News about Amstrad CPC, PCW, Notepad NC100 NC150 NC200, PDA600 and also Amstrad PC





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Totems Enhanced Edition for Amstrad CPC game by ESP Soft is released

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Totems by ESP Soft was released in 2012. It's a twisted remake of Columns by Sega (nice game by the way) with a Tetris mechanic. It seems I missed it, but in may 2020 ESP Soft has released Totems Enhanced Edition that you are able to order as a physical edition on Bitmap Soft. This new version allows you to play versus your Amstrad CPC, who will be smarter you or a thirty years old computer ?




Using an Iomega 100 Mb ZIP drive on any PC XT like an Amstrad PC 1512/1640 or a PPC

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You are the happy owner of an Amstrad PC 1512, 1640 or a portable PPC 512/640 (or another Amstrad XT model) but are lacking a hard disk, so you are limited to slow floppy drives, either a 360 Kb 5,25 or 720 Kb 3,5 inch floppy drives. Of course for older PC it's easy to use an 100 Mb Iomega ZIP drive (parallel, SCSI or IDE) but the official driver is using an instruction only available on an Intel 80186 (seldom seen) or a Nec V20/V30 processor (stated on wikipedia). The PPC 512/640 has a V30 but the official driver uses a lot of memory and needs msdos v4.0+ instead of msdos 3.3 on the PPC or v3.2 on PC 1512 (also 1640 ?).

Well, there is another solution for using a parallel ZIP drive (not the Plus version which also features SCSI), it's using PalmZIP by Klaus PEICHL which works with msdos 2.0+, even with a 8086, uses much less memory. The only limitation is using three 32 Mb partition (C:, D: and E:) if you are using msdos 2 or 3, with msdos 4 you can use the full 100 Mb with only one partition (but disks accesses will be a little bit slower). It's a shareware, you can test it for 7 minutes for free to check that it is working for you. If it is the case you will have to pay only 8 euros. I did it two days ago, five hours later I received a zip file by email with the registered version ! Yesterday I bought a ZIP drive and I was able to test it during the night. Happily I still had some ZIP disks I was using years ago and that I kept through several house moves.

Using the driver is simple, just add in your config.sys the following line :

device=palmzip.sys /c

/c is for loading the driver only if it is connected, though the driver is only 3 Kb. They are other options so I recommend to read the included documentation (english and german). You can use the /f option to treat the zip as a fixed disk for faster operation but then the zip disk must not be removed unless using the zipman utility.

Zipman must be used if you are using msdos 2 or 3 to format three partitions of 32 Mb each (FAT12 or FAT16), or an usual 96 Mb partition if you are using msdos 4 or above. Zipcopy is another utility for copying complete partitions within a disk. The partition assigned to the destination drive will be overwritten. The last utility is lpr_test which is designed to check if your parallel port(s) supports the bidirectional data transfer mode. The PalmZIP device driver runs a similar test to determine the correct mode of operation.

You can see a youtube video by Retro Erik using the PalmZIP driver on an Amstrad PPC 512. You should check his youtube channel as he has several videos about Amstrad PC computers.





Mod Master XT beta 21 for your PC XT, listen to musical modules files

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A new version of Mod Master XT beta 21 by FreddyV is available on Vogons. It lets you hear a lot of music modules formats on any PC under msdos even a PC XT (CGA), for example an Amstrad PC 1512/1640 or a PPC 512/640...



Corona Crisis demo 2020, an Amstrad CPC demo by Alex and AXEL (Treble A)

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Corona Crisis demo 2020 is a german Amstrad CPC demo by Alex and AXEL by the Treble A group. It needs 128 Kb of RAM. There are 4 parts on 2 disks, including a bonus part on disk B. Type run"readme for some informations and run"corona to launch the demo. My german is too rusty to read the first part, other parts are in english.






Creation of an adventure game engine like a book where you are the hero by Roudoudou

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Roudoudou is writing an adventure game engine like the books where you are the hero on Youtube.

If you use the link up there you start directly at 1mn25 with sound, no sound at start of the video if you see it directly below.








A Notepad NC200, a PCMCIA card type 1 ... or type 2 now

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A Notepad NC200 lets you put under the disk drive one type 1 PCMCIA card which is a RAM or SRAM card with a button battery to save the ram when outside of the Notepad. The problem is that the NC200 can only hold type 1 PCMCIA cards as type 2 are thicker, too big for the slot. Also these 1 or 2 Mb RAM cards are not much better than the capacity of 1,5 or 2,5 720 Kb disks.

But David Given who is the author of CP/Mish (CP/M for Notepad NC200) has been able to use a type PCMCIA adaptator in which you put a Compact Flash card (16 Mb). CP/Mish is of course able to use such mass storage. However it needs to open the NC200 case to change the PCMCIA slot guide with a new 3D printed part !

You can see his video on Youtube in which you can see the case being opened, so why not also changing the disk drive with an USB Gotek ?