H8D Utility is a program with the purpose of managing disk images in
the H8D format. This is the format used for the Heathkit 8-bit
computers such as the H8 and H89. On this web site are several hundred disk images for
the Heathkit 8-bit computers.
The utility includes the following functionality:
disk images outputting to text or HTML files - Create
disk images by reading disks from a real Heathkit computer and
downloading the image over a serial port connection - Send
disk images to a real Heathkit computer over a serial port connection
and write them to a floppy disk - Send
disk images to and from a Semi-Virtual Disk drive (SVD) using the
integrated SVD control panel - Try
the disk images in the integrated H-89 emulator
This web page explains how to use the H8D Utility.
To use the utility for generating a catalog of the contents of all your
disk images, follow these steps:
Click the FOLDER
button and select a folder where your disk images reside. A list of
disk images will be shown on the left side panel.
Now select one or more disk images on the left side window and click
To generate a list of files from all of your disk images just leave
them all unselected when you click the CATALOG button.
the disk contents listed on the right side you can scroll through the
list, view any of the text files and extract any of the files to your
PC hard disk. Just select the file on the right side and click the VIEW or EXTRACT
button. When you extract a file it is stored in a folder with the name
of the disk image file and "_Files" appended to it. To extract all the
files from all the disk images just leave the files on the right side
unselected when you press the EXTRACT
To save a text or HTML file with the disk catalog just press one of the
SAVE TO TEXT
or SAVE TO HTML
buttons. A file will be generated with the contents of the right side
panel and saved to your hard disk. The file will be in the disk image
folder you selected on the left side (where the images are) with the
AND WRITE DISK IMAGES
H8D Utility also allows you to create H8D disk images. This is done
using Dwight Elvey's fantastic H89LDR program. The H8D Utility has many
of the H89LDR control program features built in. To use this feature
follow these steps.
First, load the H8D Utility and press the CREATE button.
The H89LDR program works by connecting your PC computer to your H8 or
H89 via a serial cable link. When you press the CREATE
button you will be presented with this screen where you can configure
the COM port to use for communicating with the Heathkit computer.
The next step is to press the Client
first you will see the above screen. No communications has been
established yet between your PC and the Heathkit computer. Now you
should follow Dwight's README file and key in one of the
following bootstrap programs:
Once the bootstrap program is entered and it is running on the Heathkit
computer you can press the SAVE
button to transmit the H89LDR client software. At this point the client
software is running on the Heathkit computer and if everything went
well you should see a "Client is ready" message in the log window. The
H8D Utility will then ask if you wish to save the H89LDR program on the
Heathkit computer to a disk so that you can boot directly to the loader
client. Make sure you have a formatted disk in the Heathkit computer
SY0 disk drive and select YES
to create the boot disk or NO
to skip this step.
Once communications has been established between the Heathkit computer
and your PC you can then click RECEIVE
to copy a disk from your Heathkit computer to your PC or SEND to copy a disk
from your PC to your Heathkit computer. Keep in mind that if you click SEND, once you
select an image file and answer YES
to start the process it will overwrite whatever disk is in your
Heathkit computer so make sure you have a blank or unimportant disk in
the SY0 drive.
THE SVD CONTROL PROGRAM
As of version 1.45 of the H8D Utility you can send
and receive disk images to and from the SVD
(Semi-Virtual Disk). To use the built-in SVD Control Program click on
button on the main screen.
window will appear with SVD controls where you can select the
COM port to use and whether or not to use 115200 baud. Without the
115200 box checked the default baud rate of 57600 is used. With my
particular PC the reliability is greatly increased by using the default
baud rate. When I check 115200 on my system I get errors when receiving
disk images but most of the time I can send images to the SVD just fine.
Once you select the COM port and baud rate click on the CHECK button to
connect to the SVD.
A connection message will appear along with the version of the SVD
firmware. SEND A DISK
IMAGE TO THE SVD
To send a disk image to the SVD click on the LOAD
button for the virtual drive you want to load the image to. A window
will appear where you can choose a disk image to use. Navigate to the
folder where the disk images are and select one of the files to send
then click the OPEN
button. You can also double-click the file.
is selected it will be immediately transmitted to the SVD and the SVD
will be started. Do this for each drive you want to populate.
the transfer is completed the SVD will be started. You can then begin
using the images from your Heathkit computer. If you want to populate
another virtual drive go ahead and click the LOAD button for that
drive and send the file. If you wish to re-send the current disk image
file to the SVD just click on the RELOAD
RECEIVE A DISK
IMAGE FROM THE SVD
To receive a disk image from the SVD click on the SAVE
button for the virtual drive that you want to copy the image
A window will appear so that you can choose where to save the file and
what to name it.
The image that is currently in that drive slot on the SVD
will be transmitted and saved to the PC.
NOTE ON FILE EXTENSIONS
The default format for disk images when sent and received is the SVD format.
All files will be saved with the ".SVD" extension. To save the file in
format just change the extension to be ".H8D" when you name
the file. It will then be converted from the SVD format
and then saved to the hard drive of your PC. You can also choose to
save it in the H17
text format by changing the extension to ".H17". The only supported
formats right now are SVD,
THE H-89 EMULATOR
H8D Utility has a built-in H-89 emulator so that you can try any of the
H8D disk images. The following operating
systems are supported with the current version of the emulator:
To launch the emulator click on the EMULATOR button.
H-89 emulator control panel will pop up.
From the control panel you can
load H8D disk images into any of the drive slots by clicking the drive
slot button (SY0
can also select a system ROM and output terminal to emulate. Note that
the output terminal is simulated, not emulated. By that I mean that it
does not actually use the terminal ROM (although it does use the
terminal FONT). It simply translates the ESC sequences for any
special cursor functions or graphic characters and displays them
accordingly. Most of
the time you'll use the defaults which are the 444-62 (MTR-89)
system ROM and H-19
terminal. Once you have loaded disk images you can click on the RUN
button and the output window will appear with the H-89 system prompt
"H:". From the system prompt you can execute several system ROM
commands but the primary use will be to boot to a disk operating system
such as HDOS or CP/M. To do this press the "B" key and press ENTER.
This will boot from the disk image that is loaded into the primary
device which is SY0.
you are booting from a distribution image of HDOS it may appear that
the system has hung but in fact it is waiting for you to press
so that the operating system can auto-detect your terminal baud rate.
After you press the SPACEBAR
the boot process will begin.
To learn more about the HDOS operating system download one of the operating
manuals from this web site. At the HDOS prompt you
can type CAT
to get a catalog of files, type in the name of any of the .ABS files
to execute them and MOUNT
disks. The boot drive is always assigned SY0 and the other two drives
are SY1 and SY2.
THE 2MHz CHECKBOX
back over to the control panel at anytime to change disk images or turn
on other features of the emulator. When playing games you will want to
make sure you turn on the 2MHz
checkbox so that the system runs close to the speed of the real system.
By default the button is not checked and the emulator runs at full
THE RESET BUTTON
the RESET button on the control panel to reset the emulation. This will
reset all the internal flags and reload the system ROM. This is the
same as pressing SHIFT-RESET on the real computer to issue a system
reset which will take you back to the system ROM prompt "H:".
THE DOOR BUTTON
There is a DOOR
button next to the drive slots (SY0 thru SY2). This simulates opening
the drive door on a real system. Some of the HDOS utilities would
auto-detect when you inserted a new disk by waiting for the drive door
to open. When you close the door it'll read the sector headers and
determine if a different disk has been inserted. If you run an HDOS
utility that says something like "Insert destination:" and waits there,
it is usually waiting for a new image to be inserted. You can then
click the DOOR
button (it now reads CLOSE), load a new disk image, and click the CLOSE button.
a drive slot button (SY0 thru SY2) turns yellow, that means the image
in memory is now dirty (it was written to). Click the yellow drive
button to save the "in-memory" image to the hard drive. Usually when
you change some HDOS parameters you'll want to save out a new disk
image so that the parameters will load the next time you boot.
drive density drop down box will determine the capacity of the disk for
that drive slot. You can choose from 1S/40T (one sided, 40 track 100KB)
all the way up to 2S/80T (two sided, 80 track 400KB). This option is
only useful when using a version of HDOS or CP/M that supports higher
capacity drives. In the H8D
Bootables zip file are bootable versions of HDOS and CP/M
that support this feature. IMPORTANT NOTE:
My emulator cannot auto-detect how the drives are configured from the
booted operating system so you need to know this information and setup
the drive capacities appropriately.
DRIVES USING HDOS
For HDOS, boot with either the HDOS_2-0_System_Hsy.h8d or
disk images. HDOS 2.0 supports higher capacity drives using the HUG SY
(HSY) device driver which is available on HUG disk part #885-1095. For
your convenience I already installed the HSY device driver in the
HDOS_2-0_System_Hsy disk image. Drives SY1 and SY2 are configured as
2S/80T drives for this disk image. HDOS 3.0 supports high capacity
drives natively so no special device drivers are required.
DRIVES USING CP/M
CP/M requires the BIOS-80 extension to support high capacity drives.
The installation of BIOS-80 is rather complicated so I setup a version
of CP/M 2.2.03 with the extension already installed and saved it as CPM_2-2-03_Bios80_Zcpr.h8d.
It is pre-configured with drive SY0 as a 1S/40T drive and drives SY1
and SY2 as 2S/80T drives. When you boot with the BIOS-80 disk image
make sure you change the drive capacity for SY1 and SY2 to be 2S/80T.
CAPACITY DISK IMAGES
In HDOS you run the INIT
program from the HSY system disk to format high capacity disk images.
Drives SY1 and SY2 are setup as 2S/80T drives and the INIT
program will ask if you want to format a double sided disk. If you
answer YES it will begin the format process for a 400KB disk image. If
you answer NO it will begin the format process for a 200KB (1S/80T)
disk image. When using the HSY system disk you can only write to 80
track disk images (one or two sided) but you can read both 40 and 80
In CP/M the FORMAT program does not work in my
emulator. To create an empty disk image all you have to do is select
the capacity for the drive you want to "format" (2S/80T for SY1 and
SY2) and type "ERA B:*.*" (for SY1) or "ERA C:*.*" (for SY2) and answer
"Y" to the "ALL" prompt. This will create a 400KB image and write out a
new directory structure to create an empty disk image. That's all you
need to do to setup a blank disk image in CP/M. In the H8D Bootables
zip file you'll find an empty disk image that has already been
formatted for use with BIOS-80 CP/M. It is called CPM_2-2-03_2S80T.H8D.
This concludes the basic operations of the H-89 emulator.