Sharp PC-3000

Everything about vintage DOS based Palmtops goes in here...
Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Sun Nov 27, 2016 3:31 pm

Hitachi... Hmmm how weird. You'd think that a company like Canon would pick one supplier - at least for the same card with the same label. Unfortunately i also didn't have any luck with the Hitachi cards.

If i have some time i will try to "crack" the sdisk and sformat tools so they would not care about the manufacturer. Maybe that would yield a larger selection of cards.

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:51 pm

OK my abilities cracking old DOS appz are not that great - however as i see it the SDISK tool simply throws away all partitions and makes one with all space available and the SFORMAT tool simply gives it a FAT16 format with 4K blocks. So if the 32MB winimage file doesn't work then these 2 tools also won't work.

:(

wintermute
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Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by wintermute » Sun Nov 27, 2016 9:50 pm

Thanks for all the effort you put in. Sharp PC-3000 is a nice machine but obviously very limited. I kind of explored and tested pretty much all i wanted to do with the SRAM card and the evaluation period of cardware. If I decide to do anything more serious, I will pay for the software and honestly 2MB seems enough for this kind of machine for my exploratory work (testing games, fooling around, showing it off to some friends). I put all the games and software I wanted for now on that 2MB card and that should be enough to keep me enterntained for a while. Many games don't work on the machine. Pretty much the only games that seem to work correctly are txt adventures and very limited number of early arcade games (Tetris, Donkey Kong, Galaxian...). So far I had a blast with Galaxian (very impressive, smooth, and great pc speaker sound effects!) and Hitchiker's Guide txt adventure which somehow feels awesome on a palmtop. But even a simple game like Pentix doesn't work :| I also installed an old version of xlisp and it works! I remember using Turbo C 2.0 on HP200 LX so maybe that would work too.

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:17 pm

So sorry about all the problems getting CF to work. Wish i could do more about it, but i think the sundisk driver is very limited and most CF cards have a controller that simply isn't compatible with it.

About games - only CGA games work. My favorites are old adventure games from Sierra and Lucasfilm games - classics like "Zak McKracken" or "leisure suit larry" are loads of fun. Ironically you can even place the CGA driver file from old sierra games into some later games, so the "Leisure suit larry VGA remake" can be played in CGA.

Here's some lists of games you can play:

http://www.abandonia.com/en/game/all/CGA-only

http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/shee ... eId,1/p,2/

wintermute
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Favorite Palmtop: Sharp_PC-3000

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by wintermute » Mon Nov 28, 2016 6:30 pm

Yeah, I found several excellent sites that have many DOS and early Win games (abandonia too).

It seems to me that making a serial cable is the better way to go about bootstraping. At least you know it "must" work and the terminal program is in ROM. The CF card solution is a lottery and requires obtaining many cards in hope you get lucky. I remember using the serial link with my HP200LX long ago and never had any issue. And it still requires you to somehow get the CF driver to the machine.

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Mon Nov 28, 2016 7:51 pm

Hmmm, yeah the CF compatibility problem is indeed annoying. I will try to get more CF cards and see which ones work, so we can collect a list of working cards.

Totally without CF or SRAM the storage is a bit limited on the 3000. You can compress most exe files with tools like upx, but still you will run out of space for some bigger games. I wish SRAM cards were much cheaper.

I also hope that i can soon offer a simple solution for making a serial cable or even some affordable pre-made ones...

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Wed Nov 30, 2016 9:08 am

On a side note: The serial ports finally arrived. So if i have some time tonight (unlikely though) imma try to make the "ghetto style" serial adapter. ;)

SpiroGiro
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Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:16 pm
Favorite Palmtop: PC3100

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by SpiroGiro » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:46 pm

I was going through all this from as far back as 1996! - In fact I hoped I would never have to again, but I hate seeing my once loved and vaulted machine languishing in a drawer - 'dumb' has gotten the better of me - especially as there seems to be a big buzz around this and te other contemporary DOS palmtops right now.

BUT to help spread a little info into the mix as to why some cards work and others don't is because early Type I cards were 3.3V and later higher capacity /Type II were 5v

I actually achieved a lot with my setup of a 2MB SRAM in 'A' with all possible system drivers >> auto loading a Sacker stacked 10Mb Ssndisk Flash in 'B'' to give 20Mb upon which was installed Windows 3.0, Excel 2 and Word 3, in addition to my Compuserve login software, Wordperfect 5.1 a stack of DOS tools (PKzip, DIET, MACSEE etc), CGA games and BitFax software. Also Nettamer, an IRC app and a Bit Paint program! I never managed to get the Sharp FDD but I had a Backpack parallel port FDD which could read and write MAC format floppies - important at the time as I worked in an Advertising environment.

In fact I even surprised PICO (the developers of the architecture) with this and wrote a paper for them to use in their sales effort on their request.

Laplink was always a thorny issue and to achieve a BOOTSTRAPPING you needed to be linked to a very low power DOS based PC - old Amstrads seemed reasonably successful, but even if the BOOTSTRAPPED previously, it was not a God-given they would another time! Connecting to an ATARI STf was easier using Ghostlink software, but sadly it needs the ST image component residing equally in the PC3k... as does the DOS 6.22 utility Interlnk Intsrvr etc

Sadly,this time is going to be more difficult because those old DOS machines aren't lying around at back of cupboards any longer and even my Thinkpad 760 133MMX booting into a 512mb hdd with plain DOS 6.22 won't work... I just need to get either the floppy driver or the dip.sys drivers on that SRAM or RAM drive D: and I'm away!

Here are a couple of driver maps I used in the day - one used QRAM to extend the available DOS for your apps by loading HI:

Image
Last edited by SpiroGiro on Sat Dec 17, 2016 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Kyodai
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Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by Kyodai » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:50 pm

If bootstrapping is your only issue and you already have the cables you are miles ahead of most other people... :)

I had most luck with laplink 3 - most important part: Ignore the software on the PC3k and just upload the matching laplink client from your workstation (Or in my case: Old Toshiba P75 Laptop). And if you get errors and such try lowering the speed to ridiculously low speeds like 1200 baud or so. Thinkpad 760 should be fine. SRAM with MS-DOS can be tricky as you need a working card services and socket services. I'd recommend Windows 95 - or if your SRAM card has attribute (Most bigger ones like 1 or 2 MB have that) use Windows XP, then you can just use it like an SD card or so. Very convenient!

Thanks for the info about the 3.3/5 volt issue with CF cards. Unfortunately that is impossible to see from the outside - as we noticed earlier in this thread even some cards with the same label have different internals.

jvernet
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Joined: Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:58 pm
Favorite Palmtop: HP200LX

Re: Sharp PC-3000

Post by jvernet » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:04 pm

Hello,

reading this discussion, while searching modified version of PCMCIA drivers: As I have a HP200LX wich can read bothe SRAM and ATA/PCMCIA Flash Card, it was easy to copy drivers on the 3000.
- do not use any card bigger than 32Mb. never succeed with above
- format only on the 3000, then use the card on HP or even a modern machine (Im using a Mac under Hieg Sierra to write on card).

Don't forget to deactivate Low Power Mode while using Laplink. More over, it greatly extend compatibility: some games that do not work will work.

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