Z80 Card for Apple //e - CP/M

This is a discussion on Z80 Card for Apple //e - CP/M ; I just purchased a Z80 card for my Apple //e on ebay. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:B:EF:US:1123 The seller has 6 available and the price of 24.99 seems really fair especially for a new card. ftp.apple.asimov.net has a large cpm section and includes the ...

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25

Thread: Z80 Card for Apple //e

  1. Z80 Card for Apple //e

    I just purchased a Z80 card for my Apple //e on ebay.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:B:EF:US:1123

    The seller has 6 available and the price of 24.99 seems really fair
    especially for a new card.

    ftp.apple.asimov.net has a large cpm section and includes the softcard disk
    image.

    For Apple owners this would seem to be the lowest cost cpm system available
    for mucking with stuff like Aztec C's Z80 compiler etc. If you have a CF
    drive like I do on your Apple II and use ciderpress on Windows XP, since
    CP/M on the Apple II uses a DOS ordered disk image, moving CP/M programs to
    the apple using "sneaker net" seems to be one of the simpler things in the
    world of vintage computing.

    Is there anything I should know in addition to the following... (see below)

    Bill

    x--- snip ---x

    Microsoft's first hardware product was the Softcard, a Z80 coprocessor card
    that allowed the CP/M operating system to be run on an Apple II. CP/M (which
    stands for Control Program/Microprocessors, Control Program/Monitor or
    Control Program for Microcomputers, depending on who you ask) was a popular
    OS for Intel 8080/Zilog Z80 based systems, and ran on many early
    microcomputers. It was written in the late 1970's by Gary Kildall, founder
    of Digital Research, Inc.

    The Softcard let the Apple II user tap into a large library of popular
    software that was only available for CP/M at the time such as Wordstar,
    Turbo Pascal, and dBase. Microsoft also sold several programming languages
    that ran under CP/M, including BASIC, COBOL, and FORTRAN.

    The Softcard did not have any memory on it, and instead used the memory
    installed in the Apple II. It was compatible with most of the standard Apple
    II expansion cards, such as 80-column video cards, printer cards, serial
    cards, but they had to be installed in certain slots. Generally, if the
    Apple II configuration worked with Apple Pascal, it would work with CP/M.

    The four DIP switches on the card should all be in the down (OFF) position.
    No other configuration is necessary. Once the card is installed in an unused
    expansion slot, usually slot 4 or 7, booting an Apple CP/M disk will utilize
    the Z80 processor on the card. CP/M version 2.2 is supplied on the system
    disk included with the Softcard. Several standard CP/M file utilities are
    included, such as format, copy, ed, and PIP, a file & disk utility. The
    system disk also holds two versions of BASIC. MBASIC is Microsoft's standard
    BASIC for CP/M. GBASIC includes extensions to make use of the Apple II's
    graphics ability. There is also a progam called APDOS that copies files from
    Apple DOS diskettes to Apple CP/M diskettes.

    Most other Z80 cards made for the Apple II were clones of the Softcard,
    although there were some exceptions.






  2. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e


    "Bill Buckels" wrote in message
    newsPGGk.23434$gY7.15142@newsfe19.iad...
    >
    > The seller has 6 available and the price of 24.99
    > seems really fair especially for a new card.
    >
    > ftp.apple.asimov.net has a large cpm section and
    > includes the softcard disk image.


    This will get you closer.

    ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/cpm/

    Bill Garber from GS-Electronics
    http://www.garberstreet.com

    "If you wish to forget anything on the spot,
    make a note that this thing is to be remembered."
    (Edgar Allen Poe)


  3. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    Bill Buckels wrote:
    > I just purchased a Z80 card for my Apple //e on ebay.


    That would be interesting.

    I have an 8 inch floppy controller for the Apple II that I
    never got around to using. I wonder if I have the Apple
    side software to go with it.

    -- glen


  4. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    A seller who's picture is a graphic with their terms in it so it's not
    searchable isn't someone I'd particularly care to deal with.

    Notice it says "Compatible"? You'll probably get a "Z-80 Expander".

    Thats the series of hardware that Memory Plus Distributors and Price
    Busters (Previously Nexo Distribution, and currently MC Price
    Breakers) used to sell. They came in boxes with the blue/white or blue/
    silver chevron patterns on them. The quality of the stuff wasn't the
    greatest but .. I will say, the stuff usually worked. It was as if
    they took the AppleSeed catalog and manufactured the stuff or they
    were the source for the PCBs in the AppleSeed catalog.

    But there is a whole lot of software to be had, especially if you can
    move the stuff in from other formats.

    There's an app called The Chameleon that moves between ProDOS, Pascal,
    CP/M and DOS 3.3 formats. Getting downloads onto ProDOS is pretty easy
    compared to the others. There's also some of the CP/M utils that move
    from DOS 3.3 and back.

  5. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e


    wrote in message
    news:83e5926b-0027-46fb-8172-0e4edb7e9b6f@z72g2000hsb.googlegroups.com...
    >A seller who's picture is a graphic with their terms in it so it's not
    >searchable isn't someone I'd particularly care to deal with.


    Nor me. But the price is good so I am gambling. I have since heard from a
    reputable source that they have been known to ship defective cards and then
    replace them with defective cards but since this one says it is new I may
    get lucky.

    >Notice it says "Compatible"? You'll probably get a "Z-80 Expander".


    Yeah, and I also noticed that a real Microsoft Softcard sells for much more,
    which is what enticed me to gamble.

    Strangely, I goggled "Z-80 Expander" and got vitually no info. I's as if
    this never existed so I'll just wait and see what I get. Thanks for the info
    on this and of course the history lesson which is very much appreciated.

    I'll post a description of what I receive and a synopsis of how it works and
    what steps I take to get this all together and put some diskimages online
    after it's up and running. Provided I don't get ripped-off...

    Bill




  6. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    Bill Buckels wrote:
    >
    > Nor me. But the price is good so I am gambling. I have since heard from a
    > reputable source that they have been known to ship defective cards and then
    > replace them with defective cards but since this one says it is new I may
    > get lucky.


    Most likely you will. The Microsoft z80 card (and clones) was built
    using only off-the-shelf parts all of them still available. So even if
    one breaks it is easy to fix.

    -Alex.





  7. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    Bill Buckels wrote:

    > Yeah, and I also noticed that a real Microsoft Softcard sells for much more,
    > which is what enticed me to gamble.
    >
    > Strangely, I goggled "Z-80 Expander" and got vitually no info. I's as if
    > this never existed so I'll just wait and see what I get. Thanks for the info
    > on this and of course the history lesson which is very much appreciated.
    >
    > I'll post a description of what I receive and a synopsis of how it works and
    > what steps I take to get this all together and put some diskimages online
    > after it's up and running. Provided I don't get ripped-off...


    Although a quasi-standard (and much cloned) these are slow and not terribly
    flexible in terms of hardware support. Keep your eyes open for a MicroPro
    StarCard (aka PCPI Applicard). They used to be quite common. It's about 3x
    faster and has drivers available for a large number of 3rd party storage and
    expansion cards (some written by yours truly). In particular, I wrote a
    package called ProPartition that let's you allocate a virtual partition in a
    ProDOS volume for use by CP/M.

    I use this here to setup a CP/M area on my CF card, but it will support
    absolutely any ProDOS block device.

    Steve

  8. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    Bill Buckels schrieb:

    > ... but since this one says it is new I may
    > get lucky.


    Don't expect it to work from the beginning. Bill's design has a very
    critical timing, therefore most clones need some tweaking. Be prepared
    to swap the 74LS367 against parts from another manufacturer. Besides
    that, there are three RC delay lines that may or may not be fitted.

    Many years ago a friend of mine and I each bought a Softcard clone. None
    of them worked. He brought his card to me because we wanted to send them
    back. I tested it in my Apple II clone -- and it worked!. I gave him
    mine, he put it into his computer -- it worked too!. So just swapping
    the cards fixed two systems.

    A few years later I encountered the same situation with 486 PCs and Vesa
    Local Bus controllers.


    Patrick


  9. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    Patrick Schaefer wrote:

    > A few years later I encountered the same situation with 486 PCs and Vesa
    > Local Bus controllers.


    AKA the "Exodus" bus - plug in four cards and it dies.

    --
    Linards Ticmanis

  10. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    On Tue, 7 Oct 2008 05:24:25 -0500, "Bill Buckels"
    wrote:

    >I just purchased a Z80 card for my Apple //e on ebay.
    >
    >http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...E:B:EF:US:1123
    >
    >The seller has 6 available and the price of 24.99 seems really fair
    >especially for a new card.
    >
    >ftp.apple.asimov.net has a large cpm section and includes the softcard disk
    >image.




    I looked at their main site atlaz.com and the same card is listed
    there for $15.00 with $9.00 shipping for all you want to buy.

    I have the Softcard for my IIe and made disks from the Asimov
    archives. Even dBase II runs well.


  11. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e


    "Travise" wrote in message
    news:q56af4ht119buca72taqk5k6j3rjl3pp9s@4ax.com...
    >I looked at their main site atlaz.com and the same card is listed there for
    >$15.00 with $9.00 shipping for all you want to buy.


    Next time I will visit the ebay seller's site. Thanks. I could have saved
    $10. However, since they don't ship for $9 to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto
    Rico, I doubt if they ship to Manitoba for $9. Regardless, it's a good
    thought for the Mavericks in the Great Wet South

    Bill



  12. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    On Oct 14, 7:01*pm, "Bill Buckels" wrote:
    > "Travise" wrote in message
    >
    > news:q56af4ht119buca72taqk5k6j3rjl3pp9s@4ax.com...
    >
    > >I looked at their main site atlaz.com and the same card is listed there for
    > >$15.00 with $9.00 shipping for all you want to buy.

    >
    > Next time I will visit the ebay seller's site. Thanks. I could have saved
    > $10. However, since they don't ship for $9 to Alaska, Hawaii, or Puerto
    > Rico, I doubt if they ship to Manitoba for $9. Regardless, it's a good
    > thought for the Mavericks in the Great Wet South
    >
    > Bill


    I feel your pain ;^)
    After reading your initial post, I jumped on one as well.

    This card was blogged about last month here:
    http://www.nekochan.net/weblog/archi...ysterious.html


    My setup:
    Stock Laser 128 (base, internal 5.25") with
    - Slot 7 enabled
    - Slot 5 disabled / internal RAM enabled
    - 80 col mode

    My setup works best with the Apple ][ CP/M
    Ver 2.20B from asimov (tho' side b is wonky...).

    All of the other images I have tried (MS 2.22,
    AE 4.0 & 5.1), crash after any disk access
    after a short, yet random interval.

    I will try some more images, and keep this thread
    apprised.

    Thanks to all the folks keeping Apple ][ stuff
    alive, especially the ADTPro team and Asimov
    sysadmin(s?).

    TTFN,
    Tarkin

  13. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e


    "Tarkin" wrote in message
    news:9ec64546-f563-4945-b104-b8cf58824d29@d31g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

    >I feel your pain ;^) After reading your initial post, I jumped on one as
    >well.


    Now I feel worse

    However, if one already has an Apple II, a Z80 card is the easiest and least
    expensive way to get a CP/M 80 machine to play with. And there is more
    credibility for a vintage developer like myself who professes to develop for
    CP/M 80, or the Apple II, or Commodore 64 if he can point to a real machine
    that he has tested his applications against as opposed to merely saying that
    he has tested on an emulator. At the end of the day we do care what our
    peers think, at least I do. I would like to be taken somewhat seriously when
    I say my stuff works

    For me this all ties into developing my Aztec C Museum site into its
    eventual target of a full-blown retro-computing resource. It's like we
    used-to say... "If you talk the talk you need to walk the walk."

    But the over-riding reason is of course because it's fun!

    Bill



  14. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    On Oct 17, 5:35*am, "Bill Buckels" wrote:
    > "Tarkin" wrote in message
    >
    > news:9ec64546-f563-4945-b104-b8cf58824d29@d31g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > >I feel your pain ;^) After reading your initial post, I jumped on one as
    > >well.

    >
    > Now I feel worse
    >


    Please don't! I've paid more for less ;^)

    > However, if one already has an Apple II, a Z80 card is the easiest and least
    > expensive way to get a CP/M 80 machine to play with.


    Sort of... I am still sorting out how to get data betwixt the A2 CP/M
    and
    The Rest of The World. More on that in a bit...

    > And there is more
    > credibility for a vintage developer like myself who professes to develop for
    > CP/M 80, or the Apple II, or Commodore 64 if he can point to a real machine
    > that he has tested his applications against as opposed to merely saying that
    > he has tested on an emulator.


    I can understand that!

    > At the end of the day we do care what our
    > peers think, at least I do. I would like to be taken somewhat seriously when
    > I say my stuff works
    >


    Unlike what I could say about my tinkerings with x86 system code,
    which would
    perform flawlessly under Bochs, and then fail spectacularly on real
    hardware...

    > For me this all ties into developing my Aztec C Museum site into its
    > eventual target of a full-blown retro-computing resource. It's like we
    > used-to say... "If you talk the talk you need to walk the walk."
    >


    I like the site!

    > But the over-riding reason is of course because it's fun!
    >
    > Bill


    Beware the intermittancy issue:
    http://mirrors.apple2.org.za/apple.c...p-cpm.fix..txt

    The above partially explains my issue; the other part was a slightly
    out-of-spec drive, fixed with Locksmith 6. With my drive speed
    adjusted to 300 rpm, the system lasts a lot longer before locking
    up.

    So it seems like the Apple ][ CP/M and AE CP/AM images
    are the way to go for this card; the AE manual for 5.1 even mentions
    the 128 specifically!

    Has anyone here ever worked out "UPLOAD.COM"? It seems the only
    way to bootstrap serial comms (i.e. use upload.com & download to
    get a better comm program into A2 cp/m).

    TTFN,
    Stevo

  15. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    "Tarkin" wrote in message
    news:9ec64546-f563-4945-b104-b8cf58824d29@d31g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

    >This card was blogged about last month here:

    http://www.nekochan.net/weblog/archi...ysterious.html

    Good documentation. Thanks for this link.

    I got my card installed today.

    At first I was getting all sorts of system hangs with various CP/M's that I
    converted from asimov. Then I read the manual for my 8 MHZ ZIP Chip
    accelerator after reading the blog piece where it mentions slowing-down the
    GS. Yep, you guessed it! When I booted my //e in 1 MHZ mode it all worked
    like a charm

    >My setup works best with the Apple ][ CP/M Ver 2.20B from asimov (tho' side
    >b is wonky...).


    This works the same over here (just fine with ZIP chip disabled). Side B
    appears to be some DOS 3.3 stuff. I just didn't bother with it.

    I used ciderpress and my CF Card in my Microdrive and DISKMAKER.8 to create
    the CP/M disks.

    I have yet to try adding my own Aztec C CP/M programs directly to an Apple
    disk image using ciderpress, mainly because I haven't had time yet, but I
    have every reason to believe that it will all work just fine.

    I just need to say that this was a great deal even though I paid the ebay
    price rather than the lower price on this guy's website. So what! I got a
    CP/M machine for under fifty bucks including shipping to Canada in less than
    a week. Who can complain? Of course one needs an Apple II to start with.

    BTW I've got a MIX C compiler for CP/M native mode coming soon thanks to a
    kind soul who knows I like to play with C compilers. Life is good

    Bill



  16. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    On Oct 18, 9:44*pm, "Bill Buckels" wrote:
    > "Tarkin" wrote in message
    >
    > news:9ec64546-f563-4945-b104-b8cf58824d29@d31g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
    >
    > >This card was blogged about last month here:

    >
    > http://www.nekochan.net/weblog/archi...ysterious.html
    >
    > Good documentation. Thanks for this link.


    You're welcome!

    >
    > I got my card installed today.
    >
    > At first I was getting all sorts of system hangs with various CP/M's thatI
    > converted from asimov. Then I read the manual for my 8 MHZ ZIP Chip
    > accelerator after reading the blog piece where it mentions slowing-down the
    > GS. Yep, you guessed it! When I booted my //e in 1 MHZ mode it all worked
    > like a charm
    >
    > >My setup works best with the Apple ][ CP/M Ver 2.20B from asimov (tho' side
    > >b is wonky...).

    >
    > This works the same over here (just fine with ZIP chip disabled). Side B
    > appears to be some DOS 3.3 stuff. I just didn't bother with it.
    >


    I figured that out after much weeping and gnashing of teeth ;^)
    Oh, and booting side B on an emulator...

    > I used ciderpress and my CF Card in my Microdrive and DISKMAKER.8 to create
    > the CP/M disks.
    >


    I am saving up for a Microdrive. It seems all too convenient...

    > I have yet to try adding my own Aztec C CP/M programs directly to an Apple
    > disk image using ciderpress, mainly because I haven't had time yet, but I
    > have every reason to believe that it will all work just fine.
    >


    At the moment, Ciderpress mounts A2CP/M disks read-only :^(
    I think in my searches through this ng, I came across the thread
    where this feature was added; if I get the gist of it, RO-access was
    a minor feat in of itself, so I am definitely not complaining!!

    > I just need to say that this was a great deal even though I paid the ebay
    > price rather than the lower price on this guy's website. So what! I got a
    > CP/M machine for under fifty bucks including shipping to Canada in less than
    > a week. Who can complain? Of course one needs an Apple II to start with.
    >
    > BTW I've got a MIX C compiler for CP/M native mode coming soon thanks to a
    > kind soul who knows I like to play with C compilers. Life is good
    >
    > Bill


    I'm surprised MIX C for CP/M wasn't in either Gaby's site or
    retroarchive.org...
    ....Yup, it's in retroarchive.org 's Commercial CP/M repository, in
    'Programming Languages and Environments'. According to the
    filename, it's v2.0

    But life indeed, is good! Well, except for a bothersome serial
    port issue I'm having, but that's for another thread....

    TTFN,
    Tarkin

  17. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    Bill Buckels wrote:
    >
    > Part 1.1 Type: Plain Text (text/plain)
    > Encoding: quoted-printable


    Please don't use html in Usenet. All correspondence is supposed to
    be in pure text.

    --
    [mail]: Chuck F (cbfalconer at maineline dot net)
    [page]:
    Try the download section.

  18. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    "CBFalconer" wrote in message
    news:48FE5CE2.269D8461@yahoo.com...
    >Please don't use html in Usenet. All correspondence is supposed to be in
    >pure text.


    Thank you for the reminder. This was an unintentional error caused by my
    absent minded use of the format menu in my outlook express and I am as
    annoyed as you are. I have an idle habit of flipping between html and back
    to text while staring vacantly steeped in thought. I guess I was only
    half-steeped when I hit the send button. Has this happened before with my
    other numerous posts or do you normally scold the thread rather than go to
    private mail when a devastating indiscretion of this magnitude occurs? Sorry
    for the hopelessly OT reply to your off-topic post. The devil made me do
    it

    Good link though eh? I was excited.

    Bill



  19. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    On Oct 8, 1:11*am, Alex Freed wrote:
    > Bill Buckels wrote:
    >
    > > Nor me. But the price is good so I am gambling. I have since heard froma
    > > reputable source that they have been known to ship defective cards and then
    > > replace them with defective cards but since this one says it is new I may
    > > get lucky.

    >
    > Most likely you will. The Microsoft z80 card (and clones) was built
    > using only off-the-shelf parts all of them still available. So even if
    > one breaks it is easy to fix.
    >
    > -Alex.


    FWIW, a few years ago I bought 3 Atlaz CP/M cards and they all work
    fine AFAIK.

    I didn't see any problems in light use.

    They came in little blue and white boxes as mentioned.

  20. Re: Z80 Card for Apple //e

    On Tue, 21 Oct 2008 04:29:32 -0500, "Bill Buckels"
    wrote:

    >The following link may prove useful:
    >
    >http://www.apple2info.net/hardware/s...d/softcard.htm
    >
    >Microsoft Softcard
    >Complete documentation in PDF format including utilities documentation and utilitities diskimage.
    >

    For a link this good what is a little HTML between friends (even
    though we have never met.)

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast