Utility Software to Download
Programs marked 'From ANUW' are taken from Mark Ray's Amstrad Notepad Users Web.
AMSTRADPRINT_V1_1.ZIP ... Microsoft Windows 95/98/NT Version 1.1 ... 328kb
I did not like having to disconnect my computers' printer or do complicated document conversion for simple prints on my Amstrad Notepad. This was especially true as the computers were already linked together with the serial cable anyway. This program allows the Amstrad Notepad or Notebook to print in serial mode (along the data transfer cable) to the PC and to redirect this to the connected printer; therefore there is no more cable pulling from the back of the PC! Note that Terminal programs promise to be able to do this, but all the ones that I have tried stripped out all the useful control codes. This job of this program may exist somewhere else and may even be easier to use, but at the time I could not find such a program. It was fun writing anyway.
Place all files in a single directory. Do not rename any files. Create a shortcut to AMSTRAD_PRINT.EXE in the normal way. Edit the AMSTRAD_PRINT.INI file to reflect the settings on your computer. Use the same format as the current default settings. 'Comportno' is the number of the PC serial port that you have your communications cable in. Print device is the full name of the port. i.e. 'lpt1'. (Note this program will work with Novell printers if the Path is specified! i.e. '//gbrsf99/laser_print_q')
Running the Program
Change your Amstrad's printer to SERIAL and set up communications. Speeds can be specified but the Amstrad must have Data Stop Bits as 8/1, Parity as NONE and Handshake ON. The printer selected must reflect what is attached to the PC as the PC program does not do any conversion. (LaserJet works perfectly with my HP 690c).
Run the AMSTRAD_PRINT program on your PC. It will now sit in Test Mode. If you send a print from the Amstrad, the Test light will flicker to show that data is been received. (You can also test communications with the [FUNCTION] [S] mode on the AMSTRAD). If communications are OK press the START PRINT button on the PC program set the program to Waiting To Print mode. On your Amstrad select your document and start the print in the normal fashion. The progress bar should start moving and the printer will spring to life.
Test Mode should determine if you have communications problems. However, the Test light will still flash and download will appear to happen even if the parameters of communication are incorrect, i.e. baud rate not the same on both machines. If this is OK but the printer does not print, check the printer port specified and that the driver on the Amstrad is correct.
Version 1.1 Changes
Buffer bug fixed so it now works with laptop computers. Install the driver for your PC Printer on your laptop, redirect the LAPTOP printer to COM port, set the Baud speed (Now up to 57600 Baud) and away it goes....
I have adapted the clock program form the Notebook manual so the hands of the clock do not flicker.
BBCTONC.TXT ... 4kb
Convert programs written in BBC BASIC for the BBC Micro to the format required by the NC BASIC interpreter.
This program displays the time in a large font, in the same way as in the Big Message program.
MERGE.TXT ... 1kb
Produce a columns effect in the NC word processor by first writing two documents each with a maximum width of 35 characters, and then running this program to merge the two documents, creating one document with columns.
This is a Z80 disassembler for the NC100/200, which also allows you to view the contents of the memory and switch in different ROM, RAM and card RAM banks into memory.
FILEDUMP.TXT ... 338 bytes
Simple program that reads the contents of any file and displays it's exact contents on the screen (with no hidden codes!)
HELPGEN.TXT ... 1.6kb
This is the program used to generate the help file for PCB CAD 3.51.
See PCBHELP.HLP as an example.
I2C.TXT ... 4kb
You can control the I2C-bus with the printer port of your Amstrad NC very easily by using this program and and a minimum amount of hardware (only two 330 Ohm resistors):
This is a iconic menu system for BBC BASIC which shows you which programs you have in memory.
MEMCHECK.TXT ... 1kb
Displays the amount of memory available in the lower memory for programs, and advises what to do if the memory is low.
nc100em is an Amstrad NC100 emulator. (It also has NC200 support, but this is less complete.) It supports both the ROM software and my free CP/M-like replacement OS ZCN. There are actually four separate versions:
snc100em obviously requires Linux. The GTK+ and Xlib versions should work on any POSIX-ish Unix box with X (and GTK+, in the former case), though I've only tested it under Linux. tnc100em should run on anything those two run on, except it doesn't need X. :-)
Associated programs also included are `makememcard', a simple shell script to make a blank memory card image, and `zcntools', an mtools-like set of utils for reading/writing memory card images in ZCN format.
nc100em uses the Z80 emulator from Ian Collier's `xz80'.
Stefano Bodrato has ported the emulator to Windows - you will need a copy of the original NC100 ROM in order to run it. Here's Tony Kingsmill's Quick Start Guide:
Setting up the emulator:
You can create a desktop icon by right clicking on the gnc100 file and choosing Send To.. Desktop.
Using the emulator:
Most keys map to the same keys as on the NC100. The emulator maps the special keys as follows:
MENU key - Home key
To save changes you make to data and settings use the "Exit nicely" button.
A 32kb memory card is emulated - to copy a file from your PC to the card use zcnput.exe.
This program will convert an NC screen grab file (the file that results from pressing CONTROL-SHIFT-S) into a PCX format file which can be read by programs on the PC such as Paint Shop Pro. The image of the screen will be inverted, so you will need to invert the image again on the PC to correct it.
Visit Robin's homepage at www.robinnixon.com
NCTALK.ZIP ... 176kb
This Windows program allows you to connect your NC to your PC using a serial lead and transfer files between them. To run it, simply run the NC_talk.exe file from the zip archive file.
NC2HTML.TXT ... 3kb
This program converts an NC Word Processor document into HTML, the mark-up language used to format documents on the World Wide Web. It translates the basic Word Processor formats, as well as offering a variety of additional features. The following list details the program's functionality:
All code produced is standard HTML and as such should work on any version of any web browser. You can of course add to the HTML file produced by opening it up in the NC word processor (or in Notepad, Wordpad or any PC word processor) and introducing other HTML tags!
Use one of these programs to convert your Protext documents into Rich Text Format (RFT) which can be read by PC word processors such as Write and Microsoft Word.
The original program, written by Bruce Murray, was written in C and can be run by any PC running MS-DOS. The second program, written by Mark Ray, is the BBC BASIC version that can be run on the NC. Also included in the zip file for the MS-DOS version is the original Read-Me file and C source code.
I connected my electronic typewriter to the NC100. Besides, I added some features to the driver the original typewriter didn't support. The features are emulations of bold-faced font and some characters, common in program source code, but not yet on the German character wheel of my typewriter:
Here is what you need to find it useful:
A known bug is that the machine crashes if it is switched off during print sessions.
ACHART.TXT ... 2kb
This program will display on the screen all of the characters that the NC can display, along with its ASCII code which can be used to display the characters in your programs using VDU 27, number or PRINT CHR$(number). Note that the VDU 27 command will always display the correct characters, but the CHR$ command will affect the screen in other ways if numbers lower than 32 are used. For example, CHR$(13) will do a carriage return, and CHR$(7) will make the computer beep. CHR$(127) will also delete one character from the screen.
Visit Robin's homepage at www.robinnixon.com
Use this program to capture the screen of a BASIC program where the usual CONTROL-SHIFT-S does not work. The process will take a while, and you will end up with a file 'NCSCREEN' which can be read using the Q-BASIC screen capture program.
Use this program to get a print out of the screen on an Epson compatible printer.
UUDECODE.TXT ... 2kb
This program will decode a binary file that has been UU-Encoded, for example, a GIF image that has been sent as an attachment to an email.
Use this program to set the time on your NC. A world map appears and you can select your country from the map.
Visit Robin's homepage at www.robinnixon.com
ZCN14.ZIP ... 1.29Mb
ZCN is a free operating system for the NC100. It's largely compatible with CP/M 2.2. It runs most CP/M 2.2 programs, including ZDE, QTERM, Mallard Basic, and Hitech C. It can also run the NC100's ROM BBC Basic as if it were a native ZCN program. You need an NC100 and at least one PCMCIA memory card to use it, and a separate computer (perhaps a PC) and a serial lead to get the system code to it for the first time.
ZCN isn't just some random hack; it comes with serious amounts of documentation, including a guide to programming CP/M and ZCN, and has optional online help.
You should probably consider using ZCN if you like the idea of a portable CP/M box, or want to use the NC100 as something a bit closer to a `real computer'. It comes together with many custom-written utilities, as well as various free CP/M programs.
After unzipping ZCN13.ZIP, you will find the installation guide and manual 'zcn.txt' in the 'docs' directory. To run and use ZCN a serial link to your PC and a memory card for the NC100 will be necessary.
See also Odds 'n' Ends