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EagleTG
June 10th, 2016, 08:49 AM
Hi all. Recently picked up a Victor 9000 and need some boot disks/software for it. From what I've seen about the floppy drives on these guys, there really is no way to write these disks on anything but another Victor 9000.

Soooo... That said, I'd like to ask if anyone has access to a Victor 9000 and can copy some disks for me OR happens to have some Victor 9000 compatible stuff laying around that they want to part with.

I saw there was a guy offering boot disks on the forum, but his user profile indicates that he hasn't been active on the forum since 2015. I might shoot a PM on the off chance that he'll get an email notification regarding the PM.

Can anyone help? I would mostly like the DOS disks, but also would be interested in CP/M-86 disks.

Also, posting this in the "Other" section as it's not really a PC clone nor is it really a CP/M machine. :D

EagleTG
June 13th, 2016, 08:53 AM
Anyone?

Additionally, if anyone has one of these machines, do you know if it's expected to get any video display prior to the system loading the boot disk? Can someone explain the boot process? I'd imagine something should show up on the screen based around POST or standard BIOS events. Surprisingly, my efforts in finding a video of one of these booting have been in vain. I will rectify that if/when I get this one working. :)

Thanks!

Moonferret
June 13th, 2016, 09:13 AM
I had a pair of these machines many years ago. In the UK they were sold as the Sirius 1. You are right about the disks, variable speed and almost impossible to copy on anything but the original hardware.

Upon power up, you should get an indication of how much RAM is installed at the bottom of the screen and a small flashing disk symbol. Drive A should be spinning.

Cheers,
Dave

SomeGuy
June 13th, 2016, 09:54 AM
There is some information about the Victor 9000 floppy disk format here: http://www.discferret.com/wiki/Victor_9000_format

Not only is it variable bit rate, but also GCR. That article doesn't say, but it sounds like the drives and media are at least standard 48TPI. If that is the case, then it may be possible for a Kryoflux to read and duplicate a flux image of a disk using a standard floppy drive. (Similar to how it can read/duplicate Macintosh 400K/800K variable bit rate disks in a 1.44mb drive)

Unfortunately, off hand I don't know of any place that has archived disk images.

EagleTG
June 13th, 2016, 10:10 AM
Good info Moonferret, thanks!

I hadn't even thought of Kryoflux or Diskferret. Good call SomeGuy. :) Yeah, this machine is very cool, but there's so little out there about it (like you said, including disk images). Maybe I'll mess with these if/when I ever get a (few?) disks to play with.

Chuck(G)
June 13th, 2016, 11:02 AM
The 9000 disks are 96 tpi, not 48. I'm a little surprised that nobody checked bitsavers. There's a wealth of documentation on the Victor here (http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/victor), including a rather detailed technical reference manual.

I've got at least one 9000 floppy, but I couldn't tell you what was on it.

Also, this guy has schematics (http://sirius1victor9000.blogspot.com/) and he might be a good starting point toward getting boot floppies. , and there's this site that might be of some use (http://www.actsirius1.co.uk/).

Although Victor was in Scott's Valley, CA, they never did find much of a market in the US, but instead sold in Europe mostly as the Sirius. Why the name change? Therein lies a pretty ugly story.

"Victor" was a name used widely in the US (witness the maker of photographic lighting, the RCA Victor corporation, etc.), but Victor early on was determined to eliminate any sort competition as they had purchased the bones of the company known for the Victor Comptometer. They started out by suing a TV and Appliance dealer on the east coast who had been using that name for more than 30 years. Yeah, like that--lawyer-crazy; pick on the small guys first--burn through that easy VC money.

Eventually, Victor found that they couldn't play the same game overseas, so they called the thing "Sirius". Fortunately, the rise of IBM and compatibles eventually put them out of business--they filed Chaper 11 in 1984, not a year after their initial IPO--which was probably intended to bail out the VCs after the way the wind was blowing was pretty clear. Typical Silicon Valley capitalism.

After that, they got passed around, among other things, selling Far East PC clones, but eventually ending up being sold to Tandy--but the computer business only. The original Victor calculator division survives as Victor Technology LLC.

Life is strange.

EagleTG
June 13th, 2016, 11:19 AM
Wow, good info Chuck. I had never thought to check BitSavers. Thanks!

snuci
June 13th, 2016, 11:30 AM
I have two Victor 9000s. One has dual floppies and one has a single floppy and hard drive. The hard drive boots perfectly but my floppy drive doesn't work properly in that unit :( I have two or three disks but have not been able to make a proper copy yet because I have another issue with the dual floppy unit. When I try to start a copy, I see some artifacts on screen and the computer freezes. I am hoping it's just bad memory. It has been one of those... "I'll get to it" projects but I'll see if I can get to it later in the week.

roberttx
June 13th, 2016, 11:33 AM
In the UK they were sold as the Sirius 1.

I'd forgotten about those. I used to play with the demo one in Dixon's, sometimes.

The OP might find some help here: http://www.actsirius1.co.uk/

EagleTG
June 13th, 2016, 11:40 AM
Awesome, thanks Snuci, no rush. As the person I got the Victor from said to me upon pickup "That computer's been waiting over 30 years to find you". :)

RobertTX, I found that site previously. So much good info over there. I might try sending the site curator a note, as a few of the pages seem to ask the visitor to do-so.

SomeGuy
June 13th, 2016, 12:09 PM
Ah, those bitsavers PDFs are not OCRed, no wonder they weren't turning up in Google searches. Not that much information out there about these machines indexed by Google at all.

So the 600K, or sometimes "612K" disks are actually single-sided 80 tracks 96TPI using (low density) variable bit rate GCR. And even more confusingly they also sold double-sided "1.2mb" drives, but these are not high density disks, they are closer to "Quad Density". They would have used Quad Density rated media, although like Quad Density drives, decent quality Double Density media should usually work perfectly.

So to archive and duplicate these, use Kryoflux and a standard IBM AT compatible 1.2mb high density drive, but set it to low density.

Anyway, I did come across this:
http://freecode.com/projects/cw2

Apparently this program for the Catweasel controller supports Victor 9000 formats. Which again suggest they can be read via a "normal" floppy drive with the right controller.

Also this interesting bit:
http://ftpmirror.your.org/pub/misc/dos/RbbsInABoxVol1No2_640/files/019Z/LPNEWS.ZIP-contents/LPNEWS.TXT
This describes ports of Lotus 1-2-3 to different platforms and describes the Victor 9000 port as

VICTOR TECHNOLOGIES

* Victor 9000 (1-2-3 Port)
* Requires DOS 1.25, Victor BIOS Version 2.61
* Minimum of two floppy drives, or one floppy drive and one hard disk.
Floppies may be single-sided.
* Programmer's keyboard only.

Al Kossow
June 13th, 2016, 12:14 PM
Ah, those bitsavers PDFs are not OCRed, no wonder they weren't turning up in Google searches.

Google does their own OCR

Chuck(G)
June 13th, 2016, 03:42 PM
The one thing that I note is that the Sirius/Victor BIOS is loaded at boot--that is, it's not ROM-resident. Something like the Sanyo MBC-500 series.

Don't expect to find much software, other than generic DOS stuff for this machine. Everything is different--no IBM PC compatibility.

If you'd like, I can dig out a 9000 floppy and see what's on it. I do have a Debian system connected to a CW Mk. 4 available.

tipc
June 13th, 2016, 08:51 PM
A dude named Jonathan in the Philly area figured out how to create a boot disk. I even have the procedure in a set of old e-mails somewhere. I figured there had to be a way, but he did all the work. The last time I heard from him he was on the MESS forums, bannister.org or some such. He and/or another fellow in the Seattle area sent me boot disks years ago, but I had problems with both 9ks, and that was before I acquired a Vicki. You could try tracking him down or do it yourself. I‘ll try and look up how he did it and report back.

Basically as I think about it, it involves creating a small program in assembler, putting that on a disk (IBM format), which will format a disk in drive b: (Vic 9k format) and write boot files to the disk, which at one time could be scarfed off the net. This assumes a Vic can read/boot from and IBM formatted disk, which I assume can't be the case. So therfore it must be more involved. If there are no bios disk services available at bootstrap that represents another obstacle. Let me look.

forums.bannister.org

harry
June 14th, 2016, 02:24 AM
If you have no luck with making disks, I do have a Sirius 1 , and although I am in the UK, if waiting is not a problem I could dig out my machine ,hopefully the keyboard has not given up. ( it has the foam/mylar contact pads) I could copy what sys disks I have and post them over if nessesary? PM me if I can help.

.....Harry

tipc
June 14th, 2016, 03:04 PM
Hey Harry, would you happen to know if the Vicki was sold in the UK? Was there notable additional s/w sold in the UK for the 9ks?

harry
June 15th, 2016, 01:21 AM
Hi, If you mean the " Vicki portable " yes it was available in the uk, infact I have one working, and one not working, the one site, and very helpful chap who I am sure can help with any info, would be .... Home of the ACT Sirius 1 and Victor Computers (UK) His website has much info , and certainly worth spending time checking out the various operating systems, software, disks drives, etc. etc. that were configured or available for the victor/sirius machines. I do have a few disk's that came with my machines, but it was many years ago, I would have to check out what I have, and perhaps see if things still work. Making some backups should be no problem . let me know.
Hope this helps, ...Harry

EagleTG
June 15th, 2016, 07:29 AM
Thanks for the continuing help, all.

Harry, I've been on that site ( http://www.actsirius1.co.uk/ ) and there is some excellent information on there. In one section, the curator of the site seems to indicate that they will help with copying disks. I've shot an e-mail over to the address listed on the site. We'll see if they are still offering any of those services. So far haven't heard back, but not really in a huge rush.

I do appreciate the offer of helping with copies of the disks you have. I will wait to see if I hear back from the guy(s) at ActSirius1.co.uk or some of the other members of the VCFed forum that used to indicate they would provide copies of these disks. If I don't hear back from anyone in a bit, I'll send you a PM. I just don't want to make you go through the work if you aren't already set up for it. :)

Based on the boot process descriptions earlier in this thread, I am relatively certain my machine has some sort of POST/early boot process issue as I don't see the memory count on boot. I have confirmed that the monitor seems to be working (shows raster if I crank the internal brightness control). I'm hoping to get some more time to work on it shortly. If/when I get past the current issues it's having, the acquisition of floppies to boot it will become more important.

Tipc, I am slightly fascinated by the possibility of a basic bootloader that would allow streaming of disks (reminds me of the ADTPro bootloader, or maybe even the FastLynx bootstrapper). Interestingly I'm in the Philly area too. I'll head over to the forum and see if I can find him. If you happen to dig up any info, I'm all ears.

I am also considering putting this out on CCTech/Talk as I think that's a slightly different audience than the VCFed group.

harry
June 15th, 2016, 09:53 AM
Hi, Just to let you know,when I first switch on my sirius 1 ,I only get a flashing arrow next to the small f/disk icon, in the middle of the lower part of the screen, no memory count is shown, this seems normal ,and depends on what roms are fiitted, the left hand disk drive is spinning, with the red light on waiting for its disk.
Whereas when the vicki portable is switched on, (if I recall,) I do get a capital M next to its memory count, next to the same flashing arrow and f/disk icon. if you have nothing on screen at all ,not so good, best of luck ...

...Harry

nigwil
June 17th, 2016, 04:07 AM
Something else to find for the Sirius 1/VICTOR 9000 is the Unix Alpha release. This was developed by Victor Technologies early on as a proof-of-concept. It was about 10-12 diskettes (1.2MB each) that had to be installed on the 10MB internal hard-drive and you needed the 512KB memory expansion. But it provided a working Unix System V setup.

It is possible to search for the implementor of the floppy-drive device driver for the Unix for this machine, but he didn't keep any of his work.

snuci
June 19th, 2016, 10:14 AM
Well, I am trying to diskcopy or even format a new floppy with the "DCOPY" and "FORMAT" commands but regardless of the write-protect notch covered or not, I can't write to a new disk. I tried low density and high density floppies with no luck. I am trying this on my dual floppy Victor 9000. I'll check the manuals to see if there is any safety features that prevent writes but I am stuck at this point. If anyone knows how to get around this, please let me know. When I do a "DCOPY", it moves from one drive to another until it has to write the label and then fails.

Edit: I only have CP/M-86

Any help is much appreciated.

snuci
June 20th, 2016, 06:27 PM
So, I've been able to make DOS 2.11Hj disks but my CP/M-86 track zero is bad on my bootable floppy. I can eventually get to a CP/M prompt but I can't do a DCOPY. I tried to:

1. run FORMAT to format a blank copy
2. run BOOTCOPY to copy the boot sectors to the new floppy
3. run PIP b:=*.* top copy all the files over

When I try to boot, I'm guessing the boot sector copied by "BOOTCOPY" didn't copy properly due to a bad source track 0.

So, that's where I am. I do have a copy of a proper Victor 9000 DOS disk but not of the CP/M-86 disk.

EagleTG
June 26th, 2016, 06:51 PM
Wow... That's progress! What are the chances I could get you to make me a copy of the DOS disks? Send me a PM if you feel like it. :)

That's a shame about the CP/M stuff. Glad it at least still "kinda-works" for you. :)

I wish I could contribute more information about what to try, but I don't know much about this machine (yet?). I'm also new at CP/M in general, so really can't provide much assistance from that side of things.

Thanks again! I really do appreciate what you've done thus far!

drdanj
October 17th, 2016, 08:53 AM
Hello, bit late to the party here, but I've just managed to get my Victor back up and running after 25-odd years (basically all the 6522s had gone pop). I just need to finish up fixing the keyboard as it's done a "keytronics" and disintegrated, but I do appear to have a bootable CP/M-86 version 1.1 disk, and MS-DOS 3.1+VBASIC A. I don't have many blank disks to hand, but I would be happy to make copies for the price of postage if people send me blanks - I should warn that I'm in the UK though!

If anyone's interested in the rather long-winded repair thread, it's here:
http://stardot.org.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=11851

EagleTG
October 17th, 2016, 10:22 AM
Hi there drdanj!

I, too, am trying to get my machine up and running. I'll check out your repair thread to see if it sheds any light on what's up with my machine.

I will likely take you up on the offer of copies of the disks you have available. I've received the DOS disks from snuci and will test them as soon as I have my machine running.

I could send you a copy of what snuci provided along with a few blanks to get what you've got available. US to UK shipping shouldn't prove too troublesome nor expensive.

drdanj
October 17th, 2016, 10:43 AM
Excellent - if you can't see anything on the screen, start by pulling out Q4 and seeing if any error messages are flashed up - two out of 3 6522 VIAs had died on the main board, and at least one of the ones on the floppy board had died. As mine's now working to all intents and purposes, I can take readings/traces at all the relevant points for people to compare to.

Happy to archive disks with my Kryoflux (I don't currently have any way of extracting data from the dumps though), I should also, in the future, be able to get things off and onto 360k IBM format floppies which I can extract data from. I'll try and dig out some comms software from somewhere too - with that and working boot floppies people should be good to go.

d.

EagleTG
October 17th, 2016, 10:58 AM
I just finished reading through your thread. Impressive stuff. I'll be using some of your techniques!

Also, did you talk with Seldon2k? He indicated that he has a lot of software for this machine. It would probably be worth trying to collect as much as we can at this point.

I hope the Kryoflux can read these disks, I haven't seen that anyone tried it yet. Earlier in this thread, SomeGuy speculated that even though the disks are GCR and variable speed/bit rate but thought they were 48TPI which would bode well for the possibility of reading them on a Kryoflux.

drdanj
October 17th, 2016, 11:50 AM
Fantastic - I sincerely hope it's of some use! (and really, big up to Mark, Dave and Chris, they did most of the work there!) With respect to Seldon2k, no - I'll give him a shout though!

The kryoflux can happily read the disks - they're 80 track (96tpi) and, as you say, GCR encoded - but the software won't decode the fluxes, which means writing something myself. I have some code that sort of might do it but needs a bit of tweaking as it was only dealing with FM. At least once the fluxes are copied the disks are "saved" though, it's just a question of doing something with the flux data down the line! :)

I used this machine consistently for about a year or so in the early 90s for schoolwork. I can't wait to get the keyboard fixed up, typing on a PCB with no markings is rather agonisingly slow to say the least...

inotarobot
October 17th, 2016, 01:27 PM
OK I know its slightly of topic.

But I am looking for a keyboard for a Sirius1. I am not sure if a Victor 9000 keyboard will work on it, should one of them come up for sale somewhere.?

Also will the Victor 9000 floppies you are all talking about on this thread work on my Sirius 1 ? I got my machine a couple of months back but have not had any real chance to try and find why the HD is not booting. Maybe it was wiped or maybe its just a cable issue, and just maybe it still has software on it.

Having no keyboard is a pain.

I would be interested in floppy disks also.

drdanj
October 17th, 2016, 01:32 PM
Yup. The Sirius 1 and the Victor 9000 are the same machine to all intents and purposes - the Sirius 1 is what it was called in Europe (mine's a Sirius 1 with a Victor badge - go figure). There'd probably be some mileage in working out the serial protocol on the keyboard and building a small AVR based USB keyboard->Victor device. If you're getting an error message for the HD, there're enough documents to work out what the problem might be?

inotarobot
October 17th, 2016, 01:43 PM
Yup. The Sirius 1 and the Victor 9000 are the same machine to all intents and purposes - the Sirius 1 is what it was called in Europe (mine's a Sirius 1 with a Victor badge - go figure). There'd probably be some mileage in working out the serial protocol on the keyboard and building a small AVR based USB keyboard->Victor device. If you're getting an error message for the HD, there're enough documents to work out what the problem might be?

Thanks for the answers.

Is there an docs available in pdf that give any keyboard clues or as to what motherboard chip is doing the keyboard I/O ?

Short of going out in the pouring rain here, to walk to my "transportable Bungalow" that now my computer room/workshop to look at machine, if my memory is correct the keyboard connector is more an RJ phone socket style than the big DIN plug like early IBM's ?

Edited to add:- just found a pic of back of machine and see it is the RJ style connector.

Also I looked at http://www.actsirius1.co.uk/ and see they mention the hardware manual, but do not have a downloadable version yet.

Do you have any easy way of capturing the serial protocol from your keyboard ?

drdanj
October 17th, 2016, 02:19 PM
ftp://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/victor/victor9000/Victor9000TechRef_Jun82.pdf Page 81 onwards :) (the tech ref + schematics on the same site are the most useful docs out there). I confess to not having looked in detail at the keyboard. It uses an 8048 type microcontroller which someone has dumped the ROM from (I think!) in order to emulate it in MESS: http://archive.org/download/MESS-0.151.BIOS.ROMs/MESS-0.151.BIOS.ROMs.zip/MESS%200.151%20ROMs%2Fvictor9k.zip

inotarobot
October 17th, 2016, 02:54 PM
ftp://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/victor/victor9000/Victor9000TechRef_Jun82.pdf Page 81 onwards :) (the tech ref + schematics on the same site are the most useful docs out there). I confess to not having looked in detail at the keyboard. It uses an 8048 type microcontroller which someone has dumped the ROM from (I think!) in order to emulate it in MESS: http://archive.org/download/MESS-0.151.BIOS.ROMs/MESS-0.151.BIOS.ROMs.zip/MESS%200.151%20ROMs%2Fvictor9k.zip

Great thanks I forgot to look on Bitsavers under Victor.. I had only looked under Sirius.

The manual is great as it give the timing diagram for keyboard plus info on the handshaking. Also quite a bit of good detail.

I looked also at the keyboard schematics in the Sirius Maintenance Schematics. Shame the 3 ICS in the keyboard schematic are only lettered Z1, Z2, Z3 but no details on what the chips are, as I may have had an old keyboard that I could have modified to work, till I find an original Sirius 1 keyboard.

Maybe when someone here opens a keyboard for a clean they can document what these 3 chips are

Thanks again for the heads up on where the docs are online

snuci
October 17th, 2016, 03:05 PM
Maybe when someone here opens a keyboard for a clean they can document what these 3 chips are

See if you can make it out from the photos here. If not, I will open a keyboard. I already replaced my foam pads so it's no big deal.

https://deskthority.net/photos-f62/sirius-s1-victor-9000-1982-t6068.html

drdanj
October 18th, 2016, 01:02 AM
My keyboard's currently open:
338943389533896

Al Kossow
October 18th, 2016, 05:36 AM
Maybe when someone here opens a keyboard for a clean they can document what these 3 chips are

Thanks again for the heads up on where the docs are online

They are Keytronics custom parts made by Exar. They are used on MANY of their keyboards of that era (Lisa, SOL-20, etc.)

EagleTG
October 18th, 2016, 07:25 AM
Not sure if it's of any help, but the circuitry/chips looks similar to what is discussed in the Lisa keyboard repair posting here:
http://john.ccac.rwth-aachen.de:8000/patrick/KBDtester.htm

Stumbled on this when Googling the Exar 22-950-3B chip.

drdanj
October 18th, 2016, 10:52 AM
This should also help: https://github.com/mamedev/mame/blob/master/src/mame/machine/victor9kb.cpp

drdanj
October 23rd, 2016, 08:39 AM
Okay, up and running properly now.

I have: CPM-86 1.1+BASIC, MS-DOS 1.25 + BASIC, MS-DOS 3.1 + VBASICA. I also have the last version of KERMIT made available for the Victor (MSVV90.EXE) which I can stick on a disk fairly easily, and that opens up serial file transfers properly. KERMIT doesn't take up an entire disk, so I can attempt to fill that up with a few bits of PD from one of the issue discs.

As I said, I don't have spare floppies but I'm happy to copy things onto disks that people send me and return for cost of postage. They need to be double density, not high density, disks! 48tpi will probably be absolutely fine, not many DD disks were certified at 96tpi. PM me and we can work something out.

Having just spend a few hours messing around with it, I'd really forgotten what great machines these were to use - and the quality of the display is exceptional!

SomeGuy
November 6th, 2016, 07:48 PM
I'd be interest at taking a look at some Kryoflux dumps of the Vic9000 disks if possible.

drdanj
November 10th, 2016, 01:27 AM
That I can do - CP/M and MS-DOS? Where should I stick them?

SomeGuy
November 10th, 2016, 04:28 PM
I've found TinyUpload.com handy for such things. There is a 50mb limit per file, but in case you aren't familiar with it, the 7-zip file compressor compresses the heck out of Kryoflux images.

snuci
November 10th, 2016, 04:36 PM
That I can do - CP/M and MS-DOS? Where should I stick them?

I can also host them. I'll send you a PM.

drdanj
November 11th, 2016, 03:45 AM
Thanks - I'll try and pop them up this evening!

d.

EagleTG
November 11th, 2016, 02:09 PM
Thanks - I'll try and pop them up this evening!

EagleTG Approves of this Message.

(Thanks for doing this!!!)

drdanj
November 12th, 2016, 12:45 AM
Done! I've got serial communications just about working now too. The line drivers had blown for the rs232 ports, but fresh ICs and it's kermitting like a green thing.

drdanj
November 12th, 2016, 11:56 AM
Another useful bit of information - infozip unzip (msdos version) works perfectly without having to run through the ibm emulator!
d.

snuci
November 12th, 2016, 02:40 PM
Thanks for the files, drdanj. These Kryoflux images are available through these links.

CP/M http://vintagecomputer.ca/download/victor_9000/cpm11victor-kryoflux.7z
DOS 3.1 http://vintagecomputer.ca/download/victor_9000/dos31victor-kryoflux.7z

drdanj
November 12th, 2016, 10:48 PM
Great!

Worth noting, you'll probably have no mileage writing them with a kryoflux - writing RAW, it needs the index hole to sync everything up to the start of the track, and the victor doesn't use the index hole at all, it just starts writing. The upshot of that is each of these track reads probably starts from a random position somewhere in the track. The whole track will be there, but it's not aligned to the start!

SomeGuy
November 13th, 2016, 07:32 AM
Worth noting, you'll probably have no mileage writing them with a kryoflux - writing RAW, it needs the index hole to sync everything up to the start of the track, and the victor doesn't use the index hole at all,
The Kryoflux should be able to duplicate disks that are non-index aligned. It is capable of "splicing" tracks when it writes, and can write during and around the index. The Kryoflux does require the index hole, but it uses that to determine how fast your drive is spinning and adjust the length of the track. (So on "flippy" disks that lack the index hole, you must either use a specially modded drive or punch an extra hole in the jacket)

Have you had no success writing the disk image back? I would suspect a more likely culprit is the density select line and the Automatic Gain Control in the drive itself. Were the linked images read with in low density mode (density line high) or high density mode (density line low). With Mac 3.5" variable bitrate disks low density is used to read/write.

As I said, I don't have a Victor 9000 but this is an interesting format.

There are actually several different "GCR" encoding methods, and the one this uses seems to be different from the more common Apple GCR. That means the PCE tools don't have any way to even decode the raw GCR properly. Supposedly the GCR encoding may be similar to Commodore disks. No idea so far if the sector organization is similar too.

The kryoflux supports decoding Commodore disks, but stupidly the formats are hard-coded so you can't override the track distance (one must ALWAYS use a 1.2MB drive or it will bang your heads around without warning you) and you can't override the RPM value.

drdanj
November 13th, 2016, 08:25 AM
I truth, I haven't tried as so far as I could tell from reading the forums that writing RAW without the index is a no go -> without anything to indicate where the track actually started you're never going to get things splicing together neatly! G64 has at least interpreted the track so knows where the start/end are. However, I could be completely wrong.

The format of the discs is described here, pg90+, and as I understand it is CBM GCR encoding with 512byte sectors.
http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/pdf/victor/victor9000/Victor9000TechRef_Jun82.pdf

Also:
http://www.discferret.com/wiki/Victor_9000_format

Where can I get PCE tools? I had a bit of a google but came up none-the-wiser!

SomeGuy
November 13th, 2016, 10:20 AM
Well, your disks have an index hole, and therefore an "index". If they did not, both your 1.2mb floppy drive and the Kryoflux itself would stick its nose up at you and refuse to make a stream dump. The content on the disk is not aligned to the index, but that does not usually stop the kryoflux from duplicating non-aligned Apple II, C64, or Atari disks.

Right, you said you did not have any extra floppies to test with. Perhaps someone else can verify the images work.

The Kryoflux sector interpreting or "decoding" is mostly separate from its ability to read and write streams. The ONLY advantage you get by doing a stream and decoded sector dump at the same time is that it will retry tracks when sector decoding fails. And quite frankly, the Kryoflux's decoding ability is so poor (it will often fail on disks that are perfectly readable on a real computer) that I have gotten in the habit of just making the stream dump first, and then going back later and testing/decoding the stream dump with the Kruoflux software, HxC disk tool, or PCE tools.

The "PCE tools" as I refer to them are the set of disk tools that accompany the PCE emulator.

The one I am using here is: http://www.hampa.ch/pub/pce/pre/pce-20160308-72f1e10-pfi-win32.zip
And other versions are located here: http://www.hampa.ch/pub/pce/pre/
Now that I look at it, it looks like there is a newer version.

But as I mention, that appears to only like Apple GCR not CBM GCR.

I'll also point to the HxC disk tool: http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/index.html#download
But it currently knows nothing about this disk format.

drdanj
November 13th, 2016, 12:16 PM
I do have a couple of disks that I use as "scratch", so I've just had a go, but no dice - it can't read any of the sectors :(

Can you manage to get it successfully write a C64 floppy directly from a raw dump (rather than G64)? I'm wondering if there's some tweaking of settings that can be done.

SomeGuy
November 14th, 2016, 04:08 PM
Unfortunately I mainly deal with IBM PC disks. I assumed that since c64 and Apple II were so popular with kryolfux users that this would all just work.