Pro-Dos could be thought of as a Disk Operating System (DOS), However, it is more than this, it is a full operating system that provides compatibility with CP/M 2.2.
In simple terms this means that a whole world of software that was designed to run under CP/M 2.2. will now run on the SAM Coupe. Pro-Dos uses the same disk format as the Amstrad PCW 8256 and, as a result, can read disks from this machine direct, this also means that there is a vast range of software already available from sources such as Public Domain libraries.
When buying software from a Public Domain library you must check that it was designed to run under CP/M 2.2 or one of the lower versions, 1.4 for example. Some software will only run under the later versions of CP/M, commonly known as CP/M 3 or CP/M Plus. However, the majority of available software is 2.2 compatible and you should have no trouble running it under Pro-Dos. Some software may need “installing” for the particular machine you intent to run it on, this normally involves terminal (or screen) configuration and sometimes disk data information, most software includes full configuration instructions and it is usually a simple task.
Pro-Dos runs totally independent of the SAM ROM and DOS and, as a result , makes no ROM or SAMDOS calls. Therefore, Pro-Dos will run on any SAM with any version of SAM or MasterDos. Indeed, to boot Pro-Dos from its boot disk you do not need to have pre-loaded SAM or Master Dos at all. Pro-Dos automatically adjusts itself to your particular machine, be it a 256k single drive, or a 512k twin drive system, system ensures that it makes the best use of the RAM and drives available.
Version 2 updates & improvements.
Pro-DOS v2.0 - Features
- Better CP/M 2.2 compatibility
- Up to eight simultaneously visible disk drives - Drives A:through to H:
- Compact Flash support using the ATOM-Lite (right-hand drive bay)
- Dual CF adapter support in the ATOM-Lite - seen as two separate drives
- MMC/SD/SDHC flash support using Quazar’s Trinity Ethernet Interface
- 100% compatible with the AL-Patch format
- Pro-DOS can optionally boot from its own format 720k CP/M disks
- If your SAM has an Search: “AL-BOOT ROM” Pro-DOS can also boot from CF cards
- Up to 64-Gigabytes (65535 logical disks) on CF/MMC/SD/SDHC cards
- Will use any external RAM packs to provide up to four 1MB RAM Drives
- Improved performance, with particular attention paid to screen output
- More accurate Heath/Zenith H19/Z19/DEC VT52 terminal emulation
- Better command-line editing functions
- Command-line can accept user areas - so DIR A4:*.COM is valid
- Can simultaneously change drives and user areas at the command prompt
- MS-DOS-like command history buffer for the eight most recent commands
- Retro green-screen look with funky flashing cursor - changeable of course!
- Will save/restore your chosen screen colours to/from the Trinity Ethernet Interface EEPROM
- System bell sound makes a better “ding” and no longer pauses the system
- The DIR command now outputs in alphabetically sorted columns
- Better memory use to allow v2.0 to retain v1.9’s internal RAM Drive sizes
- A large (63238 byte) Transient Program Area for external programs
- The separate system files disk used by v1.9 is no longer required
- All system files are pre-installed to the internal RAM Drive at boot
- COPY and DUMP commands are now built-in, and not external programs
- All internal commands accept wildcards, including REName and COPY
- Ability to software-swap a pair of drives, so A:can be B:and vice versa
- FATREAD.COM for importing files from PC formatted FAT12/16/32 media
PDF Manual Scan at www.samcoupe-pro-dos.co.uk
Pro-Dos review from INDUGS Format Vol 5, No 9 by John Wase.
There seems to be a message written to a CP/M formatted disk with the Pro-dos Format command. The message is written to a reserved track on the floppy. See the screen shot attached. - Steve Parry-Thomas August 2007