Interesting device...

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Re: Interesting device...

georgel wrote:

not I but you are the fool Wink Your post is meaningless, too, HAHA

Strange, they are the words of my friend Andreas Lenze. I need to tell him he has forgotten how to speak German.

But that is all irrelevant. DO you have a test you would like me to run to check the speed for you?

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Re: Interesting device...

BillO wrote:
insanitor wrote:

I'm interested to know why this device is so interesting. If the interest in this device is only due to how interesting it is, then why be interested?

Why the interesting device is interesting to me: By Billo

1) Readily available (takes way less than 2-3 years to acquire one)
2) Unique features (paddle interface, bluetooth interface, serial console)
3) Not badly priced
4) Uses SD cards

Item 1 was the most interesting for me. To me, if I can wait 2-3 years before I get it, why bother? Life can change drastically in that time frame. The bluetooth feature is also really nice. It allows me to control it from my vintage computing server where I have all my other support services for my Apples, TRS-80s, Commodores, etc...

I love this response of yours. You brought a smile to my face today. Thank you. My actual thoughts on the subject are this:

1). If it needs a firmware update to work with the iigs then what they heck is the seller doing?

2). The seller clearly supports his product but since his product is not fairly unique then we must consider the lack of support that might happen if the seller disappears.

3). The Apple ii pi also uses SD cards.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

I love this response of yours. You brought a smile to my face today. Thank you. My actual thoughts on the subject are this:

1). If it needs a firmware update to work with the iigs then what they heck is the seller doing?

2). The seller clearly supports his product but since his product is not fairly unique then we must consider the lack of support that might happen if the seller disappears.

3). The Apple ii pi also uses SD cards.

Not sure the point here, but since I own one one of these, my impression of the seller is that he's a young developer that has taken on this project as a personal challenge for either a school project or personal hobby. He did this using an Apple II plus and ][e, and until recently didn't own an Apple IIGS so it was never tested on that platform. Doesn't sound unusual to me.

I expect at some point this project will expire in the same way the CFFA has expired.
When I look at the hundred or so cards I have in my collection, I don't think I can count on more than 1 hand the number of cards that are still actively supported.

Also not sure what the hoopla is over SD Cards. You can get an adapter for just about any card these days from the compact flash down to the Micro SD.

But when it comes to this "interesting card", don't knock it until you've tried it.
IMO it's way better than anything else I've seen for the Apple ][ running DOS apps, and the wireless feature is pretty cool too. I'd like to see Ian continue to develop this as long as he can because this card looks like it's setting a new standard for removable storage for the Apple ][.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

I love this response of yours. You brought a smile to my face today. Thank you.

Thx ... good to hear.

insanitor wrote:

My actual thoughts on the subject are this:

1). If it needs a firmware update to work with the iigs then what they heck is the seller doing?

It was originally developed for the II, II+, IIe platform. The seller/designer responded to the Apple II community and went the extra mile to make it work with the IIgs. That is not only good support, it's a desire to improve and develop to meet the needs of the target market. Cool++.

insanitor wrote:

2). The seller clearly supports his product but since his product is not fairly unique then we must consider the lack of support that might happen if the seller disappears.

Yeah, I guess. Just like every other product that was ever designed.

insanitor wrote:

3). The Apple ii pi also uses SD cards.

You are 100% right, but there is really no comparison. I have tried the Apple II pi. Lot's of set-up, poor performance (not that that is a huge issue), messy (might appeal to some), etc... The interesting device plugs into a slot, works and is fast. Maybe 5 minutes from the time the mailman drops it off to booting into an expanded realm.

My Rpi was relegated to a Linux workstation to browse questionable web sites. However, It's been mostly replaced by a Banana pi, which is cheaper and much, much faster and has a built in SATA interface. Cool too.

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Re: Interesting device...

macnoyd wrote:

... not sure what the hoopla is over SD Cards.

Oh, that's just me. I've been a photography buff for many, many years and have a small mountain of SD cards lying around. My 128MB to 4GB SD cards are pretty much useless for my latest 24MP cameras. Now I have a use for them ... to store the entire library of Apple II software!

So, no general hoopla on this one.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

I love this response of yours. You brought a smile to my face today. Thank you. My actual thoughts on the subject are this:

1). If it needs a firmware update to work with the iigs then what they heck is the seller doing?

.

This is not exactly true. As I commented in my earlier post it worked with IIGS as such. The 16 bit code of GSOS needed changes to the read/write routine. He also offers to send a replacement EEPROM to those who don't have the possibility to flash it.

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Re: Interesting device...

Ok guys. I guess that I confess that this "interesting device" for some reason does not appeal to me. In my view, it doesn't look right, it doesn't feel right and it doesn't smell right.

I just can't explain it. A Korean 1 man project? I don't know about this one.

I would prefer to get a Microdrive or a CFFA3000 card. But truthfully, since I have a SCSI card and a Focus card, not to mention an Apple iipi card, then I've got everything I need for the moment.

If I get a iic or iic+ in the future then I might consider getting something else.

Now I am not saying that the technology used here is not reliable or that the product itself is NOT interesting but I guess what I am saying is that I am not interested.

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Re: Interesting device...

Interested to know what is included in the GSOS setup you have to make a valid benchmark result? Is the GSOS a vanilla application or is it loaded to the max with all GSOS apps? I did a benchmark test awhile ago with my cffa3000 and a ram loaded GSOS with just a vanilla GSOS, and the ram loaded GSOS was signifcantly faster. So therefore for a device that can beat the speed of ram loaded apps then that would be highly interesting for me.

I think i should do a couple of benchmark tests again and post the results. I shall do one for each, a vanilla and a loaded GSOS on the following devices: SCSI hdd, CFFA3k, 4mb ram.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

Ok guys. I guess that I confess that this "interesting device" for some reason does not appeal to me. In my view, it doesn't look right, it doesn't feel right and it doesn't smell right.

I just can't explain it. A Korean 1 man project? I don't know about this one.

I would prefer to get a Microdrive or a CFFA3000 card. But truthfully, since I have a SCSI card and a Focus card, not to mention an Apple iipi card, then I've got everything I need for the moment.

.

In what sense are the CFFA3000, Focus and Microdrive different? The primary features are the same: emulation of hard drives and floppy drives. The CFFA supports a wider variety of storages but it's more expensive and not available. Focus is cheaper and it's basically IDE. Might have gotten Focus but reports of overtly long delivery times made me look for other alternatives. Microdrive, well it's just plain expensive and I don't know if it's even available. SCSI is fast and robust but suitable drives are getting harder to come by and you'd basically have to go with an external drive in IIGS case.

SD Disk ][ on the other hand is reasonably priced, the PCB is professionally produced, Ian sells only what he has in stock and makes new batches on regular interwalls. And his support has bee top notch.

I can understand the SD Disk ][ doesn't really offer you anything new since you already have a mass storage for your IIGS. I on the other hand didn't and Ian's product seemed the best option of those available.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

I just can't explain it. A Korean 1 man project? I don't know about this one
... I am not interested.

Hmmm, I think there is a word or two for stuff like this.

Well, no one is twisting your arm to get one right? I think the rest of us should be fine if you don't.

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Re: Interesting device...

protek wrote:

Microdrive, well it's just plain expensive and I don't know if it's even available.

I got mine off eBay from Henry Curbis. If anyone wanted one they could contact Henry through ReactiveMicro.com. Henry also provides superlative customer service. I give him an A+ in that respect.

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Re: Interesting device...

BillO wrote:
insanitor wrote:

I just can't explain it. A Korean 1 man project? I don't know about this one
... I am not interested.

Hmmm, I think there is a word or two for stuff like this.

Well, no one is twisting your arm to get one right? I think the rest of us should be fine if you don't.

I don't think anyone is twisting my arm. And I agree with you. The rest of you should be fine if I don't.

Now I knew that people would take my words the wrong way, but take note: I did not say, "Man's".

What goes through my mind when I think about a Korean one man project? Simple. The answer is Hyundai Excel. And just in case you don't know what I mean? Read this:

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/news/pictures/10-cars-that-deserved-to-fail-hyundai-excel#slide-8

That aside from the fact that I was perfectly willing to go out with a Korean woman clearly suggests that you took my words in the wrong way, as I knew some of you would.

protek wrote:

In what sense are the CFFA3000, Focus and Microdrive different? The primary features are the same: emulation of hard drives and floppy drives. The CFFA supports a wider variety of storages but it's more expensive and not available. Focus is cheaper and it's basically IDE. Might have gotten Focus but reports of overtly long delivery times made me look for other alternatives. Microdrive, well it's just plain expensive and I don't know if it's even available. SCSI is fast and robust but suitable drives are getting harder to come by and you'd basically have to go with an external drive in IIGS case.

SD Disk ][ on the other hand is reasonably priced, the PCB is professionally produced, Ian sells only what he has in stock and makes new batches on regular interwalls. And his support has bee top notch.

I can understand the SD Disk ][ doesn't really offer you anything new since you already have a mass storage for your IIGS. I on the other hand didn't and Ian's product seemed the best option of those available.

Well, the CFFA3000 seems to be a nice card. USB as well as CF capable plus it's got a really nice menu.

I do have a Focus card. It does what it is supposed to. I can't say that it's better than the "interesting device". In fact if I was asked which is better, the Focus card or the "interesting device" then I would have to confess that the "interesting device" is a much better product simply because it has more features.

The Microdrive, I think is the wildcard here. In my mind, it, along with the "interesting device" are of equal value. On the other hand, the Microdrive Turbo has (I think) two slots for a CF card.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

That aside from the fact that I was perfectly willing to go out with a Korean woman clearly suggests that you took my words in the wrong way, as I knew some of you would.

Wow! And on sooo many levels.

Somehow, I can't correlate the quality of a SD Disk ][ card with a Hyundai Excel designed in the 1980's, nor can I sort what difference it makes that it's made in Korea or anywhere else. I've not seen a thread go so wild as this one in a while.

Back to the Card...
I'm going to contact Ian and see if he can make some improvements to the remote switch, and maybe share the manufacturer of the video interface he's using.

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:

The Microdrive, I think is the wildcard here. In my mind, it, along with the "interesting device" are of equal value. On the other hand, the Microdrive Turbo has (I think) two slots for a CF card.

Yes, the Microdrive will support 2 CF cards, but it's quite different from the SD Disk ][ card. The MicroDrive is twice as much, and supports a lot more volumes (up to 8 on a GS), uses CF cards, does not do floppy emulation, has no remote console. The increased storage and double CF cards of the MicroDrive are it's main attributes. If you need 256MB of storage on your GS (128MB on older AIIs) then the SD Disk ][ card is not going to cut it, but the MicroDrive will.

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Re: Interesting device...

To my understanding, the SD Disk II should support two 32 MB images simultaneously, although I haven't tried this. I should ask Ian whether it would be possible to transfer files using the terminal onto the SD card so that you wouldn't have open the case every time.

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Re: Interesting device...

macnoyd wrote:
insanitor wrote:

That aside from the fact that I was perfectly willing to go out with a Korean woman clearly suggests that you took my words in the wrong way, as I knew some of you would.

Wow! And on sooo many levels.

Somehow, I can't correlate the quality of a SD Disk ][ card with a Hyundai Excel designed in the 1980's, nor can I sort what difference it makes that it's made in Korea or anywhere else. I've not seen a thread go so wild as this one in a while.

Back to the Card...
I'm going to contact Ian and see if he can make some improvements to the remote switch, and maybe share the manufacturer of the video interface he's using.

I don't ever see ANY products from Korea here for some odd reason.

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Re: Interesting device...

All,

Not only is this "Interesting Device" made there, but there is also someone else there
that manufactures "Mockingboard" clones.
This gentleman has sold several on eBay over the past couple of years.

All in all, it does not matter where the emulators come from.
It is a boon for the entire community that someone
out there cares about what is needed and makes it.

Steven Smile

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Re: Interesting device...

gsmcten wrote:

All,

Not only is this "Interesting Device" made there, but there is also someone else there
that manufactures "Mockingboard" clones.
This gentleman has sold several on eBay over the past couple of years.

All in all, it does not matter where the emulators come from.
It is a boon for the entire community that someone
out there cares about what is needed and makes it.

Steven Smile

Emulators...?

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Re: Interesting device...

insanitor wrote:
gsmcten wrote:

All,

Not only is this "Interesting Device" made there, but there is also someone else there
that manufactures "Mockingboard" clones.
This gentleman has sold several on eBay over the past couple of years.

All in all, it does not matter where the emulators come from.
It is a boon for the entire community that someone
out there cares about what is needed and makes it.

Steven Smile

Emulators...?

Several of the cards being brought up and compared to the ID (Interesting Device) EMULATE a Disk ][ drive and/or EMULATE a hard drive (the mass storage that existed when these machines were new)
They may be SD of CF card readers but when plugged into slot 6 or 7 (any slot, just saying) and boot your Apple II as a 5.25 floppy or a ProDOS HDD volume, they are emulators. Disk Drive Emulators (shall we refer to the ID as a DDE?)

Some of the manufacturers of these cards even refer to them as such (read their ebay descriptions)

Emulators, works for me Smile

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Re: Interesting device...

Thanks! Now I understand. The Apple ii pi card when connected to my LCD makes GS/OS look absolutely perfect, but it's only emulation.

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Re: Interesting device...

I think virtual hard/floppy drives vould be more descriptive thatn drive emulators.

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Re: Interesting device...

Several of us are still getting by on dual 3.5 floppy drives, because currently, the demand for Apple II storage solutions exceeds the readily available offerings, including traditional HDs. Seeing as how difficult it is to acquire ANY of them, I'd say this thing is VERY interesting. In fact, just last week, I participated in a bidding war on eBay over a CFFA3000 that ended up selling for over $600 (to somebody else).

However, from a technical perspective, I think this warrants additional interest, because it's the first SD card based storage option I've ever seen for the Apple II. I am under the impression (correct me if I'm wrong) that to interface an SD card is much more difficult to do than the Compact Flash, due to it being a 32-bit storage device as opposed to the 16-bit CF.

Personally, I'd rather use SD cards than CF, simply because they are easier to find in smaller sizes, not to mention much cheaper. Although I have no idea as to the speed/performance between the two...

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Re: Interesting device...

Oh, and while the A2PI is amazingly cool, it doesn't count, because it's targeted at a different purpose altogether; emulating the computer itself rather than the drives. (Edit: But then again, I guess depending on how you are using your Apple II, this may be a groovy option to consider.)

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Re: Interesting device...

SD cards are faster than CF cards, however, the modern versions of either are much, much faster than the Apple II bus.

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Re: Interesting device...

BillO wrote:

SD cards are faster than CF cards, however, the modern versions of either are much, much faster than the Apple II bus.

Agreed. It would surprise me if you could tell the difference between them on an Apple ][

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Re: Interesting device...

Quote:

SD cards are faster than CF cards, however, the modern versions of either are much, much faster than the Apple II bus.

Good point. So for a stock GS running at 2MHz I suppose even the slowest storage adapter will seem like a Ferrari when compared to a floppy drive. I think I am currently able to boot into GS/OS 5.0.1 in just under 60 seconds. Woohoo!

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Re: Interesting device...

Just ordered an SD card extension cable to save myself from opening the lid all the time. Have to fabricate something to put it in one of the port openings.

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Re: Interesting device...

An ordinary 2.8MHz //GS with ordinary apple scsi card and a mechanical 1GB HDD boots GS/OS 6.0.1 with many additional drivers for less than 35 seconds. 60 seconds boot time of the "interesting device" is rather slow.

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Re: Interesting device...

Quote:

60 seconds boot time of the "interesting device" is rather slow.

Sorry for the misleading words. I was referring to the floppy drive boot time.

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Re: Interesting device...

True, the SD Disk II isn't very fast with 70 seconds bootup time due to the way it is designed. Ian said that he might be able to make it faster, if he programs the firmware in ASM and overclocks the MPU. Ian also told me that once the OS is loaded, the cache speeds up things. Nevertheless the other features do compensate the speed quite well.

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Re: Interesting device...

protek wrote:

True, the SD Disk II isn't very fast with 70 seconds bootup time due to the way it is designed. Ian said that he might be able to make it faster, if he programs the firmware in ASM and overclocks the MPU. Ian also told me that once the OS is loaded, the cache speeds up things. Nevertheless the other features do compensate the speed quite well.

This is ridiculously slow speed! What cache?

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Re: Interesting device...

georgel wrote:
protek wrote:

True, the SD Disk II isn't very fast with 70 seconds bootup time due to the way it is designed. Ian said that he might be able to make it faster, if he programs the firmware in ASM and overclocks the MPU. Ian also told me that once the OS is loaded, the cache speeds up things. Nevertheless the other features do compensate the speed quite well.

This is ridiculously slow speed! What cache?

Internal cache. If you want to know more specific, ask him. That's all I know about it.

Well, the IIGS support is still work in progress. We may see some improvement yet.

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Re: Interesting device...

Don't know anything about the boot times for GS/OS as I don't have GS. It loads ProDOS 8 and does volume to volume transfers on a IIe pretty quick (as quick as the MicroDrive). It could be that it was just not designed for the 16 bit OS and that is gumming up the works.

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Re: Interesting device...

FYI, Looks like our friend Ian Kim is working on a new Emulator board that will include an LCD display for selecting and managing Disk II images.
His description is brief but it looks pretty cool. It reads that he's in the middle of a new board design for it now. He's also posted a link (not working yet) to his latest firmware upgrade to the existing SD Disk][ boards that a few of us have already purchased. It's nice to see this level of support to these projects. I'm liking it. Smile

http://quick09.tistory.com/category/%E2%97%86%20SD%20DISK%5D%5B%20Emulator

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Re: Interesting device...

Working download link for the latest firmware can be found here: http://quick09.tistory.com/1221

Have to install that and see how it affects the the GSOS startup speed.

I got one of these SD card extension cables to get the SD card more easily accessible. I need to fabricate something that would enable to have the extension cable in one of the port holes in the back. I would also need to see if there's some way of eliminating the control knob as you need that for flashing the new firmware and I'd rather not have it hanging around.

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Re: Interesting device...

Can you not do the flash using the bluetooth console?

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Re: Interesting device...

BillO wrote:

Can you not do the flash using the bluetooth console?

According to Ian, not yet but he's considering it.

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Re: Interesting device...

I just ordered one of these systems quite looking forward to it, I just have to endure the wait for the delivery.
It looks like the firmware is up to 2.59 now, has anyone tested this new firmware yet ?
I am hoping that my board will have the newest firmware xing fingers.

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Re: Interesting device...

Your board should have the newest firmware.
I just ordered an upgrade to mine with the LCD screen. Smile
FYI the firmware is now up to 2.59A.

I'm quite delighted Ian continues to produce upgrades and enhancements for this board.

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Re: Interesting device...

I thought I saw on Ian's blog that the latest was 2.59B.

Can you just get the Parts for the LCD or do you need to buy the whole shebang over again?

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Re: Interesting device...

You can get the LCD Display only.
He offered them on fleabay a couple weeks ago.
I ordered one from Ian and asked him to include the latest ROM
so I could upgrade by board hassle-free. Arrived yesterday
but I haven't had a chance to try it yet.

[Edit] I got to it tonight. Successfully plugged in the updated
V1.82 "bios" chip, upgraded the firmware to v2.59B and installed
the LCD board and the unit performed perfectly.

A couple things I would caution you on:
1. Take caution on how the LCD board plugs in. The pins aren't
keyed on the display. (and should be) Plugging in backwards
causes the bluetooth interface to lock up -even though the
display successfully lights up & displays the SD Disk][ Logo.
2. When upgrading the firmware, you only need to hold down the
two buttons for a couple seconds at power-up. Reprogramming
completes in about 10 seconds.

Just an FYI - Ian is working on a "slot-less" version for the Apple][c.
See the preview here: (bottom of page)
http://quick09.tistory.com/category/%E2%97%86%20SD%20DISK%5D%5B%20Emulator

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Re: Interesting device...

It's the knob and screen that I am most puzzled by. Once the card is in my computer the length of the cables to bring out to the front of the machine are going to be long, I really hope that the cable length will not become an issue. Also I am going to be looking for an attractive case for the knob and screen. you folks that already have one of these systems I would love some pictures of your setup to mebby steal your idea's from Smile

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Re: Interesting device...

I've got the 2.59A installed in mine. I've also been working on getting an SD card extension cable installed on one of the port openings in the back. I'm also planning to make a separate cable with two tactile switches to initiate the firmware update. I designed a new card reader bracket with Autodesk 123D Design that can be put in one of the port openings and had it 3D printed. Unfortunately either the flat cable is too long or it takes too much interference as the IIGS wouldn't boot from it. Behind the link is a picture of the SD card reader bracket.
3D model
printed
inside the IIGS
IIGS back panel

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Re: Interesting device...

protek wrote:

I designed a new card reader bracket with Autodesk 123D Design that can be put in one of the port openings and had it 3D printed. Unfortunately either the flat cable is too long or it takes too much interference as the IIGS wouldn't boot from it. Behind the link is a picture of the SD card reader bracket.

The SD card extension Great IDEA! nifty bracket too. Here is an ugly hack to shield the ribbon cable cheaply, find or buy an anti static bag one the length of the ribbon cable wrap the A.S bag around the ribbon cable. Then use a little tape or rubber bands to hold the A.S. bag in place. I know it sounds odd but I have found this to be effective in many cases where a cable needed to be shielded.
Thank you for the pictures, what is plugged into what looks like the floppy port on the back of the machine?

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Re: Interesting device...

@ 666JTK666:
That device on the Smart port is a Unisdisk by Koichi Nishida. It's another floppy emulator.

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Re: Interesting device...
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Re: Interesting device...

PlamenVaysilov wrote:

Another interesting SD card Floppy emulator

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SDFloppyII/1377746059152612?ref=bookmarks

Good eye!

That was covered in this thread: yet-another-disk-emulator

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Re: Interesting device...

Finally got my package from Ian, now it is just laying there, pleading with me to hurry up and finish my repair's on my IIgs.

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Re: Interesting device...

Hey folks,
Check out what Ian Kim is working on ...

http://quick09.tistory.com/1234

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