Section 5.8

Flexowriter Messages Output by Orion Monitor Program.

5.8.0.   Introduction

This section is a list of messages which may be output on the Flexowriter; for this purpose OMP has been divided into five sections.

5.8.1.     Program failures and monitoring on program events.

5.8.2.     Printing produced by 150 instructions.

5.8.3.     Messages in response to directives.

5.8.4.     Message concerned with peripheral incidents.

5.8.5.     Miscellaneous messages.

In this description a message which is preceded by a jobname is indicated by (b) and one preceded by ORION by (o). This name is in fact replaced by TB character if it is the same as the previous name.  The symbol (p) is used to indicate "punch on" messages, i.e. they are punched onto the log tape.

Some of the messages appear on the Flexowriter only.  Some are intended to appear on the Job's monitoring peripheral, but if the job hasn't one then in some cases the message appears on the Flexowriter instead, whereas in other cases the job is halted and the message

(b)    NO MON.PER

is output on the Flexowriter.

The message on the Flexowriter asking the operator to engage a specific device is output in several circumstances,

(b)    ENGAGE SPB*

When this is done the job continues.


5.8.1.   Messages produced on the Flexowriter - Program Events.






















The instruction (or string) causing the event will be output on the next line if the job has no monitoring peripheral.  The job will be suspended in the first four cases and halted in the others.  (In the last four cases RUN will cause the job to continue and in the case of PER.VIOL, ALLOCATE followed by RUN will cause the job to continue - not for magnetic tape).

(b)    TIME UP  5.2.4

is printed if the job has exceeded the time it asked for, the job will then be halted.

Monitoring jumps in Style 2 may produce

(b)     J TO FROM (see 5.2.2)

and other lines giving the last few successful jumps.

These messages are produced only when the job has to be stopped - if a restart has been specified then the restart is entered and no message appears on the Flexowriter.


5.8.2   Messages produced on the Flexowriter by 150 instructions

150 instructions can cause the Program events described in 5.8.1 to occur.

The 150/10 (see 5.3.10) causes one of the following messages, indicating that the job is not going.

























n denotes that an integer may be printed.  In case (1) the job will continue if RUN is given but not in case (2); in (3) a Rerun tape should be loaded; in (4), (5) and (6), the program will continue when any store, or device becomes free or if RUN is given.

The 150/11 produces
(p)   (b)   ABOLD     y    z    n
(p)   (b)   t

informing the operator that the job is abolished.  y is the mill time, z is the peripheral time and t the local civil time (y, z and t being in hours, minutes and seconds).  n denotes an optional integer.  This message may be preceded by a series of lines relinquishing all the peripherals reserved for the job and which devices are now free.

The 150/13 (see 5.3.13) may produce a line of information - it will be terminated by full stop.

150/14 (see 5.3.14) produces two lines; the first is terminated by question mark and the second is

          (b)          ANS

and the Flexowriter is left in the select state so that the operator may type the answer; if not known the NL key is pressed to free the Flexowriter and the job is then suspended awaiting answer.

The 150/16 (see 5.3.16) may produce the content of one register in various formats.

The 150/17 (see 5.3.17) may produce information about the job's directory, e.g.

(b)     CORE 1136   DATUM 512   DRUM 640

(b)     CN  A136   OVR 0

(b)     USED 0.01.51   LEFT 0.01 .53

(b)     MON 3  F

(b)     *SP1   SPB

The 150/20 (see 5.3.20) may produce

(p)     (b)  URG  n

where n is the new urgency.

The 150/24 (see 5.3.24) may produce

if there is a total of 15 branches in the machine; the job is halted.

The 150/30, 33, 34 and 35 instructions (see 5.3.33) produce messages informing the operator of the reservations of peripherals and/or allocation of specific devices.  These are for example

(p)     (b)  RESD *SR2
(p)     (b)  RESD *SP2-SPA
(p)     (b)  *MT2-MTD

The message
(p)     (b)  FLTD *SR3-TRA

informs the operator that the peripheral *SR3 is now reserved as a floating peripheral and TRA is now idle.

Messages asking the operator to do something are terminated by * and those connected with reservation of peripherals are, for example

(b)     LOAD SR MY/DATA/-*
(b)     LOAD MT 36  SCR*
The job continues when this is done.

A message may inform the operator that no device of the required type is free e.g.

(b)     NO MT

The job continues when a device becomes free.

The 150/31 (see 5.3.31) produces a message.  The RLQD message informs the operator which peripheral has been relinquished and which device is now free

(p)     (b)     RLQD *SR2

(p)     (b)     RLQD *MT2-MTC

(p)     (b)     FLTD *SR2-TRC

In some cases OMP will read from the device that had been allocated as though the select button had been pressed; in others the device is disengaged.

The 150/36 (see 5.3.36) produces
(p)     (b)     *SR2 NOW *SR5

informing the operator that the job has given the device a new programmer's peripheral name.

The 150/51 (see 5.3.51) may produce

if the specified semi-built-in program cannot be loaded, the job is then halted.  The message
          BLOGGS0  PRINT IN
is printed when the specified SBIP is loaded on the drum; the job continues.

The 150/5 2 (see 5.3.52) produces
     (p)     (b)     DRUM n
where n is the amount of drum now reserved for the job.

The 150/53 (see 5.3.53) produces
       (p)       (b)       CORE     n m
where n is the amount of core now reserved, and if the datum point has been changed, m is the new datum point.


5.8.3   Messages output on the Flexowriter in response to Directives.

Errors in directives are recognised at two levels, syntactical and semantic.

A Syntactical error (see produces a message containing ERROR and also the directive, in which field the incorrect character, and on which device the incorrect line was read, e.g.
       (b) or (o)       ERROR PRI CHAR½ FIELD 3 TRA

A semantic error (see produces a message containing IMP.OPER or RES.VIOL and also the directive and on which device the incorrect line was read e.g.
       (b)       OUT       RES.VIOL FLX

Semantic errors in ORION directives produce a message containing ERROR and one of DOC NAME, INHIBIT and STATE as the reason for the error e.g
       (o)       ERROR       VOI       DOC NAME FLX

An error causes Primary Input to be switched off and the incorrect line to be forgotten.  If read on a reader it is disengaged.

If a second directive is given and a first directive has not been implemented then the first one is lost; a message is printed e.g.
       (b)       PRI       LOST       TRB

Directive JOB (see, if the job is accepted causes the ACCD information to be printed, e.g.
       (p)       (b)       ACCD 1584 4096
       (p)       (b)       11.23.08
       (p)       (b)       RESD *SR20-TRA
If the job cannot be accepted then the rejected message is given, Primary Input switched off, the reader disengaged and the line forgotten.
       (b)       REJECTED CORE or DATUM or DRUM or READER or 15 JOBS

Directive ABOLISH (see causes the ABOLD information as described for 150/11 in 5.8.2 to be printed.

Directive MONITOR (see may cause the URG message as described for 150/20 in 5.8.2 to be output.

Directive OUTPUTON (see may produce the reservation and allocation message, e.g. RESD *SP1-SPB if a new reservation is made.

Directive ALLOCATE (see will produce one or more of
        (p)       (b)       RESD *SP2-SPB
        (p)       (b)       *CR2-CRB
        (p)       (b)       RLQD       *LP2-LPA
                   (b)       LPB BELONGS TO jobname
                   (b)       NO TR
The job is halted in the last 2 cases.

Directive PRINTOUT (see may produce the content of one register in various formats.  If the message NO MON.PER is output in response to this directive, it will have to be re-input.

Directive DIRENT (see may produce directory information (DIRENT 1 will).  For the form of the printing see 5.8.2 for 150/17 instruction.

Directive RELINQUISH (see will produce a relinquish message, e.g.
        (p)       (b)       RLQD *SR1
        (p)       (b)       RLQD *MT5-MC

Directive ABANDON (see will produce
        (p)       (b)       ABAND    y       z       n
        (p)       (b)       t
the job is abolished.  See 5.3.2 for 150/11.

Directive WRONG (see may produce
        (p)       (b)       RLQD *SR1-TRB
                   (b)       HALTED
        (p)       (b)       RLQD *CRI

Directive UNLOAD (see for a magnetic tape deck produces
        (o)      MTX       UNLOAD Serial-number    ERn
ERn is only printed if the number of errors is non-zero.  The device is then disengaged.

Directive SPACE (see lists the amounts of core, drum and peripherals not allocated to object programs, e.g.
              (o)       CORE     512  1088  1280
              (o)       DRUM     7621  2450
              (o)       IDLE       MTA  MTB  TRB
              (o)       FLOAT    MT

Directive NAMES (see list the jobs in the current order of priority and the semi-built-in programs in the machine e.g.
              (o)       JOBS.  SMITH     CHARLIE  SMITH2
              (o)       SBIPS.  PREADD  PUNCH    PRINT
              (o)       EMPTY

Directive PERIPHERAL (see gives information about the device whether it is allocated or idle e.g.
              (o)       TRA       BELONGS TO       BLOGGS
              (o)       LPB       IDLE
              (o)       TRB       EDU/DATA/7/ABC
For an idle tape deck with a document loaded the information is
              (o)       MTX Serial-number Date NSn PAm Ll
              (o)       document name

Directive VOIDDATE causes Block 0 to be rewritten and the operator is asked to unload the tape (see

Directive REMOTE (see causes e.g.
              (o)       REMOVED PUNCH
to be printed when the specified SBIP's have been removed.


5.8.4 Messages produced on the Flexowriter by Peripheral Incidents. Drum Failures.

OMP repeats drum transfers which read fail.  Transfers are repeated up to five times and if they still fail the job concerned is suspended.

If the repeat is successful the message
        (b)   REPEAT n DRUM a TRCK b WORD c is printed, where n is the number of repeats.  If the 5th repeat is unsuccessful then the above message is followed, by
        (b)   SUSPD

Other failures cause the whole machine to stop - this also happens if there are two distinct failures in quick succession or if a repeated failure occurs in a transfer initiated by OMP.  The message is
        ORION FAILURE DRUM a TRCK b word c where a, b and c are decimal integers giving the address of the failed words.  On the next line some of the letters COAWR (for failure in Core, Outward transfer, Address failure, Write failure and Read failure respectively) are printed, as appropriate, followed by the current and finishing addresses (in decimal) of the transfer.  The machine then comes to a loop stop and an engineer should be called.  The failure message is followed by two lines which are punched on to the log tape to help the log program
        (p)   END

These two lines also are output if there is a core store parity failure and by post mortem. Magnetic Tape Incidents.

When the engage button is pressed OMP tries to read Block 0.  If there is no Block 0 or it is non-standard then a message is output

        (o)  MTX   NEW TAPE
        (o)  MTX   NONSTAND TAPE
Directive SERIALNO or UNLOAD should be typed.

When OMP comes to rewrite Block 0, if the deck is isolated then the message
        (o) or (b)  MTX PERMIT WRITING
is printed.  When Block 0 has been-rewritten OMP outputs
        (o) or (b)  MTX   Serial-number  (Date)  (NS)   (PA)  (L)
        (o) or (b)  (document name)

For those items in brackets only those which have been changed since Block 0 was last written are output (see 5.3.41)

When a tape is to be unloaded OMP outputs
        (o) MTX  UNLOAD serial-number ERn
and disengages the deck.  ERn is printed only if n the number of errors since the tape was last loaded is non-zero.

Peripheral incidents on magnetic tape may produce printing.

       (b)  MTX READ FAIL          Code 1

       (b)  MTX WRITE FAIL         Code 2

       (b)  MTX WRITE INHIBIT     Code 3

       (b)  MTX END OF TAPE      Code 5

       (b)  MTX LAST FAIL            Code 6

       (b)  MTX FAIL                    Code 8

       (o) or (b) MTX DECK FAIL   Code 7

If no restart is specified the job is suspended and SUSPD is printed between the geographical name and the incident message.

There is a facility for use by engineers which prints out details of each entry into OMP's magnetic tape section.  This is that after the message vertical bar is followed several octal integers

        (o) or (b)  MTX Message | a b c d e f

a is the difference between the finishing and starting address, unless this is not sensible in which case it is the finishing address.

b is the starting address

c is D24 to D31 of the interrogation information at the failure.

d is D0 to D7 of the interrogation information at the failure.

e is normally the block address of the failure block, except that at the beginning or end of tape where, for example, it has values like 77772.

f is D0 to D7 of the interrogation information at a subsequent failure, if any, during the automatic repeats.  Slow Peripherals

Peripheral incidents on slow peripherals may produce printing. These are of the form

        (o) or (b) geographical name  Incident(s)

If the incident (or one of them) has no restart then the default action is to halt the job and HALTED is printed between the geographical name and the incident(s).  If there is an incident but no 1 bits have appeared in the interrogation information, then the incident message is omitted.  The setting of the ENGINEER directive (see may be such that extra information is printed.

The possible incidents are listed below.  Those messages terminated by * mean that the operator's or engineer's attention is required.


Paper Tape


Paper Tape


Card reader


Card reader


Card punch or printer


Card Punch or printer


Card punch


Card punch


HPD, EDU or IBM deck


Any device


Any device


Any device

If a peripheral incident occurs on the reader from which Primary Input (i.e. OMP) is reading, then a message is output on the Flexowriter, e.g.
       (o) or (b) TRB OMP PARITY FAIL
Primary Input is switched off, the line forgotten and the reader disengaged.

If the Flexowriter fails while OMP is reading from it, then NL is output and the Flexowriter is left in the select state, so that the line can be repunched.

If a peripheral incident occurs on the monitoring peripheral when OMP is outputting to it, then OMP outputs a failure message on the Flexowriter and then repeats and/or continues outputting the information.

              (b)       LPA       OMP       BUFFER       FAIL

If the failure is of operator type then OMP also disengages the device and when engaged continues.

If the Flexowriter fails while OMP is outputting to it then NL is output and the message repeated.

When the tape on the Flexowriter runs low the message

        Tab       RELOAD       FLX

is output on the Flexowriter which is then disengaged.  Orion 2/1900 Direct Data Link

Peripheral Incidents on this device give rise to similar printing to those for slow peripherals (see

The possible incidents are as follows

        PARITY FAIL             Input and Output

        SHORT TRANSFER   Output


5.8.5.  Miscellaneous Messages

The time and date are output in the form.

       (p)       (o)       13.40.00       7MAY65

The time only may be output every minute and both the time and date every ten minutes (the frequency of this message is controlled by the ENGINEER bits (see

The message

        (b)       IDLE

reminds the operator of the existence of a job which has been waiting for 4 minutes, perhaps for a document to be loaded.  The operator should normally attempt to find out why, and either get it going again or abolish it.

The message


is printed if the parity check on the reservation lines fails.  No harm is done since the reservation lines are refilled every time the Time sharer enters a program.  The message is printed so that the engineer can take appropriate action if it happens frequently.

A core store parity failure cause the message

        (o)       CORE PARITY FAILURE  DEC  a  OCT  b

where a is the failed address in decimal and b is the failed address in octal.  If OMP cannot find the failed register then NOT FOUND is printed instead of the failed address information.  The machine then comes to a loop stop and an engineer should be called.

When OMP is first loaded the line


is output (though if the key is switched before this message is completed or started its output is abandoned).  When this has been done, all the peripherals are disengaged and the line


is output and the Flexowriter left in the select state.  The operator then types the date, e.g.


The day and month may be typed in full though at least 3 letters must be typed.  The year may be punched as 63 or 1963.  If the format is wrong or the day of the week does not correspond with the date, the line


is output and the Flexowriter left in the select state.

The date may be followed by the ENGINEER digits required.  If the log tape is suppressed then so is runout on the Flexowriter.

When the correct date has been typed there is a printout of Upper Case characters on the Flexowriter followed by

(p)     DOCUMENT ORION/LOG/9JUL63/10.02.17/2.3.7

The third component is the date, the fourth the time and the fifth the mark number.

The machine is then ready to receive programs.


5.8.6.  Orion 2 Differences

The information in this section refers in general to Orion 1 and Orion 2.  Described here are the differences to be noted when reading the subsection for Orion 2.

Section  The printing is

    (b)    REPEAT   n    ½  DRUM     a    BAND    b    WORD    c


            ORION FAILURE    ½ DRUM    a   BAND   b    WORD   c

and crossed parentheses END is not printed after a core store parity failure and no printing takes place.