Autres - Campursoft 40mb HarddriveHardware Peripheriques Cpc - Autres
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Hurrah for Campursoft. The CPC has waited years for a hard drive. Now it's got one.

For years now, 16-bit computers and just about every other machine has had something that CPC users could only dream about (apart from a fab computer). This was a hard drive. So what's a hard drive? Well, you can do either two things to find this out. You could either read the huge storage feature we ran a few months back, or read on ('Hi' to all those readers who've just joined us).

A hard drive is, put quite simply, a disc drive with a disc you can't remove. The fact you can't remove the disc means it can be attached much more firmly to the mechanism, etc. This, in turn, means that you can store information in smaller, more delicate magnetic patches, thus fitting more on a disc.

Hard drive capacities range from 16MB to 100MB, though you can still obtain even bigger hard drives than that. The physical sizes still stay pretty much the same, being about two or three times that of a 3.5' disc drive So why haven't we seen such a fab device on the CPC? Well, no-one's really sure, but it's fairly obvious to see why no-one's tried all that hard - an entirely new operating system would have to be written, to use the non-standard (to the CPC) storage system. So why are we telling you this if it's so impossible? It's obvious really - Campursoft have managed it!

Thehe Campursoft hard drive (let's call it Herbie for argument's sake) is a wee beastie that stores 40Mb of data. That's getting on for 50 ROMDOS discs. Just think about how you could use one:

  • Back ups - If you're into backing up software, you could use a hard drive to store an entirely backed up games collection, meaning you would never have to mess around with all those individual discs again (originals, I hope).
  • Public Domain - Ask any PD librarian. Once you get a reasonably sized library going, you'll live among a small mountain of discs. What better, then, than to take all these discs, and archive them (maybe using SafeSoft"s new disc archiver) onto your hard drive?
  • Bulletin Boards - For a system requiring vast amounts of memory (due to the huge amounts of messages and library software they need to store), an extremely high capacity storage system is needed quite badly, really.
  • Look, it's a hard drive, okay? You store much more stuff on it than you would a normal disc. Work it out for yourselves! Gah!

Ahem. This project was first approached by Simon Cobb (Siren Software) quite a while back, but, due to problems getting a CPC to handle data coming from the drive, the project was scrapped. The problem is a simple one - when information is sent from a hard drive, it's handled by a high powered interface. The CPC, being originally designed a long time before such powerful bits of kit were developed, can't cope with information at anything like the same kind of speed. The data, then, is being transmitted far too quickly for the CPC to process it properly. Think of it as being equivalent to trying to run NASA with a ZX81. Whatever the weather, though, all these problems have been overcome by various means, and so Campursoft can now sell you Herbie!

Prices on hard drives are a little overpowered as well. A standard drive can cost anything from ‘a little pricey' to ‘you mean that much cash exists?', but Herbie will only cost you a timm, I might buy that'.

Herbie does have one little thing troubling him, though - he doesn't get on all that well with CP/M (hey, who does?), but that should have all been sorted out by the time you're reading this. The AMSDOS system is set to work in very much the same way as ROMDOS (but with Herbie on the back), with an obviously much higher storage capacity, but this does suggest the whole thing will be very easy to use, and should be available on power up (you won't have to faff about with start-up discs, etc).

All in all, we think Campursoft are really onto a winner with Herbie. If you're sick of fiddling around with umpteen discs, you really should think about how Herbie could help you - go on, give 'em a ring and buy one,

Amstrad Action #95

★ YEAR: 1993
★ PRICE: £220


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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.