I was blown out of the water this evening.
An Applied Ingenuity CDrive came up for auction about four days ago on eBay. These things are very hard to come by in any way, shape, or form in the first place. To have one actually show up for auction is a miracle. So naturally I bid on it.
I had this grand idea of winning it and then loaning it to Rich Dreher so that he might have a PCB with all the connections to look at while finally coming up with an external CFFA Card connector for the IIc or IIc Plus. When he was finished he could send it back for me to play with (lol).
It was setting at $76.00 until it was within about ten minutes of the end of the auction this evening and then things went berserk. My final bid was $155.55 within the last minute of the auction, but it was not good enough or fast enough. Someone else won it in the last ten seconds.
Talk about disappointed.
Like I said, a CDrive is one of the lesser Holy Grailes of The Apple IIc series. If I'm lucky; maybe another will come up in the next ten years.
I'm not familiar with this. What did it do and where did it plug in? Was this the external hard drive that plugged into the smart port?
You can find some information on it here:http://apple2history.org/history/ah09.html scroll down to the section titled "Less Than A Success". It sounds like it would have been a very nice addition to the //c-//c+.
It was a replacement for the existing disk drive in the IIc, or IIc Plus. It used a SCSI Hard Drive and with an external disk drive connected to the IIc could be formatted in ProDos.
Applied Ingenuity (Ingenuity, Inc.) did not make these things for very long and they are very hard to find.
Thanks for the reference to the history page. I think the article has some errors in it. For example it says the CDrive was never made.
The article also says that you could only have three external drives with an Apple //c+, but I was running mine with five; 3pc 800k 3.5", and a duodisk 5.25".
I was blown out of the water this afternoon. A search of CDrive actually had some hits. And one up for auction on eBay - unbelievable!
I designed this product for Applied Ingenuity way back when. And as far as I know, they went out of business before actually "selling" any (i.e. I never received any royalties).
What prompted my search was a little spring cleaning. Out came the //c and //c+ which I used to develop the CDrive (and CKeeper) and I couldn't resist hooking them up. Both still worked, although I did have to gently smack one of the drives to get it to spin up!
If people are really interested in this device, I may have a few PC boards in various states laying around somewhere.
Count me in as interested! I have an original //c, will it work in that? if you'd like to contact me offline about it my e-mail address is email@example.com.
What would really be interesting is if you still have the schematics, or drawings that can be used to build new ones. I know I'm interested.
Rich Dreher has been trying to come up with an External CFFA Drive for the IIc and IIc Plus.If you still have the drawings, he may be able to come up with an Internal CFFA Drive for the IIc.
This is absolutely fantastic!
Ohhh, this should be interesting.
Yes. It really should be intersting.lol
Here is the original schematic and photo of the very first CDrive prototype. It was designed to plug directly into the CPU socket (after moving the chip onto the CDrive board). This was similar to how I designed the Proclock //c and Superclock //c boards (they actually went in upside-down). When the //c+ came out, with its memory card that plugged in and bridged over the CPU, we had to use a DIP plug and ribbon cable instead to attach to the CDrive board.
I also have many notes regarding power requirements, heat, ground bounce issues, etc. and details of how the code was written to co-exist with the standard routines in the //c ROM. Having said this, the real challenge for anyone trying to duplicate these efforts would be in the PAL/GAL design and firmware. I think I have the latest design equations but the firmware source code only exists on some ancient floppy disks. Of course, I do have some working GALS and EPROMS so it should be possible to clone them.
I also have the original disk that came with the CDrive which has the formatting and head parking programs (yes, you had to manually park the drive head before shutting down to avoid damaging the useful area of the platter).
I'm not sure how helpful all this is or how much interest there really is in building these things. But I'd be glad to help in any way I can.
Click here for Original CDrive Schematic
Very first CDrive prototype:
Here is one of the first production units:
I've got the photo showing,but no schematic.
The link to the schematic is above the photo in his post. It leads to a link of a PDF file that shows it.
unless that isn't what you was looking for.
Jeff and all,
I have both the schematic and the photo.
I am going to forward these to Rich over at his CFFA site to see if he can do anything with them.
Jeff and all,
I just finished sending the photo and schematic to Rich Dreher.
Hopefully he will get them and be able to adapt it for a IIc CFFA card.
Now THAT would be interesting.
Tony Diaz has (iirc) 6 CDrive cards. He's always on the lookout for the ROMs on these.
He said it should be possible to create a functional clone of this board that wouldn't require the removal of the original drive, i.e. everything could fit.
I'd really like to see an internal mass storage device like this, that also integrated 1MB/1MB (or more) memory -- a combo slinky and z-ram (that would be like having cake and eating it too) plus a clock, either a no-slot-clock or something AE compatible (like the z-ram clock, or the dclock).
It's an 8 bit IDE, I believe. Not SCSI.
I'm not certain about this.
I am sure that Jeff could say one way or the other.
If Rich doesn't bite there are a few others to try to get in touch with, it just boils down to a few things, 1. if they have time, 2. if they are willing to do it.
No doubt that you are correct.
The reason that I have pointed to Rich is that he has been contemplating making some sort of IIc / IIc+ specific device for CFFA for several years. He has been making improvements to his card for the II,II+,IIe,and IIgs for the last year and also making a CFFA card for the Apple I Replica's.
I would love for someone to take up the torch of building something (be it an internal hard drive, an external hard drive, or a CFFA card)for the IIc /IIc+. It really does not matter who.
I know I would by one (at least)if it became available.
If he has been contemplating on making a device for the IIc / IIc+ then this could be considered a push for him to make a decision on doing just that.
But if for some reason he says no there is always Henry or Bill or someone else to try.
If i owned a IIc or IIc+ i would be tempted to buy one because lord knows that its hard to find any add ons for a IIc / IIc+, But right now my funds are going towards my IIgs.
If somehow that design could be modified for extra Ram, a CPU upgrade, Clock and so on it would almost be considered the holy grail of IIc / IIc+ add-ons.
But just a mass storage option would do.
Yes, the CDrive used an IDE (aka XT) drive such as the Seagate ST325X.
As for a "holy grail" of //c add-on, the CKeeper was pretty close (even though it never went into production). It had battery backed RAM, clock, dozens of built-in commands for screen printing, program interruption and resume, etc. all directly accessed with the Reset key. Integration with the //c ROM was one of my finest achievements. The pièce de résistance was its ability to act like a modern day laptop or iPad in sleep mode; you could just turn off the //c at any time, or even pull out the power cord, and when it came back on you would be exactly where you were when it went off.
It was compatible with everything (including the CDrive) with only one unfortunate exception: the ZipChips. If someone really wanted to pour the time and effort into building a super board with all of this, I'd be very interested in hearing from them. Here is a photo of the one and only CKeeper (aka Tiger Tail Plus, after Apple's code name for their //c+ memory card):
As far as I am concerned you are a national resourse of information!
I am just one of a possible multitude of folks who would have loved to have seen the CKeeper and the CDrive manufactured in quantity.
I have no doubt that these items would still have marketing appeal for folks in the Apple II community, even as niche items.
Do you happen to have the schematic for CKeeper? I don't know what I could do with it, but I'd love to see it. lol
As I said, 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 schematics, I’m not sure how useful that would be. However, 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.
I'll add my two cents in here. I am definitely interested in not only the CDrive but the CKeeper also, if there is any way they can be manufactured at hopefully reasonable prices. I've got an original //c and something like these two things would be a blessing of an add-on to that computer.
Jeff...I resemble that remark! LMAO!!!
Although I must say on my own behalf that I'm in pretty good shape for the shape I'm in. lol
As most of the other Fritter folk know; I started out with an Apple IIc in '85 and regressed. Now I have one (at least) of every type of Apple II and have come to the conclusion that I am a pack rat of the first order.
This does not stop me from looking for items that will help me appreciate my Apple's more.
I have stood on my soapbox on more than one occasion at work and other places and told folks about the simplicity and granduer of using an Apple IIc, an Imagewriter II, and Appleworks to create near letter quality documents. For this I have been scoffed, Pooh Poohed, and (in several intances) called a raving lunatic.
I just smile.
The world needs more items to make the Apple IIc better.
Hi, just curious if there was any progress or update on this project/post?
As of late there have been stirings up on A2Central.com about a new CPU for the Apple II series, including the IIc. I think Rich Dreher is still working on the new CFFA Card for the II Series, but nothing out of his Mad Laboritory about the possible IIc CFFA project.
Believe me....If I see anything concerning a IIc upgrade; It will be immediatly posted here.
thanks gsmcten, definitely keep us //c owners updated!
Cedric Peltier demonstrates Smartport virtual hard drive For Apple IIc!
See latest on A2central.com
I figured it was about time this topic was re-addressed.
No new items have come along for the IIc, but hope is still out there.
I have decided that it is about time I pulled one of the IIc's off the shelf and experiment with the possible making of an IDE/CFFA Rig.
I have gone over the other topics from over the last couple of years and have taken a second look at the information everyone has shared. With an IDE cable and an Addonics CFFA adapter and a ProDos loaded CFFA card, I am going to see if I can get this thing to boot up.
Reports to follow...
In the mean time, I assume everyone already knows about this - but it's tangentally related to expanding a IIc, so I'll mention it here. There's a virtual drive available on the IIc/IIc+ serial port from ADTPro. Since it's an additional, all-software (i.e. not firmware) based drive, it has tradeoffs: either it consumes RAM or it takes the space otherwise occupied by the 5-1/4" floppy disk driver. You lose one or the other; but you gain a virtual ProDOS-based drive of arbitrary size.
I was not aware of this, and I am interested.
Can the updated disk in 5.25 format still be ordered from you?
You can just make it yourself for free... download and transfer via ADTPro as usual.
Looking to contact Jeff Mazur if any one has his direct contact info. Tried a PM but no response so far.
So as I continue to thin out my Apple collection, the Apple IIc+ prototype with one of the very few working CDrives gets some play time again. To dispel some of the comments I've seen regarding the CDrive - especially those that claim it must be slow since it attaches to the floppy port - I have made a short video which you can download here -> http://www.applefritter.com/files/CDrive%20Demo.mov_.zip (since Applefritter doesn't allow movie files to be uploaded, it has been zipped). Just for the record, the CDrive does connect to the floppy port but just for power and to drive the disk light above the keyboard. The real connection is directly to the CPU. So it is pretty fast, as you will see.
I will put this up for sale as soon as I can figure out how to piece it out and what is a fair price. But first, there's this Exatron Stringy Floppy for the Apple (still in the box) that I don't think ever made it into production....
Excuse the noob, but that is NICE!!
Thanks for sharing the video.
If you took the time to replicate your work, possibly adapt it to compact flash (or similar) storage, you would make more off your CDrive. There's still (albeit small) demand for this product. Your CKeeper too. If partnering with someone is an option, there is Henry Courbis and Anthony Martino.
If the CDrive is installed, you can't use a IIc memory expansion card?
No, the CDrive works perfectly with a memory expansion board as seen here.
While the very first prototype did plug directly into the CPU socket, we changed to a DIP cable to allow sneaking under an expansion card and to make installation easier.
Elegant. And so fast.
Well, like I said - you could sell this for a chunk (any prosperous //c user will want it) or turn it back into commercial product and make and sell a bunch more of them. You'd have to deal with the hassle of becoming a hero/celebrity of sorts in the community though. There's just a bit of pent up demand for something like this.
I for am all for it!
If you do a "Kick Starter" for it...I'm In!
This seems like a project that we have interest in reproducing. Jeff, please contact us so that we can discuss this further.
So just as an indicator of interest, here's a recently completed Ebay auction for a IIc+ compatible ram card with clock (its a Applied Engineering Ram Express 1MB RAM + DClock Card):
Notice the final hammer price of almost $800!
I am currently watching the other one.
It is sitting at $292.00.
Too high for just a RAM card, but that's because it's a AE RAM Express.
Just posted some new information on the Mac version of the CKeeper.
Starting a new thread for the MacSaver: http://www.applefritter.com/content/macsaver-mac-memory-saver-and-guardcard
Jeff and All,
As I said at the start of this thread:
That has changed a bit... It, and CKeeper, are now "The Holy Grail's" for the IIc and IIc +.
I would love nothing more than to help "KickStart" these projects.
And I refuse to take back what I said about Jeff being a "National Resource".
As far as I am concerned, it is true.
Good Morning All,
I figured that this thread has been sitting on the shelf long enough.
It is time to breath some life back in to the subject.
Has anyone any news about the CDrive in any way, shape, or form?
Jeff, did your friend get the CDrive you sent?
Has he started doing anything with it?
Does he need funding to get off the ground?
Any news is better than no news.
Apart from this auction, no news at all on my side.
at least one point should be spotted out:
referring to the schematics Jeff published here, there is a keypoint missing...
the schematics explain that the board contains several PAL chips...
and without the missing equation chartlists - it will be rather difficult to
make any kind of attempt in reverse engineering that hardware.....
sorry but i didn´t want to poison the lake....
That is Jeff Mazur's auction.
He is selling his Prototype IIc.
Well, the last time I talked with Jeff he was sending a CDrive to a friend of his to
get the specs so that an update can be built.
I was just checking on any news.
Originally, Jeff was going to send this CDrive to me, but
I said that it should be sent to someone that could
actually do something with it.