Looking for an 8 bit FDC...

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Tue Oct 25 18:57:29 CDT 2005

If what you're really after is a "read anything" system for archival
purposes, why bother with someone's FDC?  There was a time when processor
horsepower was limited and LSI didn't mean what it does now and an LSI FDC
seemed like a good idea.

That was then and this is now.  If you can find a 64KB FIFO (salvaged from
an old video card maybe) or a bunch of 8 bit counters and some SRAM, you
can build your own version of a Catweasel and read just about
anything--including those Victor 9000 or Motorola VersaDOS diskette or any
number of bizarre copy-protection schemes.  You can use an 8255 for drive
control and the rest is mostly LSTTL glue.    Writing is a  little more
complicated, but reading is simple.

When talking about multiple controllers on a card, it seems that a simpler
approach might be a bit more flexible.


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