Microsoft Premium Softcard

20 replies [Last post]
6502enhanced's picture
Online
Joined: Feb 23 2006
Posts: 220

Hi,

I have this Microsoft Premium Softcard.

The 80 Col. mode seems to be ok with most of the programs.

But if I start the CPM Disk for this card, the coursor just switches into 80 Col. - nothing more possible.

I tried to start A2eDiagnostics - but nearly the same - the program starts - switches into 80 col. and then stops.

Which kind of RAM is on this card - not the same like in an Apple II+?

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

So do programs that need 128k work?

Try loading ProDos (its 80col and 128k) does that work? If that works then it would seem that those parts of the card are working.

Next would be make sure that you are loading the correct CP/M Disk, the Microsoft Softcard Premium IIe has a special disk for its CP/M.

6502enhanced's picture
Online
Joined: Feb 23 2006
Posts: 220
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

Good idea!

I tried as follows:

Starting Word Juggler (ProDos) works fine - starts up and works.

Starting AppleWorks is not possible - the systems says that AppleWorks needs 128k - so there might be some RAM faulty ...

Which kind of RAM do I need for this card - tried some from an old Apple Europlus board that I use as spare parts - but that does not work.

tokabln's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 94
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

I suggest to RTFM

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/documentation/hardware/processors/Microsoft%20Premium%20SoftCard%20IIe.PDF

That could help to answer questions and to troubleshoot your problems.

I believe this is the relevant software image

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/cpm/os/CPM_Z80SoftCard.dsk

__________________

Kind regards from Berlin (Germany)
Torsten aka tokabln

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2571
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

tokabln,

You could have just said "Here's the manual, look it up."

Steven Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

It does not seem that the other members here are being very helpful. You might get a little more help from the Facebook Apple ][ Enthusiast group.

Facebook Group Apple ][

That is where I got real help getting mine to work.

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2571
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

c0op3r said:

Quote:

It does not seem that the other members here are being very helpful. You might get a little more help from the Facebook Apple ][ Enthusiast group.

Facebook Group Apple ][

That is where I got real help getting mine to work.

The Facebook group and this group have a lot of the same members in common.
I am a member of both myself.
The folks in both groups try to assist anyone and everyone they can, when they can.
It sounds a little to me like you're casting stones when it is not necessary.

Just my opinion.

Steven Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

Offline
Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 783
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

gsmcten wrote:

tokabln,

You could have just said "Here's the manual, look it up."

Steven Smile

He could also have said, "next time I find someone here who forgets to read the manual must die by my hand!"

gsmcten wrote:

c0op3r said:

Quote:

It does not seem that the other members here are being very helpful. You might get a little more help from the Facebook Apple ][ Enthusiast group.

Facebook Group Apple ][

That is where I got real help getting mine to work.

The Facebook group and this group have a lot of the same members in common.
I am a member of both myself.
The folks in both groups try to assist anyone and everyone they can, when they can.
It sounds a little to me like you're casting stones when it is not necessary.

Just my opinion.

Steven Smile

But I get the sense that the facebook group is more tolerant and nicer.

gsmcten's picture
Offline
Joined: Oct 4 2005
Posts: 2571
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

LOL

Yes...I guess he could have.

Steven Smile

__________________

Steven (gsmcten)

"Apple ][.....It's ALIVE!!!!!"

tokabln's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 30 2015
Posts: 94
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

Well... it wasn't my intention to get that interpretation...

but you are right... sometimes I really do believe, that people asking questions which can be quite often solved by themself doing some investigation using the internet.

But it seems to be easier to ask someone else to do this job. It's just my opinion and also my experience in varies forum's.

To answer the still open question about the RAM chips... there are 8 OKI chips at the bottom right of the uploaded picture... so in case there is a defect one you should exchange that with the same type.

Have a nice day

__________________

Kind regards from Berlin (Germany)
Torsten aka tokabln

Offline
Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 354
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

If I had a problem with my Softcard, the first thing I'd try would be to reseat all the chips. That's lifting them up and pressing them back down. Sometimes they get oxidation on the legs and can have poor contact with the socket

c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

gsmcten wrote:

c0op3r said:

Quote:

It does not seem that the other members here are being very helpful. You might get a little more help from the Facebook Apple ][ Enthusiast group.

Facebook Group Apple ][

That is where I got real help getting mine to work.

The Facebook group and this group have a lot of the same members in common. I am a member of both myself. The folks in both groups try to assist anyone and everyone they can, when they can. It sounds a little to me like you're casting stones when it is not necessary.

Just my opinion.

Steven Smile

Steven - I do know that a lot of the active members here are the same for the Fb group, that is one of the reasons I was so shocked to have seen such a curt answer as 'RTFM'. It was totally uncalled for and really has no place in this group, or Fb group. He are all hobbyist here, and if one of us ask a question no matter how common or mundane it is we should take a moment to answer it or SAY NOTHING. The world is already full of people with plenty to say and most of it not good, lets work to create a pleasant environment and maybe that can spill over to other things in life.

So I believe my 'casting stones' is/was warranted in this case, we had a member (who is clearly not new with more post than I have) ask a question about a relatively unique piece of hardware, RTFM is not really going to help in this case. I am one that tried to help in my limited ability, I recently got one of those cards also and needed help getting mine to run and I DID receive help and was successful in making it work. My experience was a good one that I will treasure, the card was gifted to me by a member of the Fb group for the cost of shipping, I then received help making it work. SO basically an all around good experience, I dont think mine would of been so good if I got RTFM as an answer.

insanitor wrote:

But I get the sense that the facebook group is more tolerant and nicer.

Please see above, I dont think one is nicer than the other, but I think it was uncalled for.

tokabln wrote:

Well... it wasn't my intention to get that interpretation...

but you are right... sometimes I really do believe, that people asking questions which can be quite often solved by themselves doing some investigation using the internet. But it seems to be easier to ask someone else to do this job. It's just my opinion and also my experience in varies forum's. To answer the still open question about the RAM chips... there are 8 OKI chips at the bottom right of the uploaded picture... so in case there is a defect one you should exchange that with the same type.

Yes I appreciate that you said it was not your intention, and I am sure we can all get passed this. Lets just try and help one another, if the original poster has a habit of asking questions that are easily answer with a google search then I think that is what needs to be said. Your follow up on the other hand DOES contain useful information, and that is the point I am trying to make. So why did it take 'casting stones' to get that?

So anyway I am done being on my soapbox, lets all try to be productive and informative parts of this and every other Apple Group.

c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

It is not he needs the Softcard IIe Version, it is specific to that card. This is one of the ones that should work:

ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/cpm/os/

use one of the Micrsoft Softcard Premium IIe images

Offline
Joined: May 27 2013
Posts: 783
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

I see both sides of the issue.

God knows I have been guilty of telling people off when the annoyance level was just too high for me.

Problem is that there are certain persistent errors that present themselves like a virus.

And it can be difficult to help someone especially if they appear to not be very interested in helping themselves.

On the other hand, using that four letter word is a bit on the unhelpful side.

But if one were to actually take the time to help themselves and read every manual in existence to the point that they know everything...

Then why join this forum?

And if you do such work then your knowledge was something you worked hard for and...

You'd be unwilling to give it away and insist that everybody earn it like you did and if anyone gets the information without doing the work by just asking for the answer then you feel like someone had it too easy and that's unfair.

I would prefer to think that we all work like a good company who will support the customers by giving tech support even if the answer is in the FAQ.

6502enhanced's picture
Online
Joined: Feb 23 2006
Posts: 220
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

Hi guys,

thanks for your answers!

Yes, I can read a manual - but that's not the point. Sometimes people here offer very interesting knowledge also if being asked a very simple question - f.e. could be that someone knows something like "don't check at first the RAM - take a look at IC ..." - had this exactly with a Disk II - very good hint - changed IC - now as new.

From my point of view it's only stupid NOT to ask!

There are no stupid questions - there are only stupid answers.

Who ever want's to keep his knowledge by hisself, should not answer - just keep quiet.

Who ever thinks the question is too easy, or the answer can be found somewhere else - don't give stupid explanation to people how you would like to see people at this forum talk to each other - that's stupid - don't be presumptuous - just keep quiet - no one has pleased you to spend your important time and knowledge for simple minds. Go and talk to people with a format like yours - got it. It's really easy.

Meanwhile I took every chip out of the board - cleaned them and gave a bit contact spray to them. Sadly no change.

Made also a check with APTEST.dsk - result: 80 col. ok. RAM test gave just errors - so I ordered 8 OKI M3764-20RS RAM - hope that helps.

c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

6502enhanced wrote:

Hi guys,

From my point of view it's only stupid NOT to ask!

There are no stupid questions - there are only stupid answers.

Who ever want's to keep his knowledge by himself, should not answer - just keep quiet.

Who ever thinks the question is too easy, or the answer can be found somewhere else - don't give stupid explanation to people how you would like to see people at this forum talk to each other - that's stupid - don't be presumptuous - just keep quiet - no one has pleased you to spend your important time and knowledge for simple minds. Go and talk to people with a format like yours - got it. It's really easy.

Meanwhile I took every chip out of the board - cleaned them and gave a bit contact spray to them. Sadly no change.

Made also a check with APTEST.dsk - result: 80 col. ok. RAM test gave just errors - so I ordered 8 OKI M3764-20RS RAM - hope that helps.

Im glad you are getting somewhere with it its a really neat card, I would hate to see it get trashed. Sorry you had to get a soapbox msg about all this, but it looks like things are moving in the right direction. Please let us know if the RAM fixes it.

Offline
Joined: Jul 31 2014
Posts: 32
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

The other benefit of people asking questions on here is that it brings things up that some of us might not have had much to do with. For me, I have not really looked at the soft card iie , so it's helped me learn something about it.

Reading the manual and also there is a review in Infoworld, see link below. I don't think it makes a 128k iie with this in. To me, I think it's more like the applicard board in that the memory is for Z80 to use directly, hence the speed improvement.
https://archive.org/stream/Infoworld-1984-02-06#page/n65/mode/2up

There is mention of a programmers guide, that might be interesting to read, it may give some insights into the workings of the card.

/Rob

c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

rjustice wrote:

The other benefit of people asking questions on here is that it brings things up that some of us might not have had much to do with. For me, I have not really looked at the soft card iie , so it's helped me learn something about it.

Reading the manual and also there is a review in Infoworld, see link below. I don't think it makes a 128k iie with this in. To me, I think it's more like the applicard board in that the memory is for Z80 to use directly, hence the speed improvement.
https://archive.org/stream/Infoworld-1984-02-06#page/n65/mode/2up

There is mention of a programmers guide, that might be interesting to read, it may give some insights into the workings of the card.

/Rob

Rob

I agree with you its always fun to read about parts you did not know about before. Also yes with the IIe Premium installed you do have a 128k IIe and 80 Column card.

Here is a scan from my manual noting that its 3 cards in one
MS Softcard Manual Page

6502enhanced's picture
Online
Joined: Feb 23 2006
Posts: 220
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

OK - replaced the RAM and now it is working fine! Every test successful and CPM is running.

Therefore I do also own the manual and the programers guide I'm really happy with this piece of history.

c0op3r's picture
Offline
Joined: Nov 11 2016
Posts: 28
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

Awesome!

They are super neat cards - basically a whole CPM/Z80 computer on a board.

MarkO's picture
Offline
Joined: Dec 10 2011
Posts: 666
Re: Microsoft Premium Softcard

I am reminded of This piece of advice from the comedian, Chris Rock....

"Best Advice: I used to have horrible cars, because I never had money, so I'd always end up broken down on the highway. When I stood there trying to flag someone down, nobody stopped. But when I pushed my own car, other drivers would get out and push with me. If you want help, help yourself—people like to see that."

If you can tell me what you have tried and what you have found, I can try to tell you other things that might help you...

MarkO