Thanks again, Dave!

Dave Dunfield dave04a at dunfield.com
Wed Jan 11 13:09:25 CST 2006


> My feeling on the matter is that when a computer is being used to
> image and/or salvage data off of non-native disks, it is being
> used as a piece of test equipment, not as a general purpose
> computer.  As such, it's 'legitimate' to run it as root, dig deep
> into the driver hierarchy and kernel, etc.  A lot of the real
> power of a diskette imaging/analyzing system will be deep within
> the system.  So making distinctions between 'user space' and
> 'kernel space' might be interesting, but ultimately are
> irrelevant.  A piece of test equipment is designed for a specific
> purpose, and a computer repurposed to something like this will be
> as well.

I agree with this, which is why I keep DOS machines around in my
workshop - I've got lots of specialized stuff that I created which
manipulates various hardware directly, and DOS is the best platform
for this - also it gives me the most real-time stable environment.
Even if you don't want to dedicate the whole machine as a DOS box,
you can put on a small partition containing the stuff that needs access
to the "bare metal" (like ImageDisk) and boot it as needed.

Regarding ImageDisk and Linux - all I see needed to do it properly are
some enhancements to the floppy driver - the ability to configure for all
possible formats the 765 can do (if Linux does not do this already which
I think it might), and the ability to do track-by-track analysis. These things
would be easy to do in the driver. Then the "ImageDisk" program becomes
a simple application which makes IOCTL calls to analze the disk, and
configures the controller, and then simply reads sectors off and writes the
.IMD file.

Regards,
Dave

--
dave04a (at)    Dave Dunfield
dunfield (dot)  Firmware development services & tools: www.dunfield.com
com             Collector of vintage computing equipment:
                http://www.parse.com/~ddunfield/museum/index.html




More information about the cctalk mailing list