Resources - Emulation - Amstrad CPC - Le Bottin des Jeux Linux

Resources - Emulation - Amstrad CPC

🗃️ Specifications

📰 Title: Resources - Emulation - Amstrad CPC 🕹️ / 🛠️ Type: Info
🗃️ Genre: Emulation 🚦 Status: 11. Documentation
🏷️ Category: Emulation ➤ Engine ➤ Amstrad 🌍️ Browser-based:
🔖 Tags: Documentation; Resources; Emulator; AMSTRAD 📦️ Package Name:
🐣️ Approx. start: 📦️ Arch:
🐤️ Latest: 🍥️ On Deb repo:
📍️ Version: Latest : - 📦️ Deb:
🏛️ License type: FOSS/Libre 📦️ RPM:
🏛️ License: CC BY 📦️ AppImage:
🏝️ Perspective: Third person 📦️ Snap:
👁️ Visual: Text 📦️ Flatpak/Athenaeum:
⏱️ Pacing: Real Time ⚙️ Generic bin.:
👫️ Played: Single 📄️ Source:
🎖️ This record: 5 stars 📱️ PDA support:
🎖️ Game design: 👫️ Contrib.: Goupil & Louis
🎰️ ID: 12556 🐛️ Created: 2011-12-30
🐜️ Updated: 2021-11-07

📖️ Summary

[fr]: Un ensemble de liens vers des ressources ou documentations relatives à l'émulation du micro-ordinateur Amstrad CPC [en]: A set of links to resources and / or documentation for the Amstrad CPC home computer

🎥️ Videos

🎮️ Quelques exemples / Some examples (Showcase) :

🕸️ Links

Docs
[Wikipedia (Amstrad CPC) [fr] [en] [de]]
[Wikipedia (Amstrad) [fr] [en] [de]]
[Videos t(202xxx) t(202xxx) t(202xxx) r(202xxx) g(202xxx)]

• Docs (systems) : [MESS specifications (CPC 464) (CPC 464+) (CPC 664) (CPC 6128) (CPC 6128+)] [System.cfg [fr] (CPC 464) (CPC 464+) (CPC 472) (CPC 664) (CPC 6128) (CPC 6128+)] [Zophar's Domain] [Emu Nova [fr]] [Planet Emulation [fr]] [MO5.COM [fr] (CPC 464) (CPC 664) (CPC 6128)] [Emu-France [fr]] [CPCWiki]
• Docs (games) : [Oldschool Gaming (Reviews, Download, links)] [LeJeuVideo.com [fr]]

Resources
• amstrad.eu [fr] (forums, documentations, ... on Amstrad environment) : [amstrad.eu [fr]]
• cpc-power [fr] (CPC games to download, forums, documentations, ...) : [cpc-power[fr]]
• Genesis8 [fr] (CPC games & utilities to download, documentations, ...) : [Genesis8 [fr]]

BIOS
[The Eye]

Tools
[Arkos Tracker 2]

Games
• Freeware :
[Mojonia (multi-systems)] [Arkos]

• Abandonware :
[TheOldComputer] [ROMNation] [FreeROMS] [The Game Archives] [Planet Emulation [fr]] [ROM World] [NVG.NTU (FTP)] [ROM Hustler] [SnesOrama] [WHDownLoad] [Plus/4 World] [ROM-FREAKs] [GBA ROMs] [World of Spectrum] [RomsMania.cc]

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Source of this Entry:

📕 Description [fr]

Un ensemble de liens vers des ressources ou documentations relatives à l'émulation du micro-ordinateur Amstrad CPC.

🌍️ Wikipedia :
L'Amstrad CPC (CPC est le sigle de Colour Personal Computer, « ordinateur personnel couleur », même s'il était possible d'en acheter muni de moniteurs monochromes) est un ordinateur personnel 8 bits produit par Amstrad dans les années 1980.

L'Amstrad CPC s'est vendu à environ trois millions d'exemplaires dans le monde, dont environ un million en France.





Nota :
• La copie d'écran provient du site Wikipedia (licence CC BY-SA).
• Attention : le téléchargement de ROMS commerciales est illégal à moins de les avoir acquises financièrement.

📕 Description [en]

A set of links to resources and / or documentation for the Amstrad CPC home computer.

🌍️ Wikipedia :
The Amstrad CPC (short for Colour Personal Computer) is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the German-speaking parts of Europe.

The series spawned a total of six distinct models: The CPC464, CPC664, and CPC6128 were highly successful competitors in the European home computer market. The later plus models, 464plus and 6128plus, efforts to prolong the system's lifecycle with hardware updates, were considerably less successful, as was the attempt to repackage the plus hardware into a game console as the GX4000.

The CPC models' hardware is based on the Zilog Z80A CPU, complemented with either 64 or 128 kB of memory. Their computer-in-a-keyboard design prominently features an integrated storage device, either a compact cassette deck or 3" floppy disk drive. The main units were only sold bundled with a colour or monochrome monitor that doubles as the main unit's power supply. Additionally, a wide range of first and third party hardware extensions such as external disk drives, printers, and memory extensions, was available.

The CPC series was pitched against other home computers primarily used to play video games and enjoyed a strong supply of game software. The comparatively low price for a complete computer system with dedicated monitor, its high resolution monochrome text and graphic capabilities and the possibility to run CP/M software also rendered the system attractive for business users, which was reflected by a wide selection of application software.

During its lifetime, the CPC series sold approximately three million units.

Hardware

The entire CPC series is based on the Zilog Z80A processor, clocked at 4 MHz.

In order to avoid conflicts resulting from the CPU and the video circuits both accessing the shared main memory ("snowing"), CPU memory access is constrained to occur on microsecond boundaries, effectively padding every CPU instruction to a multiple of four CPU cycles. As typical Z80 instructions require three or four CPU cycles, the resulting loss of processing power is minor, reducing the effective clock rate to approximately 3.3 MHz.

Memory

Amstrad CPCs are equipped with either 64 (CPC464, CPC664, 464plus, GX4000) or 128 (CPC6128, 6128plus) kB of RAM. This base memory can be extended by up to 512 kB using memory expansions sold by third-party manufacturers, and by up to 4096 kB using experimental methods developed by hardware enthusiasts. Because the Z80 processor is only able to directly address 64 kB of memory, additional memory from the 128 kB models and memory expansions is made available using bank switching.
Video

Underlying a CPC's video output is the unusual pairing of a CRTC (Motorola 6845 or compatible) with a custom-designed gate array to generate a pixel display output. CPC6128s later in production as well as the models from the plus range integrate both the CRTC and the gate array's functions with the system's ASIC.

Three built-in display resolutions are available: 160×200 pixels with 16 colours ("Mode 0", 20 text columns), 320×200 pixels with 4 colours ("Mode 1", 40 text columns), and 640×200 pixels with 2 colours ("Mode 2", 80 text columns). Increased screen size can be achieved by reprogramming the CRTC.

The original CPC video hardware supports a colour palette of 27 colours, generated from RGB colour space with each colour component assigned as either off, half on, or on. The plus range extended the palette to 4096 colours, also generated from RGB with 4 bits each for red, green and blue.
Amstrad MP1 external television adapter

With the exception of the GX4000, all CPC models lack an RF television or composite video output and instead shipped with a 6-pin RGB DIN connector, also used by Acorn computers, to connect the supplied Amstrad monitor. It delivers a PAL frequency 1v p-p analogue RGB with composite sync signal that, if wired correctly, can drive a SCART television. External adapters for RF television were available as a first-party hardware accessory.

Audio

The CPC uses the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing three channels, each configurable to generate square waves, white noise or both. A small array of hardware volume envelopes are available.

Output is provided in mono by a small (4 cm) built-in loudspeaker with volume control, driven by an internal amplifier. Stereo output is provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack.

It is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5-bit by sending a stream of values to the sound chip. This technique is very processor-intensive and hard to combine with any other processing. Examples are the title screens or other non-playable scenes of games like Chase H.Q., Meltdown, and RoboCop.

Floppy disc drive

Amstrad used Hitachi's 3" floppy disc drive. Its decision to do so, when the rest of the PC industry was moving to Sony's 3.5" format, is often wrongly claimed to be due to Amstrad bulk-buying a large consignment of 3" drive units in Asia; the units were custom-made by Panasonic. The chosen drive (built-in for later models) is a single-sided 40-track unit that requires the user to physically remove and flip the disc to access the other side. Each side has its own independent write-protect switch. The sides are termed "A" and "B", with each one commonly formatted to 180 kB (in AMSDOS format, comprising 2 kB directory and 178 kB storage) for a total of 360 kB per disc.

The interface with the drives is a NEC 765 FDC, used for the same purpose in the IBM PC/XT, PC/AT and PS/2 machines. Its features are not fully used in order to cut costs, namely DMA transfers and support for single density discs; they were formatted as double density using modified frequency modulation.

Discs were shipped in a paper sleeve or a hard plastic case resembling a compact disc "jewel" case. The casing is thicker and more rigid than that of 3.5" diskettes, and designed to be mailed without any additional packaging. A sliding metal cover to protect the media surface is internal to the casing and latched, unlike the simple external sliding cover of Sony's version. They were significantly more expensive than both 5.25" and 3.5" alternatives. This, combined with their low nominal capacities and their essentially proprietary nature, led to the format being discontinued shortly after the CPC itself was discontinued.

Apart from Amstrad's other 3" machines (the PCW and the ZX Spectrum +3), the few other computer systems to use them included the Sega SF-7000 and CP/M systems such as the Tatung Einstein and Osborne machines. They also found use on embedded systems.

The Shugart-standard interface means that Amstrad CPC machines are able to use standard 3", 3½" or 5¼" drives as their second drive. Programs such as ROMDOS and ParaDOS extend the standard AMSDOS system to provide support for double-sided, 80-track formats, enabling up to 800 kB to be stored on a single disc.

The 3" discs themselves are usually known as "discs" on the CPC, following the spelling on the machine's plastic casing and conventional non-American spelling.
Expansion

The hardware and firmware was designed to be able to access software provided on external ROMs. Each ROM has to be a 16k block and was switched in and out of the memory space shared with the video RAM. The Amstrad firmware is deliberately designed so that new software could be easily accessed from these ROMs with minimum of fuss. Popular applications were marketed on ROM, particularly word processing and programming utility software (examples are Protext and Brunword of the former, and the MAXAM assembler of the latter type).

Such extra ROM chips do not plug directly into the CPC itself, but into extra plug-in "rom boxes" which contain sockets for the ROM chips and a minimal amount of decoding circuitry for the main machine to be able to switch between them. These boxes were either marketed commercially or could be built by competent hobbyists and they attached to the main expansion port at the back of the machine. Software on ROM loads much faster than from disc or tape and the machine's boot-up sequence was designed to evaluate ROMs it found and optionally hand over control of the machine to them. This allowes significant customization of the functionality of the machine, something that enthusiasts exploited for various purposes. However, the typical user would probably not be aware of this added ROM functionality unless they read the CPC press, as it is not described in the user manual and was hardly ever mentioned in marketing literature. It is, however, documented in the official Amstrad firmware manual.

The machines also feature a 9-pin Atari-style joystick socket that will either directly take one joystick, or two joysticks by use of a splitter cable.