Catweasel, Tim's Ferret, etc.

From: Louis Schulman <>
Date: Tue Jul 4 22:10:18 2000

I am another one of the members of this list who is
definitely not any kind of a techie, hardware or software.
My best hardware effort was replacing a shorted capacitor
on a Lisa I/O board. My best software effort was a couple
of lines of 6502 Assembler to modify some program (I don't
remember the details).

I use an old Central Point PC Option board to read and
write strange format disks. It can copy virtually anything
physically readable by the drives connected. It will copy
the strange TRSDOS 2.3 single-density disks, for example,
and make working copies.

The only format conversion software it comes with is to
read and write Mac GCR disks. Otherwise, it creates a raw
data image that can be saved. Someone has also written a
program that converts its raw data output to Apple II

The reason I bring this up in this discussion is that the
device seems to do exactly what you are all talking about,
and it is an extremely simple device. It has one large
chip, a trivial amount of additional circuitry, and that's
it. It goes between the floppy controller and the drives.
Maybe it just provides the buffer you are all talking
about, I don't know.

In any event, before the wheel is reinvented, if any of you
drive mavens would care to examine a PC Option board and
its software, I would be glad to lend it out, to serious
developers only.

BTW, one of the included programs with the device is a
track editor, which allows all the usually unseen data to
be modified. My understanding is that Central Point was
forced to remove this product from the market by lawsuits
from software publishers, who alleged that its main purpose
was to violate their copyright protection schemes.

Just a thought.

Received on Tue Jul 04 2000 - 22:10:18 BST

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