Author Topic: Just scored a PCW16!  (Read 1495 times)

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Offline JonB

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Just scored a PCW16!
« on: 19:47, 09 December 16 »
Today I scored a PCW16 for a fiver. Well chuffed, apart from the long drive to collect the thing.

Any other users out there? It looks to be working well, has the restore disk, mouse, keyboard and manual. I collect on Sunday. I have downloaded the CP/M emulation for it and look forward to trying it out. I guess that, because they're not all that common amongst the hard core enthusiasts, there's not much out there, but I'll ask the inevitable questions anyway:
  • What hardware extensions exist for it?
  • What software exists for it, other than the Roseanne desktop, and where can I download it?
I read about the IDE interface it appears to have. Will give that a go for sure (under CP/M), as I have become adept at writing CP/M IDE drivers ;).

Offline Dagger

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #1 on: 20:12, 09 December 16 »
Ha, well done. I saw that on the Bay . Was very tempted but decided I have enough machines to play around with at the mo
Life's a bitch. You marry one or two then you die !

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #2 on: 21:55, 09 December 16 »
the PCW16 board picture seems to show the IDE connector is missing and possibly some support logic for it.

So looks like you'll need to solder that in.
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Offline robcfg

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #3 on: 23:17, 09 December 16 »
I have a PcW16, and @Habi too.


It would be nice to add the missing ide chips, but as Habi pointed me, there's no OS support for that. Nothing prevents access to the ide interface, though.


It would be awesome to add the 2nd flash memory chip, to update it to 2MB, the IDE interface and the VGA out.


Habi added the VGA out port to his PcW16 and works like a charm: http://habisoft.com/irmia/?p=21 (in spanish).


The PcW16 has also an EPROM socket which I think was intended for a diagnostics ROM, but maybe we could add some programs there too (maybe routines for the IDE interface).


Can you post some pictures, specially of the rescue disk and dump it on a standard PC with WinImage or similar program?


Cheers,
Rob

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #4 on: 13:32, 10 December 16 »
Is there a list of the "missing" ICs?

Is there a pcw16 service manual that lists them?
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Offline 1024MAK

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #5 on: 16:25, 10 December 16 »
Today I scored a PCW16 for a fiver. Well chuffed, apart from the long drive to collect the thing.
Well done Jon. I too briefly looked at it. But decided that I would not do much with it, so decided not to bid for it.

I look forward to you reporting about your adventures with it  ;D

Mark
Looking forward to summer in Somerset :-)

Offline JonB

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #6 on: 13:48, 11 December 16 »

Hi Mark


It was a Buy It Now for a fiver. Yeah, I know... sometimes you get lucky!





So, anyway... 2 hour round trip to collect, kick off at 06:30am this morning.


It's all here and working. Came with a Canon colour bubble jet printer too...


Here are my first impressions:
  • Tiny, tiny, tiny. Like a miniature 8512 with the funky angular rear case design. Very light to carry, plasticy and feels toy-like.
  • Ye gods, it is SLOW. I mean come on, it has a 16MHz Z80 inside. You would expect it to be a bit snappier than it is.
  • I downloaded CPM from John Elliot's excellent seasip.info site. It, too, is very slow. Actually, it is slower than a standard PCW256. But a true feat of programming nevertheless, as it sits on top of the PCW16's OS (Roseanne). It's likely this is the reason for the sluggishness. Like this, though, it's unusable. Doesn't even have PIP.COM, SUBMIT.COM or any other standard CP/M 2.2 files on it, although it can read the old PCW file format. I stuck a CPM Plus disk in there and attempted to run a program (PIP.COM). Which, helpfully, errored with "Must be CP/M Plus". This implementation starts out as CPM 2.2, but can be switched to Plus using a submit file. However, you cannot call it because there's no copy of SUBMIT.COM on the disk, and issuing the four instructions manually fails (various errors). Sigh. I will try again.
  • Keyboard feels pretty good. It's a standard PC keyboard with a PS/2 connector, apparently. Mouse is 3 button serial with a ball that tends to skid on my desktop (needs a clean I bet). All working.
I'm not sure I will take it any further. It's just too slow. I'd be really unhappy if I'd paid £100 for it, or even £50, but for a fiver, well.... nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh? I expect if I auction it I will get my fiver back!
« Last Edit: 13:52, 11 December 16 by JonB »

Offline JonB

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #7 on: 13:57, 11 December 16 »
Is there a list of the "missing" ICs?

Is there a pcw16 service manual that lists them?


I expect the answer is "probably not" to both questions. We may work it out by examining the board and reverse engineering it. Probably more aggro than it's worth. I'd prefer to dump Roseanne altogether and have a clean CPM implementation on it, then adding IDE drivers is easy.


Turns out John Elliot's CP/M is in fact an emulation of sorts. Or rather, it runs as a PCW16 application on top of Roseanne. In the documentation he says implementing it on the bare hardware might be possible, or not. I guess not. As to other sites, there are some on the Wayback Machine but I have not had time to read them yet.




Offline Bryce

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #8 on: 14:02, 11 December 16 »
It's an IDE interface, working out what chips should be where should be pretty easy, but I'd need the PCB to do it.

Bryce.

Offline JonB

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #9 on: 14:05, 11 December 16 »
Quote
Habi added the VGA out port to his PcW16


I read his blog entry but it isn't clear what he did, other than fitting a VGA socket to the PCB. The confusion is here, where Google translates the key line as "Put the connector DAC redo small red and blue (green is made), horizontal sync invest" and I do not know what it really means!

Any ideas?

Offline JonB

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #10 on: 22:45, 11 December 16 »

Can you post some pictures, specially of the rescue disk and dump it on a standard PC with WinImage or similar program?


Cheers,
Rob


https://web.archive.org/web/20080510144327/http://web.ukonline.co.uk/cliff.lawson/files.htm


There is a download link for the rescue disk and other PCW16 goodies here ^

Offline JonB

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #11 on: 22:53, 11 December 16 »

Ah-ha!


A jumper (J4) must be fitted to allow RGB video to get out of the ASIC.  Without J4, only the Green video output is available.

And that comes from the technical manual: https://web.archive.org/web/20080510144327/http://web.ukonline.co.uk/cliff.lawson/files/anneasic.zip

Offline remax

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #12 on: 23:26, 11 December 16 »

I did the Mame PCW16 Software list...


Not sure if there is anything you didn't came across, but in case...


https://mega.nz/#!CEwxSY6Z!EhA41UjNpmxfdW55Aru2JtGyZ96OGE2GMu2h5b1ysls

Offline JonB

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #13 on: 15:43, 12 December 16 »
Thanks!


But, I got an error on retying to open any of the .dsk files with CPCDiskXP 2.5.1: "Error: DSK signature not found". I was able to write them with rawrite.exe and I now have CPM3 on there! :)

Which means.. I have access to all of CP/M Plus on Anne. Interesting....





« Last Edit: 15:49, 12 December 16 by JonB »

Offline remax

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #14 on: 22:56, 12 December 16 »
Thanks!


But, I got an error on retying to open any of the .dsk files with CPCDiskXP 2.5.1: "Error: DSK signature not found". I was able to write them with rawrite.exe and I now have CPM3 on there! :)

Which means.. I have access to all of CP/M Plus on Anne. Interesting....


The disks works fine in MAME and the PCW16 part of Joyce. I don't know if CPCDiskXP can handle the format.


Glad it has been of use to you :)

Offline robcfg

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Re: Just scored a PCW16!
« Reply #15 on: 23:38, 12 December 16 »
It may be that the PcW16 uses standard ms-dos disks instead of the usual 3" amstrad formatted disks


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