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View Full Version : C64/128 and Amiga <-> PC information plea.



schotty
May 15th, 2007, 09:43 PM
I have some disks that I wish to create from .dsk images on both my 64/128's and my Amiga. Personally, I would like to be able to do the following:

1) Back up my originals and stash them away
2) Create new disks (on say a 1581 in the C64/128's case) so that I can get some length of use.
3) Move images back and forth to each machine for usage.

Why?

I a while back had used the 1541 cable and backed up a fair amount of my own stuff (albeit not all). And would love to toy around with my old (meaning my own code that was written, not just some disk I bought) software again, and get it to be redistributable (GPL). I would also prefer to use the software natively, rather than on my Linux/Mac rigs.

Now, I understand that its not too hard to make a new 1541<->LPT patch cable. But what about to a 1581? What about using a HD (this way linux/mac's dd tool can easily back up a large collection) like I saw around abit that connects an IDE to the cartrige port on the 64/128?

Just trolling the lake for some ideas that are useful and known to be working. Otherwise I may just need to scrounge some comp/vacation time to engineer a new one (not likely soon ...) :p

Thanks for any thought put into this. Being new to the Amiga scene, I am a complete moron on tips/hacks/tools that will provide a solution for what I am looking for here. I just finally got my ebay itch again, and am not doing anything less than "FULL BORE BABY!!!"

carlsson
May 16th, 2007, 01:02 AM
To begin with, 1541 and 1581 share the same IEC interface. That means a cable known as XE1541 (XM1541, XA1541, XHP1541 and so on) will work just as well with a 1571 or 1581 as it does with any 1541 or 1541-II.

You may also be able to read 3.5" floppies formatted for 1581 natively on your PC with special software. Writing is more prone to fail, perhaps it works if you own a CatWeasel ISA/PCI floppy controller. But since you already know of the X-cables, that would be the easiest way to do it.

If you want to get a HD for your 8-bit Commodore computers, you can download and install 64HDD on some oldish, boring PC that will act like a hard disk server. It is much cheaper and perhaps even more practical than investing in IDE64, which uses a custom file system anyway so you wouldn't be able to read/write it from a PC without special software.

There are some more solutions in the making, like a few memory card solutions for the IEC bus. A memory card would then hold a number of disk images.

Bear in mind though that both the 64/128 and the Amiga may have custom disk formats that you can't easily backup with regular cables and software. As long as the floppies are standard formatted and you once simply stored files as they come, it will not be a problem, but a lot of commercial software was loaded with intentional read errors and other forms of copy protection that makes it very difficult to get a 100% backup. Of course it didn't prevent crackers from circumventing the protection, but that is a different aspect.

I don't know if there is any cable similar to the X-series for the Amiga. In theory it should be even simpler, as Amiga and PC floppy drives to some degree are compatible. At least one can modify a PC mechanism to work in an Amiga with a bit of work. I suppose you can use programs such as DMS and ADF to make floppy images and then transfer those to a PC in some way: via PC formatted floppies, null modem, removeable hard disk or PCMCIA memory card, network and so on depending on which Amiga model you own and how much you expanded it.

schotty
May 16th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Thanks I ordered 64hdd-128 version and the cart. Its only $70 all together, which isnt that bad considering how supposedly simple it looks.

What I plan to do is this:

1)Since this is DOS based, and I prefer Linux or Mac over any MS crap, I will dig out my DOS disks and make a VMWare image and try it in there. If it works I will share that image to those who want it, and detail how I made it.

2)I think going the route of the ide64 is not as good as initially thought, unless someone can tell me a few tricks that make an ide64 kit worth it, I am passing on that one. It seems like 64hdd is exactly what I am looking for.

carlsson
May 17th, 2007, 02:44 PM
Huh, I thought one could legally download 64HDD for free. At least the basic version, and then there is some further improved version that is sold.

IDE64 is probably cool if you permanently need a hard disk solution, but then again MMC64 and the various IEC based memory card projects seem like a more sleek concept. Yes, I know hard drives can be many times larger than any SD memory card yet on the market, but even with all Commodore 64/128 software that ever existed installed, I don't think you need much more than perhaps 4 GB. The figure is picked from thin air, I could be wrong about this but normally you don't want every single piece of software ever written, but rather your 1000-1500 favorite programs which I believe should fit on most 128-256 MB memory cards.

schotty
May 18th, 2007, 08:32 PM
Well, the pro version has some slicker software and comes with a cart and cable. So for me it was well worth it. Just awaiting the delivery :D