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[Altair Computer Club] Re: Floppy replacement

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  • Steve
    Craig, Bob- I m not stuck on any particular storage medium, but I think I would prefer solid state rather than spinning state. I m just throwing out ideas and
    Message 1 of 31 , Oct 6, 2005
      Craig, Bob-

      I'm not stuck on any particular storage medium, but I think I would
      prefer solid state rather than spinning state. I'm just throwing out
      ideas and things to consider. I was mostly explaining before that
      the software (Altair BASIC) may not be able to run as fast as the
      storage device is capable of, so no matter what medium we use, we'll
      have to slow it down, via the handshake signals, so that the computer
      can talk to it. I think we're really thinking along the same lines,
      but saying them in different ways.

      Having the controller talk to an original drive in addition to our
      new fake drive(s) would be a good idea, Bob, and all the new stuff
      could be easily tucked into a corner of a DCDD's cabinet. Or inside
      the Altair if a real drive isn't needed.

      The Altair hard disk system used a standard 4PIO board (octal 240
      thru 247) as the computer's interface. The 4PIO connected to an
      external HD controller that used the same cabinet as a DCDD single
      floppy drive. There were 3 big logic boards in that cabinet. The
      controller box was in turn connected to a Pertec 2-platter or 4-
      platter 14" hard drive through 2 ~50-conductor ribbon cables. Each
      platter held 5MB.

      Except for the added code to support the hard disk, the BASIC
      software was exactly the same as floppy disk BASIC. I can't think of
      any good reason to try to make a hard disk substitute- it would turn
      out to be a bucket of worms, I'll bet.

      steve
      ========================
      --- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "H.E.Robert" <ueoguy@y...>
      wrote:
      > Steve, Craig,
      >
      > I like what I see, a really great discussion on the possibilities,
      > certainly gone beyond my
      > original concept. I can also understand the desire to replace the
      > original controller cards.
      >
      > My original thought was to "talk" to the original controllers, so
      that
      > you could "mix" the original
      > drives and media with the new and improved media, allowing copying
      from
      > one type of media
      > to the other, and back.
      >
      > So my hypothetical question, is would it be possible to connect at
      least
      > one original drive, and
      > to really push the envelope, make it either an 8" or 5.25" drive to
      the
      > new controller replacement
      > for copy/archive capabilities? My concern would be to maintain
      > continued use of either device
      > going into the future, and not limiting future Altair use to just
      the
      > new technology.
      >
      > I just thought that, a replacement "controller" might be able to
      support
      > both old and new devices?
      >
      > Just Bob!.......just my...."why is there no "cents" symbol on a pc
      > keyboard?" 1.5 cents!
      >
      > Steve wrote:
      >
      > >Craig,
      > >
      > >Wouldn't it be great to use your iPod as the storage device?
      > >
      > >The new controller card would have to simulate all of the signals
      > >that normally come from the real thing. I don't see any big
      problems
      > >with drive selection- The drive select commands are really just
      > >address specifiers, just like PCs today. The controller would
      select
      > >and load from whatever part of the flash drive or hard disk that
      you
      > >have addressed as drive 2. It's just another addressing
      function.
      > >There's sector addressing, track (cylinder) addressing, and drive
      > >addressing.
      > >
      > >I think the most critical part (but not all that difficult) would
      be
      > >to simulate all of the time-dependent handshake signals. For
      > >example, after a head step command, a delay must be generated to
      > >allow the head to actually get to the next track before other
      > >commands can be accepted. This kind of "clear to send" signal is
      > >what most of those one-shot timer circuits are for.
      > >
      > >Some commands can simply be ignored, like the HEAD CURRENT switch
      and
      > >TRIM ERASE.
      > >
      > >Although any modern medium will have much faster access time than
      the
      > >FD400/500 drive, we may not be able to make much use of that
      speed.
      > >I suspect that if we speeded up the track step delay or head load
      > >settle time, etc., the poor old 8080 and interpreter BASIC might
      not
      > >be able to keep up. But who cares, really?
      > >
      > >This has all been discused before, a little bit, but a quick
      search
      > >couldn't find the relevant messages in the archives.
      > >
      > >steve
      > >=========================================
      > >
      > >--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Craig Landrum
      > ><craigl@m...> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >>>...snip...
      > >>>I agree with you, JustBob. A trouble-free floppy disk
      replacement
      > >>>would be very useful. I would be very happy if I could get rid
      of
      > >>>the MITS controllers and Pertec floppy, and replace them with a
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >plug-
      > >
      > >
      > >>>in replacement controller that used a 3.5" floppy, or a modern
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >hard
      > >
      > >
      > >>>drive, or better yet, solid-state media such as a Compact Flash
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >card
      > >
      > >
      > >>>or USB thumb drive.
      > >>>
      > >>>The entirety of all of MITS' software (BASIC, DOS, all the
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >business
      > >
      > >
      > >>>software, ...) would fit on one 5MB hard disk platter with room
      to
      > >>>spare, so even the smallest of today's hard drives would be big
      > >>>enough for any conveivable storage requirements.
      > >>>
      > >>>In case you guys weren't aware of it, Altair floppies didn't use
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >DMA
      > >
      > >
      > >>>or any other tricky schemes for floppy I/O. Everything worked
      > >>>through just 3 standard I/O ports (octal 10, 11, & 12). Most of
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >the
      > >
      > >
      > >>>housekeeping and control was built into BASIC, so most of the
      > >>>hardware between the Altair's buss and the floppy drive was just
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >for
      > >
      > >
      > >>>timing or signal conditioning and buffering.
      > >>>
      > >>>steve
      > >>>
      > >>>
      > >>Hmmmm - now this is an interesting problem. Ideally you should be
      > >>able to remove the MITS controller and drives, plug in the
      > >>replacement card and have it work exactly like the floppies.
      > >>The only problem I see is how to tell the board which "disk"
      > >>is mounted in which "drive". Because the board has to
      > >>act *exactly* like a MITS floppy controller in order to be
      > >>fully compatible with all the software, it would have to
      > >>react properly to commands to ports 10,11, and 12. The
      > >>emulated "disks" would need to be the same size as MITS
      > >>disks. The ability to specify which "disk" is to "inserted"
      > >>in which "drive" is the hard part. My first take would
      > >>be to have an internal board that emulates the controller,
      > >>with a USB connection to the backplane. This would be
      > >>connected to an external box with a small LCD screen and
      > >>a few buttons, with a port to plug in the media (assume
      > >>its a USB thumbdrive). The user would hook up the
      > >>thumbdrive to their PC and create as many blank *disks*
      > >>as they want. Each *disk* would be a binary file of
      > >>the exact capacity of a hard sectored floppy. A blank
      > >>file of this type is copied to the thumb drive for each
      > >>disk desired and named whatever they wish, such as
      > >>"Altair DOS 1.1" or "Altair Basic 5.0", etc. Now that
      > >>the drive has been loaded with a number of blank
      > >>"floppies", it is removed from the PC and plugged into
      > >>the external emulator box. The box examines the
      > >>thumbdrive and puts the names of all the "floppy" files
      > >>onto the LCD. Using the minimal box controls, the user
      > >>then scrolls up or down and selects the desired "floppy"
      > >>to be mounted in a "drive" (drive 0,1,etc). Once this
      > >>has occured, we are in business and from that point its
      > >>a simple matter to service drive enable/head load/seek/
      > >>read and write commands from the internal board.
      > >>
      > >>I'd love to design and build this thing. If done right,
      > >>it could emulate other floppy controllers and could
      > >>be used in other machines such as an IMSAI, etc.
      > >>
      > >>It would also greatly simplify the exchange of disks
      > >>among people such as ourselves - just plug the thumb
      > >>drive back into your PC and email a binary diskette to
      > >>someone who then puts in on their thumbdrive, etc.
      > >>
      > >>I know this could be even simpler, but it would be much
      > >>less flexible - i.e. you could emulate 15 drives with
      > >>a fixed floppy mounted on each and simply not allow
      > >>the emulated floppies to be removed from the drive.
      > >>That type of solution could all be done on a single
      > >>board with some flash memory but you would be
      > >>limited to whatever could be held on 15 diskettes and
      > >>you would have to live with booting from whatever is
      > >>floppy is defined as being drive 0.
      > >>
      > >>What do you guys think about all this? A couple of
      > >>PIC chips, some minor logic, an LCD screen, and we'd
      > >>be in business.
      > >>
      > >>I may take a whack at this or would be willing to do
      > >>the software part in collaboration with a h/w guy.
      > >>
      > >>--
      > >>Craig Landrum
    • Andrew Kessel
      That s correct. On my computer that has the rom basic board, I can just upload the basic program as if it were being typed by the terminal. So I guess I am
      Message 31 of 31 , Oct 7, 2005
        That's correct. On my computer that has the rom basic board, I can just
        upload the basic program as if it were being typed by the terminal.
        So I guess I am just emulating a terminal doing manual entry.

        On 10/7/05, H.E.Robert <ueoguy@...> wrote:
        >
        > Steve,
        >
        > Andy and I went round and round on this a while back, and I think what
        > he is doing is via
        > the "special monitor eprom", he uploads a memory image of anything,
        > Altair DOS, Disk Extended BASIC,
        > whatever, through the serial port, and then runs from the octal "0"
        > location. Just the same as using paper tape,
        > or audio tape, just without the checksum! He can make changes to the
        > image in RAM, then using a small program, he writes the image back out
        > to his PDA as an ascii file. So in the case of disk BASIC, if you have
        > drives connected, they will work, if you don't, it locks up....Just a
        > you would expect a Micro-Soft product to do! O:-)
        >
        > Just Bob!
        >
        > Steve wrote:
        >
        > >So Andy, you're using your PDA through an RS232 port, and pretending
        > >that you have a cassette system? And running Cassette BASIC, I
        > >guess?
        > >
        > >steve
        > >==============================
        > >
        > >--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Kessel
        > ><akessel56@g...> wrote:
        > >
        > >
        > >>One other thought on this subject. I found it worked pretty well to
        > >>
        > >>
        > >use a
        > >
        > >
        > >>pda (like a palm) and a serial cable with Steve's Monitor Rom to
        > >>
        > >>
        > >both load
        > >
        > >
        > >>basic and basic software - you don't need monitor rom if you have
        > >>
        > >>
        > >basic
        > >
        > >
        > >>loaded as the basic program will just load in.
        > >> A little nicer than using a computer, not so nice as a some kind
        > >>
        > >>
        > >of Altair
        > >
        > >
        > >>Flash Drive which would be really pretty cool. Note that if the
        > >>
        > >>
        > >parallel
        > >
        > >
        > >>port io is possible it might not be that tough to right a driver to
        > >>
        > >>
        > >get a
        > >
        > >
        > >>parallel port drive like an old zip drive to work - just a thought.
        > >>
        > >> On 10/6/05, Steve <alltare@y...> wrote:
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>>Craig, Bob-
        > >>>
        > >>>I'm not stuck on any particular storage medium, but I think I
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >would
        > >
        > >
        > >>>prefer solid state rather than spinning state. I'm just throwing
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >out
        > >
        > >
        > >>>ideas and things to consider. I was mostly explaining before that
        > >>>the software (Altair BASIC) may not be able to run as fast as the
        > >>>storage device is capable of, so no matter what medium we use,
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >we'll
        > >
        > >
        > >>>have to slow it down, via the handshake signals, so that the
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >computer
        > >
        > >
        > >>>can talk to it. I think we're really thinking along the same
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >lines,
        > >
        > >
        > >>>but saying them in different ways.
        > >>>
        > >>>Having the controller talk to an original drive in addition to our
        > >>>new fake drive(s) would be a good idea, Bob, and all the new stuff
        > >>>could be easily tucked into a corner of a DCDD's cabinet. Or
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >inside
        > >
        > >
        > >>>the Altair if a real drive isn't needed.
        > >>>
        > >>>The Altair hard disk system used a standard 4PIO board (octal 240
        > >>>thru 247) as the computer's interface. The 4PIO connected to an
        > >>>external HD controller that used the same cabinet as a DCDD single
        > >>>floppy drive. There were 3 big logic boards in that cabinet. The
        > >>>controller box was in turn connected to a Pertec 2-platter or 4-
        > >>>platter 14" hard drive through 2 ~50-conductor ribbon cables. Each
        > >>>platter held 5MB.
        > >>>
        > >>>Except for the added code to support the hard disk, the BASIC
        > >>>software was exactly the same as floppy disk BASIC. I can't think
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >of
        > >
        > >
        > >>>any good reason to try to make a hard disk substitute- it would
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >turn
        > >
        > >
        > >>>out to be a bucket of worms, I'll bet.
        > >>>
        > >>>steve
        > >>>========================
        > >>>--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, "H.E.Robert"
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > ><ueoguy@y...>
        > >
        > >
        > >>>wrote:
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>Steve, Craig,
        > >>>>
        > >>>>I like what I see, a really great discussion on the
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >possibilities,
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>certainly gone beyond my
        > >>>>original concept. I can also understand the desire to replace
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >the
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>original controller cards.
        > >>>>
        > >>>>My original thought was to "talk" to the original controllers,
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >so
        > >
        > >
        > >>>that
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>you could "mix" the original
        > >>>>drives and media with the new and improved media, allowing
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >copying
        > >
        > >
        > >>>from
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>one type of media
        > >>>>to the other, and back.
        > >>>>
        > >>>>So my hypothetical question, is would it be possible to connect
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >at
        > >
        > >
        > >>>least
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>one original drive, and
        > >>>>to really push the envelope, make it either an 8" or 5.25"
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >drive to
        > >
        > >
        > >>>the
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>new controller replacement
        > >>>>for copy/archive capabilities? My concern would be to maintain
        > >>>>continued use of either device
        > >>>>going into the future, and not limiting future Altair use to
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >just
        > >
        > >
        > >>>the
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>new technology.
        > >>>>
        > >>>>I just thought that, a replacement "controller" might be able to
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>support
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>both old and new devices?
        > >>>>
        > >>>>Just Bob!.......just my...."why is there no "cents" symbol on a
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >pc
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>keyboard?" 1.5 cents!
        > >>>>
        > >>>>Steve wrote:
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>>
        > >>>>>Craig,
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>Wouldn't it be great to use your iPod as the storage device?
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>The new controller card would have to simulate all of the
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >signals
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>that normally come from the real thing. I don't see any big
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>problems
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>with drive selection- The drive select commands are really just
        > >>>>>address specifiers, just like PCs today. The controller would
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>select
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>and load from whatever part of the flash drive or hard disk
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >that
        > >
        > >
        > >>>you
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>have addressed as drive 2. It's just another addressing
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>function.
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>There's sector addressing, track (cylinder) addressing, and
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >drive
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>addressing.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>I think the most critical part (but not all that difficult)
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >would
        > >
        > >
        > >>>be
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>to simulate all of the time-dependent handshake signals. For
        > >>>>>example, after a head step command, a delay must be generated
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >to
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>allow the head to actually get to the next track before other
        > >>>>>commands can be accepted. This kind of "clear to send" signal
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >is
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>what most of those one-shot timer circuits are for.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>Some commands can simply be ignored, like the HEAD CURRENT
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >switch
        > >
        > >
        > >>>and
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>TRIM ERASE.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>Although any modern medium will have much faster access time
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >than
        > >
        > >
        > >>>the
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>FD400/500 drive, we may not be able to make much use of that
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>speed.
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>I suspect that if we speeded up the track step delay or head
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >load
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>settle time, etc., the poor old 8080 and interpreter BASIC
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >might
        > >
        > >
        > >>>not
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>be able to keep up. But who cares, really?
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>This has all been discused before, a little bit, but a quick
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>search
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>couldn't find the relevant messages in the archives.
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>steve
        > >>>>>=========================================
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>--- In altaircomputerclub@yahoogroups.com, Craig Landrum
        > >>>>><craigl@m...> wrote:
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>...snip...
        > >>>>>>>I agree with you, JustBob. A trouble-free floppy disk
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>replacement
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>>>would be very useful. I would be very happy if I could get
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >rid
        > >
        > >
        > >>>of
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>>>the MITS controllers and Pertec floppy, and replace them
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >with a
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>plug-
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>in replacement controller that used a 3.5" floppy, or a
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >modern
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>hard
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>drive, or better yet, solid-state media such as a Compact
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >Flash
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>card
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>or USB thumb drive.
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>The entirety of all of MITS' software (BASIC, DOS, all the
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>business
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>software, ...) would fit on one 5MB hard disk platter with
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >room
        > >
        > >
        > >>>to
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>>>>>spare, so even the smallest of today's hard drives would be
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >big
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>enough for any conveivable storage requirements.
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>In case you guys weren't aware of it, Altair floppies didn't
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >use
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>DMA
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>or any other tricky schemes for floppy I/O. Everything worked
        > >>>>>>>through just 3 standard I/O ports (octal 10, 11, & 12). Most
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >of
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>the
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>housekeeping and control was built into BASIC, so most of the
        > >>>>>>>hardware between the Altair's buss and the floppy drive was
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >just
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>for
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>
        > >>>>>>>timing or signal conditioning and buffering.
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>steve
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>>
        > >>>>>>Hmmmm - now this is an interesting problem. Ideally you
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>
        > >should be
        > >
        > >
        > >>>>>>able to remove the MITS controller and drives, plug in the
        > >>>>>>replacement card and have it work exactly like the floppies.
        > >>>>>>The only problem I see is how to tell the board which "disk"
        > >>>>>>is mounted in which "drive". Because the board has to
        > >>>>>>act *exactly* like a MITS floppy controller in order to be
        > >>>>>>fully compatible with all the software, it would have to
        > >>>>>>react properly to commands to ports 10,11, and 12. The
        > >>>>>>emulated "disks" would need to be the same size as MITS
        > >>>>>>disks. The ability to specify which "disk" is to "inserted"
        > >>>>>>in which "drive" is the hard part. My first take would
        > >>>>>>be to have an internal board that emulates the controller,
        > >>>>>>with a USB connection to the backplane. This would be
        > >>>>>>connected to an external box with a small LCD screen and
        > >>>>>>a few buttons, with a port to plug in the media (assume
        > >>>>>>its a USB thumbdrive). The user would hook up the
        > >>>>>>thumbdrive to their PC and create as many blank *disks*
        > >>>>>>as they want. Each *disk* would be a binary file of
        > >>>>>>the exact capacity of a hard sectored floppy. A blank
        > >>>>>>file of this type is copied to the thumb drive for each
        > >>>>>>disk desired and named whatever they wish, such as
        > >>>>>>"Altair DOS 1.1" or "Altair Basic 5.0", etc. Now that
        > >>>>>>the drive has been loaded with a number of blank
        > >>>>>>"floppies", it is removed from the PC and plugged into
        > >>>>>>the external emulator box. The box examines the
        > >>>>>>thumbdrive and puts the names of all the "floppy" files
        > >>>>>>onto the LCD. Using the minimal box controls, the user
        > >>>>>>then scrolls up or down and selects the desired "floppy"
        > >>>>>>to be mounted in a "drive" (drive 0,1,etc). Once this
        > >>>>>>has occured, we are in business and from that point its
        > >>>>>>a simple matter to service drive enable/head load/seek/
        > >>>>>>read and write commands from the internal board.
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>I'd love to design and build this thing. If done right,
        > >>>>>>it could emulate other floppy controllers and could
        > >>>>>>be used in other machines such as an IMSAI, etc.
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>It would also greatly simplify the exchange of disks
        > >>>>>>among people such as ourselves - just plug the thumb
        > >>>>>>drive back into your PC and email a binary diskette to
        > >>>>>>someone who then puts in on their thumbdrive, etc.
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>I know this could be even simpler, but it would be much
        > >>>>>>less flexible - i.e. you could emulate 15 drives with
        > >>>>>>a fixed floppy mounted on each and simply not allow
        > >>>>>>the emulated floppies to be removed from the drive.
        > >>>>>>That type of solution could all be done on a single
        > >>>>>>board with some flash memory but you would be
        > >>>>>>limited to whatever could be held on 15 diskettes and
        > >>>>>>you would have to live with booting from whatever is
        > >>>>>>floppy is defined as being drive 0.
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>What do you guys think about all this? A couple of
        > >>>>>>PIC chips, some minor logic, an LCD screen, and we'd
        > >>>>>>be in business.
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>I may take a whack at this or would be willing to do
        > >>>>>>the software part in collaboration with a h/w guy.
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>--
        > >>>>>>Craig Landrum
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>>>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
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        > >options.
        > >
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        > >>>--- Steve, your group moderator
        > >>>
        > >>>Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>>
        > >>--
        > >>Andrew Kessel
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >>
        > >>
        > >>
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >---- SPECIAL NOTICE CONCERNING "SPAM" ----
        > >If this message appears to be junk mail that has nothing to do with our
        > group, there are things you can do to prevent receiving more of the same. Go
        > to our Yahoo group's website, sign in, open the FILES folder, and read the
        > text file called "Blocking Spam" for infomation about your options.
        > >--- Steve, your group moderator
        > >
        > >Yahoo! Groups Links
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
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        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > ---- SPECIAL NOTICE CONCERNING "SPAM" ----
        > If this message appears to be junk mail that has nothing to do with our
        > group, there are things you can do to prevent receiving more of the same. Go
        > to our Yahoo group's website, sign in, open the FILES folder, and read the
        > text file called "Blocking Spam" for infomation about your options.
        > --- Steve, your group moderator
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >


        --
        Andrew Kessel


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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