I have some PDFs of scanned source listings for my Pied Piper Communicator's bootstrap and CP/M BIOS ROMs.

The question is, am I dedicated enough to to transcribe/OCR/edit this stuff back into a machine-readable form and then try to compile them, write fresh ROMs and disks and see if I can get the machine to boot from them?

I think I might be.

These source listings all came with the machine in a binder. There's no licence mentioned anywhere, it looks like it was kind of assumed that if you owned the machine then you got ROM sources - but was it purely for reference or was modification an expectation? What about redistribution?

I suspect nobody cares nowadays, but I've got to wonder who owns the rights to this stuff now.

@stibbons kinda sorta. Initial tests show there's very little clear distinction between zero and O, both of which are fucking everywhere.

@mike Dang. Looking closer, things like `000D` on that page might be a struggle too.

@stibbons @mike I think OCR followed by line-by-line comparison is still going to be the best bet.

@s0 @stibbons @mike Speaking of OCR, I see that you are being quoted in New Scientist, now that they have fired all their subeditors.

@mike I will be cheering you on from the other side of the world because that sort of dedication deserves an audience.

@mike C'mon, we both know that you are 100% dedicated enough to do that. 😂

@mike oh! i facilitated a talk at FOSDEM for a program which will automatically OCR your source code listings for you!


@djsundog Yeah, there has to be a later part to the story than that, because the Pied Piper itself was launched in 1982 (way too late to be a success really but that's another thing entirely), and I've got a copy of a dealer info document from '83 including a warranty card - so STM was definitely around at least until then. Never got around to chasing that part of history though.

@mike yeah, it's STM Electronics out of Menlo Park, not STM Electronics d/b/a STM Systems out of New Hampshire - my bad lol

@mike I did find the last entry in California's corp db for them in 1986, but still no hint of the final disposition of corp assets that I can find anywhere

@djsundog It was a bit tricky trying to casually look for info on them last time I tried because of the manufacturers of the STM32 stuff, who started in the 80s and are still very much alive.

I'm sure someone who knows about US business records etc could figure it out in no time, but I'm just a guy on the other side of the planet with nothing more sophisticated than Google at my disposal. :awesome:

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