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Floppies_only
June 18th, 2008, 09:06 PM
Hi everybody,

Today I bought MS-DOS <-> CP/M conversion software from daynacompsoftware on eBay. I am wondering if it is possible to find software to run on the IMSAI and to put it onto minifloppies with this software. I'd really like to have a word processor that can save files as (whatever the CP/M equivelent to) plain text files on the IMSAI.

Can anyone help me out, tell me if this is possible, and/or give pointers to software on the web?

Thanks in advance and after,
Sean

Sharkonwheels
June 19th, 2008, 12:59 AM
Can you be a little more specific?

Do you currently have bootable floppies, and need just apps?

What I use:

Old PC (P1/P2/P3)
5.25" DS/DD floppy drive (1.2MB will work, but a 360kb is more sane)
22Disk by Sydex (google for it - 1.42 is good, 1.44 is bette, but 8" is so-so)
blank disks

Gene Buckle's site at retroarchive.org has alot of stuff to download.
search for Gaby's site, and I think www.cpm.z80.de or something similar?

Really early, so I'm not all here, but if you haven;t found them, post back, and I will give you links.


T

MikeS
June 19th, 2008, 08:59 AM
I'm not sure either what you're asking; there's no software that I know of that will convert MS-DOS <> CP/M per se, so I assume that you're talking about something like 22disk, Uniform etc. that will convert MS/PC-DOS disks to the various formats used by CP/M machines.

So the answer is probably YES. The data files themselves are compatible between MS-DOS and most other systems including CP/M systems as long as you stick to the basic 7-bit subset and with a few gotchas like CR/LF, EOF and special characters, so a file you create with Notepad on your Vista PC will probably work just fine with a text editor on the CP/M machine.

The problem is getting it from the MS-DOS/WIN system to the IMSAI or whatever. One way (which I assume your s/w does) is to emulate a different disk format on one of your PC floppy drives, which you would then use to load/save files just as if it were a PC disk. When that's not convenient or possible you can transfer files over a serial port, assuming you have one on each end and compatible software.

So, as long as you stick to plain ASCII text it's not the data in the files or the software that reads & writes them, but the way they're stored on the disk that's the compatibility issue. The fact that they're "CP/M" files is mostly irrelevant, since many (most?) CP/M systems used their own incompatible formats except maybe the original SSSD 8" IBM format.

m

RichCini
June 19th, 2008, 04:07 PM
The way I do this is an older DOS/Windows machine which passes the 22disk tests for FM/MFM. I literally tried four or five different computers before I found one that worked satisfactorily.

I happen to use a slightly custom disk format on my IMSAI (which has a Disk 1 controller to which I've connected 5.25" HD floppy drives which "look" like DSSD 8" drives to the Disk 1) so I needed to build a custom disk definition for 22disk.

I format the disks on the IMSAI and bring them to the PC and copy CP/M files on to and off of the diskette. I used this method to copy files from the CP/M archive for use with my IMSAI and it works fine.

Floppies_only
June 20th, 2008, 03:40 PM
Can you be a little more specific?

Do you currently have bootable floppies, and need just apps?

What I use:

Old PC (P1/P2/P3)
5.25" DS/DD floppy drive (1.2MB will work, but a 360kb is more sane)
22Disk by Sydex (google for it - 1.42 is good, 1.44 is bette, but 8" is so-so)
blank disks

Gene Buckle's site at retroarchive.org has alot of stuff to download.
search for Gaby's site, and I think www.cpm.z80.de (http://www.cpm.z80.de) or something similar?

Really early, so I'm not all here, but if you haven;t found them, post back, and I will give you links.


T

22disk: http://www.retroarchive.org/cpm/cdrom/UTILS/22DISK/

http://www.retroarchive.org/ (http://www.retroarchive.org/) appears to be going strong, with the most recent entry being last March.

I actually don't have anything CP/M right now. This is a feesibility study, to see if getting an old IMSAI to actually be able to do stuff is possible :)

Thanks for the pointers,
Sean

Floppies_only
June 20th, 2008, 03:44 PM
The way I do this is an older DOS/Windows machine which passes the 22disk tests for FM/MFM. I literally tried four or five different computers before I found one that worked satisfactorily.

I happen to use a slightly custom disk format on my IMSAI (which has a Disk 1 controller to which I've connected 5.25" HD floppy drives which "look" like DSSD 8" drives to the Disk 1) so I needed to build a custom disk definition for 22disk.

I format the disks on the IMSAI and bring them to the PC and copy CP/M files on to and off of the diskette. I used this method to copy files from the CP/M archive for use with my IMSAI and it works fine.

One thing that I do know, is that if you are writing double density disks in a high density drive, you should either start with blank disks or bulk erase what you have, format, copy files onto, and then make a copy of the disk with your double density drive. This because of the "tunnel erase" problem.

But I'll bet you guys already knew that :)

The software that I bought is called "SmartDisk CP/M <> MSDOS File Transfer". Pretty snappy name, right?

Sean

RichCini
June 20th, 2008, 04:25 PM
One thing that I do know, is that if you are writing double density disks in a high density drive, you should either start with blank disks or bulk erase what you have, format, copy files onto, and then make a copy of the disk with your double density drive. This because of the "tunnel erase" problem.

But I'll bet you guys already knew that :)

The software that I bought is called "SmartDisk CP/M <> MSDOS File Transfer". Pretty snappy name, right?

Sean

I indeed bulk erase the disks using my trusty Acme high-power Wile E. Coyote certified electromagnet! For whatever reason, I have better success with formatting them on the IMSAI than formatting them with 22disk.

MikeS
June 20th, 2008, 07:25 PM
I indeed bulk erase the disks using my trusty Acme high-power Wile E. Coyote certified electromagnet! For whatever reason, I have better success with formatting them on the IMSAI than formatting them with 22disk.
-----
That's been my experience as well with various systems; format on the target system if possible, although that does require that the alignment matches (unless you move the drive).

But you're using HD disks in your pseudo-8" drive, even in SD mode, no? Is this still the YE drive that you finally used?

m

Dwight Elvey
June 20th, 2008, 08:12 PM
Hi
Since I don't have a 8 inch drive on my laptop, I just
transfered the files with a simple serial program and the
used DDT to write them to disk files on my IMSAI.
I use my laptop as a terminal as well.( It is an older
one that still had a serial port )
Dwight

RichCini
June 22nd, 2008, 04:29 AM
-----
That's been my experience as well with various systems; format on the target system if possible, although that does require that the alignment matches (unless you move the drive).

But you're using HD disks in your pseudo-8" drive, even in SD mode, no? Is this still the YE drive that you finally used?

m

Yes, I did indeed use the YE drives and with the modification for the ready line, they work great. I bulk erase the disks only because most of my blanks are PC-formatted and I want to start with a clean slate. Why the disks work better if I format them on the original system if the drives are the same, I don't know.