* CPU: Zilog Z80 2.2 MHz
* RAM: 16 KB, 32 KB with memory expansion
* ROM: 16 KB
* Text Modes: 40 columns x 25 lines (40 x 24 lines in 1982 model)
* Graphic Modes: 160 x 102 dots (160 x 100 dots in 1982 model)
* Colors: 16 (text mode), 4 (graphic mode)
* Sound: 3 channels (AY-8910)
* I/O Ports: RS232, Joystick (2), Light Pen, RGB, Audio
* Keyboard: Typewriter style, 63 keys with 4 function keys
* Peripherals: Light-pen, parallel printer, floppy disc drives with disk operating system ROM
* Built in speaker and level display
* Built in Language: Microsoft BASIC
Currently, MESS supports cart dumps, cassette tapes and floppy disks for the cgenie. Cart dumps have to be in .rom format and can be emulated using the "cartridge" (cart) device. Below you can find informations on tapes and disks. Cassettes
MESS supports cassette tapes in .cas format. You can use the "cassette" (cass) device to run them, e.g. using at command line
mess cgenie -cass "C:\pathtogame\gamename.cas"
From within the emulation you can use either
commands to read images:
CLOAD loads a file named BASIC(N).CAS, where (N) is the character you supplied
(e.g., CLOAD"M" loads BASICM.CAS)
CLOAD is for BASIC type tapes only. It should work if you have a BASIC *.cas file.
File "names" in that case are _one_ character in length (inside the emulation). In your
roms/cgenie folder the names will be basicA.cas, basicB.cas and so on. If you CSAVE"A you'll
see a file basicA.cas later and you can CLOAD"A it again.
To load a binary image there was a different command: SYSTEM, which supports 6 character filenames.
When you enter the SYSTEM command, you will see a prompt looking like this:
and there you can enter a name of up to six (wow!) characters. E.g.
This will start loading a file named chop16.cas if it is in your rompath. If you don't have
it... well, wait and see (nothing ;) )
If you have it, you'll see two stars
in the upper right corner. The right one will twinkle after every couple of bytes loaded, every 254 I think.
After several minutes you'll see the prompt again
(slash) and press ENTER and the program will be started at its defined run address. If
a program does not have a run address, you could also specify
to run from a specific value... Floppy Disks
MESS supports up to four floppy drives for disks in .dsk format. Each drive corresponds to a device, "floppydisk1" (flop1) to "floppydisk4" (flop4). To run a .dsk image you can launch at command line
mess cgenie -flop1 "C:\pathtogame\gamename.dsk"
When the emulation starts, tap [ENTER] and also confirm the following
After that you're in BASIC (DISK BASIC, to be exact, unless you disable cgdos.rom via the dip switches).
Now you can use the DISK BASIC extensions to issue commands. Most important
display inventory, disk# is optional and can be from 0 to 3.
You can use CMD"I0" to "CMDI3" to get an inventory of drive 0 to 3.
to start a binary executable (e.g. to start paint/cmd, type cmd"s paint/cmd) or use
to load a basic program.
CMD"Sname/cmd will start a binary file name/cmd from any disk
CMD"Limage/bin:3 will load image/bin from disk 3
As you see, you can omit the blank between cmd"s and the filename.
To ease things you could also enable my DOS lookalike frontend ;) It's contained in newe000.rom (2,772 bytes; CRC 953491a7) but not enabled by default. If you enable it you can type HELP (hehe ;) and DIR and simply give a name to execute a binary file.
The optional newe000.rom is loaded if the corresponding "dip switch" is set from within the driver itself. There is no need to specify this ROM on the command line. Controls
The Colour Genie had two Joystick, each one features a 12-keys keypad below the stick. The keypad layout is the following
* 0 #
7 8 9
4 5 6
1 2 3 Keyboard
This system requires full keyboard emulation to work correctly. At startup, full keyboard emulation mode is enabled by default. Whilst in full keyboard emulation mode, some key associated functionality may be disabled (like the ESC key for EXIT). The keyboard emulation mode is toggled using the "Scroll Lock" key (by default).
RST 1! 2" 3# 4$ 5% 6& 7' 8( 9) 0 :* CLEAR BREAK RST F1
RPT up Q W E R T Y U I O P @ left right F2
CTRL down A S D F G H J K L ;+ -= RETURN F3
LOCK SHIFT Z X C V B N M ,< .> /? SHIFT F4
MODSEL SPACE Miscellaneous
Under the "Options" menu, accessible by hitting TAB, there are three settings:
"Floppy Disc Drives" - enable or disable floppy disc controller.
"DOS ROM C000-DFFF" - enable 8K DOS ROM or make it RAM.
"EXT ROM E000-EFFF" - enable 4K Extension ROM or make it RAM. RAM options
Different RAM configurations are possible for the cgenie in MESS. You can switch between them, changing the -ramsize parameter. At command line, you simply have to add ''-ramsize ram_value'', where //ram_value// can assume one of the following values
* Startup with CAS or CMD images does not always work. Use the BASIC SYSTEM or CLOAD commands to read cassette image files, or use the Colour Genie DOS ROM with floppy disc images to run programs. The driver does not yet emulate the printer port mode for AY-3-8910. Right now it always uses the AY-3-8910 ports for joystick emulation.
* The Colour Genie driver should run most of the known programs out there. It supports the Motorola 6845 CRT controller with text and graphics modes (LGR and FGR), the AY-3-8910 sound chip with three audio channels and noise and the WD 179x floppy disc controller with up to four virtual floppy disc drives contained in image files.
* Emulation of dual Colour Genie joysticks with keypads is also supported.
* Cassette emulation currently broken
History and Trivia
The Colour Genie was the successor of the Genie 1, Genie 2 and Genie 3. It was intended to compete with the Tandy Color Computer although it was not at all compatible with its model (Z80 microprocessor instead of a Motorola 6809 in the CoCo)
The graphic resolution wasn't as good as the CoCo, furthermore it was not possible to mix characters and graphics.
However, the machine was reliable and solidly built. It featured a good mechanical keyboard and even a little level display located above the keyboard, which allowed to set the recording level of the tape recorder to improve reliability when writing onto a tape.
(info from old-computers.com)
* Colour Genie at old-computers.com -- http://old-computers.com/museum/computer.asp?c=128
* German Information Page -- http://www.colourgenie.de.vu
* Colour Emu -- http://www.colourgenie.de.vu by Burkhard Lehner and Stephan Scholz (original web page not available)
* cgenie -- http://www.colourgenie.de.vu by Jürgen Buchmüller (original web page not available)