Category Archives: Diskimage

Applesauce client v1.1 with 3.5″ disks

devices_s

John Morris, the developer of Applesauce device has added support for 3.5″ drives and also released sync-sensor for the drive to be used. Applesauce client v1.1 was released in (5.5.2019) and it supported fully the Apple 3.5″ drive, reading and writing back to the disk.

Installation:

It’s easiest to follow the teardown instructions by ifixit.com  
https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Apple+3.5+Drive+External+Floppy+Drive+Teardown/92324

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The sync-sensor is installed next to the spinning wheel of the 3.5″ drive in bottom. The idea is the same, basicly the sensor reads the magnet strip that is installed to the spinning wheel for more accurate location of the disk.

There is room for the sync-sensor cable to route if out of the case along with the connector cable.

Testing?

writing_disk_s

I had only few original 3.5″ (Apple IIGS) floppies so i chose the “Marble Madness” that i had in hand. I first read the .a2r flux image out of the disk and then made .woz out of it (analyze and save). The .woz file then can be written back to blank disk.

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I booted the written copy with my IIGS (ROM3) and it worked perfectly. Pretty amazing!

marble-madness-disk-1-side-0_s marble-madness_sync-disk-1-side-0_s

“Marble Madness” (GS) – without the sync-sensor installed vs with sync-sensor installed (both booted).

John Morris about the copy protction at twitter:
“Marble Madness has an “impossible to copy” track at $20 side 1 (400+ nibbles too big) that was clocked in a way that the IIgs couldn’t write out. Applesauce detects the abnormality and re-clocks the write on the fly. This exact protection scheme proved to be so effective that many competing publishers adopted it. It evolved a bit over the years, but largely remained the same. It is structured in a way that sector copiers think they copied it, but the sectors were actually just a decoy”.

This shows how genious the Applesauce client (and John) really is! 

Applesauce can be bought from:
https://applesaucefdc.com

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

 

 

Otto Romanowski: Apple II

Otto Romanowski is one of the electronic music pioneers in Finland who have had great and remarkable career. He’s considered as electronic music pioneer among Erkki Kurenniemi and Henrik Otto Ronner. He is electronic music composer and professor in Sibelius Academy.

I contacted him few years ago and asked if he had any Apple II material left or if he could borrow some disks to be imaged and preserved. At the time all his Apple II material was in storage but he’d be accessing them later. It took quite a bit of time but now he contacted me as he was in process of moving and had found these:

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Apple II europlus

board_serial_s
Board date: 0283 | F8252, Board code: 606-X-648-X

unit_serial_s
Serial: IA2S2-693030 (Made in Ireland) 825-0187-00

power_supply_backside_s
-Power supply : Astec AA11040C (230 VAC 50Hz 0.5A)

-Disk II – floppy drive (2 pcs) : One drive had drilled hole on it so you could adjust the drive speed without removing the case. Looks like bullet hole.

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Apple /// monitor : In quite good condition and clean. Few light scratches.

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Apple paddle controllers : Pair of the old black 16-pin models, one adjusment ring missing.

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Mountain Computer Sound System-cards with lightpen

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Saturn 32k RAM-card

synch_card_s
California Computer Systems CCS Apple II Asynchronous Serial Card 7710

-Disk II – interface card
-Epson printer – card 

floppies_s
5.25″ diskettes : Some programming and music releated software.
These are now imaged to .woz (.a2r) and .dsk and available at : archive.org and asimov archives.

This particular Apple II europlus was originally used with in opening exibition of Finnish Science Center, “Heureka” in Vantaa back in 1989. It was used to let the visitors to create music and graphics with the Mountain Computer Sound system, paddles and lightpen.

images
An another Mountain Computer Sound System with Alpha Syntauri-setup can be seen on video used by Otto here: https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2009/11/10/otto-romanowski-esittelee-musiikkimikron

It seems to be early Apple //e model. This setup might have belonged to Espoon Musiikki Opisto (Espoo Music Institute) as Otto remembered the Alpha Syntauri was theirs. I contacted the Institute but sadly, the Alpha Syntauri was long gone. Otto was teacher at the Espoo Music Institute for Music Theory, Solfége and Electronic Music in 1979-1990.

setup_of_alpha_syntauri_system_s

Alpha Syntauri setup:

I will interview Otto later this year and release it here at FinApple.

An another piece of Finnish Apple II history saved up!

 
Alpha Syntauri:
http://www.appleii-box.de/H212_9_AppleIIalphaSyntauriPage9.htm
http://www.appleii-box.de/APPLE2/H212_AlphaSyntauri/AS%20TECH%20DOCS.pdf

Otto Romanowski:
https://romanowski.fi
https://soundcloud.com/oromanow

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Apple III PFS report med Handledning för användaren:

booklet_and_keyboard_s

Found an nice boxed copy of “FPS: Report” for Apple ///. What makes it interesting (to me) is that it’s complete set (it looks like it) and it’s localized version and have two manuals in Swedish. These localized materials are very interesting to me.

 

box_opened_s

PFS: Report (Apple ///)
-Two software floppies “Report”, “Softwork”
-FPS: Software Catalog
-FPS: Report – Manual (Ringbound, In English)
-FPS: Report – Handledning för användaren (Two Swedish manuals/are the same)

 

The disks are now imaged to .dsk and .woz and available in “ususal places”.

I’ll scan the Swedish manual when i finally.. someday, do receive the new book scanner i’ve ordered.

 

These kinds of finds keep me going with this hobby!

Please contact me if you have more Nordic Apple II or /// software, manuals – or anything.

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple /// Forever

wDrive by KbooHK

World of .woz:

I must admit. Even i obtained the AppleSauce device from the first run in summer 2018, i did not have any rush to get the .woz files running in real hardware. Emulators were covered quite quicky and the support was added to OpenEmulator, Virtual II, MAME, microM8, EPPLEII. Just that “most” files read with AppleSauce to .a2r and then converted to.woz do exist on cracked .dsk format already. Most? What an excuse?! I was happy (still am) using .dsk ,as it really doesn’t matter what format i load the software in, if it works. But i do see .woz as important preservation/archive-format absolutely. It is the future.

John K. Morris have done absolutely phenomenal job with the .a2r and .woz formats as well with the AppleSauce-device itself and the software supporting it. This is absolutely what we needed in the Apple II community hands down! The other preservation efforts have not been as successful what comes to Apple II software by far sight – and we do not have too much time to loose in sake of preservation either. John also did upgrade the .woz format and the board PCB lately and you could get the upgrade board from him directly for nominal fee if you bought the first revision device.

We own you a lot John.

About the wDrive:

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BUT. As “wDrive” got also .dsk, .po, .do support lately, i thought to give it a try. Why not. I’ve had heard mostly only (if not all) positive comments about the device and the developer have been actively updating the firmware that is good for the users. 

“wDrive” is designed and manufactured by “KbooHK” out of Hongkong, China. It was the first device to support the new .woz format in 2018 that are created with AppleSauce-device (.a2r -> woz). The support for .woz arrived for the Floppyemu as well, about the same time i received wDrive from Hongkong.

wDrive specifications are as follows (from kboohk.com):
-5.25″ disk image formats: .dsk, .do, .po, .nib, .edf, .woz (version 1.0 & 2.0).
-Disk image read/write.
-FAT16, FAT32 formatted SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards.
-Maximum files in each folder limited to 100.
-Maximum levels of sub folder limited to 10.
-Firmware is upgradeable.
-Dimensions are : 70mm x 40mm x 20mm.
-It comes with 20-pin flat ribbon cable.
-Includes also a 3D Printed case (color of chosing) with buttons and display.

KbooHK offers online file converter tool at their webpage, http://kboohk.com/dsk2woz/  for converting files to different formats (some format-to-format conversions are not yet supported however as of today):

.edd > .nib, .woz, .edf
.dsk > .nib, .woz, .edf
.po > .nib, .woz, .edf
.do > .nib, .woz, .edf
.zip > .nib, .woz, .edf

I’d like to see this released as offline tool as well. You never know how long this tool get’s supported, or maintained in online location. There’s however other tools for these conversions available as well, .dsk to .woz.

I however fail to see the need to convert non copyproteced disk images to .woz, but it’s available. Maybe i’m missing something here?

INSTALLATION:

The wDrive is very easy to install as any Disk II drive would be. Just look at the orientation of the cable and plug it in the Disk II interface card.

idc20todb19_adapter-s
or with adapter :

..or with suitable adapter if you’re using //c, //c+ or IIGS. I tested the wDrive with Apple //e, //c and //c+. Using the wDrive required adapter with //c and //c+, IDC20>DB19 (thanks to a2heaven.com)

THE wDRIVE ITSELF:

display_s

The display:
Nice thing about the wDrive’s display is that the chosen file, the font, get’s bigger and highlighted when it’s chosen. The built-in LED shows when the file is accessed. If anything to improve, the display could be upgraded to OLED for better quaility reading like in WiModem232-OLED but that might be more expensive option. The display have great feeling of old Nokia phones that is very nice and suits the use very nicely actually.

The Buttons:
UP – SELECT – DOWN + RESET (on right side)
Navigating thru the files and folders is done by buttons in front of the enclousure. UP, SELECT and DOWN and in the right side there’s the RESET button. The buttons however are quite slow and unresponsible in my opinion and need pressing harder that one would maybe expect. But that’s something to get used to.

3d_printed_case_3_s

The Case:
The 3d-printed case is good quality (at the time of odering only frosted-transparent was available) and it’s really nice small and light weighted. The print quality is fine, as it’s 3d printed you can see the printhead marks but i don’t see that as a issue of anykind. The casing is very smooth, cute and small.

3d_printed_case_2_s

SD-card slot:
The SD-card slot is in the front and the card it inserted upside down (label facing down). The drive looks like an small 3.5″ drive.

USAGE:

apple_iic_romx5_gaming_wdrive_woz_s

Using the wDrive with Apple //e was very straight forward. Just plug it in and use. Every .woz file i used loaded perfectly and worked fine. The device is using regular SD-cards as storage medium.

With Apple //c and //c+ (both had custom ROM’s on them) it was different. The //c would not boot every .woz image due the restrictions of the model, as it’s external drive and some software are hardcoded to boot from internal drive only. With the //c+ this wasn’t the case, it booted everything i could throw at it and the loading times were quite fast. 

wDrive vs Floppyemu disk image loading times differences?

I tested few .woz files with both (Apple //c+@4MHz), wDrive and the Floppyemu (Rev.A with latest “beta” .woz firmware) and both were about the same. I’d say there’s no performance differences between these two drives.

online_converter_too_s
Converter software online:  http://kboohk.com/dsk2woz/ 

.edd > .nib, .woz, .edf
.dsk > .nib, .woz, .edf
.po > .nib, .woz, .edf
.do > .nib, .woz, .edf
.zip > .nib, .woz, .edf

Usefull converting might be the .edd > .woz (but it isn’t supported yet). Converting non protected format to .woz would serve no purpose in my mind.

I tested several (known good) .edd-files and converted them to .edf with this tool and the .edf files booted fine with the wDrive. Edd-file format might be pretty much obsolete now as everything is moving towards .woz but there might be some cases it might be proven usefull.

OTHER TOOLS:

Other tools for manipulating WOZ-files:
https://applesaucefdc.com/woz/

wozardry
A multipurpose tool for manipulating WOZ disk images.
https://github.com/a2-4am/wozardry

dsk2woz
A tool for converting DSK images to WOZ format.
https://github.com/TomHarte/dsk2woz

Apple II Disk Browser
A tool that allows you to view the contents of disk images.
https://github.com/dmolony/DiskBrowser

DskToWoz2
A tool that converts DSK images into WOZ 2.0 format.
https://github.com/cmosher01/DskToWoz2

THOUGHTS?

floppyemu_and_wdrive_s
wDrive reminds a lot of FloppyEmu, the design is similar, the size is similar, the display is similar.  Differences come from the connectivity. Both are connected with IDC 20-pin (or DB 19-pin connector with adapter) but Floppyemu have support for smartport 3.5″ and HDD devices/images as well. wDrive have support for .edf (from .edd). Both use sd-card as storage medium, wDrive uses the older (regular) sd-card and Floppyemu (B) uses the micro-SD card. It would be nice if the wDrive would support 3.5″ devices/images as well HDD images. Doable with future firmware update maybe?

For the future, as i’m mainly using //e and IIgs, i’d hope, possible “wDrive 2” that would be .. slot based, with on-screen menu, USB-connector for mass storage instead of SD-card and keeping the features what it have now naturally with added smartport support.

Overall, the wDrive does what it is advertiseed for. It’s cheaper than other similar SD-reader solutions for your Apple II and if the external device design doesn’t bother you or lack of smartport device support, this is the product for you. Sadly as when i’m writing this the wDrive is no longer available but it should (?) be available again some time soon.

kboohk
wDrive retails $69.00 + shipping from http://kboohk.com [currently unavailable]

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Floppyemu goes .woz!

floppy-emu-woz-r2
What an great suprise! The Floppyemu got support for the .woz format disk-images just recently making it an another device that supports it after KhbooHK’s “wDrive”-device (currently unavailable).

The firmware is considered “beta” at the moment but it’s available here:
https://www.bigmessowires.com/2019/01/24/floppy-emu-adds-woz-support/

for Floppy Emu Model A – apple-II-0.2G-F22 (=model with regular size SD-card)
for Floppy Emu Model B – apple-II-0.2G-F23 (=model with smaller size SD-card)

UPGRADING:

Upgrading is easy task to do yourself. Just download the correct firmware .zip file (different for Model A and Model B), uncompress it, place the two binaries (firmware.xvf and femu.bin) to your SD-card and perform the upgrade process (info from bigmessofwires):

“CPLD firmware”:
1 Hold down the NEXT and PREV buttons.
2. Press and release the RESET button.
3. Continue holding NEXT and PREV until the firmware update process begins (about 3 seconds).
4. Wait 10-15 seconds for the process to complete. Status LED will be flashing.
5. When finished, the LCD will display “RESULT: SUCCESS”

“AVR microcontroller firmware”:
1. Hold down the SELECT and PREV buttons. Note these are not the same buttons as for part 1.
2. Press and release the RESET button.
3. Continue holding SELECT and PREV until the firmware update process begins (about 1 second).
4. Wait 5 seconds for the process to complete. Status LED will be flashing.
5. When finished, the LCD will display self-test information, and the main menu.

USING .WOZ FILES:

display_s
Usage is naturally the same as with other supported file types. If you managed to flash the new firmware the .woz files will appear on the menu. It seems to support both woz revisions, 1 and 2 and it’s listed on screen which one the file is.

gaming_s_s
Using the .woz files doesn’t differ from any other disk image formats. They load up as fast as the non protected images, but they are full reprenentations of the original floppy, 100%. All load screens, start up screens are intact and the the game should work as perfect fashion as it did from original floppy. This is something we havent’t experienced (atleast with the Apple II’s) before. This is how it should be.


OTHER THOUGHTS?

Now only if CFFA3000 would support .woz-format.. or somebody would make similar card. I am mostly //e user so i kind of wish to have slot-based card product that would do all this and more.. I’m sure there would be lots of business to be done with such product..

 

FinApple 2019 (c)
Apple II Forever.

Apple II – Disk II -drive extension cables:

cable_s
These are very handy extension cables for Disk II-drive users. You can swap the drives if needed much easier without opening the case. I found them very usefull when you’re preserving disks (even Applesauce have now taken over this process quite perfectly). These can be made yourself as it’s pretty straight forward if you have the tools.

cables_with_card_s
Connected to regular Disk II interface card.

 

FinApple 2018 (c)
Apple II Forever

 

From Belgium with Floppies

“Floppies! Floppies! Let there be FLOPPIES.”

Bryan Bogaert sent these floppies to be preserved. One never knows what there is to be found.

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What software were used:
-As most of the disks were not originals, not protected ones, i just used CFFA3000 to read the disk images (.dsk) out of the floppies. That’s the most easy/realible way to get the images read quick. For more difficult ones, or slightly protected ones, ADTPro could be used to read the .nib file, but currently i don’t have ethernet based network setup in my mancave/hobby/work-room so i had to skip that in this moment.

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Any intersting finds?
Lots of basic stuff. Cracked game collections (i’m specially interested finding software cracked by European, less known, groups or persons), AppleWorks, DOS-masters -the basic stuff really.

ghostbusters_crack_screen
Cracked by some Dutch group/person:

itt_floppy_sBut atleast something very interesting, i found software made for the Apple ][ clone, ITT 2020!
Basic-Couse and some financing products labeled as “Bell Telephone Mfg. Co. Retail Management Program – Verkoop en Facturatie and Stock -en Klantenbeheer”. There were versions 1.0, 2.0 and 2.1 but all i could find were version 2.0 and 2.1. Those disks were really in bad shape, the mylar surface was badly grooved in few tracks. Cleaning did not help on that.

passported_sFew i could read with the Passport by 4am and it revealed that those were actually protected with DOS3.3P.

Also found some Dutch PD-collections:
-Apple Gebruikersgroep Amsterdam : Het Diskschift
-Software Bibliotheek Stichting Apple 2 Support
-IAC Klok-series

Images that did not contain any personal data, were uploaded to archive.org and asimov.

FinApple 2018
Apple ][ forever.

Floppies, who could live without them in 2017?

Obtained literally thousands of 3.5″ and 5.25″ floppies lately for Apple II and Apple IIgs and this  where it ends to. Total chaos in desktop which is perfectly fine and normal. I love floppies!

This time it’s basicly all non-originals so there’s not much work for 4am’s absolutely stunning preservation software “Passport”. I’ll write an post later with more details about the process i use.

overview_invasion_of_floppies

Passport by 4am:
https://archive.org/details/Passport4am

CFFA3000 by R&D Automation, LLC.
http://dreher.net/?s=projects/CFforAppleII&c=projects/CFforAppleII/main.php

ADTPro by David Schmidt:
http://adtpro.sourceforge.net

Ciderpress (Windows):
http://a2ciderpress.com

 

Chinese Apple II game manuals

Got an nice donation from Simon Ng all the way from Hongkong. He was kind enough to donate all these  for archiving. Even all of them might not be totally original, preserving these will serve the common good and preserving the history of Apple II in Hongkong/China/Taiwan.

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-The Dam Busters (Accolade) – Chinese manual
-Project: The Space Station (HesWare) – Chinese manual
-The Halley Project: A Mission in our solar System (Mindscape) – Chinese manual
-Thunderchopper (ActionSoft) – English manual
-Ticket to Hollywood (BlueLion Software) – English manual
-Shard of Spring (SSI) – Chinese manual
-Rampage (Activision) – English manual
-Roadwar Europa (SSI) – English manual
-Techno Cop (U.S. Gold) – English manual
-Hacker II (Activision) – Chinese manual
-Strike Feet (EOA) – English manual
-Paperboy (Mindscape Inc.) – English manual
-The Seven Cities of Gold (EOA) – English manual
-Maniac Mansion (Lucasfilm Games) – English manual
-Alice in Wonderland (Windham Classics) – Chinese manual

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These games have either original Taiwanese gamebox or game manual (English/Chinese) and have Taiwanese  “Pirate” company TERMINATOR-badge on them.

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I’ll scan the boxes, disk labels and the game manuals (when in Chinese) for archiving and they’ll be  available at http://www.archive.org > “Apple II Chinese Collection” and Asimov-archives.

Some of the English language manuals (or disk images) are already available but the missing ones, will be scanned and uploaded to Archive.org & Asimov-archives.

thunderchopper_actionsoft_1987

thunderchopper_actionsoft_1987_game_screenshot

The disk images will be available as well in Asimov. Most are cracked already, some are been cracked now in 2017 by talented crackers.

I’ll possibly crack these with the help of “Hardcore Computist”/”Computist” magazine just for the learning  purposes and as well, the FUN of it.