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Re: Archiving and Restoring Altair Floppy Disks

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  • deramp5113
    Thanks to Tom Sanderson and Martin Feberhard for providing assistance and their time in verification of these utilities on multiple platforms. Mike
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 16, 2013
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      Thanks to Tom Sanderson and Martin Feberhard for providing assistance and their time in verification of these utilities on multiple platforms.

      Mike


      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "deramp5113" <deramp5113@...> wrote:
      >
      > I have added a sub-folder in the "Altair .dsk" folder of the files section containing utilities to archive an Altair floppy to a PC, and to write an Altair floppy from an archive file stored on a PC.
      >
      > These utilities run on an Altair computer and transfer an image of the entire floppy disk (Altair 88-DCDD or MITS 3202 series drives) via a 2SIO serial port to/from a PC using the Xmodem protocol.
      >
      > The programs run stand-alone (no operating system required) and the archive and restore operation is completely independent of the disk content and format. The floppies can be from Altair BASIC, Altair DOS, CP/M, 3rd party programs, etc. -- it doesn't matter.
      >
      > The program Flop2PC transfers an image of an Altair floppy to a PC and the program PC2Flop writes a floppy using an image transferred from a PC. The Flop2PC utility was used to generate the .dsk files in the "Altair .dsk" folder of the files section.
      >
      > The archive files created are compatible with the Altair32 and Simh emulators.
      >
      > I will post CP/M based versions soon that will be easier to run since a bootloader won't have to be toggled in. The stand alone version of PC2Flop can be used to create a working CP/M disk (e.g., Burcon CP/M) to get started.
      >
      > Feel free to contact me with any questions.
      >
      > Mike
      >
    • mfeberhard
      For those of you who haven t taken a look at Mike s PC Altair floppy utilities, they are super-useful tools: If you are trying to bring up an Altair
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 22, 2013
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        For those of you who haven't taken a look at Mike's PC <--> Altair floppy utilities, they are super-useful tools:

        If you are trying to bring up an Altair floppy disk system for the first time, the odds are that either you don't have any MITS floppies, or you have some that your drives can't read. Most likely you can't read the floppies you have because your drive is out of alignment, or whomever sent you the disks has improperly aligned drives, or both.

        With Mike's software, you can write a complete Altair disk (or several disks) from a file that's archived here, in the Files section. If your hardware's working, you can then read and write your own floppies, using MITS software - you are up and running.

        Without an alignment disk, you have no hope of aligning your disk drive correctly - so if you give a floppy to another Altair owner, the odds are that he won't be able to read your disks.

        However, you could instead use Mike's tools to create a .DSK file, and send it via email. The other Altair owner could then use the same tools to create an exact copy of your disk, but matching the alignment of his own floppy drive.

        Awesome.

        By the way, Mike also wrote a nifty little tool that lets you control the Altair drive the way you need to, in order to align the drive. I happen to have an alignment disk, and with his tool, I was able to bring three drives (so far) into perfect alignment - they all read disks from each other, and read original MITS disks perfectly.

        Maybe Mike will post that little program too :-)

        Nice work, well-thought-out solution, Mike.

        -Martin

        --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "deramp5113" <deramp5113@...> wrote:
        >
        > Thanks to Tom Sanderson and Martin Feberhard for providing assistance and their time in verification of these utilities on multiple platforms.
        >
        > Mike
        >
        >
        > --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "deramp5113" <deramp5113@> wrote:
        > >
        > > I have added a sub-folder in the "Altair .dsk" folder of the files section containing utilities to archive an Altair floppy to a PC, and to write an Altair floppy from an archive file stored on a PC.
        > >
        > > These utilities run on an Altair computer and transfer an image of the entire floppy disk (Altair 88-DCDD or MITS 3202 series drives) via a 2SIO serial port to/from a PC using the Xmodem protocol.
        > >
        > > The programs run stand-alone (no operating system required) and the archive and restore operation is completely independent of the disk content and format. The floppies can be from Altair BASIC, Altair DOS, CP/M, 3rd party programs, etc. -- it doesn't matter.
        > >
        > > The program Flop2PC transfers an image of an Altair floppy to a PC and the program PC2Flop writes a floppy using an image transferred from a PC. The Flop2PC utility was used to generate the .dsk files in the "Altair .dsk" folder of the files section.
        > >
        > > The archive files created are compatible with the Altair32 and Simh emulators.
        > >
        > > I will post CP/M based versions soon that will be easier to run since a bootloader won't have to be toggled in. The stand alone version of PC2Flop can be used to create a working CP/M disk (e.g., Burcon CP/M) to get started.
        > >
        > > Feel free to contact me with any questions.
        > >
        > > Mike
        > >
        >
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