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.
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
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
- Complete. Year 2000 compliant and supports I/O
- Same caveat as for DUMP.COM - it's bloated.
The Grandiose Vision
A ZINC program should:
- Support user numbers in filenames (part of CFCB)
- Support exact file sizes (part of CFCB)
- Support piping and redirection of I/O, if appropriate (done
- Return error codes if it encounters a fatal error
- Support paged output, if appropriate (CPM3LIB)
- If possible, be smaller than its CP/M counterpart.
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:
- CP/M 3
- A recent CCP (eg from the November 1998 update of CP/M 3)
- M80, and the Digital Research LINK.COM and LIB.COM.
to M80 to make it return CP/M 3 error codes.
- SYSLIB in .IRL form.
- Because I want to.
- CP/M emulators cannot include the CP/M utilities, because of
copyright problems. I happen to have written some CP/M emulators,
and I would like to include workalikes for the utilities.
- The original 151282 release of CP/M 3.1 is not Year 2000
compliant. I have fixed this (November 1998 update) but some
programs still use two-digit year numbers, which looks untidy.