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Chicken and Egg problem... Apple II disk images converted/readable for the Apple IIe Card ? 
Sunday, May 5, 2013, 10:30 PM
Posted by Administrator
As described in ... 319-180000 , I got an Apple IIe Card for my LC aka Color Classic.
But this leads into a chicken and egg problem.
I've read at ... #equipment and in the section after it how to go on with these images.

But I am totally unsure how to start.

There is a reference to ... inscii.txt which describes how to get the BINSCII.EXE (has nothing to do with PC EXE files!) running with ProDOS. At this point I asked myself how to get BINSCII.EXE to the ProDOS Partition, which must be the first step after downloading the file.

Also, ShrinkIt and Copy II Plus is mentioned then, I have to get it running after I managed the above BINSCII problem.

Even if I got both running (BINSCII and ShrinkIt), I am unsure about the next step.

After I downloaded a 140KB image file and copy it to the Mac, should I use BINSCII first, then Shrinkit (I do not know how to get this onto my ProDOS formatted partition), and then Copy II Plus to write the image back to a floppy drive ?
So do I have to own a Apple 5.25 Drive, otherwise I'm lost ?
I guess my build-in HD floppy drive will not help (for nothing).

I asked the author, but he didn't answer. Any hints are welcome !
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DEC Personal Workstation Bootscreen - for Windows 7 PCs ;-) 
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 01:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
Looking at the wonderful bootscreen of a DEC PWS 433 during BIOS boot phase, I had the idea to preserve this image. Looking around for the image file, I wasn't successful.
So I made a picture with my Nikon and cropped & scaled for Win7 Boot Updater, see
Download the program (no installation required), and choose "complete" for the background picture:

You do not have to choose other options (let the animated windows logo as is).
And here's the background image file itself you have to choose:

Happy DEC PWS booting...

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New Toy: Macintosh Colour Classic (aka Color Classic) 
Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 07:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
After my short intermezzo with a Mac SE/30, I tried my luck with a Macintosh Colour Classic.
This machine, untruly called the ugly duck of all all-in-one Macs, has a real cute Trinitron color display CRT, and in contrast to a Macintosh Plus or a Macintosh SE, has also a LC PDS slot for some real interesting expansion cards. Btw - it was also the first Mac with a build-in microphone.
You need an external Apple CD-ROM drive for easy MacOS installation also.

At the moment only 8MB of RAM are recognized, but for MacOS 7.5.5, this is enough for work. I am still trying to get 10MB (this is unfortunately already the limit).
For more infos about RAM compatibility, take a look at

I was also thinking about installing MacOS 7.1.1, but too many convinient features are missing in MacOS 7.1.1, and some programs require at least MacOS 7.5 ...

Meanwhile I got the Apple IIe card also. I am very curious about the results working with this card, which can fully emulate an Apple IIe without any compatibility issues.

To work with a 5.25" floppy drive, I have to solder my own drive cable adapter with a rare 26pin D-SUB connector, but this should be manageable.

For more infos about this card, visit
or better ... ecard.html ...

I will post my results with this card asap also in this blog, be patient.
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Virtual Floppy Drive with Windows 7 ? Really bad, it's difficult to manage. 
Sunday, February 10, 2013, 02:00 PM
Posted by Administrator
I've needed to test floppy disk tools with my modern i7 equipped PC.
Unfortunately I have no real floppy drive built in.
So I "googled" for it, and I found one, which runs supposedly smooth with Windows 7 64bit.
But the software "imdisk" is faulty. I've tested it by using/mounting an image file, created by winimage
( ).
Try to install an 1.2MB or even a 360KB disk drive, go into command line, and try to format this new virtual drive with "FORMAT A: /T:80 /N:15" or "FORMAT A: /T:40 /N:9".
The result ? Always missing bytes, proof it with CHKDSK, e.g. formatting a 1.2MB disk results in 1.1MB total capacity.

So I restarted my search and found "vfd" at sourceforge:
But this project is not supported anymore, if using 64bit Vista or Windows 7, you will fail to install the driver, even with "Administrator" rights.
This did the trick:
I've downloaded from
I've looked for dsao13b.exe / - a tool for driver developer.
I started dsao13b, selected "Test Mode" (which allows to run non microsoft signed drivers), signed vfd.sys, and then started vfdwin with Administrator rights. That worked, I was able to format a virtual 1.2MB floppy disk running Windows 7 command line, see screenshot.

It works, but what an ugly way to manage it...

P.S.: You should change it back disallowing unsigned drivers to be working, if you do not need to use that driver. Otherwise you opened a new possible door for malware.

P.P.S.: Meanwhile I guess what's wrong with imdisk. Regardless of what I am selecting in imdisk.cpl, I got a "Partition" with a "start offset", not a "Floppy". Usually this happens only for a harddisk. See also this comparison:

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Short Mac SE/30 adventures 
Friday, February 8, 2013, 10:02 AM
Posted by Administrator
I realized that I didn't made anything meaningful with my Apple ][ Europlus, so I decided to exchange it for another vintage computer - an older Macintosh.
My first choice was a Mac SE/30, because this one can handle up to 128MB RAM, and it's capable to run A/UX. But....

A serious flaw of this model (SE/30) is an unreliable firmware ROM module/SIMM.
You can be lucky if you got a moment of a stable working condition, see here:

Unfortunately getting access to the logic board is not too easy. Opening the case would be very easy - except these two upper deep counter-sunk TORX screws:

This is a schematic picture of the place where you can find that ROM SIMM:

But to get the logic board in your hands, you had to follow a strange method of releasing the board itself from the frame. First you have to draw it a bit, but then you have to lift it on one side, to pull it in all - but SCSI, loudspeaker and floppy drive cable are still connected and will keep it in place. Very ugly.

After discovering that no sound is made from this macintosh, and because the ROM module makes often trouble, I decided to bring it back and take a Colour Macintosh (will be described in next blog entry).

Btw.: A good article about repairing a Mac SE/30 can be found at
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