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Floppy Emu

Plug-and-play disk emulation for your vintage Macintosh! Floppy Emu is a specialized floppy and hard disk emulator for classic Macintosh and Apple Lisa computers. It uses an SD memory card and custom hardware to mimic an Apple floppy disk and drive, or an HD20-compatible hard drive. The Emu behaves exactly like a real disk drive, requiring no special software or drivers.

Floppy Emu is perfect for setup and troubleshooting of a computer without a working OS, for moving files between modern and vintage machines, or for tinkering with your collection of classics. Just plug in the Emu board, and you’ll be booting up in seconds.

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“A device like this is desperately needed. There must be thousands of old Mac enthusiasts stuck with no good way to bridge internet disk images downloaded to PCs to their old Apple systems.”
Plug-and-play disk emulation for your vintage Macintosh! Floppy Emu is a specialized floppy and hard disk emulator for classic Macintosh and Apple Lisa computers. It uses an SD memory card and custom hardware to mimic an Apple floppy disk and drive, or an HD20-compatible hard drive. The Emu behaves exactly like a real disk drive, requiring no special software or drivers.

Floppy Emu is perfect for setup and troubleshooting of a computer without a working OS, for moving files between modern and vintage machines, or for tinkering with your collection of classics. Just plug in the Emu board, and you’ll be booting up in seconds.

Each Floppy Emu board is fully assembled and tested, and ready to use. You’ll also need an SD memory card for storing disk images.  

  Floppy Emu – with Built-In Floppy Connector, $89
Plugs directly into the Mac’s rear external floppy port. Can also be used with an optional extension cable.
  

  Floppy Emu Bundle – with Convertible Extension Cable, $99
Get the Emu together with a 3 foot convertible connector cable, so it can be moved from the rear floppy port to a convenient location on your desk. Connects to the Mac’s external or internal floppy ports.
  


Optional accessories for your Floppy Emu board.

  Convertible Extension Cable, $13
Add a 3 foot extension cable to your Emu. Convertible connector has an IDC20 to IDC20 cable with detachable IDC20-DB19 adapter, for external or internal port connections.
  Out of stock.

  Vintage Software Collection SD Card, $12
4GB SDHC card preloaded with disk images of Mac system versions 1 – 7.5.3, and classics like MacPaint, Hypercard, BASIC, StuffIt, After Dark, Kid Pix, Flight Simulator, Fool’s Errand, The Oregon Trail, and many others. Also includes Lisa and Apple IIgs system disk images.
  

  Universal Case for any Floppy Emu, Clear Acrylic, $18
Case requires assembly, Floppy Emu sold separately
  

  Apple Disk Drive A/B Switch and Cable, $13
For the Lisa or Macs without an external floppy port. Attach a Floppy Emu and a real floppy drive at the same time, and select between them with an A/B switch. Includes a 3 foot 20-pin ribbon cable.
  


  Find more items in the BMOW store

Shipping – Shipping is available worldwide. Packages in the USA are shipped by Priority Mail, and outside USA by US Postal Service First Class International mail (typically about 2 weeks delivery time).
 
Address – Your package will be mailed to the address provided by PayPal. Please confirm this address is correct before making your purchase! If necessary, you can add multiple addresses to your PayPal account, and select the correct address during checkout.
 
Warranty – Floppy Emu is covered against defects for 90 days from the date of purchase. If the hardware fails during this period, you may return it and I’ll provide a repair, replacement, or refund.

 
Features

  • Reads and writes emulated 400K, 800K, or 1.4MB floppy disk images, or hard disk images up to 2GB
  • Navigates the list of disk images stored on a standard SD memory card
  • Compatible with the original Mac 128K through the Mac II series and Power Mac, and the Lisa 2
  • Connects to external (DB-19 D-SUB) or internal (20 pin ribbon header) floppy drive connector
  • Supports all major Macintosh disk image types

Macintosh Floppy – Supports MFS and HFS, single and double-sided, low and high density floppy images, in raw .dsk or Disk Copy 4.2 format. Disk image files can be used directly with popular software-based emulators such as Mini vMac.

Lisa Floppy – Emulates 400K and 800K floppy disks on the Lisa 2/5 and 2/10. Boot or mount native Lisa Office System disk images in Disk Copy 4.2 format, or use Macintosh disk images within the MacWorks environment.

Hard Disk – HD20 hard disk emulation is compatible with the Macintosh 128K, 512K, 512Ke, Plus, SE, Classic, Classic II, Portable, IIci, IIsi, or LC I. Supports bootable hard disk images up to 2GB.

 

Downloads

  • Usage instructions: PDF
  • Case assembly instructions: PDF
  • Mac Floppy firmware (stable), for serial numbers 0001 to 0108: floppy-emu-1.0L-F11
  • Mac Floppy firmware (stable), for serial numbers 0109 and higher: floppy-emu-1.0Q-F13
  • Mac and Lisa Floppy and HD20 hard disk firmware (latest), for all serial numbers: hd20-0.7B-F14.5

 
Technology

Interested in how Floppy Emu works under the hood? Check out the Floppy Emu Technology Design page.

 
FAQ

  • Can I boot from an emulated floppy or hard disk?
    Yes you can!

  • Does this require a special driver or INIT on the Mac?
    No software is required for floppy emulation. Most supported Mac models require no software for hard disk emulation, though the Mac 128K and 512K require Apple’s HD20 Init.


  • What types of disk image files are supported?
    400K, 800K, or 1.4MB floppy disk images in raw .dsk format or DiskCopy 4.2 .image format, or hard disk images up to 2GB in raw format.


  • Can I write to the emulated disk, as well as read from it?
    Yes! Note that writing to a DiskCopy 4.2 image does not modify the stored checksums – see details in the usage instructions.


  • Can I format the emulated disk?
    Yes for hard disk emulation, no for floppy emulation. Floppy Emu emulates normal sector-by-sector floppy writing, such as copying files in the Finder, or saving data from within a program.


  • Can I emulate multiple floppies at once?
    Floppy Emu can store as many disk image files as your SD card will hold, but only one can be “inserted” in the drive at any given time.


  • Can I connect two Floppy Emus to the same computer?
    Yes, if one is connected externally and one internally, or if using a Daisy Chaining adapter.


  • How can I edit the contents of a disk image file, using a modern PC or Mac?
    Use HFVExplorer (Windows) or Fuse HFS (Mac OS X) to copy files between the local filesystem and the disk image. Or mount the disk image in a Macintosh emulator program like Mini vMac or Basilisk II.


More questions? Email steve@bigmessowires.com

 

 

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83 comments 

83 Comments so far

  1. scompo January 2nd, 2012 3:43 am

    Neat!!!

  2. andrea January 2nd, 2012 6:17 am

    FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Ed March 12th, 2012 9:53 am

    A device like this is desperately needed. There must be thousands of old Mac enthusiasts stuck with no good way to bridge internet disk images downloaded to PCs to their old Apple systems. I’d buy one from you in 2 seconds. It’d pay for at least some of your mortgage :)

  4. cyrozap June 18th, 2012 8:16 pm

    Whoah, this is really cool! I have recently acquired a Macintosh SE and was hoping to get it working after hearing its HDD make unhappy noises. I saw the HxC floppy emulator a while back but I was disappointed to find out that it would never work with my old Mac. Your project has given me hope, though! I’ve subscribed to your blog’s feed and I hope to eventually build one of these floppy emulators, too.

    Thank you, and keep up the good work!

  5. Gali September 25th, 2012 11:53 pm

    Absolutely amazed with your project. Congratulations.

    As the other comments mentioned, is a vital addon in case of old machines like mine, with the floppy unit out of order.

    Keep us posted!

    Kind regards from Madrid!

  6. Wayne December 16th, 2012 10:40 am

    Interesting
    Wonder if this would word with an Apple IIgs?
    If not directly then maybe coupled with a daisy-chain board?

  7. Akis January 28th, 2014 2:06 pm

    Hello!
    Could you also implement support for Roland’s Quick Disks?
    It’s not floppy protocol but it should be easier than that and has a huge target group as nobody has already done it till now and there are many instruments using them and no disk’s to buy..

  8. Steve Chamberlin January 28th, 2014 3:28 pm

    I’m afraid not. From the limited information available about Quick Disks, it looks like it has a completely different data cabling and data format.

  9. Francis February 13th, 2014 4:14 am

    Hi Steve

    Just to let you know that I received your floppy emu and I have to say it works like a charm! Thank you for the quick delivery to Gibraltar.

    Best regards

    Francis

    A very happy customer :-)

  10. Jeremy February 24th, 2014 4:15 am

    What would be an amazing (and probably easily-implementable) feature for this device would be Apple HD20 emulation.

    For those who aren’t aware, the HD20 was a hard drive that connected to the Mac Plus via the external floppy port. The Mac Plus was released with a draft SCSI implementation, and as a result it can sometimes be tricky to get SCSI drives to play nice with it– mine only likes one specific 40MB drive combined with one specific enclosure. The HD20 always works (slowly), but it’s rare, expensive, pushing 30 years old, and uses a hard drive with a completely proprietary interface (not SASI, SCSI, MFM/RLL, IDE, or anything else.)

  11. Steve Chamberlin February 24th, 2014 6:58 am

    Yup, I’ve been investigating HD20 emulation and made some small progress on it. Read more here: http://www.bigmessowires.com/2014/02/06/emulating-the-apple-hd20/

  12. Jeremy March 3rd, 2014 4:13 am

    Sweet, I hope it turns out to be possible! I’ve just voted with my wallet and bought one. Looking forward to using my Plus without swapping physical floppies if nothing else :)

  13. Kyle Steele March 5th, 2014 4:31 pm

    I’d love to see a video how to build this! Or even a schematic of the emu would be great!

  14. Steve Chamberlin March 5th, 2014 4:57 pm
  15. Kyle Steele March 6th, 2014 11:43 am

    Thank you Steve!!!

  16. Bryan March 15th, 2014 2:26 am

    Just received my Mac Floppy Emu. Works great on my Mac SE/30. I’d be very interested in getting this to work on an Apple II, such as the Apple IIgs or IIc Plus. I tried it on both, but can’t get it to be recognized. I’d be more than happy to help out in getting this drive to work on the Apple II. I also have an Apple Lisa 2, so I can also help out in testing on that system.

  17. Wayne Stewart March 15th, 2014 6:28 am

    Bryan, with the Apple IIs, was the Mac Floppy Emu in a external drive box with a daisy-chain port?

  18. Steve Chamberlin March 15th, 2014 6:28 am

    Some people on the 68kmla forum had partial success getting it to work on an Apple IIgs. See http://68kmla.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=22517 It worked when connected to the pass-through board taken from an Apple 3.5 drive, but not when connected directly to the floppy port. I’m not really an Apple II guy so I’m not sure what’s up, but there are some good ideas in that forum thread if you want to follow them up.

  19. Bryan March 15th, 2014 2:10 pm

    Steve, I got it to work, using the information at the 68kmla site. There’s something about the Sony CXD1085B that allows this combination to work. Thanks for the tip!

  20. Nicolas March 17th, 2014 10:16 am

    Hi Steve,

    when are you planning to get a new batch of floppy emu?

    Thanks

    Nicolas

  21. Bryan March 17th, 2014 3:22 pm

    One suggestion that you might want to consider in a future version… Ability to copy dsk image files within the Emu interface. I keep the blank800.dsk on the SD card, but I’d like to be able to make a copy of it on-the-fly and then use the copy, instead of taking the SD card and performing the copy elsewhere.

  22. Alexander Frank March 22nd, 2014 2:25 am

    Hi!
    I really like your project and just bought one Macintosh Floppy Emulator “used” on eBay in germany.
    It really does work with my Mac 128k, great!

    One question/suggestion though:

    Is it possible to preselect one disk image so that it automatically gets inserted on power-up?
    If this isn’t yet implemented, you could look for a text file containing the filename or even a list of preselected images.
    The C64 SD-Card project SD2IEC does support this… :)

  23. Steve Chamberlin March 22nd, 2014 10:10 am

    Good idea!

  24. Luca Severini March 22nd, 2014 10:16 am

    Yes! It would be great… :-)

  25. Luca Severini March 22nd, 2014 10:18 am

    And also the feature to copy/duplicate a disk image directly on the device without the need to connect the memory card to a PC…
    Sorry for the spamming. ;-)

  26. Kyle Steele April 1st, 2014 3:28 pm

    Where is a good place I can download Disk Images “dsk” for my macintosh plus? I use MacintoshGarden.org but all the files from there are “.SIT”. Does the floppy emu only recognize .DSK”?

  27. Bryan April 1st, 2014 8:06 pm

    DSK is not a normal floppy disk format for the Macintosh. The only DSK files I’ve found for the Mac are hard disk images. You can open SIT and SEA files by using the StuffIt for Windows or Mac. When you extract the images from SIT, make sure the image files have the .img file extension. Macintosh Floppy Emu can read .img files, but it won’t write to them. You can use the Disk Copy conversion tool that is linked on this page to convert the .img file to .DSK.

  28. Kyle Steele April 1st, 2014 10:58 pm

    Thank you Bryan but I kind of need a visual. A YouTube video on how to covert my files from macintosh garden into a DSK would nice. I’m very eager to purchase the Mac Emu but i’d like to understand how to do this process before I buy the Emu. @Steve Chamberlin hope you’re reading!

  29. Eric April 3rd, 2014 5:07 pm

    I would love to have this but getting it to fit my Powerbook Duo might be a problem. Duo never had internal floppy disk drive (take that iMac!!) and the external drive support is via dock that uses propriety 20-pin square connector. There are large dock that do have internal disk drive but they are often over $100 on eBay, untested, and the dock are known to have bad power supply so I’d have to pay more on repairs just to make it work for files.

    Anyone have any idea how or where could I get a cable that uses the square connector that was widely used in early Powerbooks?

  30. Nicolas April 4th, 2014 6:41 am

    Hi Eric,

    you might want to build your own cable using a HDI-20 connector taken from an external 1.44 MB drive.

    There is a few available on eBay.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Apple-Macintosh-HDI-20-External-1-4mb-Floppy-Disk-Drive-Tested-Works-/390812278432?pt=US_Vintage_Computing_Parts_Accessories&hash=item5afe3a1ea0

    Nicolas

  31. Patrick April 20th, 2014 9:47 am

    Why don’t you support the full 532 bytes per sector? Is there any limitation in your system architecture, or was ist just because 512 bytes equals one SD card block? In this case, one floppy disk sector could be stored in two SD card blocks. Of course this would waste some storage capacity, but with today’s 2GB cards it would be acceptable.

  32. Bryan April 20th, 2014 3:30 pm

    I’m assuming the reason for the 512 bytes has nothing to do the emulator, and everything to do with holding down to standards. HFS standard is 512 bytes per sector. Apple’s DiskCopy utility therefore supports the 512 bytes standard. While true that the 512 byte setting can be changed, it would then throw off the standard, and you might run into incompatibility problems with many other utilities that use DiskCopy’s disk image format.

  33. Patrick April 20th, 2014 3:49 pm

    The other way: 524 bytes per sector is the standard for 400k and 800k floppies and the format used by Apple’s DiskCopy utility. *.dc42 files have 524 bytes per sector, and they have to be stripped down to 512 bytes to be used with the emulator. This causes incompatibilities with LisaOS and MFS.

    532 bytes is Apple’s block size for harddisks.

  34. Patrick April 20th, 2014 3:53 pm
  35. Steve Chamberlin April 20th, 2014 4:43 pm

    The classic Mac OS uses 512 bytes of data per sector for both HFS and MFS – that can’t be changed. True, the disk stores a few additional bytes per sector, but they’re not data bytes and the OS doesn’t use them. They’re called “tag bytes” and are a hold-over from the days of the Lisa, but are basically unused by the Mac. DiskCopy stores the extra tag bytes for completeness’ sake, but if you check any Mac disk image you’ll see the tag bytes are just all zeroes.

  36. Bryan April 20th, 2014 5:22 pm

    DiskCopy images work with MacFloppyEmu just fine unchanged. I can download DiskCopy images right off the Apple site, and the emulator works with them. If however you want to write to the images, then you you have to convert the *.dc42 format to raw .dsk format, using the utility linked on this page. The emulator is advertised not to work with the Apple Lisa, but not because of the reasons with the sector size of the image file. So working with LisaOS would not be an issue.

  37. Anonymous April 30th, 2014 4:27 pm

    Does this come with floppy images?

  38. Steven Hirsch June 10th, 2014 4:17 am

    Would be wonderful if this could be tweaked to work with Apple 2 “SmartPort” signaling as well.

  39. Theo Karagiris June 12th, 2014 8:27 pm

    I purchased the floppy emu a few weeks ago and I’ve use it with my two Mac 512k’s, works flawlessly. A fantastic product.

  40. Anonymous June 22nd, 2014 7:57 am

    Any thought to designing an enclosure for this? …You can 3D print them and sell them. :)

  41. Steve Chamberlin June 22nd, 2014 9:14 am

    I’d love to. My 3D printer doesn’t have a large enough print area, though, and the prints are slow and unreliable enough that I don’t think it would be practical. If anyone else wants to try designing an enclosure, I’d be happy to work out a revenue share, or just refer interested people to them.

  42. Daniel June 25th, 2014 2:46 pm

    I just wanted to chime in a say that I just bought one of these… and it works great. I just had to reformat my SD card to Fat32 and MOST files show up and are accessible. I’ve been downloading games, but I think I might want to try and find some apps. I have an ImageWriter II that I want to make use of. :)

  43. Ricky August 7th, 2014 8:04 pm

    I bought your gadget just in time before it is out of stock.

    I want to know how to convert 1.4MB image into 800K. My SE doesn’t support 1.4MB.

  44. Steve Chamberlin August 8th, 2014 7:16 pm

    800K is a lower capacity disk format, so unfortunately there’s no simple conversion possible from 1.4MB. You can’t fit 1.4MB of data into 800K of space. Most software from the early Macintosh era was sold on both 800K and 1.4MB disks, so you’ll need to find the right disk image for the software you’re using. Or copy the files from a single 1.4MB disk onto two 800K disks, and use them that way.

  45. Chris September 21st, 2014 10:49 am

    I just got my Floppy Emu and love it, my Macintosh Plus is alive again! I highly recommend if your thinking of buying the Floppy Emu to buy the one with the extension cable, It would be a pain to have to lean over the mac every time you want to insert a new disk.

    Steve, my Plus can only read the 400k and 800k .dsk images but I have an Apple HD20 (NOT SCSI) which is on my floppy drive port. So is there any chance of seeing a firmware update that would allow Floppy Emu to “mount” a 20mb .dsk? That would make it posable to run all my whole system off the FE and not need the noise Apple HD20 running!

    Anyways thanks for a great tool for bring life back to dusty old Macs!

  46. Steve Chamberlin September 22nd, 2014 7:28 pm

    Yes, I think HD20 emulation is possible, and I did some research into it a few months ago – http://www.bigmessowires.com/2014/02/06/emulating-the-apple-hd20/ It’s still a long way from a practical reality though.

  47. Kevin October 5th, 2014 7:21 am

    this type can apply to 3 module FDD used for NEC PC-9801 ?

  48. Steve Chamberlin October 5th, 2014 7:59 am

    No, sorry. Floppy Emu is for classic Macintosh computers only.

  49. Kyle Steele October 29th, 2014 7:55 am

    Can anyone point me in the right direction where I can find a disk image that will work on my Macintosh Plus? I just got my Floppy Emu and I only have disk images that work on my 512 K Macintosh. I’ve tried the apple support page and Macintosh Garden and I’ve even tried a couple other sites I googled. Would be awesome if I get this Mac Plus back to life. Thank you guys!

  50. Steve Chamberlin October 29th, 2014 8:05 am

    The Plus will work with any disk image that the 512K does, as well as many more. Check the instructions included with your Floppy Emu for a link to an archive of some other disk images too. Most things from Macintosh Garden should work as well, for example all of the 800K system disk images at http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/macintosh-system-6x

  51. Kyle Steele October 30th, 2014 12:22 am

    Okay I downloaded the link you gave me. Now I have a “.sit”What should I use to extract it?

  52. Steven Hirsch October 30th, 2014 3:13 am

    There are free utilities available for Windows, MacOSX and Linux that can unpack a Stuffit archive.

  53. Steve Chamberlin October 30th, 2014 6:53 am

    The easiest way to get started is with the link in the printed instructions that come with the Floppy Emu. This has a dozen or so disk images, already in the right format. All the 400K and 800K images should work with the Plus, like Dark Castle and MacPaint and System 6.

    Stuff from Macintosh Garden can be harder. Often the files are .sit (StuffIt archive – similar to a zip file) or .sea (self-extracting archive, a program you have to run on a classic Mac). If you can find versions of the software you want in DiskCopy II format or raw image format, download those instead, as they’ll work directly with Floppy Emu and save you a LOT of work.

    If the software you want is only available as a .sit file, there are programs for OS X and Windows that will directly uncompress a .sit archive, but I haven’t yet found one that I like. If you can find a good one, you could simplify things a little. Steven Hirsch, do you have a recommendation?

    Otherwise to open a StuffIt archive, you’ll need a Mac emulator program like Mini vMac, a Mac ROM file, and a copy of the classic StuffIt program. There are several versions of the StuffIt program, which produce different version of .sit files. Newer versions of StuffIt can open older .sit files, but older StuffIts can’t open newer .sit files. The newest StuffIts won’t run on a Mac Plus, though, which can make things complicated. The basic method is to run an emulator like Mini vMac (my preference) or Basilisk II (if you need something newer), launch a copy of StuffIt, and use it to uncompress the .sit file. This will typically give you a DiskCopy II file, but it’s still inside the emulator. Use the Mini vMac plugins ImportFl and ExportFl (http://www.gryphel.com/c/minivmac/extras/importfl/index.html) to move files between the emulator and the host computer.

  54. Steven Hirsch October 30th, 2014 7:16 am

    Unless I’m misremembering something, I believe I’ve used this:

    hirsch@z87:/usr/local/bin32$ ./unstuff
    unstuff 5.2.0.611 2001/06/28 15:24 – archive expander
    Usage: unstuff [-option[=value]] [--option[=value]] (archives…)

    -d= –destination=path destination directory for expanded files
    -e= –eol=[unix|win|mac] text type for expanded files
    –formats shows supported archive formats
    -m= –macbinary=[off|auto|on] MacBinary output option for two-fork expanded files
    -p= –password=password archive password
    -q –quiet suppresses messages
    -t= –text=[off|auto|on] text conversion for expanded files
    -v –version shows version information

    See unstuff.html for more information.

    Unfortunately, I do not recall exactly where it came from. There is a version of Aladdin unstuff for Windows, AFAIK, but I’ve never used it.

  55. Steven Hirsch October 30th, 2014 7:18 am

    Here’s a link for a free-as-in-beer Windows tool:

    http://my.smithmicro.com/stuffit-expander-windows.html

    I have not used it and cannot vouch for it one way or the other.

  56. Charles November 28th, 2014 1:54 am

    also, as we know this also works with the Apple IIgs, as long as you install this into a 800k 3.5 external HD floppy drive.

    but wouldn’t it be cool is maybe someone could load up a boat load of images plug it into the back of a IIgs and Start Rocking in vintage App land, W/O needing the 800k floppy enclosure? I have some IIgs’s here.

    I really would like to send you a IIgs for free, so you can have it laying around maybe it will give you creative inspiration
    for future projects.?

    here is a place with all the images.
    http://asciiexpress.net/gameserver/

    after all a IIgs will do just about everything including all the Apple II software as well.

  57. Steven Hirsch November 30th, 2014 7:40 am

    I’ll second, third and fourth the request for Apple IIgs and, as an added bonus, Apple //c SmartPort compatibility. In the interim, I will temporarily sacrifice an AppleDisk 3.5 to make use of the passthrough board.

  58. Michael December 5th, 2014 9:58 pm

    Hello,
    I’m just received my Floppy Emu. i went out to Best Buy and purchased a cheap 8 gb SanDisk Ultra (40mb/s) . Brought it home, plugged it into my Mbpro Retina. Already pre-formatted FAT – so just copied some .dsk files to it and then put into my new Floppy Emu. Next, I plugged my Floppy Emu into my 1984 (April) original 128k Mac, and that was it. All the dsk files were easy to read/write to with no issue so far. I’m really excited about this. Lot to mess around with this weekend. Thank you so much!

  59. Bill February 5th, 2015 7:53 am

    Thanks for the great product and fast service! My floppy emu is working wonderfully. I love the lit LCD. The clear acrylic case took a little bit of assembling, but the finished product looks slick and professional.

  60. techknight February 8th, 2015 10:57 am

    Food for thought: As mentioned performance varies with SD card. What about attaching some SPI-Based RAM to the MCU? Open the disk images in RAM for read/write/format access. Then when the Emulator goes idle, or gets an eject command, it commences the write to the SD card at that point?

  61. Steve Chamberlin February 8th, 2015 12:45 pm

    Good thought. I considered that approach, but eventually decided against it. Performance is mostly determined by the speed of the Macintosh floppy interface, and not the SD card. For reading, there wouldn’t be any noticeable benefit to caching the disk image in RAM. For writing, it might be anywhere from no benefit to perhaps 2x faster depending on the card. I decided it wasn’t really worth the extra complexity.

  62. Steve Fraser February 11th, 2015 11:58 am

    The kit arrived in good time given it travelled all the way to UK. It works well and I’m looking forward to putting it to good use. One thing, if thing it be, I wish I’d ordered the plastic case for it at the same time as the order. It makes me nervous sitting on the desk there in all it’s unprotected glory. But well done you for making it.

  63. Steve Chamberlin February 11th, 2015 12:07 pm

    Keep the board off of metal surfaces and you’ll be fine. :-) I’ve used a pair of Emus without cases for about two years, so they’re pretty rugged in normal use. The case does add a nice touch of polish, though!

  64. Steve Fraser February 11th, 2015 12:20 pm

    OK, thanks for that. I’ve just ordered a case in any event. It seems a good idea. I wish I had done so in the first place but no worries. A super piece of kit for those who like fooling around with old Macs, even if I don’t know why. Next project id capacitor replacement on an SE/30. Terrifying for someone with fingers as stubby as mine!

  65. Josh February 16th, 2015 10:01 am

    How does one enable the backlight?

  66. Steve Chamberlin February 16th, 2015 4:52 pm

    New Floppy Emus have the backlight enabled by default. For older ones, it varies depending on the board revision. For most boards, you can add a piece of wire at the location labeled R5 on the main board, or between LIGHT and GND on the LCD board. See more info here: http://www.bigmessowires.com/2014/04/04/floppy-emu-backlight/

  67. Kurt February 18th, 2015 1:19 pm

    I got the one I ordered for my Classic II yesterday! It works great, and looks fantastic in the clear case. I also got it set up in HD20 mode. My only comment is that I found the firmware updating instructions ambiguous — hold down next and prev buttons, then press and release reset… does that mean keep holding the next and prev buttons until the updating is done, or let go of them? At any rate, I got it to work, but I was a bit nervous about messing it up.

  68. Steve Fraser February 25th, 2015 12:27 pm

    Well, the box kit arrived and after an ‘interesting’ time putting it together, what a darling it looks. I installed the HD20 software and it works a treat on the Classic. All in all a super piece of kit. One query, as the words read I can get HD20 mode running on an SE/30 if I install and boot from a drive containing HD20init. Is that correct? Either way, it’s great. Thanks for working it all out.

  69. Steve Chamberlin February 25th, 2015 1:09 pm

    The HD20 Init is only for the Mac 128K and 512K, and the SE/30 doesn’t support HD20 mode at all. Sorry for the confusion – I’ve edited the compatibility paragraph to hopefully make this clearer.

  70. Chris February 25th, 2015 2:44 pm

    Put together the new case, looks great! I Do have a tip for putting it together, masking tape, makes all the difference when you have to flip it over to tighten the screws!

    Steve thank you for the HD20 firmware update, being about to run my Mac plus without using the noisy Apple HD20 is amazing!

  71. Adam Goolevitch March 3rd, 2015 2:25 am

    Hi,
    I curious if your floppy drive EMU could be adapted to work as a as though it was a prototype Macintosh 128k with a Twiggy floppy drive disk that I recently restored and archived.

    I have 2 versions of the Twiggy Mac 128k’s motherboard ROM’s which will work on any standard production Macintosh 128k. I also have 13 archived twiggy disk images to test with.

    Please let me know if you can help me with this project.

    Thanks,
    Adam Goolevitch
    778-885-2312

  72. Steve Chamberlin March 3rd, 2015 7:06 am

    If you can make Twiggy drives work with just a ROM swap in the Macintosh, then it’s likely that Floppy Emu could be modified to emulate the Twiggy drive. If you send me whatever technical info you have about the drive, the disk format, and the ROM, I’ll take a look at it.

  73. Bryan March 6th, 2015 12:38 am

    I’m not getting it… Why would we want to emulate twiggy drives?

    The only reason we are even emulating Sony drives is that 98-percent of content for the Lisa are only 400K disk images. If there were twiggy disk images floating about, then that would be one thing. But even then, it is easy to just copy the files from the twiggy disk image to the 400K disk image. We should actually be running away from twiggy drives and disk images.

  74. XrayIndia March 10th, 2015 4:52 am

    Hi, I received Macintosh Floppy Emu #0302
    Very professional PCB (not really big mess :-) ! and wonderful firmsoftware !! Merci
    Best regards,
    Francis

  75. Bryan March 10th, 2015 1:41 pm

    #302 and growing!

    Mine is #91… This and the CFFA boards for the Apple II are two of the finest hobbiest-produced products I’ve ever seen. It is amazing how much the MFE has been upgraded, despite not needing additional hardware to address these new features. It shows that Steve designed the product right when it came to future growth.

    Meanwhile, the first Apple IIGS Floppy Emu! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.10153725996848677&type=1

  76. Steve Chamberlin March 10th, 2015 8:41 pm

    Cool. I need to learn what that magic pass-through board in the A9M0106 floppy drive does, because whatever it does, it makes Floppy Emu work on the IIgs. Maybe I can duplicate the functionality in the Floppy Emu, then it could work directly without needing the pass-through board.

  77. Steven Hirsch March 11th, 2015 3:54 am

    It would be even more ideal if Floppy Emu could pretend to be a Unidisk 3.5. That would extend functionality to the Apple IIc in addition to IIgs. There is documentation on the bus protocol floating around in the A2 community. Just say the word and I’ll round it up for you.

  78. Steve Chamberlin March 11th, 2015 6:23 am

    Maybe… if you have a link or pointer, that would be helpful.

  79. Tom Stepleton March 15th, 2015 7:53 am

    @Bryan March: it’s worthwhile to work with Twiggies because the Lisa 1 is a historic machine, of course! The software that ran on a Lisa 1—the first GUI environment for a personal computer ever made—will only run on a Lisa 1. There are differences between versions 1.0 and the versions that came later for the Lisa 2.

    Twiggy disks are now 32 years old, and many are degrading or already useless. With the emulator, someone could easily boot up a disk utility like BLU and save some of their old media, or install a version of the Office System or the Workshop from images and use that to save their old documents.

    There is plenty of Lisa software that hasn’t been backed up onto modern media yet. Twiggy-capable emulators would help.

    Also, there definitely are Twiggy disk images floating around:
    http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/bits/Apple/Lisa/twiggy/
    http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/bits/Apple/Lisa/workshop_1.0/
    http://bitsavers.trailing-edge.com/bits/Apple/Lisa/monitor/

    Finally, there is as yet no way to “just copy the files from the twiggy disk image to the 400K disk image” other than stuff like:
    - copy disk image to a real Twiggy using a Lisa 1.
    - copy file from the Twiggy to a ProFile hard drive.
    - plug the ProFile into a Lisa 2.
    - copy file from the ProFile to a 400k drive.

    and that’s assuming that the newer Lisa OS running on the Lisa 2 can read the old OS’s filesystem on the ProFile (the filesystem changed between versions). Don’t know whether that would actually work.

    So, there are some good reasons to emulate Twiggy drives.

  80. Steve Chamberlin March 15th, 2015 8:51 am

    A Twiggy mode for Floppy Emu would certainly help Lisa 1 owners for backing up their disks. But I’m not sure it would really help with copying files to a 400K disk or disk image. You could make a Twiggy disk image with the Lisa 1, but then what would you do with that on your Lisa 2? Maybe somebody in the Lisa community could write a software utility to parse the contents of a Twiggy disk image, extract the Lisa filesystem contents, and create a new 400K disk image with those contents.

  81. Steven Hirsch March 15th, 2015 9:12 am

    I just sent a tarball of information on the Apple 2 Unidisk to your e-mail address. Gmail works very hard to strip attachments and dump outgoing mail in the bitbucket, so let me know if you fail to receive it?

  82. Tom Stepleton March 15th, 2015 9:13 am

    The 400k thing is really a red herring, but I remarked on it it since Bryan brought it up.

    Lisa 1 and Lisa 2 are very similar computers with some interoperability, but from a conservation perspective, it’s probably more worthwhile to think of them as separate machines with separate filesystems, operating systems, and file formats.

    There are probably not a lot of Lisa 1 owners out there who are just dying for a way to finally get their Twiggy docs on a 3.5″ 400k diskette. Even if there were, a Twiggy holds 870k, so it might be a tight fit.

    Instead, the real value of a Twiggy emulator comes from things like:

    (1) direct Twiggy->disk image backups

    (2) making it easy to load/install software onto the Lisa from images, like BLU, the Office System, and the Workshop. This in turn really opens up the number of backup options people have available for their data.

    (3) making it easy to create and test “experimental” disk images, in order to reverse-engineer the filesystem.

    Item 3 cannot be done in an emulator, since no emulator exists yet for the Lisa 1. Of course, having an easy way to try out arbitrary boot disks in a Lisa would probably speed the development of viable emulators, too.

  83. Steve Chamberlin March 15th, 2015 9:17 am

    @Steve Hirsch – got your email, thanks!

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