Atari ST to iMac: How to Transfer Data?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jodeo, Jul 13, 2016.

  1. Jodeo macrumors regular

    Jodeo

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2003
    Location:
    Middle Tennessee
    #1
    Yes, it IS 2016 and now that floppy drives are all but extinct, I would like to transfer data from my old Atari ST computers to my iMac.

    The Atari STs have a variety of ports, including SCSI, MIDI, some sort of cartridge port, and a few others that are less likely candidates.

    I have a number of old word processing and MIDI files I would like to see if I can recover. The Ataris have no means to connect to the internet, (though I believe I have an old 2400 baud modem somewhere if there was some means of using that).

    Any practical suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks.
     
  2. hfg, Jul 13, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #2
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #3
    I think you have your work cut out for you. Have you used the Atari in a while? Is there any possibility of printing out the word processing files?

    What size floppy drive? I see on Amazon a number of USB 3.5" Floppy drives.
     
  4. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    A small rural village in western Poland
    #4
    Atari ST floppy format is directly readable by a PC computer and by any OS X that still has floppy drive KEXTs. I have an USB 3.5" floppy drive somewhere, can check if El Cap actually sees it.
     
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #5
    I don't know if this would work, might be worth a try:

    - Buy an old SCSI 128mb ZIP drive.
    - Also buy a USB 128mb ZIP drive.
    Both can be found cheaply on ebay.

    - Connect the SCSI ZIP to the Atari and load the ZIP disk with the files.
    - Connect the USB ZIP to the Mac, can it them mount the ZIP disk? (see note below)

    Note:
    Even if you don't have a "loaded disk driver" for the ZIP drive, it -might- be possible to "load the driver directly from disk". I would try to do this by:
    a. Power Down
    b. Connect ZIP drive
    c. Boot, with option key held down until startup manager appears
    d. Insert ZIP disk into drive
    e. The Mac OS should "scan the bus", looking for available disks, and load the driver of the ZIP drive.
    f. Now, boot to your regular startup disk
    g. Does the ZIP disk 'mount on the desktop?
     
  6. hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

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    Jan 26, 2008
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    A small rural village in western Poland
    #6
    Atari ST does not have a SCSI port. The provided ACSI port is a loose reinterpretation of SCSI and needs an adapter box.
     
  7. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #7
    hwoitek wrote:
    "Atari ST does not have a SCSI port. The provided ACSI port is a loose reinterpretation of SCSI and needs an adapter box."

    OK, didn't know that -- I was going by what the OP wrote in post #1.
     
  8. rigormortis, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016

    rigormortis macrumors 68000

    rigormortis

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2009
    #8
    I imagine scsi with scsi drive would cost more. , your best bet would be null modem cable and the RS232 port , I am surprised and shocked at this forum for not mentioning RS232. , you are going to need a Mac compatible RS232 to USB cable. This will require drivers. It might be easier to transfer them to a windows machine using RS232 to USB because of the software and driver support

    You will need a terminal programs on both computers to do the file transfer, the protocols range from X-modem to Y-modem to Z-modem. Don't use Ymodem-G because it does not correct errors.


    Back in the ST era the serial ports werent reliable for sending stuff @ 115200kbps because the UART wasn't good enough. So you might have to limit the speed\

    The printer port could also be used to transfer to the MAC .. But I don't imagine you could find software to do it.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 14, 2016 ---
    Parts list
    25 pin null modem adapter
    25 to 9 pin adapter
    9 pin cable
    9 pin to USB adapter
    Software drivers
    Terminal programs for both systems that support the same file transfer standards
     
  9. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    Yes, it's cumbersome, but possible. The potential problem is that the OP is talking about word processing files, so there's a possibility they're full of control characters that could potentially terminate the connection or stop the transmission. Even if that's not the case, you'd get the text but probably lose the formatting.
     
  10. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #10
    How many documents are involved?
    Are they all WP docs?

    If so, does the Atari have a printer attached (or attach-able)?

    The owner could print out all the docs, then take the printouts to the Mac, and use OCR to "scan them into files".

    Probably more trouble than it's worth.
    Might just be easier to stash the printouts somewhere safe.
     
  11. hwojtek, Jul 16, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2016

    hwojtek macrumors 6502a

    hwojtek

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
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    #11

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