Micropolis 1015-2 floppy drive

Chuck Guzis cclist at sydex.com
Fri Jul 17 17:48:24 CDT 2009

On 17 Jul 2009 at 21:56, Tony Duell wrote:

> I have a schematics book for it (about the only manual I do have), but
> I think it only covers the 'main' unit. I don't think I have any info
> on the disk controller board in the disk drive unit (and from what I
> remember when I looked inside, it's not simple, there was certainly a
> processor (Z80?) in there).

I can't help you much.  About all I recall is that I received a 
package of 8" HS diskettes from a defense contractor technical guy 
who said he was told that they contained "source code" for some 
project he was very interested in.  He didn't know what kind of 
source code, nor the system involved in producing it--he had only the 
project contract information--and he wasn't at liberty to disclose 

Fortunately, GCR has a very distinctive pattern when flux changes are 
plotted on a histogram.  It helped that the disk was hard-sectored, 
as I could pretty much depend on some sort of sector ID at the 
beginning of each sector, probably also containing a track number.

As this turned out to be a simple 5-to-4 group code, after I'd 
figured out what the sector headers were, I had most of the puzzle 
and was getting some ASCII data out of the raw bit-crunching.

One of the first strings was "FUTURE DATA" and that rang a distant 

About all I have to add is that the customer was fairly happy with 
what he got--however, one disk went missing over the years and the 
source code with it, so the project wasn't a complete success.  I did 
retrieve some Intel-format HEX binaries, so he could at least fill in 
the gaps with some reverse assembly and go on to develop whatever new 
weapon of mass destruction he was bent on creating.


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