ScuzzBlog: Diaries October 2022

Entry 16th October 2022: Post 1: PCW - Toolkit Disk Utility V2.5.

PCW - Toolkit Disk Utility V2.5.

Some thirty years ago I was sitting at my PCW9512 writing a book
called Living in a Box. Sadly the computer was starting to groan
after years of hammering and the drive was falling over. I  lost
a number of disks to failure and even my disk salvage disk that
I used bit the bullet. It was certainly time to consider a new
machine and the following year I purchased the Amiga 1200.

The disks that failed were placed together in a special disk box
and I swore that I would one day recover the contents. For thirty
years I have looked for the Toolkit disk to appear but with no
luck. Toolkit by Moonstone Computing was the equivalent of the
Amiga utility DiskSalv. It worked out of CP/M and gave a hex dump
of the disk contents which by editing the various numbers you
could repair the disk. This was achieved by copying and retrieving
salvaged parts of the file.

Since 1992 I have purchased two additional PCW9512 machines and
also repaired the one. I also have a PCW8256 which is the earlier
green screen version. This too I had to repair.

Fast forward to this week and I was shocked to discover a copy of
Toolkit on sale on Ebay. I was a little sceptical as the screen
shown was a green screen as with the 8256 and it referred to a
CF2DD disk. My concern was that the software was on a 180K disk
and unsuitable for the PCW9512. There were no other clues from
the auction. Anyway I purchased the 3" disc and it arrived yesterday.

Today I set up the PCW9512 and fired up CP/M. First I formatted
a 720K three inch CF2 disc and prepared to make a copy of the
Toolkit disk. That is when I discovered that the disc was indeed
only usable on the PCW8256. Bummer.

And so my busted disks including my original Toolkit disk were
again confined to the store cupboard and I continue again my thirty
year search to find this software. Trust me I have looked high
and low and rarely a month goes by that I don't trawl the Amstrad
forums and pages to see if one turns up.

Never mind. That is the nature of retro. The joy is when things
go right. Not today.... ar hum.

Some of the images from this shoot may look a bit out of the
square. I didn't move the PCW from its location and had to take
images from an angle quite low down. So the lens played some
silly tricks with the image. Tricky but I think you get the
point of what was being shown.

PCW - Toolkit Disk Utility V2.5.

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Last updated 16th October 2022

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