CP/M was a popular command line-based operating systems for PCs in the 1980’s, before Microsoft’s MS-DOS took over the platform.  It was also available on the Apple II (and III) thanks to the efforts of third-party vendors such as Applied Engineering and Microsoft, who sold the necessary hardware to interested users.  CP/M never really took off on the Apple II mainly because of the popularity of DOS and ProDOS, the availability of powerful applications that didn’t require the purchase of additional (and often expensive) hardware to run (such as AppleWorks), and because it was seen by loyal Apple fans as an “IBM thing”.

Not everyone eschewed Gary Kildall’s OS though and today, there exists a small but dedicated group of CP/M users in the Apple II community.  Gord Tulloch is one of those users and he recently started the AppleCPM blog.  In his latest post, Gord describes the steps he discovered by trial and error to get CP/M up and running on one of Rich Dreher’s popular CFFA cards.  His instructions utilize Steven Hirsch’s PCPIPRO and ProPartition software and only work with the PCPI AppliCard, and you must follow the steps exactly but I gave this a whirl last night and it worked fine for me.

Currently, the instructions still require you to boot from a floppy disk but Gord promises a future post on how to boot from the CFFA, as well as instructions for getting it working on the new CFFA3000.  If you’re interested in running CP/M on a modern mass storage solution for the Apple II, be sure to check out his blog.  You can also subscribe to the Yahoo AppleCPM group for a great file repository and forums for support from a knowledgeable, friendly group of CP/M fans.