diagnostic cartridges found!

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MADrigal
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diagnostic cartridges found!

Post by MADrigal » Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:26 pm

I recently became the lucky owner of 2 incredible findings: a couple of cartridges originally used by Zanussi (Italian distributor of CreatiVision products) to test hardware.

The carts are the only ones that surfaced yet, but there may be more. In fact one cart tests CPU, the other tests keyboard input and video output. No carts were found to test sound, cassette tape player, RAM, VRAM and I/O module.

The "CPU" cart has a sticker with handwritten "CPU" on a sticker. The program accepts no inputs: it simply shows you the result of automatic CPU tests it does, and shows the list of working opcodes.

The "video + keyboard" cart has a sticker with handwritten "A-B" on sticker. Programs can be selected by operating a switch on the back of the cart shell. It's more interesting than the other for various reasons.
- both programs allow the user to operate with them: video tests proceeds as user hits any key; keyboard test displays all the typed letters, making the shape of a full keyboard.
- there's 2 EPROMs fitting in a single EPROM slot: one on the bottom of the PCB (as usually), the other on the top, having pins turned bottom-up to line-up with the correct power, address and data signals!

Additionally, orograms don't load all BIOS routines as games do (no CreatiVision logo shown at startup), and they use a unique font, that's probably included in the program ROMs.

Apparently, the carts were originally found at the Zanussi tech center, a few years ago, and also a typewritten instructions sheet was there. Maybe the guy who sold me the carts will find that manual, and hopefully he'll send me it.

We're currently about to dump the 3 EPROMs, and hopefully will release the ROMs for use with emulators sometimes soon. We're also planning to release the programs for use with real hardware, by fitting them in a new project, named "Diagnosticart". More infos on the website soon.
OZMA WARS
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Re: diagnostic cartridges found!

Post by OZMA WARS » Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:59 pm

hi there
last Sunday I finally had the possibility to stay in Milano and spent some times looking for the promised instructions to the diagnostic cartridges I recently supplied you.
I found many other Creativision boxed consoles I really forgot to have but, as I remember since 1995, many of them should not run. Also found many other copies of Crazy Chicky and Sonic Invader, most complete of box and instructions but no overlays. May be one day I will sell all these items as replacement parts. Also found many new Ping-o-tronic pong consoles, complete of rifle, but .. no instructions for the diagnostic carts.
Because I am used to separately collect carts, boxes, overlays and so on I am still optimist, may be those sheets ( that one old friend of mine remember well ) still somewhere with other paper.
May be, being that sheet a non-official one, I have mixed with same Basic listings of other home computers of that time.
I will revert you a.s.a.p.
ciao
Massimiliano
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MADrigal
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Re: diagnostic cartridges found!

Post by MADrigal » Wed Feb 04, 2009 2:03 pm

that's great news! i wait for more infos :)

ps. go introduce yourself immediately! :)
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