ImageDisk under Win2k (was: Thanks again, Dave!)

Roger Merchberger zmerch at
Tue Jan 10 16:41:36 CST 2006

Rumor has it that dave04a at may have mentioned these words:

>I haven't looked into the gory details, however I expect that "HAL"
>just virtualizes an FDC and translates it's operations to the standard
>Win28 floppy driver - which means it works only as long as you don't
>configure the FDC in any way that the Win2k driver does not.

Which is prolly why rawritewin.exe (the PC floppy image tool that runs 
under NT/2K/XP) works - it prolly just says "Hey, there's the floppy, gimme 
everything on it - unless it b0rks then I have to die, too." So much for 
getting *everything* except what's unreadable...

>I also wouldn't trust the virtualization to be "wonderful" in terms of
>real-time emulation (for example, I've seen the virtual serial port of
>the XP dosbox take up to 10 seconds to report a character received
>(needless to say this breaks lots of stuff).

Well, I trust M$'s dosbox even less than I trust VirtualPC, IMHO. Granted, 
that ain't saying much... but I have *compiled* Linux in M$'s VirtualPC, 
but their dosbox is nearly useless.

> > >  - to not be held-up while some other task decides to hog the CPU for
> > >    a little while (there are real-time critical aspects to the analysis
> > > phase)
> >
> > At least on this, I could *guarantee*... I have a dual-processor box
> > (2xAthlon MP 2600+), so any processes wanting to hog 1 CPU won't affect 
> the
> > other. ;-)
>Are  you sure? - you might have a "spare" processor, but what I was really
>getting at is "an OS that doesn't decide not to dispatch you for a while". I'm
>not convinced you can guarantee this under any flavor/configuration of 

OK, maybe "guarantee" was too strong a word, but for any application that's 
not winders multi-threaded & grabs 100% CPU (Nutscrape 4.04 and 4.05 were 
*famous* for this), Win2k is smart enough to say "Oh lookie, that CPU is 
hosed. I'll just run everything else on the other CPU until the PEBKAC 
kills that process. ;-) That's one of the reasons I only run dual-processor 
machines at home...

>I'd respond with a photo of my basement (all the machines depicted on my 
>web site
>are there) - needless to say, they are not all set up and accessable at 
>the same
>time (can you say "optimized for storage")!

Then I'd have to show you 2 bedrooms (floor-to-ceiling full) and the 
*entire* 3rd floor attic... tho (amazingly) there's more of the wifey's 
stuff than mine... and I'm a considerable packrat... tho that's changing. 
I'll be putting stuff for giveaway on the list here, shortly, just because 
I can't deal with the fact that 40% of my house is unusable, and I'll never 
have time to monkey with 90% of the computers I have.

[[ Notice I didn't mention my basement... which is worse... ;-) ]]

That, and what *really* sounds fun to me is building a Cubix system... so 
much so that most if not all of my vaxen are (at least) getting mothballed, 
most of my Atari stuff is going away, most of my commodore is already gone 
(and the stragglers will be departing shortly); and 2/3 of the books that 
don't center on Model 'T's, CoCos, or hardware relating to those machines 
are also on the chopping block, as is anything not explicitly mentioned above.

Anywho, back to work...

Roger "Merch" Merchberger

Roger "Merch" Merchberger  --  SysAdmin, Iceberg Computers
zmerch at

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