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bettablue
November 27th, 2013, 08:24 PM
:eh: I own several computers capable of running CP/M, and actually have two different copies of the OS for one of them; my TRS-80 Model 4. The other computer that is capable of running CP/M is my IBM 5150 PC. The only thing is that I have no real idea what, if any, the differences are, and if the floppy discs with CP?M on them can be used on different computers, or is it like DOS, and you have to have different flavors depending on the brand of computer.

I would love to get your feedback on the subject. And if someone can email me a link to what you would consider the best web page for information of CP/M, I would greatly appreciate that too. There are so many pages on CP/M, that I honestly don't know where to begin.

Thanks in advance. :)

NF6X
November 27th, 2013, 08:35 PM
I'm no CP/M expert, but it's my understanding that many/most CP/Ms are computer-specific. As I recall, there is a common core that Digital Research provided, and then vendors put a layer on top to handle hardware specific stuff. I seem to recall that the two layers are called BIOS and BDOS, but I'm not positive and I'm too lazy to look it up right now.

I think there were lots of different incompatible disk formats, too. I noticed that Montezuma Micro CP/M for the Model 4 has support to access lots of different formats, which is pretty cool. I think that applications are usually pretty portable if you can manage to read their disks, as long as they aren't tied to particular hardware like a specific terminal type.

commodorejohn
November 27th, 2013, 10:02 PM
The BDOS (and the CCP command shell) are machine-independent; it's only the BIOS that's specific to a given model of computer. (Though, as with DOS, CP/M software can bang on the hardware directly, which will make it machine-dependent. This is less common than on DOS, though, since there never really was a standard reference platform that developers could get comfy exploiting as there was with the PC.) However, the TRS-80 and the 5150 are incompatible on account of being based on the Z80 and the 8086, respectively; the TRS-80 will need its appropriate flavor of vanilla CP/M and software written for CP/M on the 8080 or Z80, while the 5150 will need CP/M-86 and software written for 8086, and never the twain shall meet.

krebizfan
November 27th, 2013, 10:13 PM
A good starter for CP/M is John Elliot's pages at http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/Cpm/index.html and the links therefrom.
Also, http://www.gaby.de/ecpm.htm which includes links to lots of documentation (all legal).

For disk formats, you could do worse than downloading 22DISK and seeing all the hundreds of common distinct diskette formats that existed. Note that the formats can be different even when created on identical drives in addition to the fact that CP/M was being developed as many new drive types were created. MSDOS has compatively few disk formats generally one or two for each drive type and density.

Each system needed a BIOS configured for that specific system which means boot disks can't be shared unlike MS-DOS once true clones started appearing.

GADFRAN
November 28th, 2013, 10:08 AM
Thanks for starting this post - much needed, especially to clarify a lot of info especially for those new to the topic and vintage computers of course !

Frank

geneb
November 28th, 2013, 11:43 AM
Note that the IBM 5150 can only run CP/M-86, not CP/M-80. Programs for each are not compatible with one another.

g.

bettablue
November 28th, 2013, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the links, AND most importantly, the information. I'm still left wondering if I can get CPM for a couple of my computers. As mentioned, I have several computers which I know had at one time or other, a copy of CP/M. In particular, my IBM 5150 PC, which I would want to run from floppy, even though the system is set up with DOS on one of the internal hard discs in the expansion unit. Then there is my TRS-80 Model 4, which I need to get a bunch of materials on to get started working with it as well. And finally, the last computer I would want to try running CP/M on would be my Apple IIe. And again, that would have to run from floppy.

So, I guess the next question is where to get CP/M for various computers/systems. And, for some odd reason, I have two different versions for my TRS-80 Model 4.

Are there any direct links to the various versions for differing systems/models?

Thanks again. I truly do appreciate your assistance.

krebizfan
November 28th, 2013, 11:58 AM
The Don Maslin archive has system disks for a large number of systems. See http://www.gaby.de/sysdisk.htm and download all 215MB of it.

For other systems, the proper system disk may have archived somewhere. Ask here and maybe someone remembers where. Otherwise, you might have to customize the BIOS for the system in question.

Chuck(G)
November 28th, 2013, 12:31 PM
Note that the IBM 5150 can only run CP/M-86, not CP/M-80. Programs for each are not compatible with one another.

One difference is that a 5150 can host CP/M-80 via an emulator package. I've never seen a Z80 system host software for a 5150.

I think that Vetusware also has a copy of IBM 5150 CP/M-86. One should also not forget Concurrent CP/M-86 for the 5150--a somewhat more advanced package.

k2x4b524[
November 28th, 2013, 01:38 PM
Vetusware is still around?
I agree with chuck, i think there is a copy there, but i wouldn't use vetusware anymore, in past experience, the site is spotty at best. And don't try to get in touch with the developer, it does no good.


One difference is that a 5150 can host CP/M-80 via an emulator package. I've never seen a Z80 system host software for a 5150.

I think that Vetusware also has a copy of IBM 5150 CP/M-86. One should also not forget Concurrent CP/M-86 for the 5150--a somewhat more advanced package.

commodorejohn
November 28th, 2013, 05:37 PM
Vetusware's still around, yeah. Their download limits are irritating, but they have a number of hard-to-find items, so it's definitely worth a look for something like CP/M-86.

geneb
November 29th, 2013, 12:35 PM
CP/M-86 is available here:

http://www.retroarchive.org/maslin/index.html

g.

Chuck(G)
November 29th, 2013, 02:31 PM
...and I confirmed that VW still has CCPM-86 3.0...

GADFRAN
November 29th, 2013, 03:01 PM
Kaypro German CP / M !

Tom,

Since you are interested in documenting CP/M, you may want to search the archives of this site for this.

Someone from Germany contacted us about it and there are some screen shots even !

Kaypro was international as Non-Linear Systems [NLS] for their testing instruments.

Many early computer companies did go international in order to increase their market share.

Some Kaypros even have a second address on the back for the Netherlands. A person there even confirmed that it is now a warehouse ! Many missed it and when I pointed it out several even confirmed I, including Erik the owner of this site - he has
one !

Again, so many complexities with the early computers for so many reasons besides even just Kaypro, including so many incredible stories to tell, showing we continue to repeat some of the same old patterns in computing that did not work then and do not now = my decades of STS NSF research in many areas..

If you do not know, Kaypro was the second portable, personal computer after Osborne and both were great successes initially since they provided a complete computer system including the software ! Just plug it in right out of the box !

Tezza in NZ even said they disguised some computers to look like Kaypros since they were so popular worldwide, but difficult to get at that time in NZ..

All the best !

Please keep us informed. !

Frank

Caluser2000
November 30th, 2013, 02:38 PM
http://www.cpm.z80.de/binary.html