Peter's z80.eu site blog
Another Siemens PCD-2 - but surprisingly with a Intel 386SX CPU ?! 
Saturday, May 9, 2015, 06:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Recently I found another Siemens PCD-2, but this one was totally different from the other.
The main difference - instead of a Intel 286 CPU, I found a 386SX CPU (20 MHz), but still inserted on a CPU card (no "classic" mainboard inside).


There was also no proprietary Siemens BIOS used, instead, I found an AMI BIOS:

Chipset was still from OPTI, a lot of SIMMs can be also found on the CPU card.

I had to replace the 3.5" floppy drive (this happens not often), a Seagate 3144AT (IDE) runs fine (almost fine, the drive already makes some noise, but at the moment not too loud).

But Arkanoid II is running well, so I guess I am satisfied also with a 386SX PCD2 :-)


Somebody else already replaced the 286 CPU card with a better CPU, too.
See "related Link", may be this PCD-2 here was also already modified in a similar manner.

If you're curious about the original PCD-2, look at my page >here<.
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Siemens PCD-2 monochrome monitor adapter 
Saturday, May 2, 2015, 04:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Having a bit time, I created a monitor adapter for my Siemens PCD-2.
The Siemens monochrome monitor has no own power supply, it gets its power by the DB9 connector (strange!), means +12V on pin #2.
I had to cut the connection between pin #2 from the mda/cga card and pin #2 from the monitor, and also had to get 12V from elsewhere. This is my solution:

Now I will hopefully be able to use also an EGA card (without 12V power supply) with my multifrequency monochrome monitor (this monitor model is *very* rare).

See original manual page of the Siemens PCD-2 at "related link" below.

See also my web page about the Siemens PCD-2 >here<.
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*VERY* old skool char only game - ZZT from Epic Megagames 
Friday, February 27, 2015, 10:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
For those IT oldtimers, "Nethack" is well known for several platforms, even for CP/M-80 Nethacks predecessor "Rogue" is available.
"Nethack" has still its own living community, especially for LINUX.

But there was also a more colorful variant available, "ZZT" from Epic Megagames.
It uses the special characters from IBM PCs screen font of the text mode, which is still present even today in modern 8-core i7 Personal Computers.

But take a look for yourself (Startscreen Ezanya World):

After a few steps in front of a pub (Hic!):

Talking with the barkeeper:

Using a torch (in a dungeon, only for 20 seconds!):

You can be dead very fast, so you will have hours to practice (to survive longer) ...

I tried it also on my old PC with monochrome screen, it has a mode for it:


There is also another blog entry about it: http://jeff.rainbow-100.com/?p=87

And there is also a modern version named "DreamZZT" available (Mac OS X, Windows ....).

See related link for a download possibility.
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Fun with Hercules Graphics Adapter - my Amstrad PC1640 still make it... 
Friday, February 13, 2015, 11:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Resurrecting a defunct Kalok hard disk drive in my Amstrad (Schneider) PC1640HD30, I was a bit unhappy about the fact I own for this computer only a monochrome monitor (PC-MD).
So I was looking for games which could be run with a hercules graphics adapter.
There are some (even Prince of Persia), but most of the game copies I found were configured only for VGA (or EGA). And so also the beautiful CHESSMASTER 3000 ...
But thanks to Ebay, you will be still able to find an original game box with the disks:

These disks were not in a suitable floppy disk format, but the game itself is not copy protected, so I was able to install it on an other computer with a 3.5" floppy disk drive.
Then I packed all files with ARJ and -v360 option and copied it on several 5.25" disks.
Finally I unpacked it on my Amstrad and yeaaahhh it immediately runs:


The picture isn't sharp enough to show that it is similar to an Atari ST screen with a SM124 monitor, it's really crisp sharp and makes lot of fun - even if the computer plays against itself ;-)
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8086tiny - a very small CPU and PC emulator... but difficult to use 
Wednesday, January 28, 2015, 12:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
When I saw the first time "8086tiny" at http://www.megalith.co.uk/8086tiny/ , I was really surprised about the extremly small size of the source and executable.
I tried it on my Windows 7 x64 PC, and I was able to start it with the floppy disk image (don't forget to have sdl.dll also in your 8086tiny directory).
Later, I found also a hard disk image (about 38MB size, downloaded from dropbox), which is very useful too.
The fun stops after I recognized all text console/screen output was translated into ESC sequences. This is very annoying if you don't have a "terminal" which interprets these ESC sequences. I thought I found a solution at https://github.com/adoxa/ansicon/ , which let you use ESC sequences even in a Windows 7 console prompt (just load ansicon as a command, no need for ANSI.SYS or similar things).
But.
ANSICON worked with console output using Windows 7 (text output) programs, but not with 8086tiny. Still a lot of ESC sequences will fill your console window.

Ok, I tried Alleycat, which is also included in the floppy disk image.

It showed up the Alleycat start screen, but then screen remains black, nothing happened further.
If you are using Ctrl-C, even a Windows App Crash message appears.

It seems to be totally unusable with Windows 7 x64, I didn't tested it with Windows 7 32bit version. You can download the >SDL compatible binaries from my site<.

NO RECOMMENDATION for the original version, compiled with SDL support.

There is another version named "8086 Tiny Plus" which works well, MUCH BETTER than the original one. Take a look at http://jaybertsoftware.weebly.com/8086-tiny-plus.html
It uses NO ANSI sequences, instead, it includes a BIOS with CGA support.
But this version is bigger than the original one. Still small compared to DOSBOX or whatever else can be compared.

The modified version "8086 Tiny Plus" IS RECOMMENDED. Because it works.
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