Have any of you tried a Gotek out on your Apple II yet?

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Have any of you tried a Gotek out on your Apple II yet?

So to my surprise there was some advancement in Apple II floppy emulation via HXC within the past few years. I havent messed around with modding a gotek since 2018.

 

I went by the instructions here and built up a cable: https://hxc2001.com/docs/gotek-floppy-emulator-hxc-firmware/pages/apple.html

 

I flashed my gotek with HXC firmware and added the Apple fimware file via the usb flash drive and gave it a try. You need to use the HXC software to convert disk images to the RAW .HFE format then copy them to a USB stick.

 

So far I can only get 140KB disk images to work. But not all of them as there seems to be incompatibility. .DSK .PO (if 140KB), .NIB and .DO work but no WOZ formats or prodos higher than 140KB.

 

There is a thread up on the HXC forum I was looking at. This post is in French so you may need to translate it.  If you read it you can see there is alot of bad info in regards to apple disk types.( like stating only the IIgs uses 800kb disks etc) I wonder if thats what is holding up the progress on supported disk image types: https://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=4361&sid=571e1e8bb9e2e1412ef1cd3daeaa3984

 

Any thoughts on this?
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Given how cheap some of the

Given how cheap some of the Gotek's are, I've seen some for as little as $30, I'm surprised there isn't more interest in them in the Apple II community.  If there was someone selling them bundled with the cable that plugged into an Apple disk controller and the firmware already loaded and the price was still under $75, I think people might be more likely to buy.  It sounds like the firmware could still use a little work too.  If they could handle 800K ProDOS images and .Woz then it would be really pretty attractive.

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Given
softwarejanitor wrote:

Given how cheap some of the Gotek's are, I've seen some for as little as $30, I'm surprised there isn't more interest in them in the Apple II community.  If there was someone selling them bundled with the cable that plugged into an Apple disk controller and the firmware already loaded and the price was still under $75, I think people might be more likely to buy.  It sounds like the fi

 

Yes I suppose having to mod the gotek and reflash it yourself  AND    Build the cable is a huge putoff to some folks, but I like that sort of thing.

 

Did you read that thread on the HXC forum? I dont know if they have all the info to go by as the OP didnt seem to have enough Apple II knowledge.. I mean he said ONLY the IIGS uses 800KB disk images which is not true.

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AFAIK there was so little 8

AFAIK there was so little 8-bit software published on 800k, and fairly certain it was almost (if not completely) all educational software. I wouldn't hold it against anyone thinking it didn't exist.

 

 

A cheaper alternative is always a good thing. But there is something to be said for a device that is created for and tuned to a specific purpose. Even those devices occasionally have issues with some images. Granted, mostly with WOZ. I would suspect a gotek device would have even more hurdles. 

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nick3092 wrote:AFAIK there
nick3092 wrote:

AFAIK there was so little 8-bit software published on 800k, and fairly certain it was almost (if not completely) all educational software. I wouldn't hold it against anyone thinking it didn't exist.

 

 

A cheaper alternative is always a good thing. But there is something to be said for a device that is created for and tuned to a specific purpose. Even those

Regardless of that using an 800KB drive just to store files on an Apple II is an amazing thing. Just to have an emulated 800KB drive is its own reward.

 

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Hundreds of games and

Hundreds of games and applications were released for the IIGS on 3.5" disks.

 

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Verault wrote:softwarejanitor
Verault wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:

Given how cheap some of the Gotek's are, I've seen some for as little as $30, I'm surprised there isn't more interest in them in the Apple II community.  If there was someone selling them bundled with the cable that plugged into an Apple disk controller and the firmware already loaded and the price was still under $75, I think people might

 

 

I read most of it.  I'd guess you are right he probably doesn't know much about the Apple II family.  I used 800k floppies on my //e and Laser 128s (I had several 128s, 128EXs and one 128EX2) back in the day.  I used the Vtech/Laser UDC card and the Chinon drives they sold.  I didn't even have a IIgs until well after the Apple II era was long over, some time in the early 2000s when they were dirt cheap.

 

I like to dabble with stuff myself, but there are a lot of people who will be afraid to do something even that simple as hacking together a cable and re-flashing, etc.

 

 

 

 

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rittwage wrote:Hundreds of
rittwage wrote:

Hundreds of games and applications were released for the IIGS on 3.5" disks.

 

This is true.  There was very little released for the //e or //c on 3.5" floppies but there was quite a bit of IIgs specific titles which did.  Many titles which shipped for both the //e or //c version came on 5.25" and the IIgs version on 3.5".  A few others you could specify either media size.  It was a transitionary period.

 

 

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Your right. I am completely

Your right. I am completely forgetting the IIgs for a use case as I built mine for a II plus. But yeah, there is no reason this should not work on a IIgs either. But right now it only works as a 5.25"

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softwarejanitor wrote
softwarejanitor wrote:
rittwage wrote:

Hundreds of games and applications were released for the IIGS on 3.5" disks.

 

This is true.  There was very little released for the //e or //c on 3.5" floppies but there was quite a bit of IIgs specific titles which did.  Many titles which shipped for both the //e or //c version came on 5.25" and the IIgs versi

Lets not forget the Apple IIc PLUS came with a built in 3.5" 800KB drive and its software was released on 3.5" disks. I have two IIc Plus models myself. I have a bunch of 8bit Apple works (later versions) that work on the IIe and newer, and Copy II plus was released on 3.5" disks.

 

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Verault wrote:softwarejanitor
Verault wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:
rittwage wrote:

Hundreds of games and applications were released for the IIGS on 3.5" disks.

 

This is true.  There was very little released for the //e or //c on 3.5" floppies but there was quite a bit of IIgs specific titles which did.  Many titles which shipped for both the

 

 

All this is true, and I never said there was no software that was sold for the //e and //c that came on 3.5" floppies, just that it wasn't a lot.  Sadly the //c+ came out late enough that there weren't huge numbers of them sold like there were //e (something like 8 million).  There weren't huge numbers of LiRON cards made either.  They're out there but scarce enough that they used to sell for quite a bit.  Seems like the Yellowstone card cut that down a bit.

 

 

 

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Liron Cards arent common and

Liron Cards arent common and when they come up they fetch alot. I was able to get one of mine for free and $50 for the second one. You can only use Unidisk 3.5" drives with them at 800KB, not the IIgs 3.5" drives. 

 

But there was another controller card. Apple made the super drive controller card so you can connect an (one of the few times I will use the word RARE as it is in this case) 1.44MB super drive floppy drive to any apple II computer from the first model to the IIgs. 

 

There are modern cards now that do the same thing. I dont know if they are clones but the BMOW yellowstone and Ultimate Mico Super Drive controller support 1.44mb apple II prodos disks... 

 

So a floppy emulator should support 800KB and 1.4MB disks as well.

 

Some may say it should support Prodos HDD images but I really dont think that would be possible. I dont know enough about the signalling but I would assume smartport signalling for ProDOS HDD images must be differfent from floppy disk images but hopefully someone with more information can comment on that.

 

Also I trully believe its possible in firmware to get and support these different disk image sizes and types but you would need a proper controller card to run them. IE. you cant expect your disk II to load up and run 1.4MB disk images... Or wait,.. maybe you can. You can use a floppy emu on an apple II plus with a KbooHK Soft SP card to boot the entire TOTAL REPLAY image from a floppy emu. And You can boot an Apple II fujinet from an Apple II with a KbooHK Soft SP card. So maybe all you do need is a Disk II controller... Im stumped.

 

 

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I was looking at the Gotek a while back, but...

I was looking at the Gotek a while back, but there are too many other designs available that are (IMHO) of much better design.  This would have been great back in 2018 if the developer stuck with it and finished with an Apple ][ interface, but with all the other Disk ][ emulators and drive alternatives out there, I can't see investing in this one, even at a low cost.  When all is set and done, the design will look like too much like patchwork and not a serious contender.  Again, my opinion but I'm pretty sure others might agree.  But the concept was pretty cool at the time.

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I haven't gotten to the

I haven't gotten to the softSP stuff yet but its on my list. I wanted to try the ROM on a grappler card.

 

Even if only 140k for now, a gotek would be pretty cost effective. I may try it just because.

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I dont think you understand.

Macnoyd, I dont think you understand. The apple ii firmware is NEW as of 2023.. its still being developed.. Its a very very recent thing. When I first started playing with goteks in 2018 apple support was a pipe dream. So yes there are alternatives but none as cheap and readily available as a gotek. We need to encourage these developments for everyones sake.

 

And i dont know what concept from 2018 you are referring to. This is a device that OTHERS have hacked and written new firmware for so it can run on many many many different devices... Ranging from a literal myriad of vintage computers to sythesizers and musical keyboard to industrial machinery and healthcare devices.

 

Your statement underplays how versatile these things really are.

 

I have one in my Kaypro IV 84, in my IBM 5150, in my tandy 1000, im setting one up for my TRS 80 model III. I Will probably add one to the Osborne 1 I am fixing.....  

 

 I am not sure if you noticed stockpiles of floppy disks are all but gone.. THESE devices are our ONLY alernative.

 

 

 

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skate323k137 wrote:I haven't
skate323k137 wrote:

I haven't gotten to the softSP stuff yet but its on my list. I wanted to try the ROM on a grappler card.

 

Even if only 140k for now, a gotek would be pretty cost effective. I may try it just because.

Do it. I think I sent the maker of it only charged me around $20 USD and got it shipped from china. For the price its worth it.

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@Verault don't take me wrong...

My comment regarding the Gotek device is based upon what we already have for floppy devices from which to choose from today,

not the development efforts put into this device  -which I believe is commendable.  I withdraw the comment regarding patchwork. That was in reference to the different interface adapters I saw on-line.

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rare?

Is the FD HD floppy drive really "rare"? It's just a Macintosh high density drive in the same case as the Apple 3.5". I'd expect most collectors already have those things.

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robespierre wrote:Is the FD
robespierre wrote:

Is the FD HD floppy drive really "rare"? It's just a Macintosh high density drive in the same case as the Apple 3.5". I'd expect most collectors already have those things.

A real one.. IM sure. but you need the card to use it. And how many people have one of the cards...

 

Regardless the point is a real floppy emulator should be able to handle and use all the formats the computer does, even the obscure ones.

 

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So one of the site admins

So one of the site admins posted back to me on the HXC forum asking for detailed information on 800KB drives and controllers. Can we get him the information he needs? https://torlus.com/floppy/forum/viewtopic.php?f=33&t=4361&p=25583#p25583

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The admin posted a bunch of

The admin posted a bunch of info on the hxc forum, I hope you guys can follow along. Should we make a new thread? 

 

Does anyone know where the schematics for the LIRON card are? I couldnt seem to find any this morning.

 

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Verault wrote:The admin
Verault wrote:

The admin posted a bunch of info on the hxc forum, I hope you guys can follow along. Should we make a new thread? 

 

Does anyone know where the schematics for the LIRON card are? I couldnt seem to find any this morning.

 

The LiRON schematics are out there, I've seen them but I dom't remember exactly where.  I will take a look later.  Not that at the moment they will do you a lot of good because the LiRON card requires an IWM chip which is basically unobtanium.  It is something that could probably have a substitute created for using an FPGA on a 28 pin chip carrier (a challenge space wise), but so far nobody has done it.  It should be possible for someone familiar with FPGA programming since Steve Charmberlain (of BMOW, designer of the "Yellowstone" disk controller card) has done and realeased a lot of the work for Verilong/VHDL code needed to create a compatible part.  Unfortunately while I'm interested in these things, it is currently beyond my capability to do.

 

Another possibility is to use Uncle Bernie's work designing a Disk II controller compatible circuit using GAL chips.  His design is if I remember right 4 GALs and one 74* TTL chip, which is too big to fit into an existing LiRON board, but if you were doing a new board layout it would be possible to do it using all off the shelf parts, albeit programmable ones.  It would also be possible with a new layout to design around an IWM compatible circuit on an FPGA without needing to make it fit on a 28 pin carrier too.

 

However, if you just want LiRON like capabilities and don't want to build your own card, the BMOW Yellowstone is a good choice if they are still available.  I'd heard they were limited production.

 

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OK, good news on the

OK, good news on the Yellowstone disk controller card...  it is back in production.

 

https://www.bigmessowires.com/2023/10/10/yellowstone-disk-controller-begins-second-production-run/

 

Besides being available, the Yellowstone has some advantages over the LiRON.  It is capable of connecting to a lot wider selection of drives.

 

 

 

 

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In what is really great news,

In what is really great news, Steve (BMOW) was able to source more ICs :)

 

https://www.bigmessowires.com/2023/10/10/yellowstone-disk-controller-begins-second-production-run/

 

The yellowstone and I think the FloppyEMU too should be available for the forseeable future. 

 

(Edit, I think software janitor edited while I was posting :D ) 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Verault
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:

The admin posted a bunch of info on the hxc forum, I hope you guys can follow along. Should we make a new thread? 

 

Does anyone know where the schematics for the LIRON card are? I couldnt seem to find any this morning.

 

The LiRON schematics are out there, I've seen them but I dom't remember exactly

Im sorry but I dont understand all the talk about having to buy a modern controller card or Liron card for this gotek emulating an Apple II disk drive. I dont believe you need anyting more than a Disk II controller which everyone has. How does the floppy emu emulate smartport and Unidisk onto a standard disk II controller card WITHOUT a real SWIM CHIP (using a KbooHK SoftSP card)?

 

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One disadvantage of using a

One disadvantage of using a SoftSP, like a Grapler+ with the LIRONGP image burned onto the EPROM is that it takes up another slot in addition to the disk controller card.  Also you need to burn the EPROM, which isn't a big deal for me but not everyone has an eraser, programmer and stockpile of 2732 chips, and a Grappler+ card to put it into.

 

I didn't get the impression that the Gotek supported Smartport protocol or 800k disk images yet, only 140k DO or PO, and those have to be converted to some other format.

 

I'm not being critical...  I realize it is a work in progress and theoretically all those things should be possible in time as well as probably support for .dsk, .do, .po and even .woz formats.

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:    I
softwarejanitor wrote:

 

 

  I realize it is a work in progress and theoretically all those things should be possible in time as well as probably support for .dsk, .do, .po and even .woz formats.

 

 

 

 

 

Exactly. Thats my hope as well. As far as adding an eprom or card to save on having to spend big money on a controller card seems like an easy choice for most.

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Silly question but if you

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

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Verault wrote:Silly question
Verault wrote:

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

Yes and no.  You can still print with software that writes to the card directly, but you can't print graphics with the on-board firmware anymore, obviously because you've replaced that code.

 

On the other hand...  How many people actually have let alone use a dot matrix printer with a parallel port anymore?  Half of the ones sold back in the day I bet you'd have a very difficult time finding ribbons to fit anymore.  Even common ones like the Imagrwriter aren't that easy to come by.  You can't just go down to Staples or Office Depot and find them on the shelf anymore.

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Verault
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

Yes and no.  You can still print with software that writes to the card directly, but you can't print graphics with the on-board firmware anymore, obviously because you've replaced that code.

 

On the othe

So the priny shop and appleworks will work but not direct card functions?

Good to know.

 

As far as who does what.. i honestly cant say on a broad aspect.. but pwoole who i know own vintage printers.. at least an image writer.. soi would assume PLENTY of people atill want to hear that very amazing sound of a dot matrix printer..

 

Can someone point me to a page which has the bin file and instructiona for the softrom? I take it a 27c64 adapter.can be used?

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Parallel cards use machine-code-morphing for printer status
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

Yes and no.  You can still print with software that writes to the card directly, but you can't print graphics with the on-board firmware anymore, obviously because you've replaced that code.

 

That's not quite sufficient -- in order to print, any custom ROM must also contain hexadecimal byte  $FE  at  $Cn81  and  non-$FE  at  $CnC1 (where n is the slot number) because printer status (READY vs BUSY) is fed back by flipping the A6 address bit in the device ROM.

To conserve circuitry, Woz didn't implement an IO port for printer status.  Instead he inserted a gate that modifies the A6 address bit depending on printer status, thereby morphing the machine code in the device ROM depending on the printer status.  The exact machine code varies from one printer card to another, but all versions have an  $FE  byte at  $Cn81  that swaps with a  non-$FE  byte a t $CnC1  depending on printer status.

So any customized EPROM would need to be crafted with those particular bytes at those locations in the device ROM if they want the printer interface to work with existing software like The Print Shop.

 

For illustration, here's how the firmware 'morphs' itself in Apple's original Parallel Printer Interface card in slot 1.  Apple's Centronics Interface card used different instructions with different branch targets, but those  $FE bytes were exactly the same in every card.

 

Grappler (and other cards) contain the necessary circuitry for the ROM-code morphing to work, but it's up to the EPROM author to ensure the bytes are mapped to the correct addresses.  Therefore SoftSP EPROMs  could  support printing  if  its custom firmware preserves those  $FE and non-$FE bytes in the correct locations. 
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S.Elliott wrote
S.Elliott wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

Yes and no.  You can still print with software that writes to the card directly, but you can't print graphics with the on-board firmware anymore, obviously because you've

 

 It is my understanding that it does work, but I haven't personally tried it.  My wife made me throw out several Imagewriters and other dot matrix printers I used to have a number of years ago.  Before they were worth anything of course.  So I don't really have a good way of testing, even though I have several Grappler cards.

 

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Verault wrote:softwarejanitor
Verault wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

Yes and no.  You can still print with software that writes to the card directly, but you can't print graphics with the on-board firmware anymore, obviously because you've

 

Personally I don't really miss hearing dot matrix printers anymore.  Back in the day many of us went out of our way to buy or build sound dampening enclosures for them.  I know you can still order new Imagewriter ribbons from someplace online, but some of the less common brands it might be very difficult to find them.  I used to have a few Integral Data Systems printers, IDS 560G "Paper Tiger" and a Prism 132 (color) that I really liked back in the day.  I haven't seen anywhere you could get a ribbon for those in at least 20 years.  I imagine there were enough of the common models of Epson MX/RX/FX that some of them ribbons may still be available but some of the less common models maybe not so much so...  Other brands like Mannesman-Tally, Star Micronics, Panasonic, Fujitsu...  so many that were around back in the day...

 

Anyway, it looks like the SoftSP card is back in stock here:

 

https://ct6502.org/product/softsp/

 

But you probably need to hurry because they may sell out, only 10 listed in stock.

 

I think I downloaded the .bin file from one of the FB Apple II groups, but I can send you a copy if you want to burn it yourself.

 

I would also assume a 27C64 adapter could be used or even something like an AT28C64B EEPROM.  A clever adapter could probably include a swtitch for the high address line and let you select the LIRONGP or original Grappler+ ROM image which would probably largely alleviate your printer usage concerns.  I've not done that though because I have plenty of 2732 chips, and as I said before...  no dot matrix printers.

 

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Verault
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:
softwarejanitor wrote:
Verault wrote:

Silly question but if you write the softSP eprom onto a grappler card does the grappler card still function?

Yes and no.  You can still print with software that writes to the card directly, but you can't print graphics with the on-board

I have a minipro from2017. It cannot burn 2732 eproms. So i will need to make an adapter. Yes I wouls appreciate the bin file thank you.

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Minipro TL866CS ?  I have one

Minipro TL866CS ?  I have one of those and I have no trouble burning 2732 EPROMs.  I'm not sure if the later TL866-II can do all of them since it has less voltage capability.

 

One thing, I use the Open Source software for it under Linux.  Most of the people who seem to have trouble with the TL866 programmers seem to be using the Windows software.

 

 

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softwarejanitor wrote:Minipro
softwarejanitor wrote:

Minipro TL866CS ?  I have one of those and I have no trouble burning 2732 EPROMs.  I'm not sure if the later TL866-II can do all of them since it has less voltage capability.

 

One thing, I use the Open Source software for it under Linux.  Most of the people who seem to have trouble with the TL866 programmers seem to be using the Windows software.

 

 

 

TL866A is the model I have. I have tried 2732 eproms back in 2018 to no avail but it may have been the eproms I had.

The software I use is version 6.85 dated 2014. It gives me no problems so I am not sure what problems those folks were having.

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I've burned several kinds of

I've burned several kinds of 2732 with mine.  The limitation of the TL866A and TL866CS is that they have a max programming voltage of 21V.  The newer TL866-II and TL866-II+ can only do like 18V or 19V.  However, most all of the 2732s I've seen are 21V or lower, so not an issue.

 

I haven't tried it yet but I bought an adapter that allows use of an external progamming voltage power supply input.  Theoretically this shold allow some 25V parts to be programmed even with the TL866-II.

 

As for the Windows software, I've never actually tried it since I don't have Windows, but from what I've read it is actually the newer versions that seem less capapable of programming the older chips.  The Open Source code has worked so well for me I've never had any serious interest of trying to run the Windows software on Wine (Windows ABI emulator for Linux) even though I've heard it supposedly works.  Well, I actually ran it once under Wine a number of years ago, probably around 2016 or so, but just to see what it looked like, I never actually tried to program any chips.  I haven't even installed Wine in a long time since I haven't really had any reason to want to run any Windows software.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wine stopped being helpfull

Wine stopped being helpfull for my needs almost 8 years ago. But regardless. I am going to try the adapter route for hte 27c64 since i have tons of those.

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Goteks are VERY popular for

Goteks are VERY popular in the retro-computing scene, so it is a bit strange to see almost no Gotek development for the Apple II.

The right guy to contact is Keirf, he maintains the most popular Gotek firmware called "FlashFloppy" : https://github.com/keirf/flashfloppy

 

 

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Amon_RA wrote:Goteks are VERY
Amon_RA wrote:

Goteks are VERY popular in the retro-computing scene, so it is a bit strange to see almost no Gotek development for the Apple II.

The right guy to contact is Keirf, he maintains the most popular Gotek firmware called "FlashFloppy" : https://github.com/keirf/flashfloppy

It's really not surprising. The Apple II has a completely different interface to the disk system- it's not Shugart or PC-like at all. Same with C64 and Atari. The Gotek really doesn't fit into this at all.

 

 

 

 

 

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Amon_RA wrote:Goteks are VERY
Amon_RA wrote:

Goteks are VERY popular in the retro-computing scene, so it is a bit strange to see almost no Gotek development for the Apple II.

The right guy to contact is Keirf, he maintains the most popular Gotek firmware called "FlashFloppy" : https://github.com/keirf/flashfloppy

 

 

This has nothing to do with flashfloppy, this is for HXC firmware ONLY for the Gotek. I am not aware of flashfloppy having any support for apple II. 

 

If Keirf wanted to collaborate with the HXC folks or viceversa that is up to them but I wouldnt expect that between competing products.

 

 

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rittwage wrote:Amon_RA wrote
rittwage wrote:
Amon_RA wrote:

Goteks are VERY popular in the retro-computing scene, so it is a bit strange to see almost no Gotek development for the Apple II.

The right guy to contact is Keirf, he maintains the most popular Gotek firmware called "FlashFloppy" : https://github.com/keirf/flashfloppy

It's really not surprising. The Apple II has a co

But the groundwork has been laid. ITs already working to some degree. I really dont understand the slightly negative pushback from most of you as you seem you dont want it to succeed. I mean I didnt even think it was possible at all and they got some faccet of it to work. Why not get behind it?

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I don't see anyone being

I don't see anyone being negative or cheering for this to fail. I just don't see people as excited about it as you. If I had to guess, most everyone who is serious about A2 hardware probably already has one or more of existing floppy or mass storage solutions (of which there are no shortage of - floppy emu, wDrive, booti, ccfa3000, micro drive, backbit multi cart, Dan ][, bluescsi, and probably a few more I'm missing).

 

 

 

So another one coming to market with no new features that make it stand out from one of the existing solutions (at least as far as I can tell) doesn't really generate much excitement.  

 

 

Edit: I reread the first post, you have to convert the DSK/do/po images first? That's a negative of this approach. I don't want to have to convert a large library of images just to work with a device. IMO it needs to be user friendly. Drag, drop, and go. Having them in some other raw format where they can't easily be used by some other device is a non starter for me. 

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I don't really think that

I don't really think that people are negative, maybe a little skeptical I guess.  More of a wait and see attitude.  As has been said, there are quite a few different flash storage options already.  The main thing that makes the Gotek interesting is the very low price.  I've already said what it really needs to have done in order to make it competitive with existing products.  Mainly it needs to be a "plug and play" solution and it needs to directly support the commonly used file formats, .dsk, .po, .do & hopefully .woz.  .nib is nice to have as well.  Ideally also SamrtPort support and able to emulate an 800k floppy image and even better if it can handle 32MB ProDOS volumes.  If someone can make it do all that and keep the price under $75, it will likely become popular.  Even under $100 it would probably take off.

 

-- edit to add, i just re-read the first message in this thread and now I see that you say that .dsk, .po, .do and .nib work...  so that's actually pretty good.  If .woz happens it will be better.  The main thing is someone needs to make that cable so people can buy it and have a more turnkey solution.  Maybe IEC (company that makes a ton of cables for retro-computing including Apple II, vintage Mac, Commodore, Atari, early PC, etc) would be able to make and sell them?  Interesting.

 

 

 

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Verault wrote: This has
Verault wrote:

 

If Keirf wanted to collaborate with the HXC folks or viceversa that is up to them but I wouldnt expect that between competing products.

 

 

They are not competing products, Flashfloppy is free and open source.

HXC and Flashfloppy are just one of many firmwares available for the popular Gotek hardware. HXC doesn't own the Gotek hardware afaik.

Keirf even got the Gotek hardware manufacturer to release newer and better hardware (better and faster chip, OLED screen,  rotary encoder, buzzer, etc) so there is a lot of potential.

I used HXC firmware years ago, but it hasn't really progressed as much as FlashFloppy imho, at least not in the Amiga/PC retro communities which I am invested in.

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nick3092 wrote:I don't see
nick3092 wrote:

I don't see anyone being negative or cheering for this to fail. I just don't see people as excited about it as you. If I had to guess, most everyone who is serious about A2 hardware probably already has one or more of existing floppy or mass storage solutions (of which there are no shortage of - floppy emu, wDrive, booti, ccfa3000, micro drive, backbit multi cart, Dan ][, bluescsi, and pro

 

 

Saying statements like "Most people" is moot. There are new folks coming to the hobby every day. 

 

I think the Cost is the the best benefit for those who like to build thier own "Kits" This whole setup can be built for as little as $15.00

 

Using the HXC software to convert the files is an automated process that takes about 15 seconds for 100 disk images. I dont see that as a negative since it does it all for you. Its not like you have to do the file conversion 1 at a time.. Unless you want to.

And what other device is going to use them in this format as they reside on the USB stick in the gotek?

 

Again the COST and the ability to build this yourself at the biggest draws of this for me. 

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Amon_RA wrote:Verault wrote:
Amon_RA wrote:
Verault wrote:

 

If Keirf wanted to collaborate with the HXC folks or viceversa that is up to them but I wouldnt expect that between competing products.

 

 

They are not competing products, Flashfloppy is free and open source. 

I used HXC firmware years ago, but it hasn't really progressed as much as FlashFloppy imho, at least not in the Amiga/PC retro communities which I am invested in.

HXC and Flashfloppy are just one of many firmwares available for the popul

 

Well Pick a better antonym... That was just the first word that popped into my head. They are two different products. Thats irrelevant to the point I was making.

 

I am glad you like Flash Floppy and I am glad its got a community behind it.. Kind of the same reason I brought this whole thing to THIS COMMUNITIES ATTENTION. Although I am a big Apple II Collector, I dont only collect Apple II. I have tons  and tons of other Vintage computers and the HXC firmware has far more support for lots of other machines and equipment... And Flash Floppy doesnt have ANY support for Apple right now... so ya know,, there is that.

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Ah yes, I forgot about the

Ah yes, I forgot about the millions of new users that flock to the Apple II hobby daily.

 

 

Yes, new people do get into it. But it's not that many. Hell, we probably lose as many annually as we gain. And how many new comers are going to want a simple plug and play solution tailored to the Apple II vs messing around with a gotek and having to convert files? Even if the conversion program can do batches, it is still an annoying extra step. And inevitably you will have to do some 1 by 1, as 4am and others publish new images periodically. And my point about using them on another device is what if I save some data disk while using the gotek. And for whatever reason, now I want to access the saved data using a wDrive. Now I have to convert back to DSK. I just don't see this being an appealing option for the majority, especially new comers. 

 

 

I'm all for options and saving a buck. No argument there, already said that a few posts back. But you came in here acting like it's the next best thing since sliced bread. And when no one else jumped for joy and gave their opinions, you accused us of being haters.

 

 

That being said, I'm done replying to this thread. I'm not changing your point of view, you're not changing mine. Best of luck in the quest to get gotek on par with all the other far more capable devices. I'll enjoy my already functional devices. 

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nick3092 wrote:Ah yes, I
nick3092 wrote:

Ah yes, I forgot about the millions of new users that flock to the Apple II hobby daily.

 

 

Yes, new people do get into it. But it's not that many. Hell, we probably lose as many annually as we gain. And how many new comers are going to want a simple plug and play solution tailored to the Apple II vs messing around with a gotek and having to convert files? Even if t

I appreciate your input. But this was never an arguement.  And I was never trying to sell anyone on the Gotek. I think it suceeded in doing that on its own in vintage computing years ago. Just apparently not with this crowd.

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Piping up here

I'm a (relatively) new Apple II user, ahving only started using them in the last 6 years, and one of the biggest barriers for entry for me was the cost of the FDD solutions. The c64 had SD2IEC, then Pi1541, both of which could be got for a song. the BBC had MMFS solutions. Atair 8 bits had SDrive Max. Pretty much everything else used Goteks (Which is why I have close to a dozen in various systems)

 

Most of these were under $75AUD. (So about $50USD)

 

The Apple II seemed to only have pricey solutions. I ended up buying a FloppyEmu, as at the time I could justify its price across the Apple II and my Mac SE/30.

A lot of people who collect multple systems (Like I do) have also commented on how expensive the Apple solutions seem to be. (3 to 4 times as expensive as other 8 bit systems)

This puts people off from joining the community. I tend to steer these people towards ADTPro, and often end up burning them FDDs so they can get a leg up.

Everything we can do to make the entry point easier brings more people in, and I see that as a good thing.

 

If a Gotek based solution becomes available, even if imperfect, I feel it would allow a lot more people an entry point into Apple II life. From there, we can guide them to the upgrades like FloppyEmu/Yellowstone or ccfa3000. 

 

 

Cheers!

 

Chesh

 

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Verault wrote:Amon_RA wrote
Verault wrote:
Amon_RA wrote:
Verault wrote:

 

If Keirf wanted to collaborate with the HXC folks or viceversa that is up to them but I wouldnt expect that between competing products.

 

 

They are not competing products, Flashfloppy is free and open source. 

I used HXC firmware years ago, but

 

HXC isn't open source , and you need to buy the firmware (10 EUR)... which doesnt make it a "cheaper" option compared to the other current Apple II solutions, right? 

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