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VincentF

Proposition: Diagnostic Software

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Hello Everybody !

I wanted to ask : Is there a diagnostic software existing already for the X16 ?

If not, maybe we can try to work on one ? Like analyzing RAM, Bank switching, File access, VERA ...
It may be early but I thought it would be helpful for troubleshooting early defect machines ?

What do you think of this ?

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If we go for something we must think of the different failures we can encounter, and the first one that bothers me a little bit is the RAM. Since we need that our program sits somewhere in order to execute, it's not a good idea to let it sit in RAM. I would go for a ROM, for example in place of the KERNAL. I don't think the program should rely on the KERNAL in order to work. This would led us to be able to freely test reserved RAM space and also the stack. Having it in ROM can also allow our diagnostic to run without the need to read the SD card and so rely on as little dependency as possible.

My proposal here is to join our forces, figure out failure points and code diagnostic code together ^^ I don't feel like I can assume alone this kind of project so that's why I wanted to talk here first

1 hour ago, JimmyDansbo said:

I have actually startet with a bit of RAM testing.

That's cool ! Thank you for sharing this 😄

Edited by VincentF

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Well I’m not opposed to having it in ROM and to a large part I agree with certain parts of the program. It relying on the KERNAL under the conditions that it doesn’t create redundant code. For example the screen draw routines may as well be the KERNAL ones and if you are testing the IEC bus you might as well be using the integrated routines to do so. Likewise if you are reading the PS/2 keyboard or mouse the KERNAL routines should be used. If you are testing certain things in a way that differs from the normal methods then you would write your own routines.


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1 minute ago, Lorin Millsap said:

For example the screen draw routines may as well be the KERNAL ones and if you are testing the IEC bus you might as well be using the integrated routines to do so. Likewise if you are reading the PS/2 keyboard or mouse the KERNAL routines should be used.

Oh, you're right, I totally forgot these points. Screen drawing is trivial using VERA registers so I thought we could drop the KERNAL but as you point out there is many other routines that we would want to use.

So I would suggest making the RAM test first without the KERNAL and then one way or another we boot into the KERNAL and continue our diagnostics.

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