Yet another computer museum -
The Epson PX-8
Thanks to Will Rose and Don Maslin I am able to enrich these pages with
some very nice software, PXVFS.
The PX8VFS program written by Will Rose emulates up to four
PF-10 disks on an MS-DOS or OS/2 system
via the serial port. The PX-8 sees them as D:, E:, F: and G:.
The PX8UTY program is used to create and maintain the images
(directory listing, copying from and to the file system, deleting files)
What do you need (apart from the PX-8 and the software below)?
- At least a PC with MS-DOS and a modern serial port. Most older pre
486 PC's come with serial ports based on the 8250 or 16450 chip. This
will not work with PX8VFS. Newer PC's, typically the ones with serial
ports integrated onto the main board have the newer 16550 chip or a
compatible part. There are also 16550 based ISA cards.
The first 16550's produced had some production faults, which made
them unusable for the high speed operation they were designed for.
These older, faulty chip probably don't work with PX8VFS, but they are
quite rare these days. More info on the NS16550 bug can be found in
Linux Hardware Combatibility HOWTO (see
- A cable. The cable to connect the serial port (not the RS232-C) to the
PC is the #724 cable in the manual, combined with an adapter. See the
chapter 4 preview for more
info on Epson cables. The adapter info is in the PX8VFS documentation.
Note that the #724 cable in combination with the adapter is equivalent
to the #725 cable. These cables are originally intended for use with the
RS-232C port, but can be used for PX8VFS on the serial port too.
Maybe you can order these cables from Epson, but DIY is probably cheaper.
The 8 pin mini-DIN is the same as used in the Apple Macintosh RS-422
ports (printer and modem port in Mac-speak).
Sofar I tested the DOS version of PX8VFS on three computers.
- A 80286 Toshiba T3200 portable (with 16550 card) and DOS 5.0:
- this works, but at about microcassette speed.
- An Asus TX97 with AMD K6-200 200MHz 64 MByte and Windows 98:
- here I could read the disks, but not write them. A BAD SECTOR message
on the PX-8.
- An Intel? 486 board and DOS 6.22:
- this works OK.
Below a 'screenshot' of PX8VFS running on an inadequate machine.
- PX8.ZIP Four images of disks.
- PX8DSK.ZIP Two more images with utilities.
- PX8VFS.ZIP The main suite, containing the
actual emulator, maintenance utility and documentation.
Will maintains the software and welcomes bug reports.
His email address is (spam safe mode) cwr_AT_crash.cts.com
PX8VFS is free software but the copyright is held by Will Rose. As
the MS-DOS source contains third party copyrighted software, it is not
available. More info is in the official documentation of the PX8VFS suite.
Back to main PX-8 page
Latest update: 2012-02-02