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DistantStar001

Just got a 484, and I have questions

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OK! So new update.

 

I've managed to accomplish goals 2 and 3 on this.  It took me a while, as I soon discovered that the hard drive did indeed have a previous installation of DOS and Windows on it, along with Word, AOL, Word Star, and a host of other software (nothing spectacular or difficult to replace) that left literally 0.0k for me to do anything else with.  I ended up reformatting the drive, and doing a fresh install for DOS and Windows 3.11.  Now there's roughly 75MB free.  I installed Star Trek 25th and it works great, but I think I'll be muting the sound until I get the sound blaster card drivers back up again.   I also found a copy of "The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack" which had almost all my favorite games (Chip's Challenge was in there and that was the most important one for me).  Now I'm turning my attention to my first goal, being able to write double density floppies for my TRS-80.  

 

I've been looking on eBay for a 360k drive.  But so far, everything I've seen has a card-edge connector as opposed to the pin-connectors on my drive controller.  So I have to ask: Is there a particular drive that I should be looking for (model/part number)?  Or do I need a need a separate controller for the 360k drives?

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Thanks!  Although, this brings up a new question. I've seen people substitute half-height, high-density and even IBM branded drives in their TRS-80 computers.  So could this work in reverse? Are the drives I have in my TRS-80 compatible with my 486 (not internally, but with the cover off)?  Obviously this isn't a permanent or even a good solution, but it might be an acceptable one until I find a better half-height (since I have to open the TRS-80 anyway to clean the potentiometers).  Assuming that I already have the cable you mentioned, since I didn't check, and just assumed that the connection is the same as the card.  eBay is educating me as well. ;-)

Edited by DistantStar001
Additional information.

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New (very short) update!  I have the right cable!! 🙂 

 

Turns out that both of my drives have edge connectors!

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Posted (edited)

The TRS80 drives use a shugart interface, not the IBM interface.

 

The differences are mostly academic, but you would need to mangle a cable to make it work.

https://www.hermannseib.com/documents/floppy.pdf

 

(See page 21 for the comparative pinout table, to guide how you would need to mangle the cable.)

Edited by wierd_w

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10 minutes ago, wierd_w said:

The TRS80 drives use a shugart interface, not the IBM interface.

 

The differences are mostly academic, but you would need to mangle a cable to make it work.

https://www.hermannseib.com/documents/floppy.pdf

 

(See page 21 for the comparative pinout table, to guide how you would need to mangle the cable.)

OK.  So not going to work.

 

I don't think it's worth mangling a cable for such a temporary setup.  But at least I know that the interface on whatever drive I get will be compatible!  🙂

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Weird and possibly stupid question that I should have asked from the beginning: What is the proper shutdown procedure for MS-DOS?  I've tried Googling it, but all the procedures I've found seem to be for Windows 95 or 98, and out of defeatism, I've been simply flipping the switch.  Not in Windows obviously, but after exiting to DOS.  I can't imagine that this is good for my power supply, and I have no idea what that might be doing to my motherboard.  So, yeah.  Little help?

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Well for shutting down the system for the evening, just flip the switch, or use a powerstrip w/switch.

 

For resetting DOS, a ctrl-alt-delete usually works. Or a power off. I think there are utilities that do that for you, but it's pretty much the same. Power cycle, or ctrlaltdelete.

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Slight amendment;  If you have disk caching software enabled (smartdrv and pals), wait for there to be no disk activity flashing, THEN power off.

 

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It used to be, at least on my first PC/Compatible which was an 8088, that you needed to type "park" on the command line to park the drive head. However as time went on, the heads would auto park.

 

Being a 486, I have a feeling (unless the drive is really old) after you're at a command prompt and all disk activity stops, it should be ok to shutdown.

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16 hours ago, Keatah said:

Well for shutting down the system for the evening, just flip the switch, or use a powerstrip w/switch.

 

For resetting DOS, a ctrl-alt-delete usually works. Or a power off. I think there are utilities that do that for you, but it's pretty much the same. Power cycle, or ctrlaltdelete.

 

15 hours ago, wierd_w said:

Slight amendment;  If you have disk caching software enabled (smartdrv and pals), wait for there to be no disk activity flashing, THEN power off.

 

 

10 hours ago, Gamemoose said:

It used to be, at least on my first PC/Compatible which was an 8088, that you needed to type "park" on the command line to park the drive head. However as time went on, the heads would auto park.

 

Being a 486, I have a feeling (unless the drive is really old) after you're at a command prompt and all disk activity stops, it should be ok to shutdown.

OK.  So I'm not slowly killing my machine.  Thank you.  Very good to know! 🙂

 

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I'm fairly certain your Conner drive has a voice-coil actuator and will park the heads on a specially textured section of the disk surface. Usually the inner tracks. All by itself.

 

When you are instructed to (or required to) park the heads manually, that usually means you have a stepper motor band arrangement.

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Posted (edited)

That  CP 3104 is totally IDE, and uses a voice coil. Says so in the Tularc documentation.

 

Manually parking the heads is not needed.

Edited by wierd_w

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OK.  Update since last:

 

Goal 1: I now have a 360k floppy installed, and so far as I can tell, it works.  I have also installed two TRS-80 emulators, and gotten one to work, but don't yet know how o get it to recognize the physical drive.  But I have gotten it to boot from an image.  

 

I have also installed the IMD118 and included DMK2IMD utilities, however, I have yet to figure out how to convert a .dmk to be written yet.

 

I'll put those questions into a separate TRS-80 post, since that seems more appropriate.

 

Goals 2 and 3: Accomplished and even exceeded.  I've installed several games that I never thought I'd see again, and a few that I didn't know were available for DOS, including Star Trek Strategic Operations Simulator.  However, my discovery does lead to a few problems.

 

   1) The game was likely designed for a slower computer, so the speed of gameplay is much faster than I'd like (even with the turbo off).  Is there any way to slowdown gameplay on older software?  I'm older than my VIC-20, and my response time shows it.

 

   2) While Star Trek does respond to the keyboard, pressing the right or left arrow keys just sends the Enterprise into an unending spin.  The up arrow seems to work as expected, but I can never control which direction I go.  I'm sure that a joystick would help this as I've had similar issues on an Apple II, but at the moment I don't have an "IBM" joystick, only Apple, Odyssey 2 and Atari.  I'm guessing that the Atari and Odyssey 2 ones are out since they're digital, but my Apple II stick is an analogue CH.  I've seen externally similar (or even identical) sticks produced for the PC on eBay, so I'm wondering if there is a way to adapt the stick I have (not permanently of course) for use with my 486?

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