Welcome to the Wonderfully Ancient World of CP/M 80 and
The Wonderfully Modern World of Apple 2 Disk Images and Ruby and Everything
dsktool.rb and dskexplorer.rb for Windows (and other) Users
dsktool.rb is a command line tool + libraries (all in ruby) written by Jonno
Downes for manipulating DSK format images used by Apple 2 emulators.
dsktool.rb also comes with dskexplorer.rb which will run in your web browser
and let you view Apple 2 disk images in the current directory. Usage for both
dsktool.rb and dskexlorer.rb is listed in
the dsktool.rb program documentation and
the dskexplorer.rb program documentation
dsktool.rb supports Apple 2 CP/M disk images for READ/WRITE operations.
More information about disk image support in dsktool.rb is listed in
the dsktool.rb program documentation.
Bad News and Good News
Since dsktool.rb is written in the ruby programming language it cannot be run
unless ruby is installed on your computer. You can think of it as being
similar to interpreted BASIC in that it needs to run from within another
program. But ruby is infinitely more advanced than interpreted BASIC.
You might be better to think of it as being similar to java in that it runs
on many platforms and shares other characteristics, some which are discussed
at the following link:
But unlike java which must be compiled to be run, ruby programs can be viewed
in a text editor. Ruby is a scripting language also sharing characteristics
with the less advanced but capable perl scripting language from the Unix world.
Like java, ruby installs many files. On a Windows XP machine this can take a
large amount of disk space. For example, on my Windows XP machine the
installation in the zip file in the Links section
below, once complete,
added the following under the C:\ruby\ directory:
22411 File(s) 89,761,286 bytes
9404 Dir(s) 86,741,917,696 bytes free
Double that amount for unzipping the zip file installation in the
below. If you don't have that amount of space you can't install this.
That's the bad news. The good news is that if you are familiar with command
line utilities and especially if you work with Apple 2 CP/M you will find
dsktool.rb and dskexplorer.rb useful tools for your collection.
More good news for users of other modern computer systems like Linux Ubuntu
as well as Windows XP users is that dsktool.rb should run on all systems
that support ruby.
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The download for the zip file installation of dsktool.rb for Windows
(and other) users is in the following Links section.Below the links is a summary
of how to install and run all this. Html documentation is also provided in
the docs directory in the zip file
(and on the http://www.cpm8680.com/ website).
You can load these into your favourite web browser by clicking on them from within Windows
The zip file installation of dsktool.rb for Windows
(and other) users can be downloaded from
http://www.cpm8680.com/ at the
If you have a slow Internet connection you may not wish to do so.
More information about dsktool.rb is available at the following links:
Information specific to dskexplorer.rb which comes with dsktool.rb:
More information about Jonno Downes' peekbot project:
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Installing dsktool.rb (in Windows XP)
This installation assumes that you don't have ruby installed.
If you already have ruby installed you can skip the ruby installation. It
won't work anyway. You may need to remove ruby and any other ruby programs if
the rest of the installation fails. Advanced installations of ruby are beyond
the scope of this document.
The version of dsktool.rb that is included in the zip file installation
needs the following steps to be installed on a Windows XP Machine.
Other systems that
ruby supports will follow similar steps: After installing ruby, the gem
installer that comes with ruby is used from the Windows command prompt to
install the rest of dsktool.rb. The following is given for users who will
install on their C: drive.
* Unzip this zip file with paths intact to the root of your C: drive
If you don't wish to keep the installation files after successfully
installing dsktool.rb just remove the entire C:\dsktool\install directory.
* Install ruby - run C:\dsktool\install\dsktool\ruby186-26.exe.
* Ruby should now be on path.
* Open the command prompt in C:\dsktool\
* Install png - gem install install\png-1.0.0.gem
* Install dsktool.rb - gem install install\dsktool-0.5.1.gem
In Windows Xp, two batch files are provided to run dsktool.rb and
dskexplorer.rb. These are used by typing dsktool.rb or dskexplorer.rb
followed by their respective command line switches and options and since ruby
is on path they can be used from the Windows XP command line in any
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Running dsktool.rb (in Windows XP)
Included in the installation zip file is an Apple CP/M disk image which you can use to
perform some post-installation tests with to make sure dsktool.rb is working
Two simple non-destructive tests can be performed; catalog the disk image and
extract a file from the disk image.
To catalog the disk image:
dsktool.rb -c SoftcardCPM.dsk
sector order: physical
To extract a file from the disk image:
dsktool.rb -e APDOS.COM -o foo.com --raw SoftcardCPM.dsk
Directory of C:\cpmtools
04/12/2008 09:07 PM 1,664 foo.com
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Running dskexplorer,rb (in Windows Xp)
If you have never run a browser based application from your local computer
(many Windows users haven't) this may seem a little strange. Ruby starts-up
dskexplorer.rb and it prompts you to point your web browser to an intranet
You will see a message like the following:
[2008-12-06 14:29:50] INFO WEBrick 1.3.1
[2008-12-06 14:29:50] INFO ruby 1.8.6 (2007-09-24) [i386-mswin32]
point your browser at http://localhost:6502/
[2008-12-06 14:29:50] INFO WEBrick::HTTPServer#start: pid=1428 port=6502
To make things a little easier for Windows XP users, the installation
zip file has Windows cmd files in place to start-up your browser and then start
dskexplorer.rb. If your browser starts before dskexplorer.rb click on refresh
on your browser when dskexplorer.rb starts.
Just click-on the \dsktool\dskroot.cmd from Windows explorer to start
dskbrowser.rb in your root directory (usually C:\)
Click-on the \dsktool\dskcwd.cmd to start dskbrowser.rb in the
You can also type these commands in a command window.
Make sure when you close your browser that you also close dskbrowser.rb's
Windows cmd window or dskbrowser.rb will continue to run its service. On the
other hand you may wish to leave dskbrowser.rb running between browser
sessions so I will leave the further exploration of dskbrowser.rb and
dsktool.rb and Apple 2 disk images in general up to you.
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Licence and Copyright
This program is Copyright (c) 2007
Jonno Downes <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy
of this software and associated documentation files (the "Software"), to deal
in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights
to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell
copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is
furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:
The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be
included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.
THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED "AS IS", WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND,
EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF
MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND
NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE
LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION
OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION
WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.
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This document was created and formatted by hand
by Bill Buckels.
Its contents are either part of dsktool.rb or provide additional
information about using dsktool.rb.
Bill Buckels has no warranty
obligations or liability resulting from this document's use in any way
whatsoever. If you don't agree then don't read it.