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smp
June 9th, 2015, 09:23 AM
I recently sent off an inquiry e-mail to Athana regarding a purchase of 5.25" 10 sector hard sector floppy disks.

This is the message I received in reply today:

Hello Mr. Pereira,

In regards of the 5.25 inch 10 sector, this product is not available any more.
We have 16 sector available if you are interested. I sincerely apologize for
any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Kind regards,

Connie Fontaine
Athana International, Inc.
1624 W. 240th Street
Harbor City, CA. 90710
e-mail : connie@athana.com
Phone: 310-539-7280
Fax: 310-539-6596


Does anyone have a source of supply for 5.25 inch 10 sector hard sector floppy disks?

smp

Chuck(G)
June 9th, 2015, 09:43 AM
How about making your own?

griffk
June 9th, 2015, 10:03 AM
I have probably 1-2 thousand (used ONCE to backup data on an AD I/O card doing logging, when N*s were used as debug frontends to Cray 1/2. They have all been stored in climate control, upright.

PM me if you need some.

mnc1959
June 14th, 2015, 05:00 AM
Hi Griff.

I have just acquired 2 x Micropolis 5.25" floppy drives. Unfortunately they are hard sectored, 100tpi.

I tried to PM you the other day re: hard sectored floppy disks, but cannot seem to get it to work.

I am VERY interested in purchasing some from you, happy to discuss further via a PM.

Cheers, Martin...

deramp5113
June 14th, 2015, 01:47 PM
Martin,

The Northstar disks Griff has are 10 sector. You'll need 16 sector sector disks for the Micropolis drives. Here are some on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-PACK-Vintage-New-In-Package-Scotch-3M-floppy-Diskettes-5-25-744D-16-RH-/350853109284?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51b0799624

Mike

mnc1959
June 15th, 2015, 01:22 AM
Hi Mike,

Thanks for that, I'll be purchasing tonight, dang, he won't ship to Australia.

I've contacted him to see if he will make an exception...

Not sure if this is an interesting story or not ;-)

I was given an S100 system by a local member of parliament around 1980 for services rendered. It sat in my spare room until I got married and built my own house.
At that time (I would have been in my early 30s) I decided to purge lots of old hardware including the S100 system plus peripherals and other hardware.

That was the last I saw of the machine.
About 6 months ago I took my kids to a science expo and met up with the guy I gave it to. He mentioned he still had it (over 20 years later) and had done nothing with it. He asked if I wanted it back, YES please i shouted. I am picking it up in 2 days time.

What is it? No idea, what is there, no idea, but I will soon know.
I have been given 2 x Micropolis 1043-2 drives, hence the search for the hard sectored floppy disks.
The drives are on the other side of the country, but will be here in a few weeks time.

I hope to marry up the system and the drives, btw with the drives is the matching Micropolis FDC controller card.

I seem to recall someone asking you about 100TPI Micropolis/Vector Graphics diskette images?

I have found lots of documentation, but will be on the look out for diskette images once I identify what I actually own when back in my possession.

My apologies if this is too far off topic.

Martin...

mnc1959
June 15th, 2015, 04:03 PM
Hi Mike,

Thanks for the Heads Up. For some reason he doesn't ship that particular product to Australia. I attempted to send him a PM via eBay but he has that option switched off.
So close but so far.

I replied yesterday, but it seems my replies are being moderated and perhaps deleted?

Cheers, Martin...

modem7
June 16th, 2015, 01:58 AM
I tried to PM you the other day re: hard sectored floppy disks, but cannot seem to get it to work.
For anti-spammer reasons, 'new' members are restricted: Moderated posts and no PMs

Although you joined a while back, your post count is very very low. Maybe the vBulletin software caters for possible 'sleepers'.

modem7
June 16th, 2015, 03:34 AM
I have just acquired 2 x Micropolis 5.25" floppy drives. Unfortunately they are hard sectored, 100tpi.
I tried to PM you the other day re: hard sectored floppy disks, but cannot seem to get it to work.
I am VERY interested in purchasing some from you, happy to discuss further via a PM.
Cheers, Martin...

Martin,
The Northstar disks Griff has are 10 sector. You'll need 16 sector sector disks for the Micropolis drives. Here are some on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-PACK-Vintage-New-In-Package-Scotch-3M-floppy-Diskettes-5-25-744D-16-RH-/350853109284?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51b0799624
Mike
Martin,

I am a possible local source for you.
I have just been through my collection and found what is pictured at [here (http://www.minuszerodegrees.net/temp/1/mu57sfgd632teu7.jpg)]. Unopened. 10 disks.
Note: Single sided
I cannot vouch for their state, other than to say that I keep all of my blank floppies in eskies.

If you are interested, contact me at temp6432836@outlook.com.au

mnc1959
June 16th, 2015, 03:36 AM
Hi Modem7.

That explains it all, quite understandable.

Can you point me in the direction of the rules and criteria by which ones is updated from Junior Member to a higher level and these restrictions are removed? I have looked several times and cannot locate such documentation.

Cheers, Martin...

modem7
June 18th, 2015, 11:07 PM
Can you point me in the direction of the rules and criteria by which ones is updated from Junior Member to a higher level and these restrictions are removed? I have looked several times and cannot locate such documentation.
All I know on the subject is in the two related announcements at [here (http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/forumdisplay.php?42-Vintage-Computer-Forum-Support)].

deramp5113
June 19th, 2015, 07:14 PM
I can probably help you get CP/M up and running on your computer no matter what it is. All we'll really need to do is configure serial I/O to match whatever hardware you end up having. The diskettes posted by modem7 look perfect for the Micropolis drives.

Mike

mnc1959
June 20th, 2015, 07:46 PM
Hi all,

I just want to publically thank Modem7 for supplying me with a box of 3M hard sectored diskettes at a great price.

I've also managed (through a friend in USA) purchase another 2 boxes (thanks for the tip off Deramp5113) which should be here within a month or so.

Thank you all.

Cheers, Martin...

mnc1959
June 21st, 2015, 02:35 AM
I can probably help you get CP/M up and running on your computer no matter what it is. All we'll really need to do is configure serial I/O to match whatever hardware you end up having. The diskettes posted by modem7 look perfect for the Micropolis drives.

Mike

Hi Mike,

I am assuming your last post was aimed at me :-)

A quick note about my background as I believe it is relevant. I started in IT in 1977 working on Data General and DEC Mini computers, doing maintenance and chip level repairs. I have also built and programmed most 8 bit computers, like the SC/MP, S2650, 6502, 6800, 8080/85, Z80 etc. I have repaired and maintained CP/M and MP/M systems. I also learnt to program in assembler, C, C++, Fortran, Cobol, Pascal, Basic and Algol. I have 3 IT related Diplomas and have qualifications in Netware, Unix and Microsoft products, not to mention 30+ years experience in hardware and software support. I am currently the IT Manager at Haigh's Chocolates.

As a hobby I collect and restore vintage computers, I have 60+ Macintosh machines, every apple 2 from the plus through the GS, and 2c. I am in the process of building 2 x Apple 1 computers using period correct components. I also have a few curiosities like my Triumph/Adler Alphatronic CP/M machine, Sun Sparc 5i and my S100 system.

The RASE80 CPU board looks like the ideal candidate, as it has 2 serial ports, Parallel, ROM, RAM, RTC and the 4Mhz Z80. I have managed to get it communicating with a serial terminal and can access the inbuilt 2K Monitor program. However I have no documentation for this board or the RASEFDC boards. (I sent out 2 emails in a desperate attempt to locate information, but I do not have very high hopes). I was going to use the floppy drives from the TA Alphatronic system as they are 360K soft sectored drives.

Given the RASE80 board is not going to be usable without a lot of reverse engineering of the Monitor and hardware, that leaves me with the Cromemco ZPU board, 3 ram board one of which uses 6116 static ram and/or 2716 Eproms (I am thinking of a monitor ROM to facilitate debugging of the CP/M system). The Micropolis drives have the companion Micropolis FDC board, which seems to have a 256/512 byte bootstrap ROM.

The only thing I need is additional serial IO to be able to start communicating with CP/M. My biggest issue is being able to write a basic CP/M system to hard sectored floppy disks. I seem to have picked a esoteric variant, but that's part of the attraction. I have now sourced 3 boxes of hard sectored diskettes and should be ready to start work once I locate/source a serial IO board.

Finances are a little tight but I envisage being able to start work within a few months, my aim is to have a basic CP/M 2.2 system up and running before christmas.

I would appreciate any comments, suggestions or feedback on this project.

Thanks and Cheers, Martin...

deramp5113
June 21st, 2015, 07:42 AM
Martin,

I can easily generate a CP/M 2.2 disk for you, ready to run on the Micropolis drives. The only thing I'll need to configure is a simple patch for whatever serial port board you end up using. You'll need a monitor of some sort in order to jump to the boot ROM on the Micropolis FDC.

If you buy a Vector-Graphic ZCB (CPU), it has a built-in serial port and a ROM monitor for which I have a utility that can write Micropolis disk images transferred via the serial port from a PC - you could write the boot disk yourself!

Frankly, I could probably modify the utility to work with whatever CPU and serial port configuration you end up with if you'd rather write the boot disk yourself. I could create the disk image file for your machine and you could then use the utility to write the disk image to a floppy.

Mike

mnc1959
June 21st, 2015, 08:32 PM
Martin,

I can easily generate a CP/M 2.2 disk for you, ready to run on the Micropolis drives. The only thing I'll need to configure is a simple patch for whatever serial port board you end up using. You'll need a monitor of some sort in order to jump to the boot ROM on the Micropolis FDC.

If you buy a Vector-Graphic ZCB (CPU), it has a built-in serial port and a ROM monitor for which I have a utility that can write Micropolis disk images transferred via the serial port from a PC - you could write the boot disk yourself!

Frankly, I could probably modify the utility to work with whatever CPU and serial port configuration you end up with if you'd rather write the boot disk yourself. I could create the disk image file for your machine and you could then use the utility to write the disk image to a floppy.

Mike

Hi Mike,

This is exactly what I was thinking. I would like to get a bootable image running and once I have that I can experiment and reconfigure the BIOS to add tweak the original hardware.

I'm pretty sure the Cromemco ZPU board can be configured to jump to a boot rom on the Micropolis FDC.

I've been looking for S100 serial IO boards, and there is almost nothing available (well at least on eBay). I'm not sure of any other sources?

So you can write Micropolis Hard Sectored floppy disks?

I wouldn't mind playing with MDOS either, but I'll leave that for another project :-)

Whilst I have your attention, is there a preferred Z80 assembler and disassembler that runs under Windows?

I can copy the monitor rom off my RASE80 board and disassemble it , that should give me more of an idea of the hardware, I think the monitor might be a modified version of the Zapple monitor rom. I doubt if it was written from scratch.

I cant find a VG ZCB board anywhere ;-(, but it sounds like a great option.

Its a bit of a chicken and egg situation, I need something running, once I have that I can tweak settings and hardware to my hearts content.

Thanks and Cheers, Martin...

deramp5113
June 22nd, 2015, 08:01 AM
So you can write Micropolis Hard Sectored floppy disks?


Yes, I can write a Micropolis hard sector disk with Lifeboat CP/M 2.2 for Micropolis which will run on a Z80 or 8080 processor. The only configuration required will be for the console serial port.



I wouldn't mind playing with MDOS either, but I'll leave that for another project :-)


I can generate an MDOS disk for you as well if you want. The "generic" MDOS disk is one that can be brought up on most any machine. The MDOS manual gives you instructions for patching MDOS and then saving the patched version as required for your system's serial port. Kind of a fun mini-project.



Whilst I have your attention, is there a preferred Z80 assembler and disassembler that runs under Windows?


I run CP/M under SIMH (AltairZ80). You can run ASM from Digital Research (8080) or M80 from Microsoft (can do Z80 and 8080).

Keep me posted!

Mike

mnc1959
June 23rd, 2015, 12:13 AM
Hi Mike,

I just purchased a Wameco IOB-1 Serial Parallel Interface Board without the serial option installed, but it wont take long to get up and running, it uses an Intel 8251A UART, which from experience is pretty simple to configure.

I expect delivery of the board (with full documentation) early next month.

The seller is sending me a scan of the manual so I can pre-order the parts to configure the serial interface.

It should be trivial to get serial IO going, I appreciate the 8251A is much maligned, and there are better options, but this is a means to an end.

Meanwhile I am dumping the RASE80 ROM tonight and will run it through a disassembler to work out the hardware configuration of the board.

I'm using DZ80 2.0, but I cant get anything sensible out of the disassembly.

If I have: 3EFFD303 (LD A, FF | OUT 3 (A)) in the input file

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 13:23:38
Input file: \\haighsdc01\Users\martinc\My Documents\Z80_HEX.txt
Output file: \\haighsdc01\Users\martinc\My Documents\Z80_HEX.asm
Disassembly range: 0000h - 0009h

Pass 1 of 1

Disassembled 9 instructions.
Disassembly completed OK

I get:

; Disassembly of the file "\\haighsdc01\Users\martinc\My Documents\Z80_HEX.txt"
;
; CPU Type: Z80
;
; Created with dZ80 2.0
;
; on Tuesday, 23 of June 2015 at 01:23 PM
;
0000 33 inc sp
0001 45 ld b,l
0002 46 ld b,(hl)
0003 46 ld b,(hl)
0004 44 ld b,h
0005 33 inc sp
0006 3033 jr nc,003bh ; (+33h)
0008 0d dec c
0009 0a ld a,(bc)

As the disassembled output, for the life of me I cannot work out where its getting 9 instructions from when there are only 4 bytes, 2 instructions.

I need to get this trivial example working to be confident the ROM disassembly will be reliable. One thing I like about dZ80 is it can watch IO instructions and record the ports.

What is unclear is the format of the input file, I have assumed it is just a HEX dump with no delimiters etc.

Cheers, Martin...

smp
June 23rd, 2015, 03:30 AM
I recently sent off an inquiry e-mail to Athana regarding a purchase of 5.25" 10 sector hard sector floppy disks.

This is the message I received in reply today:

Hello Mr. Pereira,

In regards of the 5.25 inch 10 sector, this product is not available any more.
We have 16 sector available if you are interested. I sincerely apologize for
any inconvenience that this may have caused.

Kind regards,

Connie Fontaine
Athana International, Inc.
1624 W. 240th Street
Harbor City, CA. 90710
e-mail : connie@athana.com
Phone: 310-539-7280
Fax: 310-539-6596


Does anyone have a source of supply for 5.25 inch 10 sector hard sector floppy disks?

smp

As the OP, I would like to pose the original question again:

Does anyone have a source of supply for 5.25 inch 10 sector hard sector floppy disks?

Thanks,
smp

deramp5113
June 23rd, 2015, 08:29 AM
Martin,

Your disassembler probably needs a binary file, not an ASCII hex file. The bytes shown in the disassembly listing are:

33 45 46 46 44 33 30 33 0D 0A

Which is the character string:

"3EFF303" followed by a CR and LF.

Mike

mnc1959
June 23rd, 2015, 03:46 PM
Martin,

Your disassembler probably needs a binary file, not an ASCII hex file. The bytes shown in the disassembly listing are:

33 45 46 46 44 33 30 33 0D 0A

Which is the character string:

"3EFF303" followed by a CR and LF.

Mike

Duh! Oh yeah, its been a while since i played at this level, thanks for pointing out my obvious mistake.

Cheers, Martin...

mnc1959
June 23rd, 2015, 10:08 PM
Duh! Oh yeah, its been a while since i played at this level, thanks for pointing out my obvious mistake.

Cheers, Martin...

Quick update, found a great utility, hex2bin, converted it to a .HEX file, exactly 2048 bytes long and was able to start disassembly.

Yay!

dZ80 also identifies any IO poprts being used, so i already have a quick map of the IO port addresses on the board, just have to work out what device is at what address :-)

More investigation coming up.

Cheers, Martin....

mnc1959
June 27th, 2015, 12:43 AM
Mike,

Another quick update.

The floppy drives are shipping monday/tuesday next week and should be here by the weekend.
The Serial IO board should ship around the same dates but from USA, I envisage that taking 2-3 weeks to arrive.

That means I know the serial IO board is a Wamenco IOB-1 board with a 8251A Uart.

If I am understanding correctly, all that needs to be done is to tweak the BIOS for the Micropolis drive and add in the 8251A code and it should be pretty simple to create a bootable disk?

Hmm, I have 2 boxes of floppies in USA, Should I have 1 redirected to you to put the Micropolis images on?

Would we start with a basic CP/M system ie with maybe support for 32K?

I have not had to build/have built CP/M like this before.

The 8251A along with the 8255A use 6 out of 8 IO addresses, I can set the address to anyone of 32 starting locations. I need to check it does clash with the Micropolis FDC board, hmm, the Micropolis controller seems to be memory mapped, using 1K, I guess it makes sense to place it as high as possible, Im pretty sure the ZPU board can be configured to jump to the boot ROM on the Micropolis FDC. Im not sure if the Micropolis FDC needs to sit at the top of ram or there can be a gap between the top of ram and the boot ROM address. Ideally Id like to bring the system up with say 32K or 48k of ram and then I can work towards increasing ram up to 56K or more hopefully.

I just checked and the ZPU can be forced to jump to address F000h, I can configure the Micropolis FDC to have its boot address at F000h, a bit wasteful of the top 4K address space, but that should allow for a CP/M system of up to 60K. One of the memory boards can have a ROM at F800h so I might look at a 2K monitor ROM like Zapple and relocate the code to F800h. Hopefully I can 'adjust' the addressing on the ZPU to jump to that address, ideally configurable via a switch to allow boot to CP/M or boot to monitor.
In the short term I will rely on the system booting from the Micropolis board and the CP/M image I get from you.

Are there any monitor roms you can point me at other than Zapple?

Any hints/tips/suggestions are appreciated, given you are helping me out I will do whatever you suggest to minimise your effort.

Cheers, Martin...

mnc1959
June 27th, 2015, 01:05 AM
Martin,

If you buy a Vector-Graphic ZCB (CPU), it has a built-in serial port and a ROM monitor for which I have a utility that can write Micropolis disk images transferred via the serial port from a PC - you could write the boot disk yourself!

Frankly, I could probably modify the utility to work with whatever CPU and serial port configuration you end up with if you'd rather write the boot disk yourself. I could create the disk image file for your machine and you could then use the utility to write the disk image to a floppy.

Mike

I like the prospect of writing the disk image myself as it gives me a backup. I haven't seen a Vector-Graphic ZCB (CPU) available so Im stuck with what I have. The RASE80 board has a monitor and space for other ROMS, the ZPU board has no space for a monitor ROM, but I have a TANNER 64K SRAM board that takes 32 x 6116 SRAM with the option of the top 8 devices being replaceable with 2716 EPROMS. Meaning I can put a monitor ROM on the board easily. Where do I start with creating a monitor ROM for my hardware configuration?

Cheers, Martin...

smp
June 27th, 2015, 05:35 AM
As the OP, I would like to pose the original question again:

Does anyone have a source of supply for 5.25 inch 10 sector hard sector floppy disks?

Thanks,
smp

billdeg
June 27th, 2015, 08:00 AM
no. I split a case of boxes with a fried about 5 years ago last time I saw any for sale, but I would think they're out there if you keep checking Ebay.

smp
June 27th, 2015, 08:41 AM
no. I split a case of boxes with a fried about 5 years ago last time I saw any for sale, but I would think they're out there if you keep checking Ebay.

Thanks very much for your response, Bill. That gives me a good data point. There's a fellow here on the forums who indicates he has a large stash of them from a situation where data was recored once and then read once, but they are marked with some classification markings, so he doesn't know if he can share them. Bah!

I'll just have to keep looking.

smp

griffk
June 27th, 2015, 06:04 PM
Thanks very much for your response, Bill. That gives me a good data point. There's a fellow here on the forums who indicates he has a large stash of them from a situation where data was recored once and then read once, but they are marked with some classification markings, so he doesn't know if he can share them. Bah!

I'll just have to keep looking.

smp

Just an FYI to all on the N* diskettes...

I contacted security @ Ames.NASA and made a formal request for a determination on these guys---probably shouldn't have been so ANAL about it in the first place, but I should have an answer in a week or so (probably a little longer with July 4 coming up)

gwk

mnc1959
June 28th, 2015, 03:00 AM
Martin,


Frankly, I could probably modify the utility to work with whatever CPU and serial port configuration you end up with if you'd rather write the boot disk yourself. I could create the disk image file for your machine and you could then use the utility to write the disk image to a floppy.

Mike

You have me intrigued, I was going to ask if you could copy some sort of serial file transfer utility so i can change/build/adjust disk images myself. It sounds like you have already written such a utility?

Once I have a bootable CP/M disk and your transfer utility I should be able to tweak and adjust to my hearts content.

I would appreciate both CP/M 2.x and MDOS if not too much work.

As per my previous post it's all on its way and its a matter of waiting, although i'll do some configuration of the ZPU board and RAM boards in anticipation of the Micropolis FDC and the Wamenco IOB-1 boards.

Cheers, Martin...

deramp5113
June 28th, 2015, 05:54 AM
Martin,

I'll be glad to help you get up and running with the Micropolis drives. We've kind-of hijacked this thread though -- lets start a new thread, or PM me and we can exchange emails and proceed from there.

Mike

mnc1959
June 29th, 2015, 02:37 AM
Martin,

I'll be glad to help you get up and running with the Micropolis drives. We've kind-of hijacked this thread though -- lets start a new thread, or PM me and we can exchange emails and proceed from there.

Mike

Hi Mike,

Yes, I agree, my apologies to those who originally asked about 10 sector hard sectored diskettes.
I have started a new thread, entitled "Rebirth of an S100 System".

Cheers, Martin...