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Thread: Model 4 Cassette Operation

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post

    To cut to the chase, I really think you're wasting your time trying to load Model 100 tapes in Model III mode. A translation program would certainly be technically possible (and maybe it already exists, but I don't know about it), but you have TAPE100/CMD in Model 4 mode, so... why are you not messing with that?
    The short answer is: I have.

    T100_2.jpg

    A slightly longer answer is that I've always been curious about everything.

    The unfortunate aspect of not knowing anything is that you often don't know what you don't know - what it is you should know - and you often find out what you should know only by making mistakes. Sometimes people are generous enough to share their knowledge with you but it rarely happens without asking. This discussion, for example, has not only taught me what I didn't know but has opened up avenues of investigation I didn't know existed, and I thank you and the other respondents for their generosity.

    I know something about computers but very little about TRS computers; until very recently I had never owned or even used one. The learning curve has been steep and sometimes I have to ask embarrassingly stupid questions. I try not to ask the same stupid question twice; I find it tends to turn off the flow of information.

    But, as I've heard it said, we stand on the shoulders of giants and I have always had the greatest respect for people who know more than I do. Clearly you do.

    Thanks,

    -CH-

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by clh333 View Post
    The unfortunate aspect of not knowing anything is that you often don't know what you don't know - what it is you should know - and you often find out what you should know only by making mistakes. Sometimes people are generous enough to share their knowledge with you but it rarely happens without asking. This discussion, for example, has not only taught me what I didn't know but has opened up avenues of investigation I didn't know existed, and I thank you and the other respondents for their generosity...
    Woah. I apologize if I came off too harsh. I just remembered earlier in the thread you'd said you hadn't tried the TAPE100/CMD program yet, I was just thinking it'd be good to start there before looking for more exotic solutions. If you'd already said you'd tried it in a later post and I missed it I'm sorry.

    (And re: the rest, again, I'm sorry if it sounded dismissive when I was throwing out examples of how tape incompatibility was the rule and not the exception with these older machines. Alas I remember that period first-hand all too well. There's a lot I miss about the "good old days" of there being a vast diversity of home computers compared to the boring sameness we have today, I wouldn't be fiddling with retrocomputers if I didn't, but, man, there were some really frustrating parts of it too.)

    So... since you *have* tried Tape100 and it didn't work I'm now wondering what the deal is with that. You have verified that in Model III mode you can CSAVE a program to tape and successfully load it back in, correct? (IE, we're pretty sure the cassette interface and recorder on the Model 4 work? And you've also verified you can do the same on the Model 102, right?) Getting TAPE100 to work is probably the first step to going any further. First thing I would probably try is writing a trivial BASIC program on the Model 4; save it to disk with the ",A" argument and then try to use TAPE100/CMD to *save* it to tape. Then try reading it back in. If that doesn't work then we're already looking at maybe bigger problems than a format issue. IF that works then try loading what you saved into the Model 100; first try loading it into the text editor, then try BASIC.

    When you tried reading the Model 100-originated tape had you saved it in ASCII format, or was it just a regular CSAVE? I've never actually used the TAPE100 program so I don't know if it can process the normal binary format.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  3. #33

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    One thing to test would be saving out to tape from the Model 4 using TAPE100 and reading into the Model 100. This could be something hardware related.

    And this is a dumb question, but I dont want to overlook it. Have you adjusted the volume a little up and down to try and get a better result? Its not a Model I, but it does still matter.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    Woah. I apologize if I came off too harsh. I just remembered earlier in the thread you'd said you hadn't tried the TAPE100/CMD program yet, I was just thinking it'd be good to start there before looking for more exotic solutions. If you'd already said you'd tried it in a later post and I missed it I'm sorry.

    (And re: the rest, again, I'm sorry if it sounded dismissive when I was throwing out examples of how tape incompatibility was the rule and not the exception with these older machines. Alas I remember that period first-hand all too well. There's a lot I miss about the "good old days" of there being a vast diversity of home computers compared to the boring sameness we have today, I wouldn't be fiddling with retrocomputers if I didn't, but, man, there were some really frustrating parts of it too.)

    So... since you *have* tried Tape100 and it didn't work I'm now wondering what the deal is with that. You have verified that in Model III mode you can CSAVE a program to tape and successfully load it back in, correct? (IE, we're pretty sure the cassette interface and recorder on the Model 4 work? And you've also verified you can do the same on the Model 102, right?) Getting TAPE100 to work is probably the first step to going any further. First thing I would probably try is writing a trivial BASIC program on the Model 4; save it to disk with the ",A" argument and then try to use TAPE100/CMD to *save* it to tape. Then try reading it back in. If that doesn't work then we're already looking at maybe bigger problems than a format issue. IF that works then try loading what you saved into the Model 100; first try loading it into the text editor, then try BASIC.

    When you tried reading the Model 100-originated tape had you saved it in ASCII format, or was it just a regular CSAVE? I've never actually used the TAPE100 program so I don't know if it can process the normal binary format.
    A: No offense taken. I'm just trying to make sense of it all.
    B: The "RAT BASTARD" (Model 4) was a "throw in" on another deal and had sat in a garage for twenty years while mice inhabited it. I won't bore you with all that was required to get it running again but the bottom line is that lots needed to be addressed and the question I repeatedly face is: "Is this a hardware, software or operator problem?" Knowing so little I have to explore all three avenues.
    C: I have another Model 4 and a Model III that I can use for comparison. I had already verified the Model 100 file tape reading problem on the other (NGA) 4 but not the Tape100 experiment. I will give further attention to that seam of exploration.
    D: Speaking as a guy who made his living for a while as a programmer, I have to say assembly language is not one of my long suits but is fascinating to me for its intimate association with the hardware. As several authors have pointed out, learning assembly requires your understanding of the machine.
    E: I really do appreciate the input; yours and everyone else's. Not everyone agrees on every topic (I hear there's an election this year) but I try to keep an open mind and be willing to change my opinion in the light of new facts.

    Thanks again,

    -CH-

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tibs View Post
    One thing to test would be saving out to tape from the Model 4 using TAPE100 and reading into the Model 100. This could be something hardware related.

    And this is a dumb question, but I dont want to overlook it. Have you adjusted the volume a little up and down to try and get a better result? Its not a Model I, but it does still matter.
    Excellent suggestion. Thanks!

    -CH-

  6. #36
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    Long and short of it definitely verify that your Model 4, whichever one of the two, can at least do cassette I/O reliably with itself. (The most basic test would be to boot it into Model III BASIC and use the CSAVE and CLOAD commands. After that, Model 4 mode and writing and reading a tape with TAPE100/CMD.) If you have a digital recorder (or a computer) that you can save and playback uncompressed .WAV files on you could also try using that instead of the tape recorder, in case its suffering from issues; the one caution there is that many digital recorder-type things aren't actually capable of putting out playback levels the computer's tape hardware will accept. (I ran into this trying to play cassette images into a TRS-80 Color Computer III using a MacBook.)
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  7. #37
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    As the world turns, Chapter LXVII:

    Created a three-line BASIC program on the Model 102 and saved it to tape, first using the default format and then as ASCII. Verified the audio on the CCR-81. Read each version back into the Model 102 and ran them both.

    Attached the tape + recorder at the Model 4 NGA. Booted the Model 4 into LSDOS and invoked TAPE100. Directed TAPE100 to read the cassette files and write to a formatted data disk. TAPE100 could not read the "standard format" Basic program but it did read the ASCII version and write it to disk.

    Using TED I opened up this file and found that there were extra characters inserted. Before line 20 and line 30 and at the end of the file was the character "" (ASCII 205) and at the end of the file was "" (ASCII 206, I think).
    There was no character before line 10 but TED may have trimmed it off; I don't know. But the file was editable and I deleted the extraneous characters and saved it again.

    I have yet to see if an ASCII TEXT file can be imported the same way - for reasons explained below. But ASCII from Model 100/102 to Model 4 seems to work with the help of TAPE100. On this machine, at least; again, more testing needed on the other 4 and the III.

    Next I called up BASIC from an LSDOS command line and was surprised to see a version load. Written by Microsoft for TRSDOS with extensions (auto!) by MISOSYS. Who knew? Again entered a short BASIC program and saved to disk this time. Could not save as ASCII, only BIN; not sure why as I don't have docs for this version of BASIC. But I was able to use TAPE100 to read from disk and write to cassette.

    The Model 102 was unable to read this file, or even recognize it as a file. I played back the audio and there was a pronounced 60-cycle hum on top of the audio. I tried writing again with the recorder as far from the CRT as the cable would stretch and the cable routed differently, but with the same result, i.e. not recognized. The audio was a little quieter, tho.

    Then I tried reading into the Model 4 the file it had written out. The M4 could not recognize the file, either.

    Then the ZX$^^*# cassette recorder died. Testing has halted pro tem.

    So the best that I can say is that the Model 100/102 can export files and read back in files it has written, within certain narrow parameters, and that some of those files can be read into the Model 4, although not as directly executable. Directly executable files can be written out of the Model 4 but can not be executed by either the Model 100/102 or the Model 4 on re-import, as far as I can tell. It appears some intermediary program will be required to translate.

    Pictures attached.

    -CH-

    TAPE100_Import.jpg ASCII_Import.jpg BAS_Export.jpg

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by clh333 View Post
    Next I called up BASIC from an LSDOS command line and was surprised to see a version load. Written by Microsoft for TRSDOS with extensions (auto!) by MISOSYS. Who knew? Again entered a short BASIC program and saved to disk this time. Could not save as ASCII, only BIN; not sure why as I don't have docs for this version of BASIC. But I was able to use TAPE100 to read from disk and write to cassette.
    According to a TRS-80 Model 4 quick reference guide you should be able to save a program in ASCII format with:

    SAVE "FILENAME/TXT",A

    Did you try saving it with a "/BAS" extension? Maybe it has the goofy limitation that you have to give it the extension "/TXT" specifically.
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    According to a TRS-80 Model 4 quick reference guide you should be able to save a program in ASCII format with:

    SAVE "FILENAME/TXT",A

    Did you try saving it with a "/BAS" extension? Maybe it has the goofy limitation that you have to give it the extension "/TXT" specifically.
    Time will tell, thanks. Gotta find another recorder, it seems.

    -CH-

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