The ZINC project

The ZINC project is an attempt to replicate 8-bit CP/M 3.1 under the GNU General Public License.

ZINC stands for ZINC Is Not CP/M.

Design choices

The idea is to come as close as possible to CP/M 3 in option syntax and functionality. There are many programs in existence to list a directory, but much fewer that let you type DIR [EXCLUDE] *.COM.

All current ZINC components are written in Z80 assembly language and require a Z80 processor.

The idea is to keep a lot of the necessary functionality in code libraries. SYSLIB is used for some functions, and two further libraries (CPM3LIB and CFCB) provide functionality specific to CP/M 3. A fourth library (STRLIB) provides some string functions.

This will not apply to programs that have a use outside CP/M; for example, the development tools. Since these could be used for cross-development, they would be written in C. The same goes for the help system.

Current status (version 3.1.1)

In strict accordance with tradition, I'm announcing a grandiose plan when I have very little to show for it. The following programs have been done:

Complete. Is Year 2000 compliant and supports date entry in US, UK and ISO formats.
Complete. Optionally supports the Amstrad TIMEOUT extension so that it can also replace TIMEOUT.COM on Amstrad computers.
Complete. Is Year 2000 compliant and supports I/O redirection. Several new output formats and sorting options.
A version exists, but the CFCB library seems to produce bloated code; DUMP.COM is actually bigger than the DRI original.
Complete. Can take more than one filespec on the command line (eg: ERASE *.PRN *.SYM )
Has a page of its own.
Complete. Supports the multiple date formats used by DATE, DIR and SHOW.
Complete. Year 2000 compliant and supports I/O redirection.
Same caveat as for DUMP.COM - it's bloated.

The Grandiose Vision

A ZINC program should:


Build environment

The Submit files provided with the source assume a MYZ80 environment running CP/M 3. They assume that B0: contains library files, C0: contains the program source, C1: contains CFCB source, C2: contains C3LIB source and C4: contains STRLIB source.

To build ZINC, you will need:


John Elliott, 3-1-2000