64mb Smart Basic Disk Image

In a recent post I gave a quick update on creating a 64MB disk image that I was then able to copy to microSD card and then running a quick program I made that initialized the image to be 64MB in size I could access it on the Adam using microfox’s VDD.

I have since done more testing experimenting and I was able to get a copy of Smart Basic onto the image and have it boot from the image and have access to the whole 64mb. This involved a few steps:

  1. open up the new image in FileManager and using the edit block function look at block 1, the directory block, and see what values it had for total blocks on disk, in this case FFFFh (65535) and how many blocks left, FDFFh (65533)
  2. open up an image of smart basic and look at its directory block, its total blocks was A000h (160) and blocks left after having basic as 7A00h (122)
  3. now I used the block copy feature to copy the 160kb smart basic image to the 65mb blank image. When done the image is still 65mb but the directory block on the image only reports back a 160kb image size
  4. now using file manager again I go into block 1, the directory block of the 65mb image and change A000h to FFFFh and after the blocks left I changed &A00h for E5FFh, this is FFFFh – 26, the number of blocks used by smart basic
  5. after these changes i saved them to the image and then rebooted

Here is the image to download – and it does work in the AdamEM emulator also! (BTW it is 64mb, I typed 65mb in Smart Basic)

Coleco Adam Replacement Power Supply Project

Front of power supply – click for larger image

I am currently in the process of finishing up a replacement power supply for the Adam. It uses a proven power supply that I have been using on the Adam for the past 2 years and other off the shelf components to make a very sleek replacement power supply for the Adam. This will be available September 2018 through Retro System Rescue with a list price around $99 depending on the price of the components. If you are interested please leave a comment telling me how many you are interested in so I can get a rough idea how many to make in the initial build.

Back of power supply, click for larger image

The replacement power supply will also have the following features:

  • Lighted on / off switch
  • 2 Adam Net ports
    plug in disk drives and /or the microFox VDD, eliminate daisy chaining
  • Printer plug
    plug in the Adam printer and be able to use it as a printer and not a power supply (this is accomplished by only passing the data lines to the printer, printer still needs to be plugged into the wall)
Power Supply

If you wish you can also wire the microFox VDD and / or the microFox CF / IDE to the power supply and eliminate the need for the additional power supplies they use.

 

 

Please fill out this form so I can notify you if you want to order a replacement power supply when they are completed.

Here is the initial wiring diagram for the power supply.

Data Pack Image to Disk Image

I recently found myself needing to create a few CP/M data packs for customers. This is normally no problem, but I needed to load them with programs. Since I normally use the VDD all of my files are in disk images, and a CP/M disk image is limited to 160kb, where as a CP/M data pack image is 256kb. The total amount of the programs was around 200kb so I would need to import files from the PC into 2 CP/M disk images, move those images via microSD card to an Adam and then copy those to a CP/M data pack. This is very tiresome and if you have ever copied files under CP/M it really abuses the data drive. For other purposes under EOS, I normally just copy disk images to data packs and let Backup+ 3.0 correct the directory. This is a simple block copy and it works fast.

File Manager settings for copying a data pack turned disk image to a real data pack on the Adam. Note the 320k disk drive to allow for accessing mare than 160 blocks on the disk.

So I thought to myself, why not take the tape image with is 256 1kb blocks in sequential order and interleave the 256 byte records so it is now a 256kb disk image. The VDD does not care what the size of the image is. Then I can just use File Manager to do a block copy and have the CP/M image on tape. in one pass, no copying of individual files and abusing the data drive.

Included in this post is a DOS program (requires DOSBOX under windows 7 and up) that takes a data pack image (.ddp) and makes a disk image (.dsk) for you. I am also including the source code in Turbo Basic so you can see how it works.

The following zip file has a copy of the Dragon’s Lair Data Pack image and a conversion to a 256kb disk image which you can use with the VDD or in your emulator or copy back to a data pack using the File Manager Method above.

This zip file contain’s the data pack game “2010 – The Text Adventure Game” converted into an interleaved disk image as the disk image does not contain the ending sequence.

Fix It Guide: Coleco Adam Controller

The extra line is the Smart Basic cursor being caught by my screen capture program.

I have added a new video on YouTube on my Retro System Rescue channel that gives details on how to disassemble and recondition the Adam controller. In this video I make use of a simple program I wrote that lets you test all aspects of the controller in Smart Basic.

Here is the program for you to type in if you want to test your controller:

In this program I am using the values of the controller to make characters inverse if the controller is being activated. For instance on line 200 I take the value of PDL(5) and compare it to the value of 1. If they match then the result is 1 and I multiple it by 128 and add this to the ASCII value of the letter U to get an inverse U if the controller is being press up. Any other value returned by PDL(5) will cause this formula to show a normal letter U.  If you wonder why I use an ‘*’ for the ‘#’ sign on the controller this is because the number sign has the ASCII value of 35 and when you add 128 this actually tells smart basic to backspace on the screen. So I used the ‘*’.

64 MB Hard Disk for your Adam!

I have been experimenting with MicroFox’s Floppy Disk Emulator, also known as the Virtual Disk Drive (VDD). Using some software I wrote on my PC I was able to create a 64mb disk image that the VDD would open (64mb is the limit it appears) and then initialize it with EOS and it is recognized as a 64MB disk. The AdamEM emulator on the other hand doesn’t like it, but that is ok.

Here is a copy of this blank, initialized disk image. Copy some files to it, let me know how it works out.

64MB.zip