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Gary C

Amstrad ! arrgh

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I have had this PCW 9512 sat in the workshop for almost a year now after picking it up in Telford (for the princely sum of 3.70) so I thought it was time it got an airing.

Powered up to a white screen, quick poke about to find this is normal.

Got to hand it to that Sugar bloke, he knows how to build down to a price. No ROMS !, system boots from a small amount of code built into the printer driver chip FFS.

Came with a disk, but this was very none operational (large ring visible on the surface with lots of flaking of the magnetic material) so a Gotek was obtained.

Next Sugarism, he struck such a deal with the disk drive supplier to make them cheaper than any 3.5" disk. To prevent us from putting in our own drives, the pinout of the connector was very different, even the standard power connector had the +5 and +12V connections reversed. Quick lashup of connectors and Gotek installed.

This is where it got frustrating. Lots of software for the PCW8256, but they are all in 40 track single sided DSK format which the 9512 and the gotek seem to dislike.

Found an 80T version of CPM which booted fine, but would then not read any of the 40T disks. However it was noticeable that when booting, the system would hang at a black screen until the drive ready was toggled. By pure luck, I did this by changing to a different disk image and the machine then continued to boot using the older 40T single sided copy of CPM. Once loaded the machine can now open older 40T software and most of it even seems to run, woo hoo.

So, just need a good 3" disk to see of the original drive will work now its belt has been changed and I need a way to mount the Gotek in the second bay. I dont like cutting cases, but I see little choice at the moment.

Also, as I type I notice that there seems to be a bit of a keyboard glitch in that its typing nonsense all by itself. Maybe if I leave it for an infinite time, it might write a decent book

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