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Forums > NEC PC-8401 / PC-8500 Laptop Computers > General/Help > NEC PC-8500 users?
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gweber
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NEC PC-8500 users?
Hi guys!

A while back I obtained the NEC PC-8500 off of eBay. Up until very recently I hadn't had much of a chance to use it, however I've decided to see what I could do with the machine. A couple of questions:

How many other 8500 owners are out there?
Do you use the machine primarily in 32K or 64K mode? (I do know the 64K mode is only an option if you have a RAM expansion unit plugged in.)
Has anyone tried loading up the ZCPR extensions onto the machine?

I have a tiny download area available on www.web8201.com, but I'm wondering if there are other stashes of programs available for this little machine. Of course, I presume *any* machine written for CP/M that would run on a Z80 CPU that uses VT100 screen commands should work on this thing.
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Gary Weber
www.web8201.net
12/6/2007 22:30 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
Fezzler
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I own a NEC PC-8401A-LS. I like the screen, CP/M, NEC format, expansion slot and the WordStar and CalcStar in ROM.

It has no BASIC which is a but of a bummer.

I use it in 32k mode. Not much reason to use in 64k mode as I don't run any programs, yet, other than those in ROM.

What is ZCPR?

I would love to find the expansion device that adds color video output.
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"What will you DO with all those old computers?" ~wife
12/7/2007 21:15 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
gweber
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ZCPR 3 was a command processor replacement, and gave you features like:

* shells
* aliases
* I/O redirection
* flow control
* named directories
* search paths
* custom menus
* passwords
* on line help

Given that CP/M is in ROM on these machines, I'm not sure if the extensions can be installed. But I'm definitely going to look into it..

So the 8401A also has a 64K mode? That's cool! I presume then that you have an expansion RAM unit installed on the side that would act as the RAM disk, since the 32K RAM disk is no longer active in that mode.

As for BASIC, even though there isn't one built into ROM, you can definitely run any of the BASIC interpreters available for CP/M. ZBasic is the public domain flavor that is downloadable from Web 8201. Also, on my PICDisk equipped 8201 back in 1987 I remember running something called "Nevada BASIC".

What I really wish I had for this machine was the native disk drive, the PC-8431A. A real floppy disk system would unleash the power of what CP/M was originally all about, IMO.

Yeah a CRT video output would be awesome. But was there one that gave it color? Or was it only for a b/w monitor?

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Gary Weber
www.web8201.net
12/7/2007 22:55 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
romanoz
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Gary,
I have a nec8401b and was wondering how I would transfer some of the binary files in the Web8201/starlet download area? My impression is that you can only transfer ascii files with the Telcom program?
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Roamin in the gloamin
3/2/2008 03:18 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
gweber
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The wonderful thing about the NEC 8500's TELCOM program, and probably also the 8401A's as well, is that binary transfers can be performed.

Any of the binaries you can download can be transferred to your Starlet with HyperTerminal's XMODEM protocol. Just make sure "PROTOCOL" is turned on in your Setup in TELCOM. It will start accepting a "MODEM7" transfer, which is compatible with Xmodem on the HyperTerminal side.

Gary
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Gary Weber
www.web8201.net
6/13/2009 18:52 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
JulianNott
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An 8500 was the 1st computer I ever owned but he has long since gone to the great Recycling Depot in the sky. I remember it fondly.

What processor/CPU did it use?

Thanks!
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-- Julian
Julian Nott Santa Barbara California USA
5/27/2010 12:37 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
king
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cc0208
2/6/2018 23:42 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
Juan
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Registered: 3/29/2018      Warnings: 0
Hello,

Could anyone supply the binaries of system ROM of the PC-8401A LS?
I need it in order to make an EPROM to fix my computer.

Many thanks.
Juan
3/30/2018 06:54 Link - Ip: Logged - Quote:
Forums > NEC PC-8401 / PC-8500 Laptop Computers > General/Help > NEC PC-8500 users?

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