New Apple SuperDrive and Apple II 3.5 Disk Controller Card

I’ve got a good number of old machines in my computer room here. A prime concern is always how to get data (disk images, etc.) from the Internet to these old machines. Some, like my NeXTStation, are friendly LAN citizens. Others, like my Mac Plus, have Ethernet connectivity, but can be challenging to work with over the network. My Amiga 1200 has the network hardware, but I’ve not gotten the drivers squared away to make it all happen. There are but 24 hours in a given day.

My Apple IIgs used to talk fairly happily via LocalTalk to my PowerMac G4 that was 1) equipped with an old-school serial port and could 2) boot into OS 9 natively. Since I handed down the G4 and moved to the G5, things have been more difficult. As a solution, I decided to equip my IIgs with a SuperDrive, which is what Apple used to call its 3.5″ floppy drive that could read/write both variable speed 800K floppies as well as standard 1.44MB media. I found one on eBay, new-in-box, which is always best! More elusive and expensive is the requisite controller needed to interface the drive to an Apple II. Fortunately, no sooner had I posted an inquiry to the Usenet than I received a note from someone in Australia who had a new-in-box (!) controller that he agreed to let go for $75 USD.

Both arrived, installed easily, work great, and now I’m reading PC formatted 1.44MB floppies in the IIgs real horrorshow. Problem solved.

I took some pics of the new units as they emerged for the first time from their boxes, here nearly 15 years after they left Apple. There’s a few general GS hardware shots in there as well. Have a look.

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2 Responses to New Apple SuperDrive and Apple II 3.5 Disk Controller Card

  1. Another method of doing transfer between a IIGS and a modern, non-Mac-OS-9 Mac is this: Fnd an old Mac that can take an Ethernet card, and still has the Appletalk serial port connectors on it.

    My setup uses a Mac LC 475 that I was able to get for free from my kid’s school. The IIGS connects via AppleTalk (and serial port 1/slot 1) to the serial port on the LC 475. The LC 475 is connected to my iMac DV via the Ethernet plug. Some transfers are two step (iMac to LC 475, and then LC 475 to IIGS), but they work.

  2. telengard says:

    Not sure about the macs but I am able to transfer images/files w/ most of my old computers. For the Atari it’s an SIO2PC cable, C64 I use the XM1541. For the Apple II series I use ADT and a serial cable. I have yet to try some of the software I’ve found for the TI99/4A and Coco. From what I can tell the Atari ST can handle disks written on the PC but I guess they *have* to be formatted on the PC. I haven’t received my Amiga yet so I haven’t fiddled w/ it yet. It should be here any day though. Most of my transferring is done from either DOS, Windows, or Linux.

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