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.