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Macintosh Floppy Emu


Plug-and-play disk emulation for your vintage Macintosh! Floppy Emu is a prototype floppy and hard disk emulator for classic Macs. It uses an SD memory card and custom hardware to mimic a Macintosh floppy disk and drive, or an HD20-compatible hard drive. It plugs into the Mac’s external or internal floppy port, and behaves exactly like a real disk drive, requiring no special software on the Mac. Floppy disk emulation works with any vintage Macintosh, hard disk emulation works on supported Macintosh models.

For Mac 128K, 512K, 512Ke, Plus, SE, Classic, Classic II, Portable, IIci, IIsi, or LC: Install the alternate HD20 firmware (see link below) to use disk images up to 2 GB in size.


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 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, or turn a real Apple internal floppy
drive into an external drive. Convertible connector has an IDC20 to IDC20 cable
with detachable IDC20-DB19 adapter, for external or internal port connections.
  Out of stock.

  Macintosh 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.

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

  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 replacement or refund.

Floppy Emu is perfect for setup and troubleshooting of a Mac without a working OS, for moving files between vintage Macs, or for tinkering with your classic Mac collection. Just plug in the Floppy Emu, and you’ll be booting up in seconds. Keep it as a permanent solution, or use System 6 or 7 installer disk images to do a new OS installation to the internal hard drive.



  • Compatible with everything from the original Mac 128K through the Mac II and Power Mac series
  • Reads and writes emulated 400K, 800K, or 1.4MB floppy disk images, or hard disk images up to 2GB
  • Supports all major Macintosh disk image types
  • External or internal connection to your Mac
  • Can be used simultaneously with other floppy and hard disk drives

I developed Floppy Emu here at Big Mess o’ Wires, over a period of several years. You can view the tech details and progress reports from the development blog if you’re interested in its history and operation. There’s a TON of info there on nitty gritty details and problems solved along the way, so check it out!





Expert makers: build your own Floppy Emu



This is experimental hardware, so expect some bugs. Floppy Emu should work with any vintage Macintosh from the original 128K to the Power Macintosh series and beyond, though not every Mac model has been tested. For Macs without an external floppy port, you can unplug the internal floppy drive and connect Floppy Emu in its place. Some older Mac models (Mac Plus and earlier) aren’t designed to use 1.4 MB disks, and will be limited to 400K and 800K disk images. HD20 hard disk emulation is supported on certain Macintosh models only; see below for a list.



You’ll need an SD or SDHC card that’s fast when transferring small data blocks. A lower capacity card will normally provide better performance. I like this 2 GB Transcend card.

You’ll also need a collection of Macintosh disk images. You can get these directly from Apple, from Mac emulator sites, or from collections like Macintosh Garden or tkc8800. Note: as of November 2014, Apple has removed their legacy software download page, but you can access a mirror here.



Always plug the Floppy Emu into your Macintosh before turning the Mac on. “Hot plugging” the Floppy Emu (plugging and unplugging it while the Mac is already on) may damage it.

SD Card: The SD card should be formatted as FAT32. Most new cards are already preformatted as FAT32, so you probably don’t need to do anything.

Disk Images: From your PC, copy your floppy disk image files to the SD card. These can be 400K, 800K, or 1.4MB images. You can get system software disk images from a mirror of Apple’s old support site. The image files should either be in raw format (containing nothing but the disk data, and usually having a .dsk or .hfv filename extension), or DiskCopy 4.2 format (usually having a .img or .image filename extension). Raw images are readable and writable by Floppy Emu, DiskCopy 4.2 images are read-only.

Image Conversion: If desired, you can convert DiskCopy 4.2 images into raw images using the floppy image converter tool.

Connection: Insert the SD card into the Floppy Emu, and plug the Emu’s cable into the Mac’s external DB-19 or internal IDC-20 floppy port. Then turn the Mac on.

Disk Mounting: Use the PREV and NEXT buttons to navigate through the list of image files on the SD card. Press the SELECT button to choose an image to “insert” into the drive. The Macintosh system software handles disk ejection. To eject a disk, drag its Finder icon into the trash can, or select “Eject” from the Finder’s menu.

LCD Contrast Adjustment: Hold down the SELECT and NEXT buttons while Floppy Emu is initializing. After a few seconds you’ll see the contrast adjustment screen. Use the PREV and NEXT buttons to change the contrast, and SELECT to save the contrast setting. (Requires firmware 1.0L-F11 or later)

Firmware Updates: Download the latest version of the software from this page. The software comes in two parts: femu.bin for the AVR microcontroller, and firmware.xvf for the CPLD. Follow the instructions in the included readme.txt file to install both components of the new software.


HD20 Hard Disk Emulation

An experimental firmware version adds HD20 hard disk emulation to the Floppy Emu. The HD20 was an early model of Apple hard disk that connected to the Mac via the floppy port. See the link above to download and install the firmware, but be aware it’s a work-in-progress and likely contains some bugs. With this firmware, you can switch between floppy and HD20 emulation modes by pressing the SELECT button during Emu startup, while the system and version info is displayed on the LCD.

In hard disk mode, the Floppy Emu looks for a disk image file named HD20.dsk on the SD card. This image file can be up to 2 GB in size. The format of the file is the same raw format used for floppy emulation, and the same format commonly used by Macintosh emulators like Mini vMac and Basilisk II. If you’ve already got a hard disk image file for use with these emulators, just rename it to HD20.dsk and copy it to your SD card. Otherwise you can create a new blank image file by using DD to generate a large file full of zeroes, or even just rename an existing large video or other file to HD20.dsk to create an uninitialized disk image.

HD20 hard disk emulation requires a Macintosh model with HD20 support in ROM, or a Mac 128K or 512K booted from another disk containing Apple’s HD20 Init. The supported models are:

  • 128K (requires HD20 Init)
  • 512K (requires HD20 Init)
  • 512Ke
  • Plus
  • SE
  • Classic
  • Classic II
  • Portable
  • IIci
  • IIsi
  • LC (but not LC-II or LC-III)

It’s also possible to add HD20 support to a Mac SE/30, IIx, IIcx, or IIfx by substituting a IIsi ROM SIMM. Doug Brown sells a programmable Macintosh ROM SIMM that can work.

For HD20 mode, you must connect the Floppy Emu board to the external floppy port, not the internal one. For the LC, one of the two internal floppy ports is considered “external” – try them both.


How it Works (Nerdy Details)

The hardware consists of a Xilinx XC9572XL CPLD working cooperatively with an ATMEGA1284 microcontroller. The CPLD implements all the timing-sensitive functions and communication with the Macintosh, while the microcontroller provides the brains of the device. The microcontroller uses SdFatLib to read sectors from a disk image file on the SD card, and synthesizes sector headers, footers, and checksums on the fly. It also performs the necessary conversions between logical data and the GCR encoded data format used on Macintosh floppy disks. The microcontroller then passes the bytes one at a time to the CPLD, at a speed that mimics a normal external floppy drive. The CPLD performs the parallel-to-serial conversion and implements the serial signalling convention expected by the Mac. Both reads and writes to emulated floppies are supported. To the Mac, the emulated floppy disk appears identical to a real disk in speed and capacity.

The board’s standard 20-pin IDC connector is used to attach it to the Mac. This is the same connector found on the Mac motherboard for the internal floppy drive, so a regular IDC-20 to IDC-20 cable can be used to connect Floppy Emu internally as a replacement for an internal floppy. More commonly, an IDC-20 to DB-19 adapter cable is used to connect to the Mac’s external floppy port. This enables Floppy Emu to be positioned in the front of the Mac where it’s easier to use.

To update the device’s firmware, the microcontroller can program the CPLD via JTAG. If the Floppy Emu board is reset while holding down a few buttons, it will look for a file named firmware.xvf on the SD card, and use it to update the CPLD with new firmware in about 20 seconds. That means an external Xilinx JTAG programmer isn’t needed. The microcontroller software can be updated from the SD card as well, using an SD-based bootloader.



  • 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, with raw .dsk images. DiskCopy 4.2 images are read-only.
  • 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.
  • 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


70 Comments so far

  1. scompo January 2nd, 2012 3:43 am


  2. andrea January 2nd, 2012 6:17 am


  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

    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

    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


    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:

  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 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?



  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

    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 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.


  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 – 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

  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 ( 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 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:

    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.

    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

    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:

  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!

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