Machine Independent Storage Idea...
wizard at voyager.net
Wed Dec 6 04:22:54 CST 2006
Hello, Fellow Cyber-Archaeologists,
I have an idea... (everybody duck)
One of the more common problems in the field of classic computers is
that of loading operating systems, programs, and data onto an old
machine. Could we not come up with a standard means of information
interchange? I would suggest the USB memory sticks one sees everywhere
now. I just bought a few of them at about four dollars each -- and each
one stores a gigabyte of information.
I was thinking... could we not develop, say, an S-100, an S-50, an
Apple II circuit board that accepts these sticks? An RL02 equivalent
controller that reads memory sticks, and pretends they are drives?
Information could be stored on any modern machine, loaded onto a memory
stick in a jiffy, and used to load up a copy of vital data for any
information-starved machine. Each area of specialty would only need one
card (or device) developed, along with a set of files and programs
necessary (or just mildly useful) for booting up and running the target
machine. As a bonus, one Gig of RAM memory would be a powerful drive on
many older machines, and would speed the system up immensely. I'm
currently spiffing up a couple of CP/M machines, and after all this
time, the diskettes spinning up to read a few K at a time is almost
For me, the joy comes in USING the older machines, rather than the
process of fixing them up. YMMV. But, I sure would enjoy having a
gigabyte of fast storage available -- it could include a bootable CP/M
image, and the entire SIG/M Public Domain library, and still have most
of the disk free. Equivalencies could be made for many other machines.
Does anyone have an interest in setting up some common scheme for the
hardware design, and data storage so that cards and interfaces could use
some common circuitry, with a separate hardware equivalent of a BIOS
(implementation dependent area) that would be different for different
Comments, anyone? Has this been done? Would people see it as an
abomination or boon? Who would be interested in (and capable of)
producing a USB interface card for "their" computers?
Warren E. Wolfe
wizard at voyager.net
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