I was fortunate to land my dream job after college, working in the computer games industry at Software Creations, a small studio owned by Richard Kay and Mike Webb.

The Tatung Einstein TC-01 was the workhorse for the software developers. The source code was typed up and assembled on the Einstein, and the resultant binary code was squirted down a serial or parallel port to the target machine. There were two assemblers, Z80 and 6502, originally written by Mike Webb and Ste Ruddy.

The advantage of this is that the source code could be saved onto the relatively safe 3″ disk format used by the Einstein. The only code that needed to be loaded onto the target machine were game assets and a relatively small (in the order of 100 bytes) boot loader that would listen out for data on the serial or parallel port and write it into memory.

The Tatung I own was purchased in March 2022 from a chap on eBay for £150 plus £20 postage for the sole purpose of reading a number of 3″ disks donated to me by Tim Follin. I was originally going to purchase a 3″ drive and use Greaseweazle, but the drives are now like hen’s teeth, and it wasn’t much more expensive just buying a complete Einstein.

The Tatung came in the original box, though the box is a bit tatty and the polystyrene inserts have seen better days. I was a bit worried it would get smashed in transit because it is rather large, yet the seller packaged it really well and it arrived in one piece.

Anyway, I managed to read a lot of the data off the disks over to PC using a serial cable…

Tim and Geoff’s source files are available to download from my GitHub, along with a handful of in-house tools, mainly assemblers, and more details on the technique and tools employed to transfer the files across.

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