Peter's site blog

Two interesting pages about the Olivetti M20 - one of the few computer which have a Z8000 and can run CP/M-8000 
Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 12:25 AM
Posted by Administrator
Full with additional links and infos, more than just a vintage computer museum entry:

To get an impression from what I'm talking - here's an image from an M20 machine,
running CP/M-8000 (click on the picture to zoom):

The machine was selled in 1982 with PCOS (that's an operating system with cryptic commands, even more cryptic than CP/M was)...

There was an additonal 8086 card available to run MS-DOS, but that's another story.
The cpu was - to document it more accurately - a Zilog 8001, the cpu family is named 'Z8000'.

Still one of the most "rich" web pages about the Olivetti M20 can be found at

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Off topic: Microsoft Safety Scanner ... not really recommendable. See why. 
Tuesday, November 17, 2020, 02:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Many of you may know that there is an offline malware scanner from Microsoft existing, it's a portable app, so you don't need to install it (just extract it from an archive and start it) - the Microsoft Safety Scanner ... also known as MSERT.
I tested this tool a few times, but I found some points really annoying, beside the fact it also helped to find some WM97 Downloader variants not found by Symantec Endpoint Protection for example.

It is very slow, despite of the choice you're taking at the beginning of the scan process. It can take hours to be finished.

Also, it does not only find malware, but also network tools, and other useful tools e.g. found at Nirsoft's page. You can't choose what type of files you want to scan.

It cannot handle less established archive formats. It scans even ISO images, report findings, but let the ISO as is (this can be also an advantage, though).

At the end, it does not ask what to do with the findings. They/it will be moved into quarantine. There is no possibility to make a decision for each file, nor how to deal in general with findings.

You can't restore files from the quarantine (files are encrypted). So may be you need a backup before scanning with MSERT.

I would recommend (for unencrypted drives) to use ESET SysRescue Live instead for scanning "offline" for malware.
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FMA 3500, a 486DX Notebook with monochrome LCD VGA display 
Saturday, October 10, 2020, 09:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Not really bad for 1991, this notebook with a monochrome LCD VGA display has a 130MB hard disk drive and 8 MBytes RAM. The build in video graphics adapter is a Cirrus Logic GD610. It has 2 serial interface ports, 1 parallel port and one external keyboard socket/connector - but no PCMCIA or even USB (this wasn't up-to-date in 1991!). The power supply delivers 20 Volts.
It runs Windows 95, but it has not enough space on hard drive for Windows 98 or newer, and I guess it would be to slow for Windows 98, too.
But for a monochrome display, it's acceptable, there are other more worse displays existing.
It was sold also from the german computer distributor "Vobis" as "Highscreen 486DX Notebook".

Btw. - the often found "one EXE file version" of Johnny Castaway Screensaver (made by someone for Windows XP) is NOT compatible with Windows 95 (but with Windows 2000 and XP).
You need to look for the original setup disk content (e.g. at to be able to install it. See also "related link below".

This software "Mephisto Meisterschach" is really a rarely used software, but still very interesting, because it plays very well (compared to the similar old Chessmaster 4000, much better).
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CP/M Terminal test program with self editable terminal definitions 
Sunday, September 20, 2020, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
To figure out what Terminal (aka what Terminal control sequences) for an less known CP/M system is needed, I wrote a small terminal test program. It's useful because sometimes you have to configure WordStar or other full screen editors for systems without build-in terminal emulation, means if you have such a system like a S-100 bus system, or something like a Micromint SB180, which needs also an external Terminal to show their console (output) via a serial interface.

When started, it looks like this:

Just press a digit key with a (predefined) terminal definition, and you will see if you get a nice or an ugly screen output (depends if you choosed the right terminal or not).

This is the output if everything is ok:

The definitions are stored in a text file named "TESTTERM.COD", for syntax and structure see README.txt within the ZIP...

You can download it via "related link" below.
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A game gem: Eye of the beholder (1991), with really beautiful EGA graphics 
Saturday, August 29, 2020, 02:00 AM
Posted by Administrator
Westwood Associates created this real gem in 1991,based on "Advanced Dungeons & Dragons" game series.
This game does not only offer beautiful VGA but also EGA graphics, I would say it is one of the best games for EGA PCs.
I was looking for more games for my Siemens PG750, which can display EGA graphics, and beside Star Trek 25th anniversary, it is my favorite in terms of graphics quality.
The story of the game isn't too complex, most of the time you're wandering through a dungeon with dwarfs and monsters, defeating them, looking for the Xanathar, the eponymous beholder.

Look at this master piece of game trailer:

For beginners, it could be tricky to get out the starting area, because almost every dwarf will block your way:

Just a small hint, spells will help to go on...

You can buy the game (as part of a trylogy) still at !
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