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

A Better Finder Rename 10.00b1 - File, p...
A Better Finder Rename is the most complete renaming solution available on the market today. That's why, since 1996, tens of thousands of hobbyists, professionals and businesses depend on A Better... Read more
CrossOver 14.1.6 - Run Windows apps on y...
CrossOver can get your Windows productivity applications and PC games up and running on your Mac quickly and easily. CrossOver runs the Windows software that you need on Mac at home, in the office,... Read more
Printopia 2.1.14 - Share Mac printers wi...
Run Printopia on your Mac to share its printers to any capable iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. Printopia will also add virtual printers, allowing you to save print-outs to your Mac and send to apps.... Read more
Google Drive 1.24 - File backup and shar...
Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé, or... Read more
Chromium 45.0.2454.85 - Fast and stable...
Chromium is an open-source browser project that aims to build a safer, faster, and more stable way for all Internet users to experience the web. Version 45.0.2454.85: Note: Does not contain the "... Read more
OmniFocus 2.2.5 - GTD task manager with...
OmniFocus helps you manage your tasks the way that you want, freeing you to focus your attention on the things that matter to you most. Capturing tasks and ideas is always a keyboard shortcut away in... Read more
iFFmpeg 5.7.1 - Convert multimedia files...
iFFmpeg is a graphical front-end for FFmpeg, a command-line tool used to convert multimedia files between formats. The command line instructions can be very hard to master/understand, so iFFmpeg does... Read more
VOX 2.6 - Music player that supports man...
VOX is a beautiful music player that supports many filetypes. The beauty is in its simplicity, yet behind the minimal exterior lies a powerful music player with a ton of features and support for all... Read more
Box Sync 4.0.6567 - Online synchronizati...
Box Sync gives you a hard-drive in the Cloud for online storage. Note: You must first sign up to use Box. What if the files you need are on your laptop -- but you're on the road with your iPhone? No... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 4.1.4 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more

Zen Brush 2 (Entertainment)
Zen Brush 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Entertainment Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Zen Brush 2 is a drawing app focused on the strong yet beautiful feel of the East Asian ink brush. | Read more »
NetNewsWire (News)
NetNewsWire 4.0.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: News Price: $3.99, Version: 4.0.0 (iTunes) Description: Follow the Web NetNewsWire 4, completely written from the ground up for iPhone. NetNewsWire is the best way to keep up with the... | Read more »
Huzzah! Farming Simulator 16 Supports Cl...
As though it weren't difficult enough to resist the siren call of Farming Simulator 16, now it's been updated with cloud saves - so you can jump between devices without missing any of that precious crop-harvesting time. [Read more] | Read more »
Don't Starve: Pocket Edition Finall...
I've made no effort to hide my enjoyment of Don't Starve: Pocket Edition, but I will admit I was a tiny bit disappointed that it was only available for the iPad. Well nuts to that, because Klei Entertainment has made it universal! [Read more] | Read more »
Goat Simulator Wasn't Enough? Then...
If you just didn't get enough goat in Goat Simulator - or if you've been wanting to play a simulated MMO as a microwave - then you're in luck! Goat Simulator MMO Simulator is out now, and it's a game about simulated goats in simulated MMOs. Plus... | Read more »
You Can Play Madfinger Games' Unkil...
Madfinger Games - probably best known for the Dead Trigger series - has officially launched their newest zombie shooter (that isn't called Dead Trigger), named Unkilled. [Read more] | Read more »
KORG iELECTRIBE for iPhone (Music)
KORG iELECTRIBE for iPhone 1.0.1 Device: iOS iPhone Category: Music Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0.1 (iTunes) Description: ** 50% OFF Special Launch Sale - For a Limited Time **The ELECTRIBE reborn in an even smaller form A full-fledged... | Read more »
Toca Life: City Just Got a Bunch of New...
Toca Life: City is Toca Boca's most popular app (number 1 in 47 different countries, apparently), and it's just had an update that adds a bunch of new content. [Read more] | Read more »
My Country 3D is More About Cities than...
My Country 3D is an upcoming city builder from Game Insight that looks pretty decent - although the name seems a tad out of whack for a city builder. Ah well, it is what it is. [Read more] | Read more »
I am Bread (Games)
I am Bread 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: ‘I am Bread’ is the latest quirky adventure from the creators of 'Surgeon Simulator', Bossa Studios. This isn't the best thing... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Near-Office Input Functionality Virtually Any...
Today Logitech introduced the Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard and the Logitech M535 Bluetooth Mouse, giving users the freedom to work on any device, most anywhere. According to... Read more
College Student Deals: Additional $100 off Ma...
Take an additional $100 off all MacBooks and iMacs at Best Buy Online with their College Students Deals Savings, valid through September 4, 2015. Anyone with a valid .EDU email address can take... Read more
2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, includes...
Adorama has the 2.8GHz Mac mini available for $988, $11 off MSRP, including a free copy of Apple’s 3-Year AppleCare Protection Plan. Shipping is free, and Adorama charges sales tax in NY & NJ... Read more
Will You Buy An iPad Pro? – The ‘Book Mystiqu...
It looks like we may not have to wait much longer to see what finally materializes as a new, larger-panel iPad (Pro/Plus?) Usually reliable Apple product prognosticator KGI Securities analyst Ming-... Read more
eFileCabinet Announces SMB Document Managemen...
Electronic document management (EDM) eFileCabinet, Inc., a hosted solutions provider for small to medium businesses, has announced that its SecureDrawer and eFileCabinet Online services will be... Read more
WaterField Designs Unveils American-Made, All...
San Francisco’s WaterField Designs today unveiled their all-leather Cozmo 2.0 — an elegant attach laptop bag with carefully-designed features to suit any business environment. The Cozmo 2.0 is... Read more
Apple’s 2015 Back to School promotion: Free B...
Purchase a new Mac or iPad at The Apple Store for Education and take up to $300 off MSRP. All teachers, students, and staff of any educational institution qualify for the discount. Shipping is free,... Read more
128GB MacBook Airs on sale for $100 off MSRP,...
B&H Photo has 11″ & 13″ MacBook Airs with 128GB SSDs on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/128GB MacBook Air: $799.99, $100 off MSRP... Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro (refurbished) avai...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros available for $829, or $270 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.... Read more
27-inch 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679, save $...
B&H Photo has the 27″ 3.2GHz iMac on sale for $1679.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Customer Support P...
Job Description: Customer Support Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the Read more
*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Repair Techn...
Simply Mac is the greatest premier retailer of Apple products expertise in North America. We're looking for dedicated individuals to provide personalized service and Read more
Simply Mac *Apple* Specialist- Service Repa...
Simply Mac is the greatest premier retailer of Apple products expertise in North America. We're looking for dedicated individuals to provide personalized service and Read more
*Apple* Desktop Analyst - KDS Staffing (Unit...
…field and consistent professional recruiting achievement. Job Description: Title: Apple Desktop AnalystPosition Type: Full-time PermanentLocation: White Plains, NYHot Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.