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Thread: How do Lisas connect to a Widget drive?

  1. #1
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    Default How do Lisas connect to a Widget drive?

    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.

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

  2. #2

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    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

  3. #3

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    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
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    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
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  4. #4
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    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?
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  5. #5

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    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...stitution.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-Lis...#ht_1719wt_932

    Tez
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  6. #6

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    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, 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 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.
    My Vintage computer/blog site
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  7. #7
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    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.
    = Excellent space heater

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    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
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    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

    Quote Originally Posted by tezza View Post
    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.
    My Vintage computer/blog site
    Searching for a keyboard for a WYSEpc WY-1100.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by RWallmow View Post
    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
    ------------------------------------------------
    My vintage collection: https://classic-computers.org.nz/collection/
    My vintage activities blog: https://www.classic-computers.org.nz/blog/
    Twitter: @classiccomputNZ ; YouTube Videos: (click here)


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