480z system disk on ebayu
julesrichardsonuk at yahoo.co.uk
Tue Sep 27 09:05:30 CDT 2005
Tony Duell wrote:
>>I've been trying to get hold of one of these and a 380z for ages, they
>>seem to be quite scarce now. Unless I'm looking in the wrong places.
> I've never seen the floppy drive for the 480Z. From what I can tell, it
> linked to one of the serial ports on the 480Z, and used a synchronous
> protocol (both ends of the link were Z80-SIO chips). IIRC it's the same
> PCB as was used for ther intellegent disk controller in the 380Z, which
> contained a Z80, RAM, and the serial chip.
I think we've been here before :-) Yep, you're absolutely correct - it
does use the same controller in the drive. I've got one of the
(museum-owned) drives back in the UK, along with the Shared Disc
software so that the drive could be made visible across a network (one
step down from the full CHAIN network fileserver that I have). One day
when I have time I'll try and make it Do Something...
I'm lacking the connecting cable, but as there are SIOs at either end
that shouldn't be a problem to figure out.
I believe that the 480Z hosting the drive then becomes a decicated
fileserver in this setup; it can't be used to run normal programs.
The software on EBay would sure be nice though as it seems that's
designed to allow a single user to boot CP/M from a 480Z, without
futzing around setting up a full network (not all 480Zs come with the
analogue side of the network hardware fitted anyway)
> I suspect the ROM was different though.
Hmm, can't check from here - I left all the ROM dumps at home. Actually,
it could well be the same. I think the stock 380Z controller ROM
supports both bussed and serial transfer modes - so it just needs the
board fitted in the 480Z drive to notice that it's hooked up to a serial
link and everything should just work (assuming the 480Z talks the same
> 480Z machines are hard to find now, although there' a plastic-cased one
> on E-bay at the momnet, I think. The older metal-cased version (black
> painted, like a 380Z keyboard) is, I am told. rarer.
That's certainly been my (limited) experience. Shame really, as they
were pretty good machines - a lot better than much of the other 8-bit
stuff floating around at the time IMHO. Somewhat let down in the
graphics department though, even with the hi-res hardware fitted - plus
of course they don't have all the nice expansion options of a BBC micro.
(I've got a plastic-cased 480Z set aside for you btw, just in case you'd
Lack of software's the main problem with the machines though - they
never really hit the home market, and much of the educational software
that was produced for them seems to have vanished :-(
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