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Notebook floppy disk drive repair - an impossible mission... 
Saturday, September 7, 2013, 12:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I own an old but beautiful Intel 486 based notebook, a Siemens PCD-4ND with a build-in floppy drive (a Citizen W1D). This drive is removable.

Unfortunately the floppy drive is not working reliable enough anymore.
So I had the idea to repair it, and I had to open it:

You have to remove the plasic case (fixed with 2 screws), then a metal sheet (fixed with 4 very small screws)...

... and you can recognize now a missing tension for the belt:

To get the belt out of the drive, you have to lift the motor also (2 screws).
The dimensions of the belt are: 220mm circumference (110mm x2, as shown in the picture below, that means a diameter of 70mm), 1mm width and far less then 1mm thickness.

As you can see, I marked a red dot in the third picture, may be I can place there a small bumper to increase the tension of the (old) belt.

I have NO IDEA where to get such a belt. Seems to be very difficult.
If someone has an idea where to get such a plastic belt, let me know, thanks in advance.
Others already looked for some and had no success (see related link)...
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Interesting Z80 project using a real Z80 but for all I/O using an MCU 
Tuesday, August 6, 2013, 09:19 AM
Posted by Administrator
Very nice project, the Mini80. A real Z80 CPU is used (this is important for speed and compatibility), but all I/O is done by a Parallax Propeller chip.

Very small footprint, simple logic board design ... what else (except a build in VGA interface) do you want ?
This is a picture from the prototype board:

And this is the related CP/M boot screen:

It can run CP/M 2.2, using disk images from a larger "pack" file.
Hopefully his transfer utilities (for single files) will be implemented soon.

Just take a look at the Micro Vibe Site and that Mini80 article ... o-overview
for an introduction.

I recommend visiting his site (see also "related link") !
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NSA compatible devices/software .... easier for customers to get them now ;-) 
Friday, July 19, 2013, 07:50 PM
Posted by Administrator
Because NSA will use too much energy to wiretap aka get the data from all the people around the world (even from the ones who are NOT evil), I propose a standardized interface for all future devices, so it will be much easier to have all the data stored in Fort Meade.
This needs a logo certification program also, so we (all the people who are being wiretapped) know in advance that the devices or software solutions are 100% compatible with that above suggested interface. I also made an easy recognizable logo for this certification program:

Next time you buy electronical devices or software, be sure to get a certified "PRISM ready" one !

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Dr. Dobb's Z80 Toolbook (David E. Cortesi) can be read online ... 
Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 08:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Just take a short break and visit for a deeper look into the Z80 coding secrets with Doctor Dobb's Z80 Toolbook.
If this link doesn't work, try this one (
Beware the loading time for this page (all things are listed on only one large page !), but enjoy these mostly elegant code snipplets for your Z80 CP/M system... even on emulators.

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All things got together, but not yet connected due to the missing (in)famous Y-cable 
Thursday, May 30, 2013, 08:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Yeah, I got my Apple 5.25 Floppy Drive (A9M0107)

and also the two DSUB connectors for the still missing Y-cable.

Now I have only to rebuild the floppy cable and then I should be able to run my Apple IIe card also with (real) floppies.
Meanwhile I can show only a starting screen of the card itself :-(

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