View Full Version : BBC(b) - Software at last!

March 22nd, 2008, 03:36 AM
It's been a Vintage Computing Easter so far. Not only did I fix a BBC drive and took delivery of an IBM 5150, I also managed to get disk images across to my BBC(b).

Having given up on a serial transfer solution, I looked at making real 5.25 disk copies from images. Omniflop was the solution here. I found it made prefect 80 track, double sided DFS floppies from Disk Images. And it ran under XP. Hooray!

These disks run on the Beeb just fine. I now have an example collection to both play and show off my machine with.

As for the RS432 I had all that trouble with (explained in a separate post), I suspect it may not be broken at all. It could have actually been a software problem. It's not confirmed yet, but I'm looking more into it.

March 22nd, 2008, 04:10 AM
Do you have a 360K or a 1.2MB floppy drive in your PC? I've read various stories that writing a 360K disk in a 1.2MB drive will work as long as you don't write to it again in a 360K unit. Personally I've got a 360K drive that neither Windows XP nor Omniflop can address properly, but it works fine in MS-DOS. Perhaps Omniflop works better if I bypass my CatWeasel card?

March 22nd, 2008, 05:21 AM
Hi Carlsson,

I've got a 1.2MB drive. The BBC drives are also both 80-track and double-sided so I guess this helps with compatibility.

I format the disks on the BBC(b) first (I use DS double-density ones, not pre-formatted High-density PC disks). Both sides, and 80 tracks each. Then, in the PC under XP, I write the DFS disk image to these pre-formatted floppies in my 1.2MB drive.

I can write a *.dsd images and *.ssd images just fine.

I'm astonished that it works so well, worked first time and was so painless. I hadn't looked at it before in any depth because I was under the impression that, DFS being single density, there was a snowflake's chance in hell that the format could be written out in a modern XP machine. Seems it does?!

I was fully expecting the process not to work and was very suprised when it did! Hats off to the writer of the software.


March 22nd, 2008, 05:23 AM
Perhaps Omniflop works better if I bypass my CatWeasel card?

I just use the standard floppy controller built into the motherboard, but I do use the special Omniflop floppy drivers.

March 22nd, 2008, 08:24 AM
Good to hear! I've heard good things about OmniFlop, but I think I'll stay with Mbbrutman's Dskimage. It seems to do what I need it to, and then some.

On the note of 1.2MB drives, I have a very nice one here at the house. I can FORMAT 360K disks with it, write to it, and talk back and forth on it between my IBM 5150, Packard Bell Legend 2440, and my AT&T 6300. I still have backups just in case a disaster occours, but it seems to work. Another cool feature on this drive I've never seen on any other-- It has a mechanism in it, so that the heads will only go down when a disk is inserted in the drive.


March 30th, 2008, 03:06 AM
Yesterday I picked up another BBC Model B, one that both has DFS (I haven't checked which version or FDC chip) and a fully working keyboard! It has a funny looking UHF connector (however a proper RF modulator) but since I have a working RGB cable I don't bother with the antenna signal.

Now, I have put both my old BBC B (tape only, UK power cable) and my Master 128K (w/ DFS but some keys not working properly) out for sale. I'm sure I'll find some buyers, given how relatively uncommon the Acorn computers are in Sweden.

March 30th, 2008, 02:09 PM
Yes, I'm sure you will find a buyer, Carlsson... ;)

// Z