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Cont'd test of disk copy programs (Part 3) 
Monday, May 21, 2018, 09:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
So I tested also X-COPY from Cachet Software, see below "related link" for a download link.
This seems to be only copying unprotected disks, with some program failures, too :-(
It looked very nice, still:

The version I tested copies, depending on your choise "FATCOPY" or "ALLCOPY", only used sectors or all sectors of a floppy disk. Depending of this choice also, you get an error message dialog from the program itself, if a 360KB drive is select as source or target ... so this X-COPY 1.28 is not really usable for all tasks. In other words: Copying a 360KB floppy disk in a 360KB floppy disk drive seems to be NOT working.
You can use it without a loaded mouse driver (Cursor keys, Function keys, Enter key).

Also, I tested FROGCOPY, which has like X-COPY a nice graphics screen. It copies all unprotected disks very well, so I can recommend it for daily copying.

(for the 2nd part of the article series, go on >here<)
(for the 4th part of the article series, go on >here<)
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Cont'd test of disk copy programs (Part 2) 
Sunday, May 20, 2018, 08:10 PM
Posted by Administrator
This is HD-COPY, the status information can be found in the lower right corner:

It's NOT working with the Pentium 200 PC, like VGACOPY.

COPYIIPC (all versions) and also COPYWRIT (all versions) are crashing, they will not even show up a program dialog at all:

DISKDUPE and DOSDUPE are working fine:

Usage of DISKDUPE is a bit difficult, you MUST use a MOUSE driver. Also, it's usually found only as a time limited trial version...

>First part of this article series<
>Third part of this article series<

(related link points to download link for DOSDUPE)
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So many DOS disk copy programs, but not all working with a Pentium 200 PC 
Sunday, May 20, 2018, 08:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
There are so many disk copy programs (aka disk copier), but they are not all working with a Pentium 200 PC. Do you remember the hitlist of the best of them ?
a.s.o. (I can't list all, but I guess I listed the most important ones)

Some of them are showing their beauty in graphics mode, but text mode is very functional and is enough to show all necessary information, of course.

I am starting with VGACOPY and HD-COPY because BOTH of them are NOT working correctly with computers using Pentium or newer CPUs. They're working only with a 386 or a 486 PC.
But some programs are so old, that they do not even work with a 386 PC. COPYWRIT and COPYIIPC are working only with XTs (but I didn't manage to test it on a 286 PC).

I tested VGACOPY 3.3 and also the newest VGACOPY 6.25. Both are NOT able to write to a 360KB floppy disk (in a 360KB floppy drive), producing only yellow errorneous sector blocks on the screen:

Cont'd on >Part 2 of the article series<

(related link points to the VGACOPY web site)
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Finally I finished my floppy-copy-machine & DOS + Win98 gaming station 
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 09:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
It was a kind of a horror trip, because first I was not able to screw/fasten the drives in it because of missing screw holes,then I got problems with the RS232 interface because of a problem with the 486 mainboard, then I replaced the power supply, and after this didn't fix the RS232 problem, I exchanged the whole mainboard with a Intel FX Socket 7 board.
But now I got all problems fixed so far, all components working:

Pentium 166 (no MMX)
ASUS P55TP4 Intel 430FX Mainboard
64MB RAM (more than enough for Windows 98)
ATI Xpert98XL (PCI-card)
Soundblaster AWE/32PnP (ISA-card)
CD-Burner with licensed Nero 6.0
ZIP100 Atapi Drive
8GB UDMA7 CompactFlash HDD
3.5" Floppy Drive
5.25" Floppy Drive

Even Daytona USA Deluxe (with applied Direct3D patch) is working fine (it's really playable with ca. 20-25fps). And the installed DirectX7 is enough also for Diablo I ;-)

I configured it to use optionally a Command Line only after boot, too. So I am also able to use 22Disk, Alien, Uniform and other CP/M Floppy Disk Reader/Writer/Copier Software.

The board itself even supports a Pentium 200, see related link.
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PX-8 and Turbo PASCAL... a bit tricky 
Thursday, February 15, 2018, 02:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I just liked to try again how it works and I tried to replaced the BASIC ROM with my Turbo PASCAL ROM, using the Turbo PASCAL version which does not generate a BAK file (this is important because the RAM Disk has only a size between 9KB and 20KB, and if 20KB, this costs may be too much CP/M TPA space).

So I tried to generate an EPSON PX-8 ROM again, and took the utility program PROMFORM.COM - using it in my MyZ80 emulator. I had to choose 256Kx1 ROM size, and created the ROM file.
But - I forgot it generates an Intel HEX file first, so I had to convert it to a binary also.
This was stopped by the HEXBIN utility, because PROMFORM generated a correct formatted HEX file, but with a heading single empty line (not understood by HEXBIN).
After I removed the first line, it was possible to convert it to a binary 32KByte ROM file, so I was also possible to replace the BASIC ROM file successfully.

I did it first in Toshiya's HC-80 emulator (still very very useful), so I just renamed BASIC.ROM to BASIC.BAK and the TPASNOBK.ROM to BASIC.ROM.
The TPASNOBK.ROM can be downloaded from >my Epson PX-8 page<.

This is the sample session I've done:

First step is set your drive you want to save the source (with "L" for "Logged Drive").
If you don't do this, you can't save the source...

Now enter something useful (this is just a demo source without any further purpose) ...

See how much (memory) space was consumed ... Turbo PASCAL is very efficient ...

It's running ;-)
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