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Site Computer News Home

2013  <<    2014    >>    2015

December 2014

  • Tony Brewer has written a very interesting piece about a Z80 "Special Reset" function - follow the link for details
  • MTXPlus+ is running! - Well, at least Martin's is, I still have to finish off wiring up my I/O board
  • Added a number of additional Z80 reference books to the Technical Library Databook and Design pages
  • Added a brief Technical Note on the MTX Reset circuit
  • Scanned & posted Memopad Volume 4, Issue 1/2, from December 1987 (Originals courtesy of Jim Wills & Andy Key)
  • Scanned & posted copies of two of the "missing" editions of the Memotech Owner's Club Magazine, Memotechniques, from December 1987 and January 1988 - do you have any of the remaining missing ones? (Courtesy of Jim Wills)
  • Scanned & posted Memopad Volume 3, Issue 11, from November 1987 (Originals courtesy of Jim Wills & Andy Key)
  • Scanned & posted Memopad Volume 3, Issue 12, from December 1987 (Originals courtesy of Jim Wills & Andy Key)
  • Despite upgrading to the Professional edition of the Zoom search engine, nobody seems to use it, so I added an annoying animated GIF to draw your attention to the link at the top of the menu column on all of the MTX pages.

November 2014

  • The basic design of the MTXPlus+ I/O board has been done and Martin and I have started construction, the board layout should allow us to concentrate on getting a keyboard interface working before the rest of the ports.
  • The MTXPlus+ CPU boards are now functional, a couple of issues have been identified that will need some wiring changes to resolve, but they will not hold up development and testing of the I/O board.
  • Not many updates to the web pages this month, most of my time is being spent on the MTXPlus+ CPU board 
    • Inspired by some problems with the CPU board, you may like to look at my page about counterfeit ICs
  • Martin and I have finished construction of our CPU boards for  MTXPlus+, ready for testing.

October 2014

  • Posted a copy of Tony Brewer's translation of Martin's MTX ROM code into M80 Format (from MEMORUM)
  • By special request ! - posted scans (yes, pictures !) of some Memotech software distribution disks
  • As more and more information gets added to the site, it's becoming harder to find without a decent search facility . .
    • So, I have now purchased the Professional edition of the Zoom search engine - you can try it here
  • Posted a review of Super Mindefield, from a Danish computer magazine, "Alt om Data"  (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)
  • Posted a couple of snippets about the HRX from the PCW Computer Show in 1984 (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)
  • Posted an updated copy of my KiCad schematic of the FDX 80 Column board 
  • Posted photos of the original SDX Disk Controller board, FDC-03 (Courtesy of Chris Marsden)
  • Posted the final part of Tony's HRX information - schematics and parts list for the Video A/D board
  • Posted board layouts and parts lists for HRX Controller/Memory and Double Memory boards
  • Tony Brewer has just unearthed some more gems from his Memotech days and has kindly shared them with me
    • They are "lost" design schematics, parts lists and board layouts for the Memotech HRX !
      • I am in the process of going through them and will shortly post them to a dedicated HRX page
  • Posted a couple of very interesting pieces of Memotech history - Courtesy of Tony Brewer
  • Posted an updated version of Bill's Crack the Code game, released at Memofest 2014 (Courtesy of Bill Brendling)
  • The MTXPlus+ video daughter board is now finished and being tested using an MTX512
  • Created a page describing how MTX BASIC Variables are stored in memory (Courtesy of Bill Brendling)

September 2014

  • Now that the MTXPlus+ boards are being built and tested, I have started to make the source files available
  • Posted a NEW BASIC game, Crack the Code, released at Memofest 2014 (Courtesy of Bill Brendling)
  • Posted a NEW "text mode" Space Invaders variant, released at Memofest 2014 (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • Memofest Invaders now included in MAGROM Firmware Version 1.04 (at the expense of PCW Pong)
  • Posted SASA, a NEW MSX game conversion, released by Claus at Memofest 2014  (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)
  • I am still trying to fix my faulty FDX 80 Column board, to try and make fault finding easier, I have redrawn the schematic using KiCad and posted it on the Manuals page. I have also put out a "call for help" on the Memotech forum - any help would be much appreciated.
  • Added a "NEW" download, Pontoon - the classic card game (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Another fantastic contribution to the collection - MTX512 with FDX in original boxes
    • Generously donated by Andy and Dennis after it was passed to them following the death of a colleague
      • I have now tested it with mixed results, but I am still very grateful to have it
      • The MTX works fine, it's in nice condition and just about perfect apart from a couple of sticky keys and the usual problem with the modulator drifting off station as it warms up.
      • The FDX started off promisingly, I knew that it had been powered up before it was sent and it powered up fine for me too - that is until the dreaded exploding X2 capacitor and the plumes of white smoke!! Not entirely unexpected and little more than a minor inconvenience having had the problem on another FDX.
  • Added a "NEW" download, SuperBike - (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Martin Allcorn)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Micro Canvas - a small drawing program (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from Music Pad
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from Goldmine
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from MTX Utilities
  • Posted a higher resolution scan of the Tape Cover from Highway Encounter
  • Posted a higher resolution scan of the Tape Cover from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from Word and Picture Matching, pre-school education program
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from Star Command, the original Continental artwork by Nick Mynheer
  • Added a "NEW" download, Caves of Orb (Courtesy of Paul Daniels and Diarmid Gibson)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Ruthless B. (Courtesy of Paul Daniels and Martin Allcorn)
  • Added the audio (.wav) files for Caves of Orb and Ruthless B. (Courtesy of Paul Daniels)
  • Posted a good quality scan of the Tape Cover from Snowball - from my original copy of the game
  • Posted a good quality scan of the Tape Cover from Lords of Time  (Courtesy of Diarmid Gibson)
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from Ruthless B.  (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • Posted a scan of the Tape Cover from Superbike  (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn

August 2014

  • Added some "type-ins", taken from published Memotech books (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Andy Key)
    • Dice, Horse Racing, Safe Cracker, Shuttle Lander and Snipers
  • Added an OCR'ed version of The Memotech MTX Program Book, by Peter Goode (Thanks for the book Andy)
  • Added a "NEW" download, H&L Dump - dumps screens to printer (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Andy Key)
  • My video base board for MTXPlus+ is now complete, next step is building the video conditioning daughter board
  • Put together a small Technical Note on how I think the Node Ring was connected (comments / corrections welcome)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Football Manager by Addictive Games (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Andy Key)
  • Martin and I have started building the prototype video boards for MTXPlus+, using the Yamaha V9958 VDP
  • Posted scans of some missing tape covers, (Courtesy of Andy Key)
    • Backgammon, Bouncing Bill, Combat, Continental (Cosmic) Raiders, Memotech Demo Tape,
    • Little Devils, Salty Sam, Snappo, Star Command, Tournament Snooker
      • (Some are the very boring Syntax Software tape covers)
    • As well as the Memotech Instructions and Adventure Map for Emerald Isle
  • The second batch of MAGROMs have now all sold. Thanks to Martin, we have just completed another small batch
  • BT Infinity (FTTC) installed today (14th) - it won't make any difference to you, but, hey, I thought I should gloat
  • Added an update on the status of Dick Jannsen's MTX keyboard project (Courtesy of Dick Jannsen)
  • Another donation to my Memotech collection, a spare RS232/FDX Interface Card (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • Spurred on by Martin's success, I have now fixed my previously failed MTX500 RAM upgrade!
  • Suggested replacement cables for a broken MTX keyboard ribbon cable are shown on the keyboard repairs page
  • The Video board design for MTXPlus+ has just been completed, ready for building on prototype board

July 2014

  • MAGROM firmware versions 1.02 and 1.03 are now available if you need one or the other (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • Finally, someone has successfully upgraded the MTX500 onboard RAM to 64kbytes (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • My REMEMOrizers have been upgraded to Bitstream r3 (Courtesy of Andy Key)
  • I have spent a lot of time recently converting old disks (mine and Jim's) to image files - more details shortly.

    Until my floppy drives eventually give up on me (my original FDX ones already have), I have the facilities to extract the data from old Memotech floppies (FDX and SDX, 5.25" and 3.5") - providing that they are readable of course. If you have any old Memotech disks that you believe contain data that you'd like to recover and don't have the facilities to do it, then I am willing to try to get the data off for you (free of charge - other than postage).

    There probably won't be any benefit in sending me disks that you can't read because of disks errors - this isn't going to be a true data recovery service - that would be beyond me. Rather, it is a way of getting data from obsolete media into a format that can be used today. If you are interested, let me know.

     

  • Posted a copy of Martin's tidied up MTX source ROM code from Andy's site (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • Created a page featuring the software development tools being used for MTX related projects - any others ?
  • Received original tapes of Ruthless B and Superbike, I need to convert them for Paul (Courtesy of Martin)

June 2014

Things are still a bit quiet on the website front - MTXPlus+ is still taking up most of my time

May 2014

Not many website updates this month - my focus is on the MTXPlus Bus Diagnostics Board

  • Having been looking for a replacement MTX case for sometime, I have now been given one! (thanks Trevor)
  • I have also built an adapter to allow me to run the diagnostic board on a standard MTX
  • Phew! - after many hours slaving over a hot soldering iron, the MTXPlus Bus Diagnostics Board is complete !
  • Added a few BASIC "type-ins" (Courtesy of Paul Daniels)
  • Added a couple of Memotech and Genpat communications (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)

April 2014

A flurry of "new" software, courtesy of Paul Daniels this month!

  • Added a "NEW" download, Words & Pictures Matching (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a NEW download, Texted (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a couple of snippets of BASIC by Andy Key from the 1980s (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a NEW download, Quasimodo's Bells (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a "NEW" download, an unfinished Megastar version of Pacman (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a a NEW download, MTX Machine Code for Beginners (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a "NEW" download, MTX Data File (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added another MTX Demo program, this one originally ROM based (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a new, unpublished, download, Electronics (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills, or rather, Jim's dad!)
  • Paul's MTX Software Catalogue in Excel, updated 24/04/2014
  • Added a NEW, as in previously unknown, download, Soldier Sam (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added another issue of Memopad (Issue 22 / Vol. 0010 No.10)
  • Added another issue of Memopad (Issue 23 / Vol. 0010 Nos.11 & 12 combined)
  • Not that I have any time for it, I have just bought a Commodore (CBM) PET - no idea if it works yet though
  • Added a .com file (for CP/M) to the Telebunny game download (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)
  • Added a .com file (for CP/M) to the Pacman game download (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)
  • Added a "NEW" download, an unfinished Megastar version of Kong (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a NEW, as in previously unknown, download, Pac Manor Rescue (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a NEW, as in previously unknown, download, TNT Tim (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Scramble - "beta" of Mission Alphatron (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a .mtx file to the Reveal game download (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a NEW, as in previously unknown, download, Prontaprint Demo (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a NEW, as in previously unknown, download, Journey into Danger (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Towers of Hanoi (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Ghostly Castle (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Added a .mtx file to the Murder at the Manor game download (Courtesy of Paul Daniels)
  • Added a .com (for CP/M) file to the Spectron game download (Courtesy of Claus Baekkel)
  • Added a "NEW" download, Emerald Isle (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Paul's MTX Software Catalogue in Excel, updated 14/04/2014
  • Paul Daniels is developing a comprehensive MTX Software Catalogue in Excel, I have posted a copy here
  • Added a "NEW" download, Colossal Adventure (Courtesy of Paul Daniels & Jim Wills)
  • Further, much to my surprise, after downloading a test program to it, it works as expected !
  • My CPLD Development board and the power board for MTXPlus have been built - ready for testing
  • Not much new website stuff at the moment. MTXPlus is taking all of my spare (and more) time
  • On a related note, all of the fabulous "kits" donated by Lez Anderson have now been dispatched - thanks Lez!

March 2014

February  2014

Scam Website Warning : i-store-online.com

Although I know better, I was almost caught out by these scammers, read my embarrassing story

  • MAGROM update - the PCBs ordered from iteadstudio have arrived, being tested ready for MAGROM assembly
  • Added another issue of Memopad (Issue 21 / Vol. 0010 No.9)
  • Bill Brendling has written a really useful front-end to MEMU in Python - you can download it from here
  • Created a page to record user experiences using the VGA output from REMEMOrizer
  • Posted Volume 2, Issues 7 & 8 of the Memotech Owner's Club magazine (Courtesy of Jim Wills)
  • Not many updates during the last couple of weeks of  January, the local machine that I use to create and edit the website content suffered a hard disk failure. I don't think that I have lost any data and "normal service" should resume shortly.

January 2014

  • Started adding another set of CP/M library files from the MTX User Club Germany  (Courtesy of Peter Kretzschmar)
    • KLIX / KLICK (?) - Have not worked out what it is yet, could be a CP/M CCP replacement?
  • Added another issue of Memopad (Issue 20 / Vol. 0010 No.8)
  • Posted Volume 2, Issue 6 of the Memotech Owner's Club magazine (Courtesy of Jim Wills)
  • Created a page with details of the EPROM programmer that Bill demoed at Memofest 2013 (Courtesy of Bill Brendling)
  • Created a page with details of the PIC programmer that Bill demoed at Memofest 2013 (Courtesy of Bill Brendling)
  • Although I have not had anything to do with it, it's very newsworthy all the same . . . .
    • With Tony's help, Andy has now added Speculator support to his MTX emulator, MEMU
  • Posted the "final" software version for MAGROM, Version 1.00 (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
    • The next stage will be to move on to develop a production PCB - in progress
  • Added detailed photos of the Memotech ROMPAK hardware (Courtesy of Tony Brewer, as posted on Memorum)
  • Posted Volume 2, Issues 3, 4 & 5 of the Memotech Owner's Club magazine (Courtesy of Jim Wills)
  • Minor website updates, added copies of a few MTX Adverts from outside the UK
  • Created a page describing how the MTX keyboard interface works
  • Posted MAGROM software v0.21, this is likely to be very close to the finished version (Courtesy of Martin Allcorn)
  • Posted Volume 2, Issues 1 & 2 of the Memotech Owner's Club magazine (Courtesy of Jim Wills)

A brief review of 2013 (the 30th Anniversary of the MTX computer)

The Memotech MTX was featured in The Register article, "30 years on: Remembering the Memotech MTX 500", if you have not seen it already, it is worth a read.

The past year has been very busy Memotech wise, the Facebook MTX500 Group continues to grow and the MTX User Forum is slowly starting to become more active. The first Memotech User Group meeting for a long time, Memofest 2013, was hosted by Jim Wills in September, although small, it was a great success and hopefully, the first of what will become a regular event.

Thanks to contributions from a number of people, lots of "new" material was added to the website, including Memotech product literature, magazine articles and a various software titles - we are well on the way to having a complete collection of Memotech software. The technical info on the site has also been greatly expanded - again, with contributions from various people in the Memotech "club".

My Memotech collection has had lots of additions in 2013, thanks to some successful bidding on ebay as well as generous contributions from other Memotech'ers.      

Description Source

Gift

MTX500 (has 64k of RAM and 80 column board) ebay  
A Tektronics Logic Analyser Inaki Castillo y
5,25" Floppy disk drive Tony Brewer y
Old style SDX disk controller private sale  
DMX80 dot matrix printer Jan Seyfarth y
Various items of Video Wall hardware, including an MTX512S2 ebay  
MTX512S2 complete with SDX controller and 80 column board Diarmid Gibson  
MTX512 Gillian MacKenzie y
SD card floppy disk drive emulator for use with my FDX & SDX ebay  
Hi-Soft Pascal ROM board private sale  
A MAGROM board Martin Allcorn y
A MTX Speculator Martin Allcorn  

More details can be found on the 2013 News page

 

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