[Coco] PBJ Word-Pak

Gene Heskett gene.heskett at verizon.net
Thu Apr 6 19:49:46 EDT 2006

On Thursday 06 April 2006 18:22, Roger Taylor wrote:
>Does anybody know of any Disk BASIC software that can use the
>Word-Pak?  Also, is NitrOS-9 equipped to use this cartridge already or
> do I need to painfully build a boot disk just to try it out.

You'll have to build a boot disk.  I had it working till 7 years ago, 
rather nicely running nitros9-1.15 or so.  I sent the drivers off to 
Boisy & IIRC Roy, about a year ago, for updateing since mine isn't very 
healthy now, but I've no idea what progress has been made with it.  The 
drivers at that time were in 3 pieces, a descriptor 'wp', an echoing 
device called 'wecho' and the driver, which I'd merged with the co80 
code saving one driver & about $20 bytes in the bootfile, it was named 

Because of the way that card is addressed, they used 8 bytes of I/O but 
only really need 4, so I redid the cs decoding and put it all in 1, 4 
byte wide block of I/O.  Particularly on the coco3, I/O space is very 
much in short supply.

IIRC it was only a cut & jump at the time, but that was like 14 years 
ago when I did it.  The drivers I sent to Boisy & Roy were also 
somewhat modified and ran the monitor at about 18khz instead of the 
normal 15.7 that ntsc runs at.  A magnavox PC-80 13" amber screeen 
loved it though, and I got a much larger, more easily read screen for 
that tradeoff.  I hope that that isn't keeping the guys from working on 
it, but I know the average tv won't run the hsync that fast.  The init 
table for it is not in the descriptor, but in the driver itself since 
theres a whole 32 byte wide register setup in that thing.

>I'm interested in experimenting with this thing so if anybody has the
>technical specs for a programmer, let me know.

I also sent someone the file extracted from the cg eprom because their 
eprom had developed alzheimers, so thats around out there too in case 
your's has also degraded with age.  You'd need a burner for an older 25 
volt eprom to put it back in of course.  I'd finish the wiping with a 
good stout uv light src first though.

Cheers, Gene
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