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Thread: Backpack floppy drive on windows 10?

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    Default Backpack floppy drive on windows 10?

    Would it be possible to run a backpack floppy drive on a windows 10 pc?

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    You'd have to write your own drivers--I'm not sure how Win10 plays with the parallel port. That being said, nothing in the BP is time-critical, so in theory, it should be possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    You'd have to write your own drivers--I'm not sure how Win10 plays with the parallel port. That being said, nothing in the BP is time-critical, so in theory, it should be possible.
    I'm using a usb floppy at the moment but it's temperamental at the best of times.

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    Big difference. A USB floppy essentially has what amounts to SCSI smarts built in--you can't change the standard format.

    The backpack, on the other hand is a "dumb" device, with a MCU to handle the parallel port handshaking, an FDC (usually a DP8473) and some SRAM for the FDC to DMA into. So a driver essentially includes the FDC operations in addition to handshaking. Some years ago, I posted the source for a simple DOS driver for the backpack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    You'd have to write your own drivers--I'm not sure how Win10 plays with the parallel port. That being said, nothing in the BP is time-critical, so in theory, it should be possible.
    If nothing is time critical, so the BP has a sector or track buffer, then I suspect you could get the data off via virtualization.
    Dave
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    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

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    How well does virtualization work with accessing the parallel port under Windows 10? I'm not even sure that a lot of the dodges that worked under XP (e.g. giveio.sys) will work under Win10. Has anyone tried?

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    Solved my immediate problem. Found a WfW 3.11 CD and installed via backpack CD-ROM on my PS/1

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    How well does virtualization work with accessing the parallel port under Windows 10? I'm not even sure that a lot of the dodges that worked under XP (e.g. giveio.sys) will work under Win10. Has anyone tried?
    I have XP running under VMWare and can program my old Spartan 3 demo boards using the parallel port JTAG adaptor. The virtualization seems to work pretty well in that the port is actually a PCI-E board.
    The board is a really only board and it programmed by downloading a boot loader which then programs the EEprom on the board. I was suprised it worked but it did.

    The one thing I couldn't get to work was an interface to store data in Williams tubes, but it is very time critical as it needs to count 10 microsecond pulses and uses a machine code loop. Its close but it looses data.
    Dave
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    Quote Originally Posted by g4ugm View Post
    The one thing I couldn't get to work was an interface to store data in Williams tubes, but it is very time critical as it needs to count 10 microsecond pulses and uses a machine code loop. Its close but it looses data.
    That's what MCUs are for!

    As far as parallel port devices go, I have a thin client set up with DOS/Win98SE networked in. Cheap and simple--a case of throwing hardware at a software issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    That's what MCUs are for!

    As far as parallel port devices go, I have a thin client set up with DOS/Win98SE networked in. Cheap and simple--a case of throwing hardware at a software issue.
    When the Baby Replica was built, in 1998, there were no such things as MCUs. The museum still use a 486 PC running Windows/95 to load programs into the baby via its printer port.
    They actually have two and swap them from time to time. When I built my FPGA baby I included emulation of the store interface and tested it with my old Digital VP575 laptop.
    I keep meaning to port it to an MCU but other things get in the way. I think it would be good to change to an MCU so I could load other programs without popping round the back..
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

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