Exploring TRS-80 Virtualization and File Management Tools

Is that Arizona?

(Quite a long left turn)

I feel like that bunny (No, not Barbie Benton)

It was really great to be able to use these images as virtual drives in the Model I, but given I had problems getting the 2nd drive to be physical (I think it was probably a terminating resistor issue, but I contacted Gotek and my eBay reseller a few times for more instructions on the device and was met with silence) I needed some way to get files on and off the virtual images using my laptop. Well, its a good thing I went to Tandy Assembly and saw

Lawrence Kesteloot presenting TRS80-TOOL at Tandy Assembly

I had watched and been amazed at Lawrence using TYPESCRIPT of all things to be able to work with the virtual files and get things in and out, so I got what I needed at Github. And I was at least able to work with the .dsk files.

Why dedicate a whole page just for that?

Don’t be fooled, its not just to re-mention Lawrence and his TRS80-TOOL. I was still missing something in my life (Ok, well, I am missing A L-O-T of things in my life, but that’s out of scope of this blog). Lawrence can work with a few disk types, but not the .hfe I need for the Gotek/HxC2001. So I did a bit of searching. And this is when I ran into trs80gp

You’re telling me I can emulate a TRS-80 ON MY Mac?!

So while looking for items that could manipulate .hfe files I stumbled on trs80gp. (They seem to like referring to it in lower case, so I will too.) trs80gp is a program that can run on

  • Windows from XP all the way up to Windows 11
  • MacOS
  • Linux
  • Raspberry Pi

Which include of my favorite platforms! (Can you (Windows) guess which (Windows) is the platform (Windows) that I don’t like?) While I love and use a lot of Raspberry Pi’s (I have 8 running in the apartment, 4 at the NC house, one at moms) and Linux (I do run Fedora on a Lenovo mini) I spend most of my time nowadays on the Mac so decided to download it for that.

I haven’t mentioned it, but Model I’s are not the machines that most people seem to use in the community. (At least how I feel). Most are Model III/4, which is kewl, if you like that sort of thing. But I’m ride or die Model I. It was nice to find out that trs80gp could handle running my Model I. And, yea, sure, it handles Model III. But it will also do

  • Model II
  • Model 4
  • Model 4P
  • Model 4D
  • Model 12
  • Model 16
  • Model 6000

WOW, I had forgotten that some of those models even existed and don’t even remember the 6000. Oh, wait, that’s not the whole list!

  • TRS-80 Micro Color Computer Model MC-10
  • TRS-80 Color Computer
  • TRS-80 DT-1 Data Terminal
  • TRS-80 Videotex
  • Electric Crayon external color display.

That’s just nuts!

They say it’s not the journey, it’s the destination

I won’t run everyone through it all, but I want to give a huge shout out to George and Peter Phillips, 2 of the master minds behind it. (I think the “gp” isn’t just George Phillips but “George Peter”). They have a discord server as well as other support channels. From the very start, they were immensely interested in my project, and helping in any way they could to move forward. They fielded some REALLY dumb questions and responded really quick and completely. They were able to take me from “Whats this all about” to… Well, I want to leave off where they left me off since that’s something for another entry. But I just want to say that so far except for a glitch using NewDOS/80 in trs80gpv2.5.1 where I have to modify FE26 in the memory from 09 to 01 (Which will be fixed in the next version) its been an absolute joy and pleasure using trs80gp and it will help me be able to sit on the couch and do work on getting my Model I online. (More on this too later. 😉 )

Ok, yea, if you haven’t figured out by now, I’ve been a bit lax in keeping things “up to the minute” here. All the dates of articles are just dates to keep them in order. This is actually the 3rd one I’ve written this lazy Saturday morning. On to the next, where we…..

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About Tuc .

Tuc, owner and Sysop of RACS III started his computing adventures on an IBM 5110 with a 4 inch screen, 16K Basic, 2 8" floppy drives and a 132 column dot matrix printer in 1978. After retiring for a bit to Tucs Beachin OBX House in NC, he came back and is now the Senior Site Reliability Engineering Manager for a global SAAS company.
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