FloppyEmu vs. CFFA3000/Booti

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FloppyEmu vs. CFFA3000/Booti

I have a FE but have been hearing good things about both the CFFA3000 and Booti (yes I know they are often backordered). As a //e user and hopefully a IIgs owner soom, what do the CFFA3000 and Booti give me that I don't have with the FE? Were Apple II programs with multiple disk design to work off a hard drive or would I not really gain anything with hard drive emulation?

 

Thanks for any help.

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Depends on the host computer

Depends on the host computer.

If you have a II+ or IIe then the Booti-HD would give you pseudo smartport support in that you can use prodos images up to 32 MB in block mode.

But the Booti is ProDOS only and is relatively slow.

 

The Floppy Emu in a II+ or IIe is strictly a disk image device that can do 5.25" images only.  Unless you have some sort of hack in your II+ or IIe the Floppy Emu can't do large disk images.  It can do so on Smartport enabled machines like the IIc and IIGS.  Of course if you have a Smartport card like the "LIRON" disk controller for your IIe then you CAN use the Floppy Emu as a smartport device with large images.  Good luck finding a LIRON card....

On a IIc and IIGS the Floppy Emu is great.  It does 5.25" images, 3.5" images and HD20 hard drive images as well as .img encapulated 32 MB ProDOS images so it's a Swiss Army Knife. 

 

The CFFA-3000 does everything.  On slotted Apple IIs it can do all types of disk images and hard drive images equally well and has the bonus of being able to read from a USB stick along with the CF card.  The CFFA-3000 has a "quick" mode that is really fast for software that does multiple read-write cycles.  However, it's  a bit expensive. ReActive Micro is  be reviving that card and presently has some stock,but that could change any time.

 

The one that's missing from your list is ReActive Micro's MicroDrive/Turbo.  This does only hard drive images.  So ProDOS only.  But it features direct-memory access so it's lightning fast compared to a Booti or Floppy Emu.  Although it's sometimes tricky to manipulate (you will need to use CiderPress) the hard drive images on the MicroDrive/Turbo, if you don't do a lot of disk swapping it's probably the fastest and most reliable of all.  I've run my BBS off of it for years 24-7 with zero hiccups.

 

 

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more on MicroDrive/Turbo

I've been running Floppy Emu and MicroDrive/Turbo together in a //e and have been very happy with it.  As mentioned this gives you 5.25 inch floppies and a very fast and silent 32 MB hard drive.  Regarding the MicroDrive, one thing I found is it seems to have some incompatibility with my CP/M card.  I speculate this could be that it ships with multiple HD images and each one wants to claim a slot (I think I read that somewhere).  To amplify what baldrick said, if you frequently move things from Windows to the MicroDrive you've got to constantly open up the //e to get the CF card out, and the process on Windows is not quite seamless.  I think ReActive Micro sells a gadget to allow the CF card to be located externally, so you don't have to keep taking the cover off the //e.

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dfxgordon wrote:I've been
dfxgordon wrote:

I've been running Floppy Emu and MicroDrive/Turbo together in a //e and have been very happy with it.  As mentioned this gives you 5.25 inch floppies and a very fast and silent 32 MB hard drive.  Regarding the MicroDrive, one thing I found is it seems to have some incompatibility with my CP/M card.

 

You can have multiple HD images on the MicroDrive.

 

Your incompatibility with the CP/M card might have something to do with Direct Memory Access.  Try turning that feature off on the MicroDrive (you'll need the setup diskette) and see if you can run CP/M then.

 

 

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 Steve Chamberlin, the same

 

Steve Chamberlin, the same person who does the Floppy EMU, is working on a card called Yellowstone that will be a direct replacement (and more) of the ever coveted LiRON card.   I have four of these cards and they do work in the IIe with the Floppy EMU in SmartPort mode, but Baldrick is right, the LiRON cards don't come up on ebay that often and when they do, they are $160 or more.   I think the Yellowstone will be a good card. 

 

See Steve's site for more info.   https://www.bigmessowires.com/

 

 

  • Supports most Apple II and Macintosh disk drives, including 3.5 inch floppy, 5.25 inch floppy, Unidisk 3.5, and Smartport hard drives
  • Compatible with Apple II+, Apple IIe, and Apple IIgs
  • Maximum of 2 standard disk drives, or up to 5 drives when mixing smart and standard drives
  • 20-pin ribbon cable or 19-pin D-SUB connectors
  • Works in any slot
  • Disk II compatibility mode for tricky copy-protected disks
  • User-upgradeable for future feature enhancements
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baldrick wrote:Try turning
baldrick wrote:
Try turning that feature off on the MicroDrive (you'll need the setup diskette) and see if you can run CP/M then.

I could never get the setup program to work, I think because I have an unenhanced //e.  RM instructions on the setup diskette creation suggest to use ShrinkIt, but this leads to the error about requiring a 65C02.  Trying to run the setup program directly off the microdrive, or from a floppy created with Copy2Plus doesn't work either.  So maybe the setup program itself needs the 65C02?

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I recently got the Floppy EMU

I recently got the Floppy EMU and a Liron card. The Liron I got was for about $85.00. The last Liron I had before this one I sold for $300.00 when that guy from CA was hogging them up for that price.

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Yeah.  I remeber that guy. 

Yeah.  I remeber that guy.   That's when I sold him a "decked out" Platinum Apple IIe with a LiRON card, a CFFA 3000, a UniDisk, A RAMWORKS III, and a SSC and a 5.25" inch drive and they guy paid  $2,000 for it.  I was shocked.   Then about three months later, he must of broke up with his girlfriend/wife because I saw all the crap he bought, including my Platinum IIe back up on eBay for pennies on the dollar of what he spent for the stuff.   My IIe resold for $450.00 and LiRON cards were going for under $100 from her.  It was weird because he didn't even unpack the IIe I sold him. The pictures she posted still had it all wrapped up in the green bubble wrap.   

 

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jwg1962 wrote: Then about
jwg1962 wrote:

 Then about three months later, he must of broke up with his girlfriend/wife because I saw all the crap he bought, including my Platinum IIe back up on eBay for pennies on the dollar of what he spent for the stuff.   My IIe resold for $450.00 and LiRON cards were going for under $100 from her. 

 I'll wager that $2000 he paid for your IIe and associated gear was probably earmarked for a cruise, vacation or a pair of shoes and matching hangbag.

 

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dfxgordon wrote:I could never
dfxgordon wrote:
I could never get the setup program to work, I think because I have an unenhanced //e.  RM instructions on the setup diskette creation suggest to use ShrinkIt, but this leads to the error about requiring a 65C02.  Trying to run the setup program directly off the microdrive, or from a floppy created with Copy2Plus doesn't work either.  So maybe the setup program itself needs the 65C02?

 

Well enhancing a IIe is pretty trivial.

https://www.reactivemicro.com/product/iie-enhancement-kit/

Even if you don't want to "enhance" it, you should install the 65C02 anyway.  Some programs just look for that and not the associated firmware revisions.

 

 

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More hard drive questions

Hi All,

So I was able to find a complete //GS with everything I wanted, my only question is about the hard drives. I never owned a hard drive during the time I owned a //e and //gs, so apologies if these questions are basic.

 

1. Besides what I assume is a faster boot and hard drive partitions, what do these card give me that I don't have with a FE boot setup?

2. Lastly, how (if any) are the hard drive images different than the .dsk/.woz/.do images I have? For example, many of the games I have are between 4-8 sides, when it comes time to change disks, I go into the FE and choose the requested disk and select it. If the images were on a hard drive, would the system know that the next disk is on the drive and just select it? Or, is there some different format that I would use as a hard-drive ready file that eliminates that, using Ciderpress or similar? Does the hard drive require .img files or how if at all can I create or find a format that doesn't require disk flipping?

 

Sorry for all the questions :-)

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A hard drive can use only 1

A hard drive can use only 1 image type.

Shrinkit file archive.

You can extract the files to a hard drive and then when you boot the hard drive you can run it as if it's on a floppy except that the hard drive has much more space.

All of this provided that you're using Prodos.

Sorry I can't answer your other questions since they don't make sense to me.

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re: more hd questions

While the FE can have many disk images on the micro-SD card, and gives you this nice interface to choose any one you want, the MicroDrive isn't quite like that.  You generally just boot up into ProDOS, and select the drive using the usual proDOS methods (e.g., tab in Bitsy Bye, CAT,S7,D2, PREFIX etc.).  At this point you have only proDOS to interpret things, and it doesn't know a thing about these disk image formats.  It just knows there is a volume with 32 MB of directories and files.

If the goal is to copy games to a MicroDrive, I suppose one could try to just copy the files into a directory using Copy2Plus or a similar utility (you can copy files and directories from the FE to the MD, as long as the FE images are proDOS disks).  Of course if it is copy protected or tricky in any way there would be other issues.  My MicroDrive came with a large number of games pre-installed into a directory structure, so apparently this can be done.  But copying the floppy images directly "doesn't compute," as far as I can see.

Back in the day I tried to copy games from floppy drives to a Sider hard drive, by taking advantage of the small volume DOS 3.3 partitions, which are basically the type of thing you may be imagining, i.e., floppy disk images stored on the hard drive, that it automatically can interpret.  But this only worked if the game was in a file you could simply BRUN.  Something on multiple floppies was out of the question.  This could only work if the game developer specifically provided for it.

Sorry I don't know about the CFFA-3000 or Booti.

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Gumdoc wrote:2. Lastly, how
Gumdoc wrote:

2. Lastly, how (if any) are the hard drive images different than the .dsk/.woz/.do images I have? For example, many of the games I have are between 4-8 sides, when it comes time to change disks, I go into the FE and choose the requested disk and select it. If the images were on a hard drive, would the system know that the next disk is on the drive and just select it? Or, is there some different format that I would use as a hard-drive ready file that eliminates that, using Ciderpress or similar? Does the hard drive require .img files or how if at all can I create or find a format that doesn't require disk flipping?

 

If those are the games that you're using on multiple disk images you will need to continue to use the Floppy Emu.  You might even get a small speed bump with "disk" access.

Where the MicroDrive/Turbo shines is its speed and ability to boot into GS/OS seamlessly and quickly.  From there you can run any number of pieces of software including the "Total Replay" games distributed on 32 MB ProDOS images.  You will need to graft those files onto the MicroDrive/Turbo's hard drive images using CiderPress, but once done it's pretty easy to play games on the Total Replay distribution.

There are some IIGS specific games that might be transferrable too, but for the most part they're available on 3.5" disk images, and using the Floppy Emu might be the appropriate way to go here as well.

 

But I stand by my love for the MicroDrive/Turbo.  It's by far the best way to boot into GSOS.

 

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clarification

I should clarify all my comments pertain to the IIe, I have never touched a IIGS.

Also I love the MicroDrive, in case it sounded critical.

BTW I have ordered the IIe enhancement kit as suggested.

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Do you have to insert any

Do you have to insert any other images you have into the MicroDrive volume or can you just copy it to the CF card? I've created .po images with Ciderpress before by creating a .po image, then adding various other .po images in subdirectories so that I could have a hard drive partition with subdirectories that I could boot my games from. I read through the MicroDrive Wiki and it seems quite conusing when they decribe the process of creating new volumes using hex editing and the like. Does the Microdrive need some special format for the volumes? I know, for example, that Total Replay is in .hdv, can I just copy that to the CF card like I would with FloppyEmu or Booti, or will that not work with MicroDrive?

 

Thanks for any help.

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The MicroDrive/Turbo is a

The MicroDrive/Turbo is a hard drive emulator.

It doesn't use images in the traditional sense, rather it partitions the CF card with actual hard drive partitions.

Remember that the MicroDrive/Turbo started life out as a card with a mechanica IDE drive attached to it.  Compact Flash is pretty much a solid state version of an IDE drive.

Anyway, with that in mind you do need the setuputility to partition the CF card into useable 32MB ProDOS partitions.  Then you use a ProDOS utility like Copy II plus to format each partition as a ProDOS volume and then you're ready to add files - either with Copy II Plus or with CiderPress.

 

When using CiderPress you use the "open volume" button rather than the "open image" button.

Also when you connect that CF card into a reader and insert it into the USB port of your Windows machine it wil not recognize the volume as readable and will ask you to format it (do not format it).  Then it will warn you that it is un-readable (that's ok, CiderPress can read it).

 

 

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baldrick wrote:Then you use a
baldrick wrote:

Then you use a ProDOS utility like Copy II plus to format each partition

 

Actually, you'll want to use a formatting utility like the FINDER, the Advanced Disk Utilities or PROSEL-16 to format your partitions

 
There can be issues when formatting partitions using some programs, such as Copy II Plus. If you try to format a partition and the size is different than expected we recommend using the format utility which is located on the MicroDrive Turbo Utility Disk called  IIE.PART.FORMAT.
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baldrick wrote:The MicroDrive
baldrick wrote:

The MicroDrive/Turbo is a hard drive emulator.

It doesn't use images in the traditional sense, rather it partitions the CF card with actual hard drive partitions.

 

Sorry, still a bit confused (it happens, I'm almost 60 :-))

 

I'm getting the MDT with the pre-setup and pre-loaded CF card, apparently there are 4 volumes already on there. I'd want to add, for example, my Total Reply.hdv file to, say, the GS/OS volume. Do I just add that to the volume using Ciderpress or are there other steps that are needed? I think 4 volumes are more than enough, I really just want TR on one volume and any games/utilities not in TR on another...

 

Thanks for the ongoing help.

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Gumdoc wrote:I'm getting the
Gumdoc wrote:
I'm getting the MDT with the pre-setup and pre-loaded CF card, apparently there are 4 volumes already on there. I'd want to add, for example, my Total Reply.hdv file to, say, the GS/OS volume. Do I just add that to the volume using Ciderpress or are there other steps that are needed? I think 4 volumes are more than enough, I really just want TR on one volume and any games/utilities not in TR on another...

 

 You'd copy all the files from the .hdv image into a clean formatted partition on the MicroDrive.

 

 

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confirmed

After installing the enhancement kit the MicroDrive setup utility is working.  On the other hand, changing the DMA setting doesn't seem to affect CP/M issues.  However I noted on the ReactiveMicro wiki a comment to try putting CP/M in slot 5, and that does appear to help.  For the record, a configuration that works for me (as of this writing) is  (i) enhanced Apple //e, MicroDrive in slot 2, CP/M in slot 5, Disk II in slot 6, Sider controller in slot 7.

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