[Linux-parport] Amstrad PCW

Stephen Mollett molletts at yahoo.com
Sun May 13 18:02:07 EDT 2007


On Sunday 13 May 2007, Chris Puttick wrote:
> I'm trying to hook a Linux box up to an Amstrad PCW8512...
> The Amstrad is connected with a kit called LocoLink... I have no copy of the
> MS end of the software, just the cable and the Amstrad software.

I can't help directly with the LocoLink software but you might want to take a 
look at http://www.fvempel.nl/ which is a sort of PCW enthusiasts' site. They 
might be able to help you. There are other sites linked from there. You could 
try comp.sys.amstrad.8bit too.

Other than that, you've either got to try and get the DOS half of the LocoLink 
software, some kind of serial interface or rig up something yourself. The Z80 
bus is pretty simple to design for but I'm assuming you're not into that kind 
of thing :-)

The only easy (relatively-speaking) solution I can think of that could perhaps 
be cobbled together without any "serious" electronics would be some kind of 
very slow low-level bit-banging program that did something like flashing a 
blob on the screen to send bits to a photodiode connected via a simple 
comparator circuit to the PC serial port. I don't know whether the version of 
CP/M that came with the PCW included a copy of 'asm' to assemble the driver 
program, though, and I don't have any of my CP/M-80 programmers' manuals any 

I wonder if the proprietary printer port can be controlled directly from the 
Z80 CPU...? That would be a good way to get data across.

Hm, I shall be mulling this over in bed tonight, probably writing the 8080 
code to do it in my head :o)

Good luck!

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