Announce: NorthStar tools available

From: Dave Dunfield <>
Date: Sat Feb 19 16:05:46 2005

As some of you know, I have been working with a few different people
in trying to get some NorthStar disk based S-100 systems up and
running - this has proven to be a challange to do remotely, and in
the process I have created a few useful tools:

NSI - NorthStar Transfer utility
         Copies SD, DD and DQ format NorthStar disk images to and from
         PC files and physical disks via a serial link to the NorthStar
         system - also provides a means of bootstrapping the client code
         via a "memory edit" command in a debug monitor.

NSI - NorthStar Image utility
         Manipulates the images created by NST, allows directory display,
         get/put file, INIT of new images and several other functions.

HORIZON- NorthStar Horizon simulator
         Simulates a NorthStar Horizon computer, allowing you to "boot" the
         images described above.
         Simulates either SD or DD NorthStar disk controller.
         Has memory import/export options which make it very easy to patch
         in-memory files for system configuration.
         Configurable to simulate virtually any UART type devices, allowing
         it to be used as a testbed to configure any serial console based
         NorthStar system (default is Horizon 8251's)
         Has debugging capabilitie, single-step, memory editor etc.

I have also included 8080 and Z80 cross assemblers, and an 8080 disassembler,
which can be used to write new I/O drivers etc. (which can be loaded directly
into the simulator to patch the booted OS).

I've included a complete example of using the tools to build a working bootable
disk for a non-Horizon computer (which happens to be my Vector 1+).

All of the above tools should run in any DOS compatible environment, including
verious flavors of Windows, Linux (DOSemu), soft-PC, etc. and even DOS!

Finally, I have made available about 65 NorthStar disk images, including several
versions of NorthStar DOS, CP/M, a couple of other operating systems, and plenty
of application programs and games. You can use NST to make physical disks from
these for your NorthStar system - I would also appreciate copies of any NorthStar
software that you might have which is not already in the archive.

Randy of has graciously offered space so that I can make this
available until I get it sorted out and put up on my site.


dave04a (at)    Dave Dunfield
dunfield (dot)  Firmware development services & tools:
com             Collector of vintage computing equipment:
Received on Sat Feb 19 2005 - 16:05:46 GMT

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