Author Topic: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?  (Read 6980 times)

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Offline protek

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Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« on: 22:27, 06 August 12 »
Are the Amstrad and Spectrum +3 disk formats exactly the same? Am I able to transfer Spectrum dsk images on 3,5" disk and copythem over to 3" disk on Amstrad?

Offline Bryce

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #1 on: 22:32, 06 August 12 »
I can't be 100% sure, but I know that a CPC disk in a Spectrum +3 can definitely CAT and list the programs on the disk. I've often accidently put a CPC in the Spectrum, when testing them.

Bryce.

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #2 on: 23:41, 06 August 12 »
Are the Amstrad and Spectrum +3 disk formats exactly the same? Am I able to transfer Spectrum dsk images on 3,5" disk and copythem over to 3" disk on Amstrad?
Spectrum can read Amstrad standard formats. They are detected automatically and the files on the disc can be loaded and the directory listed. However the programs can't be run.

The CPC can read Spectrum disc formats with a little help. You have to setup some parameters in CPCs RAM.

This is possible because both disc formats are CPM based.

Download this disk:
http://www.cpctech.org.uk/plus3.dsk

This has a basic program which when run will setup CPC for reading Plus 3 discs.

Now CPC can list the directory and load some files, but because Plus 3 files have a different header, they may be seen as text by some CPC programs because they have "PLUS3DOS" in the header.

It is possible to load them direct into the cpc's ram if needed - I am sure I had some code somewhere, but I can't find it now. So it's possible to load screens from the Spectrum and convert them for use on the CPC.

This dsk has code for reading spectrum tape files and for converting screens from spectrum to cpc:
http://www.cpctech.org.uk/download/spec.zip
My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource

Offline protek

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #3 on: 00:12, 07 August 12 »
Thanks for replies! The main idea would be to transfer +3 dsk images to 3" disk via 3,5" disk in the Amstrad to be able to play stuff on the +3.

Would my external 3,5" drive work directly in the +3? That would make things simpler.

Offline Bryce

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #4 on: 10:52, 07 August 12 »
I have a 3.5in disk drive and sometimes my HxC connected to the +3, both work fine.

Bryce.

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #5 on: 10:58, 07 August 12 »
Thanks for replies! The main idea would be to transfer +3 dsk images to 3" disk via 3,5" disk in the Amstrad to be able to play stuff on the +3.

Would my external 3,5" drive work directly in the +3? That would make things simpler.
I see.

Well in that case the route I would take is this:

CPCDiskXP to transfer the dsk from pc to 3.5"
Then use a disc copier on CPC such as Discology; something that can handle copy protections (well most).
Use this to copy from 3.5" to 3" on CPC.
Then you can use the disc directly on the +3.

Yes, a 3.5" drive can be used on the +3, with the same kinds of "issues" as the CPC.
The cabling is simple if you can get one of those PC cables with edge connectors for 5.25" drives.

On the +3 you will probably need an equivalent "ABBA" switch (to make the 3.5" drive behave as drive A - some +3 software may assume it is being run from drive A), and of course a compatible 3.5" drive that has the needed READY signal for the internal floppy disc controller.

I find this is a good site:
ZX Zone

EDIT: I actually have a +3 myself, but it doesn't have working 3" drive.
My games. My Games
My website with coding examples: Unofficial Amstrad WWW Resource

Offline protek

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #6 on: 13:48, 07 August 12 »
Thanks! Have to get the Discology. Where can I find an UK version or is the French version easy enough to use for us who don't parley?

Offline Bryce

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #7 on: 14:15, 07 August 12 »
You can download many versions here: discology 3 3 uk 1989, download this ROM for Amstrad CPC - The Game Archives

Version 3.3 is the last English version, but the French version is easy to use, even without perfect French.

Bryce.

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #8 on: 14:35, 07 August 12 »
Thanks! Have to get the Discology. Where can I find an UK version or is the French version easy enough to use for us who don't parley?



Yeah, it's easy enough - everything is in the same position; if you've used Discology in the past you'll have no problems, it's like riding a bicycle :D


Unfortunately I think the latest versions of Discology were only released in French, but for your purposes it shouldn't matter.


As for downloads, here you go: Discology - CPCWiki - The Ultimate Amstrad CPC Community & Encyclopedia!
Discology - CPCWiki - The Ultimate Amstrad CPC Community & Encyclopedia! (also, now uploaded to the Forum's Uploads section.)
« Last Edit: 14:47, 08 August 12 by Gryzor »

Offline protek

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #9 on: 00:07, 08 August 12 »
Cheers, mates!  :D

Offline McKlain

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #10 on: 01:42, 08 August 12 »
I've often accidently put a CPC in the Spectrum.
  :laugh:

Offline MacDeath

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #11 on: 02:11, 08 August 12 »
Quote
This is possible because both disc formats are CPM based.
Would a CPM programm on a 3" disk be compatible with PCW, CPC and Speccy then, provided they all run "compatible" CP/M version  ?

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #12 on: 14:52, 08 August 12 »
Would a CPM programm on a 3" disk be compatible with PCW, CPC and Speccy then, provided they all run "compatible" CP/M version  ?



I would think so, yes, it's got a large enough TPA (48K??) and, IIRC, CP/M was quite compatible all around (except for those programs that contained Z80 instructions the 8080 could not understand).

I think you need to define some system parameters at boot time, though, such as screen control etc. This could prove problematic if you tried to run a program designed for a different resolution? Just theorising here, I'm really not very familiar with CP/M...

Offline SyX

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #13 on: 16:44, 08 August 12 »
Would a CPM programm on a 3" disk be compatible with PCW, CPC and Speccy then, provided they all run "compatible" CP/M version  ?
Less arcade and more interactive fiction games MacDeath  :P


Offline MacDeath

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #14 on: 20:30, 08 August 12 »
Nice one mate. ;)

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Are Amstrad and Spectrum disk formats the same?
« Reply #15 on: 13:44, 09 August 12 »
Indeed, cool example!