Author Topic: Anne PCW16  (Read 20329 times)

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Offline TFM

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Anne PCW16
« on: 21:01, 20 April 11 »
Hi,
 
Has somebody a mouse for the PCW16?
 
Would be great to get one!
 
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #1 on: 19:20, 21 April 11 »
Is the port specific to the PCW?
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #2 on: 08:18, 22 April 11 »
Is the port specific to the PCW?

The physical plug is (like I know) not specific. But the way the mouse transfers data is specific.
 
Well, I tried to connect a common available mouse, but in this case the mouse arrow just jumps to the corner of the screen.
 
IMHO a PCW16 mouse is needed. But I got no idea where to get if from. You can use the Roseanne OS by keys too, but it's like using Windows without a mouse - just a pain.
 
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #3 on: 19:02, 23 April 11 »
What are the different plugs ? (DIN ? other ? )

If you can find the connectics, you can certainly craft some adapter for common mouses from this era... Atari ST mouse per example...
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #4 on: 04:37, 24 April 11 »
What are the different plugs ? (DIN ? other ? )

If you can find the connectics, you can certainly craft some adapter for common mouses from this era... Atari ST mouse per example...

Hehe! The British won't take DIN, but DIN would be good for the whole world ;-)
 
No, seriously, it's a serial mouse. I have to make a picture or so.
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #5 on: 23:54, 08 October 11 »
Any PcW16 User here ???
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #6 on: 18:14, 06 December 11 »
Rarer than PLUS'.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #7 on: 14:28, 26 March 12 »
Sorry to up this topic...threadomancy.


I was wonderning about this PcW16.

it's main problem seems that its OS is somewhat closed... it even don't really enable software to be ran from disk apparently.

but as it is still a Z80 machine, would it be possible to get something like SymbOS running on it ?
or any new os, perhaps even CP/M ?

one of the main reason it is not compatible may be the display.

While CP/M, PCW and most other Z80 machines were like 640x200 or 720x256 (older PCW or CPC in full screen could do that)... a 640x480 would prouve quite uncompatible (480/2 = 240, not 256...) and not sure the Monochrome VGA like display (or perhaps Atari ST like in monocolour hi-res monitor) would handle well a 640x200 unless a proper emulation could be performed.*

Also the machine seems to lack a proper extension port (printer and parallel though)

BTW I'd like to know wheter the MAinboard is prone to be upgraded (hack-hardware) or not...


But i couldn't find any site with screenshots from the electronic inside not informations on this.

I mean, if you could hack it into having more RAM, good OS, extension port, perhaps external monitor or HDD, this could be sweet...

Extra point if a more CPC like display could be got... (PLUS' ASIC transplantation anyone ??? :D )

But I suspect a small "modern" Motherboard with close to no free room not extensions ports possible and small surface mounted components... ouch...


Anyway it was said to have a Rescue Disk which enable to re-flash the OS or even get some updates.

The PCW16
Quote
Memory is 1Mb of RAM, and 1Mb of Flash (similar to a non-volatile RAMdisc) which contains the BIOS, Rosanne, and the built-in software. Most of the Flash memory can be updated using software, but the first 64k (which contains the BIOS) can only be altered by plugging a reprogramming cartridge into the underside of the PCW.
Quote
There is space on the main circuit board for an extra 1Mb RAM, an extra 1Mb flash, a hard drive interface and an interface to a colour VGA monitor. These would probably have to be fitted professionally. There is no expansion port as such; any expansion would have to be done either via the parallel port, or through the reprogramming socket in the base.
apparently, it can really be somewhat upgraded a bit, with HDD and proper VGA.

Quote
This information is derived simply from seeing three PCW16s demonstrated at the Crawley PCW Club. Any inaccuracies are my own fault.
Hope he wasn't wrong then concerning the VGA and HDD.


Quote
With detailed knowledge of Rosanne, it would probably be easy to implement a basic CP/M 2 BIOS for it. One point to note is that "common memory" is at the bottom of the memory map rather than the top, and a hypothetical CP/M BIOS would have to perform paging gymnastics to translate CP/M BIOS calls into Rosanne calls.
Good point the machine is in 16mhz, but I would be curious to know how the video is handled, I mean it is quite Hi-resolution so it can even be heavy compaired to a CPC... (32K VRAM ? perhaps even a bit more like 40K ?)

still lurking a bit more...

OLD-COMPUTERS.COM : The Museum



Quote
> MOTHERBOARD
Only two chips provide all the internal functions of the PCW-16, a Winbond I/O chip and an Amstrad custom chip.
 Provision is made for additional RAM and Flash RAM as well as a possible hard disk interface.

(1) 1 MB RAM chips. Provision is made for a second 1 MB RAM bank
 (2) A trap door, allowed to insert a ROM chip from underneath the computer. However, in this version, the location is empty, no socket is soldered
 (3) 1 MB Intel Flash RAM chip
 (4) Custom Amstrad chip. Holds a 16 MHz Z80 CPU, video interface, addresses and data bus management
 (5) Winbond 83787 I/O chip. One found this chip in numerous PC compatible I/O cards
 (6) Provision is made for additional Flash RAM chips
 (7) Provision is also made for either a second floppy drive, or an hard disk drive
 ( 8) Video output connector
 (9) FDD power connector
 (10) Power supply connector
 (11) Backup battery and buzzer.


looks like having a lot of unused chips sockets...

reminds me my old 520STF motherboard lol (actually have all places for STE upgrades but weren't put until the real STE)


Quote
> UNDERNEATH TRAP DOOR
Among the numerous expansions planned by Amstrad, this trap door allowed a ROM chip and a connector to be added.


Quote
> KEYBOARD CLOSE-UP
The keyboard was a colored version of a standard PC-AT model. Each fuction key allowed a software module to be called. Four-color keys was used to manage system windows.
This keyboard alone is cute and awesome...


Ok from what it looks, one big ASIC seems to contain the CPU and the video system.
So upgrade it into a "superCPC" may not be that possible...


Anyway, a proper OS with old PCW compatibilities, and 2 diskdrives+HDD, max RAM/Flash and so on would be great enough.


Looks like there is free space for a 15pin connector on the back too...(beteween mouse and keyboard plugs)
What would it be ?

VGA port ?



PcW16 Rosanne

Quote
The three-button mouse in close-up with the communication ports in the background. The mouse uses a standard serial port and has a MS/PC mode switch, thus indicating that it could be PC-compatible (I did not test this yet). The screws allow for a solid connection.
The keyboard featuring 102 keys, plugs in using a standard PS/2 connector on the back and is compatible indeed, though it should be noted that the Rosanne software keeps on requesting you to hit the 'yellow' key or to use the mouse! Fortunately (and that does depend on your taste and experience) most shortcuts correspond to the Windows convention.
« Last Edit: 14:51, 26 March 12 by MacDeath »
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Offline TFM

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #8 on: 21:40, 26 March 12 »
but as it is still a Z80 machine, would it be possible to get something like SymbOS running on it ?
or any new os, perhaps even CP/M ?

You can run CP/M as an application under Roseanne. She is a wonderful OS, and SOS hardly can compete with her. Sorry, no offense. I know it's hard to get docs for Roseanne, but it's a really great and real OS!
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #9 on: 19:38, 27 March 12 »
 Wow, lovely pics there... I guess Amstrad produced these themselves?
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Offline TotO

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #10 on: 20:38, 27 March 12 »
A shame that Amstrad don't put the same 16Mhz CPU into the CPC+ range.  >:(
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Offline TFM

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #11 on: 23:56, 27 March 12 »
A shame that Amstrad don't put the same 16Mhz CPU into the CPC+ range.  >:(

Thanks' god they did not! I like my undocumented and illegal opcodes  ;)  Actually they should have used the Z380 CPU.
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #12 on: 01:34, 28 March 12 »
 According to what I posted, there is not a "real" Z80 inside the machine but an Asic containing an overclocked Z80 alongside the Video system (and perhaps other stuffs...).


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Offline TotO

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #13 on: 10:36, 28 March 12 »
Thanks' god they did not! I like my undocumented and illegal opcodes  ;)
I would have prefered to get a famous 16MHz CPC+ with 3"1/2 disk for all, instead of the existing one.
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Offline TFM

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #14 on: 18:47, 28 March 12 »
According to what I posted, there is not a "real" Z80 inside the machine but an Asic containing an overclocked Z80 alongside the Video system (and perhaps other stuffs...).

Exactly! And this ASIC lacks some of the illegal Z80 instructions. (I'm not talking about the undocumented thought, that's a difference).
 
 
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #15 on: 18:49, 28 March 12 »
I would have prefered to get a famous 16MHz CPC+ with 3"1/2 disk for all, instead of the existing one.

Well, we all have dreams  :)  However in this case I would rather take a Z80H instead of the ASIC implementation of the Z80.
 
On the other hand it's not too late to create a CPC++ or CPC#.
 
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #16 on: 22:38, 28 March 12 »
Sure, it's not.
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #17 on: 00:08, 29 March 12 »
Sure, it's not.

A serious team would be needed. People who can follow a project a longer time and do not loose interrest after 6 months. We do have a lack in hardware people though. No offense to anybody, but at the moment I only have Bryce and Nilquader in mine. (There are others too, but they don't even have time to post much here).... just thinking...
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #18 on: 10:08, 29 March 12 »
The Z80 in an ASIC? Doesn't this run contrary to the "App-Specific" part of ASIC? :D Or was it so cheap and powerful by then that it was easier to do it this way?


A kind of emulated Z80 then... is this a usual practice?
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Offline SyX

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #19 on: 15:59, 29 March 12 »
Steve, do you know the v6z80p? Include the most part of your ideas and even has a speccy mode.
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #20 on: 18:23, 29 March 12 »
Yes, I do know about that one, but it is not (yet) CPC compatible, we spend a lot of our time complaining about "speccy ports" so why would I want a speccy compatible?  :laugh: .
Perhaps of more interest is his board using the eZ80, which should be 50 times faster than the z80 used in the CPC, but again not CPC compatible but a better starting point for someone who knows how to program FPGA's. :D
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #21 on: 19:50, 29 March 12 »
FPGA is one solution. See CPC core in the C-One or T-Rex1
 
However I would prefer a real Z80 or successor, which only can be the eZ80 today. The eZ80 will give us some problems with the I/O, but nothing that couldn't be handled.
 
About the Z80, not 3.3 MHz. The CPC runs it a 4 MHz, but with prolonged cycles. If you would use a 3.3 MHz speed, it would screw up timings.
 
But this is all offtopic, let me open a new thread for that...
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #22 on: 00:52, 30 March 12 »
;D Yes i know that but it is reduced to 3.3Mhz by the video timing, we would have to do the same for software to run at the proper speed if the software used software timing loops Etc.

No, sorry! But 3.3 comes just close. For example a ld a,b is 1 ys in CPC, but 1.2 ys on a 3.3 mhz z80. It's all not that easy.
 
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Offline SyX

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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #23 on: 15:37, 30 March 12 »
All my NOPs run to 4MHz ;D , and the same happen with other few z80 instructions  ;)
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Re: Anne PCW16
« Reply #24 on: 19:51, 30 March 12 »
All my NOPs run to 4MHz ;D , and the same happen with other few z80 instructions  ;)

Exactly, and 3.3 MHz would make all the NOPs tooooo long. So while you do nothing you would waste a lot of time by doing nothing  :laugh:
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