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MICROMATION CP/M 2.1 disk(s) needed

Alan Sutton

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Mar 12, 2019
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I am a retired S-100 bus early adopter from the late 1970's when I had a computer store in Phoenix Arizona named BITS-N-BYTES and later Arizona Micro Computer Center. When that store closed in the early 1980's I kept some inventory to play with. I put most of it away on shelves after tinkering with some of it for a few years but now it has been sitting for decades. I recently decided to see if I could revive some of it to sell before I get to incapacitated due to my age and health issues. One of the systems is a 2 drive MICROMATION system using their Z64 board and DOUBLER and MULTI I/O. I was able to get it running and communicating eith my TELEVIDEO 920C terminal. However, I am unable to locate the SYSTEM disks for it and only have 8 or so floppys that were work disks. So I am looking for some help to find the system disks to allow me to format and SYSGEN other floppys. If anyone knows of someone that can help me find the disks I would be most appreciative.
I am starting to sell my collection on EBAY as seller TEMPLE922. If there is something there that you are interested in, please buy it or contact me if you need more information.
Best regards, Alan Sutton
 

new_castle_j

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I just had a look thru my disk stash and found an 8" floppy that's labeled Micromation CP/M 2.2 60K. It's not an OEM disk, but I will attempt to read it back and see if it's still viable.
 

Alan Sutton

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Hi, thanks for the reply

Hi, thanks for the reply

I just had a look thru my disk stash and found an 8" floppy that's labeled Micromation CP/M 2.2 60K. It's not an OEM disk, but I will attempt to read it back and see if it's still viable.

Hi, thanks for the reply. My work disks report CP/M 2.1 and I wonder if that is MICROMATION first issue of CP/M just before 2.2 came out. Hopefully the disk is able to be copied and has all of the CP/M .COM files needed to support it. I should be able to get it installed even if it is the later 2.2 as long as it has the MICROMATION doubler support. I will gladly pay any expense to get a copy of the disk sent to me.
Best regards, Alan Sutton
 

new_castle_j

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I found half a dozen more disks or so related to MicroMation today and I attempted to read them using Dunfield's IMD program. I was able to capture the first 2 tracks of each disk, but that's all. I haven't ran into this situation before where IMD stops trying after the first tracks. I can see that these are SSDD media so I also tried reading the contents with 22disk and various 8" SSDD formats that were available, no joy. I will set aside some more time and tinker around with some other tools and see if I can make any progress.
 

SomeGuy

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You might need to tell ImageDisk to always reanalyze every track. Perhaps try Teledisk instead if that still fails. First couple of tracks might be single density while the rest are double density.
 

new_castle_j

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Excellent suggestions, I just tried both. Teledisk behaved the same way as IMD, first 2 tracks were read, and then it stopped. When I set IMD to do full analysis on every track, the first 2 tracks were successful, and the rest came back with "N", I assume that means Null or No Data. So I guess I have a stack of disks with only system tracks on them, it looked more promising than that since the labels written on the disks indicated that they contained sysgen and other utilities.

There was one disk that was SSSD CP/M formatted and I managed to read off some source code from it, contents are attached here in case it's helpful to someone.

View attachment MICROMAT.zip
 

SomeGuy

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Is your FDC compatible with 128-byte MFM sectors? Use ImageDisk's TESTFDC to check. A quick web search suggests these may use 128-byte sectors.
 

Al Kossow

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Is your FDC compatible with 128-byte MFM sectors?

maybe chuck has run into a system that had dd then sd, but I never have.
the issue may be the opposite, that whatever you are using can't deal with micromation's higher density format

what does anadisk have to say about these disks? it would also be pretty weird if only the first two tracks are formatted

the manual
http://bitsavers.org/pdf/micromation/Micromation_DOUBLER_Operator_Manual_1980.pdf

shows it doesn't use an LSI floppy controller, so double-density is quite likely not IBM MFM
 
Last edited:

SomeGuy

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Right, if what is on the disks is not IBM MFM compatible then something like a Kryoflux would be needed to dump the stream, and some additional software to decode them.
 

hjohnson

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Al Kossow is saying some good stuff here. It's "informative" to read the Micromation floppy controller manual. The board uses a collection of logic, not a magic "floppy disk controller chip", to read write and format. So the format of a Micromation-formated diskette may be slightly non "standard". This is what Al Kossow was talking about in part. Also, it' s not unusual for old floppy diskettes to have very different formats for the "boot tracks" versus the rest of the diskette, including single-density for booting and double-density for the rest. "Reading the fine manual" is a good idea on this very old S-100 floppy-controller.

On reading the disk today: it may be possible to do a low-level "read track" and then process those results. Some disk analyzing programs do that. - Herb
 

Alan Sutton

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Mar 12, 2019
Messages
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I found half a dozen more disks or so related to MicroMation today and I attempted to read them using Dunfield's IMD program. I was able to capture the first 2 tracks of each disk, but that's all. I haven't ran into this situation before where IMD stops trying after the first tracks. I can see that these are SSDD media so I also tried reading the contents with 22disk and various 8" SSDD formats that were available, no joy. I will set aside some more time and tinker around with some other tools and see if I can make any progress.

Hi all,
Thanks everyone for your responses. As I have not dealt much with CP/M since I was a lot younger, I see that there are many tools available now versus then. Do any of you have an actual system that is using the DOUBLER for the disk controller? It may be the simplest solution to try and read the disks on such a system? The system I have is a working DOUBLER Z-64 system and I can read all of my old disks, but I cant find the system disk with any of the transient commands for it. Can I suggest that if anyone is willing to send me their disk(s) for me to try and read in my system, that I will go through them with the utmost care and if I can find the transients I need, I will copy them and send the originals back to you. I will of course pay for postage back and forth. Just a thought from a simple minded old guy. Thanks again for any help with this.
Alan Sutton
 

Alan Sutton

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Mar 12, 2019
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Hi, Thanks for making the ZIP file available. My problem is that I have no way of placing the file onto 8 inch media. If you are able to copy the disk with the files on it to another 8" disk could you send me the disk to use in my system? I am not sure how to get in contact with you directly so we can set it up.
Best regards, Alan Sutton
 

new_castle_j

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>Is your FDC compatible with 128-byte MFM sectors? Use ImageDisk's TESTFDC to check.
Yes, TESFDC shows that my Adaptec SCSI card with floppy controller supports 128 byte sectors, passes all tests

>what does anadisk have to say about these disks? it would also be pretty weird if only the first two tracks are formatted
I haven't used Anadisk before, so I gave it a whirl this afternoon. Anadisk does a scan of the disks and says the first 2 tracks contain data, and rest of the tracks are blank.

Perhaps the reason why there are no Micromation disk images out in the wild is because of this situation I am encountering here. At this point it makes sense to me to try putting these into a real Micromation machine and see what happens. I will be contacting the original poster of this thread and see about sending the disks to him.
 

Alan Sutton

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Hi, I want to send a great big THANK YOU to Jonathan, new_castle_j. He sent me his stash of MICROMATION disks and I was able to recover all of the files I needed to make my MICROMATION system complete again. It was a bit of a pain in the rear end working with my 39 year old disk drives and bad sector errors made the copying process slow and frustrating, but in the end I was able to copy many files to a few disks provided by Jonathan. I hope these disks/files will help others looking for MICROMATION system files. And again, thanks to all of you who responded to my request for help.
 

euseibus

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Feb 21, 2021
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Micromation Disk Images

Micromation Disk Images

Hi, I want to send a great big THANK YOU to Jonathan, new_castle_j. He sent me his stash of MICROMATION disks and I was able to recover all of the files I needed to make my MICROMATION system complete again. It was a bit of a pain in the rear end working with my 39 year old disk drives and bad sector errors made the copying process slow and frustrating, but in the end I was able to copy many files to a few disks provided by Jonathan. I hope these disks/files will help others looking for MICROMATION system files. And again, thanks to all of you who responded to my request for help.

Hi Alan,

I also got my hands on a Micromation Z64 with Doubler + Multi IO.
I am missing an EEPROM from the Z64 unfortunately, but i still have hopes based on some of the ASM linked earlier in this thread.
Did you by any chance upload the disk images anywhere ?
 

new_castle_j

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I remember working with Alan on the Micromation project, there was something about Micromation's format that prevented me from reading them on any of my systems. I think I attempted to capture images of them and also had trouble. The disks should still be around here, I will look for them and try to image them. I believe the EPROM source code was there too.
 

euseibus

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Feb 21, 2021
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Aha! That would be interesting if you can get an image from the disks. It looked like Alan was able to recover a number of files, i wonder if there is an ftp somewhere with the images. Otherwise I suppose i should start typing the ASM listing from the manual :D
 

exidyboy

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I remember working with Alan on the Micromation project, there was something about Micromation's format that prevented me from reading them on any of my systems. I think I attempted to capture images of them and also had trouble. The disks should still be around here, I will look for them and try to image them. I believe the EPROM source code was there too.

This might represent a good example of the value of doing a flux level image of the disk (Kryoflux or similar) to enable analysis of the Micromation format so that the issues with higher level copying of the disks can be understood?
 
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