Peter's z80.eu site blog
Thinkpad T23 (and now also 600E) boots CP/M-86 (despite of Wikipedia) 
Saturday, August 18, 2012, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
This is great. And it was not done with an ancient IBM PC/XT.
It was done with a Thinkpad T23 (not the most modern one, but still working with Windows XP, and having a build-in high density floppy disk drive ...).
Here is the proof:

There is a Wikipedia Entry for a boot sector explanation, and there is a discussion page for this article, see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Boot_ ... _signature
Somebody said there, CP/M-86 with missing magic bytes (0x55 0xAA) in its boot sector could not be used with other PCs except an ancient IBM PC/XT (or in best case, with an original IBM PC/AT). That's simply wrong (test it with the 1.44MB image file and the appropriate floppy disk writing program like RAWRITE, my DOS program writeimg or even David Dunfield's famous ImageDisk).
Boot sectors from floppy disks must not have such a magic byte sequence at the end of the sector (instead, this check is only mandatory for harddisk boot sectors/an MBR on a HD).

Btw.: My Compaq Portable II (an AT compatible machine) boots CP/M-86 also.


Later added:
Meanwhile I've access to a Thinkpad 600E. Of course I was able to boot CP/M-86, too.
Just look at this second picture:

That's the proof "Crispmuncher" just has no idea what he talks about. He told me he "tests" a Thinkpad 600E and he was not able to boot CP/M-86. I guess he has no idea how to transfer the mentioned 1.44MB floppy disk image onto the real floppy disk media.

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CP/M-86 with VMWare Player and Virtualbox 4 ? YES 
Tuesday, August 7, 2012, 06:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Last time I followed a discussion at comp.os.cpm, subject named "Running CP/M within Linux?", it was not really related with Linux, but with running CP/M-86 in an x86 emulator.

My preferred choice is VMWare Player, so I decided to get the 1.44MB floppy image from http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/archive ... inary.html , named "CP/M-86 BOOTABLE for 1.44MB FLOPPY". Unfortunately this floppy disk image is faulty.
Somebody should delete it from retroarchive.org.

I got it working... with a floppy image file from http://www.cpm.z80.de/binary.html , named "CP/M-86 binary for 1.44mb floppys" - THIS WORKS even in VMWare Player 4 !


For a raw image version usable in VMWare Player 4, just download it from here:
New CP/M-86 floppy image file (raw format,ZIPped) for VMWare Player usage

EDITED AGAIN A DAY LATER:

The second floppy disk image runs also with Virtualbox 4.1. It's a bit tricky maybe, because you have to add a virtual "floppy disk controller" first, see screenshot:


You can add a media (=floppy disk image file) only if you have a disk controller.
You should change the file extension from ".flp" to ".dsk", otherwise VirtualBox does not recognize the format.

Like before, I selected "DOS" as OS in VirtualBox. It runs smoothly too:


EDITED DAYS LATER:

I got also cpmtools working, with the help of a self written program, which can convert the image into a different track order (no alternating heads, just one side and then the second side of a floppy disk is expected from cpmtools).
The result - I can use "-f cpm86-144feat" as the needed media type option:


To get the same result, try my Turbo-C program cpm86cnv, which can be d/l'd from >here<.

Usage: cpm86cnv input-image-file output-image-file vmw-to-cpmt
... for converting it to VMWare compatible image format
Usage: cpm86cnv input-image-file output-image-file cpmt-to-vmw
... for converting it to cpmtools compatible image format

After converting it to a cpmtools compatible image,
you can use a similar command to add single files to the image file:

cpmcp -f cpm86-144feat image-file file-to-add-stored-locally 0:cpm86-filename

I tried to copy CBASIC-86 to the above mentioned CP/M-86 boot disk and it works great:


For your convenience, >here<'s the resulting new boot disk WITH added CBASIC-86.

BUT WHY NOT USING A HARDDISK ? SURE I WILL, ALSO WITH VMWARE.

A bit tricky, because just using HDMAINT does not work.
You have to change the harddisk type, for example to an old MFM Type 2 (like in a PC/AT):


After this, use HDMAINT, create a partition (8192K here) and make it bootable.
Copy CPM.SYS with the help of PIP to C:, but you can also copy other stuff (as you like).

This is the result (STAT DSK: of the virtual Type 2 harddisk):


Unfortunately 144BLDR2 will not automatically loaded then, SETUP.CMD and the function "Power-Up command line" does only work with floppy drives. So you have to type in "submit autoexec" manually...

Because this blog entry grows and grows, I will try to make a separate web page for it.

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OT: Strange experience made with Symantec Endpoint Protection and their deficient virus detection 
Tuesday, June 26, 2012, 06:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
Recently I was desperately looking for a possibility to resurrect my Turbo Delphi Explorer Installation. A long time ago I received from Borland a message with a key for it, and that worked perfectly. After my Thunderbird Archiv was not readable anymore (from a DVD-R), I thought it should be no problem to get a key again, but there is no chance to get it again from Embarcadero (they want to sell a $200 XE2 Starter version now - too expensive for a hobbyist programmer).

So I used Google to get an alternative solution and I found a Patch-Program from a Cracker group "FFF". My Symantec Antivirus immediately reported this as a "Trojan" malware program (this is definitely not the case, it's a false alarm - it changes only one file, BDE.EXE ).
I took a Hex Editor and looked into it, and I recognized the file was PECompact 2 packed.
So I unpacked it and uploaded it to Virustotal.com.
At this time it wasn't recognized from most of the antivirus solution anymore as malware, Symantec AV didn't found malware anymore, too.

This happened 2 month ago. Today I tried to copy this unpacked file again, and Symantec AV recognized it again as malware. So I looked again into the file itself, and I altered the string "PEC2", which was left over from my last unpacking try.
Guess what happened. Symantec AV immediately says nothing anymore (=it's clean).

So the bottom line of it: Symantecs pattern search mechanism is really rudimentary implemented, they look only for "PEC2" and that seems to be enough for them to detect an "exepacked" program ???
That's a reason why I do NOT recommend Symantec and their Antivirus solution at this moment...

If you're interested in working Exepacker detection, just take a look >here<.

P.S.: And btw. does Symantec also analyzing all results from Virustotal.com ??

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MacOS X is *NOT* the first Unix based Operating System for Apple Macintosh's 
Saturday, June 2, 2012, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Recently I have seen some pictures from A/UX ... a UNIX OS running on - at least - 68030 Macintosh's, according to this >>A/UX Compatibility List<< from Apple itself.

Some screenshots:

and

also

and


So Apple had much earlier a working Unix *with* graphical user interface !

And the best - you can still download it, if you know for what filename you have to search.
Just search for AUX_3.0.1_Install_Boot_Disk.diskcopy_image.bin ...

P.S.: Or visit *this* ftp-site or *this* http-site.

Some for A/UX compiled programs can be found also here: http://www.nleymann.de/appleAUX/

Hints/Help for A/UX installation and multi-boot can be found here: http://www.floodgap.com/retrotech/os/aux/

Added later: http://www.aux-penelope.com/ has also some very interesting article entries about all three A/UX versions.
[Update: Meanwhile the site seems to be offline. Use THIS entry from archive.org]
Recommended !
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Microsoft Adventure - Is this the first game from Microsoft ? And who wrote this ? 
Wednesday, April 4, 2012, 05:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I was really surprised while "browsing" through an old BYTE issue (December, 1980).
There was an article about a MICROSOFT ADVENTURE which runs on a TRS-80 and an APPLE II (later, there was also a DOS version).
Even though it's not the best adventure, there is an interesting side note.
It wasn't invented from Microsoft, it already existed for a PDP 10 and/or 11/70 (see notes from the author in the below attached PDF).
So it can be the first rip-off from Microsoft (and *not* MS-DOS).
I am not sure at the moment, that it's identical to "Colossal Cave".
If someone has further information about this and the creation history, please give me a hint.





Ensure to take a look into the article (PDF) - >HERE< !

There is a nice page about the original "Colossal Cave Adventure".
Just visit http://www.rickadams.org/adventure/ ...

And finally, there are a few CP/M-80 ports also, just download >this archive< (Mike Goetz made it possible).

P.S.:
Meanwhile I saw there is another page which describes the creation history, but they didn't talk about a "rip off" or a copyright violation.
Visit http://www.filfre.net/2011/07/microsoft-adventure/ for more details.
Also, there is a page about the first version of this "Cave" adventure, written in Fortran. Just take a look at http://digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/00 ... 00009.html too.

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