Two Steps Back And One Step Forward

Well, it’s been a long time.  But, man, has it been busy.  Medical troubles with my back (need surgery) and also, now, my son is having medical troubles.  He had a couple of blackout episodes where, it appears, his heart stopped momentarily.  He has been in the hospital since last Saturday, and just got out last night.  Since he blacked out, he is, probably, going to loose his driver’s license.  Since he is a trucker, by profession, he now (in addition to all his other troubles) needs to find a new job.  You really want to stay awake while driving a deadly weapon!

Back to RetroChallenge.  I took a look at that old Zenith.  It’s not at all what I thought, it’s only an 8088 with 720K disks, however it does have a hard drive.  I’m thinking that I could probably install CP/M onto it, but have not been able to find the power supply for it.

What I’m going to do, to start with, is to try installing CP/M onto a virtual machine on my notebook computer.  I am running Virtual Box on my Kubuntu 10.04 system, and already have a Win2000 machine that I can run.  I created a small machine with 64M of RAM and 2 G of hard drive space.  I had thought that a Win-98 disk would allow me access to FDISK if I booted to the CD, however, FDISK is apparently left inside the CABs.  I could not even partition or format the drive on my VM (Virtual Machine.)  Tomorrow, I will try using the Win2000 disk to partition, and format, the drive.  Then I will boot to the drive and, using a USB floppy drive, create a bootable floppy disk from an image that I downloaded from http://www.cpm.z80.de/binary.html.  The file that I will be using is: CP/M-86 binary for 1.44mb floppys (and can be found here: http://www.cpm.z80.de/download/144cpm86.zip.)

Once I get CP/M installed on my notebook, then I can start getting re-acquainted with the old gal and, maybe take her out for a dance or so.  I’m thinking the obvious: at least WordPerfect, BASIC, and (of course) Zork.  After this, then I will try to install it on one of my old systems at home.  If necessary, I will take one of my old PC power supplies and put a barrel connector on the 12 V lines and use that to power up the old Zenith.

Stay tuned…

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Published in: on Fri, 14 Jan 11 at 15:09  Leave a Comment