FloppyPUter was re:Hard-sector 51/4 disk

From: UberTechnoid_at_home.com <(UberTechnoid_at_home.com)>
Date: Wed Oct 31 19:33:36 2001

In <f05001900b806377d63da_at_[]>, on 10/31/01
   at 06:21 PM, Jeff Hellige <jhellige_at_earthlink.net> said:

> The Indus GT was one nice drive and they made it for other machines
>than just the Atari line. It was interesting to sit there and listen to
>it while watching the track readout change. I've never torn one apart
>to check but I'm told that they used a Z80 in the drive to control
>everything which would be interesting since that'd make the chip in the
>drive as powerful as the main CPU of the machine it was attached to.

Either you knew something about this allready and forgot or are just darn

The Indus GT disk drive was made for; of course the Atari8bit, and I think
the Apple II and C64 machines.

The same company that made the Indus is the company that made the
Rana1000. I know this because the drives are allmost identical including
the shells. Rana Systems became Indus which later became Future Systems.

The Indus GT had a non-standard, belt-driven 1/2 height mechanism.
Allmost all the electronics driving the mech were located on the Indus
controller board mounted beneath. The controller had it's OWN Z-80
processor and some ram. I think something like 2k. You could add a 64k
CP/M adapter card to a pinedge connector on the controller. I never saw
this board in person, but that it existed at least in proto form is
certain. Later Indus and Future systems GT's omitted the cp/m board
connector but the pads were still there. There was quite a bit of talk
about it back in the day. An Indus owner could get CP/M without having to
buy an ATR8000 to do it. I think the Indus CP/M module was going to cost
something like $149.00 - $199.00 vs a 64k ATR8000 at $400.00 plus.

A couple of things about this drive that would have made it a pretty poor
performer as a CP/M machine:

The mech was non-standard, single-sided, MFM/FM meaning that disk
interchangability would be interesting ( it allways was anyway right guys
). Unless the CP/M card also extended the drive's ability to use standard
mechs as slaves then it wouldn't really be able to compete with the ATR or
that other similar CP/M interface for the Atari.

I've owned several Indus and Rana drives. The Rana wasn't too reliable
due to alignment problems (no trk0 sensor) and because it just had trouble
reading it's own data even on a good day. The Indus GT had a track 0
sensor but had similar trouble reading it's own data.

Frankly, I think the Atari 810, and 1050 were the only bulletproof drives
made for the Atari 8 bits. I've owned four or five ATR8000's, two Percom
double-density drives, three Rana 1000's, three Indus GT's, several 810's,
several 1050's, and a couple of XF551's. After years of dinking with
hopes of reliable storage from the third-party drives, I archived all my
disks using my USDoubler 1050. I never filed a disk in it's box that was
formatted or written with any other drive because I couldn't trust them.
I ran my bbs on the ATR and/or the Percom with four 80trk DS/DD mechs
because I didn't have any other mass storage solution to do it on. Most
Atari software is on SS/SD disks anyway so the 1050 could do the job
without a problem. BTW, the XF551 wasn't much better than the Percom or
the ATR for reliable data retreival.

Come to think, why is this? Why is it so hard to make a reliable disk
drive? My Percom with a new rom/daugtercard from the company and new
Newtronics mechs just sucked. The 1050 with the USDoubler, the
SuperArchiver, and the Happy enhancements was allways bulletproof and the
competition couldn't do that.

I haven't been able to test the 815, that other ATR8000-like cp/m
controller, or the Trak.

The only third-party Controller worth it's salt I've owned (and still do)
is Bob Puff's FloppyBoard for the Black Box. It is the end-all-be-all
enhancement for the Atari 8-bit and is just as reliable as a 1050 while
being able to use 3.5" high-density mechs. Course anything Bob made or
sold was awesome. Ironicly, I use the same mechs on the Floppy Board I
used to use on my ATR and Percom so it sure wasn't the mechs.



P.S. If you are wondering why I've had so many drives. It isn't because
they died or anything, I often traded Atari gear back then and aquired
systems retired by other folks as well.

> Jeff

Jeffrey S. Worley
Asheville, NC USA
Received on Wed Oct 31 2001 - 19:33:36 GMT

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