[vcf-midatlantic] How To Geek article on floppy data recovery
mloewen at cpumagic.scol.pa.us
Sun May 3 01:11:29 EDT 2020
On Sat, 2 May 2020, Jeffrey Brace via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> Part of my charm is simplicity. It often inspires discussion. One thing I
> was hoping was for people to chime in on the fact that there are vintage
> computer enthusiasts that have the original machines and artifacts to
> retrieve from floppies instead of modern emulators and devices.
In my opinion, any serious vintage computer hobbyist should have a
dedicated "media" system for archiving data and creating new media for vintage
systems. For my imaging system I'm using an Abit KV8PRO motherboard, with an
Athlon CPU, onboard 10/100/1000 ethernet, 1 AGP 8X/4X slot, 5 PCI slots, SATA
and IDE drive support, and 4 USB ports. The onboard floppy controller will
handle all formats except 128 byte/sector MFM. I haven't run across anything
yet that uses that format. I also have a Catweasel MK4+ for things that Dave
Dunfields's IMD or the native floppy controller won't handle. I have the
motherboard installed in a full size tower case, with lots of places to mount
drives. I also installed a SCSI interface for lots of other drive options.
For the moment, I have to recable the drives for different media. For
5-1/4", I connect the 360K and 1.2M drives. For 3-1/2" I have a 1.44M drive.
For 8" I use a Tandon TM-848 DS drive in an external case, connected via a "D
Bit" FDADAP adapter board.
On this system I mostly run Linux and FreeDOS. When using Imagedisk (IMD),
I'll boot FreeDOS to read and write diskettes. To transfer the images to/from
my server, I'll boot into Linux and mount the FreeDOS drive. I suppose I could
try to get FreeDOS on the net, but I haven't bothered.
I'm not into the older Apple GCR format diskettes, but the Catweasel will
handle them if necessary. For my TRS-80 and CP/M work, this system handles
just about anything I need. For some of the weird TRS-80 stuff, I can run
David Keil's Model 1 or Model 4 emulator under FreeDOS and directly access the
My point: use the right tool for the job. It's not difficult to put
together a system to handle your media conversion needs, and you won't be
dependent on other hobbyists for boot disks.
Mike Loewen mloewen at cpumagic.scol.pa.us
Old Technology http://q7.neurotica.com/Oldtech/
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