Peter's z80.eu site blog
Got a (rare) C64 COMAL 80 cartridge ! 
Sunday, February 6, 2011, 07:22 PM
Posted by Administrator
Not very spectacular, but that's still a good news for me.
A very smart alternative for the build in BASIC 2.0, that's COMAL80.

It's working without any special procedure... just insert cartridge and start the C64:

It's an almost dead programming language, but if you have only the choice between BASIC, COMAL and Assembler, it's worth a try. COMAL80 was a mixture between BASIC and PASCAL, but feels a bit more like BASIC than PASCAL.

For the C64, there is another comparison to BASIC 2.0 here: LINK

If you're curious about COMAL, try the related link below ;-)

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Floppy Disk emulators which can write ! 
Monday, January 24, 2011, 04:37 PM
Posted by Administrator
Very interesting:

There is not only the "KryoFlux" which is designed to "preserve" old disk formats.
Unfortunately there is still no possibility for all these with KryoFlux read disk images to write it back to the floppy disk...

There is also HxC Floppy Emulator to the rescue !
It's a small board with a PIC18F462, uses a SD card as a mass storage, and can be connected through an usual floppy drive cable (34 pin).
So the old machine can use this board like a normal (mechanical) floppy drive.
A picture of this miracle:


Also, they have something similar to the KryoFlux:
A small board with an Altera MAX CPLD EPM7128S, which in fact is able to emulate the floppy drive with the appropriate "firmware". This device can only read (so far).
This is what it looks like:

http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/
This device is connected - very user friendly - with the help of USB.

Also, there is another (ready made) device available, but very expensive:
See for more infos at http://www.floppy-emulator.de/

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100 years IBM.... do you remember the advertisments about IBM PCs ? 
Friday, January 21, 2011, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
100 years of IBM - that's worth to mention.

Without IBM, many inventions were missing, you can see a short overview at Youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39jtNUGgmd4
You can also see a longer film about IBMs last 100 years here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrhDaAmn5Uw

There is also a famous TV spot shown in the Eighties, do you still remember their own version of Charlie Chaplin ?


It started all with two companies:
C-T-R Computer Tabulating Recording Company
and
Powers Accounting Machine Co.
in 1911.
Interesting, the company "IBM" (International Business Machines) was founded 13 years later, in 1924.

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Enormous feedback for a simple question about Fortran 66 compatible compilers 
Wednesday, January 5, 2011, 04:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I issued an entry named "Looking for a real Fortran-66 compatible PC compiler ..." in four newsgroups:

https://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.cpm/browse_thread/thread/6004b19ad544d124 (comp.os.cpm)
http://groups.google.com/group/alt.folk ... 4eed64d776 (alt.folklore.computers)
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.com ... 62d3df55c1 (comp.compilers)
http://groups.google.com/group/de.alt.f ... c2d5?hl=de (de.alt.folklore.computer)

So far, I got over 100 answers (whow!).

So I extended my Fortran page meanwhile also a bit ;-)
See also http://www.z80.eu/for-compiler.html ...

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Still waiting for OpenVMS ... my DEC Alpha Personal Workstation 
Monday, November 1, 2010, 02:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
My (former) dream machine:

Working with an Alpha 21164 64Bit CPU at 433MHz, it sounds not really amazing compared to current PCs (e.g. with an Phenom 6 core processor).
But it can run VMS. That's a very old operating system, well known for DEC-10, VAX or similar devices. But it's running also on Alpha based machine since years, and it's known for a high degree of security.
And, perhaps, the Digital Command Language (DCL) is one of the origins of CP/M and MS-DOS command processors.

At the moment, it's running Windows 2000 Beta 3 (for Alpha of course, not Intel), which is quite stable running. It can run also x86 code with the help of FX!32 (see related link).

To obtain VMS, you have to go to openvmshobbyist. At the moment I am waiting for more time, also because the license is limited and getting it without working with it sounds crazy.
Also, with a PWS 433a you have to add a SCSI CD-ROM and harddisk first, otherwise you can't run OpenVMS. May be I try OpenBSD first instead for that reason.

A very interesting link for Alpha users is also a blog - virtuallyfun.blogspot.com.
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