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


Welcome to Web 8201!    Here you will find megabytes of file downloads, technical documents, links to important resources, and much more!    Check out the Model "T" Forums for answers to common questions.    Thank you for visiting!

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:

 
Memory Map Database! Posted: 7/19/2017
I've finally created a memory map database and imported my original NEC <-> M100 memory map cross reference data. This will be a community-managed database! If you a registered member on Web 8201, you can add new entries and edit existing ones as long as you are logged in.

Eventually I will have export capabilities that let you create .SYM files for disassemblers, and other include files as needed, to permit robust ROM and .CO software examination.

Supported platforms: TRS-80 Model 100/102, NEC PC-8201A/8300, Olivetti M-10, Tandy 200, and Kyocera K-85. Feel free to check it out, and contribute if you can. We need more cross reference data to these other platforms and your help will be essential in this effort!


Who says your Model T can only have one Option ROM at a time? Posted: 3/14/2016
REX - The ultimate option ROM/RAM add-on! Tired of only having one option ROM installed in your Model 100 or NEC? Introducing REX, the add-on that plugs right into your existing ROM socket and delivers 768 Kbytes of flexible flash storage, all selectable by some very robust software written by Steve Adolph. You need one of these babies. Visit Club 100 to place an order!

  • Fits into your standard Option ROM socket
  • Stores up to 768 KBytes of ROM images, selectable via software
  • Available for the Model 100, Model 102, and Model 200. (NEC version called the "REX3" also available for special order -- contact Stephen Adolph directly.)
  • Priced at US$60 each


Alive and kicking! Posted: 3/14/2016
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, sadly, Web 8201 was gone for a few years, for two reasons: The web server hardware died, and at the time I let the domain name lapse as well. In fact my retro-computing hobby went on extended hiatus, which is something I didn't expect. A few years later and I find myself here: Missing the entire vintage notebooks community. Therefore resurrection of Web 8201 had to happen. Further, it is how hosted at an actual hosting *service*, and there's no more risk of my own personal hardware meeting an untimely quest for the after-life! No sir!

My apologies for being away for so long. I only hope that Web 8201's resurrection is met with enthusiasm by anyone out there still playing with NEC and Tandy vintage laptops.

Take care, all!


Ken Pettit''s NADSbox revolutionizes storage for your laptop Posted: 5/25/2009
is here!New Age Digital Storage Box ... Solid state storage to a media card which can be read on a PC! It simply plugs into the RS232 port and is accessed by TS-DOS just like a TPDD/TPDD2 disk drive. Now you can share information on any SD card between your Model "T" and your desktop PC. If you want one (and who wouldn't?), head over to Club 100 and place an order. Tell them Gary from Web8201 sent ya! This thing is completely compatible with your TRS-80 Model 100/102/200, NEC PC-8201A & PC-8300, and Tandy WP-2. The combination of the NADSBox and TS-DOS together gives you full multi-layer subdirectory access to all of your files. Throw away that old dusty and half-dead Tandy Portable Disk Drive, and say hello to the 21st century of storage for your 20th century laptop!.

  • Comes with a 512Mb SD card equivalent to the storage capacity of 5,242 TPDD floppies! However, it can support up to a 16Gb SD card (that's 167,772 floppies!)
  • Connects to your computer via the serial port just like TPDD/TPDD2
  • You can read more about it at Ken Pettit's site, and in an article by Shaun Wheeler

Announcing Web 8201's Model ''T'' Forums Posted: 12/7/2007
The old Web 8201 Community BBS hosted on ezboard.com has been retired!

Gone are those pesky ads & annoying mouse-over popups. Yep, it was time to get serious about this forum and finally host it right where it had always meant to be: Here on this web site.

Have a look, and please register for an account. Its easy, all you will need to do is click on the link that gets emailed to you in order to become activated.

Just click 'Web 8201's Model "T" Forums' in the menu on the left. Let''s get this party started!


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
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.

Fun with an EPROM burner... Posted: 11/12/2007
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.


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!

Replacement NEC System ROM --- With LINE() command! Posted: 11/14/2004
For those of you familiar with running any type of graphics program or game on the NEC, you probably know about the LINE(x,y)-(x1,y1) command. And if you know about the LINE command, you also must know that LINE.CO is required implement the command in N82-Basic. The TRS-80 Model 100 has the command built in, but the guys at NEC pulled the LINE code from the system ROM in favor of a larger BASIC interpreter.

For years I''d been dreaming of a way to embed the LINE code in the system ROM. But the machine code that implements the LINE command in BASIC takes about 200 bytes of space, and the NEC system ROM is jam packed.. I would have to replace 200 bytes of existing code in order to accomplish what I wished. I am certainly not willing to live without TEXT or TELCOM!! So it was not going to be easy. Not only that, but it was doubtful that I could find large, contiguous chunks of reclaimable space even if I *could* decide what features I wanted to obliterate.

Finally, I was able to come up with a scheme that satisfied the requirements. I never use the cassette anymore, and neither do I use the bar-code reader interface. I was able to split the LINE code in half, and divide it between the areas that support those two interfaces.

A bit of additional modification to the cold-start routine, to point the H.GLINE hook in upper memory to my ROM-based LINE machine code, and voila! LINE is now always available!

If you really have no need to use the bar-code reader, and you would never use a cassette recorder for storage, then you too can gain the benefit of having the LINE command built into BASIC. Say goodbye to loading LINE.CO into your precious RAM again! Contact me if you would like either the ROM image or a ready-to-use burned EPROM. Take care!


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.


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.



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The Original Laptop Computer . . . 1983

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