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New Firmware for Floppy Emu

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After a long period of hibernation, today I’ve released a set of firmware updates for the Floppy Emu disk emulator. These updates provide a few user interface improvements taken from customer suggestions over the past year, and also fix a couple of small bugs. Enjoy!

Ellipses in Long File Names – Don’t you hate it when you’ve got several disk images with very similar names, like Operating System Install Disk 1.dsk, Operating System Install Disk 2.dsk, and Operating System Install Disk 3.dsk? On the Floppy Emu’s built-in display, while browsing the contents of your SD card, the end of those long filenames were all cut off. You couldn’t tell which one was which when selecting a disk image from the menu. With today’s firmware update, the middle of those long filenames will now be replaced with an ellipsis, retaining the beginning and end of the name. Several people have been asking me for this feature for at least a year, so here you go.

Obvious Errors for Unsupported Disk Image Types – The Floppy Emu is always running in a specific emulation mode, like Apple II 5.25 Inch mode or Macintosh HD20 Hard Disk mode. When you’re browsing the contents of your SD card, the Emu knows which disk images are supported by the current mode, and which aren’t. The old behavior was to only display supported disk images and hide the others, but this seems to have confused everybody and left them wondering why their files disappeared. The new behavior is to list (mostly) all the files on the SD card, then show an error if the user selects something that isn’t a disk image supported by the current mode. In this case, you’ll see “disk image type is not supported in the current emu mode”.

Emulation Mode Highlight – Speaking of emulation modes, many people didn’t seem to realize that they exist, resulting in confusion when using the wrong mode or not knowing how to change modes. I can ask them to RTFM, but it would be nice if the UI made it more obvious. I’ve changed the Emu’s startup screen to display the current emulation mode right at the top, in inverse text, so hopefully it will now be impossible to overlook. I also fixed a subtle problem that affected people who switched from the Apple II firmware to the Mac/Lisa firmware: the Emu was defaulting to Lisa 3.5 Floppy mode after the firmware update. Quite a few people didn’t notice, and then couldn’t understand why floppy emulation didn’t work with their Macintosh. I’ve changed the behavior so it will now default to Macintosh 3.5 Floppy mode after the firmware update.

 
Get the new firmware here:

Macintosh and Lisa, for all Floppy Emu models: hd20-0.7G-F14.5
Apple II firmware, for Floppy Emu Model B: apple-ii-0.1R-F8
Apple II firmware, for Floppy Emu Model A: apple-ii-0.1R-F6

With any firmware update, there’s always a chance that I’ll accidentally break something, so please give me your feedback on whether these new versions work for you.

Read 13 comments and join the conversation 

13 Comments so far

  1. Chris M. February 11th, 2017 5:19 pm

    Updating to this firmware, I discovered a problem that actually dates back to the Apple II firmware 0.1M update (the IIc+ timing fix). I hadn’t actually updated my FloppyEmu since I purchased it in 2015 from 0.1J so I never caught the bug.

    Anyway, my FloppyEmu has problems reading when connected to my Apple IIgs in 3.5″ disk mode with my Transwarp GS turned on. With it turned off (running at stock CPU speeds), reading from the FloppyEmu generally works, which points to a weird timing problem. Firmware 0.1K is the last to work properly with the TWGS turned on, so I strongly suspect the timing fix for the IIc+ in 0.1M is causing the problem here. I have downgraded to 0.1K for the time being.

  2. Steve February 12th, 2017 8:14 am

    Thanks, I’ll take a closer look at this. As I recall, the IIc+ timing fix was only for Smartport mode, and only affected how quickly the device could respond to the first Smartport command after a cold boot, so I wouldn’t think it should have had any impact on 3.5 inch disk mode or reading from the disk after booting. Strange.

  3. Chris M. February 14th, 2017 1:48 pm

    This is the Apple IIc+ fix I was referring to: http://www.bigmessowires.com/2016/02/10/apple-iic-is-weird/

    Whats odd is that this is even a problem. When disk I/O is active, the Transwarp GS completely shuts off as the Apple IIgs needs to run at native speed when doing any I/O operations.

  4. Mick February 27th, 2017 7:46 pm

    I’ve been getting a few write errors lately since upgrading.

    incomplete write

    3511

    I have a model A. I’m using it via smartport on a Mac SE Superdrive and Radius Accelerator 25 SE to install System 7.1 onto a 120mb SCSI drive. It occurs after switching from disk Install 1 to Install 2. This isn’t the first time I’ve had issues during installations lately (was running into problems on a IIcx), but it’s the first time I caught it and didn’t just start over and not document to problem. Also, this is still on original capacitors, so it could just be bad hardware.

  5. Gerry Schultz March 31st, 2017 5:11 pm

    Hey Steve, nice product. I purchased some Mac EMUs back in 2015. They are S/N 0383 and S/N 0384 and are labeled Macintosh Floppy EMU version 1.3. The new one I just received from you is labeled Macintosh Floppy EMU Model B, Version 1.5. I assume the first two are model A since the new one is model B. Is this assumption correct? You know what they say about assumptions, they make an ass out of you and me.

    The reason I’m asking is that I have some Apple IIgs(es) so if I update the firmware on one of the original EMUs, I use the correct file. I guess I’m going to have to order another model B for my second Apple IIgs.

    Thanks,
    Gerry

  6. Gerry Schultz March 31st, 2017 6:01 pm

    Steve, I have a second question. Is the EMU compatible with the smartport on the Apple IIe card in a Mac LC475? I presently have a Unidisk 3.5 and two 5.25 floppy drives plugged into that port.

  7. Steve March 31st, 2017 7:49 pm

    Yes those version 1.3 boards are the Emu Model A. You can purchase the Universal Adapter Extension Cable for Model A if you want to use them with your IIgs. I’ve had limited feedback on the IIe card for Mac LC. I expect the Emu would work as a 5.25 inch drive with the IIe card, but probably not for the other emulation modes.

  8. Gerry Schultz March 31st, 2017 10:29 pm

    Thanks for the quick response. Are the Universal Adapter Extension Cables the same for the A and B models? I ordered full kits for both of the A models plus extra extension cables. I\\\’m conserned about mixing the cables between models.

    Thanks for a great product. Where\\\’s the link for the model A user manual?

    Gerry

  9. Steve April 1st, 2017 7:02 am

    Gerry, I’ll follow-up directly by email.

  10. Gerry Schultz April 1st, 2017 9:26 am

    I compared the Universal Adapter Extension cables between the model A and B EMUs and the A is missing that current-limiting resistor on the ‘A’ adapter. So is there an issue using these cables interchangeably?

  11. Julian Ingram November 10th, 2017 2:38 pm

    Can someone help me with this…
    I updated the firmware and I saw the Success! message but right after I get the CLPD 14! = 21 error. How can I fix this. Just bought the floppy emu in November. Any help is greatly appreciated!

  12. Steve November 10th, 2017 2:50 pm

    That will happen if you don’t install both parts of the firmware update. See the instructions in the readme.txt file for details.

  13. Julian Ingram November 10th, 2017 3:02 pm

    Hey,
    Thanks for the response Steve.

    I watched the very helpful youtube vid about it and realized that I was not hitting the right buttons for the second reset.

    It is working perfectly!
    Thanks!

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