Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

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Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby coogie on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:24 pm

For some time now I have been looking at the various options available to replace / backup my aged collection of floppy disks on the apple ii. (I draw the line at putting em through the wash ;-))
After finding a number of products capable of delivering the goods, I have finally decided to shell out the dosh on this one....

The CFFA3000 from R&D Automation http://dreher.net/?s=projects/CFforAppleII&c=projects/CFforAppleII/main.php

So if your sick of nursing dodgy floppies or HDD's... this could be the solution for you too! :D
I have my name down for one of the first batch, which should be shipping around the end of September and will report back as to how it goes. On the surface this looks to be a fantastic product complete with hot-swappable USB, now that is impressive 8)

Has anyone else got any experience with using the MicroDrive or other compact flash options, anything I should be aware of?
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Re: Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:31 pm

coogie wrote: I have finally decided to shell out the dosh on this one.... The CFFA3000 from R&D Automation

Ah yes... The dreher CFFA3000... I am also in the queue awaiting one... Looking forward to it. Only thing I've noticed so far is that Rich Dreher is busy and the order status page hasn't been updated since June.. Everyone I've read about seems happy with his products though, so I'm going to show a little patience. :)

Not that it's really been a problem.. I do the bulk of my coding in an emulator, and for the physical boxes, I have serial connections and disk images, so I really have no floppies to "nurse". (I just buy new ones periodically if I have a problem)

Haven't had to deal with any of those REALLY "special" disks yet. Nearly everything I care about is either a standard format or has been "cracked" to a standard format.
Last edited by Gibsaw on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"dsakey" on trademe. Apple II's are my thing.
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Re: Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby tezza on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:44 pm

Yes, I have similar apparatii for my Apple Lisa/10. I'll be getting one for my Commodore Pet very soon also. The Lisa had a non-fixable widget (at least non-fixable by me) and the PET 3032 doesn't have a disk drive at all.

All my Apple IIs have good disk drives and disks so for now I don't really have a need for a modern replacement. However, it's good to know such things are around for the Apple II models.

Still, the clatter of the 5.25 inch drives is part of the vintage "experience" right? :) That's one thing I find with the Lisa compact flash solution. It works just great, but it's so quiet. The widget on the other hand, clunks and whirrs (even good ones, apparently) and leaves no doubt that the computer is working. The flashcard substitute doesn't REALLY give you the full Lisa experience. It needs to play a sound file as it's accessed.

Mind you, it's a hell of a lot more reliable than the real thing! :)
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Re: Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby Gibsaw on Wed Aug 24, 2011 12:51 pm

tezza wrote:Still, the clatter of the 5.25 inch drives is part of the vintage "experience" right? :) That's one thing I find with the Lisa compact flash solution. It works just great, but it's so quiet.

indeed.. to a degree, one almost may as well use an emulator, as it'll feel much the same.
tezza wrote:Mind you, it's a hell of a lot more reliable than the real thing! :)

Yep.. although with disk images and new floppies, the real thing's about as solid as it was back in the day... the old shugart drives are pretty hard to kill.
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Re: Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby Carcenomy on Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:51 pm

Would be quite cool to see on a IIgs, could even install the fancy GS OS thing that I've never seen working since I've never seen a IIgs with a working Profile ;)
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Re: Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby tezza on Wed Aug 24, 2011 10:31 pm

Gibsaw wrote:
tezza wrote:Still, the clatter of the 5.25 inch drives is part of the vintage "experience" right? :) That's one thing I find with the Lisa compact flash solution. It works just great, but it's so quiet.

indeed.. to a degree, one almost may as well use an emulator, as it'll feel much the same.


Well, I wouldn't go quite so far as "almost". You still get the whole consol experience. It's just the noise that's missing.

Emulators are great for development work, or for training on the operating systems of these vintage machines. You can't beat the real thing for the feel of them though.
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Re: Apple II Enhancement - Compact Flash & USB Upgrade

Postby coogie on Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:08 pm

Yes I agree, the whole lack of floppy experience for the AII would be tragic and it is my intention to keep on using floppies!
However when my backup copy's and originals start to bite the dust the only real option is to download a .dsk image and rewrite them back to a brand new 5.25" floppy...

Hence I have arrived at using the CFA3000 as one of the most expedient solutions to accomplish the goal. But are still left with one lingering question...
How am I going to backup my Original disks with those super slick copy protection scheme's? I know in the past when I tried to back some of them up in copy II+ (with the right parameters) & it was a no go!

So my next purchase may be one of these https://ultimateapple2.com/projects.html The EDD+ could be my only option (once the store reopens). Anyone else using one? or got any experience with this?
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