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

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

NeoOffice 2014.7 - Mac-tailored, OpenOff...
NeoOffice is a complete office suite for OS X. With NeoOffice, users can view, edit, and save OpenOffice documents, PDF files, and most Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents. NeoOffice 3.x... Read more
DesktopLyrics 2.6.6 - Displays current i...
DesktopLyrics is an application that displays the lyrics of the song currently playing in "iTunes" right on your desktop. The lyrics for the song have to be set in iTunes; DesktopLyrics does nothing... Read more
Ember 1.8.3 - Versatile digital scrapboo...
Ember (formerly LittleSnapper) is your digital scrapbook of things that inspire you: websites, photos, apps or other things. Just drag in images that you want to keep, organize them into relevant... Read more
Apple iTunes 12.1 - Manage your music, m...
Apple iTunes lets you organize and play digital music and video on your computer. It can automatically download new music, app, and book purchases across all your devices and computers. And it's a... Read more
LibreOffice 4.4.3 - Free, open-source of...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
FoldersSynchronizer 4.2.1 - Synchronize...
FoldersSynchronizer is a popular and useful utility that synchronizes and backs-up files, folders, disks and boot disks. On each session you can apply special options like Timers, Multiple Folders,... Read more
Simon 4.0.2 - Monitor changes and crashe...
Simon monitors websites and alerts you of crashes and changes. Select pages to monitor, choose your alert options, and customize your settings. Simon does the rest. Keep a watchful eye on your... Read more
Cocktail 8.1.2 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
Cyberduck 4.6.4 - FTP and SFTP browser....
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
Herald 5.0.2 - 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

Playworld Superheroes Review
Playworld Superheroes Review By Tre Lawrence on January 30th, 2015 Our Rating: :: HERO CRAFTINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s all about the imagination, fighting bad creatures — and looking good while doing so.   | Read more »
Join the SpongeBob Bubble Party in this...
Join the SpongeBob Bubble Party in this New Match 3 Bubble Poppin’ Frenzy Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 30th, 2015 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Handpick Review
Handpick Review By Jennifer Allen on January 30th, 2015 Our Rating: :: TANTALIZING SUGGESTIONSiPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad Handpick will make you hungry, as well as inspire you to cook something... | Read more »
Storm the Halls of Echo Base in First St...
Storm the Halls of Echo Base in First Star Wars: Galactic Defense Event Posted by Jessica Fisher on January 30th, 2015 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Contradiction Review
Contradiction Review By Tre Lawrence on January 30th, 2015 Our Rating: :: SPOT THE LIEiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Contradiction is a live action point and click adventure that’s pretty engaging.   Developer: Tim Follin... | Read more »
Unlock Sunshine Girl in Ironkill with th...
Unlock Sunshine Girl in Ironkill with this special 148Apps code Posted by Rob Rich on January 29th, 2015 [ permalink ] Robo-fighter Ironkill has been out on iOS a | Read more »
Crossroad Zombies Review
Crossroad Zombies Review By Jordan Minor on January 29th, 2015 Our Rating: :: CROSSWALKING DEADiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Crossroad Zombies is a rough draft of a cool genre mash-up.   | Read more »
Blood Brothers 2 – Tips, Cheats, and Str...
War is hell: Is it the kind of hell you want to check out? Read our Blood Brothers 2 review to find out! Blood Brothers 2, DeNA’s follow-up to the original Blood Brothers, is an intriguing card collecting / role-playing / strategy hybrid. There’s... | Read more »
Blood Brothers 2 Review
Blood Brothers 2 Review By Nadia Oxford on January 29th, 2015 Our Rating: :: AN AGGRAVATING RELATIVEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Blood Brothers 2 is built on a simple, solid foundation, but its free-to-play system... | Read more »
I AM BREAD, the Toast of the Town, is Ro...
Have you ever dreamt of being deliciously gluten-y? Do you feel passionate about Rye and Wheat? The guys at Bossa Studios do and that is why they are bringing I AM BREAD to iOS soon. The loafy app will feature all the new content that is being... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Intel Aims to Transform Workplace With 5th-Ge...
Intel Corporation today announced the availability of its 5th generation Intel Core vPro processor family that provides cutting-edge features to enable a new and rapidly shifting workplace. To meet... Read more
iOS App Sharalike Introduces New Instant Smar...
Sharalike slideshow and photo management software for iOS, is making it easier than ever to create shareable meaningful moments with its new instant SmartShow technology. Staying organized is a goal... Read more
Apple Becomes World’s Largest Smartphone Vend...
According to the latest research data from Strategy Analytics, as global smartphone shipments grew 31 percent annually to reach a record 380 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014. Apple became... Read more
Cut the Cord: OtterBox Resurgence Power Case...
Dead batteries and broken phones are two of the biggest issues for smartphone users today. Otterbox addresses both with the new Resurgence Power Case for Apple iPhone 6, promising to make those panic... Read more
13-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 13″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for $200 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 2.6GHz/128GB Retina MacBook Pro: $1199.99 save $100 - 13″ 2.6GHz/... Read more
15-inch 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for...
 B&H Photo has the 15″ 2.5GHz Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $2319.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $180 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Back in stock: Refurbished iPod nanos for $99...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 16GB iPod nanos available for $99 including free shipping and Apple’s standard one-year warranty. That’s $50 off the cost of new nanos. Most colors are... Read more
Apple lowers price on refurbished 256GB MacBo...
The Apple Store has lowered prices on Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs, now available for up to $200 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included... Read more
New Good Management Suite Simplifies Enterpri...
Good Technology has announced the availability of the Good Management Suite, a comprehensive cross-platform solution for organizations getting started with mobile business initiatives. Built on the... Read more
15-inch 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pro (refurbishe...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished previous-generation 15″ 2.0GHz Retina MacBook Pros available for $1489 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant- Retail Sales (...
**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
Event Director, *Apple* Retail Marketing -...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global engagement strategy and team. Delivering an overarching brand Read more
At-Home Chat Specialist- *Apple* Online Stor...
**Job Summary** At Apple , we believe in hard work, a fun environment, and the kind of creativity and innovation that only comes about when talented people from diverse Read more
SW QA Engineer - *Apple* TV - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** The Apple TV team is looking for experienced Quality Assurance Engineers with a passion for delivering first in class home entertainment solutions. **Key Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions(US) - Ap...
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
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.