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SyncByte
December 17th, 2008, 02:03 AM
Hi All

I recently acquired an Apple /// (128KB) which came with a 5MB Profile external hard drive, second floppy disk drive and monitor. No boot disks and the 25-way PROFILE interface cable was missing.

The computer had a couple of minor hardware faults and after spending a little time on it I fixed these and have now been able to boot it and create some SOS boot disks over the serial interface thanks to the (excellent) ADTPro program.

I was not sure of the pinout for the PROFILE interface cable but in the end I assumed it would be a straight-through 25-way cable. I made one up and was pleased to find that ADTPro can access the PROFILE at block/sector level. I can happily transfer all 9,728 blocks from the PROFILE to the PC over the serial port, so all appears to be well with the hardware.

According to ADTPro, the PROFILE is formatted (volume name "PROFILE"). Looking at the content of the raw sectors I have transferred to a PC using ADTPro, it has a SOS volume with various directory names and files.

However, what I would like to do now is do a file listing of the files on the PROFILE using the ///.

I have obtained the Apple /// System Utilities Disk image and when I boot with this disk I can see the floppy drives but cannot see the PROFILE in the Device or File Handling menus. So, I assumed that this was because the PROFILE driver was not loaded.

So, I then used the SCP (system configuration program) on the System Utils disk to read the device driver (SOS.DRIVER) from the ADTPro disk (as the ADTPro disk does have the required driver for the PROFILE). I then did a GENERATE to update SOS.DRIVER on my System Utilities Disk. Now I am able to see .PROFILE listed as a device in the SCP. Good so far!

However, when I exit back to the File Handling menu in the System Utilities, the .PROFILE device becomes unavailable again.

Does anyone know why this is happening and have a solution?

Sorry for the long post, I thought it best to include as much info as possible!

Thanks for any advice :)

david__schmidt
December 17th, 2008, 02:36 AM
However, what I would like to do now is do a file listing of the files on the PROFILE using the ///.
If you have a PC, you can use CiderPress (http://ciderpress.sourceforge.net) to read the contents of the virtual image you made of the ProFILE drive.


However, when I exit back to the File Handling menu in the System Utilities, the .PROFILE device becomes unavailable again.
I do think you need to (re-)boot with the disk that got its driver package generated with the .PROFILE driver. It's not going to actually read/use it until it boots with it.

SyncByte
December 17th, 2008, 03:10 AM
Hi David

Many thanks for your reply. Are you the same David Schmidt who developed ADTPro into the one I used (version 1.1.1)? If so thank you for your excellent work! :-D

Thanks, I'll look at CiderPress, I hadn't found that in the online searches I have done so far.


I do think you need to (re-)boot with the disk that got its driver package generated with the .PROFILE driver. It's not going to actually read/use it until it boots with it.

I assumed that this would be the case, however it still doesn't seem to load the driver. When I do the generate, it asks me to replace the existing SOS.DRIVER on the disk and this seems to complete OK. However, even after a cold boot with the disk, it cannot see the .PROFILE device, although when I go back into SCP and read the driver from the disk, the .PROFILE driver is listed and has the correct slot number etc..

I wondered perhaps if the different SOS versions between the ADTPro 1.1.1 boot disk and the System Utils boot disk might be the reason?

david__schmidt
December 17th, 2008, 03:54 AM
Many thanks for your reply. Are you the same David Schmidt who developed ADTPro into the one I used (version 1.1.1)? If so thank you for your excellent work! :-D
Yep, that's me. Glad to see other ///'ers are getting good use out of the native SOS version. I could have left well enough alone and made everyone use the II version under emulation, but... I couldn't leave well enough alone.


I assumed that this would be the case, however it still doesn't seem to load the driver. When I do the generate, it asks me to replace the existing SOS.DRIVER on the disk and this seems to complete OK.
As you've figured out, SOS.DRIVER is the package of drivers that will be loaded at bootup. So that's what it means by replacing it... re-writing the entire contents with whatever you've got set up in the System Utilities.


However, even after a cold boot with the disk, it cannot see the .PROFILE device, although when I go back into SCP and read the driver from the disk, the .PROFILE driver is listed and has the correct slot number etc..
I seem to remember having this exact same problem with the ProFILE I have, now that you mention it. I tried a couple different versions of the .PROFILE driver (there exist 5M, 10M, and "universal" versions) and never had any luck either. I gave up trying to view it from SCP and just went to other sources.

My machine is acting badly right now, and I'm not in a position to take it apart and massage the chips at the moment. But what I'd do is put the .PROFILE driver on a Business BASIC disk and see if I could set the prefix to .PROFILE and get a catalog:


)PREFIX$=".PROFILE"
)CAT



I wondered perhaps if the different SOS versions between the ADTPro 1.1.1 boot disk and the System Utils boot disk might be the reason?No, I don't think that isn't altogether likely.

SyncByte
December 17th, 2008, 04:52 AM
Hi David,

Without ADTPro I would not have known where to start! It is excellent and the website is very helpful and informative, so I for one am indeed grateful for your work!


I seem to remember having this exact same problem with the ProFILE I have, now that you mention it. I tried a couple different versions of the .PROFILE driver (there exist 5M, 10M, and "universal" versions) and never had any luck either. I gave up trying to view it from SCP and just went to other sources.


I think that "other sources" might be my best bet. On your advice I used CiderPress on the image which gives me a file listing and also reports that the format is "ProDOS".

So do you think a ProDos boot disk would be what I need to access and run files from my profile?

If yes, can you advise where I can get my hands on a ProDOS boot disk image (preferably with .PROFILE driver if required)?

david__schmidt
December 17th, 2008, 08:20 AM
I think that "other sources" might be my best bet. On your advice I used CiderPress on the image which gives me a file listing and also reports that the format is "ProDOS".
Good. So now the mystery of the contents is revealed...

So do you think a ProDos boot disk would be what I need to access and run files from my profile?
Well, not really. The /// is a whole different beast, and doesn't run ProDOS. It runs SOS, which happens to have precisely the same file structure as ProDOS. That's why CiderPress thinks it's ProDOS... because there's no way to really tell the difference.

But this all depends on what you really want to do. It would probably be easiest for you to play with it through Business BASIC. Build yourself a disk of that (and add the .PROFILE driver to it's SOS.DRIVER package) so you can have a command-line kind of interface to your filesystem with the PREFIX$= command.

If yes, can you advise where I can get my hands on a ProDOS boot disk image (preferably with .PROFILE driver if required)?
You don't. Well, there was once upon a time a version of ProDOS that would boot with 48k of memory and would run under the ///'s II emulation. That *might* give you access to the ProFILE from a more familiar ProDOS point of view. But you're probably better of trying to get Business BASIC working.

SyncByte
December 17th, 2008, 01:06 PM
I have been told that there is a database on the Profile (including the application itself). I'd like to run it with a view to dumping the records, possibly via the "printer" port.

Looking at the raw data from the drive there is evidence of some BASIC-esque variable names so it might even be that the application was written in BASIC. The database itself does not use fixed-length records and is proprietary so it seems impossible to extract the data properly without the application or knowledge of the way it works.

Your suggestion of using Business BASIC sounds good. So, is there a disk image of Business BASIC for the Apple /// available for download or purchase? My searches so far have found plenty of information about it but no actual disk image(s).

Thanks again for your help...

david__schmidt
December 17th, 2008, 04:27 PM
Your suggestion of using Business BASIC sounds good. So, is there a disk image of Business BASIC for the Apple /// available for download or purchase? My searches so far have found plenty of information about it but no actual disk image(s).
Here:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/apple3.html (look for the "Business BASIC Part I" section)
and here:
ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/apple3/programming/basic/

RichCini
December 21st, 2008, 12:17 PM
It's funny...I pulled my Apple /// off of the shelf today to fool around with it after a few years, and then I found this thread while I was muddling through a few things with it. I've totally forgotten much of what I knew because this wasn't a core machine from me -- just an adopted machine from a friend.

I also have a 5mb ProFile drive. Can you boot off of the ProFile or is that relegated for storage only and you have to boot off of a floppy?

Thanks.

david__schmidt
December 21st, 2008, 01:05 PM
I also have a 5mb ProFile drive. Can you boot off of the ProFile or is that relegated for storage only and you have to boot off of a floppy?
The ROM only knows how to boot from the floppy drive. I understand there were floppies that could redirect the boot operation over to the ProFile... but the first stage has to come from the (internal!) floppy drive.

RichCini
December 21st, 2008, 02:03 PM
The ROM only knows how to boot from the floppy drive. I understand there were floppies that could redirect the boot operation over to the ProFile... but the first stage has to come from the (internal!) floppy drive.

Very interesting. I wonder what was behind the initial thinking that with 5mb of storage, people would still want to boot from a floppy? This method of requiring booting from a floppy seemed to continue until Apple moved to an external SCSI interface. Even the 20mb external Mac HD required a boot diskette with the HD20 init. Later on, you could boot from that external HD after upgrading to system 6 (I think...I'd have to look at my notes) and saying a few incantations.

SyncByte
December 24th, 2008, 12:14 AM
Can't understand how I managed to miss those Business BASIC disk images, but anyway, thanks for that. Have been able to boot the machine to business BASIC and access the Profile within BASIC.

On the Profile, there are some .BA3 files, clearly these are BASIC modules which I can load, list and run. Also there are some sequential data files which obviously contain the data.

However, the BASIC modules all appear to be subroutines and there is no sign of the main application code. As the computer cannot boot from the Profile, the user must have had a boot disk which probably contained the main BASIC code. The whereabouts of this disk are not known, so that pretty much makes running the original app rather difficult!

On a slightly different note, I have recently had a few problems with the Profile - in the form of "I/O errors". It wasn't a problem when I imaged the drive using ADTPro, but it looks like the ST-412 is suffering from the common mechanical misalignment issues which show up during random accesses associated with file handling. A low-level format would therefore be useful I think.

I've read that a low-level formatter ROM is required for the Profile, along with a FDT software tool for the Apple ///. It's a 5MB Profile. Clearly these are rare, but does anyone know from where they can be purchased or borrowed? I live in the UK but am happy to pay shipping of course.

Thanks!

billdeg
December 26th, 2008, 03:07 PM
I have BUS BASIC running entirely off the hard drive (after booting with floppy). Requiring a floppy is also the case for the TRS 80 Model 4 hard drive systems. I know that there are later ROMS that did boot the TRS 80 model 4's from ROM, there may be some for the Apple /// that'll do it too.