Forum Rules and Etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Rule 1: Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Rule 2: Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Rule 3: Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

Rule 4: "PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Rule 5: Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

Mystery S-100 FDC, VISTA, SOL

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    It was interesting to have a look at the V*.RAW Image. I think I know what is going on with that image.
    Your Directory is located at 0x2000 = 8192 Decimal. And the first track is 128 Bytes x 24 sectors long
    making it the boot track (track 0). The remainder of the floppy is 512 x 10 sectors.

    What I did was to move the beginning of track 1 to 5120 (512 x 10). I used dd in Linux to do that.
    dd is also known as DATA DESTROYER.
    $dd if=vistaorig.raw skip=3072 bs=1 of=vtest.raw conv=notrunc;sync

    (I renamed your original file just to make it easier to type.)

    This chopped off the first track (track 0 = boot track) and has the Directory located where cpmtools
    would typically look. (I've had trouble with cpmtools trying to access other images with an odd
    ball Boot track that was Single Density.)

    Then, it was just a matter of getting the Definition correct enough to extract the files so the ASCII
    or TEXT files were SANE. That did take a bit of work, but it finally worked.

    The three linux commands I used were:

    build the new code
    $gcc -o mmcpm3U1 mmcpm3U1.c
    See if it gives a proper directory
    $./mmcpm3U1 vistaorig.raw
    extract the files
    $./mmcpm3U1 copy vistaorig.raw

    If the data had been inverted I could have used
    $gcc -o mmcpm3U1 mmcpm3U1.c
    $./mmcpm3U1 examine vistaorig.raw
    $./mmcpm3U1 copy vista.img

    I wasn't able to use cpmtools ver 2.21 because it barfs when trying to access the HEX bytes of your file.
    And the OFS xxxx (with BOOTTRK 0) doesn't seem to want to work on your original file. So, I located the
    DIRECTORY and just chopped xxxx bytes to make the Directory start at 5120 (Decimal) and then I can
    access it properly with mmcpm (a modified mmcpm.c)

    The attached text file will give you the information you are wanting. I think the files are good since the DOC and
    .ASM files appear to be SANE. But, the ONLY way to know for sure is a BINARY COMPARE or just try
    them in CP/M (if you dare).

    Maybe your cpmtools version will work with this definition:# Sorcerer Vista 5.25" SS 40T (40T 10x512 s/t)
    diskdef vista
    seclen 512
    tracks 40
    sectrk 10
    heads 1
    blocksize 1024
    #maxdir 128
    maxdir 64
    skew 0
    # skewstart 1
    # datasect 1
    # boottrk 1
    #0x2000 = 8192 was original DIR location
    # offset 5120
    offset 8192
    boottrk 0
    os 2.2

    If not, you can always chop off the first 3072 bytes and use the offset of 5120.

    # vista - Sorcerer Vista - SSDD 48 tpi 5.25" - 512 x 10
    diskdef vista
    seclen 512
    tracks 40
    sectrk 10
    secbase 0
    blocksize 1024
    maxdir 64
    skew 0
    offset 8192
    boottrk 0
    os 2.2

    # libdsk data below
    description = Sorcerer Vista - SSDD 48 tpi 5.25" - 512 x 10
    cylinders = 40
    heads = 1
    secsize = 512
    sectors = 10
    secbase = 0
    datarate = DD


    Last edited by ldkraemer; August 9, 2019, 11:09 AM. Reason: added cpmtools & libdsk definitions


      DECOD2.COM & ENCOD2.COM both appear to start execution properly, and just need the password:
      Decode II  v1.0
      Copyright (c) 1980 - SuperSoft & Herbert Schildt
      Enter password: 53421
      Program terminated...returning to operating system



        If you run PASS2 on the disk, you can change the password to what ever you like

        I simply chopped off 3072 bytes from the start and used below to extract all files perfectly using CMPToolsGUI

        diskdef vista
        seclen 512
        tracks 40
        sectrk 10
        secbase 0
        blocksize 1024
        maxdir 64
        skew 1
        boottrk 1
        os 2.2


          Originally posted by Hugo Holden View Post
          That disc controller to me looks very similar to a Northstar MDS-AD3, with roughly about the same number of IC's, from what has been said it may be a fairly close knock off, it would be interesting to compare the schematics if you can find the Vista one.
          The OP is long gone but the quest to document micro-computing history continues.

          An inch and a half thick documentation folder for the Vista floppy disk system has been located in Canada. I am confident of finding a way to eventually get it scanned at archival quality.

          vista_binder_vcfed.jpg vista_tabs_vcfed.jpg