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backing up ancient 5.25 floppies (Apple ][+ and CP/M)

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backing up ancient 5.25 floppies (Apple ][+ and CP/M)

Old 02-14-03, 07:12 AM
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backing up ancient 5.25 floppies (Apple ][+ and CP/M)

Read this article yesterday in the NY Times about people keeping old computers around because of the problems with data migration and I started wondering about all the old 5.25" discs from my ancient apple ][+ (actually a franklin ace, but close enough). If I took the 5.25" drive out of the apple, would I be able to plug it in to a modern PC? or, if the interface is different, would I be able to read the disks if I found an old "IBM compatible" drive? Maybe I should cruise public libraries for an ancient pc with both 5.25" and 3.25 floppies and see about copying the disks there. I can't remember the last time I even SAW a 5.25" drive in a computer that was turned on :>

If anyone has experience getting documents from such an old system, I'd definitely be interested in your experiences. Mostly what I'm after is really old WordStar documents (which ran in CP/M)... I assume I can either get something to convert them or get an emulator for CP/M somewhere. It might also be cool to get an apple emulator and play some old games... but that's not such a high priority.
Old 02-14-03, 08:16 AM
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I think your best bet is to get a working apple II computer and connect it via serial port to a modern computer via a null modem cable. Run term programs on both ends and you can do file transfers.

There's a good chance however, that unless you've kept your floppies in unusually good conditions, that they're all unreadable by now. The last time I tried reading some 5.25" that were from an old IBM PC, they were all bad.
Old 02-14-03, 08:45 AM
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hmm... a whole discussion:

>From [email protected]
>From news ...

Les Ferch

It can't be done with software alone. There is a card called the MatchPoint PC card that will let you read and write Apple II DOS, ProDOS, and CP/M disks on a PC 5.25" 360K drive. We used to have one installed in an XT here and it worked fine. The other common way of moving the data is to connect an Apple II to a PC using a null modem cable and using comm programs such as Kermit to transfer the data.
Curt Schroeder

It is not possible for a 5.25" PC floppy drive to read Apple II disks. They use incompatible recording technologies. Your options are to get your data into an Apple that can write MS-DOS 3.5" disks (Apple IIgs or Macintosh) or transfer via serial link (either via modem or null-modem cable). The other possibility is to use an Apple II equipped with a PC Transporter and either has a 3.5" drive or 5.25" PC floppy drive(s) attached.
Michael Hoffberg

About a year ago, I picked up card for my ibm made by TrackStar. It is basically an apple II that sits inside your IBM. When you enable it, it can boot off an apple drive, it uses the ibm keyboard and monitor. When I go home I only use it to play moon patrol (I am too lazy to find my other games). In any case, I think that it is possible to transfer files between the ibm and apple with the card. I have never tried it though.
Fred R. Opperdoes

Any Apple II (E or GS) owner having an Applied Engineering PC Transporter card is able to do the job easily. It is maybe not easy to find such a person in your neighborhood. Another possibility would be that you ask someone with an Apple IIGS to have your 5 1/4" Dos 3.3 or Prodos disk transcribed to a 3.5" Prodos disk. Every IIGS owner would be able to do so. Files on such disks can then easily be converted to MsDOS files on an MsDOS disk on a Macintosh using the Apple File Exchange Utility that comes with every modern Mac.
Leo Connolly

I don't think this is doable. There are limitations in the PC drive hardware which make it impossible to read Apple II disks. (And the same is true in reverse, for exactly the same reasons). I suggest the following. Transfer the Apple II data to a 3.5" disk. This is easy on a IIGS if you use a utility such as Copy II Plus.
Use Apple File Convert on a Macintosh to convert the Apple II files to MS-DOS format. Caution: older versions of this utility cannot handle MS-DOS 3.5" disks, but the newer ones can.
Or: send your data through a modem from the Apple to the PC.
Leonard Erickson

It can't be done without extra hardware. The Apple II didn't use a disk controller chip, it used an odd circuit instead. So, machines using the industry standard controller chips can't read Apple disks. You'll need a COPYIIPC deluxe option board or some such. Central Point Software used to sell them.
Another approach is to track down one of the add-on boards that was essentially an Apple II on a PC card. It hooks to the 5.25" drive and plugs into the bus. And you've got an Apple II in your PC.
[email protected]

The cheapest method to get the data would to do a "NULL MODEM" transfer between the two computers.
From: Peter Maloney

You could use an Apple Turnover, a PC/XT card that allows older IBM floppy drives to read/write Apple 5.25" diskettes. It was made by Vertex Systems Inc..
Floppies are notoriously short-lived. Good luck with your project.
Old 02-14-03, 09:18 AM
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But what am I suppose to do about "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego"?! The Horror!


ps. Hmmm I think I have an old PI 100mhz system in storage...that has one. maybe I can use that to copy the game and then transfer it....on a side note, how do I use a spare computer to setup as a hardware firewall? I have a router already and a software firewall, is it worth using a spare computer to do it?
Old 02-14-03, 09:28 AM
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hmm. we booted up the machine a few years ago and the disks seemed ok. Hope they're still fine. i'll try this some weekend when i have some extra time... who knows when that will be. Thanks for the info!

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