Phobos PHOBOS reference material

Introduction

This page contains links to reference material that has been used in the development of PHOBOS. It is useful, and sometimes essential, in understanding how and why something is done in a particular way.

General documents

This section contains various documents that provide background technical information, or that explain some particular aspect of the hardware or software.

Description Link
This is a document, written by Bob Eager, which describes and explains the format of DOS .EXE files. This format is used for compiled programs in PHOBOS, and indeed for the PHOBOS kernel itself.
This is the PC-DOS 7.0 Technical Update, a technical reference document which applies equally to MS-DOS and PC-DOS. It contains details of disk data structures, as well as full details of all system calls (including direct disk access). Only some of the information is relevant to PHOBOS.
This is a document, written by Bob Eager, which is a tutorial on the inner workings of the FAT file system. This format is currently used for disks in PHOBOS.

Data sheets

This section contains copies of hardware data sheets. In the main, these are for integrated circuits that are no longer used, but because equivalent (and compatible) functionality is provided by modern chipsets, they provide a good source of programming information.

Description Link
This is the actual Intel data sheet on the Intel 8259a interrupt controller chip. Although this chip is no longer used, its functionality is included in all modern chipsets. This is useful for checking obscure points not covered by some reference books.
This is the actual Intel data sheet on the 82C54, a later version of the 8253 timer chip. The functionality of this chip is included in most modern chipsets.
This is the actual Intel data sheet on the 8237a, a later version of the 8237 Direct Memory Access (DMA) chip. The functionality of this chip is included in most modern chipsets.
This is the actual Motorola data sheet on the MC6845 video controller. This is the chip on which all later video controller chips are based, so all basic functions are described here.
This is the actual Intel data sheet on the 82077 diskette controller chip, successor to the 8272 chip used in early PCs. Although neither chip is used any more, its functionality is included in all modern chipsets. This is useful for checking obscure points not covered by some reference books. A data sheet on the broadly similar NEC μPD765 chip is also useful.

Books

These books are useful for technical and background information.

Operating Systems: Design and Implementation, by Andrew S. Tanenbaum, published by Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0136373313.
This is the book on Minix. Look at sections 2.2.8 and 2.5.3. for information about message passing. There is a link here to the entry on Amazon; you may find it hard to search for as they have spelled his name wrong! There are also other editions.
The Indispensable PC Hardware Book, by Hans-Peter Messmer, published by Addison Wesley. ISBN 0201596164.
This is a useful technical reference, despite a number of misprints. There is a link here to the entry on Amazon.

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Last updated: 16 Oct 2010