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Re: IMSAI 8080 and Micropolis Drive Testing

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  • Herb Johnson
    ... Micropolis ... They re 16 ... apparently ... Micropolis docs ... Bill s Web pages for his Micropolis work, shows Micropolis drives models 1052-I, 1015-IV,
    Message 1 of 8 , Apr 8, 2008
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      "B. Degnan" <billdeg@...> wrote:
      >
      > For those of you who are interested, I did a lot of testing with
      Micropolis
      > drives this weekend on my IMSAI 8080.... I have a few
      > Micropolis BASIC or DOS disks of unknown operational status.
      They're 16
      > hard-sectored disks. ... I can attempt to
      > boot a disk, but I fear that either my disks are bad, or the one
      apparently
      > working drive I have is not compatible with the disks. The
      Micropolis docs
      > state that single-sided disks are not compatible with double sided
      > Micropolis drives and visa versa.
      >
      > http://vintagecomputer.net/micropolis/
      > http://vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=150

      Bill's Web pages for his Micropolis work, shows Micropolis drives
      models 1052-I, 1015-IV, 1053-II, 1033-I

      According to my Web site and page on floppy drive documentation:

      http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html

      ...the Micropolis 1053 and 1033 are 77 track and 100 TPI drives. My
      original Micropolis documents confirm this. I suspect the 1052 and
      1015 may be either 48 TPI or 96 TPI drives, I don't have documents on
      those. A Web search gets little information, some of it inconsistent.

      So, Bill, your disk boot problems may be related to whether your disks
      are 48, 96, or 100 TPI.

      Bill, check my Web page today. If you have docs on Micropolis drives
      which are NOT listed on my Web page as above, I'd buy a copy - we can
      discuss terms. But at the least, I'd like to complete a list of
      Micropolis drives by model with TPI, track count, and side. Please
      assist me with that task, to make a relatively simple list, for Web
      access. And you should consider if your disks are track-incompatible
      with some of your drives.

      As Bill knows, drives made by Micropolis were either 77 track and
      100TPI or 96TPI, or 35 track and 48 TPI. 48 and 96 TPI became the
      standards for what became 40 track and 80 track drives. 100 TPI is a
      different track spacing only available on a few early brands and
      models from Micropolis and Tandon, and used on some early Commodore
      drive products. Disks made with 100 TPI drives are FUNDAMENTALLY
      INCOMPATIBLE with disks from other drives, because the distance
      between tracks is different. The heads of one drive will not "see" the
      tracks of the other drive.

      This is not a software or "format" issue, as Bill knows. So that's why
      this knowledge of "tracks per inch" is important. That is why I'm
      asking Bill to help create a "simple" list of drives by features.

      There was recent discussion of these drives, by Bill and others who
      own Vector Graphic systems. I took highlights and quotes from that
      discussion, and put them on my S-100 Web site as part of my Vector
      Graphic page at:

      http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/d_vector.html

      and the discussion of other 100 TPI drives is a text file at this link:

      http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/tandon_commodore_stein.txt

      Links on those two pages will lead to a Vector Graphic discussion mail
      list and a Web site. Members of that discussion include former
      employees of Vector Graphic, Inc. Documents they have on their Web
      site, by the way, don't include Micropolis drive documents as of today.

      Herb Johnson
      retrotechnology.com
    • B. Degnan
      ... Ah...I was only considering double vs. single sided, thanks for the suggestion. ... I believe my Micropolis docs have the track info by drive. Technical
      Message 2 of 8 , Apr 8, 2008
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        >
        > > http://vintagecomputer.net/micropolis/
        > > http://vintagecomputer.net/browse_thread.cfm?id=150
        >
        >Bill's Web pages for his Micropolis work, shows Micropolis drives
        >models 1052-I, 1015-IV, 1053-II, 1033-I
        >
        >According to my Web site and page on floppy drive documentation:
        >
        >http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html
        >
        >...the Micropolis 1053 and 1033 are 77 track and 100 TPI drives. My
        >original Micropolis documents confirm this. I suspect the 1052 and
        >1015 may be either 48 TPI or 96 TPI drives, I don't have documents on
        >those. A Web search gets little information, some of it inconsistent.
        >
        >So, Bill, your disk boot problems may be related to whether your disks
        >are 48, 96, or 100 TPI.

        Ah...I was only considering double vs. single sided, thanks for the suggestion.


        >Bill, check my Web page today. If you have docs on Micropolis drives
        >which are NOT listed on my Web page as above, I'd buy a copy - we can
        >discuss terms. But at the least, I'd like to complete a list of
        >Micropolis drives by model with TPI, track count, and side. Please
        >assist me with that task, to make a relatively simple list, for Web
        >access. And you should consider if your disks are track-incompatible
        >with some of your drives.

        I believe my Micropolis docs have the track info by drive. Technical
        specifications and schematics, etc. I will verify and post a follow up. I
        have been used them quite extensively to figure out how they controller
        interacts with the computer, where memory locations used. Did you know
        that Micropolis drives with a blue sticker on the drive door lever are
        double sided, and those without the blue sticker are single?

        Bill
      • Dan Roganti
        Herb Johnson wrote: According to my Web site and page on floppy drive documentation: http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html ...the Micropolis
        Message 3 of 8 , Apr 8, 2008
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          Herb Johnson wrote:
           
          According to my Web site and page on floppy drive documentation:
          
          http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html
          
          ...the Micropolis 1053 and 1033 are 77 track and 100 TPI drives. My
          original Micropolis documents confirm this. I suspect the 1052 and
          1015 may be either 48 TPI or 96 TPI drives, I don't have documents on
          those. A Web search gets little information, some of it inconsistent.
            
          My Sol20 has a 1041-I which I'm trying to revive, including the diskettes for this drive.
          I checked my User manual, this is a separate volume from the Maint. manual which I also have.
          It contains a complete list of drives starting on page 1-2,
          It doesn't mention the 1052, 1015, or 1057--the manual is dated 3/78--maybe you have a typo ? 
          I looked at your website and added the missing info,drives here below.
          ----------------------------
          1053 mod II - total 630KB formatted storage (315KB per drive)
          1053 mod I - dual-disk subsystem, 35trk, 48tpi, 287KB formatted storage
          1043 mod I - does not exist
          1042 mod I - 143KB formatted storage
          1041 mod II - 315KB formatted storage
          1041 mod I - 143 KB formatted storage (there's a typo in the manual--143 bytes LOL)
          1033 mod II - addon dual-disk subsystem for 1053 mod II, w/AC supply, 630KB formatted storage
          1033 mod I - addon dual-disk subsystem for 1053 mod I, w/AC supply, 287KB formatted storage
          1023 mod II - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod II, w/AC supply, 315KB formatted storage
          1022 mod I - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod I, w/AC supply, 287KB formatted storage
          1021 mod II - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod II, w/oAC supply, 315KB formatted storage
          1021 mod I - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod I, w/oAC supply, 143KB formatted storage
          1091-01 - Regulator kit for S-100 bus for 1021/1041 drives with Power cable B


          =Dan

          -- 
          [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/           ]
          
        • B. Degnan
          ... I assumed Herb meant 1042, not 1052 myself. The 1015 is an internal drive w/o power supply (see drive pics on my web site in /micropolis section). I
          Message 4 of 8 , Apr 9, 2008
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            At 11:47 PM 4/8/2008 -0400, you wrote:
            Herb Johnson wrote:

             
            According to my Web site and page on floppy drive documentation:
            
            http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html
            
            ...the Micropolis 1053 and 1033 are 77 track and 100 TPI drives. My
            original Micropolis documents confirm this. I suspect the 1052 and
            1015 may be either 48 TPI or 96 TPI drives, I don't have documents on
            those. A Web search gets little information, some of it inconsistent.
              
            My Sol20 has a 1041-I which I'm trying to revive, including the diskettes for this drive.
            I checked my User manual, this is a separate volume from the Maint. manual which I also have.
            It contains a complete list of drives starting on page 1-2,
            It doesn't mention the 1052, 1015, or 1057--the manual is dated 3/78--maybe you have a typo ? 
            I looked at your website and added the missing info,drives here below.
            ----------------------------
            1053 mod II - total 630KB formatted storage (315KB per drive)
            1053 mod I - dual-disk subsystem, 35trk, 48tpi, 287KB formatted storage
            1043 mod I - does not exist
            1042 mod I - 143KB formatted storage
            1041 mod II - 315KB formatted storage
            1041 mod I - 143 KB formatted storage (there's a typo in the manual--143 bytes LOL)
            1033 mod II - addon dual-disk subsystem for 1053 mod II, w/AC supply, 630KB formatted storage
            1033 mod I - addon dual-disk subsystem for 1053 mod I, w/AC supply, 287KB formatted storage
            1023 mod II - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod II, w/AC supply, 315KB formatted storage
            1022 mod I - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod I, w/AC supply, 287KB formatted storage
            1021 mod II - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod II, w/oAC supply, 315KB formatted storage
            1021 mod I - addon single-disk subsystem for 1043/1053 mod I, w/oAC supply, 143KB formatted storage
            1091-01 - Regulator kit for S-100 bus for 1021/1041 drives with Power cable B


            I assumed Herb meant 1042, not 1052 myself.

            The 1015 is an internal drive w/o power supply (see drive pics on my web site in /micropolis section).  I believe the previous owner of my 1042 mod 1 was going to replace the drive with the loose 1015 that came with it.  My optimistic theory.

            It looks like we have the same manual, the white one in the picture you sent earlier of your workshop (with my Altair next to your SOL) had what appears to be a white Micropolis manual.  Elsewhere in that manual may be a description of the loose/internal drives I think, including the 1015 IV

            bd
          • Herb Johnson
            http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html ... Dan, thanks for the list. But it does NOT include the following important information. 1) TPI or
            Message 5 of 8 , Apr 10, 2008
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              http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/s_drives.html

              >>I looked at your website and added the missing info,drives here below.

              Dan, thanks for the list. But it does NOT include the following
              important information. 1) TPI or tracks per inch. 2) number of tracks
              and sides.

              That information is not on the particular Web page I referred to,
              because that page is a list of ACTUAL DOCUMENTS I HAVE. But I want to
              make a list of ALL the Micropolis 5.25 inch drives, with the TPI and
              track count and sides. Such a list will likely be put on this page:

              http://retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/drive.html#100tpi

              which describes some 100 TPI issues; I may spin off that section as
              its own Web page and link to it from several of my other Web pages.

              Dan, if you wish you can add that information and email it directly to
              me. I'll post the appropriate Web link on my site, back in this mail
              list. email to one of the email links below, not to whatever email
              address I post with. Thank you.

              Herb Johnson

              Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey USA
              http://www.retrotechnology.com/herbs_stuff/ web site
              http://www.retrotechnology.net/herbs_stuff/ domain mirror
              my email address: hjohnson AAT retrotechnology DOTT com
              if no reply, try in a few days: herbjohnson ATT comcast DOTT net
              "Herb's Stuff": old Mac, SGI, 8-inch floppy drives
              S-100 IMSAI Altair computers, docs, by "Dr. S-100"
            • Herb Johnson
              ... I ve reviewed my Micropolis information. It s difficult to easily pull out information like number of sides . In those days, it seems they simply thought
              Message 6 of 8 , Apr 10, 2008
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                --- In midatlanticretro@yahoogroups.com, "Herb Johnson"
                <herbjohnson@...> wrote:

                > Dan, thanks for the list. But it does NOT include the following
                > important information. 1) TPI or tracks per inch. 2) number of tracks
                > and sides.

                I've reviewed my Micropolis information. It's difficult to easily pull
                out information like "number of sides". In those days, it seems they
                simply thought about capacity. The manual is also hard to read by
                drive model, everything is arranged functionally.

                I've privately contacted Dan and Bill and asked for clarifying and
                additional information, which I'll add to my Web site. The issue of
                "100 TPI" is an old and confusing issue in the S-100 world. That's why
                I'm working to get some proper, well-documented, info on my Web site.
                I'll see if I can arrange to get a copy of Dan's or Bill's Micropolis
                manual, which would compliment the manual I have. As most of you know,
                I offer manuals to people as a service, have done so for years to this
                day.

                Links to updated information on this subject will be posted here.

                Herb Johnson
                retrotechnology.com
              • Dan Roganti
                Herb Johnson wrote: Dan, if you wish you can add that information and email it directly to me. I rvcd your offline email and will reply there. =Dan -- [
                Message 7 of 8 , Apr 10, 2008
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                  Herb Johnson wrote:
                  Dan, if you wish you can add that information and email it directly to
                  me. 
                  I rvcd your offline email and will reply there.

                  =Dan

                  -- 
                  [ Pittsburgh --- http://www2.applegate.org/~ragooman/           ]
                  
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