My DOS feature continues today with the Tatung Einsten. 1984.
These machines are fitted with the 3" disc drive which you would
normally associate with Amstrad machines. I will fly anything
with a 3" drive. I just love the format. I have never had any
problems with the drives on either of my Einsteins. Today I did
encounter a slight dodgy read on a disc. It did load past the
problem but I thought I would format a disc and copy anyway.
The system boots into MOS or XtalDOS which is pronounced Crystal.
From here you can run BASIC and even CP/M. The discs are double
sided and you can simply flip over and use the other side. You
can also format the sides individually without interfering with
the other side.
To load BASIC you just type XBAS and like magic you are in the
BASIC line coder and this works just like any other BASIC. You
can also fire up Z80 DR LOGO which is great fun.
OK to DOS on the Einstein. First up the Machine Operating System
is contained within an 8K by 8 bit ROM integrated circuit situated
on the main printed circuit board of the computer.
Note that the Machine Code Monitor consists of only one part of the
overall MOS Machine Operating System. This allows direct access to
the memory and various facilities for the manipulation and display
of data contained therein.
The Disc Operating System (DOS). as developed by Crystal Research
Limited, is designed as a portable system and must be loaded into
RAM from the SYSTEM disc supplied with the Einstein. Xtal DOS,
( as it is known ) loads into the top of RAM ( The TATUNG/Xtal
BASIC 4 interpreter loads into the bottom of RAM from 0100H).
For any formatted disc, tracks 0 and 1 are the "system tracks"
which contain the DOS. The DOS has control over the operations
relating to discs and access of disc drive units, and will run
CP/M programs. When loaded, the DOS and MOS combine to provide a
complete operating system with many useful facilities which include
all file maintenance activities, BACKUP, FORMAT and COPY plus the
general housekeeping activities and control of the disc directory.
Under DOS the disc drives are referred to by a number in the range
0 to 3 with 0 being the drive in the machine and 2 and 3 being
external drives. When operating DOS the prompt at the beginning
of the line consists of the current drive number being accessed.
To access DOS:
1: From BASIC type in the command DOS and key ENTER.
2: From MOS with disk in drive press CTRL and BREAK keys.
3: With a disc in the drive on power up.
Once powered up the Einstein loads displaying TATUNG/XtalDOS 1.0
and dated (c) 1983 1984.
Anyhoo if you want to read more there is plenty below. But as you
can see the Einstein is not a closed off system and like the BBC
assumes the user wishes to dig around within the very depths of the
machine. The computer was very popular with programmers even when
developing software and games for other systems. Most versatile.
For me, anything with a 3" compact drive has gotta be good, and the
Einstein does not disappoint.
Onward into October and it's raining. Whoo hoo !!.