A Tribute to the Dick Smith System 80
(aka Video Genie and PMC-80/81)

Downloadable Cassette Images


As with the TRS-80, when people first purchased their shiny System 80 it was usually as a cassette-based 16 kilobyte RAM machine. Indeed, adding disk drives and memory expansion often cost more than the base unit itself!

Consequently, a lot of software was written for this "vanilla" tape-based configuration. Below are some of my favourite cassette-based programs, originally published on that media for (unless otherwise indicated) 16k computers.

It's amazing what programmers have crammed into such a tiny memory!

These "virtual cassettes" can be run from many of the TRS-80 or System 80 emulators. If you are not familiar with how the '80 computers manage their input and output, check out the driving instructions before trying to load the files. In short..

For those who wish to go a little deeper and learn more about how these machines actually work, start with the manuals.

With the TRS32 emulator, realism is taken to its full extent in that loading takes as long as it does in a real machine (i.e. ages!). It's more authentic, but if you are an impatient type, you might do better with one of the HT-1080z emulators. These load them in a flash!

Using the CAS files with a real machine

These CAS files can also be used with a real System 80 or TRS-80 Model 1. With Knut Roll-Lund's Play Cas software you can use your PC as a cassette player. The program will output audio through the sound port, which you can connect to the '80s external cassette input.

However there is one caveat. Unless you have an added switch on the System 80 that changes cassette #2 to #1, you will be unable to load machine language programs directly with a simple hook-up as described. This is because the SYSTEM command used to load these kind of programs only recognises cassette port #1. In the System 80, this is the internal cassette player not the external one. Therefore, if you want to get machine language (system) CAS files from this site into an unmodified System 80, you'll have to record the audio from the PC soundcard onto a REAL cassette (using a real cassette recorder), then load it into the machine from the built-in cassette player.

BASIC programs don't have this problem as the LOAD command can be made to specify the external cassette port (#2). TRS-80 Model 1s don't have this problem either as these machines only have one cassette port, and that is external anyway.

Enjoy!

1. Favourite Programs

Program General Information Format
Meteor Mission 2 Rescue the Astronauts. Machine language (m/l)
Swamp Wars Collect power units and dodge slizards Machine language (m/l)
Mission Impossible A Scott Adams Adventure Machine language (m/l)
Savage Island Part 1 Another Scott Adams Adventure Machine language (m/l)
Sea Dragon Shoot, bomb and breath! Machine language (m/l)
Star Trek Simple early version of the game. Starring you as Captain Kirk! BASIC program
Penetrator Inspired by the climax of Star Wars. Dodge the obstacles, drop your bombs and then get the hell out of there! (manual) Machine language (m/l). Needs at least 32k of RAM
Taipan See how rich you get in this trading game. BASIC program
Defense Command Shoot to stop the stealing. Even has a voice! Machine language (m/l)
Scarfman Pac-man clone (manual) Machine language (m/l)
ZChess Chess anyone? (manual) Machine language (m/l)
Taxi (Alien Taxi) Would you get your license? Machine language (m/l). Needs 48k of RAM
Robot Attack Run, hide, shoot. Machine language (m/l)
Scripsit 1.0 Wordprocessing in U/C and 16k! Machine language (m/l)

2. Dick Smith Cassette Programs

Program General Information Format
Invaders The classic Space Invaders game Machine language (m/l)
Death Trap Very primitive game. Memory must be protected at 32640 BASIC
Dick Smith Demo Dick Smith's Smiling face as a screensaver BASIC
Scurve Invaders Space Invaders by another name. Memory must be protected at 32640 (manual) BASIC

3. EACA Cassette Demo Programs

Program General Information Format
Biorhythms Check your mood for the next few days BASIC
Graphics EACA Video Genie Logo Screen Saver BASIC
Statistics Make a bar graph BASIC
Cost Analysis Just what it says BASIC
Star War More Star Trek-type adventures BASIC

4. Other

Program General Information Format
Troll Crusher A game from Simon N. Goodwin BASIC (supplied as zip)