William “Milli” Hicks posted a very interesting video on his 8-bit Milli YouTube channel yesterday. Using a disassembly of ADAM’s CP/M boot loader code he learned that it contains a routine which automatically copies files located on a cartridge over to the RAM disk! This is a very cool undocumented feature. Why was this code in there? Did Coleco have plans to utilize this capability and market CP/M cartridges? Nobody knows for sure! It’s yet another little ADAM gem that makes me wonder what we might’ve seen had things turned out differently for Coleco and ADAM.
As you can see in the video Milli created a custom cartridge containing Microsoft BASIC and was able to have CP/M automatically install its contents on the RAM disk. He also created a MOUNT program which he can run from the command line to copy cartridge files to the RAM disk without rebooting. This would enable the user to quickly install new CP/M software from a different cartridge. I am hoping that Milli spends more time experimenting with this concept and that maybe he’ll even make some custom CP/M cartridges available in the future.