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Does anyone have the Epson PF-10 and this disk?

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    Does anyone have the Epson PF-10 and this disk?

    I am working on a disk emulator for the PX-8 that should daisy chain with the PF-10 and when it is ready, if someone has this disk and a PF-10 drive, I'd like to send them one to archive the official disk to an image file if possible. I'd probably let them keep the emulator for my parts cost in return for the help.

    One of these was on eBay, but it went for over $400!

    It will probably a couple of months before I have the unit off a breadboard and on its own PCB.

    epsondisk.jpg

    #2
    I have a working HX-20, and a TF-20 which seems to work, but does not communicate with the HX.

    Regarding your question, I've looked at a PDF online of the manual for the PF-10, which seems similar to parts of the manual for my TF-20. I note that the manual makes no reference to the disk you ask about, or to any other disk, so the disk is clearly not any sort of 'system' disk as is the disk supplied with my TF-20. I assume that the disk does not include any software necessary for the operation of the PF-10 As it is labelled 'Utility Disk' I would assume therefore that it contains a collection of general CP/M software, which may or may not have been modified for operation on the PX-8. If you could at least get a listing of the items on the disk, it may be possible to find them elsewhere?

    I have seen software for the PX-8 listed on a web site, might be worth checking such things out?

    Geoff
    Vintage Devices: Epson HX-20/TF-20, Amstrad PCW 8256 (with extras), 386 and 486 PCs with 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives, Pentium 75 with Roland LAPC-I midi card

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      #3
      Further to the above, what I do have is a 5.25 system disk for the TF-20, for use with a PX-?.

      This might relate to the PX-8, but could be re a PX-4, or maybe either?

      Apart from some 'system' software, there are:

      ASM.COM, BASIC.COM, CONFIG.COM, D.COM, DUMP.COM, ED.COM, FLINK.COM, FORMAT.COM, LOAD,COM, PIP.COM, PXBASIC.COM, PXDUMP.COM.

      There are some .HEX files on the disk, but these may be things I've extracted from the system tracks and resaved as normal files??

      The 'D.COM' file is noted as a directory lister of some sort.

      The disk is actually now the format for an Amstrad PCW using an external 5.25" DSDD (340k) drive. I've just checked the disk on an old PC using 22DISK, and it accesses fine. The data/files on the disk originally came from a TF-20/15 (?) format disk.

      Geoff
      Vintage Devices: Epson HX-20/TF-20, Amstrad PCW 8256 (with extras), 386 and 486 PCs with 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives, Pentium 75 with Roland LAPC-I midi card

      Comment


        #4
        Hi Geoff!

        Originally posted by GeoffB17 View Post
        I note that the manual makes no reference to the disk you ask about, or to any other disk, so the disk is clearly not any sort of 'system' disk as is the disk supplied with my TF-20. I assume that the disk does not include any software necessary for the operation of the PF-10
        I agree, the TF-20 loads its firmware from diskette instead of ROM which is why you need a 'system' disk. The PF-10/TF-15 have their firmware in ROM so they don't require a startup disk.

        Originally posted by GeoffB17 View Post
        As it is labelled 'Utility Disk' I would assume therefore that it contains a collection of general CP/M software, which may or may not have been modified for operation on the PX-8. If you could at least get a listing of the items on the disk, it may be possible to find them elsewhere?
        I probably have the files (but who knows without comparing), but just wanted to document that original disk as it was from Epson. One of the issues of the PF-10 is that it uses an irregular disk format and I think it is pretty likely that no one has ever archived that particular disk. The project I am working on would however allow this - it could be daisy chained into a system with a PF-10 and then COPYDISK could duplicate the Epson disk sector by sector into a perfect image file.

        Thanks!

        Alan

        Comment


          #5
          One more thing - I think there was an HX option or HX board mentioned in the TF-20 manual. Does your TF-20 have it? Could that be why it doesn't work with the HX?

          Comment


            #6
            Alan,

            I've been looking at the files on the disk I have, and they're somewhat mixed. Some are certainly Epson, like the FORMAT, FILINK, CONFIG, others seem like totally standard CP/M, at least one, the BASIC.COM, is nothing to do with Epson and is the Locomotive BASIC from the PCW system that I must have been using to run my own prog to manipulate the other files. So, prob nothing of any use to you.

            You note that the disk format is 'irregular', but I'm not sure that's fair. I read somewhere that 22DISK supported the disk format, and I've checked my installation of 22DISK and there is a definition for PX-8, and it looks correct as per the details in the PF-10 manual. If that's so, it's well within the parameters of CP/M and NOT 'irregular'. I have every reason to believe that I could use 22DISK to create a formatted disk on a suitable PC, write files to that disk that a PX-8 could access/run, have the PX write files to the disk that the PC could then read back. Of course, the disks could not be read on a PC without the help of 22DISK (or something similar), and I agree that that's 'irregular' to some extent! The PF-10 format leaves the first 4 tracks (both sides) as 'reserved' but in fact does not use this space (as the 'system' is in ROM anyway), if anything WAS in that area then 22DISK would NOT access it, but an 'image' system WOULD. Otherwise you could use 22DISK to copy the disk OK.

            Just seen your extra note. My TF-20 DID communicate perfectly fine with the HX for many years. Only recently has it NOT. I think that frequent plugging/unplugging of the link cable may have damaged the hs serial connector, of the pc board nearby. Or something similarly technical. Prob fixable if I knew how. Just now, moving stuff via WAV files

            Geoff
            Last edited by GeoffB17; August 30, 2019, 12:36 PM. Reason: additional note
            Vintage Devices: Epson HX-20/TF-20, Amstrad PCW 8256 (with extras), 386 and 486 PCs with 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives, Pentium 75 with Roland LAPC-I midi card

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              #7
              Can you post the FORMAT.COM for me to try? Is it an Epson version? There docs mention a FORMAT, but I wonder if it was merged into COPYDISK.

              I should have been more specific, I don't mean an irregular format in terms of CP/M, but rather that for a 3.5" disk, it is 40 tracks instead of 80 tracks. I'm sure if PF-10 disks can be read in a regular 3.5" drive or not. This is what I meant by irregular. I find it totally fascinating that the TF15/TF20 and PF10 have completely different disk types and yet the same logical format!

              I hope you figure out the TF-20 issue someday!

              Comment


                #8
                File attached in ZIP. .COM renames as .CPM
                Attached Files
                Vintage Devices: Epson HX-20/TF-20, Amstrad PCW 8256 (with extras), 386 and 486 PCs with 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives, Pentium 75 with Roland LAPC-I midi card

                Comment


                  #9
                  That works fine! I ran it on the PX-8 and other than it using numbers for the drives (1-4) instead of the usual PX-8 notation which is drive letters (D:-G, it works great. I formatted a virtual drive E: on my disk emulator and it filled it with 0xE5.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Alan,

                    Good to hear.

                    I'll have come by those files over 30 years ago, they've been sat on a floppy all this time. Something finally come in useful.

                    Geoff
                    Vintage Devices: Epson HX-20/TF-20, Amstrad PCW 8256 (with extras), 386 and 486 PCs with 5.25 and 3.5 floppy drives, Pentium 75 with Roland LAPC-I midi card

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi Geoff,

                      It is pretty impressive how good floppy disk technology was - amazing that 3 decades later you can still get the data off of it!

                      Thanks,

                      Alan

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