TRS-80 Model 1 vs Model III disk/application compatibility question
ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Mon Jan 26 17:13:10 CST 2009
I was cleaning up around the house and wanted to stash a Model 3 on
the shelf out of the way. Before I did, I fired it up to make sure it
(still) worked, and to try something I haven't tried before...
I have diskettes, c. 1982, from a friend lying around, so I booted it
into TRSDOS 1.3. All seems well. It claims to have 48K (internally
and according to the markings of the case and the memory report at
boot time), passes MEMTEST (which is on most/all of the TRSDOS disks),
it runs BASIC, and it starts a couple of binary games I found. What
it does not do is run Zork or Enchanter.
I have original Zork I and Enchanter disks. Booting up a backup of
the Zork disk gets me to a TRSDOS prompt. I can take a DIR and see
the program and the data file there. If I start Zork, the screen
blanks, the disk gronks and the access light blinks occasionally. I
hear what sounds like successive track seeks (which I'm expecting
since I know how Z-Machines work and roughly what virtual pages need
to be loaded to get a game started), but then after a few seconds
(less than 2 min), it sounds and looks like it's in a loop and repeats
the gronking and flashing. I never see anything on the screen except
for a blinking cursor. The Enchanter disk isn't much better - I think
it spins the disk and gronks for a bit, then goes quiet.
I'm posting because I am reasonably certain, due to age if nothing
else, that these are Model 1 diskettes. Enchanter is a flippy, with
an original Infocom label on both sides marked "side 1" and "side 2".
The Zork disk is a Personal Software release (I have the 8.5"x11"
manual, too, naturally), thus about as old as it gets for Infocom
products. I don't recall when the III came out, but Enchanter is one
of the older titles, along with Starcross and Zork, so sometime around
1982. The dates in the directory for the Zork disk are also 1982
(prior to the most commonly available release of the gamefile from
1983). The part I'm not sure of is if there would be any gotchas
trying to run software from 1981-1982 on a Model III or not.
Of course I can play these games on a variety of systems I have on
hand. I'm just trying to get this to start up to check gamefile
version numbers and to take a few turns at 27-year-old-machine speeds.
It's possible I have two different defective game disks, but it's
also likely that I'm attempting something out of naivete that a
die-hard TRS-80 user would immediately recognize as futile.
Thanks for any tips,
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