EUG On CDFS Format

By Shelia Bridges

Originally published in EUG #15

In answer to Dave Edwards' enquiry, I have been asked to write about my Cumana Disk Interface. I can't remember when I got it - in the late 80's I think. My son, who now lives in Sheffield, went to a computer show and bought it there. It is a cartridge that slots into the Acorn Plus 1 and is best in the back slot so View can be used in the front one. It has the ROM T2CU chip fitted (from Slogger, also bought at the show) so games can be transferred from tape. The T2CU doesn't always load all the game though. Sometimes you have to have some on disk and the rest on tape but it's still faster than just tape. Some games are very long and have a lot of files.

There is a place on the ribbon for another disk drive (looks like 32 or 36 pins). It is Drive 0 and I have never tried to make it go into another drive as I thought 0 was the only one it had. I have had quite a lot of used floppy disks given to me. I believe they were got at a Car Boot. Some won't format. But only a few.

There were two books with it, one for the BBC, and also a Utility Disk containing many utilities like Format, Verify, Copy, Back Up, Set Time, Acorn DFS To Cumana DFS (or vice versa), Disk Editor and Change Drive Options. I only wish it would do double-sided as most of the disks I use are double-sided disks. I would be able to get a lot more on each. A disk has nine sectors and 512 bytes per track and is Double Density, 40 track. When I first received the EUG magazine, I couldn't read the disk and had to use the conversion program on the Utilities Disk to transfer the data from Acorn DFS to Cumana DFS. EUG #12 and #13 seemed to do this quite well but I am having trouble with EUG #14 so I expect Gus is getting fed up with me now EUG #15 is due. But I hope we'll get it sorted.

I had thought of getting another drive. Maybe a 3.5" disk drive. But I'm not able to afford it right now.

Shelia Bridges

There was a review in one of the early Electron Users about Cumana's disk system. They were impressed with it. Like so many ideas that were developed for the Elk (the Millsgrade Voxbox, First Byte's Joystick Interface not to mention those companies whose software clashed with the Plus 1), it was knobbled by Acorn, who then gave up on the Electron. They were a company with a death wish if ever I saw one and, from recent sales figures, they might get their wish yet as the clumsy progress of the ubiquitous IBM PC lumbers on to ever more powerful pointlessness and speed (or lack of it!)

Here at the EUG offices, we have been scouting far and wide in search of a second hand Cumana Disk Interface so EUG can be produced on the CDFS (Cumana DFS) format. Finally, we have hit success which will no doubt please Shelia as she has had to accept EUG #14 on tape which, while being of the finest quality incorporating the Richard Dimond Menu System, somehow lacks the snap of disk.

Gus Donnachaidh, EUG #15