Scor­pio News


January–March 1987, Volume 1, Issue 1

Page 51 of 63

Making CP/M More User Friendly by C. Bowden ticle briefly discusses the software available to Leprove CP/M and

tht some simple CBIOS modifications that the ry out, that will ge ‘additional system fleribility. These modifications apply to CP/M Version

Only a day of two ago an acquaintance who 12 still using NASDOS and POLYDOS rang me and said “You use CP/M don’t you- Ihave heard that ite as friendly as [expletive deleted] so I don’t know whether to upgrade’. My reply war to the effect that since he was s Aasbus/S0-BUS user, he could progress to what is probably one of the best Laplementations of CP/M avallable.

Certainly, to the average user of microcomputers, the mouse and window approach as exemplified in the Mackintoeh ie very attractive and easy to use, However I think thet moat readers of thie nevaletter are probably more awace of the inner vorkings of the machine then the average user. and would find the Felative inaccessibility of the modern machine extremely frustrating,

5c, neteneist oF enthusiast ‘astociated software. The

The NASBUS/SORUS eyatom t= geared to the engin who needs to be re he hare

rook a Litcie $id fashioned when compured with the sleek plastic jcound now. but it lives on whilst many others fall by the wayside. The enormous range of available CP/M software (and our Investment in it), and the flexibility of systems Like ours make Lf worthwhile to stay in the 8 Bit world.

Of course standard CP/M is rather unfriendly. Tt evolved in a world whe TTY terminals, Tape readers and Punches were still common, thie is still Feflected in software Like £D.cOM and MBASIC.COM, where the line editing features are truly as unfriendly ae a hungry wolf. Fortunately, it is not necessary to remain locked in the embraces of standard CP/M. There is a lot of software around, ‘much of it in the public domain, that can transform CP/M into © much more sophisticated system, and che various CBIOS’s available on Nasbus/80- BUS systems Gake system extremely friendly when compared to many other system: Above all, it ts the ‘OW SCREEN’ EDIT feature, starting back in the good old NASCOM days, that Le so useful,

CP/M consiete of three modules, namely the CCP, the BDOS and the BIOS. These modules are much more fully described in the CP/M manuals, various books and some of the references in appendix 2

The COP (Console Command Processor) Ls the part of CP/M that sits showing the A> prompt and waits for your command Tt ie 2k bytes long

‘The BDOS (Basic Disk Operating System) is the interface between Che CCP or currently running program and the BIOS, Te is bytes long

‘The BIOS or CBIOS (Customized Basic Input Output System) holds the software that actually controls the system hardware. The CBIOS therefore varies from wachine to machine. Tt can be any Length up to about sk Bytes long. Obviously the Longer the CBIOS, the Detter che system (ought 8o be) in terms of hardware Support and user friendliness.

It Le not intended to describe in any detail the implementation or modification of advanced module, ly well described in any fccompanying documentation, but merely to describe whae is

Indicate the main features. Readers who wish to

understanding of CP/M or modifying it may find some referred to in Appendix 2

tiseance in articles

This is an OCR’d version of the scanned page and likely contains recognition errors.

Page 51 of 63