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Oz KFest 2017 (Solid) State of the Nation


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My presentation at OzKFest 2017 was an update of my Oz KFest 2015 overview of solid state storage options for the Apple ][, ][+, //e, IIgs and //c line of retrocomputers (with occasional mention of other machines such as early Macs and Lisas). This included both modifications/add-ons to existing interfaces and via new storage solutions. The OzKFest 2017 conference was held on Bribie Island, Queensland, Australia from 31 August to 3 September 2017.

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Oz KFest 2017 (Solid) State of the Nation

  1. 1. SEAN McNAMARADATE BY 1 SEPTEMBER 2017 (SOLID) STATE OF THE NATION 2017 Oz KFest 2017                                                
  2. 2. Who am I? Computer user since 1980 (TRS-80) Apple ][ user since 1982 Mac user since 1984 Mac/Apple consultant since 1997 Apple ][ hoarder collector since 1998 WOzFest host since 2015 Contacts: europlus on @apple2europlus on Twitter Fair use of copyrighted material for non-profit educational purposes is claimed for this presentation.
  3. 3. My Retro Solid State Story Semi Virtual Diskette Focus Card with IDE to Compact Flash CFFA3000 SCSI Card Reader SCSI to Compact Flash and SD Floppy Emu UNISDISK Air
  4. 4. Why Solid State? Vintage magnetic media can fail (bit rot, mould, physical damage) Mechanical drives can fail Access to media from modern computers Difficulty sourcing new media Convenience/flexibility
  5. 5. Types of Solid State Storage for Retro Computers Compact Flash SD and its variants USB Servers, other devices acting as storage devices Custom devices I’m technically including some mechanical media
  6. 6. Types of Solid State Solutions for Retro Computers Device emulators Interface adaptors Server-style solutions
  7. 7. Device emulators/ controllers Semi Virtual Diskette CFFA/CFFA3000 UNISDISK/UNISDISK Air Focus Card MicroDrive/Turbo Classic IDE X/Profile Smartport Virtual Hard Drive Audio Sources Floppy Emu
  8. 8. Semi-Virtual Diskette (SVD) Originally designed for TRS-80 Disk drive emulator, disk images loaded over serial link from modern computer 256KB built-in memory Apple ][ support through adaptor cable Low availability originally, no longer available
  9. 9. CFFA3000 Hard drive, SmartPort and two-drive floppy interface emulation On screen controls CF and USB storage Optional external 
 switches to cycle 
 through disk images Difficult to get 
 (2017 run on the cards) NB: CFFA1 is a version 
 for the Apple 1 CFforAppleII/main.php
  10. 10. UNISDISK/UNISDISK Air Emulates 5¼" and SmartPort devices UNISDISK Air Series uses Toshiba FlashAir SD card to incorporate a web server for image transfer and management DIGITAL/english.html
  11. 11. Focus card An early (apparently the first) 
 IDE controller for slotted 
 Apple ][s (][, ][+, //e, IIgs) 44 pin IDE connector Block level access to media Optional rails to hold 
 2.5" drive in place Can power 2.5" drive Not strictly solid state, but often used with an IDE to CF adaptor
  12. 12. MicroDrive/Turbo IDE controller for the Apple IIgs 40 pin IDE connector Dual IDE support Block level access to media Supports DMA Includes a dual CF adaptor Requires ROM1 or ROM3 Not strictly solid state, but most often used with an IDE to CF adaptor
  13. 13. Classic IDE IDE controller for the Apple ][, 
 Apple //e and Apple IIgs 40 pin IDE connector Dual IDE support Block level access to media Supports DMA Not strictly solid state, but most often used with an IDE to CF adaptor
  14. 14. X/Profile Replaces proprietary drive interface device in Profile drive cases with Compact Flash or IDE drive
  15. 15. Smartport Virtual Hard Drive SmartPort device for mounting hard drive images from USB storage Very hard to get a hold of SmartportVHD/
  16. 16. Audio Sources Use any audio source with digitised cassette-style data in place of cassette drive Cheap and easy, but not particularly fast
  17. 17. Floppy Emu Originally designed as 
 floppy drive emulator for 
 early Macs Firmware is upgradable for enhanced functionality and additional device emulation Emulates an HD20 on external floppy port of compatible early Mac models (sizes larger than 20MB supported) Emulates both 5¼" and 3½" floppy drives for the Apple ][ Emulates SmartPort hard drives on the Apple IIc/IIgs Liron support+ProDOS 2.4.1 brings mass storage to pre-//e machines
  18. 18. Floppy Emu Updates Since Oz KFest 2015 Date Update 25 April 15 ROM 03 issues resolved 7 May 15 5¼" disk read support 21 May 15 5¼" disk write support 19 June 15 SmartPort HD support for Apple IIc/IIgs 13 July 15 SmartPort Firmware Upgrade 16 July 15 Universal Adapter for Floppy Emu to improve Model A Apple II support 24 July 15 Prepared GS/OS v6.0.2 image for Floppy Emu users 18 November 15 Minor update to firmware 4 January 16 Model B released 30 January 16 Minor update to firmware 10 February 16 Firmware update to support IIc+ 23 March 16 Firmware update to improve Mac HD functionality 4 June 16 10,000 DB-19 connectors arrive 25 January 17 Support for Apple /// described 26 January 17 Firmware update 20 July 17 Liron support (SmartPort for non-IIgs/IIc/IIc+, including HD) 11 August 17 Firmware update with SmartPort improvements 18 August 17 Describes Floppy Emu use on Bandai Pippin and Bondi Blue iMac
  19. 19. Interface Adaptors Allow old devices/cards/cases to use solid state media in place of spinning disks Compact Flash to IDE (40 and 44 pin) Compact Flash to SCSI SCSI2SD is popular
  20. 20. Server-style Solutions A2SERVER Apple Games Server gameserver/
  21. 21. CiderPress
 Disk image management DSKalyzer
 Cross-platform command line disk image manager Asimov Images, info What is the IIgs? Images, info Internet Archive Images, info Brutal Deluxe BenchmarkeD Apple IIgs ProDOS benchmarking
 BenchmarkeD Results Google Sheet Resources
  22. 22. Caveats Compatible file formats Block level vs disk image use Some brands/sizes cause issues Backup!
  23. 23. Acknowledgements Andrew Roughan, Steve Kazoullis and the other organisers of Oz KFest 2017 Tony Diaz for coming all the way from Up Over with such an extensive collection of gear and knowledge to share The developers of modern solid state solutions for retrocomputers – bringing new life to old computers