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Gracie
May 8th, 2006, 05:09 AM
My name is Gracie and I am a lady in UK. I have here a VideoGenie III ( and a II, but that is not the machine I am working on at present). The machines belonged to a writer, who died last year, and his wife has asked me if I can retrieve any of his work from the CP/M disks that come with it before we go looking for someone who might be interested in the computers and the manuals etc.


My first intention was to try and get the machine running (it powers up and I get random green characters on the screen, but it does not appear to be reading the floppy drives, though I hear them spinning)



Then I contacted Knut, who runs a VideoGenie site, and he told me about emulators for the TRS-80 that might do the job.
That was really good news to me. Even better, I found an emulator here, among the many TRS-80 manuals!



It is called Media Master and is the software part of a package called ‘Accelerate 8/16’ and is for CP/M-80 emulation for MS-DOS.

I do not have the hardware part, but the literature says that Media Master will run without it, and indeed it does, but I can’t seem to get it running properly. The program loads fine, in MS-DOS or in Windows 98, but it can’t find the tracks on the CP/M disks I put in.

I suspect it is me not understanding how to run it.

So I am back to square one :(


Looks like I will need to download a TRS-80 emulator instead, but am not sure which one I need to use ( or how), and the guy whose website I can download it from has not answered my query.

Can you advise me please?



Any help would be very much appreciated

ahm
May 8th, 2006, 07:46 PM
Hello Gracie,

While I'm not specifically familiar with the VideoGenie, I have done quite a bit with CP/M.
A quick search on Google tells me that the VideoGenie is a clone of the TRS-80 Model 1.

If I understand the problem, you want to get data off some diskettes. Emulating the machine probably won't help since you'd still need a way to get the data off the diskette and into the emulator. There are programs that are able to read various floppy formats; I imagine you'll need one that can read TRS-80 formats. I've used a program called 22DISK that appears to do a number of TRS-80 formats. With the appropriate disk drive, you could try each format see if one of them can read your floppy disks.

Hope this helps,
Andy

Gracie
May 9th, 2006, 01:25 AM
Andy, that sounds good,and yes, you do understand the problem :D

I have a 5.25" drive mounted on an old PC running Windows 98. Would that be all I require for 22DISK? Also, where do I get this program please?

Thank you Andy, I feel encouraged :)

Terry Yager
May 9th, 2006, 08:30 AM
D/L 22Disk from Gaby's site, in the MS-DOS Download area.

www.gaby.de

You'll probably have to dig-up a 'real' double-density drive and install it in your PC. 22 doesn't play well with high-density drives (does not write reliably).

--T

Gracie
May 9th, 2006, 12:06 PM
Terry, thank you for the link.
Can you ( or someone ) explain the reference to a real dd drive to me please?
I don't understand what I need to do. While I am quite at home with 'modern' computers, retro computing technique is still a new field for me, so I am very ignorant. :)

Terry Yager
May 9th, 2006, 03:43 PM
The 22Disk program does not like writing to a DD disk from a HD drive for some reason (Mike can explain it better than I can). The easiest solution is to replace the HD drive with an older model that only does DD. Generally, any AT-era and later machine will probably come equipped with HD drives. One from an earlier model PC/XT-class machine will work much better for writing out CP/M disks.

--T

Terry Yager
May 9th, 2006, 03:52 PM
So basically, all you need to do is get your PC to emulate a clone that is emulating a TRS-80 emulating a CP/M machine? Sounds simple enough...

Seriously tho, do you know what Model of TRS-80 the VideoThinggy emulates? Models I & III didn't run straight, natural, CP/M natively, but a hacked version that was more of an emulator than a native app (it runs 'on-top' of the built-in 'OS'). Model IV cured that problem, so you'll only be doing two levels of emulation instead of three.

Oh yeah, you'll probably need to know which flavor of CP/M the disks were created with as there were several third-party products, (LifeBoat CP/M was a very popular one), as well as (eventually) RatShack's own version. The disk formats may vary between the different companies. Also, the version of CP/M for the Models I & III won't work on the M-IV, and vice-versa.

--T

Gracie
May 9th, 2006, 05:01 PM
gulp....TRS-80 1 I think.

the emulator software I already have ( which I can't get to read the disks) is for cp/m -80 with Accelerate 8/16 as a trade mark. I do not know what that signifies.

Do I really need an emulator? All I want to know is what docs are on the disks, and then to find a way of making them readable in MS-DOS. Will 22Disk do that, if I can find the right cp/m flavour?

thanks again :)

Terry Yager
May 9th, 2006, 09:47 PM
Yes, as long as you can find the correct format, and 22 supports it, but you'll still want to use a dd drive.

--T

Gracie
May 10th, 2006, 02:11 AM
ok.. forgive me for being a bit dense(!) here - are you saying I need to put another 5.25" drive on the machine, load the program in 'A' and put the target in 'B', or are you saying I can load the program into RAM, then use the 5.25" drive for the disk I want to access, or are you saying something else?
I don't know much about the old floppies - how do you look at them and know what their size or density is?

Sorry to be a thicko on this Terry - new territory for me :)

ahh, been looking on the web and light is perhaps dawning. You are saying that the 5.25" floppy drives come in two formatting densities - one is high density and the other is double density formatting capabilities, is that right? And I need a drive (or two?) with double density formatting so that 22Disk will be able to write to a disk formatted on that drive. Is that right??

OK... how can I tell one from t'other? I have two drives here, one of which does not seem to work now, though it did at first. The other is working fine. How will I know what formatting capabilities it uses;should I try formatting a blank 5.25" disk with it to see what I get?

Luke
May 21st, 2006, 12:33 PM
Yes, first set in BIOS 1.2m drive. If you can't format disk then try 360kB option.