Preparing Compact Flash Drive

Before using a CF card with your RC2014, you need to initialize it.

If you are using ROMWBW, this is quite straight forward (see below). Just connect the CF drive with your system and boot up. Since ROMWBW is a self-contained boot loader, the system runs without a CF drive. After booting ROMWBW and starting CP/M, you run an INITDIR command on CF drive (giving partitions C to L on 128kb drive). You can then directly use the partitions for reading and writing. On the B drive, there are plenty of tools which helps you get started.

If you are running Grant Searle's or Steve Cousins boot loader (see further down), you first need to format the drive into partitions (A to P, 128mb), then put the CP/M on the drive to make it a bootable CP/M drive. The following steps will be to transfer download.com to the disk, which will help to transfer additional software to the disk. Apart from download.com, xmodem.com, and depkg.com are very useful when filling the drive with software. XMODEM enables transfer of binary files to the system disk, and DEPKG can open packaged file on the drive, file which may contain a group of files. Not having to transfer many files manually may save a lot of time. Formatting CF drive using SCmon is shown below.

There are some additional ways like image copier (see bottom of page); this requires that the source and target drives are identical which may not be true although the disk size is the same. Also, there are tools which can help you transfer files, but this may not be suited to beginners.


Initilizing a CF-drive using ROMWBW

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    1) Starting ROMWBW, enter C to start CP/M

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    2) In CP/M ….

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    3) Typing DIR shows the preinstalled programs on the B drive (ROM disk).

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    4) Typing FORMAT show a help screen (format is not implementet).

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    5) Trying to show content (DIR) on drive C: reveals nothing. The drive needs to be initialised.

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    6) Running CLRDIR initialised the CF drive, use upper case "Y" to proceed. You get 8 empty partitions (C to J) after initialising the drive on a 128kb drive, which can be directly read from and written to.


Initilizing a CF-drive using SCMonitor

You need to dowload the latest SCWorkshop version before you start this procedure. You find the files needed in the SCWorkshop folder. (https://smallcomputercentral.wordpress.com/small-computer-workshop/)

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    1) When you start RC computer with SCMonitor, this is what you are created with.

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    2) Giving the command "DIR" displays the available applications

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    3) Typing "?" shows the monitor commands

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    4) First step is to format the CF drive.
    Find the formatter program in SC Workshop.
    e.g. SCWorkshopProjects/CPM v2.2 Format/Format_CF128_code8000.hex. There are separate formatter for 64 and 128kb CF drives. Use a text editor and open the apropriate hex file. Cut the hex code and paste it into the terminal window to load it into memory. When hex file is loaded you will be informed by "*Ready". Then start the program by entering the code "g8000" (start program in memory , go to address &h8000). The program will show the formatting progress, and when it is complete.

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    5) The next step is to load CP/M into the system and then transfer it to the CF drive, and make system disk.
    Find the "\CPM v2.2 PutSys Plus folder". In this folder there are several hex files, you have to select the one that matches your system; 64kb vs 128kb storage, and SIO/2 vs ACIA serial connection. Open the relevant file in a text editor and copy the hex codes. Paste the hex codes into the terminal window. You are treated with "*Ready" when the transfer is finished. Run the program by entering "g8000". The program will inform you about the progress.

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    6) You can now start CP/M by entering the command "cpm". But there are no files on the drive.

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    7) The next step will involve transferring the program "DOWNLOAD.COM" to the drive.
    To do this you need to return to SCMon, press reset. Locate the file "DOWNLOAD.HEX" (SCMon_RC2014_Download_code8000.hex). As previously, open the hex file in a text editor, cut the hex code and paste it into the terminal window. When transfer is finished, run the code with "g8000" and you are given information to proceed. Start CP/M with "cpm" command. In CP/M run "SAVE 2 DOWNLOAD.COM", which tells the system to save 2 memory blocks to the file download.com.

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    8) To complete the initialisation of CF drive, there are 2 more programs which are very useful, xmodem and dekpg. Open the hex files modem.hex and depkg.hex in text editor and cut the hex code and paste it into the terminal window when in CP/M. The files will be transferred and save on the drive as XMODEM.COM and DEPKG.COM. These programs are not in the SCWorkshop folder.

    Download: DEPKG.COM and XMODEM.COM


NOTES:
The procedure above is shown for using SC Monitor, but when using Grant's Searle's original boot loader (as distributed with the RC2014 kits) the memory location for the hex loader is &h5000. After loading the hex code in the monitor, the code is started by "g 5000" ("g 8000" for SC Monitor).

The serial interface may be driven by either Zilog SIO/2 or Motorola 6850. Separate code base are available for the two serial interfaces.

Grant Searle's homepage: Here you find all you need to initiate and fill the CF-drive
http://searle.hostei.com/grant/cpm/index.html

Steve Cousins: The Small Computer Workshop; contain all the files you need to setup a new CF-Drive
https://smallcomputercentral.wordpress.com/small-computer-workshop/


USING DISK IMAGES:
This method involves using a program reading the content and formatting of a Compact Flash Card, and duplication of the content to a new CF card.
Win32 Disk Imager is such a program: DOWNLOAD for windows only.

IMAGE FILES (DOWNLOAD):
CP/M 2.2 - 128mb CF - ACIA (MC68B50P)
CP/M 2.2 - 128mb CF - SIO/2

NOTES:
The disk images are filled with several popular software packages in pkg format. Use depck.com to unpack the files.
Writing to your CF card may not work due to small differences in the card formats.