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CompactFlash / IDE Interface for Apple II 203

Posted by timothy
from the not-for-everyone dept.
jutpm writes: "This page describes a project to create an IDE / CompactFlash Interface card for 8 bit Apple II series of computers. The card is ProDOS 8 compatible and supports up to 64 Meg (two ProDOS 32Meg drives). I am very impressed with the work this guys work. Definitely a case of old technology meeting new."
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CompactFlash / IDE Interface for Apple II

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  • Why? (Score:2, Redundant)

    by damiam (409504)
    Aside from the coolness factor, why would anyone want to use CompactFlash on an Apple II?
    • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by sacherjj (7595)
      Seems like it would be easier to program the interface to the many Apple II emulators out there. Man, Apple II assembly seems so long ago. I guess it actually was so long ago...
    • Ok -- I'll just risk the off-topic mod-smack-down -- but Damn!

      How can the parent post be modded down as redundant when it is the 2nd post made? That just makes no sense.
      • Probably because the first post asks the same question.
      • How can the parent post be modded down as redundant when it is the 2nd post made?

        Posts which state the obvious are usually modded down as redundant, and rightly so. We don't need to be told that non-geeks would find this practically useless.
      • Re:Why? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Zeinfeld (263942) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @09:30PM (#2859418) Homepage
        How can the parent post be modded down as redundant when it is the 2nd post made? That just makes no sense.

        Perhaps because the question is so obvious it hardly needs to be stated.

        The IDE controller/emulator in the CF card is almost certainly many times faster and more powerful than the Apple II.

        Still I can see a reason for building a device like that. The Apple ][ disk drives were 5 1/4" and sloooooow. Maintaining them is tricky and the media is rapidly reaching its sell by date. The interface would be worth it simply to be able to take a library of Apple ][ floppies and read them onto a modern media.

        The apple II might be somewhat defunct, but there are still important bits of data stored on Apple II disks, like experimental results, audit reports and the like. The kind of information that you simply don't want to lose. Unless perhaps your accountants are you know who and your tax strategy consists of forming 861 shell companies and making large campaign contributions...

    • Well...I personally have three CoCo 3s, and I wouldn't mind a flash card to move data among them. Mark Marlette of Cloud-9 is working on the ultimate CoCo 3 add-on card, to support 2 Mbytes of RAM, flash, ethernet, two good serial ports, clock, an AT keyboard interface, SCSI, IDE, and MIDI. (I may have overlooked some things.) He's already done SCSI, the 2 Mbyte RAM hack, the clock, and the AT keyboard interface on other addons in the past, so I'm confident he can do it. IDE's already been done for the CoCo at least a couple of times--once as a Glenside Color Computer Club project, and once by a fellow who has done an amazing number of CoCo hardware projects on his own.

      I have deposits down on three of the cards, one per CoCo of course. Now, if only someone would put one of the 6809, or better still, 6309, reimplementations on a FPGA or ASIC...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 17, 2002 @06:56PM (#2858496)
    For god's sake, man! Get yourself a newer computer!
    • No doubt. Or just print yourself [slashdot.org] one.
    • In related news, NVidia announced today it's providing binary-only driver support for its line of GeForce video cards used in wooden abacuses. When asked about this, a company spokesperson replied "Well, we know there's virtually no market for putting a 3-D accelerated device driver for an analog computer without a display, but what the hell, it's a slow newsday on Slashdot, so why not get the geeks drooling?"
  • Finally! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Drakula (222725) <tolliver@ie[ ]org ['ee.' in gap]> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @06:56PM (#2858497) Homepage Journal
    The last piece I need for my Apple ][e mp3 jukebox!

    j/k
    • If we head down this road =) , would an Apple IIe have the horsepower to decode mp3's in realtime? I'm tending not to think so.
      Has anyone tried this? =)
      • Re:Finally! (Score:2, Funny)

        by Yakko (4996)
        Quoting from Dilbert here in regards to the time required to decode an mp3:

        I don't have an exact timeline, but it's about the same time the Sun becomes a cold dark chunk of coal the size of your forehead.
        I think you'd at least be able to go grab a pizza before you hear anything. :o)
      • Re:Finally! (Score:2, Informative)

        by jerrytcow (66962)
        would an Apple IIe have the horsepower to decode mp3's in realtime

        Even Macs with a 68K CPU aren't fast enough (all PPC Macs can though), so if your question is for real, then no, the 1.8 MHz MOS 6502 won't cut it.
        • Re:Finally! (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Toraz Chryx (467835)
          I think a 68060 would probably be just about fast enough...

          'except no mac ever actually shipped with one of those :/

          (Amiga's did though :)
          • Re:Finally! (Score:2, Informative)

            Amigas never shipped with an 060 either. Those were after market boards.

            And to reply to the parent post, while an Apple IIe could never decode mp3's, I see no reason why someone couldn't design a real sound card for the thing, with enough co-processor power to do that also. It wouldn't be impossible, even to intercept the "bell" device in system memory, and play a nicer fm tone, giving it backwards compatibility.

            Oh, and as for the questions regarding compact flash, he chose that undoubtedly, because CF is actually the same as IDE electrically. Only the mechanical interface is different. If you were to make a converter cable, windows or linux would even recognize it as a valid /dev/hdx device.
            • Re:Finally! (Score:2, Interesting)

              by Yakko (4996)
              It wouldn't be impossible, even to intercept the "bell" device in system memory, and play a nicer fm tone, giving it backwards compatibility.

              Hrrmm... I'm now thinking of ways to do that.

              1) Watch for accesses to $C030. The problem here is that any program accessing the speaker this way gets intercepted.
              2) Alter 3 bytes starting at $FF3A to jump to your routine. The chief problem with this is you'd be having to alter ROM. Not impossible; just a little more difficult, depending on which Apple ][ you have.
              3) Use the Language Card's version of the Monitor ROM at all times, and have its $FF3A patched. Big drawback here is you'll lose the nice bell the instant you want to use ProDOS. :o)

              Thought-provoking, tho...

              • Any program that accesses the speaker would be a good candidate for interception. Even if they only want the beep, we could give them a choice of beeps, for instance. And if they try to play music with the thing, it's difficult, but not impossible, to intercept that, and generate FM tones that sound alot better (tough because you have no idea how it should sound, until it's almost too late to play it) Imagine playing donkey kong, but with better music. Hell, with a real sound card, and a real hard drive for the thing... it's halfway to being usable in a modern sense.
            • Way back in the day, some smart cookie wrote an audio digitizer for the Apple ][ series. Plug an audio source into the cassette jack, and the software did a 1-bit digitization of it. It could even play back though the Apple's speaker. Sure, the audio quality was crummy, but hey... It was digital audio. It was cool. I think I typed the assembly listing in by hand from some magazine.

              And Ozzy's "Iron Man" came out sounding pretty much the same as the original album...

              Just last night some buddies and I were talking about Stupid Networking Tricks. We decided that writing a PPP-over-cassette-port hack wouldn't be too difficult. Wonder what kind of bandwidth you could get?

        • Re:Finally! (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Wrong. There is a port of mpg123 for 68k mac. However, you need at least a 68040LC to use it.
        • IIRC, some guy wrote an mp3 player for a NEXTSTATION in 68k assembly. So it's possible, if painful.
      • A standard one? Probably not.

        But I imagine that if you had a chip fab available, it wouldn't be particularly difficult to apply modern manufacturing techniques to develop a single CPU package with multiple, multi-gigahertz 6502 processors.

        Who said it had to be stock hardware? ;)
      • would an Apple IIe have the horsepower to decode mp3's in realtime?

        You might be able to reprogram the IDE controller... it is more powerful. Heh.

        Or, much more likely, get a PlayStation MP3 decoder slap on the back style chip and interface that. Wire it in so the thing interfaces through a Game Boy, and strip it all down so it's portable.

        Instant Karma's gonna get you...

        --
        Evan

  • I thought it read Compaqflash. I was like, "why the hell would anyone wanna use Compaq? They are mainly proprietary." *snort* Ah, time to make the donuts.
  • by diwolf (537997) <<moc.smetsysaremalac> <ta> <flowid>> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @06:58PM (#2858515)
    When I was a lad, and my brother had a C64, and I bought an Apple //c, he laughed at me because my Apple only went 'beep, beep, beep' while his C64 played music, and had better graphics. Well, the jokes on him now! I can still use my Apple to play Asteroid--now with 64MB!! Geeze, I can load Appleworks into memory like 500 times, and still have room left over!

    Boy, technology sure has come a LONG way!
    • I can still use my Apple to play Asteroid--now with 64MB!! Geeze, I can load Appleworks into memory like 500 times, and still have room left over!

      These are used as storage (ala hard-drives)... not memory (ala RAM).
    • Have you ever checked out the IDE64 [volny.cz] project or the CMD product portfolio [cmdweb.de]? I'd love to have those for my C64, but I'll save the money for a G4 turboboard for my Amiga 3000. :-) Retro is cool!
      • You'd have to settle for a g2 board for the 3k, it's limited in which accelerators it will accept. And if you haven't already, PLEASE open the thing and rip out the original battery. I just bought my 3000 a week ago, for $10, thinking I had such a great bargain. A 1/6th of the motherboard now has blue fuzz, and it will take me at least 40 hours of free time to repair it correctly. Damn you C=, for using cheap batteries (and murdering the coolest computer platform ever).
  • IDE / CompactFlash Interface card for 8 bit Apple II series of computers

    What, for when you absolutely, positively have to access a ton of information very, very slowly?

    OK, I know, it's not the end result so much as it is the process. Still seems rather odd.

    • What, for when you absolutely, positively have to access a ton of information very, very slowly?

      Yeah, you mean like when surfing the web?
    • by Yakko (4996)
      What, for when you absolutely, positively have to access a ton of information very, very slowly?

      Even if the data gets presented thru ProDOS and to the system at 50kB/sec, it's still a whopping improvement over what most Apple IIe users use now: the disk][ and ProDOS8's disk][ driver. This is like having a BUNCH of copies of /RAM all accessible as one volume, and just as fast as /RAM... and you don't have to worry about losing its contents when powering off or waiting for /RAM to load when you boot.

      I wonder if it's SmartPort-compatible. . .

  • by sid_vicious (157798) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @07:01PM (#2858544) Homepage Journal
    Can you punch a hole in the corner of the flash card and flip it over?
  • ...but usually when I see an article or bit of "old-meets-new" tech news, it has a real purpose. Like having a better way to get old heirchical (sp?) data off a legacy system mainframe. But this piece leads to the question of "Who needs to expand their Apple II?"

    The Apple II was a desktop system, not a big mainframe. I have my doubts that many critical systems were built for the Apple II. I doubt even more that those critical systems, if they ever existed at all, weren't converted to some other system years ago.

    Again, I don't want to take away from the sheer "geek-cool" factor of this. It's a neat little technological achievement. But, for the life of me, I can't think of a useful thing to accomplish with it.
    • I have my doubts that many critical systems were built for the Apple II.

      Since the Apple II was an early personal computer and highly hackable, I knew of many that got pressed into service as data collection devices in labs and so on, not to mention as word processors or small databases where some analog solution would have been used otherwise since the cost of your critical systems would have been prohibitive.

      Just because you didn't do anything useful with it doesn't mean others didn't.
    • I have my doubts that many critical systems were built for the Apple II.

      I remember once talking to a computer dealer who was one of the last to sell and support Apple II hardware in Canada. He said he had a customer who came in about once a year and bought an Apple II system. He had some system (probable not "critical" in the purest sense, but important anyway) that ran on the Apple. It was cheaper and easier for him to have a good store of backup hardware than port the system up to something else.

      You never know where old machines are running in forgotten corners of the world. I do agree that most of them would have been long since ported over to current hardware.

    • by joe90 (48497) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @07:50PM (#2858899) Homepage
      The state owned TV company in NZ (TVNZ [nzoom.com]) up until very recently (Q4, 2001) used an Apple ][+ or Apple //e to power their Teletext system (a simplex news & info terminal built into most TV's sold in NZ). They've recently upgraded to a Sun Solaris host to provide the same functionality. The reason: they were no longer able to get spare parts and the system did start to become somewhat unreliable.

      So while the system may not have been critical, it did provide a public service, produced revenue and worked moderately well - hardware faults excepted.

      It wouldn't surprise me that much to hear that other organisations still use older technology to deliver a solution. After all, why fix it unless it's broken?
      • I never knew that ran on IIe's, for some reason I always thought it ran on BBC computers, live and learn I suppose.

        I still reckon teletext is a pretty good way to get snippets of news, just wish I could get it on a web page some times.
    • Usefullness? Try these...

      Teaching the guy who designed it, how hardware really works, how to manage a complex hw project, etc.

      Allowing those that can't afford $1000 for a modern pc, to still be able to do something useful.

      Keeping a computer out of a landfill, that while cool, has who knows how many toxic metals and chemicals in it (cadmium in the plastic shell comes to mind).

      Historical reasons, by making it possible to easily and quickly backup 5.25" media that is quickly succumbing to bitrot.

      Making it all the more possible to port linux to the Apple II, and don't you dare call it ridiculous. Progress has been made porting ELKS to the z80, and I see no reason that the 65c02 is any less worthy or capable.

      The truth of the matter is, if I had to use an Apple IIe as my only computer, it wouldn't be that painful with enough upgrades like this. I spend better than 50% of my computer time in console mode, and when I don't, all I have open is Netscape and a dozen terminal windows. And as far as your game fix goes, I hope I can find the time someday to design the SVGA card I want to do for the Apple. As a teaser, just think 100mhz StrongARM doing accelerated blitting and vector functions, and maybe even to the point that Doom would run on the thing.
    • You have never worked for a government contracter have you? We still had critical systems running on C64s as of two years ago. I think they still do actually.
      • This would not surprise me. Most people who actually have working systems doing a job know that, despite popular myth, computers don't become obsolete. They break down eventually, but until they do, they can still run all the software they ever could at the same speed they always did. If an Apple II was fine to do a job in 1979, it's still fine to do that same job in 2002. If the job requirements haven't changed, and it's still working, why waste money upgrading to something you don't need and throw away a perfectly good solution because some idiots think if it's not the latest and greatest hardware it's useless?
  • by sniepre (517796) <sniepre@gmail.com> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @07:02PM (#2858555) Homepage
    just think how much space 64mb is to an apple ][e.... no more flipping disks!

    true the technology of the host machine is slightly outdated but hell.... you could probably fit one's entire software collection onto a single card, and not have to worry about changing a disk. program the flash and just pop it in, run whatever you like.....

    my question is , is there an easy way to access the filesystem other than on an apple?
  • Without the experience I had with 6502 assembly language on the Apple II trying to get a gambling game suite called "Place Your Bets" to respond to keypresses and draw graphics faster than Applesoft Molasses Basic [everything2.com], I never would have had the knowledge of the 6502 processor necessary for NES development [parodius.com].

    That's funny... the last computer I owned that I didn't write a Tetris clone for was an Apple II.

  • If there was enough interest in this project I would love to make a small batch of boards to sell to those interested. But I would need at least 10 orders, and it may be hard to find 10 people interested in something like this

    Looks like you spoke too soon pal, bet you'll wish you hadn't asked in a few hours ;-)
    • > > If there was enough interest in this project I would love to make a small batch of boards to sell to those interested. But I would need at least 10 orders, and it may be hard to find 10 people interested in something like this
      >
      > Looks like you spoke too soon pal, bet you'll wish you hadn't asked in a few hours ;-)

      In a few hours, it'll be "I need to sell at least 100 to pay my bandwidth bill!"

  • I spent my first few glances at this wondering whether it was more likely that someone would put a compact flash slot into an Apple II or whether someone would put an Apple II (equivalent) into a compact flash device. I wonder if the latter wouldn't be marginally more useful: got an old Apple II program? Run it on your handheld.
    • Ah! But you can! Go here [geocities.com] and you can download a fully functional Apple ][+ emulator for your PocketPC. It's great stuff and I believe the current version even works with the Targus stowaway keyboard.
    • I spent my first few glances at this wondering whether it was more likely that someone would put a compact flash slot into an Apple II or whether someone would put an Apple II (equivalent) into a compact flash device.

      You mean an emulator? There are tons of Apple ][ emulators already.

      What I'd like to see is a complete Apple ][ on a single chip. The ][+ schematics used to come with the computer, and I think 65C02 cores are freely available. You could easily fit an entire Apple ][, along with disk controllers, video, etc in a single $200 FPGA. Screw emulators, I want a hard Apple ][ clone!
  • is finished. :)

    LOAD "*",8

    (retrieve munchies from fridge)

    (complain that the 1541 drive is a slow P.O.S.)

    (fall asleep)

    READY.
    • Yeah right:
      LOAD "BRUCELEE",8,1
      (plug back the second joystick with a faulty button)
      ERROR READING DRIVE: TOO OLD CRAP, GET A LIFE!
      READY.
    • Thats:
      LOAD "*" ,8,1

      ,1. Don't forget the ,1!

      Commodore 64 machines were fun. Some of my favorite games were on the Commodore. Games like Jumpman, Racing Destruction Set, Skyfox, and Mail Order Monsters.

      Man, those honestly were some great days. I wouldn't be a computer professional without those Commodore games.
    • RUN

      (cyan screen)

      "Anana Visita. (hisss) Shtay a ile. Shtay foreveva.."

      - "Wow dude. That sounded so real. You could actually hear words and stuff."

      (step, step, step, step)

      "Deshtroy chim my row-bots"

      - "Woah cool."

      "aaaahhhhhhhhahhhhahhahhhh..."

      - "oops."

      = "Dude, do that again - that was awesome."

      - "No way man. I'm trying to win."

      = "come on, that was great. Do it again."

      - "Okay, just one"

      "AAAAAhhhahhaaaaaahhhhahhhhhhahhhhhhhhhh..."

      - "Okay, that was kinda cool."

      "AAAAaaaahhhhahhahaaaaaaaahaaaaaa..."

      = "Dude, this game is totally awesome. Say, are those dalek-things or whatever they are dangerous?"

      "BBBzzzzzzttttztzztt."

      - "Yep."

      = "That was kinda cool. But fall off the screen again, that was great."

      "Aaaaahaaaaaaaaaaahhhhahaahaaaa...."

      ...[A little later]....

      - "What on earth is that?"
      = "I think a bowling ball is chasing you."
      - "Uhhhm - right."


    • LOAD "WINDOWS.BSC",8,1

      (Start Associates)
      (Finish Ph.D.)
      (Retire)
      (Swim the Sytx)
      (Golf with Jesus)

      READY
  • We used to have a saying in my family about our Apple II Plus. It was something along the lines of "Apple? Or Japple?"

    I would always say Japple just to piss my father off. He sure was crazy.
  • I'd have to say that the Apple II doesn't make a very good web server.
  • Anybody know if this is IIGS compatible? I'd like to get my old friend fired up again with some 'large' storage. SCSI cards are hard to come by for the Apples.
  • by TotallyUseless (157895) <{moc.cam} {ta} {tot}> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @07:10PM (#2858607) Homepage Journal
    The guy that did this had written into the letters section and sent a link to Woz. Woz seemed impressed, understandably so. The funny thing is that this is considered mass storage for the ][e. For those that still put their old apples through the motions, this could save them a lot of disk swapping, as they could more than likely fit their entire software and data library onto a single 64meg card. neat!
    • > The funny thing is that this is considered mass storage for the ][e. For those that still put their old apples through the motions, this could save them a lot of disk swapping, as they could more than likely fit their entire software and data library onto a single 64meg card. neat!

      I've been looking for a good use for an old 8M CF card.

      Having 128 64K memory images of a ][+ (or 64 128K //e images with the bank-switching) would be great for retro-gaming. Get tired of playing one game, save the RAM image and continue tomorrow!

      Having about 57 floppy images on an 8M card wouldn't hurt either, especially for Wizardry V, which came on something like 5 double-sided floppies.

      Plus, for "hack value alone", this is one hell of a cool hack.

  • I can't imagine the motivation behind this... I loved my old Apple IIe but damn that was like 15 years ago!

    Of course, you can never get too much Oregon Trail... I wonder how fast it runs with these mods!
  • The controller in the harddisk is probably 10 times faster than the 2MHz 6502, so isn't this really an apple II emulator for an IDE drive/CF card???
  • by tempmpi (233132) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @07:32PM (#2858743)
    Compact Flash cards are controlled like a ide harddrive, wouldn't it be much easier to use a other flash media with a much simpler serial interface ? Like a smart media, multi media card or a memory stick ? (memory stick specs are now for free on www.memorystick.org)
    • Yes, I was thinking that too.

      Serial interfaces are especially nice on the Apple because you don't have to build an expansion card to talk to them---you can use the game port. There are four outputs and three inputs there. You'd need a level shifter to get the voltages down to the 3.3v range those flash cards want.

      I just wrote out a little 6502 assembly bitbanger to talk to a purported SPI device on an Apple game port, and it looks like it's around 40 cycles per bit. So that's around 3kBytes/sec, raw. Not too bad for a 1 chip interface that doesn't take up a slot!

      I don't remember if the analog electronics on the gameport inputs let you pump bits that fast. But it sure would be cool to have a single module plugged into the gameport, with 64M of storage---on a package smaller than the 6502.

  • for a couple of dollars so I could go through my old collection of stuff. I used to program assembly on the Apple II, and was writing a CP/M-like OS for the 6502, which promptly got scrapped when I got my '286 way back when.

    I want to see what I was up to then, so I got the IIc.

    Only problem is, some of the memory is bad... need to get some replacements... unfortunately, soldering them into the board isn't going to be fun at all.
  • Apple ][ MP3 system (Score:3, Informative)

    by dstone (191334) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @07:40PM (#2858805) Homepage
    I don't believe there's a flavour of Apple ][ that can decode MP3 streams real-time in software. However, an Apple ][ should be able to easily run a GUI (and now IDE filesystem), and just send the resulting raw MP3 bitstream to to an inexpensive outboard decoder chip. (Some buffering for constant data rate may also be required).

    FWIW, if anyone wants to take the leap, the standard homebrew decoder chips used today seem to be one of these...
    Micronas MAS3509F Compressed-Audio Decoder [micronas.com]
    SGS Thompson STA013 MP3 Decoder [st.com]
    The Micronas chip is newer and doesn't require an external DAC.
    • In software? I doubt it. My 33 MHz NeXTStation Color Turbo can't do high bitrate MP3 decodes, even when using the onboard DSP. The Apple II has a couple magnitudes less horsepower than that 68040 + DSP system.

      Still, I have to appreciate the persevernce of the folks who are still hand-opimizing code for those 10-year old beautiful black boxes.
    • by danb35 (112739)
      Around 1993-94, I remember a vendor (allegedly) working on a DSP card. If memory serves, it was to have had a 16 MHz or 20 MHz Motorola 56k-series DSP on board, along with I don't remember what else (probably some RAM at least). I don't remember ever seeing one, or hearing that they'd gone into production, although it certainly sounded cool at the time. Don't know that it would have been very useful for anything, though (I recall suggestions of software modems, but that's about it). Anyway, this probably could have done the trick...
  • I am very impressed with the work this guys work.

    I am also very impressed!!!! ;)

  • Wait... that's...

    The Parachute for Palm III/Handeras, a PCMCIA controller over serial port. Hey, if they can port it to serial port (shouldn't be too hard), you'll have generic access to compact flash/IDE.

    Someone pass the Basic Stamp II's...
  • i got tons of SST Compact Flash around (SuperFlash)

    now i have a use!!
  • I built a flatbed scanner port for my Timex-Sinclair over the weekend. I can scan in any post stamp ever made.
  • by option8 (16509) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:14PM (#2859040) Homepage
    this sounds like a really good hack, by my own definition of Good Hack, which is "do something nobody else has done yet, that's really hard and at the same time, almost completely useless to most people"

    up there in my book would have to be the MP3 player for Newton MessagePads [40hz.org] (which i installed, and it works really well. streaming MP3 on a newton? oh yeah...)

    though, along with the ATA flash card driver [kallisys.com] for Newtons, it almost turns my MessagePad 2100 [newtontraveler.com] into my portable MP3 player. saves me $400 for an iPod (though i'm lacking about 4.9G of the storage...)

    kudos to the hack, and massive props to apple][ users still out there who can take advantage of this and all the cheap storage of the new CF cards.
  • by mbpark (43131) <mbpark AT diginexus DOT com> on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:28PM (#2859091) Homepage
    It's about time Apples caught up to the Commodore 64 ;).

    IDE64 [volny.cz] has given them that ability for a while, since all you need is a CF to IDE adapter, and you can have up to two 8 GB harddrives on a c64, or a few CF cards, or a couple of IBM Microdrives :).

    16GB on that machine is completely nuts. You could quite possibly store every c64 game ever made (which I estimate at over 30,000 .d64 images total) and still have room left over for the applications.

    Of course, you can go for the 8GB HD and a CD-ROM :). Some of those screenshots are pretty nuts. I can't imagine loading the Windows 95 CD-ROM using LOAD"$",8

    Meanwhile, Nate [kscable.com] has nearly hacked together an MP3 player for the c64 based on the MAS chip. That, and a quickcam, and a few other things. Look at the C= projects page. That's some wicked stuff.

    Now that's a hacker's machine. Give them enough time and they even get a workalike UNIX with a GUI and IRC client [slashdot.org], as well as a 20Mhz CPU, 16MB RAM, and many other cool things. From what I hear, XGA video and PCI are next.

    I always did like these hackers of older systems. I would enjoy seeing those optimization techniques applied to modern code and compilers, especially gcc :).
  • Mirror (Score:5, Interesting)

    by seanadams.com (463190) on Thursday January 17, 2002 @08:37PM (#2859130) Homepage
    I've mirrored it at the URL below. Photos will be up as soon as they've finished downloading. :)

    http://www.slimdevices.com/CFforAppleII [slimdevices.com]

    I dunno if my server's going to hold up any better, but it's worth a shot. :)

    Just in case, a couple snippets from the page:

    ast Update: Jan 17, 2002 - 11:40am CST

    Project Introduction:

    This page describes a project to create an IDE / CompactFlash Interface card for 8 bit Apple II series of computers. The
    card is ProDOS 8 compatible. I did this project over the span of several months. Although it took much longer than
    expected, it was a fun project. This project is very much a case of old technology (the
    Apple II computer) meets new (IDE / CompactFlash cards and Altera CPLDs).
    My reasoning for this project is described in detail in the last section, but suffice it to say, I
    wanted to be able to pull out my old Apple and use it from time to time to reminisce about the
    early days of personal computers. I wanted a reliable way to store my Apple II programs and
    data files for many years to come. Due to the Apple II's floppy drives long term reliability
    prospects and my general laziness, I decided a mass storage device is what I needed.

    If there was enough interest in this project I would love to make a small batch of boards to
    sell to those interested. But I would need at least 10 orders, and it may be hard to find 10 people interested in something
    like this. I can be reached at rich@dreher.net
    Currently I have only built a prototype, which means no extensive testing has been done
    yet.

    The Apple II was an excellent example of an open system, with unheard-of-today
    documentation like system schematics, firmware listings, and peripheral design tips. Indeed
    the only thing that was totally hidden was the source for the BASIC interpreter - "AppleSoft"
    written by giga-monopoly Microsoft. In the spirit of the Apple II this project is completely
    open.

    Project Definition:

    A CompactFlash/IDE Interface for 8 bit Apple II family of computers
    Support for up to 64 Meg, (two ProDOS 32Meg drives)
    On board EPROM for the ProDOS 8 driver code
    Allow booting ProDOS directly from the Interface card (for a floppy-less system)
    Current version of driver code requires a 65C02. (IIe Enhanced or later)

    Project Prototype Hardware:

    My first prototype used no discreet 74HCTxxx series parts and all logic was in the CPLD, but due to several unrelated
    problems with construction and the consumption of all PLD resources, I decided to build a second prototype with using
    74hct373 parts, this time paying more careful attention to power distribution. I still believe it would be easy to eliminate
    the discreet 74xxx series parts if you used a larger PLD, like the EPM70128S. Although it might not be very cost
    effective.

    Here is the schematic I developed AFTER completing my prototype. That means this schematic has not been tested. If
    you decide to build this project, you might want to check with me for any changes first. Also if you find any mistakes
    please let me know. Project Schematic: ORCAD Capture Format

    If you just want a quick look at the schematic click here to view a 640k jpeg of the schematic. Modem users: sorry about
    the size, but I wanted it to be clear and readable as possible.

    Prototype Parts List:

    1 - SanDisk CompactFlash 64Meg or 32Meg
    1 - CompactFlash to IDE conversion board - Adtron SDDA-03 available from EMJ Embedded
    1 - ISA bus prototype board (trimmed to fit into the apple bus) Jameco part #21531
    1 - 44pin PLCC socket. Jameco part #71618
    1 - 44pin PLCC wire-wrap socket. (http://smt-adapter.com/ - part #44PG-W or similar)
    1 - Altera EPM7064SLC44-10F
    1 - 27128 EPROM
    2 - 74HCT373 transparent latch
    2 - 74HCT245 bus transceiver
    7 - 22ohm 1/8w resistors
    5 - 0.1uf capacitors non-polarized (used for power supply bypass)
    3 - 1.0uf capacitors non-polarized (used for power supply bypass)
    10 - 30 pin wire wrap SIPP sockets. Jameco part #104053 (there were some leftover)
    misc wire wrap tools and wire
  • Imagine...64mb of hard storage on a space less than an eighth of the side of my RamWorks III 1mb board!

    Now I wish I had a ZipChip and the entire GEOS line of software...

  • The site seems to run off that Apple II... no response for me :(

    Anyone got the content mirrored?
  • Are they running their web site off of said CF card? ;-)
  • ... building a Dolby Pro-Logic encoder for an Edison Cylinder Phonograph [loc.gov]
  • ...there has been a 'hack' released to hook up your TI-99A to a cable modem.
  • CF to PIC interface (Score:2, Informative)

    by pacc (163090)
    A CF to PIC interface [chipcenter.com] was described in Circuit Cellar a while ago. A word of caution if you plan something like this is that the 8-bit ATA mode might or might not be supported on newer CF cards. (What! I NEEDED 256 MB)

    I found the link att Jeff Frohwein's [devrs.com]

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader

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