PSA: Yellowstone Drive Cards Available

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PSA: Yellowstone Drive Cards Available

The BMOW Yellowstone drive controller cards are now available over at https://shop.bigmessowires.com/

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Best news I've heard in a

Best news I've heard in a while.

Having 3.5" and the corresponding Floppy Emu support on my IIe is a functionality I've craved for a while.

And this is more versatile than the unobtanium LIRON card.

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For sure. I'm mostly excited

For sure. I'm mostly excited about being able to use smartport hard drives on my IIe with my Floppy Emu. But I also have a 3.5" Unidisk I can now use as well. And Liron cards are selling for pretty much the same price (or more) on the rare occasion they come up for sale.

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Between the Floppy Emu and

Between the Floppy Emu and YellowStone, Steve Chamberlain deserves to be the KFest Man of the Year!

 

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I ordered one.

As soon as I got the email, I excused myself from the room and went online to order one. The complete setup with cables.

PTB
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8BitHeaven wrote:Between the
8BitHeaven wrote:

Between the Floppy Emu and YellowStone, Steve Chamberlain deserves to be the KFest Man of the Year!

 

Absolutely !!!

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I ordered two as soon as I

I ordered two as soon as I got the email.

 

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question about Yellowstone

Steve did not understand my question, so I did not get the proper answer and I will try here.

I have an Apple //c with both the internal 5-1/4" and external 3.5" floppy drives, which obviously will not work with the Yellowstone card. I am wondering what I am missing, if anything?

If I acquired an Apple ][e with a Yellowstone card, would there now be certain floppies that I could read and write to, that I cannot with my Apple //c?

Or is it just to allow Apple ][-slotted owners to be able to connect all flavors of Apple ][ and Mac external floppies drives and just read and write to the same floppies that I can do so now on my Apple //c?

I also asked about if the Yellowstone card supports the Kennect/Rapport Macintosh 5-1/4" and 3.5" floppy drives, which allowed for increased storage capacity on those floppies (which can only be read by a Mac with those hardware enhancements)?

This would be an example of being able to read enhanced floppies on a Yellowstone-Apple ][, that could not be read on my Apple //c, with its internal and external floppy drives.

Thank you.

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You've got 5.25" and 3.5"

You've got 5.25" and 3.5" capability with your IIc.

The Yellowstone card will give you the same capabilities with the same style drives with a IIe.

I doubt that it will work with the Kennect/Rapport drives although that might be delat with in a firmware upgrade (I'm wild-assed guessing on that one)

 

Most importantly to me is that it gives Slotted Apple IIs smartport capability and ease of use with the Floppy Emu, for 5.25" and 3.5" disk images along with HD-20 hard drive image support, which is key and makes the Floppy Emu super versatile on the II+ and IIe, whereas before it would only work with 5.25" disk images.  If you had one of the unicorn LIRON drive controllers you could use the Floppy Emu in Unidisk 3.5 mode, but the LIRON is very hard to come by.

 

This card adds some sorely needed capability to the IIe and II+, if I read the promo material correctly.

Anyway, I have a card on the way, so I can report back.

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Assuming your //c is ROM 0 or

Assuming your //c is ROM 0 or higher, you would get no theoretical benefit from Yellowstone. The ROM 0 can already do things like use smartport hard drives and 3.5" unidisks.  On a II/II+/IIe, that kind of support requires a LIRON card, which is rare and expensive. It also doesn't support standard 20pin Disk II drives. So not only does Yellowstone give you access to LIRON features, it maintains Disk II support all in 1 card, vs having 2.

 

Can't speak to your other question. But I'm guessing the answer is no, as Yellowstone isn't designed to add exotic hardware support. It's meant to be an all in one card for hardware that was designed for the Apple II. It just so happens some standard Mac drives work with it if decased, because they happen to function like other Apple II hardware. 

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I got my ship notice for two

I got my ship notice for two Yellowstone cards today.

 

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Wow, USPS originally listed

Wow, USPS originally listed my Yellowstone as being delivered tomorrow. But I just checked my USPS dashboard and found it's out for delivery today. Too bad I won't have much time to test it out tonight. Probably just enough time to install it and quickly give the Total Replay hard drive image a spin.

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USPS Tracking says the two I

USPS Tracking says the two I ordered should be here on Friday.

 

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My shipment not only came a

My shipment not only came a day earlier than USPS had stated originally, my mail carrier came around 4 hours earlier than usual. So I was able to quick install the Yellowstone and give it a very quick try during my lunch. Everything worked as expected. Was able to boot my physical duodisk, FE in 3.5" mode, and Nox and Total Replay in smartdrive hard drive mode. 

 

 

The only thing is the head knocking for 5.25" at boot up is triggering my OCD. It knocks much faster than a standard drive controller does. I've asked Steve if there anyway possible to tweak the firmware so that it knocks at (or very near to) the "standard" rate. A lifetime of hearing that knock has been ingrained in my brain, and this is driving me crazy. 

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I second the motion! 

I second the motion! 

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nick3092 wrote:My shipment
nick3092 wrote:

My shipment not only came a day earlier than USPS had stated originally, my mail carrier came around 4 hours earlier than usual. So I was able to quick install the Yellowstone and give it a very quick try during my lunch. Everything worked as expected. Was able to boot my physical duodisk, FE in 3.5" mode, and Nox and Total Replay in smartdrive hard drive mode. 

 

 

 I wonder if the reason the recalibration is faster is because for 3.5" controllers like the LIRON, which some of the Yellowstone is obviously similar to, runs at 2MHz instead of 1MHz in order to accomodate the faster data rate needed for 3.5" drives vs. 5.25" drives?  Doubling the delay between seeks towards track zero would theoretically make it sound like a Disk ][ Controller Card if that is what is going on.

 

 

 

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MichaelLAX wrote:Steve did
MichaelLAX wrote:

Steve did not understand my question, so I did not get the proper answer and I will try here.

I have an Apple //c with both the internal 5-1/4" and external 3.5" floppy drives, which obviously will not work with the Yellowstone card. I am wondering what I am missing, if anything?

If I acquired an Apple ][e with a Yellowstone card, would there now be certain floppies that I could rea

 

I  think the Yellowstone is more like the UDC for Apple.  The //c doesn't support the Apple  3.5" Drive just the UniDisk so that's what you would be missing.    

 

 

See this article,  I am old enough that I read it when it first came out and it is still a good article.  :-)  Ha Ha 

 

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fmirrors.apple2.org.za%2FApple%2520II%2520Documentation%2520Project%2FReference%2FArticles%2Faplus0187-apple2_drives.pdf&clen=2545031&chunk=true

 

Thanks,

Jay 

 

 

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Well, Steve didn't really go

Well, Steve didn't really go into details, but if you put Yellowstone in Disk II mode (hold ctrl-D down at power up, or hold D down with oa-ctrl-reset), it has the same old knock sound that I'm used to. It also adds maybe a 2s delay in starting up the drive. Or you could change a dip switch to put it in Disk II mode, but then you loose the ability to use other drives.

 

Like everything else in life, it's a compromise. Guess that's as close as we'll get.

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nick3092 wrote:Well, Steve
nick3092 wrote:

Well, Steve didn't really go into details, but if you put Yellowstone in Disk II mode (hold ctrl-D down at power up, or hold D down with oa-ctrl-reset), it has the same old knock sound that I'm used to. It also adds maybe a 2s delay in starting up the drive. Or you could change a dip switch to put it in Disk II mode, but then you loose the ability to use other drives.

 

<

 

I don't really see a major downside to the dip switch for Disk ][ mode if you are using 5.25" drives.  You can always change it back if you want to use a 3.5" drive.  Very small compromise in my eyes.  What I'll probably do with my Yellowstone cards is run them in a //e in slot 7 or 5 with an ordinary 5.25" controller in slot 6.  Slot 7 if I'm running as a SmartPort and slot 5 if I'm running 3.5" drives or FloppyEmu(s) in 3.5" drive mode.  Since I have two Yellowstone's coming I could actually do both at once...  Yellowstones in 5 & 7 and a Disk ][ Controller Card or Apple 5.25 Controller Card in slot 6...  I'd have killed for a setup like this back in the day.

 

 

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link to article broken
jwg1962 wrote:

chrome-extension://efaidnbmnnnibpcajpcglclefindmkaj/viewer.html?pdfurl=https%3A%2F%2Fmirrors.apple2.org.za%2FApple%2520II%2520Documentation%2520Project%2FReference%2FArticles%2Faplus0187-apple2_drives.pdf&clen=2545031&chunk=true

See this article,  I am old enough that I read it when it first came out and it is still a good article.  :-)  Ha Ha 

I cannot get this link to the article to work properly; I would like to read it; yes, thank you!

AND thank yous to Nick3092 and Baldrick for their detailed answers to my questions!

I now see the value of Yellowstone to slotted Apple ][ users, as yes, my Floppy EMU has always worked in smartport hard drive mode on my Apple //c.

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Here is a proper link to that

Here is a proper link to that pdf. And if smartport works for you, then your //c is not a ROM 255.

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nick3092: ... then your //c is not a ROM 255
MichaelLAX wrote:

I have an Apple //c with both the internal 5-1/4" and external 3.5" floppy drives...

By definition, any Apple //c with an external 3.5" floppy drive has been upgraded from ROM 255.

And thank you for that working link; here the proper excerpt:
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I apologize for the bad link.

I apologize for the bad link.  I didn't check it because I was in a rush that day.  

 

 

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I received my two Yellowstone

I received my two Yellowstone cards in the mail yesterday.  Hopefully I will have a chance to give them a try soon.

 

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Mine should be here tomorrow!

Mine should be here tomorrow!!! 

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Kennect Drives and Rapport hardware dongle

For those interested:

Kennect Technology

 

For a couple of years, Kennect offered some interesting disk products which allowed the use of PC format disks with non-FDHD Macs and the creation of large, non-standard Mac floppy disks.

 

Rapport is an adapter that connects to the external floppy drive port of a Mac 512Ke, Plus or later Mac. In conjunction with a CDEV (Control Panel), it allows the internal drive to read/write 720KB PC disks. If used with an external Apple 800KB drive, the CDEV allows the Mac to read/write non-standard 1.2MB disks on 800KB media.

 

Drive 2.4 is an external high density drive for use with the Rapport controller. It can create non-standard 2.4MB Mac disks as well as standard Mac disks. Drive 2.4 can also create standard and non-standard PC and ProDOS Apple II disks.

 

Two external 5.25" drives were offered for use with the Rapport adapter:

Drive 360 will read/write/format 360KB PC disks and read/write/format 140KB ProDOS disks.

Drive 1200 will read/write/format 1.2MB PC disks, and read 360KB PC disks and 140KB ProDOS disks when using standard floppies.

 

Kennect Rapport Drive 2.4 Tidbits link

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I wonder how many of any of

I wonder how many of any of those products Kenect ever sold...  I remember the name from back in the day, but I can't recall anyone I knew every buying anything from them.  A lot of pretty neat products like that never became very popular.  Kind of like some of the larger floppy drives for the Apple II like the Rana Elite Two and Three (the Elite One is not uncommon, but it doesn't offer much over a Disk ][), very rare these days.  Pretty much anything that wasn't compatible with Apple's offerings usually didn't sell too well.

 

 

 

 

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Kennect

My recollection is that one of the SWIM team with Woz opened up his own company named something like The Engineering Company and released the Kennect/Rapport.

A friend knew him and apparently he was smart enough to...

When Woz was doing telephone tech support for the Apple I, too much of his time was being drawn into that, so they offered every Apple I owner a free Apple ][ swap.

Those that accepted it, they just threw the Apple Is in a pile in Woz' office, and this guy apparently said: "Mind if I take one" and he sold it about 6 years ago with a Letter of Authentication from Woz for a nice price!

I used a Rapport on a Mac SE in the early days to read PC 3.5" floppies through Apple File Exchange.

Years later I picked up the Drives off of eBay just to have them in my collection; they are in storage now.

Now that I have a running SE/30, I am going to get them out of storage and play around a bit with them.

Other than reading data from the enhanced floppies, they are really just an artifact of Apple history!

My Floppy EMU does everything I ever need...

Although a 2.4 MB 3.5" ProDOS floppy might be fun, but my Apple //c can't read it! hahaha

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