[Coco] CoCo3 questions / Cloud 9 Super IDE interface
devries.bob at gmail.com
Wed Dec 6 22:14:42 EST 2006
The 5.25 drive from the BBC should be compatible with the coco controller. I
have a coco drive attached to my BBC-B and it works just fine. Of course you
do need a coco disk controller, as the controller is not built-in as it is
in the BBC.
Regards, Bob Devries, Dalby, Queensland, Australia
Isaiah 50:4 The sovereign Lord has given me
the capacity to be his spokesman,
so that I know how to help the weary.
my blog: http://bdevries.invigorated.org/
----- Original Message -----
From: "Joel Ewy" <jcewy at swbell.net>
To: "CoCoList for Color Computer Enthusiasts" <coco at maltedmedia.com>
Sent: Thursday, December 07, 2006 1:02 PM
Subject: Re: [Coco] CoCo3 questions / Cloud 9 Super IDE interface
> Steve.Lancaster at Moorestephens.com wrote:
>> Hello all
> Hey there,
>> I am a UK based Dragon 32 owner. I have found out more and more about the
>> CoCos (partially Dragon compatible) and am looking to get a CoCo 3 (a
>> model from Cloud 9 appears to be a good starting point).
>> As regards the CoCo itself:
>> 1) Is a floppy drive necessary for a CoCo? - I ask because 5.25 inch
>> are hard to source and although I have a 5.25 floppy drive (that I use on
>> a BBC Master computer) I'm not sure if it is CoCo compatible.
> Most people categorize 3.5" drives as floppies, even though the housing
> for the floppy disk inside is rigid. I use 1.44M drives with 720K disks
> on CoCos. I suppose one could also use 1.44M floppy disks as well, but
> the result will be even more wasted space. OS-9 can format floppy disks
> to 720K using unmodified CoCo disk controllers. Stock RS-DOS (Disk
> Extended Color BASIC) can format a floppy to ~176K at 35 tracks on a
> single side. Patches are available on the Internet to allow BASIC to
> use the second side of a floppy as drive 2 or 4, resulting in a single
> disk having two separate ~176K file systems. Some patches and alternate
> DOSes allow the user to format more than 35 tracks as well. So you
> really aren't limited to the 5.25" disks or drives.
>> Going back to the Super IDE does anybody know if it is possible to
>> transfer .dsk images to the CF card by drag and drop (on a PC with a card
>> reader) or does the transfer have to be done using a CoCo emulator or a
>> utility like Omniflop.
> I don't think the former would work. The CoCo would have to be able to
> read an MS-DOS FAT filesystem as a first prerequisite. There is an
> MS-DOS file manager available for NitrOS-9, and I believe there are
> utilities for reading/writing DOS floppy disks under RS-DOS, but I doubt
> these latter would work with a hard drive / CF card, as the drive
> geometry and capacity is likely hard coded for 360K floppies. Assuming
> you could read the FAT filesystem, you would next need to be able to
> mount the disk image, or at least copy the contents to a local file
> system or disk. I guess there are some utilities for reading disk
> images on the CoCo, but I doubt they would be as seamless as one would
> If you have a PC running MS-Windows, you could use Cloud-9's DriveWire.
> This isn't quite the same of course, but it does get data from the PC to
> the CoCo quickly, and allows you to access the contents of disk images
> directly over the wire. Then you could just copy the files to your CF
> card for quicker local storage.
> In fact, it looks as if you could get away without using a floppy
> entirely using DriveWire, with one caveat. You need a floppy to load
> the DriveWire software onto the CoCo, at least initially. However,
> DriveWire does include ROM images that could allow you to keep the CoCo
> DriveWire software in an EPROM so that you don't need to load it from
> floppy. Since Cloud-9 has an EPROM burning service, I'm sure they would
> be able to send it to you in that form, so you wouldn't need to have a
> CoCo floppy drive or controller at all.
> I don't (yet) have DriveWire, but the documentation on Cloud-9's web
> site says you can put the EPROM in the CoCo's BASIC ROM socket, or in a
> disk controller's ROM socket. It's not entirely clear to me whether the
> DriveWire ROM replaces or augments (Disk) BASIC -- ie, is it a patched
> version of BASIC, or does it need to coexist somehow with your existing
> BASIC ROMs? If you have an old game cartridge you don't play (or which
> you can convert to a disk file) you might be able to remove the ROM and
> use that as a housing for your DriveWire EPROM. You'd either need to
> find a 24-pin EPROM, which isn't so common anymore, or hack together a
> socket converter (which you can probably find instructions for on the
> Web or in mail list archives) to use a 28-pin EPROM in the cartridge PC
> board, which is intended for a 24-pin chip. Or you might be able to
> find a project board from (the UK equivalent of) Radio Shack that could
> be cut down to make your own cartridge board. A little scrap ribbon
> cable, a 28-pin socket, and a .1uf capacitor should do the trick. Heck,
> maybe Cloud-9 even has cartridge boards to sell?
>> Obviously I don't want to buy something and then find I don't have the
>> knowledge or skills to use it.
>> Any general advice or comments will be greatly appreciated.
>> Best wishes
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