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Author Topic: PCW newbie!  (Read 2975 times)

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Offline GeoffB17

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #100 on: 16:33, 09 March 19 »
There should be no reason to 'cut' any wires, although to get right in you may need to disconnect a couple of connectors, but these can be reconnected.

Need to remove some screws connecting board to chassis.

Here's a description of how to do it, which might help.   Not enough pics though?

http://web.archive.org/web/20160325090634/http://pcwpage.co.uk/replace-belt-on-3-drive/

Another version, with more pics:

http://www.fvempel.nl/belt.html

I managed to get into mine to replace belt, but mine also has a pin for write protect, which I wasn't watching.   I heard the ping when it fell out!   I managed to find it, and keep it, but someone else kindly got the pin back in place while fixing the stepper motor.

Enough others here have changed belts though.

Geoff
« Last Edit: 16:56, 09 March 19 by GeoffB17 »

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #101 on: 17:09, 09 March 19 »
Well I was only half joking but this DD drive has me defeated.


There’s a set of two thin wires soldered to the PCB on one side:









And on the other side these two are actually clamped onto the PCB in at least two places:



Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #102 on: 17:21, 09 March 19 »
You’d think this was some kind of gynaecologist joke but I actually managed it!


Well at least the belt is now in situ. Hopefully nothing out of alignment et al.

Offline tjohnson

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #103 on: 18:51, 09 March 19 »
You’d think this was some kind of gynaecologist joke but I actually managed it!


Well at least the belt is now in situ. Hopefully nothing out of alignment et al.
You can lift those clamps and move the PCB away from the chassis and it gives you enough room to get in there as I guess we've probably worked out by now. 

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #104 on: 20:13, 09 March 19 »
Success!







And it gets even better!







Using the CP/M 1.15 disc from SD Micros!


Offline JonB

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #105 on: 10:08, 10 March 19 »
So I guess the 8256 will be in the bin, then.

I am going to be making up some uIDEs soon, if you're interested. You'll need a LHS shim connector, as I do not support the Schneider expansion plug. There are pictures showing an example installation: http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/UIDE_Universal_IDE_adapter_cards_for_Z-80_computers#Fitting_a_Z80_shim_to_the_PCW_8000_series

With the ribbon cable coming out of the case at the bottom right hand corner, you can access the DOM; alternativevely, fit it internally.

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #106 on: 13:35, 10 March 19 »
Well maybe not in the bin although the missus would no doubt fancy that!
But it has become quite obvious that there's more behind the 8256's problems reading certain discs or images. I don't think it has anything to do with the original disc drive or Gotek. Interestingly I was unable to create start up disc (images), even the one auto-generated by Protext failed. Loading the vde and zde installer failed (unable to load program) and even trying to start a copy of vde already set up for the PCW (kindly uploaded by you!) failed at first. Just to add to the confusion it then started from a different disc image, both on the same usb drive.

Jack Tramiel allegedly ridiculed Apple's decision to originally sell its Apple ][ with a single floppy drive. I fully agree. If you're just going to use Locoscript and print out your award winning novel, that's fine. As soon as you start using CP/M however, you'll really miss that second drive. Having to constantly pip stuff (including pip and erase) from A: to M: and back easily quadruples your workload. Not counting for typing errors of course.
So while the new (to me) 8512 isn't in quite as good a cosmetical condition as its smaller sibling it's certainly a better and far more capable machine.

I haven't swapped the Gotek over just yet (actually I've just finished tidying up the room again) but that's going to be next.

A uIDE card would also make a tasty update, so yes: I'm interested. Not sure if it would fit the Schneider metal shielding though. It does wrap quite tightly around the board.       

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #107 on: 13:58, 10 March 19 »
P.S.: what does one use for Ctrl in VDE/WordStar on the PCW? "Alt KX" just gives an "invalid command" and freezes the entire program.

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #108 on: 16:57, 10 March 19 »
Hello,

I don't know about VDE, but I've used WordStar on my PCW, and configured the system for the PCW, and not had any problems.   Alt K X is the normal 'Save & Exit (backup)' command, which works fine.   For me.

For simple text editing, I use ED80 as supplied with some of the HiSoft software (mainly the DevPack package).   My copy of this has been substantially setup to use WS commands as well, and again Alt K X does the same job.   

I understand that the Alt key usually does the same as Ctrl.   The PCW manuals show the standard keyboard operations, and the chart for Alt + whatever show ^A or ^D etc for the alphabetic keys which is the normal representation for 'ctrl'.

I can recommend the ED80 program, which works very well.   The prog is small, and written in assembly, so it's quite fast.   All the keyboard functions can be user config, so my setup has some cursor codes changed from the WS norm to suit the PCW keyboard.

WS can be useful.   ED80 loads the whole file into RAM, so the limit is about 45k, but if I need to edit or view something larger, then WS does the trick.  Using non-document mode, of course!

Oh, when you say that WS hangs up, this could be nothing to do with WS as such, more something connected with the return to the command prompt.   What sort of file were you editing?  How was WS invoked.   Need to check on quite a few things.

Geoff
Geoff
« Last Edit: 17:00, 10 March 19 by GeoffB17 »

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #109 on: 18:02, 10 March 19 »
Regarding WS, I've just been into my setup.

When I tried to type Alt K X to come out, I got some strange things happen, and I ended up needing to restart the computer.

I didn't see an 'Unknown Command' message mind you.

However, if I do the Alt K, then wait for the menu screen to change, then do the X to exit, things work perfectly OK.

Maybe WS isn't fast enough, or isn't accessing any keyboard buffer properly.  Need to look into this.

Using ED80, I can type Alt K X as fast as I can, and this prog responds immed with no errors.

Geoff

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #110 on: 14:12, 11 March 19 »
Sorry for the delay, had to install the Gotek on my 8512 first in order to start VDE. ^KX still giving me the „invalid key“ treatment though. As soon as I hit the character „K“ I get an error message. According to my printed manual Alt+K equals Alt code 26 (arrow right).


Checked the VDE manual for alternatives and yes indeed:
Quote
II. FILE AND BLOCK COMMANDS: first hit ^K (or ESC), then the key shown.

So typing „EXIT-X“ works as well but still not sure what the real issue is.


P.S: thanks for mentioning ED80, I’ll give it a try.
« Last Edit: 14:24, 11 March 19 by TynH »

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #111 on: 21:38, 11 March 19 »
As per the usual definition, and confirmed by the PCW manual, Ctrl+K (or Alt+K) should be 11 (&H0B).

As I noted, I'm not familiar with KDE so I cannot comment on that.

Geoff

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #112 on: 23:03, 11 March 19 »
Having just tested WordStar 4 I can confirm ^KX works exactly as it’s supposed to. Seems to be a peculiarity of VDE then, maybe JonB would know something about this?


Anyway, just finished copying a variety of CF2 floppies to 22 virtual discs. Ah the joy of watching paint dry!
No, actually I *am* enjoying this. Good thing it won’t be like this in the future though.

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #113 on: 10:02, 12 March 19 »
VDE, by default, is configured to use ^H / ^K / ^J / ^L as cursor keys. This is configured in the installer (VINST266.COM) under "Terminal installation" > "Extra arrow keys".
This isn't possible in the older VDE26, only in VDE265 / VDE266.

Offline JonB

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #114 on: 19:07, 12 March 19 »
For my part, I loathe WS keystrokes, they are so counter intuitive.

I would much rather use "vi". Except, there is no workable implementation for CP/M that is fast enough on a 4Mhz Z80.

It's on my "to-do" list - has been for some years. I have a slow clone called STevie (written for the Atari ST; it became the basis of vim) which I ported to CP/M but it's waaaay too slow. There is also one written by some guys at comp.os.cpm called (IIRC) 's' but it uses all but 6k free, so it's not really usable for files that are any bigger.

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #115 on: 12:44, 13 March 19 »
VDE, by default, is configured to use ^H / ^K / ^J / ^L as cursor keys. This is configured in the installer (VINST266.COM) under "Terminal installation" > "Extra arrow keys".
This isn't possible in the older VDE26, only in VDE265 / VDE266.


Thanks for the explanation, that makes sense. Unfortunately the whole situation isn’t helped by the awful German keyboard layout. I mean NO BACKSLASH, seriously? There are some truly weird keyboard combinations to get around this but of course they’re not recognised by any program.
Switching to „language 0“ helps but using English on a completely non-standard German keyboard, well...
Using a label printer tends to look terrible, maybe I’ll just substitute my keyboard for a UK version.


Since they all interchange (AFAIK): are they all as terrible or are later keyboards better for actual typing?

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #116 on: 12:50, 13 March 19 »
For my part, I loathe WS keystrokes, they are so counter intuitive.

I would much rather use "vi". Except, there is no workable implementation for CP/M that is fast enough on a 4Mhz Z80.

It's on my "to-do" list - has been for some years. I have a slow clone called STevie (written for the Atari ST; it became the basis of vim) which I ported to CP/M but it's waaaay too slow. There is also one written by some guys at comp.os.cpm called (IIRC) 's' but it uses all but 6k free, so it's not really usable for files that are any bigger.


Wasn’t there a CP/M version of emacs? [/phlame]
To be fair, vi(m) isn’t all that „intuitive“ either. It’s what you’re used to, that’s all. Touchscreen interface with drag & drop would be as intuitive as it gets but probably not that useful or efficient when it comes to programming editors.
I miss syntax highlighting but that’s more of a green-screen related problem.  :D

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #117 on: 13:11, 13 March 19 »
My favourite editor has to be Zap though:



Offline JohnElliott

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #118 on: 13:36, 13 March 19 »
Since they all interchange (AFAIK): are they all as terrible or are later keyboards better for actual typing?
I think they're all the same mechanism. The exception might be the Teqniche PCW102, but I've never seen one so I don't know if it would be better or worse to type on.

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #119 on: 16:36, 13 March 19 »
Here’s a copy of mince (MINCE Is Not Complete Emacs) by Mark of the Unicorn.
I‘ve configured it for the PCW, seems to run fine.

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #120 on: 16:38, 13 March 19 »
I think they're all the same mechanism. The exception might be the Teqniche PCW102, but I've never seen one so I don't know if it would be better or worse to type on.


Ok probably best to stick to the original series 8000 design then. Keeping the two I have as possible spares.

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #121 on: 20:12, 14 March 19 »
I've downloaded the MINCE system, and tried in on my (real) PCW.   Seems to work OK, although it's rather large.   

Just guessing with key strokes/Commands mind you.   Is there a listing I can get at of the main/basic ones?

One of the benefits of a smaller prog like the ED80 I've mentioned is that it can be copied to M: at startup and set as SYSTEM so that it can be accessed from any USER.   Not so important now, for me, as I've got the uIDE drives and progs on (say) C: can be set as SYSTEM for speedy access from anywhere.

Geoff

Offline TynH

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Re: PCW newbie!
« Reply #122 on: 23:30, 14 March 19 »
MINCE is actually pretty neat for what it is. Thanks to disk swapping you’re not confined to holding data in memory only. If you’re used to Emacs MINCE should feel familiar, although it only supports a small subset of commands. Hardly surprising on an 8-bit system.


https://www.ast.cam.ac.uk/~vasily/idl/emacs_commands_list.html


I had a look at ED80 but it seemed to be configured for the CPC and felt a bit primitive. There was some other problem, forgot what though.


Having used Arnor’s famous word processor before I’m still fond of Protext.  aybe I should try APED, their cut down version that came with Maxam.