Author Topic: Searching for PATCH.COM for Vortex SP512  (Read 196 times)

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Offline xelalex

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Searching for PATCH.COM for Vortex SP512
« on: 18:33, 22 November 21 »
Hi,
I recently restored a Schneider-branded CPC 464. It had been sitting in my retro cabinet for almost ten years. When I opened it up, much to my surprise I found a Vortex SP512 inside ;-) I cleaned it up, fixed a few minor problems, and also built the DDI1 clone discussed elsewhere in the forum. Everything is back together now and working flawlessly.
In the process, I really came to love this machine. There's just one little thing missing: I'd like to patch CP/M to make use of the Vortex RAM extension. The Vortex docs mention a tape with the PATCH.COM program on it, I just can't seem to find a source for this. Does anyone know where to get this?
Kind regards,Alex
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Online SkulleateR

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Re: Searching for PATCH.COM for Vortex SP512
« Reply #1 on: 20:19, 22 November 21 »
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Offline xelalex

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Re: Searching for PATCH.COM for Vortex SP512
« Reply #2 on: 16:11, 23 November 21 »
Thanks for the hint! I did see this before, but it wasn't immediately clear to me how I would set this up. After your reply, I revisited the documentation, and actually got this working. This is probably much better than just applying the Vortex patch over the original CP/M.

For completeness, here's how I went about creating disk images and getting them onto actual floppies. It was a bit of a struggle initially, since my setup is really bare bones:
  • CPC 464
  • Vortex SP512
  • DDI1 + drive (in my case DDI1 clone with 3.5" PC drive)
So no flash adapter or anything for getting files onto the CPC. Also, no way to write to floppy disks from PC. Additionally, I use Linux, so some of the available tooling I could not use. So, in case anyone is in the same situation:
  • To unpack the RCPM LBR disk archives on Linux, you can use `unar`.
  • For editing CPC disk images, I used https://github.com/neuro-sys/sector-cpc. This compiled without problems, and could work with the 464 system disk image found here on CPC Wiki. Using sector-cpc, I inserted `RCPM.COM` and `CPM62.COM` from RCPM disk 1 into a copy of the 464 system disk image. Here it's important to use the `--no-amsdos` option.
  • To get the DSK onto a floppy, I first converted it into a CDT with https://github.com/pelrun/dsk2cdt2disc, a lovely little tool for someone like me who doesn't have anything else but the tape drive to transfer files. It works like a charm, you just need a bit of patience.
  • I then used CDT2WAV to create an MP3 file and played that back from my phone, using a cassette adapter in the tape drive.
  • Then just `|cpm` and `rcpm` with the new disk. All working.
I then repeated the procedure for all three RCPM disks. Only this time, as a base image I used a copy of the 464 system disk that I had cleaned out first using sector-cpc. sector-cpc can create a blank disk image, but dsk2cdt2disc would not accept that as input. It said something about needing an 'extended disk image'.

Anyway, hope this is useful to anyone.
Alex
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