[vcf-midatlantic] disk duplicating machines
fraveydank at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 15:06:00 EDT 2016
On Aug 31, 2016, at 2:10 PM, william degnan via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:
> OF the two, the Mountain disk duplicating machine can handle Apple, Tandy,
> and IBM disks if you have everything set up correctly. I assume you need
> an Apple drive in the machine to make Apple disks. I never really tried to
> make it work. I have a system that was geared up to use the copier...
You shouldn't need an Apple *drive*, if it's just a machine driving the basic floppy mechanism. The difference between Apple (Apple II and Mac SD/DD) disks and PC disks (including Mac HD) is the track encoding, which the drive doesn't care about. The floppy drive's job is to take the 1-bit signal from the floppy controller and deposit it on the disk. It's the controller that knows the difference between GCR (Apple SD/DD) and MFM (All PC, Mac HD) encoding.
As a tangential point of interest, USB floppy drives have the controller on board, which is why in general they can't deal with 400/800K Mac disks; their controllers only know MFM. It would be possible to MAKE a USB floppy drive that could read Mac or Apple II disks, and then it would just be up to the operating system to interpret the file system. Of course, formatting is a different matter, as you'd have to have a non-standard mechanism for telling the drive to format MFM or GCR (USB Mass Storage just assumes a disk is a disk and there's only concept of different low-level formats).
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