CFFA and CP/M?

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CFFA and CP/M?

Postby gordtulloch » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:19 pm

Anyone using their CFFA card for Softcard CP/M-80? I presume the BIOS would need to be modified, haven't tried yet. Anyone done this? Thanks )

Regards,
Gord
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CFFA and CP/M

Postby david__schmidt » Thu Aug 31, 2006 2:55 pm

Since the CFFA is beholden to ProDOS, it doesn't seem likely that it'll work natively with a CP/M card. But I wonder... what about the utility to stuff a bunch of DOS 3.3 images on it? I can't remember its name now, but maybe if the sector ordering is compatible (or irrelevant) it would work. Just a shot in the dark...

Edit: the program I was thinking of is DOS Master.
See: http://dreher.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=100
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Any interest in an Applicard CP/M driver?

Postby Bob » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:04 am

I used to develop drivers for the Applicard CP/M board back in the mid 80s (used to work at a company that re-branded the cards). My CFFA is on order, and my primary interest is to use it for CP/M. I still have all my driver develop kit tools and all the source for the older drivers.

Is anyone interested? Is anyone else doing the same thing?

Bob
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Re: Any interest in an Applicard CP/M driver?

Postby david__schmidt » Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:32 am

[quote="Bob"]Is anyone interested?[/quote]

I have a Z80 card, but it's a no-name Asian clone. Do you think the support could be made tolerant of off-brand cards?
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Re: Any interest in an Applicard CP/M driver?

Postby gordtulloch » Fri Oct 06, 2006 7:50 am

[quote="david__schmidt"][quote="Bob"]Is anyone interested?[/quote]

I have a Z80 card, but it's a no-name Asian clone. Do you think the support could be made tolerant of off-brand cards?[/quote]

I imagine most of these cards are Softcard clones, I have one too.

As for info on Apple CP/M, I found the following that would be helpful:

http://www.stjarnhimlen.se/apple2/Apple.CPM.ref.txt

I'm pretty short on time at home these days with two demanding little kids but perhaps I can bring a CF card to work plug it in and try getting CP/M running in emulation before I try it on the real hardware. Looks like modifying cpm56.com is the way you alter the OS in Apple CP/M...

Regards,
Gord
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Re: Any interest in an Applicard CP/M driver?

Postby Bob » Fri Oct 06, 2006 1:51 pm

[quote="david__schmidt"][quote="Bob"]Is anyone interested?[/quote]

I have a Z80 card, but it's a no-name Asian clone. Do you think the support could be made tolerant of off-brand cards?[/quote]

Probably not. The Applicard was very unique in that it was a complete Z-80 computer with its own 64K of RAM on board, and communicated with the 6502 via a couple parallel ports. The 6502 was an I/O processor. The CP/M drivers were actually run on the 6502 side. It was a different design than the other CP/M cards that shared the 6502's memory.

BTW, it was rebranded under several different names. Franklin sold them as ACE-80 cards. They sometimes show up on eBay for a few dollars.
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Re: Any interest in an Applicard CP/M driver?

Postby a2retro » Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:35 am

[quote="Bob"]I used to develop drivers for the Applicard CP/M board back in the mid 80s (used to work at a company that re-branded the cards). My CFFA is on order, and my primary interest is to use it for CP/M. I still have all my driver develop kit tools and all the source for the older drivers.

Is anyone interested? Is anyone else doing the same thing?

Bob[/quote]

Hi Bob, that is cool to know. Back in the late 80's I reverse engineered the DOS 3.3 RAM disk driver for the Applicard (both the 6502 and the Z80 sides) and wrote a memory resident version for ProDOS. I have the disassembly listings and source code if your interested.

I did not do any Z80 driver programming but with the ROM source available to the CFFA it should not be that difficult.

I am not sure if I have the cycles to help you but I would be interested in keeping track of your progress and the results for sure.

Glenn

www.a2retrosystems.com
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CP/M driver making progress

Postby Bob » Thu Nov 23, 2006 2:37 pm

I finally sat down and started writing the driver on Thanksgiving morning. The basic structure is set up, so now I'm working on the details of accessing the CFFA.

Bob
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Driver working, but still needs work

Postby Bob » Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:44 am

I had it running over the weekend, but need to do some more work
getting CP/M's disk parameter blocks right. Some of the documentation
assumed 256 byte sectors, and that seems to be a problem too.

Is anyone out there good with some of this CP/M stuff? It's been a
while and I'm making errors.

Bob
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It's working!

Postby Bob » Thu Dec 14, 2006 8:20 pm

I have a functional CP/M driver for the CFFA using the Applicard/ACE-80. It's the first pass, so there are lots of improvements that can be made. Basically, it shows up as a single 8 MB drive. It defaults to drive M: but can be located at any drive with the Applicard's driver INSTALL program.

More to do; this isn't production ready yet. I still want to speed it up more, add support for multiple drives, etc.

Bob
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Great news ..

Postby a2retro » Thu Dec 14, 2006 10:51 pm

Hey Bob, thanks for the update ... I would be interested in talking to you offline if you want to drop me a line

Glenn Jones
support@a2retrosystems.com
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Re: It's working!

Postby gordtulloch » Sat Jun 23, 2007 4:02 pm

[quote="Bob"]I have a functional CP/M driver for the CFFA using the Applicard/ACE-80.[/quote]

Hi there! How is this going? Any chance you could post the driver (even in an incomplete state) so those of us with a Softcard clone can have a look and perhaps get something going for our cards too? Would be much obliged!

Regards,
Gord
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby a2retro » Wed Dec 17, 2008 11:40 am

Message for Bob - HI did you ever finish this driver for the CFFA and the Applicard?
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby gordtulloch » Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:20 pm

[quote="a2retro"]Message for Bob - HI did you ever finish this driver for the CFFA and the Applicard?[/quote]

Looks like Bob never came back after 2006, any chance someone has his email address?

Regards,
Gord
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby rich » Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:59 am

last email I had for him was bob@applegate.org
Not sure it is still valid.

-Rich
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby gordtulloch » Fri Jul 24, 2009 2:51 pm

I sent him a note <fingers crossed> I'd get an Applicard if there was a chance to get this working!

Regards,
Gord
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby gordtulloch » Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:24 pm

Bob sent me the following:

>Hi Gord,
>
>I haven't touched the driver in at least a year, so I forget exactly what state it's in. I've got one other project that really needs to be finished in the
> next two weeks, then I'll set up the Franklin again and see about the driver.
>
>From what I remember, there were problems...
>
>(1) It pretends to be ProDOS. This allowed me to use the CFFA drivers in ROM to do the low-level work. This meant some extra overhead making the >driving look like ProDOS but it got the driver working faster.
>
>(2) It was SLOW! I was playing with caching some of the sectors but forget how far I got with it. I seemed to think it was faster under ProDOS, so there's >probably something wrong in my calls to emulate ProDOS when calling the ROM routines on the card.
>
>(3) There was a hard failure somehwere, but I haven't a clue anymore as to when/how it appeared. Maybe the directory entries screwed up? I just don't >remember anymore.
>
>(4) It might only work in one slot; not sure about that.
>
>Anyway, I was in the process of borrowing code from the CFFA ROM and moving it directly into my driver so as to avoid the ProDOS routines.
>
>By mid-August I'll get back to this and figure out what state it's in.
>
>Bob

I planned on asking him to consider open sourcing the driver so we can get it up on Sourceforge - it takes the pressure off a bit IMHO since if people are really interested they could always carry it forward.

Regards,
Gord
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:58 am

I've got a presentation to do in a couple weeks, so all my free time is spent working on that. After it's done I'll set up the Franklin ACE-1000 again and see what state the driver is in. I don't see why people can't start playing around with it already, but performance wasn't great and I still think there was at least one bug in in it.

My intention was to provide a way to map the many MB of the CF card into multiple CP/M drives and also allow the mapping to be changed via an API so a CP/M program could change which 8MB chunk of the CF would be mapped to which CP/M drive.

Give me a few weeks to get back to it.

Bob
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby ralphw » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:41 am

Hello. I happen to have three of the PCPI cards (one original PCPI card and two "ACE 80" cards - unbuilt).

I'm interested in the Applicard driver for the CFFA card.

- Ralph

PS - I'm also interested in acquiring more hardware to be able to build out the other two cards, I wasn't
thinking ahead far enough when I bought the bare boards originally,and an empty PC board is a terrible thing.
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Re: CFFA and CP/M?

Postby gordtulloch » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:49 pm

Sent Bob a few emails, no response yet :(

Regards,
Gord
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