Set it Up, Grab a Disk.
Prompted by an opportunity to help out a comrade with some disk archiving , I dusted off the Apple II’s that I had put into storage whilst I updated the home a bit. I pulled out what has become my main rig, a smart clock enabled zip chip accelerated Apple IIe Platinum. I took the opportunity to clean it a bit, and ensure everything is in good working order. I fired it up with a CF MicroDrive that acts as a hard disk and has a PROSel text interface that I am addicted to. And this set up really shows off the abilities of my Kensington track ball. I attempted to connect to ADTPro via my Uthernet and home network, but I did not. I needed to configure my home network, and as an exercise I wondered if there might be another way to rig for mass floppy duplication.
I love ADTPro. It is a fast way to duplicate disks when used in conjunction with a Uthernet card, I am still in awe of the speed of 8-bit information transmission. I initially duplicated my home library from the 80′s using this method and had no qualms. I recently updated some of my home network components, operating systems and failed initially to make ADTPro connect. I knew that it would be easy to change the configuration, but I wondered if I it were possible another way. So now I wanted to look at other possible means.
I knew that I could copy from disk to the CF drive in my CF MicroDrive using standard disk copy software, but then something occurred to me.
A New Level of Disk Copy Power.
Did I mention that I received a CFFA 3000 some time ago? Probably not, because I have never used it. I received and put it away a number of long months ago. It was right about the time I took down my Apple II installation to revamp the home a bit. So, I pulled that card from storage and in it went. It only took me a few minutes of experimentation and reading the manual to decide that this was just the thing. By interacting with the firmware n the card, I could store the image of the physical floppy directly to USB, but better yet, it was automated to name them DISK001.DSK, DISK002.DSK, etc., so that was a part of the process I no longer had devote time to.
This simple difference in pre-designating the image file name numerically was a huge difference when I started to copy the same images the second time around. When I made file images the first time, I relied on the image name to remind me what was on the disk, and I found that this method was terribly inefficient when I was looking for specific files, programs, and graphics. With disk image files being numerically named, I could reserve less mental processing power to naming the files and more to concurrently updating the spreadsheet I had open. Now when I copy a disk, the spreadsheet has a column for a disk number, a column for image number (there’s 2 image numbers per disk number in most of my collection), the floppy disk brand, if the disk side copied, if not did the disk boot, notes about track errors during the copy. All in all the process is still fast and a million more times desirable for data sorting purposes. The floppies, once copied, are placed in order of processing in a disk box where I should be able to revisit them for further documentation. Best of all, when the imaging is done, I will have them on a USB that I can then transfer to many storage locations. I am very pleased about how simple this process is.
The way the copy process works with the CFFA 3000 is well suited to my preferences as well. When the CFFA 3000 does come along a problem sector in a track, it tries to read each sector in the track, and repeats the process quite a umber of times until it succeeds in copying the information or it fails and moves to the next sector. I was surprised quite a number of times when I heard the drive re-calibrating to find disk information and was sure that the disk would fail only to be amazed when it did not.
After a few hours I had imaged 434 floppy disk sides. In the end, about 16% failed to copy correctly, typically with a single problem track. But even though all the disks didn’t copy correctly, some of the files were still readable using CiderPress software. Also, some of the files are directly replaceable right down to the crack screen on some from on-line archives. All in all about 5% of the disk library was not copyable. I made appropriate notes in a spreadsheet and tried to keep my documentation tight. I should, for the most part be able to recreate my classic disk line up.
Having a systematic way of looking at these images also has allowed me to examine some of my teen history. I can see that a majority of the titles were brought to me by The Midwest Pirates Guild, High Society, and The 1200 Club. That being said…
Thanx to: The Freeze Dr. Micro The Burglar Apple Bandit Mini Appler Sinbad Sailor Special Thanx: Hot Rod
CALL THE ADVENTURERS TAVERN