Use your PC as a cassette player for your TRS-80 Model I/III/4 Level I and II
Ok, the long promised Play CAS, finally.
Connect your TRS-80 cassette input to your PC soundcard. If you have the standard
TRS-80 cable plug the plug that normally goes into the 'Ear' output of a CCR-8x
into the PC's headphones output. Then use Play CAS to playback emulator CAS
files on the PC side while you CLOAD etc. on the TRS-80 side.
There is no automatic installation so you need to extract Play CAS and put
it somewhere on your harddisk for example C:\Program Files and create and create
references to it (Desktop icon, Quick launch and/or start menu). Shouldn't be too
tricky. It will work on Win95 and will use the soundcard through the windows drivers.
There is included a truetype font which you can install if you like. TRS-80.TTF
- it is the TRS-80 characterset as it is found on a Model I including the block
graphics (it has arrows instead of square brackets). Play CAS detects the
presence of the font and uses it if it is there. To install the font extract it.
Then go to Fonts in the Control Panel and Install New Font... it is named 'TRS-80'.
With the hyphen it will not conflict with previous TRS-80 fonts. The font is
adjusted for aspect so it will not match pixel by pixel however it is used (unless
you have a 384 by 192 compatible graphics mode). It definitely looks better with
font smoothing. Look at the screenshot above to see how it looks (96 dpi). Play CAS
will use the default monospaced font if it the TRS-80 font is not installed.
Loading a CAS file:
Start Play CAS and press the Open New button. Drag and drop a CAS file
on the dialogbox. Create an icon on your desktop and drag and drop a CAS file to
that icon. Make an association for CAS files to be opened by Play CAS.
If you enable Autoplay an opened file will start playing immediately. Autoplay
can only be enabled in the dialogbox.
CAS format files:
CAS file format is an efficient binary representation of cassette contents used
by emulators. Not all emulators use the CAS file format for Model III highspeed
but here Play CAS can help as it can save wav (options menu).
CAS file format does unfortunately not represent pauses thus if a software requires
pauses that was on the original tape Play CAS can't provide them.
Play CAS checks the CAS and to determine what type it is out of the
3 types available; Level 1, Level 2 and Highspeed. If this can't be determined
you will be asked. Unfortunately we have to put the limit somewhere and Play CAS
requires the headers to be at least 17 bytes (ROM requires 2 for Level 1
and 2 and 25 for highspeed). 16 00's and A5 or 16 55's and 7F.
Play CAS is now better than ACAS at analyzing CAS files. Saving text
is found in the options menu (see below).
||"250 Baud" Level 1 Model I/III
||"500 Baud" Level 2 Model I/III/4
||"1500 Baud" Model III/4
||Level 2 machinecode (SYSTEM command)
||Tokenized Level 2 basic CSAVE
||Microsoft EDTASM assembly source
||Untokenized Level 1 basic CSAVE
||Level 1 machinecode
Special case Level 1 CSAVE with no program "BIOS quirk" is detected but can't
be played, only saved as text. (Use a hex editor if you want to save a binary version.)
Anything else is considered "bad" and assumed to be data. It is of course not
possible to do any error checking as we know nothing about the rules that apply.
Unfortunately Scripsit save files and Level 2 basic saved as ASCII are still on the wish list.
They will be reported as bad but if they look ok they will probably load perfectly.
Multiple "files" in one CAS:
Is handled but have to be same type. No pause is inserted between "files". Play CAS
will ask you if a conflict or ambiguity arise. As there is no pause concept in
the CAS format it would be better to split such CAS files up. Some commercial
programs employ own loaders (Kansas and Micro-Ware), here the loader is started
automatically and loading of the data commence directly making it perfectly ok
to keep both parts in the same CAS file (the data part will be reported as bad
because it is not recognized).
Play CAS does have some extra items in the options menu obtainable
by left-clicking the little icon in the taskbar or right-clicking in the taskbar
of Play CAS. Save text means to save what is in the listing window
to a textfile. Save wav saves the audio output as a wav. Note that text will
be in PC format so for a TRS-80 to understand it some conversion is needed.
Explanation of the short status given for each "file" inside the CAS:
||the file is ok as far as we can see, should load well
||suspicious, something is legal but not typical
||not recognized or has serious errors
||not recognized but too short to be anything but garbage
Please remember that a badly disturbed file might be wrongly detected
There are no warranties of any kind! You use or don't use this software
at your own risk.
This version (v1.1) may experience problems on Win7/Vista. If download do not complete try the version (v1.2) below.
Because of a bug in the Win7/Vista audio drivers for some audio hardware I have created a workaround.
What happens is that my wav stops short some milliseconds, a few final bits for us.
So I have added some silence at the end of the wav.
Why haven't anybody else noticed... some milliseconds, human ear and brain is not capable of noticing.
To my Video Genie page