Talk:Amstrad PCW

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Were enough games released for the PCW to justify a List of Amstrad PCW games page? 2fort5r (talk) 17:41, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

Several dozen were produced, according to [1], [2] and [3]. I'll create the list. 2fort5r (talk) 19:10, 24 August 2009 (UTC)

CPM app memory use...[edit]

I wonder if some of them - particularly the "serious" apps where an occasional split second delay wouldn't be noticable - were smart enough to swap out data to the "RAM disk" so as to effectively use >61kb of memory? Not quite virtual memory, more silently splitting the working file into several smaller subfiles, then auto-saving the bits which aren't currently being displayed and re-using that memory space... Might even be how Locoscript did it. (talk) 14:36, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Locoscript didn't run under CP/M. CP/M and Locoscript both came on separate disks. Locoscript was written especially for the PCW, so of course they were free to use all the features it had, including the RAM. (talk) 23:27, 28 March 2013 (UTC)

3" drive problems[edit]

The drive would sometimes fail due to a glorified rubber band stretching or getting slick. I replaced over a dozen of them to get the drives back up and running.

Also the drive used a light to see if the disc was write-locked or not. Sunlight or other bright lights shining into the drive could cause it to not work correctly. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Whittlej (talkcontribs) 19:53, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

info on 3.5" disk history is completely untrue[edit]

I'm not quite sure how to reword the paragraph nicely, but

"Rumours that Amstrad opted for the 3-inch disk format because it bought a large quantity of these drives cheaply from Matsushita when makers of IBM-compatible PCs standardised on the 3½-inch format.[26] cannot possibly be true because the PCW was designed in 1984 and the first IBM PC with a 3.5" drive was the IBM_Personal_System/2 launched in 1987."

is flat out false. The IBM_PC_Convertible, introduced in 1986 used 3.5" floppies. Prior to even that, PC-Compatible DOS laptops had used 3.5" floppy drives since at least 1985, such as the Toshiba T1100.

I can't say anything about the reasons that Amstrad did go with the 3.0" drive (I'm going to imagine it was economics), but nearly all of the statements WRT 3.5" use in the PC world are just incorrect.

Perhaps they *did* get a good deal on them since the rest of the world (not just PCs, but Apple, Commodore, Atari, etc.) *did* standardize on 3.5", but that would need some citing.

--Oregonerik (talk) 21:42, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

Daisy Wheel Printer[edit]

Article claims

"The daisy-wheel printer could not produce graphics."

If true, then it is the only daisy wheel printer on the planet that can't. Every daisy wheel printer can print graphics by printing full stops (or no full stops) to make up the graphic image. It may not print graphics particularly fast, but it does print them. (talk) 17:12, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Unless you're aware of software that could do this on the PCW, then the statement is true. I'm pretty sure there was no such software.Markbarnes (talk) 22:27, 30 December 2012 (UTC)

Even then, to make graphics out of full-stops would require the print head to be able to move fractional distances horizontally, which is possible since I think it was a proportional font. But it would also need to be able to scroll the paper in tiny distances vertically. Which I'm pretty sure it couldn't. And even if one were able to torture the printer in this way, it'd look AWFUL! Whoever bought a 1-pin dot matrix printer? Where you had to wait for the "." to come round on the wheel before it could print each pixel? It'd take half a day to print a page! And wear out the "." spoke.
The claim is nonsense. Daisywheel printers can't do graphics. They do do plenty of sound though! (talk) 23:25, 28 March 2013 (UTC)
Au contraire. Daisy wheel printers can do graphics. All daisy wheel printers use stepper motors to advance the paper, move the carriage and rotate the daisy wheel. The gearing is such that multiple steps are required for a normal line feed and character width. I am fairly certain that the PCW as a system cannot do graphics, but that will be a limitation of the firmware (which I believe is actually in the monitor), not the printer mechanism. I do not understand your point about waiting for the '.' character to "come round ... before it could print each pixel". Since the '.' is the only character being printed, the daisy wheel itself does not need to rotate at all while such graphics are printed. No one can claim that the graphics were printed in high resolution or at any great speed, but they were printable.
Several (but certainly not all) 'office' type packages than ran under MS-DOS or similar supported graphics on daisy wheel printers, (and some early windows daisy wheel and golf ball printer drivers did as well). I can tell you that Ability Plus certainly did support such graphics for printing out line graphs; bar charts and pie diagrams. You had time to make yourself a cup of cofee (and drink it) while waiting for the print run. DieSwartzPunkt (talk) 16:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

"Roseanne" or "Rosanne" OS?[edit]

The article says that Amstrad PcW16 had "Roseanne" operating system; actually, this OS called "Rosanne". (talk) 14:47, 15 June 2013 (UTC)


The article claims "The ROM-based code cannot display text, being too small to support character generation; instead it displays a bright screen which is progressively filled by black stripes as the code is loaded from floppy."

This is wrong. The boot code only loads the first sector. It knows how to turn the display on and off and a few other cues to stuff a disk in. The first disc sector then loads more and that can do whatever it likes, including implementing the stripes.

[[[Special:Contributions/|]] (talk) 16:03, 20 May 2015 (UTC)]

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just added archive links to one external link on Amstrad PCW. Please take a moment to review my edit. If necessary, add {{cbignore}} after the link to keep me from modifying it. Alternatively, you can add {{nobots|deny=InternetArchiveBot}} to keep me off the page altogether. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, please set the checked parameter below to true to let others know.

N Archived sources still need to be checked

Cheers. —cyberbot IITalk to my owner:Online 02:40, 30 August 2015 (UTC)


The machine was called a Joyce, because that was the name of Sinclairs secretary, and it became the internal name foir it before it was branded PC8256 (talk) 23:04, 7 October 2015 (UTC).