Peter's z80.eu site blog
Love on the buses: The S-100 and me - an interesting article at theregister.co.uk 
Thursday, May 28, 2009, 10:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
There is a really refreshing article about the S100 bus, the history around, nice pictures of a S100 bus system and cards at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/05/01/s100/

Don't miss that article, regardless of the fact that it's nothing really new told, but I am convinced that it make appetite to get your own S100 bus soon ;-)

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Another rare, but surprisingly innovative CP/M portable: 'Zorba portable computer' 
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 10:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Yes, I didn't recognize it. But there were not many 'Zorba' produced 'til 1984.
And as far as I can found any kind of info, this computer wasn't selled in europe.
It looks similar to a Kaypro or a Philips P2000 (not the colors, but the concept), and it has also a 4 MHz Z80A inside. Also, the disk capacity was similar to the Kaypro 4 ... 380KB per drive. Like the Philips P2000, there was also a 8088 coprocessor card available.

For more information, just visit this very informative pages, which were hosted from Gaby Chaudry also:

http://www.zorba.z80.de/

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Shame on me... didn't finish my CP/M Commander program, but now somebody else already did it... 
Wednesday, March 18, 2009, 12:24 PM
Posted by Administrator
I was looking for a german article about TCP/IP for CP/M and the progress this project made, and I saw there are some utilities like tftp and ping now available (still looking for a real FTP.COM...).
Then I was looking what the site offers also.
And I was surprised that somebody implemented already a two pane file copier/renamer/deleter/executer (= like the Norton Commander for DOS/Windows or later the Midnight Commander for Linux represents).
See http://susowa.homeftp.net
For download of the binary and source visit the download detail page.
It's implemented with the help of submit (it does not do everything by calling CP/M APIs, but it looks still awesome, also because of using colors for different info windows of course.
So shame on me that I didn't finish my own project :-(

But I will do it this year, with the help of longer holidays for sure.

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Predecessors of 8080 hardware.... almost forgotten - R2E Micral , a Intel 8008 based "PC" 
Thursday, February 19, 2009, 09:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
For many of us, they are not known or at least forgotten.... but 3 years before the Altair 8800, in January 1973, there was already a hardware available for computer enthusiasts:

The R2E Micral was one of the first, may be the first computer which can be called "Microcomputer", because it wasn't a cabinet sized hardware, it was in a similar size like an Altair, or even the first IBM PC.
Although it was based on an Intel 8008 Chip (running at a 500 Khz frequency), it provides additional instructions for interrupt handling and data manipulation. It was created from the "French National Institute for Agronomic Research" (I.N.R.A.) because of the lack of money for PDP-8 hardware.
It has a bus system similar to the S100 bus, called 'Pluribus', several I/O and memory cards were build. At least, 2KByte RAM was the standard design, but 16KByte could be used (14 bit address bus, 8 bit data bus) in total.
One year later a Two-Pass-Assembler was available, and also a high level control language.

For more information, please look at the following URLs:

http://www.old-computers.com/MUSEUM/computer.asp?c=352
http://www.feb-patrimoine.com/projet/micral/micral.htm
http://febcm.club.fr/systemes_ord/Micral_n.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micral
http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Micral
http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Vor-30-J ... dung/33686
http://www.avandor.net/micral.htm

A very interesting interview with the creator of that piece of computer history can be found at Wired.com: http://www.wired.com/science/discoverie ... 97/09/6850

To get an impression how it looked:

Also interesting... some Infos about a self-made (no kit, just plans and pcbs) computer in mid of 1973 - the Mark 8, also based on the 8008:
http://web.archive.org/web/200402160215 ... ark8b.html
http://www.bytecollector.com/mark_8.htm

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Cool ... an Apple II, a SD/MMC card for storage, a Z80 CPU, 80 columns card, all together implemented in an FPGA prototype 
Friday, January 30, 2009, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Amazing what is possible !
An Apple II and some peripheral stuff, fully equipped, and almost 100% compatible, but not running on old hardware - it can be done with a prototype board (Altera/Terrasic DE1 board).

Alex Freed did that ... his first steps began earlier with his FPGApple, Pseudodisk and other fine ideas, now he began to create an improved version.
See http://mirrow.com/FPGApple/revisited.html for more details.

Wonderful ! If he finishes his implementation of the Z80 part also (to use it with CP/M), for sure I am really interested.

Inspiration comes also from this site:
http://www1.cs.columbia.edu/~sedwards/apple2fpga/ so be curious and take a look also there.

The development board costs about $ 150, this is not too much if all planned functionality can be used.

URL has changed meanwhile, see link at the bottom.
Also, there is another site already offering a full blown Apple IIe in FPGA: http://www.applelogic.org/TheAppleIIE.html
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