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  #11  
Old 04-30-2007, 12:38 AM
Grant Stockly Grant Stockly is offline
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Just for fun, put the AM radio near the Altair and tune it to an unused frequency. Reading a disk and running a program can make some really neat robot sounds!

Did you see the thread about the 3.5" disk drive, CP/M, and tarbell controller? Wouldn't be compatible with MITS software...

The Altair32 emulator comes with a CP/M image. I wrote a basic program to transfer a disk RAW from the Altair to my Windows machine. I never got around to Windows -> Altair...

So have you gotten bored of watching the lights flicker when using the disk drive and running programs?

Why should getting DOS to run be harder than Basic? Why can't you get this far with the 8800B?
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  #12  
Old 04-30-2007, 01:10 AM
Geoff Harrison Geoff Harrison is offline
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Quote:
Did you see the thread about the 3.5" disk drive, CP/M, and tarbell controller? Wouldn't be compatible with MITS software...
Yes, and that would be interesting. I'm not concerned about maintaining MITS compatibility; in fact, I'd probably move the 8" drives back to the 8800b and keep that one as an all original machine.
Quote:
The Altair32 emulator comes with a CP/M image. I wrote a basic program to transfer a disk RAW from the Altair to my Windows machine. I never got around to Windows -> Altair...
I'll look into that. I'm not sure yet how I'll transfer the image to the Altair floppys, I'll have to figure that out.
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So have you gotten bored of watching the lights flicker when using the disk drive and running programs?
Not yet, in fact I quickly got to the stage where I could tell quite accurately whether a disk access was going to fail long before the machine printed an error message.
Quote:
Why should getting DOS to run be harder than Basic? Why can't you get this far with the 8800B?
The biggest problem with the 8800b was just that I didn't invest enough time. I tried to get it to boot from three of the floppys that I had and had no luck and I didn't want to keep trying in case I was trashing the disks. I intended to get back to it but never found the time.

This time around, I wrote a perl script to generate altair paper tape images of any binary so that I could load things easily via the serial port and then worked my way up from simple, small programs until I established that the disk hardware was healthy. In the end, the original problem with booting turned out to be that only a few of my floppys are readable. The ones I was trying to boot from before were simply bad. I'll have to write something to try to read raw sectors from them and see if there's anything I can salvage before they turn to dust.
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  #13  
Old 04-30-2007, 06:48 AM
Grant Stockly Grant Stockly is offline
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I did the same thing, kind of... I wrote a 10-15 byte program that loads a predetermined amount of bytes from the serial port and then does a jmp 0000. I had the 2SIO jumpered for 19200 and could boot basic 5.0 in about 3 seconds. The program was small enough that I could use a terminal program with no delay between bytes. It was really screaming! The boot loader had to be modified for the specific binary image you wanted to transfer to the Altair.

It was a good beginning project for 8080 assembly!
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  #14  
Old 08-24-2007, 12:06 PM
marty marty is offline
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Talking transfer of programs

I have a friend that wrote a program to transfer programs either direction from a windows based machine. We used it to transfer Paper Tapes from a High Speed Paper Tape Reader to a Nova 1200 and then to a window based machine. He didn't want the program to ADD or Subtract anything from the programs, such as Hyperterminal will do, control characters and such.
I am sure that it would be able to do the same for the Altair. I CANNOT put the code on the WEB, nor give permission to use it.
But you can contact Him yourself !!
He is -- Bruce Ray of WildHareComputers.com Anyway I think it is dot Com .... Could be dot org ....
Its been awhile since I looked up his WEB site.
If nothing else just look up Wild Hare Computers on Google or such.
Thanks Marty
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  #15  
Old 05-20-2008, 12:19 PM
TomL_12953 TomL_12953 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Harrison View Post
I'm working on getting the machine to boot from an Altair 8" floppy drive. It's not there yet, but I do have it booting from a paper tape image of 8k basic.
Any chance you could make duplicate tapes for the members here or post an exact binary image of the 8K BASIC tape?
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  #16  
Old 05-20-2008, 07:03 PM
Geoff Harrison Geoff Harrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomL_12953 View Post
Any chance you could make duplicate tapes for the members here or post an exact binary image of the 8K BASIC tape?
I don't have any way to read or punch physical tapes (someone outbid me recently on a nice ASR-33 that was for sale quite close to me ). You'll find a collection of basic tape images, including 8k basic, in Rich Cini's Altair emulator code (http://www.altair32.com/Altair32code.htm). Download the latest version of the emulator and look in the files subdir for *.tap. The bootloaders needed to load the tapes are in files/loaders/tape_lodr.

Geoff.
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2008, 07:53 PM
TomL_12953 TomL_12953 is offline
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(someone outbid me recently on a nice ASR-33 that was for sale quite close to me )
Oh oh! You don't live in southern Vermont, do you?
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2008, 08:30 PM
Geoff Harrison Geoff Harrison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomL_12953 View Post
You don't live in southern Vermont, do you?
Heh. No, I'm in Minnesota. And I don't hold a grudge, anyway
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  #19  
Old 05-21-2008, 02:31 AM
n0jcf n0jcf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Harrison View Post
Heh. No, I'm in Minnesota. And I don't hold a grudge, anyway
Hey! I'm in Minnesota too and I just got an ASR-33

but I don't think it was the same one you were bidding on. Mine came from an
estate. It had a few issues but I've mostly restored it. Tape reader and punch are
working OK, although I don't yet have it on 20mA loop. Building an RS232 converter
for that and then I'll be able to hook it to a number of systems here.

Amazing piece of machinery.

Chris
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  #20  
Old 02-07-2009, 08:01 PM
marty marty is offline
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Talking disk basic

Hi Geof;
Do You know where disk basic is started from -- is it from 00000 or 0100h like CPM or somewhere else, I don't have an Altair Disk Drive, But I have it on Paper Tape, and would like to try and see if I can get it to run from the tape. I made the Tapes with an (RS-232) serial Paper Tape Punch, but don't Know where to start it from. And if it is Loaded straight through like an image file or with a Special Loader like the other Basics or some other loader. I do have a Tarbell Disk Controller, but I am not sure if it works or not.
THANK YOU Marty
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