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Can you convert ST programs from the net back to floppy disc?


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Basically, as the topic states: is there a way to download an ST program and convert it back to floppy disk? I am looking for deluxe paint ST. I have looked on eBay and Mercari for an original, but have come up empty-handed.

 

So, is there a way to download it from the Internet and convert it back to floppy disk? I am aware of the ST floppy drive SD card adapter and have one on my 520. However, I would rather have the program on floppy disks. I guess you can call me a purist.

 

I do have PCs and Macs with built-in floppy drives, so converting it to disk will be easy if there’s a way to do it. Does anyone know of a certain program that will allow this to happen, maybe something for the PC?

 

Any assistance on this matter is greatly appreciated.

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1 hour ago, ColecoGamer said:

I have a USB floppy so I’m good to go. Thank you both very much.
 

I’ll let you know how it turns out!

No, I don't think you are good to go 🙂

 

floimg doesn't work with USB floppies, it needs low level access which USB doesn't cater for. I haven't used floimg but seems like a decent way to go, but you need a floppy with a floppy controller on the motherboard.

 

with USB on a modern PC you will need a GreaseWeazle.

 

but there might be other options if you wait from others to add...

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5 hours ago, larrylaffer said:

This is what I use:

 

https://github.com/keirf/greaseweazle

 

You need a USB device that you will connect a floppy drive and run this software to write many different floppy formats (.st, .adf etc)

 

All the info is on the link. I love it. (Relatively) cheap and does a great job.

I plan on trying Greaseaweazl. Its not expensive and it will do exactly what I want.

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An USB drive is not very helpful for writing ST images. You could use it to transfer files, and some images might be able to be written. But typically (it depends exactly on the drive) you won't be able to write most ST images. Furthermore, some later USB drives can only access HD disks, which means they might not be useful, not even to transfer files.

 

You need an old school floppy drive. And then you also need some hardware to connect the old drive. Either an old PC that has an old school floppy controller and connector, or some device like the GreaseWeazle.

 

The other possibility is to write the images in the ST itself. This is possible, there is native ST software that can write back ST images. But you would need some device to transfer that software in the first place, either a Hard Disk or a Floppy Drive emulator.

 

Also note that you should better use DD disks and not HD ones.

 

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18 minutes ago, ColecoGamer said:

I plan on trying Greaseaweazl. Its not expensive and it will do exactly what I want.

Again, a Greaseweazle is useless without an old school floppy drive. It doesn't work with an USB floppy drive.

Edited by ijor
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8 hours ago, ColecoGamer said:

@larrylaffer - I love your username.

Thank you! I put a lot of thought before choosing it. I determined Larry was one of the video game characters that marked my teenage years. Sonny Bonds too, but Larry was a bit more wild...

 

With GreaseWeazle you can also use 5.25 floppies. Not useful for the ST but for DOS based or other retro computers. I am using this device a lot, you will like it.

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12 hours ago, larrylaffer said:

floimg doesn't work with USB floppies, it needs low level access which USB doesn't cater for. I haven't used floimg but seems like a decent way to go, but you need a floppy with a floppy controller on the motherboard.

I have an old Windows XP system exactly for this use, USB ones just don't work as said before.

 

I've copied all my old ST floppies using floimg even the 82 track ones :)

 

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I use a 1.44MB PC drive. The beauty of the GreaseWeazle is that it is driving every part of the drive exactly as it is needed, so it will write and read any known format. Do with a bigger capacity drive you can write small capacities and any format. If you use a DD Atari drive you still have all the format but limiting yourself on the capacity. 

 

By the way, probably floimg does exactly the same thing using the floppy controller.

 

BTW, does anyone know where is Paranoid Little Man, the writer of floimg? He used to be very active in this forum but haven't seen him for months...

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19 hours ago, larrylaffer said:

BTW... I believe that if you format a disk on the Atari, you can use your USB drive to move files from your PC to the disk. But that means you will have to extract them from the .st format. Also I think there might be some tricky situations where file permissions might mess things up...

It's the other way around.    If you format on the PC, the ST should have no trouble reading it.    If you format on the ST, chances are the PC won't recognized the disk,  but this depends on the TOS version too, as higher TOS versions improve the PC compatibility. 

 

You might also see phantom files with lower TOS levels on PC formatted disks, but otherwise they work.

 

37 minutes ago, larrylaffer said:

BTW, does anyone know where is Paranoid Little Man, the writer of floimg? He used to be very active in this forum but haven't seen him for months...

I think he got banned...

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1 hour ago, larrylaffer said:

I use a 1.44MB PC drive. The beauty of the GreaseWeazle is that it is driving every part of the drive exactly as it is needed, so it will write and read any known format. Do with a bigger capacity drive you can write small capacities and any format. If you use a DD Atari drive you still have all the format but limiting yourself on the capacity. 

 

By the way, probably floimg does exactly the same thing using the floppy controller.

 

BTW, does anyone know where is Paranoid Little Man, the writer of floimg? He used to be very active in this forum but haven't seen him for months...

 

You can find him here these days:

 

https://forum.8bitchip.info/

 

 

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17 hours ago, larrylaffer said:

I use a 1.44MB PC drive. The beauty of the GreaseWeazle is that it is driving every part of the drive exactly as it is needed, so it will write and read any known format. Do with a bigger capacity drive you can write small capacities and any format. If you use a DD Atari drive you still have all the format but limiting yourself on the capacity. 

 

By the way, probably floimg does exactly the same thing using the floppy controller.

 

No, they work at completely different levels. floimg is based on fdrawcmd drivers that works at the floppy controller level. GreaseWeazle works directly at the hardware level and then is much more powerful. Of course, GreaseWeazle is extra hardware as is not free. floimg, as long as you have the right PC, is a free, software only solution.

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17 hours ago, ijor said:

 

No, they work at completely different levels. floimg is based on fdrawcmd drivers that works at the floppy controller level. GreaseWeazle works directly at the hardware level and then is much more powerful. Of course, GreaseWeazle is extra hardware as is not free. floimg, as long as you have the right PC, is a free, software only solution.

People keep going back and forth on the type of floppy drive that should be used. Can I use a USB floppy drive with floimg or a HD 1.44meg floppy? 

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Ok. What I know for sure is that a USB disk drive will get you no where, so I suggest forget about it. I also don't think anyone suggested to use one of those.

I also know for sure that I use a PC 1.44 HD disk drive on my GreaseWeazle and I wrote .ST and .ADF disks for Atari ST and for Amiga.

 

I don't think we are all saying different thing or coming forth and back. What @ijor was saying in the part you quoted above was the details as to HOW GreaseWeazle -vs- floimg work: I was thinking that probably both solutions work similarly (not as an end result, but as the mechanics of how things get done) and he corrected me that GreaseWeazle is operating at a lower level than floimg. Both are valid solutions from writing .ST images to your floppies.

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1 hour ago, ColecoGamer said:

People keep going back and forth on the type of floppy drive that should be used. Can I use a USB floppy drive with floimg or a HD 1.44meg floppy? 

 

Once again, neither floimg neither the GreaseWeazle work with USB drives. HD drives are ok. HD floppy disks are, at best, problematic and should be avoided.

 

22 minutes ago, larrylaffer said:

I don't think we are all saying different thing or coming forth and back. What @ijor was saying in the part you quoted above was the details as to HOW GreaseWeazle -vs- floimg work: I was thinking that probably both solutions work similarly (not as an end result, but as the mechanics of how things get done) and he corrected me that GreaseWeazle is operating at a lower level than floimg. Both are valid solutions from writing .ST images to your floppies.

 

floimg doesn't support 11 sectors per track. Because, again, that's a limitation of the PC floppy controller.

Edited by ijor
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10 hours ago, Forrest said:

FYI Ladyada has ported Greaseweazle to the $4 Raspberry Pi Pico.

It is nice that somebody is porting Greaseweazle. But I wouldn't recommend using an RPI Pico, at least not directly. This is about the same as using the very first Greaseweazle that used a Blue Piill that, at least at the time, it costed even less than a Pico.

 

Not for nothing the original unbuffered Blue Pill Greaseweazle was mostly deprecated. Connecting the controller directly to the floppy interface is not a very good idea. It is dangerous, and it probably won't work with older 5.25" or 8" drives. In this case it is even worse because the STM32 chip used in the Blue Pill is officially 5V tolerant, but the Pico it is not. It also requires using or adapting a special cable, and even adding at least one pullup.
 

If you are in a very low budget and you know what you are doing, then that's ok. The Pico cost is so low, that even if the board got damaged, you could have a couple of spares. Or again, you can use a Blue Pill that is still directly supported by the original author. But for most people, getting a "proper" buffered board is probably much better and safer.

 

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12 hours ago, ijor said:

 

Once again, neither floimg neither the GreaseWeazle work with USB drives. HD drives are ok. HD floppy disks are, at best, problematic and should be avoided.

 

 

floimg doesn't support 11 sectors per track. Because, again, that's a limitation of the PC floppy controller.

Will an authentic Atari ST floppy drive work instead? I’m just trying to get my info straightened out.

Edited by ColecoGamer
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Ijor you are correct about converting the voltage levels. Ladyada directly connected the Pico for development purposes only. Adafruit has since released Floppy Featherwing board that converts the voltages for $4.95 https://www.adafruit.com/product/5679   The video in that link is also worth watching.

Edited by Forrest
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