Central Point Option Board vs Deluxe Option Board

From: Mark <mark_k_at_totalise.co.uk>
Date: Sat Sep 22 15:43:35 2001


I recently acquired a couple of Central Point Deluxe Option Boards with v5.4
of the software, plus manuals. (I haven't tested either card yet though.)

This card allows protected and wierd-format disks to be read and written using
a standard PC floppy drive. The supplied software supports Mac and Amiga
disks as well as Apple II and Commodore. I guess the hardware is functionally
similar to the Catweasel ISA card.

Anyway, relating to that a few points:

 - If anyone needs disk images of the software (3?" 720K or 5?" 360K), I can
   upload them. My disks have not been written to since new.

 - What was the last version of the software? I read a newsgroup posting from
   1997 that mentioned versions 5.5 and 6.0.

 - What differences are there between the Option Board and Deluxe Option
   Board? Looking at a picture in an eBay auction listing, the Option Board
   card appears to use quite a few discrete (TTL?) ICs, whereas the Deluxe
   card (or at least, the cards I have), uses an ASIC made by Toshiba. Does
   the ASIC simply replicate the discrete ICs, or contain extra functionality?

 - Has anyone reverse-engineered the hardware? Only the discrete-IC version
   would be feasible, I guess. In combination with disassembling the software,
   that should provide sufficient info to allow new software that accesses the
   Option Board to be written.

 - Has anyone reverse-engineered the disk image file format used by the
   software? I know someone has written a program to convert image files
   created from Apple II disks to plain disk images for use with Apple
   emulators; see http://www.ece.nwu.edu/~cbachmann/apple.html
   There is a description of some of the file format on that page.

 - Ideally, I'd like to contact someone who was involved with the development
   of either the hardware or software; maybe they could provide info on how it

 - On a similar note, what was the last version of Central Point's Copy II PC
   software? That program could be used to copy some protected PC disks
   without needing extra hardware.

-- Mark
Received on Sat Sep 22 2001 - 15:43:35 BST

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