Trackstar - Apple II clone on a PC ISA card - new website up

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Trackstar - Apple II clone on a PC ISA card - new website up

Hey guys,

Just a heads-up to let you know my Trackstar website is up, covering the E, 128 and also Quadram's Quadlink <-- These are all "Apple II on a PC ISA card" Apple II clones. Really cool little devices!
If you own these devices, esp. the Trackstar E or Plus, there's HUNDREDS of disk images in its TrackStore format that I've converted manually.
So you can download and enjoy a HUGE amount of software without needing real Apple II disks.

There's also a working KryoFlux disk image of the Trackstar 128 Utility Program disk, so you can create a disk with the copy protection intact which allows you to actually use your 128. This is perfect for those who -- like me -- bought their 128 without the necessary disk. D'oh!

There ain't a lot of info or resources about the Trackstar cards out there, so I hope mine fills the void.

Enjoy it @
[b]http://www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/" title="http://www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/">www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar[/b]

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I used to have an old IBM PC

I used to have an old IBM PC with a Quadlink card in it.  Unfortunately my wife made me throw it away about 10 years ago.  :-(  It actually would run a pretty reasonable amount of stuff that would work on a basic Apple ][+, and even read normal 140k Apple II 5.25" floppies.  I never really tried a lot of copy protected disks, but I don't remember running into much that didn't work.

 

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The Quadlink is a bit of a

It's cool to hear about your experience with it, thanks for sharing. Shame about your having to ditch it, though.

 

For those not familiar: The Quadlink is a bit of a beast, in that its necessary floppy drive connection adds a bulge to the card -- you have to really put some thought into which ISA cards to put where, in order to satisfy this thing -- and the specific routing of cables all over the inside of the case just adds to the frustration.


But! Once installed it is a neat little card. My only gripe is that real Apple II floppy drives can't be connected; using Apple II disks in a PC drive is far from ideal.

 

As I have time, I hope to do a lot of compatibility testing on the Quadlink. Thing is, and like I say on the website, it seems to use a real (bootlegged?) Apple II ROM. So, unlike with the Trackstar, compatibility testing may actually be a waste of time.

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There have been several

There have been several updates to the website since my last post, including:

 

* Addition of a verified copy of the Trackstar E software (from my own original disk)

* Trackstar 128 EPROM data

* Quadlink ROM data

 

I am seeking the original Trackstar (aka Trackstar 64) and the Trackstar Plus, for continued research. If anyone has one for sale, or just to loan out for a while, please let me know.

 

More updates to follow.

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Was there a MicroChannel

Was there a MicroChannel Architecture Apple II card?

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I have seen no evidence of an

I have seen no evidence of an MCA Trackstar ever having existed. While the Trackstar Plus was specifically engineered for the PS/2 Model 25 and 30, it is still an ISA card.

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Thank you for the reply.

Thank you for the reply.

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Most recent update to the

Most recent update to the website was the addition of a custom hard drive image containing GEOS v2.1 + applications, configured by default to use the joystick (since the Trackstars do not offer mouse support). This was my first experiment in making an ".HD1" file (ProDOS hard drive volume) for use w/the Trackstar. And I discovered the format is the same as the standard .PO files. So! Future .HD1 images are going to be a lot more convenient to make, since I can exchange files to and from the PC using CiderPress.

 

I have recently acquired a Trackstar Plus. However I am still seeking the original model Trackstar (aka Trackstar 64). If anyone has one of these for sale, or just to lend out for research purposes, please get in touch.

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Quadlink board on Ebay.

FYI, There is a Quadlink board on Ebay.

It is my board by the way. The only docs I have are ones that I have found on the web.

wm

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Cool. Would you mind scanning

Cool. Would you mind scanning the pages of the 3.0 software update paperwork shown in the photos? And perhaps archiving the QuadLink 3.0 disk, if possible? It would be great to have these preserved. Please let me know, thanks.

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I do have the manuals. Years

I do have the manuals. Years ago I found a quadlink in the box in a second hand electronics store. They didn't know what it was and didn't know what to ask so they asked me to make an offer. Offered $10 and they accepted. Only problem was that there was no software in the box. Also don't own a PC so it's been sitting at the back of storage for a while

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Wayne wrote:

I do have the manuals. Years ago I found a quadlink in the box in a second hand electronics store. They didn't know what it was and didn't know what to ask so they asked me to make an offer. Offered $10 and they accepted. Only problem was that there was no software in the box. Also don't own a PC so it's been sitting at the back of storage for a while

 

The Quadlink is pretty particular about what PCs it will work in.  It will fit in an original IBM PC or an XT or very close compatibles.  Some clones it won't physically fit because of the size of the card (like the AT&T 6300, some of the Tandy PCs and some Compaq portables and a bunch of other clones which won't take full length cards) and others you may have to make different cables for the floppy drives, etc., if the ones supplied don't have the right connectors or aren't long enough.  And some floppy drives may work better than others due to the way Apple II compatibility is done with the Quadlink.

 

 

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Wayne: I have the actual

Wayne: I have the actual manual, and have scanned it. All I need is a scan of the simple, typed pages that came as an addendum to the manual with v3.0 of the software. If you happen to have those pages, I'd be much obliged if you could kindly scan them in & send them my way. The QuadLink software is on my website if you need it...

 

www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar

 

softwarejanitor: You're quite right, the QuadLink is picky about what kind of system it works in. And it's a real headache to install. I use it in an IBM 5160, and I must disable my Tiny Turbo 286 accelerator or the QuadLink software locks up the computer. For these reasons and many others, I always recommend the Trackstar over the QuadLink.

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I did borrow a suitable PC to

I did borrow a suitable PC to try out a Trackstar. Likely the same machine would have worked for the Quadlink if I'd had the software then. I've been reluctant to acquire a suitable PC as I have a pretty massive amount of Apple II and Mac hardware.

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I'll check the box to see if

I'll check the box to see if I have that addendum. It'll likely be in a box at the back of  one of my storage lockers. May take a little while as I'm pretty busy right now but it's on my list

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