Peter's z80.eu site blog
Another remarkable milestone: Sharp Pocket Computer (first: PC-1211) 
Saturday, November 28, 2009, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
... which has two 4-Bit CPUs (!) from Sharp, SC43177 und SC43178 labeled, driven with only 256 KHz (yes, KILO not MEGA). This was my first "Computer" I had, and I loved it, because I was able to use the Pocket Computer at school (think about an electronical cheat sheet) also.
Unfortunately it had only 1424 BASIC steps (implemented with 3 4KBit RAMs.... still wondering how this could work), so not too much for larger projects.

This is my own one:


Remarkable also is the rare yellow LCD display (later this intensive yellow color can't be found anymore).

One of the successors of this first Pocket Computer was the PC-1500, which owns - guess what - a Z80 compatible CPU - perfect to program it also in assembly language.

Unfortunately the Assembly language for the above mentioned PC-1211 was never published, so any kind of extension or graphics can't be programmed on a PC-1211 :-(

See also at vintagecalculators.com for more info (link below).

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Some thoughts about transfering disks or at least, files from a PC to a vintage computer 
Thursday, November 19, 2009, 09:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I've created a page about transfering files from a PC to an old CP/M computer (e.g. my Kaypro IV) at http://www.z80.eu/transfercpm.html .
But I forgot to mention how to get able to use or prepare a PC.
I took my (mentioned in a blog entry before) Compaq Portable II to use Uniform for the file transfer on CP/M diskettes. This works really reliable and flawless.
But.
My old Compaq Portable II didn't has Internet access (of course not).
The newer Quad Core PC is "legacy free", means no serial, no parallel port, and of course no diskette drive.
The ideas about connecting my modern Quad Core PC with the old Compaq Portable via network (cable) doesn't work, because even if you want to use NETBEUI protocol (instead of TCP/IP) on a Windows XP PC, this is not easy (problematic protocol installation).
Best and most success bringing way: Take a virtual machine (e.g. Virtual PC or VMWare), install MS-DOS 6.22, MS-DOS Addon for Workgroups OR Netware Lite, and do NOT try to integrate such old network protocols on your modern PC.
Then try to install MS-DOS Addon for Workgroups OR Netware Lite also on your older PC (e.g. my Compaq Portable II).

Even the above described solution is not running reliable.
So I decided to take a much more simpler approach.
I buyed on Ebay a Parallel Port driven CD-ROM drive (Freecom Portable), installed the MS-DOS drivers on my old Compaq, and 'voila' I was able to access (data) CD-ROMs on my Compaq also.
Burning a CD/RW or a CD-ROM is much easier nowadays, and I have the data always online, even if my modern PC is OFF.
Also, I can directly access my Walnut Creek CD, too.

So think about it, choose the easy way instead of the more sophisticated, but ugly way ;-)

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Vintage PC portables - oldies but goldies... my four favorite ones ;-) 
Monday, September 7, 2009, 09:09 PM
Posted by Administrator
Here are my favorite list of old (more than 20 years old) PC portables:

Number one - a Compaq Portable (with an Intel 8088 CPU):


Number two - an IBM PC Portable (Type 5155, with an Intel 8088 CPU):


Number three - a Compaq Portable II (with an Intel 80286 CPU, AT compatible):



Number four - a Compaq Portable III (also with an Intel 80286 CPU, AT compatible):

Most innovative, with a Gas Plasma Screen, really portable.
Picture shows Windows 3.0 running ;-)

My favorite portable PC here - NUMBER 3 !
Still fast enough for Word for DOS 5.5, reliable, and artless ;-)

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ONE ?

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Microshell - a mighty CCP replacement ... and NIPSOFT Commander (for MZ-800 CP/M 2.2) 
Sunday, July 12, 2009, 10:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I have added a page about a very useful CP/M shell, which can be seen as a CCP replacement, too. It was a very expensive ($150) utility, so this could be one reason why it was not wide spreaded nor "popular". But New Generation Systems microshell (version 2.0) was very handy, it was easily possible to create mighty shell scripts, as usual with UNIX (but not with CP/M).

See for more info my new page at http://www.z80.eu/microshell.html


Also, during my investigations about the above mentioned microshell, I found a Norton Commander alike program on a czech web page, called NIPSOFT Commander.
Seems to be very sophisticated, unfortunately I am not able to translate czech language into english.
It was created for the MZ-800 CP/M 2.2 clone, but I guess it will run on any CP/M 2.2, may be somebody have to modify the screen control commands - sources included !

See for more info at http://www.scav.ic.cz/download/MZ-800/M ... /PROGS/NC/


P.S.: If somebody is able to translate the man page, plz give me an info.

Addendum (14-July): It will definitely not run on a plain vanilla CP/M 2.2, because the MZ-800 had an specially adapted and in parts completely rewritten CP/M 2.2 clone.
Also, there is no source code available, that makes this harder ;-(
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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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