SD Disk][ Plus

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Joined: Aug 18 2017
Posts: 4

I've seen the videos that Joe's Computer Museum has done about mass storage for the Apple II series. It included information on the CFFA 3000 card, the Floppy Emu external drive and the ReActive Micro CF Card drive.

The last CFFA card that I found went for $900 on eBay this past week. Rediculous. I am waiting for them to create another batch of them, but in the mean time, while searching on eBay, I found a product that seems to work better for my situation anyway.

This guy named Ian who lives in Korea has created his own internal SD card for the entire Apple II series (II+, IIe, IIe Platinum, IIGS). His website is http://www.apple2.net and the product is called the Disk ][ Plus. It consists of an internal card, a ribbon cable leading to an external board with a screen and buttons to be able to select your different FDD or HDD images, and on the internal card there is a serial interface port to connect to a modern computer for a more in-depth session when initially setting up your machine and it's images.

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From what I have seen of usability, everyone looks at the CFFA card as being the most easily configurable and it's because of the built-in interface that you can enter when rebooting the machine. The serial connection on the Disk ][ Plus takes away the need for that completely, and it allows configuration changes in real time.

As an example, I have my MacBook Pro hooked up to the serial interface of the Disk ][ Plus. Using a floppy image on the Disk ][ Plus, I was booting into DOS on the Apple //e Platinum. From there, I could put a disk into my real floppy drive, look at the CATALOG, create a new image file onto the SD card through the serial interface, load the new image file as active, then use Copy ][ Plus on the Apple //e to copy the physical floppy to the new .NIB file on the SD card. With this procedure, 60 floppies found there way onto the SD card real quick! My entire Apple ][+ catalog on to a single 4GB SD card. Depressing when you think about it. But I waited 34 years to do it properly!

The Disk ][ Plus can emulate either two hard drives or two floppy drives simultaneously--one or the other, but not both. This probably has to do with the complexity of the routines that Ian is using in making the technology work. I'm not sure whether this causes me any problems or not. The initial setup for me was to take all my disks and put them on the SD card where presumably I can use AppleCider to move them around as needed before using them again.

The Disk ][ Plus came with a 4GB SD card loaded with images and games. Ian has supplied DOS 3.3 in several versions, including a drive image with Copy ][ Plus 3.0 and at least 10 other copy programs that you probably use or have heard of. He also has included a ton of .SDK images of games as well. On the hard drive from, several versions of ProDOS exist including 2.4.1 and 2.4.2, plus GSOS 6.0.2 and the like. More than enough to get you going.

Honestly, I cannot be happier. I am a tinkerer so the idea of having the serial connection to the card has actually taken the place of the external controller completely. But if you have things already set up as images, it is so easy to turn the rotary encoder and then press it when you've chosen the image you want to select. The interface runs very smooth.

The SD card is hot-swappable, as long as you leave your case open. Ian hints at the ability to use a Wi-Fi enabled SD card, so guess what is next for me. That's right. Toshiba has a FlashAir card that is on the way. The card allows you to connect to it directly to retrieve or place images. This will require some skill as you could presumably be copying an open file, so you must be careful to make sure that the Apple II is not writing to the disk when using this feature. For me it will allow be to use AppleCider and immediately upload changes back to the SD card without constantly moving it in and out.

I purchased the Disk ][ Plus for $164.00 on eBay. That was $142.00 plus $22.00 shipping from Korea. The shipping time calculator gave a time of approximately a month to receive the parcel in the mail, but it came in about 2 weeks. Not a long wait after 34 years of holding on to my 100 disk container.

I haven't had to contact Ian at all for support. The instructions that come with the machine require some patience in translating the English, but with the mind of an engineer, he hasn't forgotten anything. With this purchase, I am not sure I'll need a CFFA when they become available. Certainly not for $900 as the last one sold on eBay. Crazy money when other excellent products such as this one exist.

Fellow geek out.
Randal Stout

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