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bluejay

Way to transfer files from a PC to Commodore Computers?

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So for the cost of 60 floppy disks, holding a maximum of 19 MB of data, he'll be able to afford a Pi1541 setup including a Pi Zero, and be able to download several gigabytes of data.

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6 hours ago, carlsson said:

So for the cost of 60 floppy disks, holding a maximum of 19 MB of data, he'll be able to afford a Pi1541 setup including a Pi Zero, and be able to download several gigabytes of data.

It'd actiually be less than that because disks cost more than a dollar a disk, plus I'd have to be pay for the xu1541.

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I mean I don't see a reason to not like amazon, it's just another way to get stuff I need.

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You might be able to get lightly used 5.25" floppies for $1 each, sometimes $0.50 each. Also if you picked up on OLD CS1's offer you could get a XM1541 cable only for postage, as far as I understood.

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7 hours ago, wierd_w said:

OLDCS1 has a noticeable dislike for Amazon

Noticed, notable, and noted.

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1 hour ago, bluejay said:

I mean I don't see a reason to not like amazon, it's just another way to get stuff I need.

My distaste for Jeff Bezos goes back to the "One-Click" patent.  I believe it was an abuse of the patent system and should have been rejected.  Thus, I have and will never knowingly support Bezos or Amazon.  Everyone has their hang-ups; this is one of mine.

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Not gonna lie: OpenCBM and CBMXfer are a real pain in the ass to get going.  Partly for the stubborn insistence on VB6, and partly because the available installers prefer the XUM1541.  I did a dry run on my Windows 10 Surface Pro and got them going, but trying some stuff on my Windows 7 machine broke what I already had working and now nothing seems to fix it.

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@bluejay

 

If you are still looking for 360k diskettes, there is a steal at ebay right now.

10 diskettes for ~8$.  Untested, but that's probably because they dont have a drive. They appear in good condition cosmetically, and have sleeves.

 

They also contain user data, which means they might contain something fun. 

 

I have a pile of diskettes that have sat so long that they have suffered bitrot; data unrecoverable. They still format just fine though.  Some of them are original factory diskettes for things like DOS 2.1, which I intend to refresh using downloaded disk images after some aggressive reformatting, that way they contain the correct data, and are returned to functionality.

 

I mention that, because although these are used diskettes, that does not mean they are in dubious condition.

 

If you are willing to spend a little extra, there's also this one for a lot of 58 diskettes for 40$.

Edited by wierd_w
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Hm. Earlier this year I sold just over 200 floppy disks for ~$50 + shipping, including two big floppy disk boxes and a few smaller boxes. Suddenly I feel like I got underpaid at $0.25 per disk, if $0.70 per floppy disk otherwise is considered a bargain.

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Yeah, I realize I gave away $100 by selling on Facebook instead of eBay.

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10 hours ago, carlsson said:

Suddenly I feel like I got underpaid

Nah, someone just got a great bargain.  You made the sure sale at the lower amount while others hold the risk for delayed sales at higher amounts.

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7 hours ago, carlsson said:

Yeah, I realize I gave away $100 by selling on Facebook instead of eBay.

I have tried speculating on items and have lost every damn time.  For a while I was dealing in traffic lights, which did well and I sold a good half-dozen for a reasonable profit after cleaning them up and installing a remote control or sequencer.  Then I found a fantastic deal on five.  That was three years ago and I only just sold my last one this weekend.

 

I have started to figure my cost/sale balance like this: how much is freeing up the space these are taking up worth?  How much is it going to cost me to hold onto them until I get the price I want?  I had four Commodore CRT monitors I dragged around for 10 years from place-to-place, filling up useful closet space as never used them, and I could not get anyone to take them just for the cost of shipping.  So about six years ago I took them to hazardous waste.  NOW look at how they are selling.  Even if I could sell them today, what I would make on them could never make up for lost space and transportation.

 

Like that damned storage room I got "temporarily" when I moved away for college.  I had that f-ing thing for 19 years for various reasons.  In the end it cost me around $13,000... and I did not have $13,000 worth of stuff in there.  In fact, half of it wound up being trashed.  Temporary has the tendency to become permanent.

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Received the cables from OLDCS1, and installing the needed programs were a complete pain in the rear, but I eventually got it working, with both the xm1541 and xu1541. The xu1541 doesnt always work, and when it doesnt i need to reboot my whole computer to get it working again. So for now I think I'm going to stick to the xm1541.

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6 hours ago, bluejay said:

The xu1541 doesnt always work, and when it doesnt i need to reboot my whole computer to get it working again.

This has been common for me, as well.  On my desktop I just have it connected to the USB all the time.  Interestingly, the FC-5025 uses the same libusb-win32 driver as the XU-1541, and the FC-5025 does not exhibit this problem.

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All this reminds me I bought two MMC2IEC kits a few years ago, but either my shoddy soldering or my lack to program an ATmega644 failed either of those to work. One I managed to get drive status from, but it would freeze the computer. If I could get those to work, I'd have a little surplus on that front too, though with the decreasing costs of SD2IEC it would mostly be an act of goodwill trying to sell those much lower than I paid for them.

Edited by carlsson

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Now I have 2 options to choose from...

1. Use the much faster xu1541 but have to reboot my PC every time it starts not working

2. Use the XM1541 with is very slow but very reliable...

This is a tough choice🙁

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Also I have a few questions at this point:

Just to be safe, it's okay to write onto disks that already have stuff on it right, as long as it's Commodore format? Or do I have to format it again before I do that?

Also, My 1571 seems to headbang a lot; I thought that wasn't supposed to happen so much. Is there a fix to it?

Thanks!

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Also @OLD CS1 I'd like to mention that none of the disk images you gave me on the usb stick work! Ended up having to download everything off myabandonware and stuff.

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7 minutes ago, bluejay said:

Also @OLD CS1 I'd like to mention that none of the disk images you gave me on the usb stick work! Ended up having to download everything off myabandonware and stuff.

Well, ain't that something.  I wonder if I gave you a bum stick, since the other programs appear to be corrupted, as well.  I can put the stuff up for you to download, again.  It is about 2GB and I know these images work as I have them on my SD2IEC and have made disks from them (obviously not all, but a quite a few, a relatively representative sample, I would say.)

 

To answer your two questions, when you write disk images to a disk it will over-write the entire disk.  In fact, before you write a disk it has to be formatted.  You may be able to put single files on a disk, but that is a function I have never used (or at least do not recall using.)

 

The head-banging could mean the drive needs to be cleaned.  There are plenty of tutorials showing how to clean the heads.  You can use a double-sided head cleaning kit, or you can use a cotton swab an a "high-proof" isopropyl alcohol, like 93% or higher.  Be gentle on the heads as you can damage them, just enough pressure to wipe it -- that is, do not scrub with the Q-tip.

 

Keep an ear out on the drive when in use with a disk of unknown history.  If you hear squealing or dragging, that indicates the disk and the head are interacting in an unhealthy way.  It could be debris built up on the disk is causing drag against the head, or it could be schmutz on the head which is dragging on the disk.  In a worst case scenario, build-up on the head can actually gouge the media surface.

 

tl;dr clean the drive heads, then proceed with awareness and caution.

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10 minutes ago, OLD CS1 said:

Well, ain't that something.  I wonder if I gave you a bum stick, since the other programs appear to be corrupted, as well.  I can put the stuff up for you to download, again.  It is about 2GB and I know these images work as I have them on my SD2IEC and have made disks from them (obviously not all, but a quite a few, a relatively representative sample, I would say.)

 

To answer your two questions, when you write disk images to a disk it will over-write the entire disk.  In fact, before you write a disk it has to be formatted.  You may be able to put single files on a disk, but that is a function I have never used (or at least do not recall using.)

 

The head-banging could mean the drive needs to be cleaned.  There are plenty of tutorials showing how to clean the heads.  You can use a double-sided head cleaning kit, or you can use a cotton swab an a "high-proof" isopropyl alcohol, like 93% or higher.  Be gentle on the heads as you can damage them, just enough pressure to wipe it -- that is, do not scrub with the Q-tip.

 

Keep an ear out on the drive when in use with a disk of unknown history.  If you hear squealing or dragging, that indicates the disk and the head are interacting in an unhealthy way.  It could be debris built up on the disk is causing drag against the head, or it could be schmutz on the head which is dragging on the disk.  In a worst case scenario, build-up on the head can actually gouge the media surface.

 

tl;dr clean the drive heads, then proceed with awareness and caution.

I'll give it a good wipe later today. You don't have to upload the files; I can download individual ones off the web whenever I need a certain thing. Thanks though!

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2 hours ago, bluejay said:

it's okay to write onto disks that already have stuff on it right, as long as it's Commodore format? Or do I have to format it again before I do that?

If there is room on the disks, you can write individual files to them as long as there is space left. If you're transferring entire D64 images, those will rewrite the disk entirely. Some programs might have a built in format command first to be sure that the disk structure is fine.

 

There's also the issue that disks once used on a PC may have issues if you reformat them on Commodore. Me and many others have witnessed this through the years, in particular if you used an 80 track drive on the PC to write a 40 track format, but also even if you used 40 track drives all over. I think the MFM grouping on the PC leaves sync marks that the GCR reformatting on the Commodore (or Apple) can't clear properly. Ideally you'd want a bulk eraser to go over the disk first. The same applies to 3.5" disks too, the 720K DD disks once reformatted on the Amiga as 880K would often cause read and write errors while identical disks only used on the Amiga could be reformatted any number of times. Going from GCR to MFM usually is fine though. Some people find this to be mumbo jumbo or hocus pocus, but if you have encounted these issues enough number of times from different disks, different drives and even different users across the world, there must be something to it.

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@carlsson All the disks I'm using was Apple formatted, then IBM PC, then now Commodore, and I have encountered no issues at all. Seems to work perfectly fine for me.

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I'm still looking for other solutions as writing images onto floppy disks is just a stop gap measure and is imperfect. 64hdd allows connects between the pc and the commodore, allowing the commodore to load files from the pc's hard drive, right? Just grabbing a cheap laptop off ebay with a parallel port along with the xm1541 seems like a good solution to me or just getting one of those usb to parallel adapters. Are there any drawbacks to 64hdd?

Edited by bluejay

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Like I wrote before, 64HDD will simulate a drive to the same degree (or slightly less actually) as the SD2IEC devices do. For the majority of programs, that will not be an issue. For the very few ones where you need support for a custom fastloader, the Pi1541 + Pi Zero bundle might be the most affordable for you even if it nears $60. Then again, a 486 laptop probably nears $60 or more anyway, and you'd get a bulkier solution that does less unless of course you're dying to get a 486 laptop for other reasons.

 

(You probably could reflash the Pi Zero with another "firmware" image to make it emulate a 486 anyway, even if it is not a laptop)

 

I don't know if there are affordable RAM expansions for your 286, to give it extended memory. Probably a more uncommon solution, and if you don't need that sort of memory for other purposes it would also be a waste of money, only in order to run 64HDD.

 

I would probably avoid anything related to USB to parallel. Those work for some applications, but it might be hit and miss. Besides, would that be a more modern PC booting into MS-DOS, and would MS-DOS even recognize the USB interface at all? I suppose some of the later DOS versions support USB devices, but then you need 64HDD to work with a USB port instead, which I strongly doubt it does. Or did I misunderstand why you would want a such adapter? I mean the XM1541 cable you got works because the program communicates via the built-in parallel port, not something magic about the cable ending in a DB25.

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