Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy! - CP/M

This is a discussion on Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy! - CP/M ; On Aug 2, 2:59 pm, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote: > > The project gets more interesting for 8 inch drives, though I > am sure that they can't be USB powered. What do you mean 8" drives can't be USB powered?!?? ...

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Thread: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

  1. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Aug 2, 2:59 pm, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
    >
    > The project gets more interesting for 8 inch drives, though I
    > am sure that they can't be USB powered.


    What do you mean 8" drives can't be USB powered?!?? I was really
    hoping for a single cord 8" floppy drive (including AC power)!!
    Allison, tell me it CAN be done!

    ~ J


  2. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 11:59:34 -0800, glen herrmannsfeldt
    wrote:

    >no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
    >(snip)
    >
    >> Actually I do get it, "Translation I want and somebodies gotta do it".
    >> The horrible fact of life is that current PCs FDC and floppy are
    >> being dropped or soon to be. The 1.44mb drive is no longer a
    >> fit with 4GB thumb drives and the like. It's already reached maye
    >> even passed the point where people buy USB or before that parallel
    >> port devices to fill the gap of the PC not having a floppy or at least
    >> not the correct one. When does USB go poof like the floppy?

    >
    >Apple dropped floppies about 10 years ago. The solution, then,
    >was to use USB floppy drives! Most laptops dropped floppy for
    >external USB floppy drives, too.
    >
    >(snip)
    >
    >> Software for the host as the standard host driver will not recognize
    >> the special USB devices capability, it will have to be a registered
    >> driver as XP and Vista are likely targets.

    >
    >I would do two separate boxes. I haven't looked at the USB protocols
    >at all.
    >
    >> Software to talk to that driver to do the capture and organization
    >> of the data retrieved. It would also have to configure and
    >> otherwise monitor/control the USB device.

    >
    >Hopefully the existing host software works, but I don't know that.
    >
    >> How much you willing to pay? I figure it's a few weeks work
    >> between the hardware and then the PC based software for first proto.
    >> For a serious moment I'd estimate it as a minimum of 60 billable
    >> hours and I'd think at a bargan rate of say $50/hr it's a $3000 plus,
    >> material and external charges (machine shop, PC board fab,
    >> software development tools, misc materials) are on top of that.
    >> I'm sure most would say I've estimated low.

    >
    >Sounds about right to me.
    >(snip)
    >
    >
    >> Then again I have PDP-11, uVAX,, AmproLb+, KayproII and 4/84,
    >> Visual1050, DEC Vt180, NS* plus a few S100 machines that read
    >> those formats natively.

    >
    >For the ones he is most interested in, I believe they are
    >256byte/sector. That should be an easy software change if the
    >source for the USB/floppy software is available. As above, I
    >don't know if windows knows how to read USB/floppy other than
    >at 512 bytes/sector. Well, I don't even know if sector length
    >matters in USB.
    >
    >The project gets more interesting for 8 inch drives, though I
    >am sure that they can't be USB powered.
    >
    >Also, writing is a little harder than reading, and the OP didn't
    >say which is needed.
    >
    >My choice would be to find some system to copy all the disks over
    >to 3.5in and work with them that way.


    I use the S100 crate for NS* and 8" and I've only found a few 5.25"
    (128byte/sector SD) that the PC [Dell 486] will not do and those disks
    hold nothing of any value or interest due to their extreme lack of
    space (80k formatted).

    The only time I need cross platform floppies these days is when
    I need a blank PDP-11 (RX01) formatted 8" and the occasional boot
    disk. Most of the systems that need boot disks are soft sector
    formats the PC does just fine, the exceptions have been those boxes
    that need hard sector (NS* horizon or Advantage). File transfer is
    via PCplus to a xmodem program on the CP/M machine. Since
    I use the S100 and AmproLB+ this is not inconvenient.

    The nice thing about the 486 is it's a nice utility box (dell Pizza
    box) with good video and a nice 4.3gb disk, 3.5 and 5.25" floppies,
    a NIC and my logic analyser. The 4.3 GB is a nice size for local
    archive and the NIC transfers nicely to the bigger faster machines
    where I can burn CDs. I like having my archives in several places, on
    several machines and multiple medias for backup.

    I try not to let market driven PCs limit what I can do by not
    embracing them when not needed.


    Allison

    >
    >-- glen



  3. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 12:24:08 -0700, MdntTrain wrote:

    >On Aug 1, 9:23 pm, "Tom Lake" wrote:
    >> My main objective, is 180K, 320K, 360K and 1.2MB
    >> PC formats. TRS-80 Model I/III or Tandy Model 4 formats,
    >> Kaypro, Xerox, Epson formats are welcome as well, although
    >> the main objective is PC-DOS formats.

    >
    >Ok. As a preliminary test, here's what I was able to do SUCCESSFULLY
    >with a WinXP box, a SmartDisk VST 3.5" USB Floppy Drive, Sydex's 22
    >Disk, and a few manually overridden XP command prompt format commands:
    >
    >TRS Model 4 SSDD CPM 48tpi 5.25" format
    >all IBM PC DD CPM86 5.25" formats
    >all IBM PC DD DOS 5.25" formats incl. 1.2mb HD at 360rpm.
    >
    >I only tried a handful, but quite a few other attempted 5.25" formats
    >would NOT work.


    Using my PIII/500 with a 3.5" floppy and a FD55GFR running 98lite
    I can read :

    VT180
    Ampro 5.25 48tpi
    Ampro 5.25 96tpi
    Ampro 3.5" (both 720k and 780k formats)
    DEC RX33 (5.25 96tpi DS DD
    DEC RX50 (5.25 48tpi SS DD)
    Kaypro (all 5.25 formats)
    SB180 (all 5.25 or 3.5" formats, 9266 is a 765)
    Visual 1050 (5.25 SSDD 96tpi)
    Compupro DISK1A (any 5.25" or 3.5" as its 765 based)
    99/4a floppies (5.25" 48tpi SSSD)
    PC, all formats supported under dos for floppies (5.25 and 3.5")
    other than 2.88 and I have a controller for that format if I
    ever see a drive and media for that one.

    That covers all the major softsector formats in the CP/M realm other
    than those on 8" media.

    That doesn't mean they are file compatable only that the FDC
    reads and can write them. To handle file level stuff other
    layerd software is required. Supporting software includes
    Rawwrite and Rawread (sector level transfers), FCOPY, Imagedisk,
    Teledisk and a few I may have but forgot.

    Allison
    >
    >It may be a leap, but I'm ASSUMING that a Buslink 3.5" assembly
    >connected to a dualspeed 5.25" HD drive would produce as good results.
    >
    >I tried to find the Buslink for $15 but never could. Offer $22 for
    >another, never heard back, so I'm out for now unless Tom you want to
    >buy one for me then I'll try interfacing one of my dual speed 5.25" to
    >it. But even so, remember, the number of successful formats will be
    >narrow.
    >
    >~ J



  4. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 12:28:07 -0700, MdntTrain wrote:

    >On Aug 2, 2:59 pm, glen herrmannsfeldt wrote:
    >>
    >> The project gets more interesting for 8 inch drives, though I
    >> am sure that they can't be USB powered.

    >
    >What do you mean 8" drives can't be USB powered?!?? I was really
    >hoping for a single cord 8" floppy drive (including AC power)!!
    >Allison, tell me it CAN be done!


    Yep, if you can suck 60W out of the USB cable it can be done.

    All you need is 110V at 60hz for the motor, 24V, 5V and -5V at
    respectable power for all those assuming your running a SA800.
    Most PC cases would be hard pressed for place to grab the AC
    power line!

    Even a 5.25 floppy wants +12 and +5 and around 12W peak power.


    Allison
    >~ J



  5. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    I think that the motherboards still support both 360k and 1.2M 5.25"
    drives, but only one drive ... whatever it is.


    Dave Dunfield wrote:
    >>>> The problem is my PC's BIOS only supports one floppy drive and that has to
    >>>> be a 3.5" 1.44MB drive.
    >>>> There is no option for drive B: or for 5.25" disks.

    >
    >>> Ahem, What the bios supports is only important if your booting off
    >>> the drive. Also the drive cable may permit the usual twist
    >>> and select option just the bios doesn't care (or use it).

    >
    >> No, some modern motherboards only support 1 floppy disk drive, period.
    >> There is no functional drive select capability (AT ALL); if you can't
    >> toggle drive select lines in hardware, you are pretty much screwed. It
    >> pisses me off, but I'm on my 2nd such motherboard. And it's becoming
    >> FAR more common.

    >
    > I've seen this too - many (most?) newer machines support only 1 FD,
    > saves them a pin on the chipset.
    >
    > But Allisons comment MAY still be valid regarding 5.25" disks - all
    > the boards I've tried still have a standard disk controller - it's just the
    > drive B: select is missing. Even if the BIOS does not support it, you
    > can connect a 5.25" drive and use ImageDisk or any other direct
    > access program to read/write it. (I leave the BIOS settings at "none"
    > for the drives in my imaging system).
    >
    > I have information on my site about connecting an external cable
    > with adapters for various drives - this is oriented toward putting
    > the external drive on as B:, however with a slight modification to
    > the internal cable (remove the internal drive conenctor and have
    > only one twist) It would work equally well for an external connection
    > for various drives as A:
    >
    > I say "MAY" because there's a possibility that to further save money
    > the makers will dial-out the 300kbps clock required for 5.25" DD, and
    > may even dial-out the 250kbps clock needed for 3.5"/5.25" DD,
    > after all - what PC uses DD disks these days? - Of course the entire
    > FDC will disappear soon enough.
    >
    > Easiest solution if you want to deal with classic disks/formats is to
    > find a good older machine with a good FDC and use it. I have a
    > utility on my site to evaluate the FDC to determine it's capabilities
    > (many PC FDCs cannot do SD and other formats required for some
    > classic systems) as well as a small registry of mainboards and
    > FDCs that have been tested and the results that have been
    > reported.
    >
    > Dave
    >
    > --
    > dave06a@ Low-cost firmware development tools: www.dunfield.com
    > dunfield. Classic computer collection: www.classiccmp.org/dunfield
    > com Stuff I have for sale: www.dunfield.com/sale
    >


  6. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Tom ....

    There is a market for those, if you have one designed & built. Not sure
    how big, or what price it will bear, but definitely a market.

    Tom Lake wrote:
    >> I'll repeat myself, fine an old machine and DON'T run NT4, XP or VISTA
    >> so that you can freely acess the hardware. W98se is fine for this and
    >> will network nicely enough for transfers.
    >>
    >> Allison

    >
    > Ya just don't get it! I'm offering to hire someone to build me
    > a 5.25" floppy to USB interface. I know it is easier in the short
    > run to keep an old machine around but that's not an option here.
    > I need to be able to move a floppy drive between many machines
    > that can't access a 5.25" floppy drive directly. *That* is the limiting
    > parameter and any scenario which doesn't allow it is no solution.
    >
    > Tom Lake
    >
    >


  7. Buslink USB floppy (was: Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!)

    Buslink USB floppy drives:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=150147855861

    and

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=290132985861

    The Dealexpress guys have about a dozen of them

    Barry Watzman
    Watzman@neo.rr.com




    MdntTrain wrote:
    > On Aug 1, 9:23 pm, "Tom Lake" wrote:
    >> My main objective, is 180K, 320K, 360K and 1.2MB
    >> PC formats. TRS-80 Model I/III or Tandy Model 4 formats,
    >> Kaypro, Xerox, Epson formats are welcome as well, although
    >> the main objective is PC-DOS formats.

    >
    > Ok. As a preliminary test, here's what I was able to do SUCCESSFULLY
    > with a WinXP box, a SmartDisk VST 3.5" USB Floppy Drive, Sydex's 22
    > Disk, and a few manually overridden XP command prompt format commands:
    >
    > TRS Model 4 SSDD CPM 48tpi 5.25" format
    > all IBM PC DD CPM86 5.25" formats
    > all IBM PC DD DOS 5.25" formats incl. 1.2mb HD at 360rpm.
    >
    > I only tried a handful, but quite a few other attempted 5.25" formats
    > would NOT work.
    >
    > It may be a leap, but I'm ASSUMING that a Buslink 3.5" assembly
    > connected to a dualspeed 5.25" HD drive would produce as good results.
    >
    > I tried to find the Buslink for $15 but never could. Offer $22 for
    > another, never heard back, so I'm out for now unless Tom you want to
    > buy one for me then I'll try interfacing one of my dual speed 5.25" to
    > it. But even so, remember, the number of successful formats will be
    > narrow.
    >
    > ~ J
    >


  8. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:

    (snip)

    > All you need is 110V at 60hz for the motor, 24V, 5V and -5V at
    > respectable power for all those assuming your running a SA800.
    > Most PC cases would be hard pressed for place to grab the AC
    > power line!


    The later drives use 24V for the motor, likely at pretty
    high current. The tradition for 8 inch, unlike that for
    5.25 inch, was to keep the motor on all the time, and use
    a head load solenoid so that the head wasn't in contact with
    the disk until needed. Some 5.25 inch still had the head load
    solenoid, but would switch the motors on when needed. The
    standard has one line for motor on, and four for drive select.
    It seems that the early IBM power supplies couldn't run two
    floppy motors, so they came up with the cable twist system to
    allow separate control over the motor on lines, and only two
    drive select lines. I still have a Teac FD55F with the head
    load solenoid.

    I also have one 8 inch drive, I believe with 24 volt motor,
    but I have never tried using it.

    -- glen


  9. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:

    (snip)

    > The only time I need cross platform floppies these days is when
    > I need a blank PDP-11 (RX01) formatted 8" and the occasional boot
    > disk. Most of the systems that need boot disks are soft sector
    > formats the PC does just fine, the exceptions have been those boxes
    > that need hard sector (NS* horizon or Advantage). File transfer is
    > via PCplus to a xmodem program on the CP/M machine. Since
    > I use the S100 and AmproLB+ this is not inconvenient.


    I thought RX-01 was IBM standard. It is the RX-02 that is the strange
    DEC standard with single density headers on double density data blocks.
    I do have a Q-bus controller that will read/write/format RX-02.
    (The DEC standard ones won't format them.)

    -- glen


  10. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    MdntTrain wrote:

    (snip)

    > I tried to find the Buslink for $15 but never could. Offer $22 for
    > another, never heard back, so I'm out for now unless Tom you want to
    > buy one for me then I'll try interfacing one of my dual speed 5.25" to
    > it. But even so, remember, the number of successful formats will be
    > narrow.


    Does the buslink use the previously mentioned USB/floppy controller chip?

    -- glen


  11. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!


    "Barry Watzman" wrote in message
    news:46b23eec$0$8919$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >I think that the motherboards still support both 360k and 1.2M 5.25"
    >drives, but only one drive ... whatever it is.


    The BIOS on our mobos (Intel 965 and 975-based boards) only supports
    1.44 MB and 2.88 MB formats.

    Tom Lake



  12. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Might I steer this thread in a direction which should be unique to this
    group?

    What about a USB to RS232 converter, a small +12V/+5V (surplus) power
    supply, and a P112 board? The result should meet the requirement of
    being portable from PC to PC, and the rest is just cabling and software
    (custom BIOS, CP/M sector editor, Kermit, etc).

    "Tom Lake" wrote in message
    news:46ae613d$0$8913$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >> If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    >> thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time.

    >
    > This is a HOBBY we're talking about. It doesn't need any
    > justification
    > as far as practicality, feasibility or anything. It just needs to be
    > fun!
    >
    > I'm funding the contest simply because I want to transfer disks to my
    > PC without
    > having to have another computer in my already crowded computer room.
    > I get
    > my external floppy and the winner gets all hardware costs paid, a
    > Hefty bonus,
    > plus all the fame and glory (!?!) of being the first to do what
    > everyone said couldn't
    > be done! (Not to mention the non-exclusive rights to sell the device
    > to all interested
    > parties!)
    >
    > Tom Lake
    >
    >
    >
    >




  13. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!


    "Fred J. Scipione" wrote in message
    news:VMWdncwhfPy65C_bnZ2dnUVZ_sGvnZ2d@comcast.com. ..
    > Might I steer this thread in a direction which should be unique to this
    > group?
    >
    > What about a USB to RS232 converter, a small +12V/+5V (surplus) power
    > supply, and a P112 board? The result should meet the requirement of being
    > portable from PC to PC, and the rest is just cabling and software (custom
    > BIOS, CP/M sector editor, Kermit, etc).
    >
    > "Tom Lake" wrote in message
    > news:46ae613d$0$8913$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >>> If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    >>> thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time.

    >>
    >> This is a HOBBY we're talking about. It doesn't need any justification
    >> as far as practicality, feasibility or anything. It just needs to be
    >> fun!
    >>
    >> I'm funding the contest simply because I want to transfer disks to my PC
    >> without
    >> having to have another computer in my already crowded computer room. I
    >> get
    >> my external floppy and the winner gets all hardware costs paid, a Hefty
    >> bonus,
    >> plus all the fame and glory (!?!) of being the first to do what everyone
    >> said couldn't
    >> be done! (Not to mention the non-exclusive rights to sell the device to
    >> all interested
    >> parties!)
    >>
    >> Tom Lake
    >>


    By all means, do it Fred, and let us know how it turns out!



  14. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    Tom Lake wrote:

    > "Barry Watzman" wrote in message
    > news:46b23eec$0$8919$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...


    >>I think that the motherboards still support both 360k and 1.2M 5.25"
    >>drives, but only one drive ... whatever it is.


    > The BIOS on our mobos (Intel 965 and 975-based boards) only supports
    > 1.44 MB and 2.88 MB formats.


    That tells it what type of drive it is. Traditionally, it can write
    720K format on a 1.44M drive, which would be 360K at 40 tracks.

    I believe there is a signal line telling the controller which type
    of disk is inserted, otherwise it would have to find out by reading
    the data.

    -- glen


  15. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Thu, 02 Aug 2007 15:34:24 -0800, glen herrmannsfeldt
    wrote:

    >no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:
    >
    >(snip)
    >
    >> The only time I need cross platform floppies these days is when
    >> I need a blank PDP-11 (RX01) formatted 8" and the occasional boot
    >> disk. Most of the systems that need boot disks are soft sector
    >> formats the PC does just fine, the exceptions have been those boxes
    >> that need hard sector (NS* horizon or Advantage). File transfer is
    >> via PCplus to a xmodem program on the CP/M machine. Since
    >> I use the S100 and AmproLB+ this is not inconvenient.

    >
    >I thought RX-01 was IBM standard. It is the RX-02 that is the strange
    >DEC standard with single density headers on double density data blocks.
    >I do have a Q-bus controller that will read/write/format RX-02.
    >(The DEC standard ones won't format them.)


    It is. and I ahve an RX02 for the PDP11. The RX02 will not format so
    I need formatted media which can be single density (RX01) and the
    RX02 will reformat the data areas to M2FM from those SD disks.
    I'd love to ahve the SDS-880 as it also had a hard disk. Instead I
    ahve RL02, RX02, RD52 and RX50/33.

    Allison


  16. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Thu, 2 Aug 2007 20:39:04 -0400, "Fred J. Scipione"
    wrote:

    >Might I steer this thread in a direction which should be unique to this
    >group?
    >
    >What about a USB to RS232 converter, a small +12V/+5V (surplus) power
    >supply, and a P112 board? The result should meet the requirement of
    >being portable from PC to PC, and the rest is just cabling and software
    >(custom BIOS, CP/M sector editor, Kermit, etc).


    Or AmproLB, or Sb180 or SB180FX or big board and I can go on.
    P112 is smallest but any existing CP/M crate would do.
    Essentailly I have that with some of my systems. The only difference
    is my PC has a serial port and doesnt need USB to create one.

    Allison

    >
    >"Tom Lake" wrote in message
    >news:46ae613d$0$8913$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >>> If I may respectfully opine with my 2 cents... this whole 5.25 USB
    >>> thing is a waste of everyone's valuable time.

    >>
    >> This is a HOBBY we're talking about. It doesn't need any
    >> justification
    >> as far as practicality, feasibility or anything. It just needs to be
    >> fun!
    >>
    >> I'm funding the contest simply because I want to transfer disks to my
    >> PC without
    >> having to have another computer in my already crowded computer room.
    >> I get
    >> my external floppy and the winner gets all hardware costs paid, a
    >> Hefty bonus,
    >> plus all the fame and glory (!?!) of being the first to do what
    >> everyone said couldn't
    >> be done! (Not to mention the non-exclusive rights to sell the device
    >> to all interested
    >> parties!)
    >>
    >> Tom Lake
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >>

    >



  17. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    On Thu, 2 Aug 2007 19:34:26 -0400, "Tom Lake"
    wrote:

    >
    >"Barry Watzman" wrote in message
    >news:46b23eec$0$8919$4c368faf@roadrunner.com...
    >>I think that the motherboards still support both 360k and 1.2M 5.25"
    >>drives, but only one drive ... whatever it is.

    >
    >The BIOS on our mobos (Intel 965 and 975-based boards) only supports
    >1.44 MB and 2.88 MB formats.


    Thats only a BIOS limitation and any drive can be intefaced within
    reasonable limits. The only problem is you may not beable to Boot
    off that drive. Once the system is running The OS does NOT have to
    rely on BIOS to setup and use other modes in the FDC.

    The one drive only is a minor limitation. However if the MOBO
    has a BIOS setup to disable the on board FDC and a PCI or ISA bus
    to plug a replacement FDC into most of the limitations like only one
    drive can be dispensed with. Then it's a matter of space for the two
    drives.

    Allison

    >
    >Tom Lake
    >



  18. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    no.spam@no.uce.bellatlantic.net wrote:

    (snip)

    > It is. and I ahve an RX02 for the PDP11. The RX02 will not format so
    > I need formatted media which can be single density (RX01) and the
    > RX02 will reformat the data areas to M2FM from those SD disks.
    > I'd love to ahve the SDS-880 as it also had a hard disk. Instead I
    > ahve RL02, RX02, RD52 and RX50/33.


    I have the MXV21 floppy controller, which is DEC compatible
    except that it does know how to format. I did once have it
    connected to a 5.25in HD drive. The first time I tried to
    format a disk in the HD drive it stopped on track 43.
    It took me a few seconds to realize that the drive believed
    the reduce write current signal. A quick rewiring to ground
    pin 2 fixed that problem. Someday I should see if that one
    still works.

    Otherwise, all the 8 inch floppies I ever saw came formatted
    in the box. Usually IBM standard.

    -- glen


  19. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    >>What about a USB to RS232 converter, a small +12V/+5V (surplus) power
    >>supply, and a P112 board? ...


    >Or AmproLB, or Sb180 or SB180FX or big board and I can go on.
    >P112 is smallest but any existing CP/M crate would do.
    >Essentailly I have that with some of my systems. The only difference
    >is my PC has a serial port and doesnt need USB to create one.


    Indeed: many single board Z80 systems piggyback nicely to a 5.25" floppy drive
    and even use the same power connector.
    When my main home system migrated from the Servo 8 single-board Z80 CP/M system
    running only floppy disks to a PC-AT, I used a serial cable between them
    to transfer all the files via batch transfer: DOS/Procomm on the PC,
    some terminal/file-transfer program on the CP/M system.

    It /really sounds easiest/ to use a native CP/M system
    to handle the disk formats and then serial-transfer the files.
    No hardware or firmware needed, and it's reasonable to set up.
    --

    -- mejeep deMeep ferret!

  20. Re: Yee-Haa!! 5.25-inch USB floppy!

    citing
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CatWeasel
    The CatWeasel is a family of enhanced floppy drive controllers
    from German company Individual Computers. These controllers
    are designed to allow newer computers, such as PCs,
    to access a wide variety of older disk formats using standard floppy drives.

    I wonder if they'd consider a USB version with Linux VFS support
    to just "mount" the drive directly.
    --

    -- mejeep deMeep ferret!

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