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DistantStar001

Can DriveWire be used to make real floppies?

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The title pretty much sums it up.  I have a CoCo 2 and made a DriveWire cable, but have to load the DOS from the cassette port, which is time consuming.   I recently received a floppy drive with controller, and now I'm wondering if I can boot to HDB-DOS and then interface with the floppy controller to copy disk images to real floppies or vice versa?  

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The title pretty much sums it up.  I have a CoCo 2 and made a DriveWire cable, but have to load the DOS from the cassette port, which is time consuming.   I recently received a floppy drive with controller, and now I'm wondering if I can boot to HDB-DOS and then interface with the floppy controller to copy disk images to real floppies or vice versa?  
Sdc is the way to go

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You could load up HDB-Dos through the cassette port and then get the Start, End and EXEC addressees. Use the SAVEM command to save a copy to disk. Run HDB-Dos and see how it works. I've never tried this idea, because I have the SDC. I don't foresee it not working. 

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11 hours ago, Michael Kline said:

You could load up HDB-Dos through the cassette port and then get the Start, End and EXEC addressees. Use the SAVEM command to save a copy to disk. Run HDB-Dos and see how it works. I've never tried this idea, because I have the SDC. I don't foresee it not working. 

Thanks!  I'll try this. 🙂 

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OK! So getting closer.  The first problem I had was getting HDB-DOS to recognize the physical drive.  Took some Googling, but found this site: https://sourceforge.net/p/drivewireserver/wiki/Using_DriveWire/?version=30

 

Summery: the DRIVE OFF command allows physical access to drives 0-3 and networked virtual drives 4-255.  From there, the site said to use the BACKUP 4 TO 0 command to make a copy.  However, this doesn't seem work.  While the two sides did communicate, and the Mini Disk did write something to the floppy, the physical disk itself has no directory in Disk Extended Color BASIC.  Additionally, in HDB-DOS's DRIVE OFF mode, I am un able to get a directory for any disk, physical or virtual.  And in DRIVE ON mode the physical drives are ignored entirely.  So it's hard to verify results without rebooting.  

 

This could simply be an issue with the floppy disk I'm using.  It's a little wonky, as I didn't want to test this on a fresh disk until I was sure it worked.  Still the two sides are talking, so progress!!! :-D  But I still have a couple of questions.

 

First: 

On 1/9/2021 at 9:57 AM, Michael Kline said:

get the Start, End and EXEC addressees.

How do I do this?  And would this allow me to save files from tape (.wav) to floppy?

 

Second: Assuming that this does work...  Is it possible to use this method to write disks for other Radio Shack computers, like my Model III?  Or are the formats not compatible?

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I'm not in front of my computer. However, I can point you in the right direction to get the Start, Ending and Exec addresses for machine language programmes. You can download 500 Pokes, Peeks, and Exec from the archive. Then search through the document for the Peeks that will give you the necessary addresses. 

 

Load HBC Dos and then key in the Peeks that will give you the addresses. Don't execute HDB DOS before running the Peeks. 

 

https://colorcomputerarchive.com/search?q=500+pokes

 

 

 

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Regarding using HDB DOS with real floppies, I've never experimented with my suggestion. 

 

Also note: the CoCoSDC is equipped with DriveWire capabilities and it can function with the floppy disc controller and drives. 

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It works!!!  I had to use DriveWire 3 and an old Intel iMac running 10.6 to do it, but it does work!  

 

For those curious, the process is as follows: 

 

1) Follow all the steps to load HDB-DOS on your CoCo (CLOADM:EXEC) and launch DriveWire on the server machine (in my case the iMac).

2) Load your desired virtual floppy image (.dsk as .dmk won't be recognized) in Device 0 on DriveWire.

3) Type "BACKUP 0 TO 4" on CoCo and press return.  This is because the  four virtual drives on DriveWire are devices not drives!  That was the major breakthrough for me, as this information wasn't well documented.  Each virtual "Device" has 256 individual "Drives".  When you load a disk image into the "Device" it defaults to "Drive 0".  By default, DriveWire will treat the other "Drives" 1-255 as blank (but not empty).  Effectively by "backing up" the disk in "Drive 0" its contents are copied to the blank in "Drive 4".  Side note, you can use any "Drive" number 4-255 for this process, but I will be sticking with "drive" 4. 

4) Type "DRIVE OFF" on your CoCo and press RETURN.  This will reassign the virtual "Drives" 0-3 as your physical floppy drives.  This is why I needed to backup from the virtual "Drive" 0 to "Drive" 4 or above.  Once in "DRIVE OFF" mode you lose access to the virtual "Drives" 0-3.

5) If you haven't already, format a floppy disk by typing "DSKINI 0 ( or your drive number)" and allow it to do its thing.

6) Type "BACKUP 4 TO 0 (or your drive number) and press enter.  

 

That's it!  

 

Obviously, the reverse of this process will allow you to backup physical floppies to .dsk images.  But you will need to create a blank .dsk file and load it in to the DriveWire virtual "Device" and "BACKUP 4 TO 0" in "DEVICE ON" mode so that the information will be saved on the .dsk file.

 

I will probably need to figure out DriveWire 4 to use this process to make floppies for my Model III, since DriveWire 3 doesn't recognize .dmk images which seem to be more common for the TRS-80's.  But this is a start!  So I'm Happy. :-D

 

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On 1/8/2021 at 6:32 PM, DistantStar001 said:

The title pretty much sums it up.  I have a CoCo 2 and made a DriveWire cable, but have to load the DOS from the cassette port, which is time consuming.   I recently received a floppy drive with controller, and now I'm wondering if I can boot to HDB-DOS and then interface with the floppy controller to copy disk images to real floppies or vice versa?  

i have a slicker setup for you

get someone to burn hdb.dos dw3 onto an eprom and replace the socketed disk rom with the new eprom.  Now when you turn on your coco with the disk controller connected you will have dw and disk basic .  thats what i did with my floppy controller

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