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Recommended: Gigatron

a computer w/o a microprocessor


N8VEM Hard Disk image

If the N8VEM is a way to explore hardware archaeology, it makes sense also to explore the historical software that runs on it. Here is a hard disk image with accompanying small booklet describing the main pieces of software, with a short intro to their history and a quick start to exploring them.

For a long time, I did not get around to loading up my N8VEM with all the classic CP/M software, and I'd expect that goes for more people. But then I had to prepare something to showcase the N8VEM at a Vintage Computer Festival. So I finally spent some hours filling a disk image with Classic CP/M software. It's neither perfect nor complete, but it holds all the big languages and applications so it's a start. Maybe it's of some use to others.



What's on the disk image:
  • Aztec C v1.06 (compiles DWG N8VEM support apps)

  • BDS C & Tiny C

  • APL & Janus ADA v1.5

  • Microsoft Cobol, Fortran, Basic, Basic Compiler

  • Microsoft Macro-80 assembler

  • BBC Basic

  • Turbo Pascal v3.0

  • DX-Forth 4.01

  • PL/I v1.4

  • Algol/M


  • WordStar 3.30, CalcStar, DataStar, SpellStar

  • muMath & muSimp (CAS math package)

  • Microsoft Multiplan

  • DBase II

  • Qterm, Crosstalk, RCP/M, CLink (not installed yet)


  • Infocom Adventures: Zork, Planetfall

  • The classic Colossal Cave adventure

  • Ladder & Catchum (Donkey Kong/Pacman clones)

  • Sargon Chess, Othello

  • Star Trek, Wanderer

  • Microshell & microtools - like the unix shell

  • Supersoft Utilities 2 - useful unix-like tools


  • ZDE - standard editor.

  • DDT, DDTZ - standard debuggers/intel mnemonics

  • DDTZ80 - standard debugger/Zilog mnemonics

  • SID, ZSID - original symbolic debugger

  • DEBUGZ - Full-Screen debugger - probably the best

  • LINK - Linker & LZ - LinkZ, a faster L80 alternative

  • ASM - standard CP/M assembler/Intel mnemonics

  • RMAC - macro assembler (v1) from Digital Research

  • MAC - later (v2) version of RMAC

  • ZTRAN4 - translate Intel to Zilog

  • MC.SUB - Submit file for Macro-80 compile cycle

  • SUPERSUB - a better Submit

  • LS - a better dir

  • ZAP - file manager

  • NSWP207, WASH15, VFILER - file management tools

  • NULU, LBREXT - for lbr archives

  • CR, UNCR - (un)crunch *.*z* files

  • USQ - unsQueeze *.?q? files

  • UNARC, UNZIP - deals with arc, ark & zip files

  • SURVEY - inventorise your system & test memory


Quick How-To


Click on the black buttons to download from Google Drive. Note you need to select File->Download from the top menu to actually get the zipped files. Doing the intuitive thing, which is clicking on the single files within the zip archives downloads only that one specific file, uncompressed.


This is a disk image made for RomWBW (any version). It can be used with the simh emulator, with the N8VEM and with the Zeta. Thanks to RomWBW's design, the image can be used with PPIDE, PPP, PropIO or whatever your mass storage solution is. Simply copy the image file to your Compact Flash or SD card using Win32 Disk Imager or dd.


Software Manuals


To the left is a download link containing PDFs of almost all applications on the disk image. Note that these have simply been sourced from all over the net, from public sources. Pro forma: if you feel I'm infringing a copyright that belongs to you, please let me know and I will remove the offending PDF. Warning: 172MB download.

Details: some useful tools put together


To ease the burden of transferring files to and from the N8VEM disk image, you can use either simh (which has r(ead) and (w)rite export tools on its B: drive, or use cpmtools from the command line. The zip file to the left contains all you need:

  • a batch file to properly start simh, and puTTY as a VT-100 terminal. Use this to explore the drive image, but also to export files back to your desktop PC. The reason for this batch file: you need a VT-100 terminal, for which simh uses puTTY over telnet.

  • a directory structure in the TO_IMG subdirectory with all the files to be shot into the drive image. So deposit any additional files in here. The first four drives carry the names C-F. Any further drives carry the number of their LU (see or multiformat in the DWG N8VEM utilities if you are not familiar with drive mapping on the N8VEM).

  • a crude cpmtools batch file to shoot the entire TO_IMG directory onto the drive image. Be sure to run in simh, to clear the directories of the drive image before running this batch file! Also, a word of caution: the Windows version of cpmtools does not seem to like user numbers above 9. 10-15 are thus off-limits.


In summary


This is not exactly the Ultimate Disk Image & Tool Chain. But I hope it's useful, and please let me know of any software to add or errors to fix.

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