Forum etiquette

Our mission ...

This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

This forum has been around in this format for over 15 years. These rules and guidelines help us maintain a healthy and active community, and we moderate the forum to keep things on track. Please familiarize yourself with these rules and guidelines.

Remain civil and respectful

There are several hundred people who actively participate here. People come from all different backgrounds and will have different ways of seeing things. You will not agree with everything you read here. Back-and-forth discussions are fine but do not cross the line into rude or disrespectful behavior.

Conduct yourself as you would at any other place where people come together in person to discuss their hobby. If you wouldn't say something to somebody in person, then you probably should not be writing it here.

This should be obvious but, just in case: profanity, threats, slurs against any group (sexual, racial, gender, etc.) will not be tolerated.

Stay close to the original topic being discussed
  • If you are starting a new thread choose a reasonable sub-forum to start your thread. (If you choose incorrectly don't worry, we can fix that.)
  • If you are responding to a thread, stay on topic - the original poster was trying to achieve something. You can always start a new thread instead of potentially "hijacking" an existing thread.

Contribute something meaningful

To put things in engineering terms, we value a high signal to noise ratio. Coming here should not be a waste of time.
  • This is not a chat room. If you are taking less than 30 seconds to make a post then you are probably doing something wrong. A post should be on topic, clear, and contribute something meaningful to the discussion. If people read your posts and feel that their time as been wasted, they will stop reading your posts. Worse yet, they will stop visiting and we'll lose their experience and contributions.
  • Do not bump threads.
  • Do not "necro-post" unless you are following up to a specific person on a specific thread. And even then, that person may have moved on. Just start a new thread for your related topic.
  • Use the Private Message system for posts that are targeted at a specific person.

"PM Sent!" messages (or, how to use the Private Message system)

This forum has a private message feature that we want people to use for messages that are not of general interest to other members.

In short, if you are going to reply to a thread and that reply is targeted to a specific individual and not of interest to anybody else (either now or in the future) then send a private message instead.

Here are some obvious examples of when you should not reply to a thread and use the PM system instead:
  • "PM Sent!": Do not tell the rest of us that you sent a PM ... the forum software will tell the other person that they have a PM waiting.
  • "How much is shipping to ....": This is a very specific and directed question that is not of interest to anybody else.

Why do we have this policy? Sending a "PM Sent!" type message basically wastes everybody else's time by making them having to scroll past a post in a thread that looks to be updated, when the update is not meaningful. And the person you are sending the PM to will be notified by the forum software that they have a message waiting for them. Look up at the top near the right edge where it says 'Notifications' ... if you have a PM waiting, it will tell you there.

Copyright and other legal issues

We are here to discuss vintage computing, so discussing software, books, and other intellectual property that is on-topic is fine. We don't want people using these forums to discuss or enable copyright violations or other things that are against the law; whether you agree with the law or not is irrelevant. Do not use our resources for something that is legally or morally questionable.

Our discussions here generally fall under "fair use." Telling people how to pirate a software title is an example of something that is not allowable here.

Reporting problematic posts

If you see spam, a wildly off-topic post, or something abusive or illegal please report the thread by clicking on the "Report Post" icon. (It looks like an exclamation point in a triangle and it is available under every post.) This send a notification to all of the moderators, so somebody will see it and deal with it.

If you are unsure you may consider sending a private message to a moderator instead.

New user moderation

New users are directly moderated so that we can weed spammers out early. This means that for your first 10 posts you will have some delay before they are seen. We understand this can be disruptive to the flow of conversation and we try to keep up with our new user moderation duties to avoid undue inconvenience. Please do not make duplicate posts, extra posts to bump your post count, or ask the moderators to expedite this process; 10 moderated posts will go by quickly.

New users also have a smaller personal message inbox limit and are rate limited when sending PMs to other users.

Other suggestions
  • Use Google, books, or other definitive sources. There is a lot of information out there.
  • Don't make people guess at what you are trying to say; we are not mind readers. Be clear and concise.
  • Spelling and grammar are not rated, but they do make a post easier to read.
See more
See less

Setting up the Vulcan hard drive controller on ][GS

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Setting up the Vulcan hard drive controller on ][GS

    An interesting thing about the Vulcan hard drive controller + PSU replacement combo for the IIGS is that it actually makes more sense to separate the PSU from the controller! With some creative rewiring, it's possible to put a SCSI drive inside the PSU replacement and run it off a SCSI controller (which will give you access to bigger drives and better performance), and the Vulcan controller itself can then be used in another machine using CompactFlash cards instead of the gigantic first-gen IDE drive it shipped with. Unfortunately, the Vulcan is infamously picky about what drives it accepts, and it takes quite a lot of trial and error to find a CF card that will work. So far I've only gotten two to work - a 32MB and a 64MB, both Viking branded.

    On the Drew ][ blog, there's a post about a utility for Linux called part_vulcan that can create a partition map for a Vulcan hard drive controller. I've tried to mirror what was done to run the utility in the blog post as closely as possible. I used what I'm reasonably sure is the the same Linux Live CD, compiled the program and ran it on several CF cards. The partitions created on the cards will show up in the boot menu of the Vulcan, but when I try to run the Partition Manager program on the install disk in order to format them I get the usual "COULD NOT READ VALID PARTITION BLOCK. PRESS 'Y' TO CREATE NEW ONE." error with it failing when I press 'Y'. The ROM on my Vulcan card is the Vulcan Gold ROM (2.0) and the Partition Manager version is 2.04, both of which are the last versions known.

    Has anyone sucessfully managed to get this program to work? I've only gotten certain 32MB and 64MB cards to work on the Vulcan, but I've noticed that it's possible to dump a .DD (in my case using WinHex) image of a card that has been formatted successfully and restore it onto a card that does not format successfully using the Vulcan utilities and it will work. Ideally, it should be possible to generate images of successfully formatted cards of any size.

    I got it to work, but the procedure was bizarre and very glitchy. After partitioning the card from Linux, you have to go into the Vulcan's boot menu and not pick not "boot from slot" but "select boot partition" and pick a partition on the card to boot from. The Vulcan will sometimes switch back to booting from the next slot if there's nothing on the partition, but it's not guaranteed; often it just crashes. If the first partition doesn't work, try the next; sometimes picking a non-existent partition will work. Some CF cards won't even work with this procedure. Instead of booting the setup disk normally (it has GS/OS on it) I elected to boot ProDOS 8 and ran PART.MANAGER from there (which seems to make it more stable). If all is successful it'll display the interleave prompt mentioned on the blog post and you can set up the partitions.

    The absolute maximum size for a drive is 512MB with 16 partitions but it's not terribly practical; you can only have 4 active partitions with a hard upper limit of 32MB, even if you use HFS. This forces you to keep going back into PART.MANAGER and swapping the active partitions around, which isn't too convenient as that means you have to hard reboot on every change (program won't even let you quit). 128MB with 4 ProDOS partitions is probably the sweet spot.

    I have found that it's possible to take an image of a successfully formatted CF card and restore it onto a CF card that won't format no matter what and it'll work.
    Last edited by dankcomputing; May 13, 2021, 07:52 PM.


      I’ve seen 1gb CFs used but only 512mb was visible.
      Not allowing partitions larger than 32mb isn’t surprising as there was no HFS FST when the Vulcan came out. By that time I think AE was in decline and wouldn’t have spent to rewrite the Partition Manager. Also probably not much need as the drives they sold weren’t big enough to need HFS.
      They did advertise a 200mb Vulcan in their catalog but I never saw one in any of their magazine ads so it could be vaporware. If it exists its ROM and Partition Manager would open up some possibilities