to easily exchange Windows files with LIF volumes. Much research has revealed there are lots of techniques that 'almost' work, but none that make it a simple file_copy level procedure to extract files from LIF to windows (or Linux, Mac, etc.) or vice-versa.

HPDir works for copying text files to/from LIF images compatible with ILPer and Fdio works nicely for creating LIF disks compatible with a 9114 from those images.

Dave

Thanks for quick reply Dave.

HAH! It never occurred to me the PP was a device, LOL. For a brief moment, I thought to position my question as humor, then realized the truth is much funnier.

My experience with PP was similar; even vanilla DOS utilities were barely compatible, if that. Hence my confusion.

Regarding the other solutions, I've recently read many (!) past threads (many with contributions from you - thank you for that), including the epic posting from Dan MacDonald, and understood that all of them had limitations such as text files only, not recognizing 71/41/75 file types, etc. I have not researched the FDIO solution in detail, perhaps I misunderstood.

Can FDIO be used to read/write arbitrary binary and text files on the PC to/from LIF images?

--Bob Prosperi
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06-05-2014, 11:20 PM
Post: #6
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
(06-05-2014 08:19 PM)J-F Garnier Wrote:  Good news for owners of the HP Portable Plus: the PIL-Box and the ILPer software are working great with this machine, and it is possible to access a disc image file on PC using the drive C: on Portable side.
This is a convenient way to exchange programs between Portable Plus users.

Really good news, but I am confused; how can that work?
Jean-Francois, can you please explain the communication in more detail?

Background of my confusion:
ILPer implements the Filbert-protocol which is used by HP 41C, 71b and 75C to address the cassette drive and the 9114 floppy drive. Whereas the PP uses the SS80 protocol to access the floppy drive ( 9114 understands both protocols ). So ILPer should not work with the PP, or is there a SS80 - version of ILPer?
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06-05-2014, 11:22 PM
Post: #7
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
Actually the PP is usually a controller. On the PC side of the PIL-Box, ILPer acts as a printer and a tape drive when used with the PP. The PP can be configured as a device like when two PP's are connected together on the loop.

FDIO can create a 9114 compatible disk from a LIF image, like the ones on the MoHPC FTP site, or create a LIF image from a 9114 compatible disk. I've been unsuccessful imaging PP format disks using FDIO. HPDir will transfer only text files to/from LIF images. It was developed for the 9845 and doesn't understand 41/71/75 file types.

What binary files on the PC would you want to copy to a LIF image? If you're thinking of copying a large number of binary files between LIF images, I don't have a solution. Joe Horn's collection of LEX files was compiled into a single LIF image, I confess, one file at a time using Emu71. If there was a way to automate the process, perhaps using a batch file, I wish I'd thought of it.

Regarding DOS utilities for the PP, the Portable Paper Subscribers Disks are scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Look for them, soon. Smile

Dave
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06-06-2014, 06:50 AM
Post: #8
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
(06-05-2014 11:20 PM)Michael Fehlhammer Wrote:  Really good news, but I am confused; how can that work?
Jean-Francois, can you please explain the communication in more detail?

Background of my confusion:
ILPer implements the Filbert-protocol which is used by HP 41C, 71b and 75C to address the cassette drive and the 9114 floppy drive. Whereas the PP uses the SS80 protocol to access the floppy drive ( 9114 understands both protocols ). So ILPer should not work with the PP, or is there a SS80 - version of ILPer?

That's REALLY the good guestion!

This is what I thought until recently. I discovered that the PP supports also the Filbert protocol (in the strict Filbert aka HP82161 way - that is capacity is limited to 128KB), by reading the newly released Portable Paper Newsletters that Dan helped to make public.

Anyway, I plan to add full Subset/80 to ILPer, to support larger discs like hard drives up to 10MB (this is another limitation of the PP).

Actually, I should say that I re-discovered this feature, since I should have know it; in 1985 I attended a Portable Plus Training in HP Grenoble (France), and one of the slides (that I still own) explicitly describes it:

[Image: portablek7.jpg]

OT: Oh these nice pre-PowerPoint slides...

J-F
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06-06-2014, 08:53 AM
Post: #9
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
(06-06-2014 06:50 AM)J-F Garnier Wrote:  OT: Oh these nice pre-PowerPoint slides...

A "Drawing Gallery" slide, perhaps sent thru HPDESK?
;-)
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06-06-2014, 01:11 PM
Post: #10
RE: Using the PIL-Box with the Portable Plus
(06-05-2014 11:22 PM)Dave Frederickson Wrote:  Actually the PP is usually a controller. On the PC side of the PIL-Box, ILPer acts as a printer and a tape drive when used with the PP. The PP can be configured as a device like when two PP's are connected together on the loop.

FDIO can create a 9114 compatible disk from a LIF image, like the ones on the MoHPC FTP site, or create a LIF image from a 9114 compatible disk. I've been unsuccessful imaging PP format disks using FDIO. HPDir will transfer only text files to/from LIF images. It was developed for the 9845 and doesn't understand 41/71/75 file types.

What binary files on the PC would you want to copy to a LIF image? If you're thinking of copying a large number of binary files between LIF images, I don't have a solution. Joe Horn's collection of LEX files was compiled into a single LIF image, I confess, one file at a time using Emu71. If there was a way to automate the process, perhaps using a batch file, I wish I'd thought of it.

Regarding DOS utilities for the PP, the Portable Paper Subscribers Disks are scheduled to be delivered tomorrow. Look for them, soon. Smile

Dave

Thanks for further clarifying the PP thing, using ILPer as a 'peripheral'. My Pil-Box finally arrived last night, so I will have this running later today, at last with 71B, 41C and 75C. Woohoo!

So it seems the earlier conclusion is correct, there is no way to easily exchange arbitrary files between Windows storage and LIF archives.

Yes, I'm trying to manage sets of files (BASIC programs, LEX files, Forth source (text), etc.). An example is to create and maintain a LIF volume with my current set of 'normally loaded' files. I can then test with impunity and not care about Memory Lost as it's quick and easy to rebuild. I just need to make a BASIC script to reload everything from the image (if only there was wildcard support, or even a built-in Backup command. BTW, my theory is HP created the Backup/Restore capability on the 48 series as a lesson learned from doing it manually on the 71B - likely Bill playing with Forth...)

Also, like you, I hope to contribute to Joe's growing collection of useful LEX files, and guess I don't have your patience (!!) to do this individually via EMU71 (which BTW, thank you for! - a perfect example of why one wants to do this).

--Bob Prosperi
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