Atom Software Archive

discussion of games, software, hardware & emulators relating to the Acorn Atom and Acorn System machines.
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oss003
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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Mon May 06, 2013 9:50 am

hoglet wrote:Anyone happen to know who the publisher of Frogger was?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxWczEwo06o

Dave
Dave,

I found this http://www.acornelectron.co.uk/eug/68/a-crys.html:

Code: Select all

We had dreams of riches, or maybe it was attention. The splattered by-lines tell their own tale. These days I'm a writer, but I doubt if I'll ever guard my copyright as jealously as then. I had sold an Acorn Atom version of the arcade game FROGGER to A & F Software two years earlier, so I considered myself a pro, obviously. 
So probably A&F.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by herklots » Wed May 15, 2013 8:33 pm

Here's The Bearsoft game Wolfpac which I bought from Mike Barwise (author) back in the day. Well late in Atom software releases, so I may have bought the only copy. There's the file and a disassembly so should be easy to get working.

Actually a very enjoyable game.

Tim
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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Thu May 16, 2013 9:02 am

herklots wrote:Here's The Bearsoft game Wolfpac which I bought from Mike Barwise (author) back in the day. Well late in Atom software releases, so I may have bought the only copy. There's the file and a disassembly so should be easy to get working.

Actually a very enjoyable game.

Tim
Hi Tim,

indeed, it's a nice game and I had never heard of it before. Does anybody know how to contact Mike Barwise? He has done some interesting things in the past and maybe he's willing to share his stuff or join the forum.

Here's the Atomulator version.

Greetings
Kees
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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Thu May 16, 2013 10:53 am

I'll make sure this gets added into the V3 release of the archive.

Keep the submissions coming!! :D

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by herklots » Thu May 16, 2013 1:15 pm

Mike Barwise:

http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/michael-barwise/a/287/251

Anyone linkedin close enough to contact him?

Tim

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Mon May 20, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi guys,

another update for non working titles:

Code: Select all

- Astrofire uses keys Z,X and Return for movement and fire
  LOAD"ASTFIRE"
  RUN

- Castle Quest uses A,Z,<,> for movement instead of joystick

- Munchyman uses keys A,Z,<,> for movement instead of joystick
  LOAD"MUNCHY"
  RUN

- Letters is a typover from The Magic Book and not the Timedata version

- Frogger is from A&F
Maybe some additions for genre are:

- Books/magazines
- Conditional (program needs a certain ROM or hard-/software)
- Homebrew

Greetings
Kees
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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 7:21 pm

Excellent, thanks Kees.

I've logged these into the spreadsheet for inclusion in the next release. That might be a little while, as I'm away on holiday next weekend.

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Mon May 20, 2013 7:23 pm

hoglet wrote:Excellent, thanks Kees.

I've logged these into the spreadsheet for inclusion in the next release. That might be a little while, as I'm away on holiday next weekend.

Dave
Ok, I'll repair my old Atom with diskdrive this week to browse my archive for more titles.

PS I've updated previous post.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 7:56 pm

I've been doing some testing in Atomulator with only 12K RAM.

The following titles seem to need 32K to work:
- A&F S/W Painter
- A&F S/W Space Panic
- Acornsoft Sphinx Adventure
- Acornsoft Pascal
- Acornsoft Wordpack
- Bug Byte Chess
- Hopesoft Atom Man
- Retro S/W Castle Quest
- Retro S/W Atomic Chuckie Egg
- Retro S/W Atomic Galaforce
- Retro S/W Hard Hat Harry
- Retro S/W Jungle Journey
- Level 9 Colossal Adventure
- Level 9 Snowball

Most of these are expected because they are not original games.

However the following should work in 12K, but currently don't:
- A&F Painter and Panic have exec addr of 3C00 and EC bytes of extra loader
- HS Atom Man has exec addr of 3C00 and 2C bytes of extra loader
- BB Chess 2.12 also extends beyond 3C00

There are also a few broken Acornsoft titles on my Linux Atomulator:
- Fast COS (broken, needs ?18=130)
- Moon (corrupt lander, needs CLEAR 0 to be run first to guarantee the correct plot routines are in place. Probably the Menu should to this.)
- Forth (broken, weird spurious input problem)
- Missile Base (broken, filename casing issue)
- Sub Hunt (broken, weird spurious input problem)

Three of the above actually work on Windows Atomulator: :shock: :shock: :shock:
- Forth (works)
- Missile Base (works)
- Sub Hunt (works)

There needs further investigation ...

Also, a few still broken titles from previous testing:
- Database (very slow loading, known issue)
- VDU Designer doesn't launch (known issue)
- Graph (known issue)

Finally, the same Minefield is present and Bug Byte and Program Power. Not sure which is correct.

Dave
Last edited by hoglet on Tue May 21, 2013 7:26 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 8:02 pm

A couple of proposed metadata changes:

- There are currently quite a few Acornsoft "Collections" that only have one title in (e.g. Life). I'm going to remove these from being collections, and use this only where there are multiple related titles that were packaged together (e.g. Games Pack 1). This should save a bit of memory with the Menu tables.

- I was going to flag the 32K titles just by adding 32K to the title, rather than doing anything more complex. (i.e. I'm assuming a baseline of 12K+12K Atom with AtomMMC as the only extension)

Everyone OK with this?

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 8:21 pm

FYI, I just edited my earlier testing post with a few more details.

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 8:32 pm

I've just tried these again on Linux Atomulator:
- Forth (works)
- Missile Base (still broken)
- Sub Hunt (works)

So, it's likely that Forth and Sub Hunt have some dependencies on what was loaded previously.

Missile Base is failing on Linux because of a filename casing issue. The loader tries to load "part2", not "PART2".

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 8:55 pm

The Acornsoft Forth problem one is very weird...

It works if I use Shift Break to launch the menu program, then the search function to find it.

It works if I use *MENU to launch the menu program, then just navigate to the title.

It messes up if I I use Shift Break to launch the menu AND then just navigate to the title without using search. In this case, it seems to be getting a lot of spurious input from somewhere.

It's like it's getting confused by junk in the input buffer.

I think the Sub Hunt problem might be similar, as it's also intermittent and results in junk being typed in.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Mon May 20, 2013 9:31 pm

It looks like Forth is using #150 onwards as an input buffer, but expecting it to be cleared when it starts. If #150 is 0, then it works. If #150 is non zero, then ***t happens. Not sure what we can do about this one.....Maybe have the boot loader Zero out $100-$17F before launching anything, for consistency.

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Tue May 21, 2013 7:36 am

In think the spurious input bug might be down to AtomMMC.

When you do a shift break, the RDCVEC seems to end up pointing to #E0C9 and unless you use the search function (which calls OSRDCH) doesn't get reset to #FE94 before launching the program.

AtomMMC takes possession of OSRDCH so it can type in *MENU.

Not exactly sure where this is going wrong.....but possibly down to #3CA getting corrupted.

I think the fix is easy, it's for the menu program to set this back to #FE94.

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Tue May 21, 2013 5:10 pm

hoglet wrote:In think the spurious input bug might be down to AtomMMC.

When you do a shift break, the RDCVEC seems to end up pointing to #E0C9 and unless you use the search function (which calls OSRDCH) doesn't get reset to #FE94 before launching the program.

AtomMMC takes possession of OSRDCH so it can type in *MENU.

Not exactly sure where this is going wrong.....but possibly down to #3CA getting corrupted.

I think the fix is easy, it's for the menu program to set this back to #FE94.

Dave
Hi Dave,

I fixed the AtoMMC ROM by resetting the OSRDCH vector before printing the $0D character and not afterwards. You can download the ROM at: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6596&p=64435#p64435

Missile Base is working now.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Tue May 21, 2013 6:39 pm

Code: Select all

- A&F S/W	Painter            - Original will fit in 12k
- A&F S/W   Space Panic        - Original will fit in 12k
- Acornsoft Sphinx Adventure   - Needs 32k,is not an Acornsoft title but converted                                   from BBC for P-Charm by G.Hillebrand
- Acornsoft Pascal             - Needs 32k
- Acornsoft Wordpack           - Is a ROM, this version is rewritten for #7000-#7FFF
- Bug Byte Chess               - Original will fit in 12k
- Hopesoft  Atom Man           - Original will fit in 12k
- Retro S/W Castle Quest       - Needs 32k
- Retro S/W Atomic Chuckie Egg - Needs 32k
- Retro S/W Atomic Galaforce   - Needs 32k
- Retro S/W Hard Hat Harry     - Needs 32k
- Retro S/W Jungle Journey     - Needs 32k
- Level 9 Colossal Adventure   - Needs 32k
- Level 9 Snowball             - Needs 32k

- Database (very slow loading, known issue)  - Load WINELIST at #3C00 and it's fast
- VDU Designer doesn't launch (known issue)  - First start VDU BLACK/WHITE and 
                                               then DESIGN
- Graph (known issue)                        - Uses SGET,FGET to read data to be
                                               plotted

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Wed May 22, 2013 7:01 am

oss003 wrote:I fixed the AtoMMC ROM by resetting the OSRDCH vector before printing the $0D character and not afterwards. You can download the ROM at: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=6596&p=64435#p64435

Missile Base is working now.
This update fixes both Forth and Sub Hunt, thanks.

The Missile Base problem is Linux only, and is down to a file system casing issue. I'd suggest we stick to UPPER CASE directories and file names only. I'll make sure I do this in the next release of the archive, and I'll patch Missile Base so it tries to load PART2 rather than part2.

We need to think through whether we:
1) Assume people will (somehow) have updated to the latest version of AtoMMC/SDROM.
2) Assume people will not have updated, and implement as many fixes as possible in the menu software.

I'd originally hoped that we could do (2) but I'm starting to question this now. Maybe we should bite the bullet and figure out a way of supporting people being able to update their real hardware to the latest version, once we're happy things are working well. You've resolved quite a few biggish issues over the last few weeks. =D> =D> =D> Any idea how many AtomMMC's are in the field?

Regardless, it might be worth having the menu detect what version of AtomMMC and SDROM is being used, and put up a warning that there may be problems.

Here's the list of issues that I remember:
(1) - Restore OSRDCH vector after executing *MENU
(2) - Error 135 Syn? issue affecting *RUN in programs
(3) - SDROM stack overflow when Unrecognised Command Handler invoked
(4) - *SAVE Length Bug

Were there any others?

(1) I think is easily worked around in the menu system

(2) Does cause a few titles to fail (esp some of the Retro Software ones). Not sure I can see how to fix this, other than re-writing the parts of the software that use *RUN. I'll try to do some testing to identify which titles are affected, now we have pretty much every title working.

(3) Is a source of general unreliability. It's avoidable in the menu system itself, but may affect the target program being run, causing all sorts of weird random failures. A rather blunt work around is to detect an old version of SDROM, then lock another ROM.

(4) Has no effect on just running programs

Again, sorry for the long ramble :lol: :lol: :lol:

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Wed May 22, 2013 8:41 am

Hi Dave,
hoglet wrote:The Missile Base problem is Linux only, and is down to a file system casing issue. I'd suggest we stick to UPPER CASE directories and file names only. I'll make sure I do this in the next release of the archive, and I'll patch Missile Base so it tries to load PART2 rather than part2.
I think this is a Windows problem because Windows doesn't make any difference between upper/lower case filenames.
hoglet wrote:We need to think through whether we:
1) Assume people will (somehow) have updated to the latest version of AtoMMC/SDROM.
2) Assume people will not have updated, and implement as many fixes as possible in the menu software.

I'd originally hoped that we could do (2) but I'm starting to question this now. Maybe we should bite the bullet and figure out a way of supporting people being able to update their real hardware to the latest version, once we're happy things are working well. You've resolved quite a few biggish issues over the last few weeks. =D> =D> =D> Any idea how many AtomMMC's are in the field?
The best way is to update the ROM but I realise that not everyone has an programmer. I don't know how many boards are in the field but Phill knows :) ....... or do we have to start a german tank topic ...LOL
hoglet wrote:Regardless, it might be worth having the menu detect what version of AtomMMC and SDROM is being used, and put up a warning that there may be problems.

Here's the list of issues that I remember:
(1) - Restore OSRDCH vector after executing *MENU
(2) - Error 135 Syn? issue affecting *RUN in programs
(3) - SDROM stack overflow when Unrecognised Command Handler invoked
(4) - *SAVE Length Bug

Were there any others?
GAGS stack overflow should be added to (3) because GAGS uses the same interpreter as the SDROM.
hoglet wrote:(1) I think is easily worked around in the menu system

(2) Does cause a few titles to fail (esp some of the Retro Software ones). Not sure I can see how to fix this, other than re-writing the parts of the software that use *RUN. I'll try to do some testing to identify which titles are affected, now we have pretty much every title working.

(3) Is a source of general unreliability. It's avoidable in the menu system itself, but may affect the target program being run, causing all sorts of weird random failures. A rather blunt work around is to detect an old version of SDROM, then lock another ROM.

(4) Has no effect on just running programs
(1) and (4) are not really problems.

The (2) issue only occurs with *filename and *RUN filename commands. Is it possible to only use *LOAD filename and RUN?

You can always lock a ROM for issue (3) because the original software doesn't use any specific ROM at all. Games written to use more than 1 ROM are a problem.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by danielj » Wed May 22, 2013 9:27 am

hoglet wrote: We need to think through whether we:
1) Assume people will (somehow) have updated to the latest version of AtoMMC/SDROM.
Hello :) - I have been watching this frenzy of activity...

Just my two pennies - I think for everyone's benefit updating AtomMMC/SDROM is the best option. I'm happy to re-program anyone's eeprom if it needs doing. The only people who will have issues are those without RAM/ROM boards and are relying on a 2532 in the utility socket. If everything's reliant on SDROM then I guess this doesn't really affect them though as they won't be able to use it?

d.

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Wed May 22, 2013 12:02 pm

danielj wrote:
hoglet wrote: We need to think through whether we:
1) Assume people will (somehow) have updated to the latest version of AtoMMC/SDROM.
Hello :) - I have been watching this frenzy of activity...

Just my two pennies - I think for everyone's benefit updating AtomMMC/SDROM is the best option. I'm happy to re-program anyone's eeprom if it needs doing. The only people who will have issues are those without RAM/ROM boards and are relying on a 2532 in the utility socket. If everything's reliant on SDROM then I guess this doesn't really affect them though as they won't be able to use it?

d.
Hi Daniel,

also people with a RAM/ROM board have the same issues so reprogramming the EPROM on the RAM/ROM board is also recommended.

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Wed May 22, 2013 12:09 pm

danielj wrote:Just my two pennies - I think for everyone's benefit updating AtomMMC/SDROM is the best option. I'm happy to re-program anyone's eeprom if it needs doing. The only people who will have issues are those without RAM/ROM boards and are relying on a 2532 in the utility socket. If everything's reliant on SDROM then I guess this doesn't really affect them though as they won't be able to use it?
Actually nothing is reliant on SDROM.

It's just there was quite a nasty bug in SDROM in every shipped 32K RAMROM which means that any time the "unrecognised command" handler was called, two bytes of stack were leaked. After a while, the stack (growing from $1FF downwards) would hit the string handling area ($140-$17F) and the input buffer ($100-$13f) causing all sorts of weird basic program failures.

You might think that not many basic programs would need to invoke the "unrecognised command" handler, but that's not the case. Any additional semicolon will trigger this.

For example
10 GOS.a;
this dangling seimcolon will trigger it.

As will:
10 IF A=0;GOS.a

So, this is really not specific to the Archive and the Menu program, it basically means that you'll see occasional Random failures running many basic programs.

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by danielj » Wed May 22, 2013 12:29 pm

hoglet wrote:
Actually nothing is reliant on SDROM.

It's just there was quite a nasty bug in SDROM in every shipped 32K RAMROM which means that any time the "unrecognised command" handler was called, two bytes of stack were leaked. After a while, the stack (growing from $1FF downwards) would hit the string handling area ($140-$17F) and the input buffer ($100-$13f) causing all sorts of weird basic program failures.

You might think that not many basic programs would need to invoke the "unrecognised command" handler, but that's not the case. Any additional semicolon will trigger this.

For example
10 GOS.a;
this dangling seimcolon will trigger it.

As will:
10 IF A=0;GOS.a

So, this is really not specific to the Archive and the Menu program, it basically means that you'll see occasional Random failures running many basic programs.

Dave
That is a grubby little bug, I see :) - So in that case there could well be a bunch of people requiring AtomMMC updating with just a new version of the 2532 ROM. Charlie probably has an idea of how many of the things he's shipped out. I certainly can't burn those - not sure who can apart from Charlie?

d.

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Wed May 22, 2013 4:34 pm

danielj wrote: That is a grubby little bug, I see :) - So in that case there could well be a bunch of people requiring AtomMMC updating with just a new version of the 2532 ROM. Charlie probably has an idea of how many of the things he's shipped out. I certainly can't burn those - not sure who can apart from Charlie?
Just to be clear, the SDROM bug above only affects people with the RAMROM board. But the others bugs do affect AtomMMC and they would obviously benefit from Kee's latest version when it's done and dusted.

I have access to a decent Eprom programmer that will do 2532's, and am happy to assist here as well.

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by jonb » Wed May 22, 2013 6:38 pm

I have a TOP853 programmer with an adapter for square shaped ROMs. No idea if it will work with the rom on the board...

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Wed May 22, 2013 7:00 pm

jonb wrote:I have a TOP853 programmer with an adapter for square shaped ROMs. No idea if it will work with the rom on the board...
Hi jonb,

looking at the specs of the TOP853 programmer, it must be possible to program a 29F010 Flash ROM (128 Kbx8).

You just have to program this RAMROM.ROM file with the corrected AtoMMC, SDROM and GAGS ROM into the 29F010: http://www.stardot.org.uk/forums/downlo ... hp?id=6505

Greetings
Kees

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by hoglet » Wed May 22, 2013 7:16 pm

I have a Dataman Pro40 at home at the moment (borrowed from work)

Here's the device list:
http://www.dataman.com/downloads/dl/fil ... e_list.pdf

It seems to handle the 2532A and the 29F010.

Dave

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by jonb » Wed May 22, 2013 7:18 pm

Thanks Kees

There's a list of supported devices here: http://www.51c51.com/enweb/parts/top853.htm

29F010 is on that list.. But is it a DIL or square rom? I can't remember..

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by oss003 » Wed May 22, 2013 7:42 pm

jonb wrote:Thanks Kees

There's a list of supported devices here: http://www.51c51.com/enweb/parts/top853.htm

29F010 is on that list.. But is it a DIL or square rom? I can't remember..
On the RAM/ROM board it's a DIL, the square IC is a XC9536XL CLPD.

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Re: Atom Software Archive

Post by jonb » Thu May 23, 2013 5:30 am

Yes.. I took the Atom apart last night to check. Then I spent a fruitless hour trying to run the "not Windows 7 compatible software" that the programmer comes with. According to what I read, it works with Windows 7 32 bit but not 64 bit (which I have installed). Arghhhh! So I tried to install XP mode software from Microsoft, only to find you need Win 7 Professional and I have Home. Double "Arrrggggh!"!

Will have to fall back to Windows XP in a VM, which luckily is installed on my Mac.

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