Reminiscing (Was: ISO Intertec 5.25" floppy drive jumper settings

Fred Cisin cisin at
Sun Dec 2 19:15:20 CST 2018

>> So, they were not heavy into interoperability with other brands.
On Mon, 3 Dec 2018, Adrian Graham via cctalk wrote:
> Was any manufacturer? I does seem to me that everyone deliberately made 
> their CP/M format different despite using the same or similar chipsets. 
> I was surprised to read in the docs for my Osborne Executive that it 
> COULD read a couple of other formats.

I HAVE TO respond to THAT!  No way can I let THAT slide!

I once cold-called Gary Kildall to ask him to consider standardizing 5.25" 
disk format.  His response was, "THE standard is 8 inch single sided 
single density".  I said, "but what about 5.25 inch?"  He repeated, "THE 
standard is 8 inch single sided single density."

During the famous "shooting self in the foot WITH AUTOMATIC WEAPONS" 
session, Adam promised that their next machine could read and write every 
disk format in existence!  About a week later, they contacted my publisher 
to discuss licensing XenoCopy!
I used to run into Adam occasionally.  And then, after his computer 
company folded, he briefly peddled an external HDD in a odd shaped case 
(at computer swaps!)
When Lotus sued Paperback software, I suggested buying one of the pieces 
of the defunct Visicorp (CHEAP at the time) as an impenetrable defense 
(cf. Novell's purchase of DRI).  But, it was just barely too late.
I miss him.

I was PLEASED to see the prevalence (bundling?) of Uniform from 
MicroSolutions with Kaypro, even though they were my biggest competitor.

Howard Fullmer (Morrow Designs) was working on a multi-format system that 
was attempting automatic format recognition.  I don't think that he 
finished it.  I heard that he died (I miss him), but I can't find 
confirmation, and George Morrow is obviously unavailable.  Anybody KNOW?
(One of my TRS80s had his "Parasitic Engineering" 8" CP/M modifications 
(sandwich boards below Z80 and 1771))

> What machine were you using for hotel room coding?

At that time, a Compaq.  And, I used a Compaq in a gazebo in a park in the 
rain in Hilo when I added WRITE capability.
But, I soon switched to a generic lunchbox.
And, for a while Joe Garner (Elcompco) loaned me an XT system in a 
Halliburton attache case (5" display).  His CP/M system had already been 
available for sale in my Computer Faire booth (right accross the 
aisle!) when Adam made his spectacular launch of "THE FIRST portable 

It just ain't the same no more.
If John Titor is listening, my offer stands for a one way ride back to mid 

Grumpy Ol' Fred     		cisin at

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