Need to read 800k floppies but no mac...

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by SatelliteBiker, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. SatelliteBiker macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #1
    Hi folks, great forum here!

    I used to have a MacPlus and then a IIsi and did a lot of hacking on them, but sold/donated them away quite a few years ago.

    The only bit I have saved from my old mac stuff was a book that included two 800k floppies of source code. For grins, I'd like to get that source. Web searches haven't turned up much about it (it is a book called _Templa Graphica_, by Sharam Hekmatpour).

    What options are there?
    One is finding a working old machine that can read 800k floppies, and transfer the files over serial or network. Another may be finding an external mac floppy that is either SCSI (any?) or USB.

    I appreciate any solutions or pointers to HW to do this. Thanks!
     
  2. FullmetalZ26 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    #2
    Give HFVExplorer a try if you have a PC with a floppy drive handy. Six or seven years ago, I found that program for copying files over to my old (pre-ethernet) PowerBook, and I still occasionally use it to transfer files over to my one-piece Macs. I'm pretty sure it reads 800k floppies as well. For the least hassle, put the disk in the drive, then run the program. Your disk should "mount" in the left pane of the program window.
     
  3. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    VA
    #3
    PCs will not read 800k Mac floppies. The old 400k and 800k floppy formats used a variable speed mechanism which the floppy drives in PCs simply do not support. I'm not aware of any USB floppy drive that supports this format either.
     
  4. racepres macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    central Michigan
    #4
    Or, send them to someone, whohas an early mac, to put em on a reg floppy, zip, or cd!!!
     
  5. SatelliteBiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #5
    Thanks for the replies, folks. I learned:

    The USB floppy drives that had a surge of popularity were basically PC floppies (1.4MB) and thus incapable of reading 400/800k.

    Dynan produced a SCSI floppy drive that could read 400/800, but these peripherals are quite rare.

    As mentioned above, the 400/800 floppies not only have variable speed, but write weaker magnetic AND have essentially a 524-byte sector versus the normal 512-byte sectors (the extra 12 bytes were used for sanity checking). Bottom line is, the 400/800 are a fundamentally different beast than PC floppies.

    I don't know anyone with an old mac, but maybe I can find someone locally. Thanks again, folks.
     
  6. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #6
    Yeah, basically you'll have to find an old Mac (or an Amiga, I believe that they can read them too).
     
  7. racepres macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2004
    Location:
    central Michigan
    #7
    If by chance you can't get it done locally, If you drop me a S.A.S.E. w/ the 800k floppy, My 550 performa and maybe the 7500 [ain't sure abt that one] can do the job for you... No sweat as these are readily accessable in our office, cause the original owner archived everything on floppy's. I have heard that this is a bad practice, but, personally have had more problems w/ burned CD's [mostly the ones done on a PC] than on these old [some from 92/93 ] Floppy's... MV
     
  8. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #8
    I seem to recall that the Commodore 64/128 drives could read 'em too. Now where is that 1581...

    B
     
  9. Anonymous Freak macrumors 601

    Anonymous Freak

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Location:
    Cascadia
    #9
    Yup, me too. I've got the floppies I used in high school ('91) that are still readable, but the CDs I burned in '98, and have been sitting in storage (so not at all scratched) are completely unreadable.

    Heck, my Mac System 5 disks from 1987-88 are still just fine.
     
  10. SatelliteBiker thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #10
    Got it!

    Thanks for the offer to do it, racepres, but I got what I needed.

    A coworker had a couple old macs, and one booted right up from the HD.

    This is total Rube Goldberg, but it worked:
    * He copied the source code I wanted from the floppy to an external HD. His floppy drive then decided to die. (It won't eject, nor will it identify inserted floppies anymore.)
    * I connected the HD to my work machine (that has SCSI), and booted a Ubuntu linux LiveCD. While I could have mounted the HD there, I didn't want to risk it and so made a direct disk image of the HD using "dd".
    * HD image saved to my ipod.
    * HD image transferred to my home linux box, mounted read-only using a loop device. (Similar to using .dmg files under OS X.)
    * Copied the files to my repository.

    The intermediate HD image copying to the ipod was necessary as I was actually hoping to mount that image under Basilisk, but I couldn't get that to work.

    Basilisk does a great job, and my old source code CD-ROMs are fully recognized in the emulator.
    Thanks folks
     

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