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View Full Version : At sea concerning Apple II 3.5" & 5" floppy formats



gsteemso
June 16th, 2009, 10:39 PM
This is going to need some background. I have the following:

- Apple IIgs with one 5" drive (model A9M0107) and one 3.5" drive (model A9M0106) how many sides of the disk do these write to, and to what formatted capacities? How many Apple II floppy formats are there? Are the drives programmable to any degree?

- Commodore 128 with 5" and 3.5" floppy drives (models 1571 & 1581 respectively) 360KiB 40-track DSDD and 800KiB DSDD, programmable for many, many other formats with some effort

- Mac Classic II with 3.5" SuperDrive DSDD and HD, somewhat programmable (does MS-DOS and ProDOS, not sure if it can do others)

- early model Imation SuperDisk drive for use with my modern Macs doesn't do DD disks, but lets me transfer stuff to the Mac Classic II on HD floppy (I hate this step, but my SCSI-to-10baseT adapter isn't working, so I'm stuck with SneakerNet)

I think this sequence of drives will allow me to get vintage software onto my vintage machines by a sequence of copy operations, but there are a few unclear spots. What formats can the Apple II drives read? Are there any they can read but not write? What format (and what DOS on top of that format) does the IIgs need to be fed to boot from?

Any clarifications would be appreciated!

david__schmidt
June 17th, 2009, 03:04 AM
Apple IIgs with one 5" drive (model A9M0107) and one 3.5" drive (model A9M0106) — how many sides of the disk do these write to, and to what formatted capacities?
A9M0107 - one side, the "bottom" - 143,360 bytes with DOS 3.3 or ProDOS. DOS 3.2 had somewhat lower capacity, but is not generally used.
A9M0106 - double sided - 819,200 bytes with ProDOS.

How many Apple II floppy formats are there? Are the drives programmable to any degree?
Effectively one... GCR encoded; DOS and ProDOS (and SOS on the Apple ///) can all read the same 140k disks. Early Macs and MacOS can read and write 800k ProDOS disks. Apple disk drives are not intelligent devices the way Commodore disks are. (With the odd exception of the A2M2053.)

Mac Classic II with 3.5" SuperDrive — DSDD and HD, somewhat programmable (does MS-DOS and ProDOS, not sure if it can do others)
This is where your hope lies - it can write 800k ProDOS disks that your GS can read.


I think this sequence of drives will allow me to get vintage software onto my vintage machines by a sequence of copy operations, but there are a few unclear spots. What formats can the Apple II drives read?

Stick with ProDOS. You don't want to have to do format or filetype changing down on the II side of things.


Are there any they can read but not write? What format (and what DOS on top of that format) does the IIgs need to be fed to boot from?

I've seen drivers for MS-DOS on the IIgs. I don't know what hardware they require or how well it works. You need DOS 3.3 or ProDOS to boot the IIgs.


Any clarifications would be appreciated!
Have a look at this page that talks about the various types of Apple drives:
http://www.vintagemacworld.com/drives.html
And you can dispense with the whole sneakeret idea if you can connect your IIgs to a modern computer with a serial port:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net

gsteemso
June 18th, 2009, 05:14 AM
I've heard the IIgs can boot over LocalTalk. Does anyone know what the server needs to provide to make this work?

david__schmidt
June 18th, 2009, 08:03 AM
I've heard the IIgs can boot over LocalTalk. Does anyone know what the server needs to provide to make this work?
http://www.vintagemacworld.com/iigs_rb.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfagerdotcom/sets/72157616227791651/