Amstrad CP/M Plus character set

The Amstrad CP/M Plus character set (alternatively known as PCW character set or ZX Spectrum +3 character set) refers to a group of 8-bit character sets introduced by Amstrad/Locomotive Software for use in conjunction with their adaptation of Digital Research's CP/M Plus[1] on various Amstrad CPC / Schneider CPC and Amstrad PCW / Schneider Joyce machines.[2][3] The character set was also utilized on the Amstrad ZX Spectrum +3 since 1987.[1]

At least on the ZX Spectrum +3 it existed in eight language-specific variants (based on ISO/IEC 646) depending on the selected locale of the system, with language 0 being the default for "US".[4]

Another slight variant of the character set was used by LocoScript.[5][6]

Character set

Amstrad CP/M Plus character set (Language 0)[1][3]
_0 _1 _2 _3 _4 _5 _6 _7 _8 _9 _A _B _C _D _E _F
0_
0

221D

2299
Γ
0393
Δ
0394

2297
×
00D7
÷
00F7

2238
Π
03A0

2193
Σ
03A3

2190

2192
±
00B1

2194
Ω
03A9
1_
16
α
03B1
β
03B2
γ
03B3
δ
03B4
ε
03B5
ζ
03B6
η
03B7
θ
03B8
λ
03BB
μ
03BC
π
03C0
ρ
03C1
σ
03C3
τ
03C4
φ
03C6
χ
03C7
2_
32
SP
0020
!
0021
"
0022
#
0023
$
0024
%
0025
&
0026
'
0027
(
0028
)
0029
*
002A
+
002B
,
002C
-
002D
.
002E
/
002F
3_
48
0[a]
0030
1
0031
2
0032
3
0033
4
0034
5
0035
6
0036
7
0037
8
0038
9
0039
:
003A
;
003B
<
003C
=
003D
>
003E
?
003F
4_
64
@
0040
A
0041
B
0042
C
0043
D
0044
E
0045
F
0046
G
0047
H
0048
I
0049
J
004A
K
004B
L
004C
M
004D
N
004E
O
004F
5_
80
P
0050
Q
0051
R
0052
S
0053
T
0054
U
0055
V
0056
W
0057
X
0058
Y
0059
Z
005A
[
005B
\
005C
]
005D

2192
_
005F
6_
96
`
0060
a
0061
b
0062
c
0063
d
0064
e
0065
f
0066
g
0067
h
0068
i
0069
j
006A
k
006B
l
006C
m
006D
n
006E
o
006F
7_
112
p
0070
q
0071
r
0072
s
0073
t
0074
u
0075
v
0076
w
0077
x
0078
y
0079
z
007A
{
007B
|
007C
}
007D
~
007E
0[a]
0030
8_
128

25FE

2567

255F

255A

2564

2551

2554

2560

2562

255D

2550

2569

2557

2563

2566

256C
9_
144
·
00B7

2575

2576

2514

2577

2502

250C

251C

2574

2518

2500

2534

2510

2524

252C

253C
A_
160
ª
00AA
º
00BA
°
00B0
£
00A3
©
00A9

00B6
§
00A7

2020
¼
00BC
½
00BD
¾
00BE
«
00AB
»
00BB

20A7
¿
00BF
¡
00A1
B_
176
ƒ
0192
¢
00A2
¨
00A8
´
00B4
ˆ
02C6

2030

215B

215C

215D

215E
ß
00DF

25CB

2022
¥
00A5
®
00AE

2122
C_
192
Á
00C1
É
00C9
Í
00CD
Ó
00D3
Ú
00DA
Â
00C2
Ê
00CA
Î
00CE
Ô
00D4
Û
00DB
À
00C0
È
00C8
Ì
00CC
Ò
00D2
Ù
00D9
Ÿ
0178
D_
208
Ä
00C4
Ë
00CB
Ï
00CF
Ö
00D6
Ü
00DC
Ç
00C7
Æ
00C6
Å
00C5
Ø
00D8
Ñ
00D1
Ã
00C3
Õ
00D5

2265

2264

2260

2243
E_
224
á
00E1
é
00E9
í
00ED
ó
00F3
ú
00FA
â
00E2
ê
00EA
î
00EE
ô
00F4
û
00FB
à
00E0
è
00E8
ì
00EC
ò
00F2
ù
00F9
ÿ
00FF
F_
240
ä
00E4
ë
00EB
ï
00EF
ö
00F6
ü
00FC
ç
00E7
æ
00E6
å
00E5
ø
00F8
ñ
00F1
ã
00E5
õ
00F3

21D2

21D0

21D4

2261

Language variants

  • Language 0: USA
  • Language 1: France
  • Language 2: Germany
  • Language 3: UK
  • Language 4: Denmark
  • Language 5: Sweden
  • Language 6: Italy
  • Language 7: Spain[4]

In languages 1 to 7, certain characters in the range 0..127 are swapped with characters in the range 128..255 of the character set, according to the following table:[4]

[4] 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
0x23 # # # £ # # # Pt
0x40 @ à § @ @ É @ @
0x5B [ º Ä [ Æ Ä º ¡
0x5C \ ç Ö \ Ø Ö \ Ñ
0x5D ] § Ü ] Å Å é ¿
0x5E ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ Ü ^ ^
0x60 ` ` ` ` ` é ù `
0x7B { é ä { æ ä à ¨
0x7C | ù ö | ø ö ò ñ
0x7D } è ü } å å è }
0x7E ~ ¨ ß ~ ~ ü ì ~

See also

Notes

  1. ^ a b Code point 0x30 is intended for zero with a slash, 0x7F for zero without a slash. Both can be expressed as Unicode character U+0030, but of course if both are converted to the same code point the conversion is non-reversible.

References

  1. ^ a b c "Appendix II: CP/M Plus character sets / II.1 The complete character set (Language 0)". Spectrum +3 CP/M Plus manual (User Manual). Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2017-07-10. [1]
  2. ^ Elliott, John C. (2015-04-04). "Amstrad Extended BIOS Internals". Seasip.info. Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  3. ^ a b "Amstrad CP/M Plus character set". Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
  4. ^ a b c d "Chapter 4.5 Selecting the appropriate national language". Spectrum +3 CP/M Plus manual (User Manual). Archived from the original on 2009-10-15. Retrieved 2017-07-10. […] The selection of characters made available on computers sold in different countries are subject to national variations. As a result, CP/M has different national language versions of the screen characters. […] Immediately after […] load […] it is set up to use the US character set […] The codes CP/M uses are […] in the range 0...255 […] A handful of these codes represent different characters, depending on which national language is selected. […] All the different national language versions of CP/M are supported on the Spectrum +3 and a special utility has been incorporated into the CP/M system to allow the user to swap from one national language to another. This is the LANGUAGE utility. […] The 'standard' set of codes and characters represented by these codes is the US character set. What happens in the other language versions is that certain codes in the first half of the character set (0...127) are associated with characters that are in the second half of the US character set and vice versa. In fact a straight swap is made between the code used for the special language character, and the character it substitutes. For example, in the US character set, the code for £ is #A3: when English is selected, £ replaces # as the character with code #23 - and # replaces £ as the character with code #A3. […] [2]
  5. ^ Elliott, John C. (2016-04-16). "LocoScript 1 file format". Seasip.info. Archived from the original on 2017-07-15. Retrieved 2017-07-15. […] In the text, characters 0x00-0x7F and 0xA0-0xFF are printable, using the PCW character set. This is the same character set used by CP/M on the Spectrum +3. Characters 0x80-0x9F are markup codes: […]
  6. ^ "LogoScript". Archived from the original on 2017-03-17. Retrieved 2017-07-15. […] At least in the PCW versions, the Amstrad CP/M Plus character set was used for the text portions, except that the C1 controls range was used for control codes (different ones from the C1 control standard, which probably didn't exist yet) instead of the graphical characters of the CPM/PLUS set. […]

Further reading

Amstrad CPC

The Amstrad CPC (short for Colour Personal Computer) is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the German-speaking parts of Europe.

The series spawned a total of six distinct models: The CPC464, CPC664, and CPC6128 were highly successful competitors in the European home computer market. The later plus models, 464plus and 6128plus, efforts to prolong the system's lifecycle with hardware updates, were considerably less successful, as was the attempt to repackage the plus hardware into a game console as the GX4000.

The CPC models' hardware is based on the Zilog Z80A CPU, complemented with either 64 or 128 KB of RAM. Their computer-in-a-keyboard design prominently features an integrated storage device, either a compact cassette deck or 3 inch floppy disk drive. The main units were only sold bundled with either a colour, green-screen or monochrome monitor that doubles as the main unit's power supply. Additionally, a wide range of first and third party hardware extensions such as external disk drives, printers, and memory extensions, was available.

The CPC series was pitched against other home computers primarily used to play video games and enjoyed a strong supply of game software. The comparatively low price for a complete computer system with dedicated monitor, its high resolution monochrome text and graphic capabilities and the possibility to run CP/M software also rendered the system attractive for business users, which was reflected by a wide selection of application software.

During its lifetime, the CPC series sold approximately three million units.

Amstrad PCW

The Amstrad PCW series is a range of personal computers produced by British company Amstrad from 1985 to 1998, and also sold under licence in Europe as the "Joyce" by the German electronics company Schneider in the early years of the series' life. The PCW, short for Personal Computer Word-processor, was targeted at the wordprocessing and home office markets. When it was launched the cost of a PCW system was under 25% of the cost of almost all IBM-compatible PC systems in the UK, and as a result the machine was very popular both in the UK and in Europe, persuading many technophobes to venture into using computers. However the last two models, introduced in the mid-1990s, were commercial failures, being squeezed out of the market by the falling prices, greater capabilities and wider range of software for IBM-compatible PCs.

In all models, including the last, the monitor's casing included the CPU, RAM, floppy disk drives and power supply for all of the systems' components. All except the last included a printer in the price. Early models used 3-inch floppy disks, while those sold from 1991 onwards used 3½-inch floppies, which became the industry standard around the time the PCW series was launched. A variety of inexpensive products and services were launched to copy 3-inch floppies to the 3½-inch format so that data could be transferred to other machines.

All models except the last included the Locoscript word processing program, the CP/M Plus operating system, Mallard BASIC and the LOGO programming language at no extra cost. A wide range of other CP/M office software and several games became available, some commercially produced and some free. Although Amstrad supplied all but the last model as text based systems, graphical user interface peripherals and the supporting software also became available. The last model had its own unique GUI operating system and set of office applications, which were included in the price. However none of the software for previous PCW models could run on this system.

Box-drawing character

Box-drawing characters, also known as line-drawing characters, are a form of semigraphics widely used in text user interfaces to draw various geometric frames and boxes.

Box-drawing characters typically only work well with monospaced fonts.

In graphical user interfaces, these characters are much less useful as it is more simple and appropriate to draw lines and rectangles directly with graphical APIs.

However, they are still useful for command-line interfaces and plaintext comments within source code.

Used along with box-drawing characters are block elements, shade characters, and terminal graphic characters. These can be used for filling regions of the screen and portraying drop shadows.

CP/M

CP/M, originally standing for Control Program/Monitor and later Control Program for Microcomputers, is a mass-market operating system created in 1974 for Intel 8080/85-based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. Initially confined to single-tasking on 8-bit processors and no more than 64 kilobytes of memory, later versions of CP/M added multi-user variations and were migrated to 16-bit processors.

The combination of CP/M and S-100 bus computers was loosely patterned on the MITS Altair, an early standard in the microcomputer industry. This computer platform was widely used in business through the late 1970s and into the mid-1980s. CP/M increased the market size for both hardware and software by greatly reducing the amount of programming required to install an application on a new manufacturer's computer. An important driver of software innovation was the advent of (comparatively) low-cost microcomputers running CP/M, as independent programmers and hackers bought them and shared their creations in user groups. CP/M was displaced by DOS soon after the 1981 introduction of the IBM PC.

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