Z80 BigBoard ID Needed

From: Richard Erlacher <edick_at_idcomm.com>
Date: Wed Mar 27 20:33:59 2002

There's plenty of CP/M software out there. All you need to do is find one of
the mirrors of the late Tim Olmstead's unofficial CP/M site.

CP/M comes with a line-editor called ED and it's not as powerful as the
original MSDOS' EDLIN. The editor of choice for CP/M would probably be
WordStar, of which there are several versions for CP/M. It does come with an
assembler, called ASM, and you can snag a macroassembler called MAC from the
CP/M website, and be sure to get the Z80 extensions for it, so you can make
some comparisons with M80, which is a Microsoft product, but also lying around
on various CP/M sites throught the web. You'll also want to get the other
"pieces," namely the linker, and a symbol cross-referencing tool, XREF.

If I were you, I'd take it slowly. You'll undoubtedly want a few compilers,
e.g. 'C', Pascal, Algol, PL/M, PL-I, Fortran II, Fortran IV, Fortran77, and
the RATFOR preprocessor, and probably COBOL, and Lisp, and Modula-II, and the
list goes on. There are multiple versions of nearly all of these, but if you
obsess on getting all this stuff, which is tempting, you'll never learn what
you need.

Select the editor you want, keeping in mind that little of this stuff is much
use without a hard disk, which is not "rocket science" to add, provided you
can snag a drive of the CP/M era. IDE drives are a mite more trouble, as are
SCSI types, but it's all been done. The maximum size for a CP/M 2.2 (plain
vanilla version) system is 8 MB, and you can only have as many as 16 drives,
including the floppies. My understanding is that if you have a 60 MB drive,
you can stick all the software that was ever published for CP/M, including
sources, on it and still have room left. Some folks disagree, but I almost
believe that. Somebody sent me a CD of CP/M stuff that purportedly contained
pretty much "everything" there was, and it was barely 10% utilized. Several
CD's have been published, but most have what amounts to multiple copies of the
same stuff on them, so their capacity is not representative of what you might
need storage-wise.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the BigBoard runs at just over 2 MHz
(2.5?). I've got several but really haven't considered how fast they run in
the original version, because I'm into hot-rodding. The software versions I
have don't use mode-2 interrupts, so one wonders why the designer used those
awkward Z80 peripherals that do little more than ensure that you can't run the
CPU faster than the peripherals, even though the CPU is quite capable of it.
Of course, the fact that the entire board is out of the Mostek and Zilog
app-notes might explain that.

So go out and find those websites, read the documents, and grab the software
you think you want.

If you want the 12 or so "utility" diskettes for the Big Board, I can probably
fix you up with that stuff, but not right away, as I'm not yet to the point of
restoring communication between my CP/M system and the PC's. Maybe in a
couple of weeks.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Uban" <uban_at_ubanproductions.com>
To: <classiccmp_at_classiccmp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 2:29 PM
Subject: Re: Z80 BigBoard ID Needed

> Ok, I now have a BigBoard and 8" SSSD floppy (thanks Bob!)... now I am
> for some software to run on it. My wish list is a copy of CPM, an editor
> CPM come with one, I don't recall), a good z80 assembler, and kermit (or
> similar
> serial transfer program). All on single sided 8" floppies. Do you happen to
> have
> any of these?
> I can provide the floppies if someone can make the copies for me.
> Thanks in advance!
> --tom
Received on Wed Mar 27 2002 - 20:33:59 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:35:14 BST