Altair Disk Transfer Tool - CP/M

This is a discussion on Altair Disk Transfer Tool - CP/M ; I wrote an assembly program and basic program that transfer Altair disks onto a Windows computer through the 2SIO. The assembly program is required because Altair Basic does not transmit 0x09 correctly! And that's the ONLY one it "can't" do! ...

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Thread: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

  1. Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    I wrote an assembly program and basic program that transfer Altair
    disks onto a Windows computer through the 2SIO. The assembly program
    is required because Altair Basic does not transmit 0x09 correctly! And
    that's the ONLY one it "can't" do!

    Any way... I thought that even though Altair CP/M might not have been
    very common someone might have disks they wanted to recover. It will
    recover any disk, even one with garbage on it. The disk images
    that are created are compatible with Altair32 and possibly SIMH.

    The program isn't "done" yet. I hope to write a Windows to Altair
    transfer tool too, since I don't have a CP/M boot disk yet! I offer
    for the cost of shipping a service of transfering your Altair disks. I
    will only take 32 hard sectored CLEAN Altair disks.

    I don't have a website setup yet for it, but if anyone is interested in
    a beta test, let me know.

    Grant


  2. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    Hello, Grant!

    >I wrote an assembly program and basic program that transfer Altair
    >disks onto a Windows computer through the 2SIO. The assembly program
    >is required because Altair Basic does not transmit 0x09 correctly! And
    >that's the ONLY one it "can't" do!


    Yes, indeed! That's why Mallard BASIC (my favorite CP/M BASIC) has a
    command ("OPTION NOT TAB"). Very useful, at times.

    >Any way... I thought that even though Altair CP/M might not have been
    >very common someone might have disks they wanted to recover. It will
    >recover any disk, even one with garbage on it. The disk images
    >that are created are compatible with Altair32 and possibly SIMH.


    I have just recreated the source code of 2 forgotten Programming
    Lnaguages for the MITS Altair 8800. SIMH seems to be the best known
    Altair emulator, and Peter Schorn is a CP/M Old Timer. I strongly
    encourage you to make all your work compatible with SIMH. If you have
    any question, Peter Schorn will gently answer it.

    >The program isn't "done" yet. I hope to write a Windows to Altair
    >transfer tool too, since I don't have a CP/M boot disk yet! I offer
    >for the cost of shipping a service of transfering your Altair disks. I
    >will only take 32 hard sectored CLEAN Altair disks.


    There are many ways to transfer files. However, on the Internet, the
    best Web site I know is the one of the Columbia University dealing
    with Kermit (if only they could do the same for CP/M!). I remember
    that the Kermit book contains a BASIC program for receiving Kermit on
    a computer wanting to communicate. If I were you, I would not
    re-invent the wheel, and would first check to see if there is a
    version of Kermit for Windows.

    Yours Sincerely,
    "French Luser"


  3. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    > There are many ways to transfer files. However, on the Internet, the
    > best Web site I know is the one of the Columbia University dealing
    > with Kermit (if only they could do the same for CP/M!). I remember
    > that the Kermit book contains a BASIC program for receiving Kermit on
    > a computer wanting to communicate. If I were you, I would not
    > re-invent the wheel, and would first check to see if there is a
    > version of Kermit for Windows.


    I started with nothing other than Altair Basic Disks. I wrote a small
    assembler program that loads 12k disk extended basic into memory from
    the serial port. Takes about 30 seconds. Then my program "types" in a
    basic program with poke statements for the assembly routine. Then my
    program runs the basic program and takes control of the Altair.

    That method will work even if you don't have any boot disks. Its the
    only way I could think of to get it done without having any boot disks.
    (I do have boot disks).

    When I fnally get CP/M onto my Altair I was thinking about giving out
    copies. I guess not too many Altairs have disk drives and even less
    work!


  4. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    logjam wrote:

    > When I fnally get CP/M onto my Altair I was thinking about giving out
    > copies. I guess not too many Altairs have disk drives and even less
    > work!


    There are a lot of them with disk drives, but they don't
    all have the same configuration. There were many different
    controllers, and many different types of drives,
    and many different floppy formats. You had to deal with
    tracks, sectors, heads, numbering (start at 0 or 1),
    density, interleave, hard/soft sector,
    diameter (8", 5-1/4", etc), etc.

    It gets even worse when you include the non-Altair systems
    (IMSAI, NorthStar, Keypro, Osborne, etc).

    You either had to write a BIOS to match your particular
    configuration, or get a copy from someone who already had
    done the grunt work.

    You didn't really get any consistantcy with floppies until
    the IBM PC came out.

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  5. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    I know what you mean about configurations. I guess I was referring to
    MITS 8" drives. I don't remember ever seeing one for sale on ebay that
    didn't smoke or wasn't sold "as is because I don't want to plug it in"
    (which I take it as, it has smoked when I did plug it in)...



    Grant

    Kevin Handy wrote:
    > logjam wrote:
    >
    > > When I fnally get CP/M onto my Altair I was thinking about giving out
    > > copies. I guess not too many Altairs have disk drives and even less
    > > work!

    >
    > There are a lot of them with disk drives, but they don't
    > all have the same configuration. There were many different
    > controllers, and many different types of drives,
    > and many different floppy formats. You had to deal with
    > tracks, sectors, heads, numbering (start at 0 or 1),
    > density, interleave, hard/soft sector,
    > diameter (8", 5-1/4", etc), etc.
    >
    > It gets even worse when you include the non-Altair systems
    > (IMSAI, NorthStar, Keypro, Osborne, etc).
    >
    > You either had to write a BIOS to match your particular
    > configuration, or get a copy from someone who already had
    > done the grunt work.
    >
    > You didn't really get any consistantcy with floppies until
    > the IBM PC came out.
    >
    > ----== Posted via Newsfeeds.Com - Unlimited-Unrestricted-Secure Usenet News==----
    > http://www.newsfeeds.com The #1 Newsgroup Service in the World! 120,000+ Newsgroups
    > ----= East and West-Coast Server Farms - Total Privacy via Encryption =----



  6. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    >> When I fnally get CP/M onto my Altair I was thinking about giving out
    >> copies. I guess not too many Altairs have disk drives and even less
    >> work!


    >There are a lot of them with disk drives, but they don't
    >all have the same configuration. There were many different
    >controllers, and many different types of drives,
    >and many different floppy formats. You had to deal with
    >tracks, sectors, heads, numbering (start at 0 or 1),
    >density, interleave, hard/soft sector,
    >diameter (8", 5-1/4", etc), etc.


    >It gets even worse when you include the non-Altair systems
    >(IMSAI, NorthStar, Keypro, Osborne, etc).


    >You either had to write a BIOS to match your particular
    >configuration, or get a copy from someone who already had
    >done the grunt work.


    This doesn't help with getting a boot disk up and running on a
    unique configuration, however for backing up and restoring
    disks, as well as finding boot disks for known configurations, I urge
    people to check out the imaging tools and disk image archive on
    my site. http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm

    ImageDisk is a program that runs on a PC and can backup and
    restore complete images of most soft-sector formats, including
    mixed density, odd sector numbering, differently formatter tracks
    etc. I have a page with details on how to connect 8" drives which
    work well in this configuration on a PC - this is my prime soft-sector
    disk manipulation tool.

    North Star Transfer (NST) is a program specifically for backing up
    and restoring NorthStar hard-sectored disks. It handles both single
    and double density formats and works with either controller (obviously
    it can't backup DD on the SD controller) - It uses a small client running
    under NorthStar DOS and a serial link to the PC.

    CPm Transfer (CPT) is a program which uses a small stub resident
    under CP/M to backup and restore complete disk images from most
    CP/M systems.

    There are other transfer utilities for other systems available on that
    page as well.

    I also have a growing collection of system disk images for various
    machines and configurations available on the same page.

    I would also like to ask that anyone with boot disks not already in the
    archive to please if you could, make images and send them to me for
    inclusion in the archive - what I am trying to do is to build a shareable
    and archiveable resource of boot disks and the means to recreate
    them so that classic treasures won't have to sit idle waiting for the
    right disk to come along...

    Regards,
    Dave

    --
    dave06a@ Collector of classic pre-PC computer systems.
    dunfield. If you have an old 8/16 bit non-PC system in need of a good
    com home, please contact me at email address on the left, or
    via contact link of this web site:
    http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/index.html


  7. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    I found your website before I spent the time making my tool. Are any
    of the programs you created compatible with the Altair disk drive?

    I can send you my software to include on your website if you want. I
    have a disk image for CP/M on the Altair from the Altair32 emulator. I
    have not had the chance to test it on a real Altair yet...

    Grant

    Dave Dunfield wrote:
    > >> When I fnally get CP/M onto my Altair I was thinking about giving out
    > >> copies. I guess not too many Altairs have disk drives and even less
    > >> work!

    >
    > >There are a lot of them with disk drives, but they don't
    > >all have the same configuration. There were many different
    > >controllers, and many different types of drives,
    > >and many different floppy formats. You had to deal with
    > >tracks, sectors, heads, numbering (start at 0 or 1),
    > >density, interleave, hard/soft sector,
    > >diameter (8", 5-1/4", etc), etc.

    >
    > >It gets even worse when you include the non-Altair systems
    > >(IMSAI, NorthStar, Keypro, Osborne, etc).

    >
    > >You either had to write a BIOS to match your particular
    > >configuration, or get a copy from someone who already had
    > >done the grunt work.

    >
    > This doesn't help with getting a boot disk up and running on a
    > unique configuration, however for backing up and restoring
    > disks, as well as finding boot disks for known configurations, I urge
    > people to check out the imaging tools and disk image archive on
    > my site. http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/img/index.htm
    >
    > ImageDisk is a program that runs on a PC and can backup and
    > restore complete images of most soft-sector formats, including
    > mixed density, odd sector numbering, differently formatter tracks
    > etc. I have a page with details on how to connect 8" drives which
    > work well in this configuration on a PC - this is my prime soft-sector
    > disk manipulation tool.
    >
    > North Star Transfer (NST) is a program specifically for backing up
    > and restoring NorthStar hard-sectored disks. It handles both single
    > and double density formats and works with either controller (obviously
    > it can't backup DD on the SD controller) - It uses a small client running
    > under NorthStar DOS and a serial link to the PC.
    >
    > CPm Transfer (CPT) is a program which uses a small stub resident
    > under CP/M to backup and restore complete disk images from most
    > CP/M systems.
    >
    > There are other transfer utilities for other systems available on that
    > page as well.
    >
    > I also have a growing collection of system disk images for various
    > machines and configurations available on the same page.
    >
    > I would also like to ask that anyone with boot disks not already in the
    > archive to please if you could, make images and send them to me for
    > inclusion in the archive - what I am trying to do is to build a shareable
    > and archiveable resource of boot disks and the means to recreate
    > them so that classic treasures won't have to sit idle waiting for the
    > right disk to come along...
    >
    > Regards,
    > Dave
    >
    > --
    > dave06a@ Collector of classic pre-PC computer systems.
    > dunfield. If you have an old 8/16 bit non-PC system in need of a good
    > com home, please contact me at email address on the left, or
    > via contact link of this web site:
    > http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/index.html



  8. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    logjam wrote:
    >
    > I found your website before I spent the time making my tool. Are any
    > of the programs you created compatible with the Altair disk drive?
    >
    > I can send you my software to include on your website if you want. I
    > have a disk image for CP/M on the Altair from the Altair32 emulator.
    > I have not had the chance to test it on a real Altair yet...


    You appear to be a new user of usenet. For your information, it is
    generally considered bad practice to top-post. Your answer belongs
    after, or intermixed with, the snipped material you quote. The
    snipping part is important. Please see the links below.

    --
    Some informative links:
    news:news.announce.newusers
    http://www.geocities.com/nnqweb/
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
    http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html
    http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html



  9. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    > You appear to be a new user of usenet. For your information, it is
    > generally considered bad practice to top-post.


    In almost all of the contacts at work if I don't make short statements
    and questions at the top then most of it is ignored. Its only been
    in the last 6 months that I've become paranoid of someone missing
    something. Living in Alaska and trying to write back and forth with
    many European vendors...1 e-mail a day...now I am having flashbacks!!!!!


  10. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    > In almost all of the contacts at work if I don't make short
    > statements and questions at the top then most of it is ignored.


    Small comments with ~200kB of attached past conversation is an
    artifact of messaging systems that don't support topic threading.
    "Stop using 1970s-era software at work, lol."

    On Usenet people generally come to find out what you think, and not
    the reverse like a work.

    --
    Chris

  11. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    *Chris Baird* wrote on Thu, 06-08-17 07:07:
    >"Stop using 1970s-era software at work, lol."


    What *are* you talking about? All standard-conforming old software
    supports threading perfectly. In fact Microsloth outhouse is the only
    software I know that doesn't. Newer must always be better? What rubbish.


  12. Re: Altair Disk Transfer Tool

    >> "Stop using 1970s-era software at work, lol."

    > What *are* you talking about? All standard-conforming old software
    > supports threading perfectly. In fact Microsloth outhouse is the
    > only software I know that doesn't. Newer must always be better?
    > What rubbish.


    I caught myself later saying that in the CP/M newsgroup, too.. %-)

    The context being that top-posting is only the standard for 'business
    groupware' software, and the franken-client programs like Outlook that
    got foisted onto clueless home users.

    --
    Chris

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