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4744boot disk archive - can we - how to - etc

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  • Jim Scheef
    Dec 30, 2006
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      Happy happy everyone,

      A boot disk and OS utilities archive would be a fabulous project. There are many web sites offering boot disk images but none (that I have found recently) are oriented to the vintage hobbyist. None offer non-Microsoft operating systems or even DOS for incompatible systems like the Xerox 820 or Zenith Z-100. As Herb points out, downloading a file from somewhere is the easy part. Writing the software to an actual floppy disk that works in the target computer, is another issue entirely. Sellam covered the basic issues surrounding a software archive in his session at VCF East (yes, our event). The central issue is sort of why we are interested in these machines at all - they are obsolete.

      Someone (BillD?) has built a machine with various size floppy drives. The next challenge is an OS that can read/write to all of the drives in the formats required (single/double density, single/double side, etc.) and create an image file like an ISO file of a CD. This needs to be a current OS that is in current development so that it can be run on modern (and future) equipment. Linux is probably the best option for long term support. Unfortunately , there is precious little interest for this in the general computing community. Most people want to do what's new, not what's old, so new is where the energy goes.

      We had a thread about what format to use when creating archival copies of a floppy disk. Whatever format is used, we will need programs that can create and write the resulting files on various platforms. The *NIX program "dd" may be an option. dd copies disk sectors one after another and writes them somewhere, like to the screen or a file or vice-versa. There are versions that run on DOS, Windows, Linux and (naturally) UNIX. I use a program called RawWrite (http://www.chrysocome.net/rawwrite) which is limited to 1.4M floppies, so another program ddWin (same web site) may be better suited to our purposes. Fortunately (for me) I don't have the resources to test this for other size floppies (I have enough to do).

      Perhaps this will give one or more of you a starting point or more ammo for work already in  progress.

      Safe New Years,

      ----- Original Message ----
      From: B Degnan <billdeg@...>
      To: midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, December 30, 2006 11:48:23 AM
      Subject: Re: [midatlanticretro] any vintage computers under the tree/minorrah/etc?

      >I need the xerox 820, televideo 802, NEC-APC 8" dos and/or cpm86 and

      Victor 9000 cp/m.

      I can make a CP/M boot disk that should work on an 820, but it will be 8"
      I have cp/m 86 disks for the Xerox in 5 /14", but they are untested
      because I have no 5 1/4 drive for the xerox.

      I have a lot of Televideo disks in 5 1/4" that I believe would work for an
      802, but they are untested and not originals. I do not have an 802. I do
      have a Televideo TS 816, which is from this era but does not use a disk
      drive, it's a server with a tape drive for I/O. I have a Telev 801
      terminal that I use to hook up the 816. You could in theory hook an 802
      up to the 816 and format a diskette by using the 816 OS? I also have
      original cp/m disks for newer Televideos (CP/M 2.2), but I am not sure
      that they would work on the 802.

      I have no NEC APC DOS 8".

      I have mostly cpm/86 stuff for the Commodore B700 w. 8088 co-processor,
      but I may have one cp/m 86 for the IBM PC, I have to check/test.

      I do not have anything for the Victor9000, I have never even seen on of
      these in person before.

      MS/IBM DOS's - I have originals with binders of every major MS DOS release
      except for 1.x.

      If anyone sends me a SASE with a diskette and specifies what they need, I
      can try to make a copy and return it to you. The disk must be used for
      "educational/ historical purposes" only. Please contact me in advance to
      be sure I have what you're looking for. Although a central archive of
      boot disks is a nice thing to attempt, as long as at least two of us have
      any one kind of working system capable of generating a boot disk and is
      willing to provide the service of making copies/loaners we accomplish the
      same goal. If anyone wants to travel to the DE/MD/PA border, they are
      welcome to bring their hardware projects/use mine for building a boot
      disk/restoration work at my house. I have plenty of space.

      Bill Degnan-

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