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AuthorTopic: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?  (Read 2392 times)

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Offline alberonn

Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« on: May 27, 2011, 08:51:36 PM »
I remember when I had my Amiga that the Amiga floppies could not be read due to the PeeCee's floppy controller. However, with a card such as the old Catweasel, you could use a "standard" PeeCee floppy drive to read and write disks.

My questions is if you have an external USB drive, could it be possible--likely with some additional software--to read and write to actual Amiga floppies on a Windoze/Lunux/ect. system? This would be great for emulators as well as for preservation purposes.

When I was the Amiga librarian of a users group, I realized that we had a big problem with the magnetic media degrading and our library was disappearing. I think it behooves us to save as much as we can before all the great Amiga software vanishes.

Offline CSixx

Re: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2011, 09:01:35 PM »
SPS is doing this already:

As for reading Amiga floppies, you either need a Catweasel, or you can try some of the hacks done by using two PC floppy drives. (sorry, I don't have the details)

There are also some other hardware alternatives to the Catweasel in development.

Offline alberonn

Re: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2011, 09:16:13 PM »
Cool, I was hoping someone was working on that project. I am also glad that there are Catweasel alternatives coming out there. I mean, when I had my A2000 and later my A4000, I liked Jens' stuff. However, I remember that the software for the Windoze box CW was not really finished from the reading I've done.

If we use a USB floppy drive, I was wondering is a special driver or some other software could be written that would allow for a much cheaper option to reading the classic disks or are there some issues preventing us from doing that?

Offline desiv

Re: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2011, 09:27:17 PM »
It's not likely that the Kryoflux (SPS) will work with emulators directly.
As I understand it, it's designed for making images and writing images...

Amiga 1200 w/ ACA1230/28 - 4G CF, MAS Player, ext floppy, and 1084S.
Amiga 500 w/ 2M CHIP and 8M FAST RAM, DCTV, AEHD floppy, and 1084S.
Amiga 1000 w/ 4M FAST RAM, DUAL CF hard drives, external floppy.

Offline commodorejohn

Re: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 09:42:45 PM »
To the best of my knowledge, your standard USB floppy is just USB mass storage as far as the computer is concerned - the drive itself handles everything below the sector level. So no, unless they've fitted them out with more capable controllers than strictly necessary and the firmware to handle non-DOS formats (mine certainly hasn't,) you're not going to be reading any Amiga disks on one.
Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/MT-32/D-10, Oberheim Matrix-6, Yamaha DX7/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini, Ensoniq Mirage/SQ-80, Sequential Circuits Prophet-600, Hohner String Performer

"\'Legacy code\' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

Offline ognix

Re: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2011, 10:51:51 PM »
I was thinking about this some time ago too, since now floppy drives are rarely mounted on new desktop PCs, and since years there are no drives in laptops.

In this view a new Catweasel USB would be great: not just a "USB dongle", if USB floppy drives are treated as mass storage devices through USB stack, but a complete external USB floppy drive with Catweasel interface between drive data bus and USB interface (just an idea for Jens).


Offline Zac67

Re: Amiga floppies on an external USB drive?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2011, 10:58:58 AM »
A "Catweazle USB" would definitely be very cool.
As to standard USB floppies there's no way you can make them read or write Amiga disks since the low level format is integrated, just as commodorejohn stated.
Of course the dual floppy hack only works with onboard FDC connected drives as well.