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Re: A windows based program to write a CPM3 image to a CF card for the S100 IDE board

The way that the RomWBW distribution on the ECB side is done is there are a handful of "default" images and then a tool with batch files that can create a custom image if desired/needed.

For example there are CP/M 2 and ZDOS images for the Zeta w/ParPortProp board.  (A jumper on the Zeta goes to an iobyte port so the same ROM file can be used for serial I/O without the ParPortProp board as well actually).  But if I wanted to use the Zeta with the adapter I prototyped that allows it to be attached to the ECB bus and some ECB cards like the Color VDU, I could use the batch file tools to make myself a ROM that would do that too.

I think that is the best compromise - have some default configurations, a small enough number that people can understand, but also have a tool for more complex configurations.

The beauty of the RomWBW system of code and batch files is it can "slot in" the code for different ECB storage (DiskIO, Dual SD, etc) and display (VDU, ColorVDU, PropIO) and CPU (N8VEM V2 SBC w/Z80 or the new Mark IV SBC w/Z180) board just by changing a few lines into a ROM that works.  I don't know we will ever get "there" on the S-100 side....

Just my thoughts.

Andrew B

On Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:16:53 AM UTC-7, David Fry wrote:
Hi John,
If we go back to the beginning, this whole issue came up as a way of overcoming the chicken and egg situation that many if not all new builders will have found thereself in, "how do I get a working CP/M OS onto a CF card for my particular configuation when I have no access to a CP/M system or no means to run any CP/M utilities ?"
From where I stood at the time the most logical solution for me was directly editing the disk sector map to place the boot files onto the CF card in a predictable manner to enable a system to boot.
Maintaining a library of dsk image files is fraught with its own problems (different hardware/port configuarations etc) and I would suggest only a basic image, one for serial I/O and one from propeller console, just enough to get going.
I understand your reluctance to have multiple disk layouts floating about as that it itself can cause problems down the road but in a CF card based system with no hard drives a fixed sector length of 64 keeps the math easy and the code tight and as far as the CF card is concerned it doesnt even know how many sectors are in the configuration, it just sees a series of sequential numbers.
David Fry
On Saturday, June 14, 2014 5:31:49 PM UTC+1, monahanz wrote:

Guys, it’s great to see all the progress and uptake this simple little IDE board has generated.  Thomas in particular congratulations on putting so much time and effort into “hammering into shape” the process for first time installs.  It helps tremendously but I think it will still be difficult for some people to do.   We all should remember how it was when we first started!


I’m wondering if somebody out there could spend the time writing a PC/MSDOS based program to setup a CF card for first time users.  If we agree the IDE board ports start at 30H, the only variable would be the console I/O.  This could be either spliced into the final disk image with the above program (leaving room in the base code with NOP’s) or by answering a Q&A session and inserting code like the old XMODEM programs did.  A CF card is laid down as Dave describes and is checked out. Once the image is laid down it can be dumped sector for sector any  CF card (no holes of course).  The image can even include a few CPM programs.  Probably best to start with a non-banked CPM3 image.  This program would run on a standard PC, format the CF card and write the image sector by sector.  Not sure if Windows 7,8 allows you to do that easily but there must be a way.


This would allow anybody not as sophisticated as some of us, to get going right away and allow them to write more elaborate CPM3.SYS files that include a FDC, printer etc. in the BIOS for their own hardware.

I think something like this would be a tremendous asset for first time S100 users.


Any volunteers?