Floppy Emu back in stock

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Floppy Emu back in stock

Just FYI for anyone looking for one. I have no affiliation with BMOW but have seen a few folks mentioning they were looking for it.

 

https://www.bigmessowires.com/2020/08/17/floppy-emu-restock-and-retro-puzzle-contest/

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Floppy Emu Update: Apple II Copy-Protection

Floppy Emu firmware update:

https://www.bigmessowires.com/2020/11/11/floppy-emu-update-apple-ii-copy-protection/

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If you prefer WOZ images,

If you prefer WOZ images, this is a big update. Compatability is greatly improved. About half the Sierra adventure games would freeze when loading on the old firmware, that is fixed. Along with a bunch of other images that wouldn't boot or would freeze shortly after booting. Still no write support though. And in talking with him, due to the hardware design of the FE, it's unlikely to ever happen. In the future, he may be able to add partial write support if it's a lightly protected image. But he said that would probably be a while before he even starts looking into it.

 

 

A day later he also posted a write up about a discovery of how the drive timing works. Not sure if that will lead to further tweaks and improvements in the firmware or not. 

 

 

He also updated the case a month or two ago. The new case appears to eliminate the issues with the button extenders slipping or jamming if everything isn't just right. Also looks easier to assemble. I have one arriving early next week myself, as the old case can be frustrating at times.

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The Floppy Emu cannot write

The Floppy Emu cannot write on the SD?

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tony359 wrote:The Floppy Emu
tony359 wrote:

The Floppy Emu cannot write on the SD?

It can for normal images like  disk/do/po/2mg. It cannot for WOZ and nib, due to the special low level formats of those images.  It ties back to the same reason it can't "format" an image. So you have to use an emulator if a program wants to format a special save disk, instead of just using a standard blank DOS 3.3 or ProDOS disk image to save.

 

 

Like all the Sierra adventure games use a special formated disk for saving. So for example with Kings Quest I used MAME to run the game and 'init disk' on a blank DOS 3.3 image, then copied that specially firmatted blank image to my SD card to use with the game on Floppy Emu.

 

 

Unfortunately there are a handful of games that want to save directly to themselves. Like Castle Wolfenstien or even the Print Shop that wants to save printer settings. Those games can't really be used with WOZ and a Floppy Emu. Sometimes AppleWin can write to some WOZ images. So it might be possible to say load Print Shop there, set and save your printer settings, then use the image with Floppy Emu, as the settings are now saved to the WOZ.  

 

Which reminds me. I don't recall if he mentioned it in the change log, but I suggested he move the read only lock indicator from the upper right where it covered the last character of the disk name down to the second line where it shows the type of image. Incase you notice it's no longer there in the upper right now, look at the first part of the 2nd line. 

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Thanks. Can I abuse of your

Thanks. Can I abuse of your patience and ask you... what is a WOZ? :)  Something to do with Wozniak I suppose :) 

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WOZ images are very low level

WOZ images are very low level images created from the magnetic flux of the floppy. The advantage is that it is so low level that all copy protections are intact, and they don't need to be cracked. Unfortunately the low level nature of them makes it harder for an emulator (software or hardware) to write to.

 

 

At least that's my interpretation of it. You can read more including the specs at https://applesaucefdc.com/woz/

 

 

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I believe that the authors of

I believe that the authors of the WOZ format named it such as a homage to Steve Wozniak! :) 

If you are not aware of the history, Legend has it:

The original Apple I and Apple II used cassette tapes for storage.

Recognizing the limitations that tape recordings presented, Woz reserached the current state of the art of floppy drives which at that time were just evolving from 8" to 5-1/4"

He and Steve Jobs were due at a computer faire that next Monday, so Woz worked almost straight through the weekend to get a 5-1/4" unit and a self designed controller card to fit in one of the II's slots and actually work for demonstration purposes at that Faire.

And the rest, as they say was HISTORY! :) 

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The newly designed case came

The newly designed case came in today.  Wow is this thing amazingly easy and fast to build compared to the original.  No taping edges to stop them from falling over, or trying to tape button extenders to the top to seat them.  Plus the extenders can't really move off the switch.  So you don't have to have the lower right screw torqued to the exact setting to balance between constantly pressing the button, and it slipping off all the time.

 

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