Sunday, 29 June 2014

Reading Amiga floppies on PC back in 2006

I love the old Commodore Amiga and still play some of the games from time to time, however originally getting the games onto the PC to play in WinUAE could be a chore. You could download them but sometimes you might not be able to find the game or download it in a reasonable time (early pre-meg broadband) leaving you to make your own image. In 2006 you had three main choices Disk2FDI, The Amiga itself or the new fancy Catweasel cards that cost quite a bit.

Back then I made my little contribution to the cause by suggesting an oddball idea that got picked up, played with and then after time a release, thanks to to the amazing efforts of the folk on the English Amiga Board including Toni (WinUAE) Wilen and Simon (fdrawcmd.sys) Owen we now had a way to read some Amiga floppies directly in a modern OS as long as you could physically attach a pair of floppies to your system to perform the read with.

It all started with this post:

Hello everyone

I was trawling the net just now and totally at random fell upon this floppy driver http://simonowen.com/fdrawcmd/ basically it allows low level access to the floppy controller under xp/xp64.

As some of you may know the catweasel board is currently out of production due to germanys new enviromental laws (the catweasel pcb used some now banned substances) so until that situation can be solved no more catweasel

If someone here with uber programming skills has some spare time would they cast an eye over and see if it could be used to generate adf files or even allow some form of native access under WinUAE?

The full thread including the subsequent release of ADFRead is here:
Could WinUAE make use of frawcmd.sys (I am/was Oberth on this forum)

There was an updated 1.1 release of ADFRead over on WinUAE but after that better solutions came along and modern PC's stopped with the whole floppy drive thing. It was a small contribution granted but I am pleased that it actually became something usable even in a limited form. 

Currently in 2014 we are lucky to have the Kryoflux USB Floppy controller that will read just about anything floppy based, I will buy one when I have nothing else to buy one month as I still have a pile of Amiga floppies and would like to backup some of my disks and maybe find something to contribute to the Software Preservation Archives.

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