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Friday, December 15, 2023

David Given Brings “CP/Mish,” the Open Supply CP/M Distribution, to a Brother Phrase Processor

Classic computing fanatic David Given has introduced his “CP/Mish” working system — “an open supply sort-of-CP/M distribution for the [Intel] 8080 and [Zilog] Z80 architectures” — to a brand new and maybe shocking gadget: an outdated word-processor.

“This can be a Brother Tremendous PowerNote,” Given explains of the gadget, a phrase processor launched within the mid-Nineties. “It’s a deeply bizarre gadget and I have been in search of one for a very long time. It is one among Brother’s line of bizarre phrase processors, besides in a laptop computer kind issue. So this isn’t a PC. Regardless of that reality, it’s truly a full sized laptop computer.”

Since virtually fully supplanted by multi-functional laptops, transportable phrase processors had been as soon as a well-liked different to electrical typewriters and, usually, provided a less complicated consumer interface at a decrease price when in comparison with general-purpose laptops of the period. The know-how inside them, although, was typically the identical as that of microcomputers of the Eighties — and within the case of the Brother Tremendous PowerNote, which means an eight-bit Zilog Z80 processor.

What do you do if you’ve obtained an uncommon gadget with a Zilog Z80 inside? Port CP/M to it, in fact. (📹: David Given)

That is precisely the goal chip for which Given created CP/Mish, primarily based on Digital’s CP/M working system. Whereas created with microcomputer in thoughts, there is not any actual motive why it could not additionally run on a Z80-based phrase processor — which is what Given has now confirmed, by porting the software program to the gadget, after just a little reverse-engineering.

“When you have a Tremendous PowerNote, please give this a attempt,” Given says. “You construct the factor and then you definately dd or RAW write the picture onto the [floppy] disk, after which it simply works. This might be a superb system for doing issues like taking part in the Infocom [interactive fiction] video games on, for those who just like the noise of the disk entry between strikes.”

The supply code for CP/Mish is out there on Given’s GitHub repository beneath a mix of open supply licenses; it is usually suitable with a spread of different Z80-based techniques together with the Amstrad NC200, a number of Brother digital typewriters, and the traditional Kaypro II microcomputer.

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