Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by GeoffB17 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 1:09 pm

Col,

I'll look out fir another 'bomber' game. Or, I'll just need to re-write parts of the existing BOMBER game to create one. I'd guess that the 'City Bomber' has a similar plane/bomb mechanism, just that the game draws a 'city' on the screen as a target which is then progressively bombed (until the 'people' that live there wave enough white flags?). Prob not TOO different as a program?

You keep saying unkind things about MP3 files. I've loaded some progs from MP3, and they seem to work just as well, in my experience. The HX is concerned merely with what they sound like. I was never bothered with using MP3 because I was always thinking towards the idea of using something like the HXTAPE process, so I could convert sound <--> text, and I always understood that MP3 would be zero use for this. Regarding the WAV files, I've taken the quality of the WAV down pretty low and they still work fine. CD quality is 44k, 16 bit. The HXTAPE processes go down to 8k, 8 bit.

If you've had problems with MP3, may be something else than JUST the fact they're MP3?

Oh, that reminds me. One game I found (originally from Japan think) came as an MP3. Called Jumping Pawns or something like. Uses some UDG (User Defined Graphics (?) characters so if you run the game you may need a total reset? Not quite sure about the rules, either. But the graphics are certainly interesting. Need to find the original version.

Geoff

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:37 pm

hi Geoff,

I meant the ONLY 2x MP3 files I found on net for the HX20 where VERY bad quality, using an old encoder from 1993 when MP3s roughly started, plus the left channel had nothing, only on the right 1/8th volume, where the HX20 NEEDS the left (so does all my many other 8bit machines :wink: )

don't worry about trying to make / re-make / fix old programs, as never have the time nowadays :cry:
(EDIT : found video of Bomber -Simon N Taylor : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7WSqUFdmYE :D )
but if you do come across something good on net, like the HX20 demo program on YouTube, pop it here
(EDIT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=atklmnxwTNU : seem he has also lost the prog 9+yrs ago reading the comments #-o )

that also goes for the ProWrite ROM image which is also still MIA :shock:

Col.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by GeoffB17 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:58 pm

Col,

I've got a BAS program called HXDEMO, but I'm sure it's not the same as the one in the video. Some of the bits of the demo may be similar, some of the graphics things, sound (?), but there's quite a bit of text, and text printing.

This prog is about 17k in size, so there'll be a problem unless you've got 32k RAM (or 24k with the FORTH ROM active ??).

The prog I have seems to be 'official' EPSON/SEIKO.

Any interest. If it IS too big for your RAM, you could always chop out sections you're not interested in (the text bits and the LPRINT bits?) and keep the more interesting bits (graphics, sound). But of course, just now, it may be too big to load in order to edit?

Regarding the Jumping Pawn game, I've found the original, and it is actually a WAV. There's a 'blog' about someone's recovery of the prog from a tape, which is interesting, plus some comments about the program which you may find interesting
http://www.chrismcovell.com/diary.html
You can d/l the .WAV directly from there if you're interested, but read the comments first.

Geoff

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by GeoffB17 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:46 pm

Hello Col,

Further to ongoing discussion, have you seen mention of the FLASHX20 system.

Try http://members.aon.at/nkehrer/

This looks very interesting, to attach a PC to your HX and, via the facilities of the PC, provide floppy disks (as per the TF-20) and full monitor access (via a sort of display adaptor/emulator).

I downloaded the system to try, but it does not work for me. BUT I'm pretty sure this is merely because there's something 'broken' with the High Speed connector in my HX, and this is why the link to my TF-20 also does not communicate. Hopefully, the system will work for you?

Geoff

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:26 pm

^not had a chance to play with that Geoff... & totally forgot how to use it, But!

... just found another CM6000, this time with a Expansion Unit, dated 14Dec1993 (battery install date) & since 4 years younger than the other one, the battery was only white dust, and did not kill the screen ribbon or the +/- lines, but was Very close :x

without expansion on, i first got "CONFIG ROM MISSING" (after probably 20yrs not on! :shock:
2nd time I get "HALT 42 62 6102"

Nigel / 'Pernod' will get these different roms imaged once I get a beeb setup to do it :wink:

board very different, with no 4xRAM chips, now a single RAM on a carrier board and wires going to pads /chip legs on MB :?
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100_8296.JPG
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by Pernod » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:00 am

CMcDougall wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:26 pm
Nigel / 'Pernod' will get these different roms imaged once I get a beeb setup to do it :wink:

board very different, with no 4xRAM chips, now a single RAM on a carrier board and wires going to pads /chip legs on MB :?
Thanks, will take a look at the ROMs when available. The other one had 8x2K RAM whereas this has a single 32K RAM, seems odd that an earlier version would have double the RAM.

I took another look at the emulation awhile ago and it seems the CPU needs more work, the dual processor configuration is not yet implemented.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:27 am

more pics & what it 'does', never found any manuals for this at all, the people who used this 1989 to 1995?? probably all dead :?

as you can see, it sat doing nothing with the cables /tape boxes on it getting a tan for 5yr?? then sat in a dark cupboard never entered for 20yr :shock:
100_8291piperTOP.jpg
top
100_8292piperBOT.jpg
bott
note the different fKey strip on top...
so after switch on, it gives 3 beeps, then the picture of the Telephone & wee man \:D/ as per older machine .
pressing :
F1 = CHECK OUT , ROOM ?_
F2 = ROOM ENQUIRY, ROOM?_
F3 = NO ROOM TABLE
F5 = >5/89/69 ;>;;1{

shift F1 = ADMIN CALLS, 1 STORAGE LEVELS, 2 REPORTS , _
shift f2 = EXTNSION TABLES, 1 GUEST TELEPHONES, 2 KIOSK TELEPHONES, 3 ADMIN TELEPHONES, _
shift f3 = 1 COST 5 NAME, 2 TRUNKS 6 PABX, 3 PASSWORD 7 IMMED, 4 PRIVACE 8 MODE _
shift f4 = DEVICE, 1 PRINTER, 2 CASSETTE, _
shift f5 = 1 DIAGNOSTICS, 2 TERMINAL MODE, _

the expansion part that is needed to get above, or it just beeps & says "CFG ROM?"
100_8303piperBT expansion.JPG
exp
also found the adaptor, but it has the wrong plug on end, so useless :?
it spits out 9.3V with no load on it.
100_8309piperBT adaptor wrong plug.JPG
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:00 pm

I blew some 128/16k eproms again as per last time to turn it back into a usable machine, and its now ok, all keys work 8)

again putting them in HX20 & now also in expansion add on
when 16k rom FF for first 0-1FFF then 2000+SkiWriter
& FF for first 0-1FFF then 2000+Forth
in expansion rom sockets, 13B = FF+Skiwriter, 14B = FF+Forth
after putting in the date & time, and reset, it then shows on screen:
1 MONITOR
2 FORTH
3 BASIC
4 SkiWriter (TM)

original 4x16k eproms below for archive :
Attachments
13B-CM6127H-3 v1dot6(expansion.rom
expansion 13B left
(16 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
15E-CM6127H-2 v1dot6.rom
MB rom0 right
(16 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
13E-CM6127H-1 v1dot6.rom
MB rom2 left
(16 KiB) Downloaded 26 times
14B-CM6127H-4 v1dot6.rom
expansion 14B right
(16 KiB) Downloaded 30 times
Last edited by CMcDougall on Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by Pernod » Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:00 pm

CMcDougall wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:00 pm
original 4x16k eproms below for archive :
Thanks for those. Since there's 64K of ROM I suspect the expansion unit introduces some banking. The top 8K of ROMs 15E and 13B are identical, suggesting 13E/15E are somehow switched with 14B/13B. The HX20 and expansion unit both have their own 32K RAM too, suggesting that maybe the whole ROM/RAM is switched between HX20 and expansion unit.

Did you need to put your custom ROMs in the expansion unit, shouldn't they just work from the HX20?
Last edited by Pernod on Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:31 pm

Pernod wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:00 pm
Did you need to put your custom ROMs in the expansion unit, shouldn't they just work from the HX20?
thanks for looking into this now again 'new' HX20 setup Nigel 8)

I tried with 'FF & SkiWriter' on just the motherboard (rom4 /11E socket) without the expansion connected, but it did not show ... BUT
can try again as completly forgot about the setting Date/Time thing first #-o so it *may* work.
need to have the power off for a good 5mins before its memory is cleared, as it still remembers its settings
& even basic prog with no batterys at all (and USB 5v mobile adaptor unplugged) :o :shock:
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by Pernod » Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:07 pm

CMcDougall wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:31 pm
I tried with 'FF & SkiWriter' on just the motherboard (rom4 /11E socket) without the expansion connected, but it did not show ... BUT
can try again as completly forgot about the setting Date/Time thing first #-o so it *may* work.
I suspect only sockets 13E and 15E are valid options.
CMcDougall wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:31 pm
need to have the power off for a good 5mins before its memory is cleared, as it still remembers its settings
& even basic prog with no batterys at all (and USB 5v mobile adaptor unplugged) :o :shock:
That'll be the CMOS RAM, 32K on each of those carrier boards.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:45 pm

GeoffB17 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:02 am
BOMBER. yes, line 570 should be changed to
570 IF BY=28 THEN 590
hi again Geoff, yes that worked !
had to press any key about 12 times until it hit the target :D

is there a left /right key?? tried most keys but that just drops the bomb....

Did you scan your Forth language manual, or a even just a photo of the page so I can use MONITOR to edit a byte so that it runs correctly ?

Cheers, Col.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by 1024MAK » Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:46 pm

CMcDougall wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:27 am
also found the adaptor, but it has the wrong plug on end, so useless :?
it spits out 9.3V with no load on it.
That AC/DC adaptor is most likely an unregulated type (a transformer, rectifier and smoothing capacitor), hence with no load the output voltage will be a lot higher than the voltage it’s rated at.

Mark

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:25 pm

1024MAK wrote:
Sat Jun 15, 2019 6:46 pm
transformer, rectifier and smoothing capacitor
yip, can see a resistor & a 16v 1000uF cap.

but, the wrong plug, just found another one being the right plug for HX20,
So, wonder what 'CM Buffer power unit' is for with mono earphone plug on it ?? external printer or the disc drive Rare unit or scanner :?

Edit: pic up as £7 mobby crap :lol:
EDIT2: better pic
Attachments
CM buffer PSU.jpg
Both PSUs
Last edited by CMcDougall on Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:46 pm

me wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:25 pm
wonder what 'CM Buffer power unit' is for
another rummage before skip, & found it!

a search on Google gives no clues at all, some kind of Modem perhaps?? :?:
baud rate going by switch settings is 1200baud...
pics :
Attachments
cm buffer A.jpg
front
cm buffer Back.jpg
back
CM buffer Bott.jpg
bott
cm buffer MBa.jpg
MB comp side
cm buffer MBb.jpg
MB solder side
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by Pernod » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:05 pm

CMcDougall wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:46 pm
a search on Google gives no clues at all, some kind of Modem perhaps?? :?:
baud rate going by switch settings is 1200baud...
pics :
Maybe a serial printer buffer? It contains a CPU, ROM, and 32K RAM so there's a runnable machine there. ROM dump?
Last edited by Pernod on Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by 1024MAK » Tue Jun 18, 2019 2:54 pm

It could be a MODEM maximiser, that is, a speed changer. This would allow the computer and the MODEM to operate at different speeds, while the buffer, err, buffers the data...

Mark

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:15 pm

Pernod wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:00 pm
top 8K of ROMs 15E and 13B are identical
just checked this, and the 16k eprom was read at 8k,
not as 16k #-o sure one of the other machine roms did that too, maybe the rom code tricks the beeb prommer to think its 8k,
or my beeb just things it's a rubbish machine :shock: anyways, re upped the now full 16k from a beeb socket again to force it :D
Pernod wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:05 pm
ROM dump?
knew you would ask that! this time it's only a 8k/64 eprom, as peeled back sticker to confirm
code gives no clues (to me) what its for.... :?
I powered it on from the original EPSON 9v 600mah adaptor, the PWR light came on 8)
Attachments
CMbuffer.rom
8k CallSafe V5.2
(8 KiB) Downloaded 17 times
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by Pernod » Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:46 pm

CMcDougall wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:15 pm
Pernod wrote:
Sun Jun 09, 2019 6:00 pm
top 8K of ROMs 15E and 13B are identical
just checked this, and the 16k eprom was read at 8k,
not as 16k #-o sure one of the other machine roms did that too, maybe the rom code tricks the beeb prommer to think its 8k,
or my beeb just things it's a rubbish machine :shock: anyways, re upped the now full 16k from a beeb socket again to force it :D
Thanks, I thought it was intentional, ie. you could swap between internal/extension ROMs, so top of each set would contain vectors.
CMcDougall wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 9:15 pm
knew you would ask that! this time it's only a 8k/64 eprom, as peeled back sticker to confirm
code gives no clues (to me) what its for.... :?
I powered it on from the original EPSON 9v 600mah adaptor, the PWR light came on 8)
Thanks again. It's definitely a 32K buffer for a modem. Won't be able to get this to do anything useful in emulation, but at least it'll document the ROM and the hardware.
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by culichi » Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:24 pm

Hi everyone. Total newbie here.

I unfortunately do not own a Epson HX20 but I am trying to see how it works via an emulator.

I've tried with the eHC-20 emulator but can't make the roms that I have to work with it. I know HXEmu can do it too, but would like to try eHC-20 first.

Can anyone point me in the right direction here? Thanks!
Last edited by culichi on Wed Jun 19, 2019 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by marcusjambler » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:08 am

New toy!! I wasnt expecting it to work since It did so badly on the auction...
Actually its immaculate :D
Even the battery 'looks' unused.
IMG_9822a.jpg
IMG_9823a.jpg
IMG_9824a.jpg
IMG_9825a.jpg
IMG_9828a.jpg
IMG_9830a.jpg
IMG_9832a.jpg
It came with the Epson case and a print out of some BASIC programs.

Marcus

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:23 pm

^ yes Marcus, lookin good as no change of blue colours on the LCD ribbon, so no powdery rust has crept to it!

When you cut the battery lead off, both mine had no good shiny copper within, just black due to battery corrosion, even right upto the plug 1cm away....

no tape deck? nice... now get those games typed in and saved off to laptop as .WAV files & uploaded!! =P~
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by marcusjambler » Mon Jul 15, 2019 12:34 pm

Cheers Col
no change of blue colours on the LCD ribbon, so no powdery rust has crept to it!
That was lucky!!

So, the print-outs.. They're not games.
Definitely work related and possibly code to work out signal processing filter values...
Anyway, I'll type them in... Can you/someone point me to the manual for exporting programs out the sound socket :lol:

Marcus

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by GeoffB17 » Sat Aug 31, 2019 8:49 pm

Hello Marcus,

Maybe you've tried the save now, and it worked OK.

You need a couple of mini (3.5mm) jack leads, and connect like to like to your laptop. The sockets on the HX indicate the destination, so it's mic on the HX to mic on the laptop.

I used the SOUNDRECORDER application on my laptop, quick and easy, part of W7, but other versions have things too. If you want to be fancy you could mess with a full blown audio system, I've heard of some using Audactity. One little problem with SRec is that you need to tell it to save as WAV, but once that's set it's no problem, I found.

I just used Media Player to 'play' the WAV to LOAD back to the HX.

I fiddled a lot with the HXTAPE application (code in PHP) to translate the WAV to TXT, and back, to allow reading of the saved files, but this is rather more of a fiddle. But I did (with a lot of help from the code originator in Italy) get it working, which allowed loading of some code from listings on the web back into the HX.

Oh, the manual command you need to save is SAVE "CAS1:NAME.EXE",A

The NAME.EXE is saved as part of the saved file, and MUST be matched later when you LOAD. The ,A is to save as ASCII rather than encoded BASIC, and is optional, but saves some messing if you try to do anything re the HXTAPE stuff.

Geoff
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by DutchAcorn » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:43 am

Pernod wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 7:35 pm
GeoffB17 wrote:
Sun Feb 10, 2019 5:12 pm
Did you get ther SkiWriter system sorted out - I downloaded the ROM files you'd posted, but couldn't see the binary, maybe I just missed it?
Here's the SkiWriter ROM (yes, it's in the MAME torrents). I see you're also discussing it over at VCF.

Anything you have that is not readily available elsewhere is welcome, especially HCCS Forth, and I'm sure Col would appreciate BOMBER and TOWERS.
Has anyone successfully installed this in a regular HX-20? I have burned the image in a 16K EPROM (repeated 0-2000H and 2000-4000H) and installed it in 11E/ROM4, then re-initialised the HX-20 but without success: it does not show in the menu?
Paul

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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:09 am

/\ works in my two, now that they are back to 'original'

You may have to do the Date set thing first, then have to go into Basic first, then into SkyWriter.

It does ask to go into Basic first if you don't

See pics here near start of this thread, to show what you should get :
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=13893#p183342
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by DutchAcorn » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:34 pm

CMcDougall wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:09 am
/\ works in my two, now that they are back to 'original'

You may have to do the Date set thing first, then have to go into Basic first, then into SkyWriter.

It does ask to go into Basic first if you don't

See pics here near start of this thread, to show what you should get :
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=13893#p183342
Yes, did the "Date set thing" (ctrl-@), now tried with an 8K EPROM as well. Also tried keeping battery disconnected for 5 minutes.

I can't seem to find the rom dump that Pernod posted as part of your 16K ROM dumps. The "SkiWriter (TM)" string is nowhere to be found in your rom dumps, bit mystified here. :?
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Mar 22, 2020 5:04 pm

/\ it defo had SkyWriter txt at start of rom. Will upload mine after 8pm when lappy on /kids bed.

I did use a 27128 (16k) rom, with FF in first &2000 then the 8k rom, got it in the depths of net, where I got the old right channel only MP3s that needed to be on left channel to load..... can't even remember how I got there! :?
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by CMcDougall » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:28 pm

as mine is still not 'original' off shelf, I had to use the 16k eprom
skiW code.png
yours won't, should be a 2764 8k rom, which should go in rom slot4 (near dip switch thing for DOS)
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skiWriter.rom
8k rom slot4
(8 KiB) Downloaded 13 times
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Re: Epson HX20 - first laptop !EVER! 1981+

Post by DutchAcorn » Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:35 pm

Thanks for that, Col. Somehow my HX-20 does not seem to read ROM4. If I put the skiwriter rom in socket 12E it does show up in the menu.

One detail; it has a 16K internal expansion.
Paul

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