Monday, 4 January 2010

Amstrad NC100/NC200 Notepad/Notebook - keyboards

Although both machines appear to have virtually identical keyboards (apart from the NC200 which has a white key) they are not interchangeable as the keyboard connectors are in a different place on the motherboard. Shame really...

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, the New Year is now almost upon us. Have a good and prosperous one!!

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Adventures with an Amstrad PC1512 - Keyboards

You can only use a PC1512 keyboard on a PC1512 or PC1640 and modern keyboards cannot be used with either machine (non-stadard connections).

Adventures with an Amstrad PC1512 - Floppy drives

Note that the jumper on an Amstrad 5.25 inch floppy drive is set to D0 (drive zero) and will need to be set to D1 before it can be used as an A drive on a modern PC.

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Adventures with an Amstrad PC1512 - Windows 3.0 with a Zip Drive

Now with a Zip drive, it is possible to install Windows 3.0 onto the Zip drive on a PPC512/640 or PC1512/1640 as if it was a hard drive. Alternatively, install onto the Zip on another PC. Run setup from DOS and set to CGA before running. The Zip can also be used to contain the DOS directory if your PC1512 doesn't have a hard drive. Note that DOS 6.x will only install from a 1.44Mb drive not a 720k. You also need to create a 5.25 inch boot floppy as you can't boot from a parallel Zip drive.

Adventures with an Amstrad PC1512 - Iomega Zip Drives

I have been using Zip Drives on an Amstrad PPC640 for quite a while so was keen to get it working with the PC1512. However, it doesn't work much to my annoyance. The driver either hangs or crashes trying to detect the drive. Now, the PC1512 and the PPC are not that different. My suspision was that Amstrad had updated the parallel port. Howver, it seems that the only difference between the two machines is that the PPC uses an NEC V20/30 processor which is slightly faster than the 8086 on the pC1512. Running MSD confirmed this. However, all is not lost as there is a driver called palmzip available here which costs only 8 euros and can be paid for using Paypal which works very well and even allows the Zip drive to be used with Amstrads own version of MSDOS 3.2 (the Iomega driver requires DOS 5.0 or above). The addition of a Zip drive makes transferring files from a PC attached to the Internet much easier.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Adventures with an Amstrad PC1512 - Windows 3.0

Yes it will run but it takes up quite a lot of Hard disk space and is a little slow. It is also restricted to CGA Mono display which isn't very pretty and won't work with the Amstrad mouse (see previous) and is restricted to the real mode memory model. Note that this is Windows 3.0 and NOT 3.1 which won't run in real mode. If you don't have a 3.5 720k drive attached then getting it to work is a little difficult (more on that later). However, with a 3.5 inch drive it will install and run in the usual way. However, despite the fact that it loads and runs, it is a little difficult (ok impossible) to find software that will run in both CGA and real modes. For example, Visual Basic programs won't run as they require standard mode. You have File Manager and notepad and all the other programs available but not much else. Probably not worth bothering with.