Anyone willing and able to produce floppy disks in Australia?

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CheshireNoir's picture
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Anyone willing and able to produce floppy disks in Australia?

Hi All,

If I provided media, would anyone in Aus be able to write out some diagnostics disks for me? I'll cover postage and pay media and any other out of pocket expenses.

I'm particularly after the Apple II+ Confidence disk, the Apex II diagnostics disk and Apple Cillin II.

(All are available from ftp://ftp.apple.asimov.net/pub/apple_II/images/disk_utils/diagnostics )

 

(If this kind of request is not allowed, let me know and I'll remove it immediately)

 

Cheers!

 

Chesh (Who STILL hasn't got his Apple II+ working quite right. Maybe I should just bite the bullet and get an Apple IIc or IIe?)

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Disks

Does the computer work at all?  If you have a connected Disk II drive 1, a blank or reusable disk, and the computer boots and can ctrl-reset to a Basic prompt you can make your own disks easly from the ASCII site...http://asciiexpress.net/diskserver/ using the cassette input port and an old iPhone or really anything with a web browser (although a 2012 Macbook doesnt seem to work well).  My old iPhone 6 works great though.  That site I know has Apple Cillian and also MECC Computer Inspector which were both good diagnostics.  

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I'm not in Australia, but I'd

I'm not in Australia, but I'd make the disks for the cost of postage and AU$2.20 per diskette (my media cost). They'll be notched, so there's two sides each, if you want anything on the other side.

 

In the interim, if the system boots to BASIC, try ADT Pro. 

 

If you are having issues with its hardware, we can try to hel you with those. 

 

P.S. You should absolutely also have a //e or a //c. There is a lot of software that will never run on a ][+, and you are always going to run into RAM issues with ProDOS stuff and 80-column issues if you lack a Videx card. 

 

Here are the Pros and Cons

 

//e - PRO

Has expansion slots. 

Easy to get memory upgrades.

Easy to get accelerator cards.

Has cassette interface for bootstrapping, and tape games/software, including the Apple II Internet Software Server

Easy to get Z80 cards

Can upgrade to //e enhanced for later software needs, or revert if software breaks on that ROMset/CPU. 

Easy to add 3.5 Drives (eith the controller); and use the faster, and inexpensive Apple 3.5 Drive. 

Can add SCSI or other large media easily. 

Easy to find replacement PSU (internal).

Has both the DE-9 and the 16pin DIP paddle/joystick ports. You can connect a joystick to the DE-9 and paddles to the DIP-16 easily. 

Can connect a mouse (via the interface card) and a joystick simultaneously. 

 

//e CON

No built in ports. 

You need a Mouse card to uwse a mouse. 

No built in diskette drive, so you will need to buy them.

Requires a reasonable amount of desk area. 

80-column and RAM expansion requires a card (trivial, as these are common and cheap).

 

//c PRO

Has all basic ports built in, including the mouse.

Has an internal drive, so you don't need to buy any to make it operable.

Has the same chipset as the //e enhanced, so it will run software that requires that. 

Very small footprint, even with monitor //c monochrome).

Very friendly keyboard with good response rate, and easy to repair, if needed (Rev 1 and later). 

You can adjust the system volume. 

Supports an LCD (if you can fine one).

Easy to transport and to use as a portable games system.

Supports being powered by a battery cell. 

Built in serial allows fast bootstrapping with ADT Pro w/o any extra hardware (other than the correct cables).

Builtin 80[column and 128K of RAM.

 

 

//c CON

No Apple Cassette Interface., You cannot use Apple game Server or ADT Pro over cassette. 

Hard to reconfigure drive/slot/boot device. (ROM '4X' helps). 

Drive is always aligned in a fixed position, so anything that obstructs the right side of the machine hinders access.

Depending on ROM revision, booting from an external drive is hard to do, or impossible (w/o ROM 4X).

External PSU is hard to replace. 

Mass storage is very hard to find (except for Floppy Emu), and slow. 

3.5 UniDisk drives are the only 3.5 drives that it supports, and they are both expensive, and slower than the later 3.5 drives. 

Only accelerator that works is the ZIP Chip. 

RAM expansion boards are hard to find, expensive, and not very large. 

Z80 boards, are likewise hard to find, and may conflict with RAM boards. 

Basically, no expansion. 

Only supports //c Joysticks (DE-9) and paddles.  Paddles for the //c port are hard to find and overpriced; so you need to build your own.

Can only connect a mouse, or a joystick, at one time.

 

To be honest, I run a //c as my primary games system, and a //e as my main system in general. I also use a //c+ for games that perform properly at 4MHz. 

CheshireNoir's picture
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Why I need disks...

Cheers Timelord and Thellmer for you suggestions!

Thellmer, I'll try the tape path. Hopefully I'll be able to get some diags disks written out.

Timelord, I've got the system "stable" enough with 48k that I can boot it and run software, but something doesn't quite work right. I seem to get random memory faults, but all the memory in both the main system board and the language card has been replaced.

So far I have done:

  • Cleaned all the pins on all the chips. Yes, I have an antistatic work area and I wear a strap, because someone always seems to ask :-). Some of the pins were filthy. Cleaned with a sand eraser and contact cleaner on all sockets.
  • All edge connectors on the cards cleaned and the edge slots cleaned with contact cleaner and carefully selected pieces of cardboard.
  • Replaced all the 4116 memory with new stock. (This seems to have gained me the most stability). I've used a small MC mem test that seems to think my RAM is now OK.
  • Extensively worked on the Language card. I located a dead 74 series on it and it's been replaced. The ribbon cable to the memory area has also been replaced as it was faulty.
  • PSU checked for sane voltages under load. Looks fine.

At this point, I need to get more idea of exactly what is causing the random errors.

While it's mostly stable with the disk card and the language card in, as soon as I plug in the Super Serial card in, it becomes completely unstable, crashing (from memory) to the wall of "?", so no ATD Pro :-)

(Also the system is less stable with the language card in, and ATD Pro needs the full 64k)

 

I've been looking for a newer Apple II for quite some time, but shipping to Australia, and the exchange rate have certainly made it harder :-) The Aussie dollar has varied wildly in the last 6 months, and shipping usually costs more than the Apple II itself.

 

Chesh

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I'm in Victoria and can write

I'm in Victoria and can write out some disks, if I was you I'd go the floppy emulator route though.PM me

 

CheshireNoir's picture
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Thanks everyone who offered to help me.

I ended up "lucking into" a pair of Apple II clones and a genuine Apple IIe, with 80 column card and 128k of RAM.

My disk drive from the Apple IIeuroplus is working flawlessly in the IIe so I'm now well on my way with things.

 

Again, thanks to EVERYONE who has helped in this and other threads.

 

Chesh (Who is now the proud owner of an Apple IIe)

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