News about Amstrad CPC, PCW, Notepad NC100 NC150 NC200, PDA600 and also Amstrad PC







PCRetroTech, a Youtube channel for Amstrad PC 1512 and 1640 users (and CPC)

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PCRetroTech is an interesting Youtube channel if you are interested by the Amstrad PC 1512 (with its 16 colours CGA mode) and PC 1640 (with its plantronics mode). Je vous conseille entre autre, mais pas que, les vidéos suivantes (également l'Amstrad CPC pour la 3ème vidéo) :




CheshireCat, blog, youtube, CRTC5 ... what ?

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The Cheshire's is an interesting character of the world of Lewis Caroll, which let me think that I still didn't read this book yet...

So I invite your to go quickly read the blog CheshireCat's basket including the article about the ... CRTC5 (no no no, sorry but at Amstrad we count only from 0 to 4) and the two following articles :



Two Dandanator models by the Rancanuo Team

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I am not up to date about all the differents models of Dandanator, but the Rancanuo Team is proposing two models which can also be used on CPC+ with an adaptator (not sure if it's included, I just asked the question) :

  • CPC Dandanator Mini Dual aka the plain model with two banks of 512 Kb internal memory, choosable with a commutator
  • New Dandanator Elite + with one 512 Kb internal memory bank plus the ability to insert its own in house cartridges which looks like 3 inch disks


New version of the CPC assembler Orgams 'Flappy Flags' (January 2024)

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Orgams is an assembler in ROM for Amstrad CPC, created by Madram, Drill and Hicks. A new version Flappy Flags is available (28th January 2024).

The documentation in french and english is available on Orgams' wiki.



Only two weeks left for the 4th Amscii compo 2024 organized by Logiker

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Sorry for being late, but it's only two weeks left to participate to the fourth Amstrad ASCCI contest organized by Logiker.



The Heart of Salamanderland by Reidrac is available for Amstrad CPC(+)

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Reidrac (Juan Martinez) has released yesterday the Heart of Salamanderland v1.0, a platform game for the Amstrad CPC(+) and GX4000. Beware, if you did download this version, then get v1.01 which corrects a sync bug on CPC+ and GX4000. As usual it is recommended to read the manuel (RTFM !).

screenhot game of Heart of the Salamanderland by Reidrac




Twenty five years ago...

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The initial automatic translation has been corrected manually.

In 1985 when I was 14, my parents bought me an Amstrad CPC, I had the choice between a color Amstrad CPC 464 or a monochrome Amstrad CPC 664. Having been able to handle a ZX 81 equipped with 16 KB of RAM and a cassette reader a year or two previously at the home of a retiree who was teaching us computers, I chose a 664 for its floppy disk and loading speed, and I still don't regret this choice, despite certain games impossible to play on a monochrome screen. I have only programmed very little in basic, and mostly played on it.

In 1988 I bought with my own money at 19 years an Amstrad PC 1512 with two 5,25 inch floppy drives for about 6.000 francs with a Citizen printer (but which model ?), having worked each summer since the age of 16 years old. Later it was upgraded with 128 Kb RAM, a 32 Mo hard disc on an ISA card (bought on the place just in front of the castle of Louis XIV in Versailles), a 2 Mb EMS card and replacing a 5,25 drive with a 3,5 drive. Sadly I didn't keep this PC 1512 en 2012 when I changed home, I only kept the hard drive. It's still a bad memory today (my second big error, the first one just below).

Several years later (exact year unknown), I no longer had my 664 (first big mistake of selling/giving it), and while browsing an FTP site between 1992 and 1994 I came across a software with an evocative name: CPCEMU, written by Marco Vieth (CPCEMU having been released in 1992, previously it was under the name Z80emu). Unfortunately I was not able to use it straight away, at the time the ROMs were not provided due to copyrights issues. After getting them, I was so happy to be able to use an Amstrad CPC again, that I sent two spaced payments to Marco Vieth to thank him for his emulator. Later, I also translated its documentation into French. CPCEMU was the reason I bought a Gravis Ultra Sound ISA card as beginning I don't know which version it could use this sound card for much better sound than a Sound Blaster of this area.

On March 25, 1994, David Long proposed with Marco Vieth in the appropriate newsgroup the creation of a newsgroup named comp.sys.cpc to deal with Amstrad CPC computers. But creating a newsgroup requires a whole procedure, from memory it's me (but please refute me if I'm wrong because my memory is... defective from birth) who managed it with the RFD (Request for Discussion) and the CFV (Call for Vote) from the comp.sys.amstrad.8bit newsgroup to also talk about other 8bit Amstrad computers. The vote took place, and its result announced on August 4, 1994: 148 votes yes, 36 votes no. Twelve more no votes and the newsgroup would not have been created.

Another memory but I'm not sure at all because I couldn't find any proof within my emails (and I lost a bunch of thems a few years agos with a loss of data on a NAS), having seen that agreement had been given for the ZX Spectrum emulators to be available with their ROMs, and having nothing to lose, I did ask to ask Cliff Lawson either by email or in the newsgroup and got a positive response. But frankly, take this with a grain of salt or if anyone has any trace of my request, please let me know to know if I'm rambling (which is not impossible). I suppose Marco Vieth or Cliff Lawson should know, but I didn't try to bother them with this old story.

Then in May 1999, I created a website written in pure HTML, hosted by Free, because I was interested in learning HTML, so I was using a simple text editor to write my code, the best solution for learning the hard way, rather than a WYSIWYG solution. The name of the web site : Genesis8 Amstrad Page or GAP, the space between tracks on floppy disks. It was ugly, aesthetics not being my strong point (and it is still ugly). At that time, commercial games for Amstrad CPC could be downloaded, notably on the FTP NVG site, but not demos, fanzines or other utilities. So I started scouring the french demo parties to recover these programs, suddenly the French demomakers saw a bizarre guy who wanted to squat their Amstrad CPC to copy as many things as possible on the floppy disks he had brought with him, people are sometimes weird... I first uploaded the files that I retrieved to the FTP site ftp.lip.fr in the /pub/amstrad directory, and later directly on my web site. Later, these files were found on other websites, which was a good thing so their preservation was ensured.

Later in order or disorder, the site became a little less ugly thanks to CSS, then moved to PHP and MySQL database. I bought the domain name www.genesis8bit.com (and even later www.genesis8bit.fr). For the record, the layout of the site is provided by PHP code, and my text editor for writing news is called PHPMyAdmin where I type directly HTML code. A rustic solution but one that suits me perfectly. I go to the W3C validator from time to time to check for code errors, most often forgetting to close an HTML tag.

I created this site because I wanted to, to deal with a subject that was close to my heart, I never wanted it to be a big site (I just checked on Google Analytics, over the last 30 days there have been between 20 to 60 visitors per day, which suits me very well given the subject of the site), nor that it brings me any money (hence the absence of advertising since forever). At one time the site was on the first page of Google searches, but that hasn't been the case for a while, which isn't a problem for me. It's been a one-man show from the start, but I wouldn't mind a little help if another person would be interested in writing with me, the CPC scene has been bubbling to say the least for several years and I have a little problem keeping up on my own.

In this regard, I would like to thank all the people who allow the Amstrad CPC scene to continue to live 40 years after the release of the Amstrad CPC in 1984. In my eyes I am just a bard who sings the glory of other people who are the real heroes, while I have the easiest job, just singing with my falsetto voice and making false notes on my instrument (to choose it would be the saxophone).

Long live the Amstrad CPC, the PCW, the Notepad NC, the PDA600 and all the Amstrad PCs, may they still be there after my death (which I hope to be in a far far future, for your greatest misfortune).

P.S. : I would have nothing against a donation of an Amstrad PC 1640 or any other Amstrad PC, hint, hint. But hey, let's not complain, since I can have fun with my Amstrad PPC 640 and Freddy Vetele's PicoMEM card, which I would like to thank very much here.

P.P.S. : there will undoubtedly be an overhaul of the appearance of the site this summer with slightly more recent mobile code, and at least two new features soon: the announcement of upcoming Amstrad meetings at the start of the site's cover page , and the possibility of only displaying CPC or PCW news, or Notepad, etc...




Amstrad CPC CRTC Compendium v1.8 by Longshot (May 2024) and his blog

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Longshot has released version 1.8 of the Amstrad CPC CRTC Compendium (8th May 2024) which is a documentation about the CRTC 6845 (and some others circuits). Note that the CRTC is a generic component used in several computers including the IBM PC.

It is possible to check if an emulator is good with the SHAKER tests by Longshot. SHAKER is a program designed to run on CPC machines produced by AMSTRAD in the 80s-90s. The objective of this program is to carry out extensive tests on the video circuits of this machine. These video circuits are the GATE ARRAY and the CRTC 6845. AMSTRAD produced several series of GATE ARRAY and used CRTC models produced by different manufacturers (HITACHI, MOTOROLA, UMC, AMSTRAD). This has been causing compatibility problems on operations that exceed the functional specifications of these circuits. The identified CRTCs are numbered from 0 to 4.

And last, if you like reading, don't hesitate to go check Longshot's blog.