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NeXT
October 6th, 2012, 06:17 PM
More mass storage research. I'm looking at how the Widget drive worked and how it connected to the Lisa.
The major problem I have come across so far is I have a round peg, square hole situation where the power cable and the power connector on the widget are different and for both the widget and the 400K floppy drive there appears to only be a single ribbon cable. My assumption is that there's a board that goes in between the Widget requires more hardware than just the logic on the drive but I have never seen one. Most people who own a Widget do not remove them from their Lisa or the camera angles are too poor to see what's going on behind the drive. The best I can find are photos of the drive itself. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Apple-Lisa-Widget-Hard-Disk-1983-Vintage-Macintosh-MacXL-Lisa-2-5-Hard-Drive-/220933667402?nma=true&si=y3g9DXkG5%2BOl%2F7pHpMWblzqnIw0%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

One thing worth noting is that my Lisa was one of the original units that got upgraded and probably originally used a ProFile.

njroadfan
October 9th, 2012, 09:10 AM
There is a Widget drive on ebay with photos: http://www.ebay.com/itm/261107352729
The connectors on the X-Profile might give some hints too: http://www.ebay.com/itm/200752885647

tezza
October 9th, 2012, 11:44 AM
The Lisa 2/5 used with a Profile drive and the Lisa 2/10 (Mac XL) for use with the widget look much the same but actually there are differences. Sounds like you have the Lisa designed for the Profile. There will be no internal connector on that machine for a widget. I'm in a rush right now so can't dig out the info but if you google around you'll find websites that explain these differences.

Tez

NeXT
October 9th, 2012, 08:40 PM
Bummer. So no instant option.
I do notice that the Widget needs a 25 pin ribbon cable. What's the chances that the Widget can be plugged into the parallel port like a Profile?

tezza
October 9th, 2012, 11:38 PM
Not sure. The widget does use an internal parallel connector, but it's more than just the connector that's different between the two models. The I/O card is different is well. Some of these differences are explained here.
http://lisafaq.sunder.net/lisafaq-hw-io_substitution.html

Mind you this ebay item would suggest perhaps you could connect a widget to the external parallel port. I mean, if you can go one way, maybe you can go the other?
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Apple-Lisa-2-10-XL-External-Widget-Port-Adapter-/200568143657?pt=US_Vintage_Computers_Mainframes&hash=item2eb2caff29#ht_1719wt_932

Tez

RWallmow
October 10th, 2012, 08:25 AM
Not a Lisa user or owner myself, but have researched them a lot, in hopes I will someday find one at the right price. Anyways, in my researching I stumbled across this site (http://vintagemicros.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/282), they sell a Widget/Profile drive emulator/replacement it uses CF cards, much like the XT-IDE project here does for PCs. Seeing that they have built a device that emulates the Widget/Profile, I would assume they would have all kinds of information on how the connection works, however since their board seems commercial in nature, who knows if they would be willing to share that information, but worth a shot.

EDIT: I just found this site (http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/patrick/idefile.htm) doing a quick google search, it has a lot of information on the Profile specifically, and its interface, doesn't dig much into Widget though, looks like a much more open project for emulating the Profile drive.

NeXT
October 10th, 2012, 11:41 AM
Don't like emulators. They're also quite grossly overpriced for my liking.


Mind you this ebay item would suggest perhaps you could connect a widget to the external parallel port. I mean, if you can go one way, maybe you can go the other?
-link-

That almost sums it up for me. Electrically speaking the interface on both the ProFile and the Widget are parallel and identical. Almost tempts me now to track down a Widget just to see if I can put it in an external enclosure and use it. That or I make the parallel port on my 2/5 internal.

tezza
October 10th, 2012, 12:00 PM
Don't like emulators. They're also quite grossly overpriced for my liking.

That almost sums it up for me. Electrically speaking the interface on both the ProFile and the Widget are parallel and identical. Almost tempts me now to track down a Widget just to see if I can put it in an external enclosure and use it. That or I make the parallel port on my 2/5 internal.

Just out of interest, why a Widget and not a ProFile? If you have to acquire a drive why not seek the latter. It would be more authentic for the machine you have and no mods would be needed? Or is there just something about the Widget that appeals?

Tez

RWallmow
October 10th, 2012, 01:15 PM
Don't like emulators. They're also quite grossly overpriced for my liking...
Agreed, wasn't suggesting to buy one, but that they could possibly provide info on the interface


Just out of interest, why a Widget and not a ProFile?...

In my reading on Lisa's, I seem to recall that on early Lisa's the Profiles were NOT bootable, at least not without a different ROMs being fitted into the machine. This is purely from memory, so I could be wrong on that, but that would be one reason to go Widget over Profile.

tezza
October 10th, 2012, 03:09 PM
In my reading on Lisa's, I seem to recall that on early Lisa's the Profiles were NOT bootable, at least not without a different ROMs being fitted into the machine. This is purely from memory, so I could be wrong on that, but that would be one reason to go Widget over Profile.

My understanding is that was more a function of the the Lisa Office Suite Software. The installation ties itself to the ROM of the specific machine. If you had the Lisa office suite on a Profile, you couldn't boot into the Office Suite if you attached the Profile to a different machine. I'd always assumed this was the same for the Widget as the Office Suite doesn't know what kind of HD it's installing itself onto.

The Mac XL software installation on the other hand doesn't tie itself to the hardware..at least as far as I know. I get the impression that many (Widgetised) Lisa 2/10s were running Mac XL software particularly towards the end.

Tez

NeXT
October 10th, 2012, 09:19 PM
Since day 1 the Lisa has required a ProFile to store the OS on. It couldn't be internal because the twiggy was in the way and heavens knows why they didn't just redesign the case so instead they used existing technology and shipped the Lisa with integrated support for the ProFile. Apple never shipped a Lisa that didn't have a ProFile as LOS could not completely run on a single floppy like the later Macintosh OS.
Perhaps the ROM swap you are thinking of happened in the Lisa 1/Lisa 2 or Lisa 2/Macintosh XL transition. I know the Sun Remarketing SCSI cards are not directly bootable until you upgrade them with the Quick Boot ROM.
Also, LOS did key itself to the specific machine it was installed on however that was limited to floppies. Not sure if they did the same with the hard drives as what's the point of sharing one drive between two or more Lisas? No matter what you do, only one will work at any given time.
The reason I'm after a widget in my case is there's a stash of them close to me and given recent ProFile prices, if it requires a little R&D I'll get my hands dirty trying to make it work. The goal isn't to make a nice looking Lisa. The goal was to run the Lisa Office System. :)

applefreak
October 10th, 2012, 09:30 PM
Most people who own a Widget do not remove them from their Lisa
i think, most owners of Apple Lisa remove all the parts (perhaps not the videoboard) to clean up the internal of the lisa

But as it's so easy to disassemble and reassemble all the parts, no notes are made.


http://www.1000bit.it/SUPPORT/Manuali/APPLE/LISA/lisaSUNREPAIR.pdf

tezza
October 10th, 2012, 11:13 PM
Also, LOS did key itself to the specific machine it was installed on however that was limited to floppies. Not sure if they did the same with the hard drives as what's the point of sharing one drive between two or more Lisas? No matter what you do, only one will work at any given time.

Yes, it seems strange but you might to check up on that. I know when I received my X/Profile I was also send a new chip for the I/O board so the LOS on the X/Profile would recognize the machine. The X/Profile is emulating the hard disk of course.

Tez

applefreak
October 11th, 2012, 12:48 AM
Lisalist (https://groups.google.com/forum/m/?hl=en&fromgroups#!forum/lisalist)

Al Kossow
October 11th, 2012, 06:51 AM
The reason I'm after a widget in my case is there's a stash of them close to me

There is a high probability they will be bad. The glue that holds the optical track positioner fails. If you hear some thing loose inside the HDA, that's what it is.
I went though several dozen widgets this summer and most had failed this way.
It should be possible to reattach it in a clean box and reformat, but I haven't tried it.
There is now a way to low-level format Widgets and ProFiles with this
http://sigmasevensystems.com/BLU

NeXT
October 11th, 2012, 06:56 AM
Will do. A lot of the info on the Lisa is scattered about so it's not as easy to find or confirm anything.

RWallmow
October 11th, 2012, 07:14 AM
...I know the Sun Remarketing SCSI cards are not directly bootable until you upgrade them with the Quick Boot ROM....

That might be what I was confusing it, I was going purely on memory, and we all know that can fail us sometimes ;-)

njroadfan
October 11th, 2012, 09:14 AM
If needed, here are the DB25 parallel and Widget connector pinouts. http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/patrick/idefile.htm

NeXT
October 11th, 2012, 11:17 AM
Sorry. I must of glanced the apge so quickly I didn't see the pinout. :oops:

Okay, so that then explains it and sums up what I read: The Lisa 1 and Lisa 2/5 don't have connections for a Widget because they never assumed there would be an internal drive and thus no accomidations were made. From the 2/10 and on the revisions moved the parallel port inside and there is absolutely no boards or magic. It's straight-through so that means in theory a Widget will act exactly like a ProFile on a Lisa 1 or 2/5 if you connected it to the parallel port because the Lisa can't tell the difference between drives and the interface is 100% identical.

dorkbert
October 11th, 2012, 12:48 PM
Also, LOS did key itself to the specific machine it was installed on however that was limited to floppies.Remember the uproar when M$ (more or less) keyed Windows to varies "system attributes" and would require "reactivation" if you changed enough system components? How Apple ever managed to get away with a lot of things early on boggles the mind...

NeXT
October 11th, 2012, 03:09 PM
From a business sense it made sense to automatically and (almost) permanently bind the OS and software suite to one computer for licensing reasons. Companies like Autodesk and Oracle still use the technique.

Al Kossow
October 11th, 2012, 03:38 PM
It's straight-through so that means in theory a Widget will act exactly like a ProFile on a Lisa 1 or 2/5 if you connected it to the parallel port

Wrong. The Widget is a superset of the ProFile command set. The drivers are also incompatible. You cannot, for example, do an image copy
of the contents of one to the other and have it work. I posted a great deal of information on both kinds of drives on bitsavers under apple/lisa

NeXT
October 11th, 2012, 05:29 PM
Crap, I forgot about bitsavers again...

Immediately I am not finding any documents on either the ProFile or Widget. Are they separate documents or are they within another document?

Al Kossow
October 12th, 2012, 08:57 AM
Crap, I forgot about bitsavers again...

Immediately I am not finding any documents on either the ProFile or Widget. Are they separate documents or are they within another document?

http://bitsavers.org/pdf/apple/disk

NeXT
October 12th, 2012, 06:37 PM
Oh, it wasn't in /lisa at all. :oops: