C64 w/2+ disk drives
brain at jbrain.com
Thu Nov 15 10:20:16 CST 2007
Bryan Pope wrote:
> And thusly were the wise words spake by Roy J. Tellason
>> On Tuesday 13 November 2007 18:17, Cameron Kaiser wrote:
>>>> An even better example is the C-64. The disk drives on that are
>>>> netoriously slow, but were computers in their own right, having a CPU as
>>>> part of the drive electronics. One trick (assuming you have at least two
>>>> disk drives) was to program the disk drives to copy a disk,
>>> The 64 was emblematic of the best and worst features of this. The
>>> intelligent serial peripherals could talk amongst each other, such as
>>> the disk drive becoming commanded to TALK and the printer to LISTEN,
>>> which is essentially a print spooler.
>> This reminds me of one particular disk-copying program, which would have the
>> lights on both drives on solid. You could, once you'd kicked off a copying
>> process, have unplugged the computer and it would just keep on going.
> I believe there were a few disk-copying programs like this that would
> also prompt you to change disks by flashing the LEDs in some way.
Fast Hack 'Em did both of these. There was a 1541 Auto-Copy feature.
It would work with drives that were all set to Device 8 (the default).
You would load the program from the FHM boot screen (Option M or so)
It would ask you to turn off one drive, and hit enter. That would load
the code into what would end up as device 9, and soft change the dev number
You would turn back on the other drive, and it would load the code into
Then, it would ask you to unplug the 64 from the drives.
The drives then checked the write protect signal of the source drive to
understand when a disk was inserted.
The LEDs would blink during formatting and copying ina regular way.
When you were changing disks and when it was preparing to start, it
would toggle the LEDs in a pattern that provided feedback.
A little known fact with FHM is that the first step of assigning soft
dev number 9 and loading code to the target drive would work with
multiple drives. It was possible to chain 4 or 5 drives off a 64 and
turn off 1 drive (the source), allowing 3 or 4 drives to become
"targets". Then, you would end up making multiple copies of a source disk.
knowing what I now know about the Commodore IEC protocol, I am amazed
that works. I can only assume that FHM specifically planned for that to
Jim Brain, Brain Innovations (X)
brain at jbrain.com
Dabbling in WWW, Embedded Systems, Old CBM computers, and Good Times!
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