Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

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hannawr's picture
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Hello All,

I wanted to solicit feedback from users of the BMOW Floppy Emu product.

I plan to use it with my un enhanced Apple IIE that has an Disk II interface and single Disk II drive. I have some software I would like to get off of the original 30 plus year floppies on to some type of flash media. My plan is to have the Disk II as drive 1 and the Emu as drive 2.

From the reviews I have read it seems like a solid product.

Would you recommend or suggest another product ?

Thanks for any advice.

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Long time Apple User - just got a IIE after owning one 30 plus years ago

Bill

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c0op3r's picture
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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

I have one and it works well, the real go to is the CFFA 3000 but they only run a batch about ever 2 yrs (a batch is about to be run in November). The BMOW kit is still a great kit to start with and excellent for the IIc

hannawr's picture
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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Thanks for the reply. What make the CFFA 3000 a better product? I see it has been made for a number of years.

Bill

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1978AppleII's picture
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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

c0op3r wrote:

I have one and it works well, the real go to is the CFFA 3000 but they only run a batch about ever 2 yrs (a batch is about to be run in November). The BMOW kit is still a great kit to start with and excellent for the IIc

I really prefer the BMOW set up to the CFFA3000 (which I also own). I dunno why - perhaps its a preference to have it external to the unit and attached to the standard floppy connector.

Both work great! Its all a matter of preference to me Smile

Jennifer

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hannawr's picture
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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Jennifer,

Thanks for the feedback, I am going to order one.

Do you have your Disk II and the Emu attached to the same disk interface in your Apple II+ or Apple IIe?

Or do you use the Emu exclusively ?

Thanks

Bill

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

I have the BMOW FEMU and currently use with with my Mac SE/30 and IIgs. One thing to note is that the FEMU has two sets of firmware; one for Apple II and one for Macintosh. You need to reprogram the FEMU whenever you switch from using it with Mac to your Apple II. It's not hard, but not convenient either.

I have not used the FEMU for writing to disk, so I can't comment on how well that works. I imagine you would first have to create a bunch of blank floppy images on the FEMU for your copy destinations.

1978AppleII's picture
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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

hannawr wrote:

Jennifer,

Thanks for the feedback, I am going to order one.

Do you have your Disk II and the Emu attached to the same disk interface in your Apple II+ or Apple IIe?

Or do you use the Emu exclusively ?

Thanks

Bill

Hi have it attached to the same controller. Seems to work very well.

Jennifer

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Keep in mind that one limitation of the Floppy EMU is it can't format a floppy image so, by extension, programs that do low-level sector-by-sector writes of disks with nonstandard formats will probably fail on it. (Like various bit/nibble copy programs) If your goal is ultimately to image all your own floppies into a form an emulator can use you *might* be better off using something like ADTPro to copy from floppy straight to a modern computer over serial.

But if you intend to keep using the hardware machine the FloppyEMU is a fine option. I have the older Model A version, which has the annoying limitation that it doesn't support floppy write when connected to the original Disk ][ controller. (It can when using an external adapter on the 19 pin port of the later daisy-chain controllers.) The current version has apparently resolved that.

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Getting data back and forth between Apple<->PC is a fundamental skill everyone needs to have in this day and age. Moving a physical disk image into and out of an emulator, or a downloaded image to a real Apple II is invaluable and adds significant 'funnage' to your classic computing time.

So.. I'm of the school that one should have 2 or 3 ways of creating/modifying/transferring and working with disks, images, and files. Learning ADTpro and Copy II are default no-excuses, no brainers. Essentially free. ADTpro will even work with Applewin in a completely virtual environment. Just for fun!

Understanding the types of disk images, the popular versions of DOS and ProDOS, and the finer points of CiderPress make up that delicious icing on the cake.

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Eudimorphodon,

Thank you for the feedback. The ability to write to the Emu in non-standard formats is not so much of an issue, my thought was to make the Emu drive 1 and use my Disk II as drive 2. I just got from Retro Floppy ADTPro, a serial cable, box of 3M floppies and a Super Serial Card off of Ebay, I am going to test transferring data to and from to my MacBook to my IIe. The IIe I got a few weeks ago sat in a closet fro 25 plus years and is in pristine condition, the floppies (from 1984) still boot and save files.

To me that is amazing and I would think far beyond the number of years of life they were designed for (10 to 20 years)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_preservation

I found an old form post from the Vintage Computer forum that details folks looking for 5.25 inch floppies in 2006 - http://www.vcfed.org/forum/archive/index.php/t-5069.html.

Funny thing is that one company at that time still made them:

The name of the comany is ATHANA International, Inc.

Their address is:
24045 Frampton Ave.
Harbor City, CA 90710, U.S.A.

Phone: 800-421-1591 or 310-539-7280
Fax: 310-539-6596
Website: http://www.athana.com/

If you go to the website today:

Welcome to Athana's Customer inquiry page! Use any of the contact options listed below and get in touch with us by phone ,FAX, e-mail or snail mail. Any method is welcome and we will respond quickly to your needs.

Telephone Access
310-539-7280

E-Mail

ATHANA International, Inc.
602 Faye
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
USA

Pretty amazing, I think I will request pricing.

A little long winded, but very interesting.

Bill

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Keatah,

Thank you for the feedback, I posted my thoughts to Eudimorphodon.

I use a MacBook and just got Virtual II, I have been experimenting using Textwrangler as an editor and pasting the output into Virtual II, it works. The last piece is to transfer the files from Virtual II to the Iie using the serial connection. Is your workflow similar to that ?

BILL

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

It might be. I don't do Virtual II because I don't do Mac. Not yet anyways. I sure with they'd make Virtual II for the PC.

When I had a bunch of text to transfer from the Apple II to PC I used serial connection. Since it was plain text with nothing more than carriage-return and linefeeds I didn't have reformat much, if at all. Straight from AE Express or ProTerm to the PC. That was back in the 80's. Now I might use a flash memory solution or ADTpro. Heck, I could even print it out, and OCR it! I could also set up a virtual serial port and do Applewin that way.

In transferring text from PC to Apple II I might copy/paste from PC into something running in AppleWin. I could also import into a disk image in CiderPress. Or capture on the Apple II while the PC sends over the serial port.

---

There's really multiple ways of doing things.

Discovering all the methods and their advantages and disadvantages was fun. Its the essence of the hobby. There comes a point in time when it all comes together, and all the utilities form a nice toolkit that (you) understand and know how to use without thinking. You just grab the tool and apply it.

And now that ADTpro 2.41 (classic client) has a failed-sector chart I can study after it fails on a ratbaggy disk, I can save more material from those crusty floppies.

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

The floppy Emu has to go last on the chain. I am pretty sure that without hardware modification, you won't be able to boot from the FEMU unless its BY ITSELF on your floppy connector.

However, if you install a second Disk controller in slot 5, you will be able to boot to either just by switching cables or from DOS with a PR #5 or #6 command.

Might just make it easier if you want to have all options

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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Hunter012 wrote:

The floppy Emu has to go last on the chain. I am pretty sure that without hardware modification, you won't be able to boot from the FEMU unless its BY ITSELF on your floppy connector.

The OP says they want to use it with an original Disk ][ controller, which has a separate 20 pin header for each drive, so using as either drive 1 or 2 should be okay.

(Again, this applies to the current version of the Floppy Emu. The original version needed some external circuitry for 5 1/4" write support that came on the 19 pin adapter, so it was a pain to try to use it with the Disk ][.)

I do sort of wish that BMOW could sufficiently reverse-engineer the passthrough/chaining mechanism to offer a daisy-chain board for the Floppy Emu that would allow it to be placed mid-chain, or allow for more than one to be used at once. On machines like the IIc and IIgs in particular this would have its uses.

hannawr's picture
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Re: Thoughts on the Floppy Emu Deluxe Bundle from BMOW

Well I ordered the EMU Deluxe Bundle and found another Disk II controller on Ebay. I will let you all know my thoughts soon. Thanks for everyones input.

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Long time Apple User - just got a IIE after owning one 30 plus years ago

Bill