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Author Topic: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?  (Read 72 times)

blusnowkitty

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Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« on: May 20, 2020, 09:05:31 pm »

I recently found a set of disk images for UniPlus UNIX so I thought I'd give it a try. Unfortunately the boot disk appears to be serialized to another Lisa as it just gives me an error along the lines of "Not the right computer" and ejects the disk. Does anyone know how to deserialize the boot disk, or better yet does anyone have a set of already deserialized images?
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2020, 10:45:35 pm »

Never mind on that - I found an old post by Ray showing how to patch the boot disk. I also found an installation guide over here: http://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/unisoft/UniPlus+_System_V_Installation_Instructions.html

However, the installer hangs at Step D:

Code: [Select]
D. Re-insert the boot ("A") diskette and enter "sunix". After a
while the diskette will be ejected and you will be asked to
insert the "root filesystem", which is the "B" diskette. Do so,
and then hit return.

You will be asked for the location of the "swap" area. Indicate
"p" and hit Return. Then respond with "0" and hit Return when
asked for the number.

Unix will now start operation! You will see the "#" Unix prompt.
However, it is a very limited system at this point.

Instead of the UNIX prompt, I only get a solid block cursor. No disk activity at all from my X/Profile or floppy, and no keyboard input is accepted. The only thing that is accepted is the power button. Is it possible that there's another serialization check it's failing at?
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jamesdenton

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 06:20:11 am »

As far as I remember, that's the only check.

Feel free to try this disk image instead:

https://github.com/arcanebyte/uniplus/blob/master/boot-serialization-a-serialized.image.zip

This worked from both a FloppyEmu and a real floppy disk.
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rayarachelian

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2020, 09:10:08 am »

Yeah, only the installer disk is serialized, it then formats the ProFile and installs the boot block + boot loader within the first 100 blocks (or perhaps it's (0x100=256 blocks). Once running UniPlus cannot access the first 100 blocks and thus you cannot copy the installed OS using dd. That's the whole scheme.

UniPlus was one of the very first software to use activation. Although I've never seen it myself, looking at the docs, the boot installer disk when virgin would prompt you to call a phone number and read some values to them - those values were based on your Lisa's serial number, likely encrypted with the rotor algorithm, I'm not sure they actually used DES back then, but it's possible they did.

Then the person at the other end would presumably give you a one time activation key, and the boot disk would modify itself to your Lisa and not allow further installs except to this one specific Lisa.

There is source code for UniPlus up on bitsavers so you can see the disk drivers and where it skips the first 100 blocks of the disk.
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2020, 07:03:23 pm »

Code: [Select]
(C) Copyright 1983 - UniSoft Corporation
    68000 Unix System V - August 1983

Created Fri Jul 13  10:01:43 PDT 1984

UniSoft Systems distribution system release 1.1
Available user memory is 779776 bytes
Microdiskette with 1 head


Where is the swap area?
Enter:  'p' for the builtin disk or a profile disk
'c' for Corvus disk
p
Where will the disk be?
Enter:  '0' for builtin port
'1' for Expansion Slot 1, Bottom Port
'2' for Expansion Slot 1, Top Port
'3' for Expansion Slot 2, Bottom Port
'4' for Expansion Slot 2, Top Port
'5' for Expansion Slot 3, Bottom Port
'6' for Expansion Slot 3, Top Port
0


swapdev = 0x1

2 serial ports

No dice with the above patched disk. Both my efforts and the linked above only get me as far as here in the boot process. After that, nothing - no floppy, no Profile, no keyboard. Just a softlock until I press the power button. I threw the images into IDLE for fun and it hung here as well. The manual also seems to mention the 2/10 and Mac XL most often; maybe UniPlus depends on a weird quirk of the 2/10 that isn't present in the 2/5?
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rayarachelian

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2020, 07:16:15 pm »

No dice with the above patched disk. Both my efforts and the linked above only get me as far as here in the boot process. After that, nothing - no floppy, no Profile, no keyboard. Just a softlock until I press the power button. I threw the images into IDLE for fun and it hung here as well. The manual also seems to mention the 2/10 and Mac XL most often; maybe UniPlus depends on a weird quirk of the 2/10 that isn't present in the 2/5?

I'm pretty sure I had UniPlus working just fine off an X/Profile image on a 2/5 that I got from John of VintageMicros along with the quad port serial card.
Same for the Xenix image. This was a Lisa with a AST RAMstack or whatever it's called that had 1.5M and another RAM card (Apple) with 512K.

Just a thought, how much ram does your Lisa have? Maybe you need more than 768K if that display is correct?
Any weird cards in your Lisa's expansion slots like a SCSI card or something?
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2020, 07:43:08 pm »

I'm pretty sure I had UniPlus working just fine off an X/Profile image on a 2/5 that I got from John of VintageMicros along with the quad port serial card.
Same for the Xenix image. This was a Lisa with a AST RAMstack or whatever it's called that had 1.5M and another RAM card (Apple) with 512K.

Just a thought, how much ram does your Lisa have? Maybe you need more than 768K if that display is correct?
Any weird cards in your Lisa's expansion slots like a SCSI card or something?

Maybe the installer just breaks on a 2/5 but an installed image doesn't? Who knows. I've got a basic 1MB installed and no expansion cards.
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compu_85

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #7 on: Today at 11:34:15 am »

I have a 2/5 (with a 10m Profile) with an original install of UniPlus. It boots up fine with .5mb, and 2mb of ram. (With 2mb it complains the swap partition is too small)

The bootloader on the disk gives the same "Not the right computer" error if I try to load it on a different machine.

https://youtu.be/NpUgwLETvRQ

-J
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #8 on: Today at 12:38:24 pm »

Interesting. So it's not a RAM issue, and it's not a 2/5 issue. I suppose that only leaves a couple culprits left:

- X/Profile emulation could be buggy and not support the UniPlus installer (but how did the vintagemicros guys get it working in the first place?)
- The disk images online are bad
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Lisa2

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #9 on: Today at 03:23:59 pm »

I am not sure how it applies to UniPlus, but I know that Xenix must be patched to work with the X/Profile:

http://sigmasevensystems.com/xpf_xenix.html

Note: This is not due to buggy X/Profile emulation, but the Xenix driver is buggy and has issues with the faster speed of the X/Profile.

HTH,
Rick
« Last Edit: Today at 03:35:18 pm by Lisa2 »
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blusnowkitty

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:27:38 pm »

Unless someone knows what to patch in UniPlus... Anyone got a spare 5MB or 10MB ProFile for sale? :D

I do actually want one. The X/Profile is nice but I feel like something is lost going fully solid state.
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rayarachelian

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Re: Deserializing UniPlus UNIX?
« Reply #11 on: Today at 06:00:30 pm »

UniPlus doesn't need patching to work with the X/ProFile.
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Fate whispers to the warrior, 'You can not withstand the storm.'  The warrior whispers back, 'I am the storm.'
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