[vcf-midatlantic] disk duplicating machines

william degnan billdegnan at gmail.com
Wed Aug 31 15:09:21 EDT 2016

On Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 3:06 PM, David Riley via vcf-midatlantic <
vcf-midatlantic at lists.vintagecomputerfederation.org> wrote:

> 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).
> - Dave
In that case, the drive that is installed appears to be capable of making
Tandy, IBM, or Apple disks.  There is likely a controller for it, I think
maybe it was making Tandy disks in an IBM PC IIRC.

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