When you do non normal things, you may meet problems.
Here I have a very outdated computer, running IBM dos 7.0 with dosshell.
So the first version of a graphical interface. A number of years ago that was the limit.
That old computer has as well PCI as ISA bus. And USB ports but the operatingsystem does not support that.
I played with it but I had no task for it so it was put into a dark corner and almost forgotten.
Here I have a printed circuit board with a Transputer on it from Computer Systems Architects. Not only that but memory, links interfaces and a link to ISA bus interface.
And a floppy disk with diagnostic and demonstration software on it for that card.
The software was zipped because in those times you could only transport 1.44 Mbyte on a floppy.
Here I have a laptop with a floppydrive, USB slot and a CD reader. And running MS windows XP so a very complete system.
Just somewhat old but all functioning.
What I did is put the floppy in this laptop and wrote the data on a sticky. The sticky in my MAC and that machine decoded the ZIP files.
Back on the sticky and write it to a floppy. Floppy in the dos machine and I had the Transputercard running.
This is the moment to think how to go on.
I need a computer, running a OCCAM compiler and a debugger and an editor.
But there is no modern computer with a ISA bus. There is I think but is for professional use and therefore extremely expensive.
A second possibility is a card, plugged in the PCI bus and than a transformation to the ISA bus will happen.
I did not try whether it is true or not but I read on a webpage that I had to buy ten of them. And that is nine to much.
A third possibility is a card that transforms the USB bus to ISA. Good option because then I put the "mainframe" down in the 19 inch rack
and just a small cable to the interface card, situated in the top of the rack.
Bought a second hand tabletop computer, put UBUNTU on it and that should be the machine for all experimental work.
I ordered a interface card at ARS technologies and tried to install it. Forget that. I got a lot of errors and some mails to the designers gave no solutions.
Installing this software on a MS driven laptop was a disaster. No problem because I do not like that system. However, installed on the Mac it seems to work.
It is not the idea however to do this work on a MAC because there have to come the software and that is all for Linux.
I asked help of my earlier man next door. He is a software engineer with special skills in the field of technical subjects.
He installed the ARS software on his machine too and look, no errors. The difference is that he ran the software under VMWare.
Nobody knows how this is possible; even not ARStech but they say that running VMWare is useless and that is true.
I left all as it is for a week. In the meantime the engineer started building the Kent relocatable Occam compiler in the Linux version.
After a week I got a mail. I thought the compiler is ready but that proved not to be the case.
Cannot read this but at the end there is something promising. I thought the compiler was ready but that was too simple and therefore not true.
Next trial, I started all over again. Erased all on the Linux machine, loaded the Arstech software and did the installation again.
Now I got partially the same errors but some results that were different of the first time. And that closed the door. The firmware is not only not doing what it is bought for
but is unstable too.
I sat down - with a drink when I remember well - and was thinking what to do. After some time I got the idea I should have had much earlier.
In the eighties, the time transputers were developed, what computers were in use?
The things like I have with DOS. So why not use that one? It will give a simple but working system and the screen picture is according to its time when it all was developed.
Looking on the web I found in those days there was a IMS D700D transputer development system in use. The Computer Systems Architects card I have has comparable
specs. And the software is The IMS D7305A IBM 386 PC OCCAM 2 Toolset. The manual I found on the web, not the source. It is on just three floppies and my computer is much better
than desired. So, get that software and start the machine because that is the task of the moment; get OCCAM running.
Sometimes things are not as simple as you expect.
My idea was just to pick up the compiler because I had seen before that there is a site where you just have to download the compiler you wish to have and that is all.
No, it proved to be not. Just click here: and you have your compiler.
That is to say: look at the picture.
Back to Mainpage
I found no other place where an Occam compiler is offered.
I will ask people who are busy in the transputerfield for a compiler.
And that is what I did. In Germany is someone very busy with transputers. In an other way I want to be but he has a lot of experience.
He was so kind to send me the development system TDS3. That is a complete system with folding editor, compiler and debugger.
He warned me that he did not know anything of this system because he never used it and is not going to use it.
All in one zip file because that is the way for transportation. There are hundreds of small files in it. And total 7 or so MBytes. My problem was that the ISA computer
only had a floppy drive to transport the files. No serious problem because I have an old laptop with floppydrive but with one USB slot too.
So, the file came in on my MAC, was unzipped there, via a sticky to the laptop, via a number of floppy's to the ISA computer.
Well, the editor I got operational after some startup problems. But the compiler, no way. There was something stange. Quite often, when a command was given from the keyboard,
a string was displayed on the screen of eight or so characters. Mostly more or less the same but not always. I have to say that the board did the Mandelbrot and the memory
tests without any problem so why?? Ok, I transported the files via the floppy's a number of times to the ISA machine but never the compiler started.
May be there was going something wrong with the floppy file transport. The new idea was to install the USB ports because on the web there was someone who had software
that should be able to use the USB port under DOS. And you think it worked?
There is an other man in Germany who is working with transputers. I contacted him to try the software get working. He reported YES! here it is going. At that moment I got somewhat
angry, disappointed and had the idea to stop the whole project. Next day, however I decided that I had to find a good ISA computer and then another try.
You have to know that in the building where the robot people have the meetings, there is another -little- group having a meeting at the same time next door. They have the name
"Artificial intelligence" whatever that may be. When I was there, I visited the meeting of those people. Then I was asked "who are you and what are you doing". I told the story
of my problems and then, one man raised his hand and said: "I will give you a good ISA slot computer". And that is what he did !! More on this in the hardware chapter.
He and I realized that there should be software with more documentation to make good use of the compiler. At this moment several urgent things happened so that I had not any time
to do anything to the project. But that man is busy with controllers too and he thought those things are funny. He started a search on the web and found the original software set
of Inmos. So not only the compiler but all docs too.
After two weeks he sent me this mail:
Problem solved !!
Indeed, the compiler is running without any errors or even warnings.
Now it is my turn to go on with the project.
May be you want to know where to find the software. Here you can find it:
Compiler software >