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bugman2112
December 21st, 2009, 03:07 AM
I'm trying to get an old game to work on my IBM PC XT. The game is called Warp. It is an old star trek type game that uses text only. It also uses a lot of realtime cursor addressing. The game started up fine, but when the actual game action starts, the screen is a mess of control "like" characters and then crashes. I tried loading ANSI.SYS for cursor control to no avail. Upon closer inspection, I realized this game was part of a Z-100 collection. My understanding is that the Z-100 was a "near" IBM compatable, but used a different DOS. Any idea if I can get this working on a PC?
Thanks for any help....

Raven
December 21st, 2009, 06:35 AM
I have a Z-100 (Z-140 to be precise) and it's identical to an IBM box as far as compatibility goes (as far as I can tell). It has Z-DOS which is just rebranded modified MS-DOS or PC-DOS as an IBM machine would use. I ran ordinary apps on my Z-140 (until discovering that it apparently had some bad RAM, and with no expansions or removable RAM I am kinda screwed).

Anywho it should "just work" if it's intended for the Z-100. If you send me a copy of this game I can check it on my Z-100 and see if it's a problem with your copy (even with bad RAM it should handle a text-based game, it's only big things like Pirates! that cause issues).

bugman2112
December 21st, 2009, 07:42 AM
Thanks for the offer. I would like to send it to you tonight. From what I was reading, I thought that only the 1st version (1.0?) of z-dos was a rebranded MS-DOS. I thought the later versions did depart slightly from MS-DOS conventions. Not entirely, but maybe enough to cause my cursor control problems? But I really don't know much about these. This is one of those games that I remember playing on my fathers Unix mainframe when I was a kid. It would be great to get it working again.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 21st, 2009, 09:46 AM
You might want to check out the info on this page.

http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/z100.html

Zenith's numbering system for the Z-100 was very confusing. They made 3 models that ran MS-DOS but were not PC compatible. The Z-110, Z-120 and the ET-100(upgraded). In other words, you had to have a Z-100 version of DOS specifically written for these machines.

They also had software listed as Z-100 PC which was PC compatible.

Raven
December 21st, 2009, 12:01 PM
Well I can guarantee that the Z-140, which is in the Z-100 series, is PC compatible. As for the earlier ones, that page says it uses an 8088 with an 8085 in one of those beasts, and if both chips are used then the stuff may well be incompatible with ordinary DOS. Most likely you could write an emulator or a wrapper, but it would be slow on stuff that would be era-equivalent, i.e., you'd want a 386 to run the 8088 games due to the overhead of wrapping the exe and handling 8085 code, etc. It all depends on how they utilized the hardware though, so this may not be the case at all.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 21st, 2009, 06:45 PM
Well I can guarantee that the Z-140, which is in the Z-100 series, is PC compatible. As for the earlier ones, that page says it uses an 8088 with an 8085 in one of those beasts, and if both chips are used then the stuff may well be incompatible with ordinary DOS. Most likely you could write an emulator or a wrapper, but it would be slow on stuff that would be era-equivalent, i.e., you'd want a 386 to run the 8088 games due to the overhead of wrapping the exe and handling 8085 code, etc. It all depends on how they utilized the hardware though, so this may not be the case at all.

I guess I need to clarify something about how Zenith referred to Z-100 series computers. The first were, as I mention before, the Z-110,Z-120 and ET-100. They were not IBM PC compatible but ran MS-DOS. They later made a number of PC compatibles that were referred to as the Z-100 PC series which can lead to some confusion. Those models were Z-130,Z-140,Z-150,Z-160,Z-170, Z-180 etc.
It is possible that the game that Bugman2112 is trying to run may be written for a model Z-110 or Z-120.

bugman2112
December 21st, 2009, 07:02 PM
So let me attack this from a slightly different angle. The game appears to work, except for cursor commands. When dealing with CP/M, I have grown accustomed to adjusting the programs in CP/M to use different terminals via control character screen addressing. But with MS-DOS and early PCs, I have only used the ANSI.SYS protocol. Are there other memory resident screen addressing programs like ANSI.SYS that I could try that might make this game work? Upon further digging in the install.bat file, I found a reference to needing dos 2.0 or better. In addition, a readme.doc also indicates that some of the programs in this collection are generic MS-DOS programs. That indicates to me that this could simply be an issue with screen addressing drivers. But as I stated above, I do not know how to implement any alternates except ansi.sys.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 21st, 2009, 07:37 PM
If the readme mentions DOS 2.0 or better then it's definitely PC compatible. Have you tried running it on another computer? Maybe there is some incompatibility with your video driver?

bugman2112
December 21st, 2009, 07:54 PM
I tried it on an actual IBM XT with a VGA adapeter. With software, I can put the card into in CGA, EGA, or VGA mode. All those give the same control character garage text. I also used DosBOX on my modern PC with different video emulations. Same exact effect. I'm stumped. It looks like the typical control character garbage text I get, for example, when I'm tying to run a text game which uses old style terminal control characters under CP/M with the wrong terminal type. (i.e. <*h100] [y6j [*h6d, etc.....). Like vt100 or similair codes.

Raven
December 21st, 2009, 08:22 PM
Sounds like the file(s) are corrupted somewhere to me. Try finding an alternate copy on the Internet someplace.

Chuckster_in_Jax
December 22nd, 2009, 12:11 PM
Bugman 2112,
Do you have a setup to make a diskette image of the game? I have a Z-120 setup. If you could make an image and e:mail it to me I could generate the diskette and test it on my machine. See what results I get.

mgarlanger
January 13th, 2010, 07:46 PM
It looks like the typical control character garbage text I get, for example, when I'm tying to run a text game which uses old style terminal control characters under CP/M with the wrong terminal type. (i.e. <*h100] [y6j [*h6d, etc.....). Like vt100 or similair codes.

I bet the game is using the character graphics-mode. The Z-100 (the non-PC compatible one) supported the H19 terminal functions including the 33 graphics characters. All the graphic games for the earlier H/Z-89 used character graphics.