The Web 8201 Project

Supporting NEC PC-8201A / PC-8300
Laptop Computer Owners Since 1999

This little corner of cyberspace is dedicated to supporting the NEC PC-8201A & PC-8300 laptops. These, along with their sister machines (TRS-80 Model 100 & 102, Olivetti M-10, Kyocera KC85) represent the world's first laptop computers. They might have been first on the block, but their usefulness remains even today. They're only 3.4 pounds, and the size of a 3-ring binder. There is no boot-up time -- as soon as you turn it on, you're at the main menu where you can select programs and data files. They can store a good amount of text, so you can write anything from simple notes to letters to book chapters. You can format and print it out directly by attaching a printer, or you can upload it to your desktop through the serial port. You can write programs. You can play games. You can dial into BBS's and other on-line services. You can use it as a calculator. You can create spreadsheets. You can track appointments and meetings. You can do MANY of the tasks other people do with their $2000 Windows laptop computers, and yet it runs continuously for over 18 hours on four AA batteries.

Current news from the Web 8201 project:

 
NEC Option ROMs Posted: 1/20/2008
The four NEC option ROMs that are available from Club 100 are now also downloadable as hex images. If you have access to an EPROM burner and have a stash of 27C256 EPROM chips, you can burn these images onto your own chips and insert them right into the Option ROM socket of your NEC PC-8201A or PC-8300! Documentation is also available. Just check out the NEC Option ROM Images area within the file download section. Of course, they are also still available for purchase at $35.00 each from Club 100 for those that don't have an EPROM burner. Enjoy!

Ultrascreen100, an amazing software utility Posted: 11/23/2007
Ultrascreen100 was the most significant display enhancement ever to come along for the Model 100. It switches your display into a smaller font and gives you 60 columns by 10 lines, and as you can see from the screenshot in the picture gallery , it is still perfectly legible even with the reduced font size. That's 600 characters you get on the screen at one time, versus the standard 320. Even more, the Ultrascreen100 software was *very* smoothly integrated with the machine. The Main menu is always in the standard 40x8 mode, but when you jump into BASIC, TEXT, or TELCOM, you automatically switch into the 60x10 mode. Compared to Travelling Software's View80, which only gives you a 60x8 screen and requires activation through an extra step in their ROM software, Ultrascreen100 was clearly the better choice. If you have a Model 100 and you're interested in this utility, it is now freely available for download .

Now wait a minute, why am I on the subject of a Model 100 program here at Web 8201? *HUGE smirk* Well, you see, it's like this: A fortunate series of events has recently gotten me in touch with Daniel Born, the author of this software. If you know me, and my history in the Model T computing community, then I probably don't even need to mention what is about to come into reality. All I can say is, stay tuned! There's more news to be told in the near future.


New NEC Technical Documents Posted: 11/13/2007 8:43:20 AM
A few new documents have been added to the Technical Docs . Finally, the most comprehensive collection of hardcore reference material on the NEC PC-8201A & PC-8300 is now available in PDF format! PC-8200 Technical Notes, NEC PC-8201A Service Manual w/Schematics, NEC PC-8201A Technical Reference, and NEC PC-8300 Technical Reference are the new additions. Everything from software through hardware is covered in exquisite detail. These documents are a must have if you''re interested in doing low level machine-code programming or hardware modifications to your NEC.

Tips on creating software that runs across multiple Model-T platforms Posted: 1/2/2005
The "Model-T" name is used to refer to the entire family of the Kyocera notebooks, which include the TRS-80 Model 100 and the NEC PC-8201A.

The two BASIC dialects differ slightly, along with their ROM & upper-RAM addresses. However, it certainly is possible to write a program that runs on both platforms, completely unchanged. If you''re interested in this concept, check out this page: Designing Cross-Compatible programs for the Model 100 & NECs .


Announcing the NEC PC-8401A / PC-8500 File Area! Posted: 11/21/2004
Web8201 now has a file download area for the CP/M based vintage notebooks from NEC, known as the PC-8401A (Starlet) and PC-8500. If you have any technical information or a collection of files that you would like to submit, please contact me at my email address listed at the bottom of this page. Your contributions will be much appreciated!

Vintage Notebooks Web Ring! Posted: 4/1/2004
We are now part of the newly-created Vintage Notebooks Web Ring! You'll be able to easily browse to other Model "T" notebook web sites through ring navigation links on all of the sites that are members of the ring. Discover who else is out there! After you're done browsing here, click on the "Next" link at the bottom of this page.

Alive and kicking! Posted: 3/12/2004
I know you've not heard much from me lately, but I wanted to assure you of something: Yes, I'm still alive! And since Web 8201's fate is inseparably tied to mine, this site is still here as well.

But indeed, there were a couple of weeks of downtime. Let me just say that my web server succeeded in its untimely quest for the afterlife. Resurrection was inevitable, of course. Hence, you're reading these words.

What's new: The Technical Docs area has a new addition regarding the NEC's SIO1 and SIO2 ports, thanks to Michael Hansen.

The Support Resources and Links pages have been updated -- the dead links are gone.

Finally, the file download menus have been cleaned up a bit. We now have 3 root categories: Web 8201's collection, the Club 100 mirror, and the Model 100 SIG.

Please sign the guestbook ! Let me know you're out there!! It's lonely here in cyberspace, you know. (Well, okay, not really, but it sounds good. :)

Take care, all!


Replacement system ROMs Posted: 3/29/2003
If you've obtained the NEC PC-8201A or PC-8300, but it has a custom system ROM because it was used in some dedicated application, there really isn't much you can do with the machine. What you really need is a replacement system ROM that has the original NEC operating system.

I can help you with this! Just contact me at the email address shown at the bottom of this page and we can work out the details.


Fun with an EPROM burner... Posted: 1/1/2003
It's not an incredible breakthrough, but it's kind of fun... I've burned personalized system ROMs for my NEC PC-8201 and PC-8300. Check out the Picture Gallery to see a screen shot. Along with my name on the menu screen, I've "fixed" the year so it displays "20" as the first two digits on the main menu instead of "19". It's purely a cosmetic change, but I really got tired of my NEC displaying "1901". Also, on a cold start the machine defaults to "01/01/01" instead of "83/01/01". I know, this isn't terribly important but hey, I'm going for feel here!

12/7/2002 Update -- I've also been able to accomplish the same for my Tandy Model 100! This was a bit more tricky, as the Model 100's System ROM socket is not pin-for-pin compatible with a 27C256 EPROM like the NEC's socket is. I had to build a pin-swapping socket adapter. If you're ambitious with little electronics projects, check out the "Model 100 Y2K Fix" in the Technical Docs section.


File Library Posted: 12/16/2002
I've recently expanded this area quite a bit. The M100 SIG library is now online! This SIG was a forum that served the Kycoera-laptop community (Tandy Model 100/102/200/600/WP2, NEC's, Kyo-85, Olivetti M-10). There is literally over 23 megabytes of files in this library. I also have the entire library in a .ZIP file for easy download for those with high-bandwidth internet connections. The entire Club 100 library (from www.club100.org) is also now mirrored here.

NEC Users: If you've found a program in any of the Model 100 libraries that you're interested in, it is quite possible that the program can be converted to run on your NEC. Check out the "BASCON" and "BINCON" programs in the "DOS" file download area. These aid in the conversion of BASIC and machine language programs. I'm also certainly willing to assist in program conversions, just ask.


Custom Option ROMs Posted: 7/7/2001
WEB 8201 now provides the service of creating custom option ROMs for the NEC PC-8201A and PC-8300 computers. Click on "Custom Option ROMs!" on the menu for more details.

Model 100 to NEC Program Conversion Posted: 1/20/1999
I have finally finished the new version of "BASCON", my Model 100 to NEC program conversion software. This conversion program runs on a regular PC and takes any ASCII saved BASIC programs and changes all of the PRINT@ statements to the appropriate LOCATE X,Y statements for the NEC. It also attempts to convert any CALL addresses to the NEC equivalents, as well as PEEK and POKE addresses. This is a major step in ease of conversion of Model 100 programs to the NEC computers. Check out BASCON.ZIP in the File Downloads area.

NEC / Model 100 Memory Map Cross Reference Posted: 1/20/1999
The M100/NEC RAM/ROM address cross reference table is complete! I've been able to convert the important common ROM entry and upper-RAM addresses using the various M100/102 memory maps and a disassembly of both the M100 and NEC's ROMs. It is available in the Technical Docs area.







The Original Laptop Computer . . . 1983


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