Anyone who’s read more than a couple of my posts here knows that I have a somewhat sizable collection of vintage computers in my basement office. They’re all setup and ready to use, but as time goes on it grows more difficult to make the most of these floppy-based systems, given the difficulty in sourcing new floppy disks and the slow decay of those already filling my disk boxes.
The system entirely dependent on floppy disks that I use most frequently is my Apple IIe. I’ve got several large boxes of games and other programs for it that have been with me since my Apple //c days back in 1984, but their magnetically encoded bits are slowly being eroded by the winds of time. Well, I’m happy to report that I’ve, at long last, acquired the perfect solution to this unfortunate situation: the CFFA 3000.
The CFFA3000 (short for “Compact Flash For Apple”) is an Apple II expansion card that is able to read from and write to flash storage through either (or both) an on-board CF card slot and USB interface. The card is able to present the attached flash storage to any slotted Apple II as either a hard drive or a stack of floppy disks by way of disk image files and Disk ][ emulation firmware. Or both. It’s pretty awesome.
The CFFA3000 was created by Rich Dreher of R&D Automation and the first production run was released in 2009. I’ve had my eye on the device for quite a while, but it’s been pretty hard to get hold of. Luckily, there are some big runs of it this year, so I got on the list and managed to grab one. And, it works like a dream. (Especially with the optional remote unit, which I also ordered.) If you have a slotted II that you care about, I recommend you try to get one, as well. It’s even available in a version for the Apple I and its recreations!
Those intrigued by this technology should see my recent post regarding a similar solution I’ve attached to my Amiga 2000, My SDCard HxC 2001 Floppy Emulator Adventure. And I’ve got my eye on a similar device for my Tandy CoCo 3′s floppy media.