Subject: Flex'09 User Group Newsletter v1n04
Hello to all,

This is FLEX'09 User Group Newsletter, Volume 1, Number 4!
Dated 19970528, get used to the ISO date format folks, year 2000 is near!

Welcome to the new members!
First the boilerplate introduction:

My name is Ian Blythe and I am already known to several of you
with some private messages, however to those who have not heard
from me, I have picked your names from various sources as having 
a continuing interest in the TSC 6809 FLEX operating System.

This year is the 20th Birthday of Flex (1977-1997 - so let's join
together and share our knowledge and enthusiasm for Flex.

If you do not wish to be emailed in the future on this subject,
please let me know, otherwise I welcome your thoughts on this.


Well, we have a logo!

There are some new sections in this newsletter, look out for them!

Does anyone have any stories of the history of FLEX or the software
for FLEX? Dave?

The collection of FLEX software is progressing well, this is what
I have or have received already:

Title                             SW  DOC   stat
FLEX User Guide                   +    Y     -
FLEX Advanced Programmers Guide   +    Y    PDF
FLEX Utilities                    Y    Y    OCR
FLEX Debug                        Y    Y    PDF
FLEX Diagnostics                  Y    Y    OCR
FLEX Assembler (ASMB)             Y    Y    OCR
FLEX Relocating Assembler         Y    Y    PDF
FLEX Linking Loader               Y    Y    OCR
FLEX XBASIC                       Y    Y    OCR
FLEX Editor                       Y    Y    PDF
FLEX Sort/Merge                   Y    Y    OCR
FLEX Fortran 77                   Y    Y    OCR
Dynamite                          Y    Y    PDF
Autotask V4.0                     Y    Y     -
DynaCalc                          Y    Y     -
Introl C                          Y    Y     -
McCosh C                          Y    Y    OCR
Telecon Systems C                 Y    Y     -
CRASMB                            Y    Y    PDF
PL/9                              Y    Y    OCR
MACE                              Y    Y    OCR
XMACE                             Y    Y    OCR
ASM05                             Y    Y    OCR
Screditor III                     Y    Y    OCR
Stylograph                        Y    -     -
Stylograph Spelling Checker       Y    Y    OCR
Omegasoft Pascal                  -    -     - 
RMS                               Y    Y    OCR
Whimsical Compiler                Y    Y     -
PAT Text Formatter                Y    Y     -
PIE Editor                        -    -     -
Esther                            -    -     -
DynaSpell                         -    Y     -

SW   = I have a copy of the program
Doc  = I have a copy of the manual
stat = OCR, scanned, OCR'd and under checking. This takes a lot of time!
       PDF, available in Adobe PDF format
        - , in the queue to be scanned... or not got!
If anyone can supply me the missing parts I would be grateful, please
let me know by email.

*****                    Also                         ******
***** If you have anything that is *NOT* on this list ******
*****        let me know and send me a copy!          ******

The manuals in PDF are available on request. Email me and specify if you
would prefer MIME- or uu- encoding. I will also PKZip the PDF before
encoding it.

Many thanks to Ron Anderson who has scanned the McCosh C Manual for us.

As a reminder, files on the CD-ROM (and FTP) are intended to be available
in the following formats:
FLEX binary files
FLEX binary files in S1S9 format
FLEX source files in ASCII text, wherever possible.
FLEX Disk images, compatible with the emulators (see below).

Also, Michael Evenson has written a 6800 FLEX Emulator for W95/NT.
This is available as shareware, with the registered version offering
more features. Michael has given his approval to have the unregistered
version on the CD-ROM.
Michael also sent me 10 FLEX DSK files (as used by the emulators) full
of 6800/6809 software. Many thanks! this is an excellent way to transfer
files and it's one of the formats selected for the CD-ROM.
I am looking for WIN3.1/DOS versions of the MAD/DISTILL/INJECT tools for
making and handling DSK files. Ben William's version only works in a W95
DOSbox and I only have part time access to a W95 machine.
Can anyone help?

Now, imagine my surprise when I tried to execute Ben Williams' W95 FLEX
emulator on my Win3.1 system, it worked! (I have WIN32s 1.3 installed).
However Graham Trott has found an error in the implementation of the BGT
instruction in this emulator, so there will be a revision coming soon.
Ben has told me that this will be even more W95 specific, so if you are
still running W3.1/Win32s, go get NOW!

Come on chaps, how about a FLEX emulator for we Windows 3.1 (+Win32s)
users (and OS/2...)? - W95, Amiga, Linux are all well supported.

I have received several packages with source code for programs in PL/9,
so these will make another directory on the CD-ROM. Thanks to Ron
Anderson and Graham Trott for these programs.

If you have access to the web and need a datasheet or user manual
for the 68xx family, goto:

Fill in the form and add in the following codes for what you need!
M6800/AC   MC6800/D    MC6802/D   M68PRM/D
MC6809/D   MC6809E/D   M6809/AC   M6809PM/AD
M6840/AC   MC6840/D
MC6845/D   MC6845/AC
MC68488/D  MC68488/AC  MC68488UM/AD
MC6854/AC  MC6854/D
MC6859/D   MC6859AD/D

AC=Programming Reference Card
AD=User's Manual

I have requested the information, I have already received copies of the
datasheets for the M6821/40/45/50 and the Programmers Ref cards, however
the M6809(/E) data is back ordered. If we all ask for this, maybe it will
be reprinted more quickly! My copies of the 6809 data are getting a bit
worn, so a new copy will be nice for my library.

Could someone send me a copy of a schematic for some SS-50 and SS-30
cards? I'd like to try scanning them through Adobe Capture to see if
we can go straight to PDF.

Did anybody use a MODEM in the early 80's to call the FLEX BBSs in the
USA? I remember two; (having called them at 300 baud from the UK :)
68MicroJournal, and FLEXNET. Where are these now? and what happened
to all the programs on them? Did YOU ever call these BBSs and get the
files? I will try to dig out the telephone numbers, however I suspect
the numbers have now been reallocated...

Unfortunately, for space reasons, I'm going to have to hold off the
summaries of the source code for FLEX utilities I have received so far
to the next newsletter...
So this gives you even more time to send me those sources!
I also have a couple of FLEX disks with utilities and their sources
from the 68MicroGroup of the UK. I'll catalog these as well...


"Oh and is anybody local to MIT's electronics and ham radio flea?
If you go, please look out for any FLEX stuff!"
From (c) Fred Carter:
>Although I do not get to all the "Flea at MIT" meetings, I get to most
>I haven't seen any 6809 stuff in a couple years, and I've never seen
>any SS-50 equipment,  I'll make an extra effort to rummage through

Thanks Fred, there must still be a lot of boxes and cards out there
somewhere! We as a group need to grab what we can, there are already
some signs that the older computers are becoming 'collecter's items'
with the associated rise in prices...

From (c) Dave Shirk:
>FLEX is not totally forgotten - the products are on display in the
>Smithsonian Institute Computer Museum
>in Washington, DC - along side of some SWTPC computers and peripherals. 
>Just thought you should know.

So if anybody is visiting the Smithsonian, look out for it!
I'm not sure these FLEX machines were there when I last visited the
Smithsonian, way back in 1968 :(

From (c) Per Hilton:
>I also have a game from TSC, called "Space Voyage".  This is
>pre-FLEX, but I have ported it to FLEX-09.
>A pretty good full screen editor called "PS" may also be digged up.
>I will contact the author and try to get the source files.  In my
>opinion it outperforms all other FLEX text editors I have seen.
>Two self-written utilities may be of interest:
>acat.cmd	sorting version of cat
>getfree.cmd	finds all free sectors on a floppy,
>		arranges them sequentially.  

Wow, I've never seen any games for FLEX! and maybe we're going to
have some competition over which is the best screen editor for FLEX!
Please send me what you can!

Keep those messages coming!

This section will give details of all copyright clearances (ie public
domain status) of Flex software. I am leaving all the details here
so this section will grow (hopefully) in size until we have covered
all the software published for FLEX.
I am preparing a form to be printed and signed by authors, so could
you all send me your snailmail addresses. This is just so that we as
a group are completely clear on the copyright status of the FLEX
software. Please forgive this, but we really must be very clear on this.
And now, look what's new!

From Dave Shirk (ex TSC): (NEW!)
>As the copyright holder to FLEX - I am giving you permission to do what
>you please - which includes making some bucks - if possible.
>It was a fun time of the computer era which few will never know - so if
>you can share some of that love for 4KB, 8 byte computers - more power 
>to you!
>Just one requirement.  I get notified or a copy of anything you do. You
>have my full support! 

You bet Dave! you will be kept informed on all our progress. And whew!
without the approval for FLEX itself we really would have a problem...
Many, many thanks Dave.

From Bud Pass: (NEW!)
>Any FLEX or COCO software that I wrote that you have in your possession
>may be freely distributed without restriction. I hereby place it in the
>public domain.

Many thanks Bud, if you have a copy of any software written by Bud,
please let me know.

From Dale L. Puckett: (NEW!)
>Any software that I wrote that you have in your possession may be freely
>distributed without restriction. I hereby place it in the public domain.
>This includes Esther and DynaSpell and any other programs I published
>through FHL for FLEX (6800 and 6809) [and the Coco].

Many thanks Dale, Dynaspell I have, but not Esther. Does anybody have a
copy that they can send me (and the manual)?

From Tom Crosley (PIE editor): (NEW!)
>Any 6800/6809 software that I wrote that you have in your
>possession may be freely distributed without restriction. I
>hereby place it in the public domain.  This includes the PIE
>editor for FLEX (6800 and 6809), including the Radio Shack
>Color Computer.  No warranties are expressed or implied, and
>no support will be available from the author.

Many thanks Tom, I hope I've got a copy of PIE coming my way.

From (c) Robert Reimiller (OmegaSoft Pascal, now Certified Software)
>>In fact, if you have stopped selling the FLEX program so long ago,
>>would you consider releasing them to public domain (unsupported
>>of course)?
> I don't see any harm in that.

Many thanks Robert, we are still looking for a copy!

From (c) Graham Trott (ex-Windrush, now QuickShow -
>As far as releasing into public domain, I have no problem with this.
>You're welcome to the entire caboodle - if it can be found - MACE, XMACE,
>ASM05 and PL/9 

Many, many thanks Graham. As shown above we have the files, and what is
more we even have a copy of the source to PL/9!
For those who don't know, MACE is an editor/assembler for FLEX, an IDE
before they became fashionable ;)
Look out for some history of FLEX in the UK in the next newsletter.

From (c) John Spray (Whimsical)
>I would be happy for you to have whimsical in the archive.
>Do you need it on a FLEX diskette? It will be some time before I
>can get that for you as I am currently extending and renovating
>my house

Many thanks John, and good luck with the house! I now have a copy of 
Whimsical and its manual, thanks!

From (c) Chuck Eaker (Forth for Flex, CoCo)
>Any software that I wrote that you have in your possession may be freely
>distributed without restriction. I hereby place it in the public domain.
>This includes the Forth versions for FLEX (6800 and 6809) and the CoCo.

Many thanks Chuck, now does anybody have a copy of these Forths (and
the manuals)?

From (c) Richard Pennington (Introl C, Introl -
>If you can find a copy of Introl-C for FLEX I would be more than happy
>to release it so you can put it on the CD-ROM.
>Unfortunately, we seem to have lost all our copies :)
>P.S. I was actually the guy that originally wrote that beast.

Where to get the FLEX emulators, keep FLEX going without hardware!

From (c) Ben Williams:
For those Win95/Amiga users:
  Complete Win95 Flex Emulator
 Complete Amiga Flex Emulator:

From (c) Wolfgang Schwotzer:
For those of you using Linux, SunOS 4.1.3 or Ultrix 4.4 (with GCC) get:

We all seem to be running FLEX on a wide variety of 6809-based systems
from SS50-based originals to standard boards to full custom systems.
Let's share this information as it shows just how a 20 year old
operating system can still be alive today!

From (c) Reinert H.G. Mueller:
>It is a very complete Eltec EUROCOM II system, including different
>frame grabbers (one of them with a TMS 34010 processor), 8" floppies,
>5" floppies, 200 MByte harddisk with SCSI adapter, PAL-video-output,
>and so on...

From (c) Ulrich Boetzel:
>I still have a running Eurocom II system with 2x5.25"-floppies,
>640kbytes of RAM, an installed board with a self-build real-time-clock.
>I have installed also a 16550-UART to have a serial connection to a PC
>(or optional via a 8-bit-parallel printer-port). The PC is used as
>mass-storage and is used as terminal for the Eurocom II.

The Eurocom II boards seem to be very popular in Germany, who makes
these? and are they still available?

Me? my system is a complete homebrew system (as defined in the days when
homebrew meant more than bolting together a PC). I used the SAM device
a la CoCo/Dragon, but only as a cheap DRAM controller/decoder. So 64K of
DRAM, 16K EPROM + 4 paged 16K EPROMs (instant loading FLEX!), ACIA, Disk
controller (the SY6591 the 1791 with the Motorola bus - spares available
anyone?) and VIA for timing and page/drive selects.
Built around 1984 and still running!

More systems next newsletter!

Items wanted or available:
Ron Kneusel ( writes:
>I've a SWTPc 6809 system at home geared for UniFlex. I'd love to get
>FLEX running on it.  I even have a 5.25" controller and a bunch of FLEX
>disks but the monitor ROM won't boot anything but the 8" controller.

Many thanks to Egbert Jan van den Bussche for replying to Ron, I hope that
Ron now has FLEX running!

One of our Group members has a "huge" store of 6809 related hardware.
Contact me if you'd like to know more, or if you have an urgent need.
I'll put you in touch with him.

From Lars_Björklund:
>P.S isn't +++ the wake up signal to hayes modem ?

From Ron Anderson:
>I will have to proofread each page at least three or four times, 
>I guess, because I found lots of "typos" on a second reading.
>Someone said the Apple Newton people with their writing pad for text
>entry called them "writeos" rather than typos.  I guess the OCR
>software makes "reados"??

From Reinert H. G. Mueller:
>P.S.: Found some undocumented 6809 assembler opcodes:

>BAH     branch and hang
>BBBF    branch on bit bucket full
>BCF     branch on chip box full
>BF      blow fuses
>BOHP    bribe operator for higher priority
>BSST    backspace and stretch tape
>CUN     cancel all user numbers
>EMW     emulate maytag washer
>ERD     eject removable disk
>EXOI    execute operator immediately
>IA      illogical and
>KCE     kill consultant on error
>MST     mount scotch tape
>MVLR    MoVe and Lose Record
>PDM     play drum memory
>PLSC    Perform Light Show on Console
>PS      Print and Smear
>RPB     Read Print and Blush
>RCASD   Read Card And Scramble Data
>RFSC    Read Feed and Shred Card
>RIG     Read Inter-record Gap
>RSD     Read and Shuffle Deck
>RWRT    Read While Ripping Tape
>SD      Scatter Deck
>SPD     SPin dry Disk
>SSD     Seek and Scar Disk
>UER     Update and Erase Record

>(by Andrew Mossberg, North Miami Beach, Florida)
>Some of them I was using a lot..... :-)"

Whoops! open mouth, insert foot... My sincere apologies to John Spray,
author of Whimsical, I inadvertly entered his name as John Snow in the
last newsletter. (I suspect as the UK elections were on at the time
and Mr Snow is a newsreader on UK TV, and another TV ex-reporter had
just been elected as MP on an anti-sleaze ticket!). Apologies again

Next edition *will* include the list of FLEX utility software sources 
as promised, will your routines be there? Coming up soon!
And by then I hope to have the first home page of the FLEX User Group
on the World Wide Web, courtesy of the space provided by CompuServe.


Well that's the fourth newsletter. Bigger and better (I hope).
I appreciate all feedback and inputs, help keep the newsletter growing!
As ever if you hear of any FLEX software or systems being junked or
scrapped, please save it for us. I am collecting as much as I can.
I'm always looking for manuals, any condition, photocopy or not, as long
as the copy is clean and can be scanned.

Best regards to all

Ian Blythe
1 Domaine Ste Croix   +++FLEX
13710 FUVEAU          +++User
FRANCE                +++Group (Coordinator)

Copyright (c) 1997 Ian P. Blythe.  All Rights Reserved.

This newsletter may be further distributed provided that it is copied
in its entirety, including the newsletter number at the top and the
copyright and contact information at the bottom.
                All trademarks are acknowledged.
words are but mine own, I speaketh not for another