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virtual floppy drive using PP and RT LInux

telengard

Member
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Messages
39
Location
Hudson, NH
I'm wondering if something like this was feasible. Using a computer running RT Linux (probably a small embedded computer) driving the parallel port to act like a floppy drive. There are some products out there that do it, but are mostly FPGA/microcontrollers.

Sounds like it could be a fun project. I'm going to look into it more.

~telengard
 

schotty

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 16, 2007
Messages
61
It is doable. I have a cable for doing this with my pc and commodore 64/128. I bought a cart that had the software to talk to the pc (dos running some server software and connected via a serial cable) and assign a disk image to the drive. Havent played too much with it. I plan to create a dos vm on my Fedora desktop to do the server of the images and see how that works out. If it does, I can post to vmware an appliance of it to d/l.

As for other systems, I am sure something could be arranged. Atari, Amiga, Apple, Dos/Win32 even.
 

mbbrutman

Associate Cat Herder
Staff member
Joined
May 3, 2003
Messages
6,235
There are significant differences on how floppy drives interface to systems, and that affects the feasibility of using this technique.

I understand the C64 floppy drives are pretty much computers in their own right, and they communicate using a serial data stream. That is really easy to simulate with a PC.

For a floppy drive connected to a system in a more conventional way through a controller things are much more difficult. The floppy drive is returning information at a much lower level (flux transitions?), and the controller and generating the data. You would have to simulate the functions of the controller in software and find a solution fast enough to handle the raw data from the floppy drive.
 

Sharkonwheels

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
1,640
Location
South Florida
Speaking of virtual floppy drive...

Is there software to emulate drives on your PC, under XP?
For example, create a virtual a: , 5.25", so I could TeleDisk something to it, and then use it in an emulator? Or just to image disks to it, so they can be read?

Tony
 

NobodyIsHere

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2006
Messages
2,394
I'm wondering if something like this was feasible. Using a computer running RT Linux (probably a small embedded computer) driving the parallel port to act like a floppy drive. There are some products out there that do it, but are mostly FPGA/microcontrollers.

Sounds like it could be a fun project. I'm going to look into it more.

~telengard

Something like this? (about half way down the page)

http://www.krishnasoft.com/sps.htm

Apparently the Amiga is able to connect a PC to its FDC and make the PC act as a giant floppy disk drive. Certainly a useful tool, especially if it were general in nature and could be used on FDC.

Thanks!

Andrew Lynch
 
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