I recently discovered an original brochure for the Epson PX-8 system and accessories. In it is an image of the PX-8, along with the CX-21 acoustic coupler, the PF-10 FDD, and two printers, the P-80 and P-40. I was pretty sure I had at least one of all these items kicking around in my collection of retro gear. It occurred to me it would be fun to try to recreate the aforementioned shot given that almost 30 years had elapsed since it was originally taken.
I delved into my many boxes of gear and pulled out everything I needed. It was then I realised there was one item that didn’t match, what I’d thought was a P-80 is in actual fact a P-80X which varies slightly in appearance. Its plastic has also yellowed much more than the other peripherals and looks particularly bad when seen alongside what was my ‘new in the box’ PX-8. I’m now wondering whether I should perhaps consider a session of Retr0brighting, one of those things I’ve always wanted to do but have never taken the dip.
I’ve always had a thing for portable printers and I’m particularly fond of the P-40 and P-80X. Mine are both in fine working order although I’m unable to hook up the P-40 to my Epson gear as it has a parallel interface as opposed to the P-80X which is serial/RS232.
The P-40 requires thermal paper rolls, the P-80X can apparently print on either thermal or plain paper, I can vouch for the latter. I’m now wondering whether it would be fun to hook it up to the PX-8 and use it as a kind of Teletype with all output going to the printer. Anyway I digress. I arranged all the peripherals as laid out in the original picture and took a quick test shot with which I’m reasonably pleased.
Thus far then not a great deal of challenge on the actual retro front. Time to think of something fiendishly difficult to fail at. That beginner’s guide to CP/M assembly in the above shot has caught my eye, I believe it came with my C128D and I’ve never properly looked at it.