The CDrive Card

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Re: The CDrive Card

Hi Guys,

I have been working with UltimateApple2 and ReActiveMicro to help bring a CF Card version of the CDrive to life. The prototype (built on a blank CDrive PC Board), is working and cold booting the //c in under 2 seconds!

A new board design is in the works and I will post a link to the UA2 site with progress updates as soon as we get that going. Thanks for the continued interest.

Here is the "Son of CDrive:"

Jeff

CFDrive Front
CFDrive Back

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Re: The CDrive Card

Jeff and All,

"Son of CDrive"

YES!!! WOOHOO!!!

I assume that the CFFA Card adapter will protrude
from the current disk drive location?

This is absolutely AWESOME Jeff!

I am a Happy Camper.

Do you need extra funding, or anything else?

I may not have much, but I would like to help in any way I can.

Just let me know.

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

That's great news Jeff, I'll certainly be looking for at least one.

Has anyone mentioned compatibility with the various versions of the Apple IIc?

Cheers, Martin...

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Re: The CDrive Card

Add me to the list of interested cats for something like that Son of CDrive device. Right now, I've got a IIc Plus with a ADT Pro virtual drive, but an actual drive would be much preferable.

Even my Timex Sinclair 1500 now has a hard drive of sorts, with the ZXPand (allows saving a loading to SD card), so it would be cool to get my IIC Plus to join that club.

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Re: The CDrive Card

jeffmazur wrote:

Hi Guys,

I have been working with UltimateApple2 and ReActiveMicro to help bring a CF Card version of the CDrive to life. The prototype (built on a blank CDrive PC Board), is working and cold booting the //c in under 2 seconds!

A new board design is in the works and I will post a link to the UA2 site with progress updates as soon as we get that going. Thanks for the continued interest.

The Son of CDrive, aka CFDrive, has now been re-dubbed IDEA2C and the forum is up on the UltimateApple2 site:

https://ultimateapple2.com/forums/forum/main-forum/cdrive

I have posted a video there showing the proof-of-concept prototype working in a //c. Still plenty of work to make this a real product with modern parts, but we're going as fast as we can.

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Re: The CDrive Card

From tiny acorns mighty Oak trees doth grow.

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

James Littlejohn and I have furnished hardware to facilitate this project because the IIc needs more love.

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Re: The CDrive Card

jeffmazur wrote:

https://ultimateapple2.com/forums/forum/main-forum/cdrive

I have posted a video there showing the proof-of-concept prototype working in a //c.

I see that your post says you've attached the video... but I can't see how/where that attachment attaches. Is it visible to non-members? Is it on YouTube somewhere?

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Re: The CDrive Card

The video is on UltimateApple2.com forum - you have to be logged in to vbulletin for the link to show up -- it appears to be hosted there.

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Re: The CDrive Card

You can also download the file here:

http://www.applefritter.com/files/cfdrv%20demo.mov_.zip

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Re: The CDrive Card

Jeff,

After watching the video, I have a question.

Is the CF Card going to be mounted where it is currently,
or is it going to be placed at the old drive input slot
so that you can install and remove the CF Card there?

Or am I getting too far ahead at this time to ask this? lol

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

gsmcten wrote:

Jeff,

After watching the video, I have a question.

Is the CF Card going to be mounted where it is currently,
or is it going to be placed at the old drive input slot
so that you can install and remove the CF Card there?

Or am I getting too far ahead at this time to ask this? lol

Steven Smile

Well I can only say for certain that it WILL NOT be mounted where you see it now. Although access to it through the floppy opening would be nice, we really don't want to eliminate the internal floppy (like the CDrive did). Other possible schemes are being evaluated now: wireless cards, dual cards with one internal and an optional external, etc. What would you like to see?

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Re: The CDrive Card

Hello Jeff,

i just follow up this thread at the time...
maybe you can consider as a possible solution this idea:

how about adding similar to the CFFA 2.0 instead the 40 pin common IDE PIN-connector and offering the user to plug
in a commen used IDE2CF Card adapter and again leaving the user the choice - where to place that adaptor and
offering the slot for insertion of the CF card where he/she wants the slot to be by extension of a flatribboncable...

- or:
just leaving the option to place the interface below/behind the internal drive like your proposal sounds,

and placing at the PCB a 10 pin plug compatibel to the commonly used USB plugs at IBM Mainboards and offering a
kind of "mix" solution similar to the CFFA 3000 ( so the user may plug in a USB cable at the plug and mount the USB
connector at the place he likes to see the plugconnector at the rear or the side.... leaving choice to the User...

just an idea.... maybe worth a few minutes about considering that alternate choices or discussing this alternate design as share / cooperation with Rich Dreher ?

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: The CDrive Card

Speedy,

I had been talking with Rich for almost two years about this project.
I even sent Jeff's schematics and all other information.
I'm not sure what he will do with it, if anything.
He has a lot on his plate and I will not press any issues with him.

Jeff,

I'm easy. lol
You know that I'm just happy that this project is off the ground
and in the testing stages.

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

The wireless capability is something I'd forgo unless it were super quick and easy to implement and didn't slow the new product from getting into production. It's a 'product v2.0' option to me. My dream product is a CDrive, RAM card (MORE than the usual 1MB please) and a clock (the basic features are the most important) -- and there is a lot of pent up desire for these basic features.

I think the extra features you were adding to the CKeeper are brilliant, so if there is a way to integrate modern versions of the CDrive, CKeeper and UA/R's no-slot-clock (with coin cell) on one board, under my keyboard -- it would make me a very happy user.

A USB interface may be more practical than CF from the users point of view. A USB extension cable is far easier to route out of the IIc case. Even hacking out a port in the rear vents is easier. I know I DO NOT want to lose my internal drive.

But if CF card is the solution over USB, I'll still take it and I'll be grateful. It won't kill me to open the IIc now and then.

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Re: The CDrive Card

Hello Steven,

first: I didn´t recognize before that there has been some previous communication related also to
Rich.....
sometimes cooperation is disabled by former issues.... not allways related to the current task....

Hello Jeff,

i do realize there are quite remarkable differences between the CFFA and the CDrive.
the idea related to the use of USB won´t make sense without a cooperation with Rich, due to the fact
that the translation of the transformation of the communication from IDE to USB has been completely
been created by him.

In the alternate case only altering a slight bit the design of the CDive itself i have some questions
illustrated by your picture with some added commenting by text:
It seems the CDrive is determined to be used as S6, D1 ( replacing the internal drive )
and therefor of course alternate concept of handling the ProDOS at the CF-Card.
Do you only pickup the voltage and the drive-select from the 20 pin port
or do you also pick parts of the read/write signals from that plug too ?
It seems to me that you only pick up the voltages and the drive adressing.
By the switches it seems to be the option selecting S4,D1 : S5,D1 : S6,D1 or S7,D1.
Resulting from this it seems to me that you keep the main structure of the Harddisk / CFcard reserved to
the track 0 of the harddisk and picking up that structure while reading a mofified kind of ProDOS from
first tracks that handle the acess with the Disk / CF card completely different from the kind of access
at the CF interface from Rich. That would result to the fact that only specific structures ( in terms
of cylinders, heads and sectors ) will be accepted by the CDrive. Is this correct ? This would limit the
size ( similar to the Vulcan drive ) to some limit close to 100 or 256 MB ( i.e. 1024 cylinders, 4 to 16 Heads and 64 sectors ) ?

in such a case there are alternate questions...
is the software limited to use with ProDOS or is there also chance to use the CDrive with modified UCSD Pascal
DOS or CPM ( similar like Vulcan Drive ) ?

sincerely
speedyG

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the second part includes less friends but a lot more joy on life....

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Re: The CDrive Card

speedyG wrote:

Hello Jeff,

i do realize there are quite remarkable differences between the CFFA and the CDrive.
the idea related to the use of USB won´t make sense without a cooperation with Rich, due to the fact
that the translation of the transformation of the communication from IDE to USB has been completely
been created by him.

In the alternate case only altering a slight bit the design of the CDive itself i have some questions
illustrated by your picture with some added commenting by text:
It seems the CDrive is determined to be used as S6, D1 ( replacing the internal drive )
and therefor of course alternate concept of handling the ProDOS at the CF-Card.
Do you only pickup the voltage and the drive-select from the 20 pin port
or do you also pick parts of the read/write signals from that plug too ?
...
is the software limited to use with ProDOS or is there also chance to use the CDrive with modified UCSD Pascal
DOS or CPM ( similar like Vulcan Drive ) ?

sincerely
speedyG

The CDrive did indeed connect to the internal floppy connector but only for power/ground and to drive the disk activity light. Everything else was done through the CPU connection. The DIP switches were used to select which slot to "place" the CDrive into; any slot could be used (except slot 3) but 4, 5 and 7 made the most sense. Because it used an XT-IDE interface, only a few drive configurations would work and we only supported ProDOS.

The new IDEA2C, while loosely based on the CDrive, will support any CF card size and COULD be made to support DOS, CP/M, etc. However in an effort to bring this to market ASAP, we probably will only go ProDOS and may hard code it to ROM04 / slot 4 only. Thus it will auto boot into the CF Drive unless you hold down a special key - right now I'm using CapsLock - in which case it will boot the floppy. Of course, you will also be able to boot internal/external floppies with PR#5 and PR#6.

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Re: The CDrive Card

jeffmazur wrote:

....Because it used an XT-IDE interface, only a few drive configurations would work and we only supported ProDOS.
....
The new IDEA2C, while loosely based on the CDrive, will support any CF card size and COULD be made to support DOS,
CP/M, etc. However in an effort to bring this to market ASAP, we probably will only go ProDOS and may hard code
it to ROM04 / slot 4 only.

Hello Jeff,

thanks for the explenations.

I agree with the philosopy of the "ASAP" demand. In such case it might be usefull to think about 2 options:
1st option:
offering later an update of the eprom enabling the support of the alternate uses
or
2nd option:
releasing parts of the code as opensource to enable the user to code altenate access with other OS.

Besides the answer that the first release is restricted to use within the ROM4 only leads to the conclusion
that the code is making heavy use of special 65C02 Mnemonics. Even in such a case it still might be worth
of thinking about later option of a kind of "downgrading"
the code to a plain 6502 code version and
keeping the option of use of the CDrive derivate in a normal or enhanced IIe.
here still would be the option to move the CPU and pick by cable the "internal drive" wires from a DISK II Interface..... even this is just a proposal of thoughts....

anyhow it seems most important in the revision of the PCB to step away from vertical connectors ahead
to 90 degree angled connectors to keep the design as flat as possible ....

sincerely
speedyG

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Re: The CDrive Card

Jeff,

I read in your last post about hard coding to the ROM4 IIc.

Am I wrong, or does that mean that folks will have to get a ROM4 unit,
or upgrade to ROM4 before they can use it?

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

gsmcten wrote:

Jeff,

I read in your last post about hard coding to the ROM4 IIc.

Am I wrong, or does that mean that folks will have to get a ROM4 unit,
or upgrade to ROM4 before they can use it?

Steven Smile

Do you see that as an issue? They already sell the ROM upgrade at a reasonable price for those that need it. This will make it much easier to have one unit that works in both the //c and //c+ but nothing is set in stone yet. Certainly makes the //c more functional but I am aware that some collectors may like their machines just the way they came. Then again... you are adding a modern, high tech device which would greatly benefit from the 3.5" floppy, etc.

Comments, suggestions?

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Re: The CDrive Card

Jeff,

It just so happens that I just picked up a ROM4 IIc
a couple of months ago from Stephen Buggie. lol

I just thought that it may be limiting for some folks.

It's not a problem getting ROM3 Chips from several sources,
but sourcing the ROM4 Chips is a little harder.

Besides...

You are the Chef.
The ingredients and how the dish is made
is all up to you.

Woe be unto him who adds spices where they don't belong
or stirs the pot when it is supposed to settle.

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

gsmcten wrote:

Woe be unto him who adds spices where they don't belong
or stirs the pot when it is supposed to settle.
Steven Smile

Hello Steven,
got the message.... lol
the thoughts had just been results from "brainstorming"
and thought about general usage resulting to larger amount of PCB´s
leading to lower manufacturing price....

But you are of course right - the cook is the cook....
and jeffs recipe is marvelous beyond any comments...
speedyG

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Re: The CDrive Card

Jeff,

I have no issue coding to the version 4 ROM, but will it work with the original Apple IIc hardware. Mine is one of the first units with ROM version 255, meaning it has no expansion socket. Th ROM upgrade is simple, in fact I was about to upgrade it to version 1 for SmartPort support.
Might as well install version 4 ROM in anticipation Wink

Cheers, Martin...

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Re: The CDrive Card

mnc1959 wrote:

Jeff,

I have no issue coding to the version 4 ROM, but will it work with the original Apple IIc hardware. Mine is one of the first units with ROM version 255, meaning it has no expansion socket. Th ROM upgrade is simple, in fact I was about to upgrade it to version 1 for SmartPort support.
Might as well install version 4 ROM in anticipation Wink

Cheers, Martin...

Yes it will work in the original, non-memory expansion //c. Neither the original CDrive nor the new IDEA2C use the expansion connector.

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Re: National Resource? COMPLETE POST #23

Someone pointed out to me that the CDrive thread did not seem complete. I do recall a few years ago notifying Tom that after he moved Applefritter to a new server, some of my posts got truncated and/or were missing. Fortunately one of these posts (#23) had already been referenced by apple2history.org, so for completeness and to preserve the thread I am reposting (since it won't let me edit) the complete text of that original post:
________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I was quite active in the Apple II days from the very beginning. I tried to sell some of my designs to Apple, then started a side business, and eventually was ordered (along with others) to stop using product names that included the word Apple. I still have my rejection letter with notes from Woz and Jobs as well as the cease and desist letter from their lawyers!

It was a different time back then. In fact, many people were copying other’s work (including the Apple II itself) almost with impunity. If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then I suppose I was quite flattered. For example, it is a little known fact that Applied Engineering got its start by ripping off other people’s designs. Their first clock card was a complete clone of my hardware, firmware, and software. Even the manual was virtually a copy of my own.

As for the CKeeper … I can describe some of the unique features of this product. One of these was an innovative use of the reset button on the //c. Due to a fortunate design on Apple’s part, I was able to detect when this button was pressed by simply monitoring the Reset line at the CPU socket. The normal operation of the //c used a pull-up resistor on the Reset line as expected. The Reset button when pressed connected this line to the Control key, which was also pulled up and switched to ground when pressed. Thus a ctrl-reset was necessary to actually reset the computer. By adding a small load (high value resistor) and voltage comparator on the CKeeper card, it was possible to detect the difference between one and two pull-ups, and thus make the normally meaningless press of the Reset button alone become a useful initiator of the CKeeper’s extended functions.

The real coup however was being able to add my own clock, interrupt, and extended feature routines to hooks in the //c ROM. This required a number of oft-used tricks such as using the second byte of one instruction to be the opcode for a different entry point. I think Woz started this trend with his serial card, probably just to save a single byte. The //c ROM however contained many such entry points that needed to be preserved as well as other code segments freely mixed between “slots.”

Unfortunately, I needed some entry points and “slot identifier bytes” (e.g. to read the clock) which conflicted with Apple’s code. I almost gave up until I realized that I could actually make this work by using the Sync signal of the CPU. I may be the only person who ever used this signal on an Apple II, and unfortunately it was the one thing that eventually would make it incompatible with the Zip Chip CPU’s. Essentially, the sync signal allowed me to place two different bytes of information at a single memory address. One byte would only be used when the CPU was starting a new instruction; the other byte was presented when the CPU was expecting data. This was the key to having two different bytes of information at the same address. It also meant that if you tried to use the //c’s disassembler to read out the contents of my firmware, you got meaningless jibberish. It looked like the code could not possibly work – yet the 6502 was perfectly happy with what it saw!

The extended features of this card allowed any program to be interrupted – at any time – at which point you could print all manner of screen dumps (great for documenting that all time high score of a game) or go into the //c monitor program. I often used this to change memory locations, for example the byte which stored the current number of “lives” left in a game. Thus, I could give myself unlimited men in certain games (and thus reach those all time high scores!).

The battery-backed memory and save/resume feature was quite amazing to see. I would often show the computer running some game and then pretend to accidentally pull out the power cord. After a few minutes, I would plug it back in and watch the faces as the computer immediately resumed right in the middle of the game where it left off. This technology was even ported to the early Macs. I designed similar boards for the Mac II, Mac SE, and SE30. Unfortunately, as I tried to get others to manufacture these products, I followed one company after another (Practical Peripherals, Checkmate Technology, MDIdeas, and Applied Ingenuity) as they faded out of existence.

Fortunately, I never quit my day job (as a broadcast engineer). Of course, it might also be that because of this I never had the passion (or fear) that was needed to really make something happen. Nevertheless, I look back on those days as some of my best work.

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Re: The CDrive Card

Jeff,

So do you know what's happening with the Updated CDrive Project?

Steven Smile

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Re: The CDrive Card

gsmcten wrote:

Jeff,

So do you know what's happening with the Updated CDrive Project?

Steven Smile

Well not sure how much I can say, but in showbiz lingo it would be that someone with good ProDOS (as in 2.4) experience is now "attached" to the project. If feature creep doesn't set in, we might actually see a final product one of these days! I know YOU've been waiting quite a long time.

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Re: The CDrive Card

LOL

I'm a very patient person.
I know that when it happens
I'll be first in line.

Steven Smile

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