TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Nubus Slots
Volume Number:6
Issue Number:4
Column Tag:XCMD Corner

Related Info: Slot Manager Resource Manager

Exploring NuBus Slots

By Donald Koscheka, Ernst & Young, MacTutor Contributing Editor

Getting on the NuBus

One of the more salient differences between a personal computer and a mini computer is the bus architecture that is used to pipe data between the processor and its peripherals. Minicomputer designers expend great amounts of energy trying to optimize the system’s bus for throughput and flexibility. Personal computer designers seem to be willing to trade bandwidth for cost and “plug compatibility”. The Macintosh II clearly falls into this latter category. The choice of NuBus could only have been made on economic grounds; technologically it is one of the least inspiring choices possible as is evidenced by the use of byte lanes to correct the fact that NuBus is optimized for intel 808x processors.

While I’m underwhelmed with the choice of NuBus, I have to admit that it’s well documented in yet another outstanding technical reference piece available from Apple, Designing Cards and Drivers for Macintosh II and Macintosh SE (Addison Wesley).

A friend of mine asked if I could put together an XCMD that would return the names of all the NuBus cards plugged into the slots on a Macintosh II. I thought this a reasonable request so I plunged into the Slot Manager documentation in IM Volume V to figure out how to assemble such an XCMD. Like the rest of Inside Macintosh, the Slot Manager is a reference piece; it does a good job of documenting the calls to the slot manager but doesn’t go into a lot of depth on how to use these calls.

I called my friend to tell him that I thought the problem was solvable but that the documentation just didn’t lead to a quick solution. He suggested that I scan “Phil and Dave’s Excellent CD” for some examples on how to use the slot manager. Well the only thing I was able to turn up was a hastily written little application called “getsinfo”. To my chagrin, I couldn’t find any source code to this example so I took out MacNosy and began disassembling the code. Supplementing the information gleaned from MacNosy with some careful TMON walk throughs of the application , I pieced together enough information to write the XCMD.

Listing 1 presents an xcmd that returns a Hypercard list of each card plugged into the slots on a Macintosh II. If no card is plugged into a particular slot, it returns a “Empty Slot”. The information presented here augments what I’ve learned by reading the available documentation and by disassembling some code. Although the code in listing 1 works, it may not be complete or bulletproof so make sure that you use it as a point of embarkation. If you intend to explore NuBus further, I suggest that you get both Inside Macintosh, Volume V and Designing Cards and Drivers. I will be happy to publish any corrections or enhancements to this code if anyone feels inclined to take it out for a spin.

Talking to the Slots

Understanding this code requires a quick refresher course in I/O addressing on the Macintosh. The traditional Macintosh II memory map is depicted in Figure 1. Note that the NuBus cards are addressed just as if they were memory chips located between $90 000 and $EF FFFF. Each slot has up to one megabyte of address space assigned to it. Slot memory starts at location $90 0000 (above the ROM) so the six slots are number from $9-$E rather than from from 1 to 6 as might be expected. When making calls to the slot manager that require a slot number, you’ll want to make sure that the number falls between $9 and $E. Although the Mac II is assigned to slot 0, accessing its memory space will generate a bus error (its memory is assigned from $F0 0000 to the top of memory).

These rules change for 32 bit addressing but the 24-bit mode suffices for illustration.

FIGURE 1. Mac II Memory Model (24 bit addresses )

This memory map goes a long way towards explaining why slots are number starting at 9 rather than at 0 or 1. This doesn’t imply that the slots below 9 are reserved by Apple but rather that slots are numbered to correspond with where they reside in memory.

Communication with the slot manager takes place via a record called the SpBlock (think of it as a parameter block for slots). This “slot block” contains fields that are filled in as needed for a given call (See IM V-439 for more details on the slot block). Typically, you need to supply the slot number in the spSlot field and a slot list identification number in spID. Results are returned in the appropriate field or in the spResult field as needed.

Each NuBus card has associated with it a block of firmware called the declaration ROM. This area of card memory is used to store information that is needed by the card. The declaration ROM is organized into slot resources which act like resources in the Macintosh resource manager (they are related but are not interchangeable). Each sResource has a type and a name. For our purposes, we don’t need to concern ourselves with the exact structure of each sResources. We do need to figure out how to find the card name within the card’s declaration ROM.

Before querying a card in slot x for its name, it’s a good idea to check to see that slot x has a card installed in the first place. In listing 1, this is accomplished using the call to SReadInfo. We pass this call the slot number and the address of an sInfoRecord. Poll the siInitStatusA field of this record to determine whether the card is initialized. If the card is installed and initialized, this field will be set to 0 otherwise it will contain an error message describing why the card couldn’t be initialized. If the slot is empty , siInitStatusA will be set to -300, (smEmptySlot). In our slot loop, we ignore slots that are not installed and set the appropriate entry in the slot name list to “empty slot”.

If the slot is initialized, then we get the spID of the first sResource on the card with the call to sNextTypesRsrc. Now I determined this by disassembling the getsinfo application but it seems to me that sNextRsrc might have been just as useful. Since cards can have multiple functions, they can also have multiple resources. To get the name of each “sub device” you will probably need to walk through the sResource list, thus the call to sNextTypesRsrc.

All I’m really interested in is the spID returned by sNextTypesRsrc. Once gotten, I pass this id to sReadDrvrName to get the name of the driver that handles this card (it seems reasonable to associate the name of the card with the name of the driver that codes for it). This is accomplished with a call to sReadDrvrName although getsinfo appears to take another tack preferring to use SGetCString to extract the card name via a slightly more convoluted scheme. The problem with sGetDrvrName is that it returns the card name as a pascal string preceded by a “.” so that this name can be passed directly to openDriver. No big deal, I simply convert the string back to a “C” string and ignore the first character as it was added to the string anyway.

SlotInfo.c loops for as many slots as it can get information about in the call to SReadInfo. I chose this approach rather than using a for loop (0x09..0x0E) because not all Mac II’s have six slots. Thus slotinfo returns an entry for each slot in the physical machine regardless of whether the slot holds a card or not.

The results of this investigation were interesting. For example, the Apple video card is named the “Toby Frame Buffer” no doubt in honor of its inventor, Toby Frame Buffer. This name may not be too meaningful to the average user so my Hypercard handler for this XCMD converts it to “Apple Video Card”.

Conclusion

At any rate, this is a starting point for anyone that needs to explore programming for NuBus. I hope that the information is mostly correct, but if I’ve made any errors, please be kind enough to pass on the corrections to this magazine so that we can all expand our knowledge of this area.

Ther’s lots of things that you can do once armed with this information such as poll choice locations on the cards, return card status information and, of course, provide a software mechanism for telling the user what’s got under the hood so people don’t have to go around popping their tops every time they want to find out how their Macs are configured.

/****************************************/
/* File: SlotInfo.c*/
/* */
/* Returns a hypercard compatible list */
/* of the names of the cards in each of*/
/* the nuBus slots.*/
/****************************************/

#define UsingHypercard

#include<MacTypes.h>
#include<OSUtil.h>
#include<MemoryMgr.h>
#include<pascal.h>
#include<string.h>
#include “HyperXCmd.h”
#include<HyperUtils.h>
/* obtained from back issues of MacTutor */
#include<SlotMgr.h>

#define SLOT1  0x09

pascal void main( paramPtr )
 XCmdBlockPtr  paramPtr;
{
 short  slotnum  = SLOT1;
 OSErr  err;
 Handle SlotList = NewHandle( 0L );
 short  sResIndex;
 SpBlockslotblok;
 SInfoRecordslotinfo;
 char   slotName[256];
 
 /*** Loop until no more slots found ***/
 
 while( 1 ){
 slotblok.spSlot = slotnum;
 slotblok.spResult = (long)&slotinfo;
 
 if( (err = SReadInfo( &slotblok ) ) == noErr ){
 if( slotinfo.siInitStatusA == 0 ){
 /*** have a card in this slot ***/
 sResIndex = 0;
 
 slotblok.spSlot = slotnum;
 slotblok.spID = sResIndex;
 
 slotblok.spTBMask = 3;
 slotblok.spCategory = 1;
 slotblok.spCType= 0;
 slotblok.spDrvrHW = 0;
 slotblok.spDrvrSW = 0;
 slotblok.spHwDev= 0;
 slotblok.spExtDev = 0;
 err = SNextTypesRsrc( &slotblok );
 
 slotblok.spResult = (long)&slotName;
 
 DebugStr(“\p read name”);
 err = SReadDrvrName( &slotblok );
 
 if( !err ){
 PtoCstr( (char *)&slotName );
 CopyStrToHandle( (char *)&(slotName[1]), SlotList );
 }
 
 AppendCharToHandle( SlotList, ‘\r’ );

 }
 else
 pStrToField( “\pEmpty Slot”, ‘\r’, SlotList );
 
 slotnum++;
 }
 else
 break;
 }
 AppendCharToHandle( SlotList, ‘\0’ );
 paramPtr->returnValue = SlotList;
}

Listing 1. SlotInfo.c XCMD

 
AAPL
$116.47
Apple Inc.
+0.16
MSFT
$47.98
Microsoft Corpora
-0.72
GOOG
$537.50
Google Inc.
+2.67

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Cobook 3.0.7 - Intelligent address book....
Cobook Contacts is an intuitive, engaging address book. Solve the problem of contact management with Cobook Contacts and its simple interface and powerful syncing and integration possibilities.... Read more
StatsBar 1.9 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6 - FTP and SFTP browser. (F...
Cyberduck is a robust FTP/FTP-TLS/SFTP browser for the Mac whose lack of visual clutter and cleverly intuitive features make it easy to use. Support for external editors and system technologies such... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
Evernote 6.0.1 - Create searchable notes...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
calibre 2.11 - Complete e-library manage...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital... Read more
Herald 5.0.1 - Notification plugin for M...
Note: Versions 2.1.3 (for OS X 10.7), 3.0.6 (for OS X 10.8), and 4.0.8 (for OS X 10.9) are no longer supported by the developer. Herald is a notification plugin for Mail.app, Apple's Mac OS X email... Read more
Firetask 3.7 - Innovative task managemen...
Firetask uniquely combines the advantages of classical priority-and-due-date-based task management with GTD. Stay focused and on top of your commitments - Firetask's "Today" view shows all relevant... Read more
TechTool Pro 7.0.6 - Hard drive and syst...
TechTool Pro is now 7, and this is the most advanced version of the acclaimed Macintosh troubleshooting utility created in its 20-year history. Micromat has redeveloped TechTool Pro 7 to be fully 64... Read more
PhotoDesk 3.0.1 - Instagram client for p...
PhotoDesk lets you view, like, comment, and download Instagram pictures/videos! (NO Uploads! / Image Posting! Instagram forbids that! AND you *need* an *existing* Instagram account). But you can do... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to E...
Ubisoft Gives Everyone Two New Ways to Earn In-Game Stuff for Far Cry 4 Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Golfinity – Tips, Tricks, Strategies, an...
Dig this: Would you like to know what we thought of being an infinite golfer? Check out our Golfinity review! Golfinity offers unlimited ways to test your skills at golf. Here are a few ways to make sure your score doesn’t get too high and your... | Read more »
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Meli...
Dark Hearts, The Sequel to Haunting Melissa, is Available Now Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Meowza! Toyze Brings Talking Tom to Life...
Meowza! | Read more »
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG f...
Square Enix Announces New Tactical RPG for Mobile, Heavenstrike Rivals. Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] With their epic stories and gorgeous graphics, | Read more »
Quest for Revenge (Games)
Quest for Revenge 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The great Kingdom of the west has fallen. The gods ignore the prayers of the desperate. A dark warlord has extinguished... | Read more »
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for Y...
Threadz is a New Writing Adventure for You and Your Friends Posted by Jessica Fisher on November 21st, 2014 [ permalink ] In the tradition of round-robin storytelling, | Read more »
SteelSeries Stratus XL Hardware Review
Made by: SteelSeries Price: $59.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 4.31 out of 5 stars | Read more »
ACDSee (Photography)
ACDSee 1.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Capture, perfect, and share your photos with ACDSee. The ACDSee iPhone app combines an innovative camera, a powerful photo... | Read more »
ProTube for YouTube (Entertainment)
ProTube for YouTube 2.0.2 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $1.99, Version: 2.0.2 (iTunes) Description: ProTube is the ultimate, fully featured YouTube app. With it's highly polished design, ProTube offers ad-free... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $400 with Apple refurbished 2014 1...
The Apple Store has restocked Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping... Read more
New 13-inch 1.4GHz MacBook Air on sale for $8...
 Adorama has the 2014 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook Air on sale for $899.99 including free shipping plus NY & NJ tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. B&H Photo has the 13″ 1.4GHz/128GB MacBook... Read more
Apple Expected to Reverse Nine-Month Tablet S...
Apple and Samsung combined accounted for 62 percent of the nearly 36 million branded tablets shipped in 3Q 2014, according to early vendor shipment share estimates from market intelligence firm ABI... Read more
Stratos: 30 Percent of US Smartphone Owners t...
Stratos, Inc., creator of the Bluetooth Connected Card Platform, has announced results from its 2014 Holiday Mobile Payments Survey. The consumer survey found that nearly one out of three (30 percent... Read more
2014 1.4GHz Mac mini on sale for $449, save $...
 B&H Photo has lowered their price on the new 1.4GHz Mac mini to $449.99 including free shipping plus NY tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this new... Read more
Check Apple prices on any device with the iTr...
MacPrices is proud to offer readers a free iOS app (iPhones, iPads, & iPod touch) and Android app (Google Play and Amazon App Store) called iTracx, which allows you to glance at today’s lowest... Read more
64GB iPod touch on sale for $249, save $50
Best Buy has the 64GB iPod touch on sale for $249 on their online store for a limited time. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free local store pickup (if available). Sale price for... Read more
15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $17...
 B&H Photo has the 2014 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1799.99 for a limited time. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only. B&H will also include free copies of... Read more
New Logitech AnyAngle Case/Stand Brings Flexi...
Logitec has announced the newest addition to its suite of tablet products — the Logitech AnyAngle. A protective case with an any-angle stand for iPad Air 2 and all iPad mini models, AnyAngle is the... Read more
Notebook PC Shipments Rise Year-Over-Year as...
According to preliminary results from the upcoming DisplaySearch Quarterly Mobile PC Shipment and Forecast Report, the global notebook PC market grew 10 percent year-over-year in Q3’14 to 49.4... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC)- Retail S...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager, *Apple* Financial Services...
**Job Summary** Apple Financial Services (AFS) offers consumers, businesses and educational institutions ways to finance Apple purchases. We work with national and Read more
*Apple* Store Leader Program - College Gradu...
Job Description: Job Summary As an Apple Store Leader Program agent, you can continue your education as you major in the art of leadership at the Apple Store. You'll Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.