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Tupin
May 22nd, 2010, 09:29 PM
Okay, so with the computers from Commodore, Apple, and Atari, there are interfacing options that allow modern PCs to send data to older ones. Is there anything similar for a PC? I have a few 5.25 inch floppy drives and a Windows 98 PC with a drive that doesn't need to be in there, a CD-ROM drive when I already have a DVD drive in it. Could I take the CD-ROM drive out, put in a 5.25, then perform formats and transfer files?

southbird
May 22nd, 2010, 10:28 PM
The simple answer is "most likely", assuming this is a slightly older PC (which I'm guessing it is by the Win98 )

Things you'll need:
- Floppy controller (obviously, but new motherboards may not include one!)
- BIOS support for the 5.25" drive (again, some NEW motherboards are dropping anything but 1.44MB 3.5", if they support floppies at all)
- A floppy cable capable of attaching to the card edge (most common) of the 5.25" drive

Windows 98 will certainly support a 1.2MB or 360KB 5.25" floppy drive. And the power connector to the unnecessary CD-ROM should be the same 4-pin molex.

The last thing to note is that you CAN use 360KB disks in a 1.2MB drive, but this is generally not recommended because of the slight disparity in track spacing of the disk, I believe. Although I've never actually encountered any problem, I think it's a long term, many reuse sort of failure?

Tupin
May 22nd, 2010, 10:45 PM
Yeah, I figured it should work, the only problem I have is that the CD-ROM drive does not have the right type of connector. I would need some sort of adapter. I'll check tomorrow.

Minerva10210
May 22nd, 2010, 11:53 PM
Hi, yeah, should work is you mention that the machine runs Win98, it should be from the era where the floppy controller is indeed onboard.

On a side note, I have a Socket939 based machine (my main pc) and the machine is running Windows 7, and I am able to run a 1.2MB 5.25" drive in the machine to great effect! In this motherboard's case, to does support all the way from 360KB to 2.88MB so that does help I reckon.
Cheers!

Ole Juul
May 23rd, 2010, 12:43 AM
Yeah, I figured it should work, the only problem I have is that the CD-ROM drive does not have the right type of connector. I would need some sort of adapter.
What is the adapter for? I fear there is something you misunderstood. The CD-ROM likely has an IDE interface and that is not at all like a floppy and no physical adaptor will fix that. Like southbird said, (perhaps reread his post) the floppy drive will likely have an edge connector, but the cable is not the real problem here. You need a floppy controller, either built into the MB or on a separate card.

Tupin
May 23rd, 2010, 11:48 AM
Well, there is one floppy controller built into the motherboard, but the 3.5 inch drive is currently using it. I tried connecting a 5.25 drive with a cable from a Tandy 1000, and it fit directly into the motherboard where the 3.5 inch drive would normally go. I guess what I need is a 16 bit ISA floppy controller for the 5.25 drive?

NsMn
May 23rd, 2010, 11:55 AM
You can hook up 2 floppies to most MB-floppy controllers. Just buy a cable that has 3 3.5-style and 3 card edge-style connectors.

Tupin
May 23rd, 2010, 12:48 PM
You mean one like this?:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Floppy-Drive-Cable-both-3-5-5-25-18-24-inches-/350353379473?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5192b05091

southbird
May 23rd, 2010, 01:40 PM
That appears to be one. For a clear image, they're usually called "universal" floppy cables. But anyway... you should ALSO make sure that your BIOS has two floppy drives to set. Most likely if it's backwards to 5.25" drives, it handles the dual setup too, but I can't account for every OEM ever.

Floppies_only
May 23rd, 2010, 02:45 PM
The last thing to note is that you CAN use 360KB disks in a 1.2MB drive, but this is generally not recommended because of the slight disparity in track spacing of the disk, I believe. Although I've never actually encountered any problem, I think it's a long term, many reuse sort of failure?

What happens is called the "tunnel erase" problem. I can't remember what goes wrong, but the way to keep it from happening is to never write data or programs to the same disk with different size drives. You can write something in a 1.2 meg drive and read it with a 360K drive, but don't then write info to that same disk with the 360K drive, or you will loose data. Same thing the other way around.

Sean

Tupin
May 23rd, 2010, 04:30 PM
Just checked, my Windows 98 supports 360k 5.25 inch floppy drives, all I need is a universal cable.

Raven
May 23rd, 2010, 05:38 PM
On a completely modern PC (no floppy header) I use Parallels VM (with the only real parallel port passthrough I've found - ironic due to the name of the VM) and DOS to run a Microsolutions Backpack drive, which I can then read files from or write to and transfer between the VM and the real OS running on the machine.

retrobits
May 24th, 2010, 08:50 AM
What I'd love to see is a PC equivalent of the Apple II program called ADTPro (http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/). It allows you to connect an Apple II with a serial card to a modern system via null modem cable, then (a) copy a disk image file to a real disk on the Apple, or (b) copy a real disk on the Apple to a disk image on the modern PC.

I've got an IBM Portable 5155 with no hard drive. I'd love to move 360K disk images to/from modern machines. I've never seen any way to do this - I've only found solutions for moving files. Is there something I don't know about? If there's nothing to do this, guess I might put it on my list of software to write (eventually?).

- Earl

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2010, 08:59 AM
I've got an IBM Portable 5155 with no hard drive. I'd love to move 360K disk images to/from modern machines. I've never seen any way to do this - I've only found solutions for moving files. Is there something I don't know about? If there's nothing to do this, guess I might put it on my list of software to write (eventually?)l

Wouldn't it be easier to put a hard drive in your 5155? Hargle's selling the 8-bit IDE kits. If you used a CF-to-IDE adapter, you could simply unplug the CF card and move it to your modern PC, no cables needed.

Dave Farquhar
May 24th, 2010, 09:20 AM
What happens is called the "tunnel erase" problem. I can't remember what goes wrong, but the way to keep it from happening is to never write data or programs to the same disk with different size drives.

As I recall, the problem was that a 1.2MB drive wrote a slightly smaller-sized sector than a 360K drive (physically). So when you wrote to a disk with both types of drive, you caused confusion. Data could bleed onto adjacent sectors, or fail to overwrite the old data completely.

This was why pre-1987 ATs typically came equipped with a 1.2MB drive as A: and a 360K drive as B:, so AT users could safely swap disks with PC and XT users.

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2010, 09:32 AM
As I recall, the problem was that a 1.2MB drive wrote a slightly smaller-sized sector than a 360K drive (physically). So when you wrote to a disk with both types of drive, you caused confusion. Data could bleed onto adjacent sectors, or fail to overwrite the old data completely.

This was why pre-1987 ATs typically came equipped with a 1.2MB drive as A: and a 360K drive as B:, so AT users could safely swap disks with PC and XT users.

Another way was to degauss the media and format and write on a 96 tpi 1.2M drive. Absolutely reliable--the disk can be read on both 1.2MB and 360K drives. The problem for most people was finding a degausser strong enough to do the job. A VHS tape bulk eraser works fine.

MikeS
May 24th, 2010, 09:55 AM
What I'd love to see is a PC equivalent of the Apple II program called ADTPro (http://adtpro.sourceforge.net/). It allows you to connect an Apple II with a serial card to a modern system via null modem cable, then (a) copy a disk image file to a real disk on the Apple, or (b) copy a real disk on the Apple to a disk image on the modern PC.

I've got an IBM Portable 5155 with no hard drive. I'd love to move 360K disk images to/from modern machines. I've never seen any way to do this - I've only found solutions for moving files. Is there something I don't know about? If there's nothing to do this, guess I might put it on my list of software to write (eventually?).

- EarlUmm, isn't a disk image a file? I haven't looked at them all, but I'd expect that there is an imaging program out there that either creates a self-extracting image no larger than the imaged disk, or compresses the image so that the image and the extractor fit on a disk; might be worth looking around.

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2010, 10:01 AM
Umm, isn't a disk image a file? I haven't looked at them all, but I'd expect that there is an imaging program out there that either creates a self-extracting image no larger than the imaged disk, or compresses the image so that the image and the extractor fit on a disk; might be worth looking around.

Mike, I think retrobits problem is that he has nowhere to put the image file on his hard-disk-less 5155. Maybe what we really need is a "bargain basement" hard disk for 8-bit ISA system. Say, an SD card on a board with BIOS that just plugs in. Your basic 21st century hardcard.

MikeS
May 24th, 2010, 10:08 AM
Another way was to degauss the media and format and write on a 96 tpi 1.2M drive. Absolutely reliable--the disk can be read on both 1.2MB and 360K drives. The problem for most people was finding a degausser strong enough to do the job. A VHS tape bulk eraser works fine.Indeed, but worth noting that you should use DD diskettes.

Although there's a little more to it than just the track width/tunnel erase issue (not really sector size), FloppiesOnly has the right idea: Start with blank (bulk-erased if necessary) DD disks, format them on whichever drive(s) you plan to write them with, mark them appropriately and never write to them with a different drive type than the one you formatted them with; you should not have any problems reading with either drive type.

MikeS
May 24th, 2010, 10:11 AM
Mike, I think retrobits problem is that he has nowhere to put the image file on his hard-disk-less 5155. Maybe what we really need is a "bargain basement" hard disk for 8-bit ISA system. Say, an SD card on a board with BIOS that just plugs in. Your basic 21st century hardcard.I assumed he had two floppy drives; only one drive would indeed be somewhat limiting...;-)

But yes, a simple NVRAM/flash card would solve a few problems; it'd be convenient, but you wouldn't even necessarily need a BIOS if you put the driver(s) on the floppy, would you? But isn't that what the XT-IDE card does, albeit with flash instead of SD?

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2010, 10:15 AM
I assumed he had two floppy drives; they only had one? But yes, a simple NVRAM/flash card would solve a few problems; it'd be convenient, but you wouldn't even necessarily need a BIOS if you put the driver(s) on the floppy, would you?

No, but someone's going to want to boot form it, I have a feeling. :)

NobodyIsHere
May 24th, 2010, 10:33 AM
Hi! One of these days I think we are going to need a "Multi-IO with BIOS ROM on a PCI card" project. Recent PCs are shipping with fewer and fewer legacy ports. Some don't even have provisions for floppy drives at all and are dropping legacy serial ports, parallel ports, PS/2 keyboard and mouse, etc.

I am thinking one of those winbond or via MultiIO or SuperIO chips with a BIOS ROM on a PCI card would be doable. Unfortunately all SMT but in this case probably worth it. There is a template for a PCI card in KiCAD.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Chuck(G)
May 24th, 2010, 11:06 AM
Andrew, the problem with a lot of the mutli-I/O chips (in addition to being SMT) is the very volatile production schedule--here today, gone tomorrow. Anyone who's tried to buy a new southbridge chip for an older system has found out this issue the hard way.

I wonder if it might not be more expeditous to come up with a CPLD-implemented PCI-ti-ISA bridge, then use legacy peripherals on that?

Minerva10210
May 24th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Andrew, the problem with a lot of the mutli-I/O chips (in addition to being SMT) is the very volatile production schedule--here today, gone tomorrow. Anyone who's tried to buy a new southbridge chip for an older system has found out this issue the hard way.

I wonder if it might not be more expeditous to come up with a CPLD-implemented PCI-ti-ISA bridge, then use legacy peripherals on that?

As much as I don't really understand the pysical electonics and chip/board design side of is, that does sound like a better idea. It would seem that getting hold of the older less integrated components is a bit easier - especially looking at it from my side of the pond. Here in SA the availablity of electronics components is quite patchy, but it seems the less intricate parts do actually make it here.

@ hargle - SMT is a bit of an issue to solder yes, but one does get "sockets" for a lot of SMT chips don't you?

MikeS
May 24th, 2010, 11:52 AM
Mike, I think retrobits problem is that he has nowhere to put the image file on his hard-disk-less 5155. How about a RAMdisk (assuming he's got 640K), if there's only one floppy?

Raven
May 24th, 2010, 12:28 PM
For those of us who own MicroATX boards, it would be nice if there were a PCI-to-ISA-bridge PCI card that hooked via cable to a daughterboard that was mounted below the motherboard so that the slots line up with the case slots that the motherboard isn't long enough to provide. ;)

If you make any sort of legacy I/O for a modern PC I'll jump all over that and order at least two.

NobodyIsHere
May 25th, 2010, 03:02 AM
Hi Chuck! Thanks! Yes, I've noticed there are a lot of MultiIO/SuperIO style ICs but most are DMS. Highly volatile parts to be sure.

I've considered the PCI to ISA bus bridge since those chips are also available. The main complication with the approach is where to put the ISA bus? Run an enormous ribbon cable to one of those expansion units? That seems like massive overkill and expensive to boot although it would be a good use of a surplus/junk AT case & power supply. Still, that's a lot of room needed and then we would need two PCBs; one for the PCI bus and another for the ISA backplane. It just makes the project so much larger and complicated.

The good news is others have pursued the idea before so we can study their results

http://www.costronic.com/Ev71p.htm

Wikipedia has an entry on SuperIO chips and includes an out of date list of various kinds. I can't speak to which ones are still available if any although a quick filter of which manufacturers are still around and a bit of research would probably give a good idea. I am guessing Winbond would be a good pick

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_I/O

Both P112 and Howard Harte's SuperIO S-100 board use these highly integrated SuperIO/MultiIO chips. I've often wondered about the parts availability and how it affects those projects if at all. I'm curious to see if there are any successful strategies to pick a component that won't disappear as an obsolete part.

It is an interesting problem to be sure. Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

trulore
May 25th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Hi! I'm new to this board, and what led me here was my search for a way to get IBM software for an old IBM 5150 that I just bought.

Is there any way to get software onto a 360k floppy that doesn't involve me buying an entire other Windows 98 computer that has a floppy drive? My modern PC is new and has no floppy support whatsoever, and I imagine this will become an increasingly common thing as years go by.

Thanks for any information! :D

Oh....and also does anyone know where I can get IBM disk images of early Word Processors for the 5150?

MikeS
May 25th, 2010, 05:52 PM
Hi! I'm new to this board, and what led me here was my search for a way to get IBM software for an old IBM 5150 that I just bought.

Is there any way to get software onto a 360k floppy that doesn't involve me buying an entire other Windows 98 computer that has a floppy drive? My modern PC is new and has no floppy support whatsoever, and I imagine this will become an increasingly common thing as years go by.

Thanks for any information! :D

Oh....and also does anyone know where I can get IBM disk images of early Word Processors for the 5150?Sigh...

There must be at least a dozen other threads on this forum about this topic by now...

The usual tedious twenty (OK, only nine for now) questions:

1 - Where are you?
2 - Do you now have a boot disk and is the PC up and running?
3 - If so, what version of DOS?
4 - Does it have at least one each serial and parallel port?
5 - Does the modern PC have at least one each serial and parallel port?
6 - Does either or both have a modem?
7 - What kind is the modern PC? (laptop or bus-oriented)?
8 - What OS is the modern system running?
9 - Are you prepared to spend a little money and if so, how much?

Meanwhile, try to find and read some of the other threads about this much-discussed topic.

trulore
May 25th, 2010, 07:02 PM
Sigh...

There must be at least a dozen other threads on this forum about this topic by now...

The usual tedious twenty (OK, only nine for now) questions:

1 - Where are you?
2 - Do you now have a boot disk and is the PC up and running?
3 - If so, what version of DOS?
4 - Does it have at least one each serial and parallel port?
5 - Does the modern PC have at least one each serial and parallel port?
6 - Does either or both have a modem?
7 - What kind is the modern PC? (laptop or bus-oriented)?
8 - What OS is the modern system running?
9 - Are you prepared to spend a little money and if so, how much?

Meanwhile, try to find and read some of the other threads about this much-discussed topic.

Awww give me a little credit. :) I did search. Forum search engines are notoriously weak. Then I read backwards for 2 months worth of threads, and again no luck. Maybe I suck at thinking of the right search terms. :(

And actually, all of your questions already outline the possible solutions, so you've answered my question by asking yours.

Your questions tell me that there is no magic solution like ADTPro for the Apple II, and that I'll have to just McGyver something together and be prepared to buy anything parts I need.

Thank you for your helpful questions. :)

tezza
May 25th, 2010, 07:09 PM
Yes. As Mike says. It depends... There are lots of ways depending on what you've got already, what (and how much) software you want, how much you want to spend (and maybe even where you are and who you know).

If you have no boot disk and know your IBM drives work (hard to do without any disks actually)....I'd get some blank (sealed and unused) floppies, see if you can track down a vintage computer enthusaist who lives locally (say within an hour or two's drive) and make contact with them. Ask nicely if you can come over one day and copy some of their floppies, perhaps in exchange for some spare disks or something which might be useful to them. I think most vintage enthusiasts would react well to such as request, providing the person making the request handled it properly.

It can be a positive experience getting to know vintage computer hobbiests who live locally and who you can hook up with now and again.

Tez

MikeS
May 25th, 2010, 07:42 PM
Awww give me a little credit. :) I did search. Forum search engines are notoriously weak. Then I read backwards for 2 months worth of threads, and again no luck. Maybe I suck at thinking of the right search terms. :(

And actually, all of your questions already outline the possible solutions, so you've answered my question by asking yours.

Your questions tell me that there is no magic solution like ADTPro for the Apple II, and that I'll have to just McGyver something together and be prepared to buy anything parts I need.

Thank you for your helpful questions. :)Well, if the Apple II didn't work, or didn't have a serial card, or your modern system didn't have a serial port either, or a compatible OS, a suitable cable, etc. then ADTPro wouldn't be any more of a magic solution than Interlink or Laplink on the PC. But if you don't want to tell us what you've got, no problem; we'll save the questions for the next person who asks how to transfer files to their PC.

And a few relevant links for that same next person; sorry you didn't find anything useful here.

http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?20684-IBM-AT-file-transferring-with-Compaq-Deskpro
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?20622-Newb-with-a-question
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?19826-Oldest-laptop-no-HD-can-I-run-something-bigger-than-the-720k-disk.-Sharp-PC-4501&highlight=interlink
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?18986-5150-a-few-beginner-questions
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?17937-Transfer-data-by-parallel-Possible
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?16266-getting-files-onto-a-vintage-pc
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?16518-Hi-everybody!
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?15414-Making-a-vintage-computer-appear-as-a-drive
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?13430-Program-to-Transfer-Files-from-Modern-Machine-to-PC
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?11331-Toshiba-Libretto-file-transfer-quandry&highlight=interlink
http://www.vintage-computer.com/vcforum/showthread.php?8900-Fastlynxing-the-8088

Chuck(G)
May 25th, 2010, 09:02 PM
Hi Chuck! Thanks! Yes, I've noticed there are a lot of MultiIO/SuperIO style ICs but most are DMS. Highly volatile parts to be sure.

Hi Andrew,

I just popped the lid of the system sitting in front of me (an aging P4) and the only card I saw was an AGP display card--the PCI slots were empty. What this tells me is that PCI buses aren't going to be with us much longer as the tendency to strip things down to save money continues--and think about the desktop boxes that won't take normal-sized PCI cards, but rather require low-profile ones.

May I suggest USB as an interface? That has the benefit of working with laptops as well.

Just a thought.

Chuck(G)
May 25th, 2010, 09:23 PM
Hi! I'm new to this board, and what led me here was my search for a way to get IBM software for an old IBM 5150 that I just bought.

Is there any way to get software onto a 360k floppy that doesn't involve me buying an entire other Windows 98 computer that has a floppy drive? My modern PC is new and has no floppy support whatsoever, and I imagine this will become an increasingly common thing as years go by.

You don't have a 5150 and boot disk that boots? Hey, if you couldn't boot your Apple, you couldn't run that package either--and how do you put an Apple II 5.25" drive on a Mac? Time marches on.

But here's a suggestion if you have no way to boot the 5150.

Attach a 1.44M drive as drive A: to your 5150. You'll be using it as a 720K drive using the standard 5150 controller. If you can't find any 720K 3.5" diskettes, make your own by taping over the density indicator aperture in the disk jacket. 1.44MB diskettes will work just fine that way.

You next get a USB floppy drive for your modern box. Format the disks to 720K using "FORMAT <drive letter> /n:9 /t:80" Stick whatever you need on the 720K disks. They'll read just fine in the 5150.

That's one solution. There are many others.

trulore
May 26th, 2010, 03:51 AM
Actually, on the Apple II, you can run ADTPro even if you don't have a boot disk. You turn on the Apple II and drop into BASIC (just like an IBM with no disk), and then you type one command to put your Apple II serial card into remote execution mode, and then your pc sends all the commands to the Apple II to stream data right into a given memory location and load all the machine code for the Operating system just as if it had been booted from a disk. Then it sends the entire image for the ADT client, and from there you can start writing disk images.

If you don't have a serial card on the Apple II, or you don't have a serial port on your PC, you can just use 2 audio cables to hook the cassette in/out ports on the Apple II to the in/out audio ports on your PC (which every PC has), and ADTPro will send data over the Audio cable. Again, it's only a 1-line command on the Apple II to have it receive executable code over the audio port.

So, it is pretty much magic, and it doesn't require any software or special hardware.

Now, I see the 5150 doesn't have any cassette ports as such (unless I've missed them), but it does have a serial card. So, if the 5150's serial card has any kind of remote-execution mode, the something like ADTPro would be possible.

Even if the serial card doesn't have remote execution mode, you could have the user type in a 10 line BASIC program that would receive data from the serial card and write it to memory. At least I hope that's possible with IBM BASIC?

I love old computers, but I'm pretty new to the old IBM's, so I don't have a feel yet for what's possible. But if what I've said above with the BASIC program is possible, then heck I might write something like this myself! :)

trulore
May 26th, 2010, 04:20 AM
Now, I see the 5150 doesn't have any cassette ports as such (unless I've missed them), but it does have a serial card. So, if the 5150's serial card has any kind of remote-execution mode, the something like ADTPro would be possible.


OOP! I stand corrected...there IS a cassette port on this 5150....it's just not a standard audio connection but rather some kind of proprietary plug. But that's fine. If there is some kind of adapter cable that can turn that cassette port into 2 audio cables, then everything I said above should be possible for the IBM PC. I should be able to load IBM PC DOS into memory over the cassette port just as if I've booted from a floppy disk. This does require that your modern PC have software (like ADTPro) that emulates the frequencies and bit rates of the 5150 cassette port....but this is all quite possible to accomplish....I assume. It would still be easier to use the serial port...but that requires a remote-execution mode or some way to write that basic program that will read from the serial port and write to raw memory. I'm still searching for that. :)

NsMn
May 26th, 2010, 04:26 AM
The "proprietary" plug is a kind of standard audio DIN plug. You can use a TRS-80 cassette cable for example.

NobodyIsHere
May 26th, 2010, 04:39 AM
Hi Andrew,

I just popped the lid of the system sitting in front of me (an aging P4) and the only card I saw was an AGP display card--the PCI slots were empty. What this tells me is that PCI buses aren't going to be with us much longer as the tendency to strip things down to save money continues--and think about the desktop boxes that won't take normal-sized PCI cards, but rather require low-profile ones.

May I suggest USB as an interface? That has the benefit of working with laptops as well.

Just a thought.

Hi Chuck! The main problem I see with such a device is it is beyond my skill set. A USB to SuperIO/MultiIO device would be quite sophisticated.

My plan was to take a chip already designed for the PCI on the motherboard and put it on a PCI card. In theory, it should be possible without too much redesign but even doing that I'd need some major help.

However, transplanting a SuperIO/MultiIO chip into a new environment likely with a complex uC controlling it and USB interface is way beyond my concept.

I think it is an interesting but not feasible.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

trulore
May 26th, 2010, 06:25 AM
The "proprietary" plug is a kind of standard audio DIN plug. You can use a TRS-80 cassette cable for example.

On the plus side, I easily found a DIN cable as you described. On the minus side it converts to 4 audio cables, so I'm hoping 2 of those are optional. Another minus is that apparently the 5160 and 5170 do not have cassette ports.

So I'm going to pursue the serial-card path first, and probably start another thread about this if I think this is a feasible project. IBM Basic does support PEEK and POKE, so in theory if I can access the serial card from BASIC using a short hand-typed program, I should be able to do absolutely anything. The challenge will be coming up with the machine code that will be capable of reading blocks of data from the port and writing those blocks to disk....without DOS in memory. It would need to be able to format a disk as well.

Chuck(G)
May 26th, 2010, 08:48 AM
Hi Andrew,

Maybe this should be brought off as another thread.

I've seen the Costronic web site for years and even dropped them an email or two, but never got anything from them. Do you know of anyone who actually has their setup?

I do some some issues with simply adding a SuperIO chip to a modern system with a modern (well, Windows XP+ anyway) operating system. This is one of drivers--almost all of the existing legacy (parallel, serial, floppy) device support involves some sort of BIOS code--usually ACPI to inform the system what's there. If you don't have that, then you have to provide your own drivers--and that to me is s non-trivial job. At least that's my understanding.

MikeS
May 26th, 2010, 09:22 AM
On the plus side, I easily found a DIN cable as you described. On the minus side it converts to 4 audio cables, so I'm hoping 2 of those are optional. Another minus is that apparently the 5160 and 5170 do not have cassette ports.

So I'm going to pursue the serial-card path first, and probably start another thread about this if I think this is a feasible project. IBM Basic does support PEEK and POKE, so in theory if I can access the serial card from BASIC using a short hand-typed program, I should be able to do absolutely anything. The challenge will be coming up with the machine code that will be capable of reading blocks of data from the port and writing those blocks to disk....without DOS in memory. It would need to be able to format a disk as well.Well, most folks would probably just ask a kind soul to send them a boot disk, but if you're up for it this does sound like a useful addition to the PC boot options.

But as you say, only the 5150 has a cassette port, only IBM machines have BASIC in ROM and not every system has a serial port (and not every modern PC has sound I/O FWIW ;-) ) so it's still not a universal solution. Remote boot software does exist for other systems besides the Apple and I'm a little surprised that it doesn't seem to already exist for a PC; probably because only a relatively small percentage of generic PCs are genuine IBMs with ROM BASIC.

Good luck.

MikeS
May 26th, 2010, 09:29 AM
Hi Andrew,

I just popped the lid of the system sitting in front of me (an aging P4) and the only card I saw was an AGP display card--the PCI slots were empty. What this tells me is that PCI buses aren't going to be with us much longer as the tendency to strip things down to save money continues--and think about the desktop boxes that won't take normal-sized PCI cards, but rather require low-profile ones.

May I suggest USB as an interface? That has the benefit of working with laptops as well.

Just a thought.Indeed. I suspect that not only is the PCI bus not going to be with us much longer, but neither willl any desktop systems with cards; everyone I speak with says their next computer will be a laptop, netbook, or iPad.

wrljet
May 26th, 2010, 10:16 AM
Well, most folks would probably just ask a kind soul to send them a boot disk, but if you're up for it this does sound like a useful addition to the PC boot options.

But as you say, only the 5150 has a cassette port, only IBM machines have BASIC in ROM and not every system has a serial port (and not every modern PC has sound I/O FWIW ;-) ) so it's still not a universal solution. Remote boot software does exist for other systems besides the Apple and I'm a little surprised that it doesn't seem to already exist for a PC; probably because only a relatively small percentage of generic PCs are genuine IBMs with ROM BASIC.

Good luck.

You can also send code into the keyboard port on an original PC. They used that during manufacturing test.

NobodyIsHere
May 26th, 2010, 11:24 AM
Hi Andrew,

Maybe this should be brought off as another thread.

I've seen the Costronic web site for years and even dropped them an email or two, but never got anything from them. Do you know of anyone who actually has their setup?

I do some some issues with simply adding a SuperIO chip to a modern system with a modern (well, Windows XP+ anyway) operating system. This is one of drivers--almost all of the existing legacy (parallel, serial, floppy) device support involves some sort of BIOS code--usually ACPI to inform the system what's there. If you don't have that, then you have to provide your own drivers--and that to me is s non-trivial job. At least that's my understanding.

Hi Chuck! Well it is an interesting thought experiment but the more I think about it the less feasible it appears. I think I'll just stick to plain old S-100, ECB, and occasional forays into 8 bit ISA bus. PCI and/or USB bring a whole host of complicated protocol and driver issues that are generally not a problem on the simpler busses.

It quickly gets into the domain of corporations with professional engineering staff and deep pockets. Really, how many amateur/hobbyist PCI designs are there? Not many, I'd fathom. I've seen a PCI board template in KiCAD which is what triggered the thought to begin with but there is obviously much more to the story than appears at first glance.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

MikeS
May 26th, 2010, 11:30 AM
You can also send code into the keyboard port on an original PC. They used that during manufacturing test.Yeah, I was going to mention that as about the only truly universal method and I have used that method for transferring data, but it would require a special cable and the risk of damage would be greater than through the serial port; might as well just get a serial card and null-modem cable.

Raven
May 26th, 2010, 12:20 PM
Hi Chuck! Well it is an interesting thought experiment but the more I think about it the less feasible it appears. I think I'll just stick to plain old S-100, ECB, and occasional forays into 8 bit ISA bus. PCI and/or USB bring a whole host of complicated protocol and driver issues that are generally not a problem on the simpler busses.

It quickly gets into the domain of corporations with professional engineering staff and deep pockets. Really, how many amateur/hobbyist PCI designs are there? Not many, I'd fathom. I've seen a PCI board template in KiCAD which is what triggered the thought to begin with but there is obviously much more to the story than appears at first glance.

Thanks and have a nice day!

Andrew Lynch

Catweasel! :D

MikeS
May 26th, 2010, 12:35 PM
Catweasel! :DThere's a Catweasel that plugs into a USB port and gives you legacy parallel, serial and FDC ports? Got a link?

Auto Turret
May 26th, 2010, 06:37 PM
Just to add my 3 cents if it helps... I took the 5.25" floppy drive out of a XT clone about 2 weeks ago and it worked just fine in a Pentium II win98 machine. Of course I had to set the option in the BIOS for the correct drive. I suppose it all boils down to your motherboard supporting those ancient things?

Chuck(G)
May 26th, 2010, 06:53 PM
Just to add my 3 cents if it helps... I took the 5.25" floppy drive out of a XT clone about 2 weeks ago and it worked just fine in a Pentium II win98 machine. Of course I had to set the option in the BIOS for the correct drive. I suppose it all boils down to your motherboard supporting those ancient things?

As long as you don't need to format it, you can call the 5.25" a 720K or 1.44M drive. This sort of borks the disk-changed signal, but it sometimes works. Just format your floppies on the 5160.

The issue here may be that the "modern" system doesn't have a legacy floppy controller at all. Few new systems do.

Dave Farquhar
May 27th, 2010, 04:36 AM
The issue here may be that the "modern" system doesn't have a legacy floppy controller at all. Few new systems do.

Many of the P4 and first-gen AMD64 systems that are being discarded by the corporate world right now do. I've been seeing a lot of dirt-cheap Compaq Evo desktops lately.

An easy but space-consuming option is to find something historically interesting enough to be willing to keep around, and old enough to support 5.25" floppies, but new enough to boot an OS with good USB support that can get online and download in a pinch. It doesn't have to run especially fast, since its main purpose would be to transfer files. A PCI 486 with a plug-in PCI USB card would be about the minimum system that could fit the bill.