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32k Model 100, newbie (mostly data transfer) questions.

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    32k Model 100, newbie (mostly data transfer) questions.

    This last weekend at the local HAM flea market I was hooked into acquiring a TRS-80 Model 100. ($45 for a unit in quite good cosmetic condition, a slipcover, and three manuals. I realize that probably wasn't quite the "deal of the century" but not too terrible.) I've fiddled with it a few hours and it seems to work fine. It's sort of exciting to actually have one, I suppose, a mere... thirty years after first poking at one in a Radio Shack store. (Suddenly I feel old.) I gather that "Club 100" is the place to go to get most questions someone might have about a "Model T" answered, but to be honest I've sort of been having a little trouble finding things just searching around the site; it could well be that I have sort of dumb questions. (It does sort of seem like the site's organization assumes you've owned a Model 100 long enough to know the basics, and in particular you're familiar with the external floppy drives or things that emulate them.) Thus I was sort of wondering if there were any aficionados of the machines that might be able to shed light on a few of the dumber ones.

    1: Double/triple checking: For a power supply brick you need one that supplies six volts DC with *center negative* on the barrel plug?

    2: The comm program seems to be very... sparse, when it comes to file transfer options, IE, it looks like you're pretty much limited to pushing an ASCII file or manually receiving one. Is there a good binary-transfer/XModem widget I should be looking for to keep handy in RAM? (I did see some programs for doing hex encoding/decoding in the Club 100 library, is that the way to go?)

    3: When I did some ASCII transfers at 9600 baud I got a fair number of errors when the Model 100 was on the receiving side. (corrupted/transposed characters mostly, the occasional drop) Am I simply going too fast or does this indicate a handshaking issue? (My serial cable is sort of a hack job assembled out of server/network device console adapters so it may not be completely kosher from the Tandy's point of view.)

    4: Is there a program out there for converting .wav files of the 100's cassette output into files? (and vice-versa?) I've seriously tried finding such a thing but have failed. They exist for most other old computers, so it has to be out there. (I was thinking an audio line-in adapter for my smartphone *could* let me use that for portable storage. The other option I've been pondering is an RS-232 to Bluetooth dongle and a Bluetooth terminal program, but the dongles are a little spendy. Not *terrible*, but slightly painful.) Granted it's pretty unlikely I'd go somewhere "for real" very often with the Model 100 but it might be fun once.

    Thanks!
    My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

    #2
    Originally posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    This last weekend at the local HAM flea market I was hooked into acquiring a TRS-80 Model 100. ($45 for a unit in quite good cosmetic condition, a slipcover, and three manuals. I realize that probably wasn't quite the "deal of the century" but not too terrible.)
    Not bad at all for a nice-looking working unit, slipcover & books; congratulations!
    I gather that "Club 100" is the place to go to get most questions someone might have about a "Model T" answered,
    Yup
    ... but to be honest I've sort of been having a little trouble finding things just searching around the site; it could well be that I have sort of dumb questions. (It does sort of seem like the site's organization assumes you've owned a Model 100 long enough to know the basics, and in particular you're familiar with the external floppy drives or things that emulate them.)
    Yes, it can be a little frustrating; lots of stuff there.
    1: Double/triple checking: For a power supply brick you need one that supplies six volts DC with *center negative* on the barrel plug?
    Sounds good.
    2: The comm program seems to be very... sparse, when it comes to file transfer options, IE, it looks like you're pretty much limited to pushing an ASCII file or manually receiving one.
    That's usually all you need; BASIC files are usually loaded as text and M/L files are usually contained in BASIC loaders. TELCOM will transfer files at up to 19,200bd but you must use XON/XOFF handshaking; note that BASIC and TEXT can also load and save via the serial port.
    Is there a good binary-transfer/XModem widget I should be looking for to keep handy in RAM? (I did see some programs for doing hex encoding/decoding in the Club 100 library, is that the way to go?)
    Depends on what you're connected to, what you're transferring, and whether you want to spend money for hardware. There's an xmodem program in the communication library, there are several disk emulators (TEENY/TS-DOS with DeskLink,LaddieCon/Alpha, DLpilot etc.) depending on the 'server' platform, there is at least one SD card storage device (NADSbox), etc., and of course you could convert binary to hex as well. You can also put the client into ROM; if you have a late model it uses a JEDEC-standard ROM, if you have an early model you'd need an adapter if you wanted to burn a custom ROM (and change the year to 2013 ).

    I'm curious: why is transferring binary data so important? What do you want to transfer?

    3: When I did some ASCII transfers at 9600 baud I got a fair number of errors when the Model 100 was on the receiving side. (corrupted/transposed characters mostly, the occasional drop) Am I simply going too fast or does this indicate a handshaking issue? (My serial cable is sort of a hack job assembled out of server/network device console adapters so it may not be completely kosher from the Tandy's point of view.)
    All you need is a 3-wire cable. There is no built-in hardware handshaking support (although other terminal software does exist), but if you can use XON/XOFF handshaking which most terminal programs (e.g. HyperTerm) support you should have no problems at the 19,200 maximum rate. If you can't use XON/XOFF then using BASIC or TELCOM will probably max out around 600bd incoming, but using the TEXT program will probably let you get around 2400 or more since it does not scroll or tokenize data.
    4: Is there a program out there for converting .wav files of the 100's cassette output into files? (and vice-versa?) I've seriously tried finding such a thing but have failed. They exist for most other old computers, so it has to be out there. (I was thinking an audio line-in adapter for my smartphone *could* let me use that for portable storage. The other option I've been pondering is an RS-232 to Bluetooth dongle and a Bluetooth terminal program, but the dongles are a little spendy. Not *terrible*, but slightly painful.) Granted it's pretty unlikely I'd go somewhere "for real" very often with the Model 100 but it might be fun once.
    There's no ASCII/binary to .WAV program AFAIK although there's been some success just dealing with loading/saving .WAV files as is. Bluetooth is an option and the dongles aren't that expensive (less that $10 for an internal one and ~$15 for an RS-232 version); transferring files manually is no problem as long as you have a terminal program on the 'server' phone or computer that properly handles XON/XOFF over bluetooth, and there's some discussion about creating a custom BT or RS-232/USB disk emulator for Android.

    Have FUN!
    Last edited by MikeS; March 12, 2013, 10:55 AM.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by MikeS View Post
      Not bad at all for a nice-looking working unit, slipcover & books; congratulations!
      Yeah, I figured worst case it was about going rate. For some reason I remembered these things selling for more a few years ago but you know how these things are. Next week eBay might decide they're worth thousands.

      Depends on what you're connected to, what you're transferring, and whether you want to spend money for hardware. There's an xmodem program in the communication library, there are several disk emulators (TEENY/TS-DOS with DeskLink,LaddieCon/Alpha, DLpilot etc.) depending on the 'server' platform, there is at least one SD card storage device (NADSbox), etc., and of course you could convert binary to hex as well.
      The NADSbox at $200 seems a little steep, so I'm probably not up for that. I might experiment with some of the software solutions, although not having a DOS or Windows machine makes it slightly more challenging as it seems like that's the favorite platform for the disk emulators...

      You can also put the client into ROM; if you have a late model it uses a JEDEC-standard ROM, if you have an early model you'd need an adapter if you wanted to burn a custom ROM (and change the year to 2013 ).
      My machine is the original fat 100, not a 102. Were there significant hardware variations within that model? I did get the impression from the research I did that the 102 is somewhat more amenable to "standard" memory parts than the original.

      I'm curious: why is transferring binary data so important? What do you want to transfer?
      I'd assumed you'd need binary transfer for machine-language programs but if most things ML are packaged inside ASCII loaders than perhaps it's not an issue.

      All you need is a 3-wire cable. There is no built-in hardware handshaking support (although other terminal software does exist), but if you can use XON/XOFF handshaking which most terminal programs (e.g. HyperTerm) support you should have no problems at the 19,200 maximum rate. If you can't use XON/XOFF then using BASIC or TELCOM will probably max out around 600bd incoming, but using the TEXT program will probably let you get around 2400 or more since it does not scroll or tokenize data.
      I'll fiddle with it some more. (For my off-the-cuff testing I was using Zterm on a Mac.) The serial link worked great for pushing a page of nonsense I typed into TEXT *to* the larger machine but of course it's not going to have issues keeping up even if XON/XOFF wasn't working properly.

      There isn't a way in the terminal program to tweak carriage return/line feed settings, is there? (I had to do that on the Zterm end.) It's not a big deal but it might come up if I tried to use the M100 as a retro portable switch/server console.

      There's no ASCII/binary to .WAV program AFAIK although there's been some success just dealing with loading/saving .WAV files as is. Bluetooth is an option and the dongles aren't that expensive (less that $10 for an internal one and ~$15 for an RS-232 version); transferring files manually is no problem as long as you have a terminal program on the 'server' phone or computer that properly handles XON/XOFF over bluetooth
      I wonder if you could run the M100 cassette transfer program that came with TRSDOS 6 inside an emulator to convert a WAV. That would be very silly, however.

      You don't happen to have a link for a $15 RS-232 Bluetooth, do you? I saw you could get a TTL serial module for dirt cheap but my limited searching didn't turn up an RS-232 line-level one for much under $50. (I know, I should have the guts to solder a TTL one in but this M100 is in nice enough shape I'm not sure I want to molest it to that level.)

      there's some discussion about creating a custom BT or RS-232/USB disk emulator for Android
      That would be the Holy Grail right there. Hey, they did it for Palm OS...

      I will indeed have fun.
      My Retro-computing YouTube Channel (updates... eventually?): Paleozoic PCs Also: Blogspot

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
        Yeah, I figured worst case it was about going rate. For some reason I remembered these things selling for more a few years ago but you know how these things are. Next week eBay might decide they're worth thousands.
        Not thousands perhaps but I've seen them go for around $200.

        The NADSbox at $200 seems a little steep, so I'm probably not up for that. I might experiment with some of the software solutions, although not having a DOS or Windows machine makes it slightly more challenging as it seems like that's the favorite platform for the disk emulators...
        I believe DLplus works with Linux and OS/X:
        http://www.bitchin100.com/files/linux/dlplus.zip
        Use TS-DOS or TEENY for the client.
        My machine is the original fat 100, not a 102. Were there significant hardware variations within that model? I did get the impression from the research I did that the 102 is somewhat more amenable to "standard" memory parts than the original.
        AFAIK the only variation within the North American 100 was the ROM type (not the contents); in late '83 (around serial no. 310xxxxxx) they switched from a non-standard 32kb ROM to a standard 27C256.

        The 102 is slimmer and uses a standard 27xx ROM (with some upgrades) but unfortunately the chips are soldered in.

        I'd assumed you'd need binary transfer for machine-language programs but if most things ML are packaged inside ASCII loaders than perhaps it's not an issue.
        Once you get a suitable 'server' set up then a client like TEENY or TS-DOS, preferably in ROM, is the way to go; single-ended (i.e. controlled from the M100), subdirectories (TS-DOS), etc.
        I'll fiddle with it some more. (For my off-the-cuff testing I was using Zterm on a Mac.) The serial link worked great for pushing a page of nonsense I typed into TEXT *to* the larger machine but of course it's not going to have issues keeping up even if XON/XOFF wasn't working properly.
        Yeah, usually no problem sending but receiving without handshaking will overrun at the higher speeds especially if using BASIC or TELCOM; try using TEXT instead.
        There isn't a way in the terminal program to tweak carriage return/line feed settings, is there? (I had to do that on the Zterm end.) It's not a big deal but it might come up if I tried to use the M100 as a retro portable switch/server console.
        Anything's possible but I'm not aware of a simple switch; always dealt with it at the other end myself.
        I wonder if you could run the M100 cassette transfer program that came with TRSDOS 6 inside an emulator to convert a WAV. That would be very silly, however.
        I'll leave that for you to explore
        You don't happen to have a link for a $15 RS-232 Bluetooth, do you? I saw you could get a TTL serial module for dirt cheap but my limited searching didn't turn up an RS-232 line-level one for much under $50. (I know, I should have the guts to solder a TTL one in but this M100 is in nice enough shape I'm not sure I want to molest it to that level.)
        Very first eBay hit on 'RS232 bluetooth'; $9.95 w/free shipping):
        330888051937
        You do have to supply power somehow though; a small battery pack, mod to RS232 port, or connection to bar code port.
        I will indeed have fun.
        I'm sure you will. Why not join Tez, Tandyman et al on the Club100 mail list...
        Last edited by MikeS; March 12, 2013, 12:31 PM.

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          #5
          Buy it now, free shipping:

          251215185081

          221170098273

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