Because we're faced with so many different types of disc formats, we've decided to implement a universal file transfer protocol which allows us to get both text and binary files from any machine to any other given only a serial communication port. John Walker designed the protocol and implemented a 9900 driver for it. Greg Lutz reviewed the protocol, fixed some flaws in it, and is now developing an IBM PC version of the program. Once that's done, we'll test the 9900/IBM link, at which time we'll be able to trust the protocol. Then we'll be able to implement it on every machine we encounter. The protocol is provably proof against data loss, duplication, and garbling, and has sufficient redundancy that it can be used on international phone lines. It's simple enough to implement in BASIC on any machine that lets BASIC drive the serial port. There are no time-critical operations that would cause trouble in a BASIC implementation.
After the 9900/IBM test, Dan Drake will put the protocol on the Apple, using Jack Stuppin's machine, and we'll have the long-awaited way to get software over to the Apple to use with the CP/M Softcard. After this is done, we'll be able to move among the 9900, CP/M, IBM PCDOS, and Apple freely.