THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

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Boletus's picture
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Introduction

this post is the result of a joint effort of me and Applefritter user jwg1962, Jay Graham, to preserve (and try to rebuild) a very small piece of Apple II history.

Our only intent here is to publish the following information and having it indexed by internet search engines so that, if someday, somehow, someone finds the other missing pieces, he will be able to find this post and , maybe, rebuild, together with our parts, the whole software package and let it be accessible to the Apple II enthusiasts community again.

The Story

Jay Graham December 18, 2015 published a post on Applefritter, proudly presenting his "craigslist find": a fully equipped Apple II+.

At that time I was still looking for an affordable Stellation TWO "THE MILL" 6809 card when I finally got one on ebay.

While searching for information and software for the The Mill card, on Google search (nonetheless) I spotted Jays post ; his "find" included a nice REV.C THE MILL 6809 card equipped with an expansion eprom that I've never seen before.

By making some more specific research about Micronetics "MSM-09" I spotted this entry in a MICRO magazine page

and it was mentioned in some Micronetics documentation

So , certainly, the eprom was part of an expensive MUMPS language package for the The Mill card.

Having realized that the THE MILL card is a rare piece of hardware and that there is no sign (is there?) of any Apple II MSM-09 MUMPS software around the net, I subscribed to Applefritter and contacted Jay Graham to share the intent of making a backup copy of the eprom content (eproms can lose data when older that 20 years).

Rightly, Jay, even if he owns an eprom reader, was afraid to pull the chip and possibly ruin it, losing the content forever so I proposed to Jay to send him a disk image with a 6502/6809 mixed software that I wrote to backup the eprom .

The tricky part has been that the eprom is not accessible from the 6502 so mixed 6502/6809 routines had to be synchronized to read the eprom and pass the binary code to Applesoft for storage on the disk.

Jay has been very kind and collaborative, he executed the software and sent me back the result for analysis.

The attempt succeeded and we have a backup of the eprom that I dis-assembled.

From the 6809 dis-assembly it is clear that the eprom is just part of a larger software package and that the large part of it is missing. The eprom is certainly essential to run the whole MUMPS software package because it contains 6809 reset vectors, software initialization entry points and copyright notes but nothing else, being largely empty.

The technical part

The memory is a 2K byte 2716 eprom originally mapped starting at 6809 cpu address $F800 up to $FFFF with the following content:

$F801 to $F842 the copyright string "COPYRIGHT (C) 1981 MICRONETICS DESIGN CORPORATION MSM-APPLE 0100162"
$F8F3 TO $F85B RESET,NMI,SW,IRQ,FIRQ,SWI2,SWI3 "JUMP" to the respective handler routines in ram
$F85F to $FFEF empty
$FFF0 to $FFFF RESET,NMI,SW,IRQ,FIRQ,SWI2,SWI3 vectors

The prayers

1) If anyone has more information about APPLEII MSM-09 MUMPS programming language implementation or any access to the missing parts of this package, please fill free to contact me or Jay here on Applefritter

2) If You own a Stellation Two The Mill card with a filled eprom socket and wish to make a backup of the content just contact me and I'll send You my software disk image.

The side effect

In short, while studing all this and, being curious about MUMPS, since I did not find any Apple II implementation around, I ported the MUMPS V4.06 from the Altair 8800 software repository to Apple II CP/M 2.2 . The Apple II package with some instructions is uploaded to the Asimov ftp site so it should become available as soon as the Asimov repository is updated.

Final note

All the above is just for preservation and study purposes, nothing else.

Thank You Jay!!

Luca Ridarelli

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Luca R.

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jwg1962's picture
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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

and Thank You Luca for preserving a piece of Apple II history. I am going to try the MUMPS port this weekend and I will post how it goes.

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Jay Graham
Apple 2 forever!

gsmcten's picture
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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

Luca and Jay,

I did a Google Search for: "APPLEII MSM-09 MUMPS programming language"
and every site with any info at all was here on Applefritter.

The other "MUMPS" listings were about some Hospital Database. lol

Weird that there's not more info.

Steven Smile

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Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Boletus's picture
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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

UPDATE

I spotted one more Stellation TWO "THE MILL" 6809 card equipped with an optional Micronetics MSM-09 MUMPS expansion (E)prom.
This one reports MSM-Appl-0100003 markings.

By having disassembled the content of Apple Fritter member Jay Graham The Mill Card MSM-09 MUMPS Eprom (thank You Jay!!) and found out that the markings that appear on the Eprom sticker are also replicated in the Eprom code, I'm now almost sure that the number is a serial number and not , maybe, a product code.

My guess is that Micronetics used the Eprom as a sort of software copy protection dongle since there is no software in it .

Luca Ridarelli

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Luca R.

tokabln's picture
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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

Have you ever tried to contact this guy

https://www.linkedin.com/in/bernie-schoch-7a02a820/de

as it seems to be a good information source as he worked for Micronetics as described at his linkedin profile

"MSM-09 was implemented entirely using Motorola 6809 Assembly language as a pure interpreter. The MSM-09 system was implemented as an operating environment allowing for multiprogramming of 'jobs' withing the system. The database portion was implemented as a high-performance B* tree database."

Probably also informative

ftp://ftp.intersys.com/pub/msm/docs/msm44/utility.pdf

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Kind regards from Berlin (Germany)
Torsten aka tokabln

Boletus's picture
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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

Hello tokabln,

I never contacted Mr. Schoch , I'll do it and report.
Thank You for having me pointed to MSM V4.4 documentation that I did'nt have.

Last year I did transfer an Altair 8080 version of CP/M MSM V4.4 to Apple II CP/M 2.2 ; it fits really tight in a 140K Apple II floppy but it fits.
I've been able to execute some commands and it apparently works.

If someone is interested I can provide Apple II CP/M MSM V4.4 image files.

I'll keep You all updated.

Thanks!

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Luca R.

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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

There's one of these cards on eBay right now, though without the Eprom chip...

Stellation Two card

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Statsman1

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Re: THE MILL 6809 and MSM-09 MUMPS programming language (long)

Statsman1 wrote:

There's one of these cards on eBay right now, though without the Eprom chip...

Stellation Two card

SOLD

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Luca R.