CBM 8032 and other things

From: Philip.Belben_at_powertech.co.uk <(Philip.Belben_at_powertech.co.uk)>
Date: Mon Jan 5 10:39:05 1998

> Once you find software on-line - One of the real bummers is that the
> 8032 does not have an RS-232 port for easy communication (read: file
> transfer via null-modem) nor is the 8050 drive compatible with any other
> Commodore disk drive (like the 4040/2031 is compatible with the 1541 thus
> making it easy to get software to a 4040 by doing a null-modem to a 64
> and writing with a 1541).

I thought the 8050 was compatible with the 1571. Am I mistaken? I know
it's not compatible with the 8252 (or whatever it's called - the double
sided 8050 that's also built into the 8296D) which is silly and v.

> Though I am not saying it is impossible; the PET does have a parallel
> user port which is VERY easy to program. With a bit of coding knowledge
> a few parts and soldering you could whip up a PET-to-Whatever connector
> and the appropriate software for transferring files.

Absolutely. I have a couple of amusing tales about this.

In 1983-84, a friend, M J Richards, and I (aged 15 and 16 respectively
at the time) developed an adventure game for the BBC micro. But we
started by typing in all the text on an 8032, followed by compression
and encryption. We then wanted to squirt this module across to the
Beeb. Alas, MJR's Beeb only had OS version 0.10, which didn't support
input on the serial port. Also alas, the 8032SK uses IEEE-488 (GPIB)
style connectors for the user port and we didn't have any. In the end,
we used the cassette motor output on the PET and the analogue input on
the BBC. Data rate was 30 baud as I recall!

Later we wanted to produce a full program listing from a disassembler
program on the BBC. By then, 8032 had returned to Dad's office, and the
only printer we had left was a Teletype ASR33. Alas again! The BBC
serial port didn't support 110 baud. PET to the rescue again - I had an
old ROM 8K machine. A few wires and a transistor later, I had an
interface - PET received data at 4800 baud on one pin of the user port
and transmitted it (via the transistor) to the Teletype on another pin.

Finally, we wanted to port the software to other machines. Acorn
Electron port was easy - it actually runs on the BBC micro if you try
hard enough - but Commodore 64 port was more difficult. I cannot
remember if I had upgraded my PET to 32K by then - I think probably not
- but we somehow got it across the same 4800 baud link and onto tape,
whence it was loaded onto a 64.

On my list of things to do now is finish the PET port of the game...

I'd be interested to hear from anyone who actually played the game - it
was licensed to a software house called Alligata who sold it as "Xanadu
Cottage" - about 400 copies were sold, I think (BBC model B only).

Also, if anyone wants a copy for their BBC B / Electron / C= 64, please
get in touch. There are still slight bugs in the tape routines for
saved positions, afaik, but otherwise it runs well.

Finally, who would like to see / play / beta-test a PET version? And
what model(s) of PET do you have?

Terms for software distribution will be shareware - if you want to pay
for the game, a suitable donation to a charity caring for Hodgkins'
Disease (of which MJR later died) is requested.

Received on Mon Jan 05 1998 - 10:39:05 GMT

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