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With CFFA3000 delayed till end of 2017..


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#26 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:10 PM

Nope.

 Nope what?

 

You may not agree with making more or charging more but let me share 3 examples of the price of the CFFA:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...YwAAOSwo4pYVK8m

 

http://www.ebay.com/...YwAAOSwo4pYVK8m

 

http://www.ebay.com/...YwAAOSwo4pYVK8m

 

So no matter what you think about it, others ARE willing to pay a premium for the cards.  I think it might be time for a Kickstarter, or something of that sort to make it so that there is money to cover have these cards available for a prolonged period and not just every 2 years.

 

BTW: I have a BMOW Floppy EMU also and think its great, readily available, and works on several systems, But I think the total functionality of the CFFA is still better.


Edited by c0op3r, Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:12 PM.


#27 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:13 PM

It might also be his single word answer to my question, whether the SD device (which was announced in April 2015, so not exactly brand new) looks to be a worthy contender to the CFFA. If that is not the case, the CFFA will probably forever be unchallenged and people be willing to pay whatever it takes to get one, in particular if the next batch is delayed or never happens.


Edited by carlsson, Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:16 PM.


#28 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:22 PM

It might also be his single word answer to my question, whether the SD device (which was announced in April 2015, so not exactly brand new) looks to be a worthy contender to the CFFA. If that is not the case, the CFFA will probably forever be unchallenged and people be willing to pay whatever it takes to get one, in particular if the next batch is delayed or never happens.

Ah, that makes sense.  

 

That card will work for what some people want it for.  My biggest concern would be documentation.  I have a Mockingboard-K and can find pretty much no documentation for it,I expect the same from that storage card.   Another option is the MicroDrive IDE Turbo from Ultimate Apple 2 (https://www.ultimate...roducts_id=15 )



#29 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:21 PM

For floppies: it emulates one drive at a time, and works like any other physical drive (including following daisy chain rules) but it always needs to be last in the daisy chain because it doesn't have an output port.


Really good information! I am quite new to all of this and now have three floppy drives connected (one 3.5, and two 5.25). I plan on getting one of these and did notice that it did not have another port to daisy chain. As far as I am aware the 3.5 drives have to go first before the 5.25 drives. I am not sure why this is (again, I am new) but I hooked it up this way and they are all functioning. So now for the floppy emu. My question is if I plug it into the last 5.25 drive will it work for 3.5 images? Is this how it should be hooked up? 3.5 dive going to the IIGS, 5.25 going to the 3.5, other 5.25 going to the first 5.25 and the floppy emu connected to the final 5.25?

#30 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:50 PM

Thanks guys, IIc is back in 'no solution' land  :P

The Apple IIc reference manual seems to suggest you can boot a ProDOS disk from external:

"The PRODOS operating system (but NOT the DOS or PASCAL operating
systems) supports startup using the external disk drive. This
PRODOS feature makes it possible to start the Apple IIc with a
diagnostic program in the event that the built in drive does
not work."

"To restart using the external drive, insert a PRODOS disk in
the external drive, then invoke the Monitor (CALL-151) and
issue 7, CONTROL-P."

I imagine this would be the same with the floppy emu and a mounted 5.25 prodos disk.



EDIT: Nevermind. Seems the only ROM version that allowed this was the 255 (first?) revision, and even then most disks would try to later seek the internal drive. This taken from BMOW:

IIc ROM Versions

For the curious, you can type PRINT PEEK (64447) at the BASIC prompt to find what ROM version is present in an Apple IIc. There are four versions:

255 The original Apple IIc ROM, size 16K. No support for Smartport disks. However, it has a nifty PR#7″ feature that allows for booting from an external floppy drive configured as drive #2, something thats not normally possible. This was the ROM installed in my IIc. In my tests, PR#7 worked to begin booting from the external drive, but most software seemed to be hard-coded to expect to boot from drive #1. The disks would start the boot process, but then the empty drive #1 would begin seeking in vain. The only disks I found that booted successfully from drive #2 were ProDOS and the game Moon Patrol.

0 With version 0, the ROM doubled in size to 32K. This ROM version eliminated the option for booting from drive #2, but added support for Smartport disks. The most common of these was the Unidisk 3.5, an intelligent external 800K floppy drive. But the Smartport protocol could also be used to communicate with other types of external disks, including hard disks up to 32MB in size.

3 Version 3 accompanied a logic board change, making it possible to expand the IIcs memory.

4 Version 4 corrected some bugs present in version 3.

#31 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:54 PM

So now for the floppy emu. My question is if I plug it into the last 5.25 drive will it work for 3.5 images? Is this how it should be hooked up? 3.5 dive going to the IIGS, 5.25 going to the 3.5, other 5.25 going to the first 5.25 and the floppy emu connected to the final 5.25?

 

As far as I remember, no. I actually went through I believe this exact same thing a little while ago; it was only like a month or two ago but I'm already fuzzy on some of the details. But I believe this is one of the big limitations of the floppy emu. It's not its fault, it's just the Apple II's smartport "rules". I don't believe there is any way to use both the the floppy emu as a 3.5" drive *and* a real 5.25" drive at the same time connected to that same port.

 

What I thought of doing is just buying another floppy controller, which theoretically would allow you to have both connected to different ports. But you can't do it with a standard Apple floppy controller; I'm not totally sure why, but I tried it and it doesn't work. The drive connected to the second controller just spins endlessly. The Apple II has a lot of weird limitations.

 

I talked to a guy on the phone (not sure if it was someone here; it was a guy on Ebay that I bought the floppy controller from) who knew a lot more about the technical issues with the Apple II than I do and he said there is a particular floppy controller that would probably allow you to do this, but I can't remember the name of it right now. (Something like Zorin, but not that because that's a Bond villain.) I looked it up at the time and they're very rare and were pretty expensive when I checked. I didn't think it was worth it; better to just forget the Floppy Emu and get a secondhand CFFA card in that case.

 

In practice it doesn't really matter much; the only thing it affects is running GS/OS and having access to your 5.25" software within it. In most cases you wouldn't even need that; that'd only really be useful for something like old word processing files that you might have saved on 5.25" disk. And you wouldn't have that. In that case you can always use Ciderpress to move those files onto a GS/OS partition onto an SD card so that Floppy Emu just loads it all as if it's a hard drive.

 

A bigger deal for me is that I can't figure out how to use a real *3.5"* drive with the Floppy Emu. Since the Floppy Emu is always last in the chain, the Apple II sees it as drive 2 and won't boot from it by default. I'd love to know if I'm just missing some method for doing this, but I haven't been able to figure it out. That means I can't really use GS/OS on the Floppy Emu without transferring anything I want to use with it over via Ciderpress. So normally I just boot GS/OS from the actual 3.5" drive; I don't use the Floppy Emu for anything other than bootable games.


Edited by spacecadet, Tue Dec 20, 2016 3:56 PM.


#32 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:12 PM

That's a bummer. I guess even still the floppy emu will allow me to experience a whole lot more IIGS software than I would be able to under normal (finding disks!) circumstances so for that it is great, but it just stinks that it does not have the additional connection to allow it to be first in the chain. Looks like I am going to have to disconnect my drives in order to use this and I really wasn't expecting that.

#33 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:43 PM

That's a bummer. I guess even still the floppy emu will allow me to experience a whole lot more IIGS software than I would be able to under normal (finding disks!) circumstances so for that it is great, but it just stinks that it does not have the additional connection to allow it to be first in the chain. Looks like I am going to have to disconnect my drives in order to use this and I really wasn't expecting that.

 

Yeah, I guess if it just had a daisy chain port on it, then all these issues would go away. I'm not sure why the guy who makes these doesn't do that, but maybe there's some technical reason. On his blog, he went through all the hurdles he had reverse-engineering everything about this port and how it works to make this thing emulate all these different things (3.5", 5.25", hard drive), so maybe the daisy chain issue just didn't seem as important as getting it to work 100% correctly.

 

Also, the Floppy Emu is really more of a Mac thing... even the case has a picture of a Mac on it, and I'm pretty sure the boards say "for Macintosh" on them. But they work with II's that have the Smartport, since it's the same port as the Mac. But I don't think the Mac has the same daisy chaining rules as the II, and most people don't need to worry about 5.25" drives on the Mac.

 

Anyway, so bottom line is it's not an ideal device, but it's still pretty useful since the limitations really come in uncommon situations. 99% of the time you will probably want to boot right into a program or game, and that's what the Floppy Emu does best.


Edited by spacecadet, Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:45 PM.


#34 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:52 PM

And its reasonably priced for what it does :) I will definitely be looking at one of these CFFA3000 units down the road when money isn't as tight (who knows, maybe I'll even consider selling my drives and boxed software in order to fund it) but I think the floppy emu will do just fine for now in order to open my software options.

#35 Polymorph OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:05 PM

 

I talked to a guy on the phone (not sure if it was someone here; it was a guy on Ebay that I bought the floppy controller from) who knew a lot more about the technical issues with the Apple II than I do and he said there is a particular floppy controller that would probably allow you to do this, but I can't remember the name of it right now. (Something like Zorin, but not that because that's a Bond villain.) I looked it up at the time and they're very rare and were pretty expensive when I checked. I didn't think it was worth it; better to just forget the Floppy Emu and get a secondhand CFFA card in that case.

 

I believe you are referring to the LIRON 3.5" UniDisk controller card. This is Apple's first SmartPort controller and I believe you can only connect 3.5" UniDisks and some SmartPort hard disks - i.e. you cannot connect 5.25" drives to this controller.



#36 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:27 PM

 

I believe you are referring to the LIRON 3.5" UniDisk controller card. This is Apple's first SmartPort controller and I believe you can only connect 3.5" UniDisks and some SmartPort hard disks - i.e. you cannot connect 5.25" drives to this controller.

 

That's it - but what you might be able to do is plug in the Floppy Emu to that and boot from it, then plug in the 5.25" and 3.5" drives to the normal SmartPort so you could see all the drives in GS/OS. You could also just leave everything connected all the time and boot from the other drives if you felt like it, as long as you had the Liron controller set to be in a slot below 6. That's what the guy I talked to suggested.

 

Just looked up that card on Ebay again - last couple actually went for $60 and $70, which is more reasonable than the ones I saw originally. Almost worth trying at that price, though there are none for sale right now.


Edited by spacecadet, Tue Dec 20, 2016 6:29 PM.


#37 Polymorph OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:33 PM

 

That's it - but what you might be able to do is plug in the Floppy Emu to that and boot from it, then plug in the 5.25" and 3.5" drives to the normal SmartPort so you could see all the drives in GS/OS. You could also just leave everything connected all the time and boot from the other drives if you felt like it, as long as you had the Liron controller set to be in a slot below 6. That's what the guy I talked to suggested.

 

Just looked up that card on Ebay again - last couple actually went for $60 and $70, which is more reasonable than the ones I saw originally. Almost worth trying at that price, though there are none for sale right now.

 

Just remember the newer AppleDisk 3.5" drives do not work with this card, only the UniDisk 3.5" drives (and these drives have a much higher price to buy). So if the LIRON doesn't work with the FloppyEmu, it could be an expensive "test".  :)

 

I suppose you could always re-sell the card though...



#38 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:00 PM

If I ever find one at $60-$70 I'll buy it to find out...what the hell :)



#39 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 20, 2016 10:44 PM

 

Just remember the newer AppleDisk 3.5" drives do not work with this card, only the UniDisk 3.5" drives (and these drives have a much higher price to buy). So if the LIRON doesn't work with the FloppyEmu, it could be an expensive "test".  :)

 

Just noticed this on the Floppy Emu web site:

 

"Emulates 5.25 inch 140K floppy disks on any Apple II series system, as well as 3.5 inch 800K floppies on the Apple IIGS, Apple IIc+, or others with Liron disk controller card. "

 

So I guess it'd work with the Liron :)



#40 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:33 AM

I don't want to see the cost of CFFA3000 go up. Not for my sake, I have a couple of them already. It is important to keep hardware like this as low-cost as possible so that noobies don't have a lot of expense at the outset. Too much and they may pick another platform.

 

---additionally---

 

What I find slightly annoying is that there is resistance to learning the old-school way of making disks like with ADTpro. Not saying one should commit hours to sitting there making disks, but everyone should learn the basics and in's and out's of how all of this comes together and interrelates. And the same goes for Ciderpress and Copy II+ and all the different ways of doing things. The more the merrier!



#41 dafivehole OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:16 PM

Ah, that makes sense.  
 
That card will work for what some people want it for.  My biggest concern would be documentation.  I have a Mockingboard-K and can find pretty much no documentation for it,I expect the same from that storage card.   Another option is the MicroDrive IDE Turbo from Ultimate Apple 2 (https://www.ultimate...roducts_id=15 )


Does anyone have one of these microdrive controllers? Seems like a good option for the CFFA?

Thank you,
Roger

#42 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:40 PM

Does anyone have one of these microdrive controllers? Seems like a good option for the CFFA?

Thank you,
Roger

 

Only emulates a hard drive from what I've read (and from what it says on the site). CFFA and Floppy Emu both emulate floppies and hard drives; CFFA I'm pretty sure can do both at the same time. On an Apple II, like other computers of that era, emulating a floppy is actually a lot more useful than a hard drive. A hard drive can be somewhat useful for the IIGS to run GSOS from, but still a lot less so than floppies. Most people never had a hard drive even for the IIGS, and a lot of GS software is kind of a PITA to even make work with one. (There's no real "installation" of programs, you had to just copy and paste the files over and make sure all the tools a program wanted were in the right places. Then hope that there was no copy protection on the floppy.)

 

The Microdrive controller seems like it's really meant to be used as an adjunct to having real floppy drives and disks, for people who wanted to add an actual hard drive but maybe couldn't find one for a reasonable price (Apple II hard drives aren't cheap, especially per MB!), or who needed something bigger than the 10MB or 20MB drives that were about all that was available at the time.



#43 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 30, 2016 12:44 AM

Well, I used my Christmas money to buy a FloppyEMU and it came in today. The handing and shipping time was great but as luck would have it I received a dud. The screen was heavily scratched and the case screws (I ordered the bundle with case) are stripped (well two of them). I was about to just "deal" with it until I put the microSD card in and didn't hear the familiar "click"....then it would not come out. Took it out with tweezers and tried again. Nope..the eject mechanism is broken. Ugh. I had this happen to me once with an Everdrive as well and had to exchange that. This is why I HATE spring loaded microSD slots. Why not just stick with normal SD? Now I have to attempt to exchange this. I emailed Steve from BMOW regarding the issues and hopefully I have no issue with an exchange. What a way to end the new year. At least I have beer...



#44 spacecadet OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 30, 2016 1:15 AM

That sucks; he's just one guy doing all this so I assumed he'd be checking everything himself for stuff like that. I bought my Emu and case separately and both were perfect, but I guess there are duds like in anything else.



#45 MarkO OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 30, 2016 5:49 PM

Well, I used my Christmas money to buy a FloppyEMU and it came in today. The handing and shipping time was great but as luck would have it I received a dud. The screen was heavily scratched and the case screws (I ordered the bundle with case) are stripped (well two of them). I was about to just "deal" with it until I put the microSD card in and didn't hear the familiar "click"....then it would not come out. Took it out with tweezers and tried again. Nope..the eject mechanism is broken. Ugh. I had this happen to me once with an Everdrive as well and had to exchange that. This is why I HATE spring loaded microSD slots. Why not just stick with normal SD? Now I have to attempt to exchange this. I emailed Steve from BMOW regarding the issues and hopefully I have no issue with an exchange. What a way to end the new year. At least I have beer...



"stuff happens", but I have never heard anything bad about the Emu Disk from BMOW, so it should be resolved quickly..


MarkO

#46 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 30, 2016 6:56 PM

I wonder how something as grossly "bad" as yours got shipped? I guess it happens..



#47 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:51 AM

I wonder how something as grossly "bad" as yours got shipped? I guess it happens..

 

 

I wonder too. When I spoke to him he said he tests the boards before shipping using the microSD slot, so I don;t know. All I do know is that he responded quickly and I sent it back today. I'm sure all will be fine.



#48 eightbit OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:30 PM

Well, I gave up on the BMOW device. I returned it to the developer and he said he "inserted and removed the card dozens of times with no problem". Well, I can tell you that slot was broken. I work for a large company that makes microSD (and SD, SSD, and USB flash media) and I certainly know when a slot is not working :) He also said he saw no scratches on the screen....no issues with the screws. I just don't know what to make of all of that. In any case, he did not offer to replace it with another one and simply gave me an option to either accept a refund or he will send the same unit back to me to "tinker" with. I chose the refund.

 

So I was back to the drawing board with few options, but luckily I received a great deal from a forum member for a CFFA3000. I have had it for about a week now and I must say this thing is fantastic. One thing I did notice tonight was that it would not see folders created on the USB media. Found out soon after that was because the firmware on the card is 3.0 and folder parsing was not introduced until 3.1.....and it can only be updated from CF. And after I have everything nice and closed, monitor on top and set up on my little cubby hole. Doh! I'll wait until my 8MB ram card and new CF card arrive before I crack it back open again :)

 

In any case, I am glad it worked out the way it did because this CFFA3000 is just one heck of a device. Now that I have owned the IIGS for a little while, read so much regarding it and watched so many videos, I am pretty fluent with the machine. Not a master of it in any sense of the word, but I can get around and load and save stuff now!

 

Do I think the card is worth the high ebay asking prices? Well...I can't say. I certainly don't like the fact that the prices are getting jacked up because people are unsure of a 5th run. But one thing is for certain and that is when the developer finally does call it quits and decide not to make them anymore they will be highly sought after....at least until someone else comes along with something better....if that ever happens ;) It isn't necessary to own to enjoy a IIGS, but it sure makes IIGS software easier to access in 2017!



#49 Grimakis OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:55 AM

 Nope what?

 

You may not agree with making more or charging more but let me share 3 examples of the price of the CFFA:

 

http://www.ebay.com/...YwAAOSwo4pYVK8m

 

http://www.ebay.com/...YwAAOSwo4pYVK8m

 

http://www.ebay.com/...YwAAOSwo4pYVK8m

 

So no matter what you think about it, others ARE willing to pay a premium for the cards.  I think it might be time for a Kickstarter, or something of that sort to make it so that there is money to cover have these cards available for a prolonged period and not just every 2 years.

 

BTW: I have a BMOW Floppy EMU also and think its great, readily available, and works on several systems, But I think the total functionality of the CFFA is still better.

 

If the price were raised on the next run, you'd end up with "more stock" even if you don't produce any more.

 

Price Increases, Quantity Demanded Decreases. At $300 a pop, you might be able to sell them to some people, but certainly not all the people who were buying them at $165.



#50 c0op3r OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:45 PM

 

If the price were raised on the next run, you'd end up with "more stock" even if you don't produce any more.

 

Price Increases, Quantity Demanded Decreases. At $300 a pop, you might be able to sell them to some people, but certainly not all the people who were buying them at $165.

 

I dont doubt what you are saying, and I am sure that more will be produced at the original rate or very close to that as parts and labor may have increase in the 2 yrs that have pasted since the last run.  

 

Only funny thing I have to add is that the last 3 (not the original ones I listed in my post) that have been sold on eBay were all sold by Richard Dreher the designer and guy that runs the page that makes/sells/distributes them.   I Hope what is happening is that a new run is coming up and he is just selling off the left overs (that he keeps for warranty work) to fund the next round of boards.  All of those also sold for more than 300$.

 

http://www.ebay.com/...=p2045573.m1684


Edited by c0op3r, Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:49 PM.




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