• Please review our updated Terms and Rules here

Trackstar - Apple II clone on a PC ISA card

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
Hello, everyone.

Just a heads-up to let you know my Trackstar website is up, covering all models, as well as similar devices such as the Quadram's Quadlink and Cordata's WPC Bridge. <-- These are all "Apple II on a PC ISA card" Apple II clones. Really cool little devices!

If you own these devices, esp. the Trackstar E or Plus, there's HUNDREDS of disk images in its Trackstore format that I've converted manually.
So you can download and enjoy a HUGE amount of software without needing real Apple II disks.

There's also disk images of the Trackstar 128 Utility Program disk, so you can create a disk with the copy protection intact which allows you to actually use your 128. This is perfect for those who -- like me -- bought their 128 without the necessary disk. D'oh!

There ain't a lot of info or resources about the Trackstar cards out there, so I hope mine fills the void.

Enjoy it @
www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar
 

ajacocks

VCForum Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 21, 2011
Messages
1,329
Location
Middletown, Maryland USA
I posted this on Vogons, too, but some folks might only see it here. I found a Trackstar from 1984, and I think that it’s the version that supports CP/M, since it has an onboard Z80:

F4430FE3-A618-4E33-9981-3C5867631FC0.jpeg

Have you seen one @DeathAdderSF ? I need to find the software for it, and test it.

- Alex
 

george

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2011
Messages
429
Obviously this gem is much more rare than later Trackstars. There is a chance software for later models could work with this one too. Nice it had been saved from scrapping.
 

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
There is a chance software for later models could work with this one too.

Not quite. The software performs a hardware check. If it doesn't detect the specific card it's programmed for, it displays a warning message then dumps the user back to DOS.
 

Towmater

Experienced Member
Joined
May 14, 2017
Messages
208
I dumped the roms from an O.G. Trackstar, hoping someday to disassemble and find out how it loads the A2 OS. It’s likely that the only copy protection is on the disk, and based on the brevity of the roms I’m guessing that these only serve as loader functions to read DOS and possibly Apple compatible roms into Trackstar ram.
 

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
I dumped the roms from an O.G. Trackstar, hoping someday to disassemble and find out how it loads the A2 OS. It’s likely that the only copy protection is on the disk, and based on the brevity of the roms I’m guessing that these only serve as loader functions to read DOS and possibly Apple compatible roms into Trackstar ram.

The data from those EPROM chips has been available from my website for quite some time, along with data extracted from the other ICs of the Trackstar cards, including the protected GALs of the 128 and E. Visit the "Operating Software" page, the relevant link is at the very bottom.

The Trackstar cards use a reverse-engineered ROM by default, for legal reasons, but it isn't stored anywhere on the Trackstar card itself. Rather, it's stored (out of order, mind you) within two chunks inside the STAR.SYS file from the Trackstar Utility Program. Although it's possible to replace this with an authentic Apple ROM -- I've done it myself -- the Trackstar won't work properly like that. Rather, you must load the FPBASIC file from the DOS 3.3 System Master to enter "high-compatibility mode." This can be automated on the Trackstar E and Plus, to load the file automatically from a Trackstore image named INIT.APP to make things super easy.

Copy protection for the Trackstar 128 is indeed on the disk only.

The manual for the "O.G." Trackstar specifically states that its disk is not copy-protected. So if we are somehow able to locate the software for this model, we should hopefully have little trouble actually using it.
 

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
I just got an O.G. Trackstar as well. Sadly, no software.

I haven't had any luck yet either, but I remain ever vigilant! I'll let you know if I run across anything. Please do likewise.

It's a shame they omitted the Z80 from the rest of the line, but I understand why they did: by that time, CP/M was going nowhere fast.
 

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
Hey, who wants to pull their old-timey Trackstar v1 (from 1984!) out of mothballs and give it a go? *raises hand* I stumbled upon a complete kit last week, and made great haste in archiving the software and documentation. So! If you've got one of these majestic dinosaurs lying around, but no software to get it up and running... stop reading this and pop on over to the operating software and scans pages of my website!

www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/software.htm
www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/scans.htm
 
Last edited:

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
A bunch of really neat scans were just added to my Trackstar website, mostly relating to the Trackstar 128. There's a full color leaflet, a question and answer flyer, keyboard overlays, and a flyer with some absolutely smashing chariot artwork on it. There's also a Trackstar Plus new product release flyer. Check 'em out!

www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/scans.htm


tschariot.jpg
 

DeathAdderSF

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2016
Messages
315
Location
USA
Today I've finally finished & released Trackstar games pack #1, which is a hard drive image containing 180 unique games: each of which has been compatibility tested. If you're tired of mucking about with floppy disk images, this is your chance to go gonzo! Simply load up this pack on your Trackstar E or Plus, and have a great time!

www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/hd1.htm

I've also added a pinout for the Trackstar Plus VGA cable to the scans page, courtesy of Korrey Moore. If you need to build a custom cable, look no further!

www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar/scans.htm
 
Top