Hello Chip Dippers. Welcome to Retro Recipes Now, if you’ve been watching this channel for a while You’ll know that I have a bit of a soft spot for the Amstrad PCW 8256 But why is that you might ask? It’s just the word processor, after all Ashleyfractic: It’s a Personal Word Processor Well.. not really See, when my dad bought it to replace the Apple IIe He got it for spreadsheets and, of course, word processing But I discovered the wealth of games that were written for it, because it was so popular Of course, inside there is that powerful Zilog Z80 processor Same as the ZX Spectrum But there’s one problem that really stops me and enjoying it today And that is getting hold of those 3 inch floppy disks Um, finding PCW games on eBay is a little tricky these days And there’s still some that I’m trying to hunt down That was until today.. ‘Cause I’ve just been donated this It’s a Gotek solution, especially made for the Amstrad PCW But the only problem stopping me from enjoying that is.. Well, my hands are a little big to get inside those tiny drive bays Now, I thought about employing Puppyfractic.. um.. with her tiny paws But she’s got an important doggy business meeting to go to. But then, it occurred to me! Babe, how do you feel about installing a Gotek Drive in an “Amstrad PCX 8256? Mrs. Perifractic: Sure, I’ve done hundreds. Oh. Okay. Ow! Sorry, can you get up? You’re sitting on my three inch floppy. Aahh.. these things are hard Huh. You wanna treat? Welcome to Perifractic’s Retro.. (from the background) Ladyfractic! Oh. Ladyfractic’s Retro Recipes So we’ll come to that installation in a few moments But first, you know, Puppyfractic wasn’t always that big of fan of those three inch disks As we’ll find out after this commercial “Unlike typewriters, the Amstrad 8256 word process and computer, comes with a monitor, disk drive and printer included From around $1,009.. It’s leaving the future of typewriters… .. Up in the air.” It had 256GB of RAM Oh, you don’t like these? I know, they’re a bit weird They’re three inch disks.. not three and half inch Alright, I’ll get it away from you… put it in there No.. food doesn’t come out of those slots Here look, I’ll show you where the Light Pen goes And we explored this Word Processor’s Light Pen using high speed photography of a CRT screen That’s freeze time And from freezing time to going back in time With a quick bit of Amstrad history with Ashley Do you know what Amstrad stands for? Ashley: Nope. So, it was founded by a gentleman called Alan Michael Sugar A. M. S. And TRAD was trading. So it’s Alan Michael Sugar Trading Ashley: That’s my initials too. A. M. S. Peri: What?! Ashley: So, I should get some.. something in all of this Uh.. I’ll tweet him.. see what he says Well, I did tweet him and I didn’t get any reply Can’t think of why. Peri: Do you know how many this sold? Sssseven million? Pretty close.. 8 million So, what about those disks? Why where they so strange? Ashley: I’ve seen a floppy disk, but not this Peri: So, these are 3.5 inch disks Ashley: Mhm. But Amstrad used these because.. .. they were cheaper Ashley: Oh, of course Peri: Of course.. good ‘ole Ashley Michael Sugar. Ashley: Insert? Peri: Insert. Well, feel free to check out those light pen and Ashleyfractic videos at the end of this one But before Ladyfractic rips out one of those drive bays There is a really interesting story about this particular machine’s disk drives that I want to share I recently found this when I was going through some stuff in my parents’ house Here’s my original local script disk And I knew that on it were all of the files that I created in my teens and I finally procured an 8256 in America which is quite hard ’cause they weren’t very popular here Put the disk can and it reported ‘Disk Unsuitable for Drive’ And then I remembered my dad had upgraded from the 8256 to the 8512 It had double the memory, 512KB But also featured a high density second disk drive So. I was able to finally procure one of those Actually from an Amstrad CPC And install it in that second bay by removing this plate And I did that a while ago, so I didn’t actually film the process But finally I was able to access all of my teenage files There’s a lot of fun things on there, like my high school list from the Commodore 64 and other computer games And I’d even written a lot of letters to Zzap!64 None of them ever got published But I have one rumor that this letter might finally make it into the 2020 Annual Ooo! Exciting! Yeah, well, according to this, I was into moding Commodore 64s, even when I was 14, Hm. And now that I’ve got that second drive installed, it’s time to rip the first one! But for that, I’m gonna hand you over to the capable hands of Ladyfractic But I’ll be standing, just in the wings, to make sure she doesn’t electrocute herself on that CRT And to give her a few pointers, as we Go.. ..tek Hey, if you’re thinking of making your own PCB, like the Gotek I recommend using PCBWay! And, as we all know, PCB stands for Printed Circu….(from the background) Hub hub hup! (still from the background) Personal. Computer. Bird. Processor. Personal Computer Bird Processor (from the background) Thank you. First, we’re gonna take the back off Handy Dandy Assistant Peri: Thank you. And as Bjork taught us.. (Icelandic accent) This looks like a city. Like a little model of a city But this city is a bit dusty so let’s give it a spring clean It’s snowing! So this is drive A, the one we’re actually going to be working on So, first, we’re going to remove the power cable and the ribbon cable Very carefully So, we have two screws and a ground cable Agh. Well, it’s fine. It lives there now. And then we’re just gonna take the ground cable out from here So, there’s drive A. Put that on eBay (crashing) Peri: Alright, can I have it back now? (growling) Peri: Ohhhh (growling) Okay. Keep it. So, I’ve secured the ground cable to drive B because I Gotek doesn’t use any metal So, these are the handy instructions that tell us where to apply the screws So here’s the Gotek.. it’s gonna go straight, just like that One screw here One screw there Matches up with the case that we have.. should be pretty easy It fits. Perfectly. Great. And then just reconnect the cables So, this is gonna connect the power cable just as we had before. So the most important instruction, it said that when you take the old ribbon And the new Gotek rainbow ribbon You wanna make sure that the brown one, in our case, it’s on the far right Matches Pin One, which is the colored wire on the old ribbon So we’re just gonna rotate it like that And it should fit.. Huh. It doesn’t. So, as we just noticed, it didn’t work. So, in the instruction, it says.. “Please note that some of the black connectors on the PCW ribbon cable, usually wants to the blue wire on the ribbon Which is exactly what we “have two plastic tabs protruding that prevent the ribbon cable being plugged into the adaptor the correct way around Wish me luck. Alright. We’re just gonna put this back in Brown wire on the right And.. Perfect! Now we replace… Cable 2 There we go Not bad! Okay, well, see, told you it was easy. We’re just gonna put the back back on and test it out See, I told you I’ve done it a hundred times Now that all the hard work is done, I’m gonna give it to Perifractic He’ll boot up and see how it works Well, God bless her for doing that while she was recovering from the flu I don’t think PCWs can get viruses, can they? Hm. Well, either way, let’s see if it works now with.. Mr. Ladyfractic Put in the USB drive Of course with USB, it’s always the second way around Alright, here we go! Fantastic! So, as the instructions explained, it boots you up with disk one, which is CP/M And that’s basically the standard boot disk of the PCW And it gives you the well known CP/M Plus prompt So, I can actually look at that disk And all it’s doing, of course, is reading the virtual disk image, which is on this USB drive But. If we cycle through these disks We can see all the other games and there’s actually, 150 games that have been archived onto this USB And that’ll.. give you all these games Ready to go It really is plug and play So, just for fun, I chose Guild of Thieves there, one of my favorite adventure games See what happens And there it is! So you could run game dot com.. And it should boot I don’t know about you, but there’s something very majestic about this green screen. It was not only pretty high res, I mean, it’s a 80 column display, effectively But there’s just something special about the dithering and just the way it looks Maybe it’s just my personal nostalgia Now, unlike me, Mrs. Recipes has a proper job But she did home from work, albeit, having lost her voice And asked if she could use a game (computer talking) Gnome Ranger. This looks pretty cool, actually Peri: “Ingrid was beside a sturdy little stone-built shop at the end of a road which meandered Gnorth..” (giggles) Good to know. Exits lead Gnorth to Gnortheast. East and Gnorthwest. You think we’re friends but you don’t know me. Oh, it says press any key Where’s the ‘Any’ key? Uh.. I don’t think this has one What.. gnow? Go.. G-north. Ingrid went Gnorth. Well, we went on this for a while But really, it was going Gnowhere. (clears throat) (whispers) Sorry. But we didn’t come here to play adventure games I have been waitin maybe .. …30 years? To boot up Starglider on a Word Processor… .. and… .. Fingers crossed! I’m about to do that now And while I cycle through the games, see if you recognize any… Ohh! There is it! Okay. Uh.. we’ll go with Deustch Oh, just kidding. Ah! Oh. Wait. I remember .. uh, in the instructions P5ychoFox, even very handily, gives you some program protection codes Including.. Stargluider! 510. Combined. Which is what we’ve done here Well, right now, it’s still a word possessor.. but.. Wow. That is a beautiful! Oh! And it’s.. now the PCW is showing off Here we go! My gosh.. Yes! My first kill, guys! Ope.. I’m trying to launch a missile here Yeah, these keys do not make it easy (excuses..) Yes! Yes! And this, of course, is where this game got very Star Wars-y Alright, let’s try and get this tank Yes! Tank you very much. Yess! Ahh yes.. remember these guys? Through the legs. Well, this is definitely tricky without a joystick.. so that may have to be my next addition Okay, I’m gonna come back to that sometime in the future But.. P5ychoFox recommended a game called On The Run So, I’m going to see if I can load that up How do we run this? So, what we can do is get a disk queued up on the Gotek, and then on the keyboard.. We hit… Shift, Extra, Exit And that reboots the machine and loads that game There it is.. On the Run “Collect the seven flasks and bombs If it moves, shoot it. Probably still look like I’m using a word processor, but.. I’m playing an amazing game! I’m sure it would have got very good reviews as good as this kind of quality Even in green screen / grayscale Greenscale? I dunno. But of course, there are many other games that we could enjoy Soo.. Pac-Mania is a recent port from the CPC version by HappySoft And you might have wondered if all these games were, indeed, easy to port Well… Not really. You see, side from the obvious lack of color or a proper sound chip Programming the PCW’s graphics was also very different Even though the machines share similar RAM structure And the same processor speed Floppy controller and the CPM operating system But that’s what Happy has done here So, let’s go to Block Town and see how it looks. So, we need you to imagine that you’re 14 years old And your dad has a word processor and spreadsheet computer in the office that you get to use at nighttime And imagine you find games like this exist This is your only computer in the house This is gonna be… and it really was for me.. Such an enjoyable experience to play around on this On this.. Unassuming but Majestic device So, I hope you’ve enjoyed coming with me and Ladyfractic and Puppyfractic On this little journey To prove that there really are great games that you can play on a word processor And with a little ingenuity, it can even become … A portable games machine! That’s all for this time.. But as always.. Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on the future Recipodes coming up And as always I appreciate any support you’re able to give this small Retro Channel on the Patreon I will see you next time! What do you think about these word processing games? Comment below and Cheerio! It’s.. PCBWayyyy! PCBWayyy!