Terminal Emulator setup on Linux

General discussions related to the Altair 8800 Clone

Terminal Emulator setup on Linux

Postby chaseleinart » July 3rd, 2020, 1:25 pm

Hey there,

I'm looking for assistance on configuring a terminal emulator on Linux for use with the Altair Clone, if anyone out there has recommendations. For background, I have the Audio Cassette interface installed into the Altair, and I am using the DB-25M to DB-9F adapter chained to the USB to DB-9 Serial Port Adapter available from the Altair Clone website to connect from the serial port provided by the Audio Cassette interface, to a USB port on my laptop running Linux.

After entering the first stage bootloader program from the support video in the second link below, I found the first link below on the downloads of the Altair Clone site, which provides a command for GNU Screen to connect to the Altair. I sent the 8k basic v4 file provided on the Altair Clone site Downloads using exec !! sx -a filename, which prompted for an XMODEM receive command, and "exec !! rx -a filename". Ultimately, this results in a timeout on my end, without any indication of the file transfer completing. The same link provides an alternative command to send files "exec !! cat filename", which when used after the initial screen command, had the effect of turning on all the address lights on the Altair, but not in the pattern recognizable in the support video as the second stage bootloader.

I also tried sending the basic program using the minicom program, over XMODEM, connecting to /dev/ttyUSB0, sending the basic program, then opening another instance of minicom in a different window, and issuing the receive command on the same file. Frankly, I've never used screen or minicom in this way, so I'm not very familiar with the procedure, or whether something I'm trying is obviously the wrong way. If you connect to the Altair using a terminal emulator on Linux or could point to the correct procedure, I'd love to hear about it.






1. Using “screen” as terminal emulator under UNIX/LINUX https://altairclone.com/downloads/Using%20SCREEN%20as%20terminal%20emulator.pdf
2. Loading 8K BASIC from a Cassette Image https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-dFKNYFL0M
chaseleinart
 
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Re: Terminal Emulator setup on Linux

Postby AltairClone » July 3rd, 2020, 9:10 pm

None of the file transfers to load a paper tape or cassette image of original Altair software are done with XMODEM. The XMODEM program didn’t even exist yet. Just use a simple file transfer (must be 8 bit).

Are you using the serial port provided by cassette interface for transferring the tape image or are you using an actual cassette?

You will also need a terminal or terminal emulator for the console serial port. Do you have two serial cables?

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Re: Terminal Emulator setup on Linux

Postby chaseleinart » July 3rd, 2020, 10:07 pm

I am using the serial port provided by the cassette interface for transferring the tape image. I do not own a second serial cable, so, it sounds like to use a terminal emulator, I'd need to grab an additional one, eh?
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Re: Terminal Emulator setup on Linux

Postby AltairClone » July 4th, 2020, 8:30 am

You can use a single serial port for the console and for loading BASIC as if you were using a Teletype. See the “Loading 4K BASIC” demo in the Altair Clone menu. You can also use a real cassette for loading BASIC to save your serial port for the console. See the Altair Clone Cassette Interface manual. You can also play .wav files from a PC through the audio cable provided with the cassette if you don’t have a cassette player.

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