Author Topic: PCW ?  (Read 12254 times)

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Offline fano

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PCW ?
« on: 10:02, 13 March 11 »
I'll be soon the (maybe) happy owner of a Joyce.
I'll certainly be interested to program on it  , does someone have technical infos (ports/boot/ULA and so on) and/or where i can find theses infos.
As it owns a buzzer , does someone already heard about Spectrum stuff on it (like beepola stuff)
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #1 on: 11:45, 15 March 11 »
I'll be soon the (maybe) happy owner of a Joyce.
I'll certainly be interested to program on it  , does someone have technical infos (ports/boot/ULA and so on) and/or where i can find theses infos.
As it owns a buzzer , does someone already heard about Spectrum stuff on it (like beepola stuff)
I'd also be interested how you get along with it.
I've prototyped some hardware scrolling code (4 directions).
I've got some sprite code ready too.
But my Joyce is not working at the moment, I tried to connect a 3.5" drive to it and it's not booting properly yet.
 it has a buzzer, and I even thought of porting beepola, but I never had time to do it. :(

The more who join in the better.

I'd also be happy to share my code.

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~jacobn/cpm/pcwio.html
http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~jacobn/cpm/
http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/Cpm/
http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/Unix/Joyce/

(some more technical docs in the download)

Joyce emulates it, MESS emulates it.
I would be interested to know if mid-line changes are possible. I would test it on a real machine.. but ... ;)

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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #2 on: 21:57, 15 March 11 »
Thanks for theses links , there are very interesting.
About disk format , is it possible to write disk with CP/M format like on CPC and to write it with CPC utilities like CPCdiskXP ?
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #3 on: 23:54, 15 March 11 »
Thanks for theses links , there are very interesting.
About disk format , is it possible to write disk with CP/M format like on CPC and to write it with CPC utilities like CPCdiskXP ?
Yes for PCW8256. For other PCWs they use 80 track 3" drives. But if you're PCW has a 3.5" drive then no problem.
You can use cpcxfs and use one of the PCW formats.
Put the files on just as you would do with any other CPC files.

The choice is then up to you.
Get it to run your own boot sector, but then you need to use your own loading code.
Or, compile as a COM file (start &100) and run it from there and hit the hardware.
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Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #4 on: 01:46, 16 March 11 »
I guess you could do some pretty neat effects with that per-scanline screen data pointer table - vertical scrolling would be simple, as would vertical stretches and mirroring.

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #5 on: 11:44, 16 March 11 »
I guess you could do some pretty neat effects with that per-scanline screen data pointer table - vertical scrolling would be simple, as would vertical stretches and mirroring.
definitely.

Another thing, is that it is possible to get the appearance of different shades of colour.
Batman does it.
They do this with vertical lines of on/off/on/off. This makes a mid green (mid grey) colour.

It'll be interesting to see what people come up with using the pcw.
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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #6 on: 15:55, 27 March 11 »
Got it thursday but finally found time to open it today.Was a nice surprise because it is a 8512 and i think i will try this drive on a CPC  :P
Just have to found shematics now to see if it is possible to connect it on a CTM (B&W instead of green)
« Last Edit: 16:22, 27 March 11 by fano »
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #7 on: 12:12, 28 March 11 »
Yeah they must be using dithering to get different "colours".

So your PCW have 512K RAM ?
Perhaps you could get it into a PC casing, with an additionnal 3"1/2 diskdrive and a CPC monitor plug ?

As the PCW (the original lines, not the newer) are monochromatic and display something like overscan Mode2... it is always better to run them on Monochromatic monitors or else your texts will be quite blurry.

Is it possible to get it running better printers ?

I never quite really understood why the Plus wasn't be PCW compatible... this would have been nice.
But yeah... they are compatible through CP/M of course...

So you got 2 3" disk drives...
Are those DD ? double sides?
 
Would be interesting to see how those could run on CPC/Plus...
Weren't there some isssues when writing on disks with them ? (in DD)


Also concerning the Keyboard...
Is it CPc friendly ?
If so, clearly a good choice for PC-case CPCs...

Perhaps getting a "Double decked" casing with both a PCW and a CPC/Plus inside could be a neat Kustom...

3 disk drives with various switches... common ram extensions...
Would need a lot of circuit bendings but the total badassness when you go to Demoparties...
« Last Edit: 12:19, 28 March 11 by MacDeath »

Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #8 on: 13:54, 28 March 11 »
As the PCW (the original lines, not the newer) are monochromatic and display something like overscan Mode2... it is always better to run them on Monochromatic monitors or else your texts will be quite blurry.
CTM seems to support correctly Mode 2 btw (still have a GT65 too).I have in the idea to put it in a box as the machine itself is smaller than a 6128.

So you got 2 3" disk drives...
Are those DD ? double sides?
The first one is a classical 3" 40 tracks.The second one is a 3" 80 tracks double headed , finally like  3"5 drives we use on CPC.PCW uses same FDC as CPC so i think the drive is DD not HD.Difference is heads that are able to write "smaller" tracks to put twice on a 3" disk.

Also concerning the Keyboard...
Is it CPc friendly ?
definitively not.

« Last Edit: 14:00, 28 March 11 by fano »
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #9 on: 16:47, 28 March 11 »
A bit OT, but since you mentioned drives, there's a Vortex drive on Ebay.de (he doesn't state the exact type tho)

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #10 on: 11:34, 29 March 11 »
For those who want to see what the PCW can do:

Here are some urls with some pcw software (quite a few games here):
http://computeremuzone.com/?id=pcw&l=en
ftp://ftp.nvg.ntnu.no/pub/cpc/pcw/
http://www.seasip.demon.co.uk/ZX/zxzvm.html

You'll need to boot the system discs, then insert one of these discs to run the game/software.

The PCW software is not as well archived as the CPC stuff.


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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #11 on: 20:44, 30 March 11 »
Thanks a lot Arnoldemu !
I still need to find why it doesn't want to boot (seems to find the boot sector but does not run CP/M+ or locoscript) , and i'll try this  ;)
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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #12 on: 16:16, 03 April 11 »
Finally managed to run it  ;D
Had to use a CPC to transfer disk but now it runs.I am very impressed how thin are pixels so it looks like 3 colors mode.
Now it works , case needs a serious cleanup as it is very dirty.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3MBGHl4BHI[/youtube]
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #13 on: 20:22, 03 April 11 »
Dude, your PCW has some serious sound chip! :D

Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #14 on: 20:33, 03 April 11 »
ROFL ! this Norwegian group is amazing !
Btw when i hear some speccy buzzer tunes , i'd like to hear thing like them on PCW  ;)
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Offline arnoldemu

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #15 on: 11:45, 04 April 11 »
ROFL ! this Norwegian group is amazing !
Btw when i hear some speccy buzzer tunes , i'd like to hear thing like them on PCW  ;)
me too.
 
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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #16 on: 19:34, 25 April 11 »
Just 2 little images before my poor Joyce dies  :'( (before my son touch something  :( )
« Last Edit: 19:56, 25 April 11 by fano »
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Offline MacDeath

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #17 on: 22:34, 25 April 11 »
Your son killed Joyce ?
 :'(

Seriously ?

Quote
Btw when i hear some speccy buzzer tunes , i'd like to hear thing like them on PCW
gotta see wether PCW could be better or not than speccy...
I mean quite the same CPU...
Far more RAM but also far bigger VRAM used... not sure if it's better or not actually.

Some "Buzzer" stuff may be found for PC : what they called "RealSounds...
Perhaps games like :
Crimewave
[youtube]DtAreC3h3a4[/youtube]

and Disc (loriciel)
[youtube]9opNItaO2KU[/youtube]

I had Disc on PC... quite good while still a bit simplier than amiga version (few less gameplay elements) but I was amazed about the tune on my PC Speaker... wow...

Concerning Disc, we may port the Atari ST version perhaps... on a proper CPC but that's another matter, lol... :D
[youtube]-4xqBjpcIWg[/youtube]

Also some beeper stuff were done on Thomson computers...
« Last Edit: 22:55, 25 April 11 by MacDeath »

Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #18 on: 23:42, 25 April 11 »
Your son killed Joyce ?
 :'(

Seriously ?
gotta see wether PCW could be better or not than speccy...
I mean quite the same CPU...
Far more RAM but also far bigger VRAM used... not sure if it's better or not actually.
Yes , sadly when i start it , the buzzer vibrate a little (sounding a bit like a drive motor) all the time and the machine doesn't boot at all.
About Spectrum , PCW is a full 1 bit machine for sound and gfx.Except that , it owns a great display chip able to do interesting things (you can configure totaly line order unlike CPC , vertical scrolling is very easy to manage , it is able to address 128K for VRAM ! and only the first 128K of the RAM suffers of the same "lock" unlike CPC ) , at least it owns 256K RAM and one disc drive.
As you can see in the picture , you can use it on a CTM with a few modifications to have B&W image instead of green.

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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #19 on: 15:41, 29 April 11 »
Got my new Joyce  ;D
It is a 8256 this time and i notice several differences with 8512.The most important one is the power connector on motherboard that does not fit with "official" datasheet.

The fist image is from 8512 (in fact a modded 8256) and it fits to "official" datasheet but the second is from 8256 , maybe an electronic specialist could light me about this new brown cable.

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Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #20 on: 15:45, 29 April 11 »
For thoses who are interested , a picture with two motherboard , 8256 on left (soon a 8512  :laugh: ) , 8512 on right.
(i need a new camera as picture are not pretty good)
« Last Edit: 15:54, 29 April 11 by fano »
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Offline Bryce

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #21 on: 15:58, 29 April 11 »
According to the Schematics I have here, the brown wire should be a 24V supply for the printer. Can you measure it to see what it's supplying?

Bryce.

Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #22 on: 16:13, 29 April 11 »
Sadly not ,  i do not own a multimeter  :(

This is weird because the description of this connector seems different on monitor or CPU datasheet.
I think i'll wait to get a multimeter before trying something , just to avoir frying it by myself this time.
« Last Edit: 16:37, 29 April 11 by fano »
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Offline Bryce

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #23 on: 16:23, 29 April 11 »
Oh, then I was reading the pins in the wrong order :D Pin5 must be a second ground then. Take a look here: http://www.retroisle.com/amstrad/pcw/Technical/Hardware/mainboard.php

The power connection is in the bottom righthand corner.

Bryce.

Offline fano

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Re: PCW ?
« Reply #24 on: 16:42, 29 April 11 »
Finaly that's good , thanks.The difference between connector descriptions in monitor/CPU caused me some trouble as they are described in reverse order (24 as 1 VS 24V as 4  :-\ )
Maybe that could be usefull for someone else from the picture is posted for connectors :

5 pins :
1 - brown (ground)
2 - black (ground)
3 - red (5V)
4 - orange (12V)
5 - yellow (24V)

4 pins :
1 - yellow (24V)
2 - orange (12V)
3 - red (5V)
4 - black (ground)
« Last Edit: 16:48, 29 April 11 by fano »
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