OZ V4.7 Release Notes

20th. December 2016

Welcome to the latest and greatest edition of OZ for the Cambridge Z88 portable. V4.7 and V4.7.1 are the best releases made to date for this wonderful machine with primary focus on speed, usage transparency and internationalisation. We have used many months of effort in this one since we released V4.6.

OZ has been designed to run from internal slot 0 and external slot 1, also considering extended RAM from 1Mb hybrid (512K/512K FLASH/RAM) cards fitted in slot 1.

Major improvements:

  • the :EPR device (Flash or EPROM cards) is now accessible directly from application file load and save operations (eg. load a document in PipeDream directly from a file area in slot 1)
  • use wildcards in FlashStore to fetch a file to RAM. Type *.pdd and FlashStore will find the first match to be stored to RAM.
  • the ability to install and remove applications in any available RAM in all slots.
  • operating system self update in slot 1 or internal slot (512K FLASH Eprom modification required), via new <>UPD command in Index.
  • ISO 8859-15 (Latin 9) international characters usable everywhere (filenames, dates, etc.)
  • an improved fast 38K serial port transfer protected against transmission overflowing.
  • great improvement for application developers: Allocate until 16K of dynamic memory for your application data processing.

Minor improvements:

  • SHIFT MENU implemented to browse command topics backwards (especially useful in PipeDream!).
  • All Menu/Topic/Help pages have been re-compressed, reducing ROM binary space (no visible changes for end-user). We developed a special compression tool for this purpose alone.
  • ISO printer translation increased to 41. PrinterEd application updated with an ISO translation page able to modify up to 32 translations.
  • ISO printer translation codes re-established for £ and other foreign characters (sequences fetched from all non-UK ROMs) including fixes to superscript, subscript printing.
  • Directories are now displayed in bold in Filer popdown (were tiny caps font before).
  • For developers and technical users: display popup in Index with application or process information (cursor placed on application list or active process then <>NQ command).
  • Hidden hard reset in Index (<>HARD command).
  • Added Hall of fame of OZ developers hidden in main help system (in Index press HELP then cursor left two times).
  • Aligned popup windows of Clock, Alarm and Calendar and Diary, so they all align nicely with each other when suspended.

Internal optimisations:

  • Low level power management code clean-up (NMI and standby entry/resume).
  • Kernel code clean-up by moving data structures like default panel values and error message outside the kernel banks.

Bug fixes:

  • The 'Boot.cli' is now fetched and executed from any RAM or EPR device when booting.
  • Some CLI redirection regressions were fixed, introduced in OZ V4.5.
  • ESC CLI |[ command works again (stopped working since V4.x ROM releases!)
  • OZ has had a bug since V2.2 ROM, but were never visible until the emulators appeared. Strange flickering of <>[] command sequences while typing or using cursor keys. This also appeared on the new FPGA/based Z88 machine... Now fixed!

This version has been extensively tested and is considered the most rock stable OZ release ever! We regard this release as the culmination of many years of work, since it all began with our first reverse-engineering work of OZ v4.0 in 2003.

The OZ ROM is released through the GNU GPL V2 license. All source code is available here. You can always follow our latest development work here: https://bitbucket.org/cambridge/oz


SizeAddedInstallation notesDownload Link
777.9kB

Installable ROM binaries for 512K AMD/AMIC Flash chip in slot 0 or 1. See Readme.txt inside Zip file

 OZ 4.7

511.2kB

 

Installable ROM binaries for 1MB AMD Flash chip in slot 1. See Readme.txt inside Zip file

 OZ 4.7

984kB

 

Source code of OZ v4.7  (Zip file, revision 603c979ac7ae)

https://bitbucket.org/cambridge/oz/get/V4.7.zip
535.1kB

Installable ROM binaries for 512K AMD/AMIC /Microchip/ Macronix Flash chip in slot 0 or 1. OZ v4.7.1RC  (Zip file, revision 046cdda4)

Fetch the files readme.txt, romupdate.bas, romupdate.cli, romupdate.crc from either of the OZ 4.7 downloads inside the Zip file. See Readme.txt.

Note: To install ROM binaries for 1MB AMD Flash chip in slot 1 follow instructions as above. The file area will only show 256K. To reclaim the missing 512K, run OZ, fetch all the files in the file area to the Desktop or another flash card. Format the file area and copy the files back again.  

OZ 4.7.1


OZ V5.0 is already being developed

This release is not the end of the road for OZ on the Cambridge Z88. We are already in the trenches for V5.0. This will be years in the making, but worth the wait. The following list will be the main features we anticipate to get done:

  • Command line shell with all known features such as scripting and full management access to all computer resources.
  • New Elf executable format for stand-alone programs running in RAM. The Shell is based on commands such as cd, mkdir, cp and ls that are all programs dynamically loaded and executed in RAM from the filing system.
  • Shared dynamic link libraries is part of this new infrastructure.
  • All Z88 development tools will support this new format.
  • Integrated developer tools such as disassembler, memory viewer and debugger for programs and applications running in RAM.
  • Zip & Unzip archiving integrated into OZ, available via Filer and Shell
  • Reclaim of deleted file space on Flash Cards (which avoids the procedure of copying all active files to RAM, reformat flash card, then restore files back to Flash card).
  • New screen driver supporting bigger resolutions on new FPGA-based hardware platform and emulators (we assume min. 640x480 and max. 800x480).
  • SD-Card FAT32 filing system support on new FPGA-based hardware.

Work done in V4.7

Below you will see the list of work and features with all the technical details, that we have done for OZ v4.7. Click on the links to read issue contents:

Key Summary T Created Updated Due Assignee Reporter P Status Resolution
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