northstart stuff

Dave Dunfield dave04a at
Sat Jan 14 12:08:09 CST 2006

> So, in all this mess, it sounds like there is no OS disks. Hopefully, there 
> are some Northstar fans around than can help :)

Hopefully there will be at least one boot disk among the "blank" floppies
that you have, as getting the OS into a horizon without a boot disk can
be difficult (not not impossible).

I have images for several NorthStar OS's on my site.

To transfer the images to physical disks, you need my NST program
(also available on the site) which transfers them serially to the Horizon
where a small client will write them to the hard-sector disks (hence
the problem if you don't already have a system booting).

First thing you need to do is determine for certain  if you have the single
density or double density controller. I have photos of both on my site - I
would guess that you have the DD controller since you have a Horizon DD
manual, and by the other software mentioned.

If you can find a bootable version of NorthStar DOS, then you can transfer
my client to it (NST can "type" the client in to the NS Mxxxx monitor). Then
run the client and you can use NST on the PC to read/write disk from/to
image files (I have quite a few NS images available - and would welcome new

For people who don't have a bootable disk, I have created "in memory"
images for both the single and double density system which contains both
the OS and the NST client. The tough part is getting it "in memory" on a
Horizon, which has no front panel.

If have have a ROM board, easiest thing to do is to deselect RAM at 0000
and put in a ROM monitor. I used the older "loads at 2000" versions of N*
OS for the in-memory system, so you have 8K at 0000. You will also need
to change the power-on vector jumpers on the CPU board to activate
your ROM. (There is also 4K of "free" space from F000-FFFF is that
works out better for you).

More info on my site - give me a shout if you need help (I know lots about
N* systems!)


dave04a (at)    Dave Dunfield
dunfield (dot)  Firmware development services & tools:
com             Collector of vintage computing equipment:

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