Author Topic: Magazine scans  (Read 1387 times)

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Offline JohnElliott

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Magazine scans
« on: 20:40, 26 November 20 »
I've been scanning various issues of Amstrad Professional Computing in my possession. Here's a review of the Timatic Winchester Expansion Box, an early PCW hard drive: Page 1, Page 2.

I've also got a few issues of the official Amstrad PCW magazine, which was spun-off from Amstrad Professional Computing when the latter became exclusively PC-focused. To avoid duplication of effort, I'd like to know if any of these have already been scanned and uploaded. In the 2011 PCW Megapack, the earliest issue is volume 1 number 5 (December 1987) -- have earlier issues been scanned since then?
« Last Edit: 20:43, 26 November 20 by JohnElliott »

Offline GeoffB17

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #1 on: 22:25, 26 November 20 »
Thanks for the scans, John.  Very interesting to see the details of the early HD system.

Seems remarkably clumsy compared to JonB's uIDE setup though.   I take it some of this is because of needing to keep the HD space together as one drive, rather than JonB's solution to keep the 8Mb units which are supported natively by CP/M?

The notes about LocoScript does not say anything about the problem there, which is that LS on startup wants to fully populate all the Disk Manager, which takes a LONG time.   I assume even worse with LS as it does things with the screen, the problem is mentioned with regard to CP/M but I assume the implications are not so bad there.

I started work with a small computer business back in 1989, and I remember getting my first computer to use, with a 10Mb HD - ALL TO MYSELF!   Wow.   Soon after the replaced with a 20Mb, then 40Mb, then 100, then....   OK, just DOS software back then, most files fairly small.   When I needed to work on a copy of a customer's data file that was multi-MB I might run into trouble!

It's a different world now...!

geoff

Offline jevicac

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #2 on: 23:01, 26 November 20 »

Hello JohnElliott, in the following link you can see what is scanned in very good quality. Previous magazines have been retired to improve their quality. We have a lot to scan little by little. You know there is a lot of material and work to do. But time is tight. Cheers

http://www.habisoft.com/pcwwiki/doku.php?id=es:revistas

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #3 on: 00:29, 27 November 20 »
Thanks for the scans, John.  Very interesting to see the details of the early HD system.

Seems remarkably clumsy compared to JonB's uIDE setup though.   I take it some of this is because of needing to keep the HD space together as one drive, rather than JonB's solution to keep the 8Mb units which are supported natively by CP/M?

I think the clumsiness comes about because at the time, there was no real loadable driver support in the operating system. CP/M does support up to 16 drives, so it's possible to hook in extra drives with an RSX or patch, but my guess is that LocoScript 1 only supports three drives (A: B: and M:) with no means of adding more.
(I wish I had a copy of the WEB software so I could see exactly how it was done, but I suspect that's serious hen's teeth territory).

Partition size wouldn't be an issue; the Cirtech 40Mb Gem could run as two 20Mb partitions with no difficulty.

The notes about LocoScript does not say anything about the problem there, which is that LS on startup wants to fully populate all the Disk Manager, which takes a LONG time.   I assume even worse with LS as it does things with the screen, the problem is mentioned with regard to CP/M but I assume the implications are not so bad there.

Since the WEB could only give LocoScript a modest amount of storage (a single 4Mb drive M: replacing the RAMdisc) I expect it wasn't so bad for performance as the 13 8Mb drives you get from a uIDE or JOYCE.
More on the Timatic WEB and other early PCW hard drives can be found at the Internet Archive:
« Last Edit: 00:39, 27 November 20 by JohnElliott »

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #4 on: 00:46, 27 November 20 »
Hello JohnElliott, in the following link you can see what is scanned in very good quality. Previous magazines have been retired to improve their quality. We have a lot to scan little by little. You know there is a lot of material and work to do. But time is tight. Cheers

http://www.habisoft.com/pcwwiki/doku.php?id=es:revistas
http://www.habisoft.com/pcwwiki/doku.php?id=es:amstrad_pcw shows this magazine as 'preserved', so I take it you don't want me to bother scanning any of the copies I hold?

http://www.habisoft.com/pcwwiki/doku.php?id=es:amstrad_professional_computing has red links for some copies of APC that I've scanned, so I'll get them over to you as soon as I can. Are you interested in the PC-only editions after PCW coverage was dropped?

Offline jevicac

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #5 on: 01:06, 27 November 20 »
The Amstrad PCW are complete and the amstrad professional computing we have a few but soon more will arrive that have donated. If you want, I advise you to scan the missing numbers.

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #6 on: 02:07, 27 November 20 »
OK, WeTransfer link sent for the Amstrad Professional Computing scans.

Offline robcfg

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #7 on: 10:05, 27 November 20 »
Thank you very much, John!

Offline jevicac

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #8 on: 00:28, 28 November 20 »
Thank you very much, John

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #9 on: 01:33, 01 December 20 »
I think the clumsiness comes about because at the time, there was no real loadable driver support in the operating system. CP/M does support up to 16 drives, so it's possible to hook in extra drives with an RSX or patch, but my guess is that LocoScript 1 only supports three drives (A: B: and M:) with no means of adding more.

I've now taken a look at the DOS in LocoScripts 1.20 and 2.00. As one might expect, it's quite similar to +3DOS on the Spectrum +3, for which a disassembly exists. In LocoScript 2.00 the basic structures support up to 16 drives, but in LocoScript 1.20 there seem to be only the three (A:, B: and M:). Even in LocoScript 2.00, unlike +3DOS (or CP/M), the drive definitions don't have any tables of function pointers describing the read/write/login functions. Instead, it's hardcoded that drive M: is a RAMdisc, and any other drive is a floppy. So adding a different type of drive alongside the existing ones would probably involve extensive patching -- let alone the question of whether the Disc Manager in these versions could cope with more than three drives.

« Last Edit: 03:29, 01 December 20 by JohnElliott »

Offline JohnElliott

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Re: Magazine scans
« Reply #10 on: 03:33, 11 February 21 »
I've now taken a look at the DOS in LocoScripts 1.20 and 2.00. As one might expect, it's quite similar to +3DOS on the Spectrum +3, for which a disassembly exists. In LocoScript 2.00 the basic structures support up to 16 drives, but in LocoScript 1.20 there seem to be only the three (A:, B: and M:).

It's not just the DOS in LocoScript 1 that enforces three drives: the file chooser menu only lets you select A, B and M in a 'drive' field (and on a single-drive PCW, only A: and M:). So it's no wonder the Timatic drive just took over M: rather than try to add an extra drive C:.

That, at least, is the case for LocoScript 1 up to version 1.31. The next version that I have is 1.40, and that, like LocoScript 2.00, supports 16 drives in its internal data structures and menu code (but doesn't load .FID drivers). I'm guessing therefore that one of the new features introduced in version 1.40 was separate 'H' builds with hard drive support.