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RX/TX subsystem

If your machine has a serial device (often a RS-232 device),
adding the RX/TX subsystem to your kernel can open interesting
possibilities. That subsystem is added through RXTXSUB during
xcomp and requires the following words to be defined by drivers:

RX<?  -- c? f   Check if a character has been received by the
                device. If it has, f=1 and c is the received
                char. Otherwise, f=0.
TX>   c --      Transmit character c to the device.

From these words, The RX/TX subsystem them defines a handful of
extra words, which are listed in the "RX/TX" section of

Some of those words deserve special mention, such as TX[ ]TX and
RX[ ]RX. What those words do is that they temporarily replace
EMIT and KEY? (respectively) to facilitate some processing.

Example: let's say that you have a number on PS that you'd like
to spit, hex-formatted, to TX. What do you do? Re-implement .X
and replace EMIT with TX>? Well, you could so that. Or... you
could do "TX[ .X ]TX".

Other example: You want to give total control of your computer
to the RX/TX link. What do you do? "TX[ RX[". Your keyboard and
screen are now unresponsive, RX/TX has control now. Want to go
back? "]TX ]RX" (from the serial link, of course).

RX/TX tools

Collapse OS also has tools at B10 that you can load at runtime.
The loader words for these tools is "RXTX". These tools include:

* A remote shell
* A way to upload binary contents to a Collapse OS remote.
* A XMODEM implementation.
* A blksrv client (see doc/blksrv).

Remote shell

You can control a remote system from Collapse OS using the
"rsh" ( -- ) word. 

When you run "rsh", it will repeatedly poll RX<? and emit
whatever is coming from there and at the same time, poll KEY?
and push whatever key you type to TX>.

You can stop the remote shell by typing CTRL+D (ASCII 4).

Uploading data

You can also upload data to your remote if it runs Collapse OS.
Use the "rupload" word. It takes a local address, a remote
address and a byte count. For example, "$8000 $a000 42" copies'
42 bytes from the local machine's $8000 address and uploads it
to the remote's $a000 address.

When you execute the word, it's doing to remotely (and tempo-
rarily) define helper words and that's going to result in some
gibberish on the screen. Then, it's going to start spitting "."
characters, one per byte uploaded. After that, it's going to
spit two checksum: one for the data received by the remote and
one for the data sent locally. If they match, you're all good.


XMODEM is a simple protocol for reliable data transfer over a
serial line. The reference document for it is titled:

describing the XMODEM and YMODEM File Transfer Protocols

By Chuck Forsberg

On POSIX systems, the tool generally used for it is "lrzsz".
To use with Collapse OS, you'll want to use the rx/sx versions
of it.

Words defined in RXTX that implement the XMODEM protocol are:

MEM>TX  a u --   Send u bytes to TX from addr a.
BLK>TX  b1 b2 -- Send contents of block range b1-b2
RX>MEM  a --     Receive packets into a until EOT
RX>BLK  --       Receive packets into blocks, starting with
                 currently active BLK>, increasing by one when-
                 ever a block is filled.

As it is now, the XMODEM implementation is a bit fragile, but
all the important parts are there. They just need to be

blksrv client

RXTX tools also have words to fetch blocks from and push blocks
to a blk server (see doc/blksrv). These words are:

blksrv<  blk --  Receive remote "blk" from and put it in
                 currently active block.
blksrv>  blk --  Send currently active block to remote "blk".

Collapse OS and its documentation are created by Virgil Dupras and licensed under the GNU GPL v3.

This documentation browser by James Stanley. Please report bugs on github or to

This page generated at 2023-12-05 21:05:04 from documentation in CollapseOS snapshot 20230427.