To: Michael J. Mahon
Re: Re: USB Stick support of IIgs?
By: Michael J. Mahon to comp.sys.apple2 on Sun Sep 27 2009 12:42 pm
> Wow. A single 2GB CF card contains more 32MB partitions than I can ever
> mount, so I'm not sure I understand why multiple devices is a benefit.
Michael, it's simply not a convenience issue for some people. There are those,
who will make do, with what they have for as long as possible -- and as long as
cheap SCSI drives are obtainable, and his SCSI card doesn't flake out, there
simply is no impetus to replace it with something newer. The whole CF vs. USB
is a red herring, and a flimsy one at that if the convenience factor comes down
to deciding if a $5 card reader makes a difference or not.
I'm one of those in the 'make do' camp, partly because I wanted a
decent performance upgrade to go with the move to solid state storage.
I figure I'll start using the disk image support on the Carte Blanche
once Alex gets it working again.
Which brings up the point, if you want USB, it's pretty easy to extend
CB to provide that functionality, since all the necessary cores are
ready and waiting to be glued together. You'd just need a small
transceiver chip to do appropriate bus signalling.
A (perhaps) cheaper approach would be to use FTDI's Vinculum chip
which provides USB host, FAT filesystem support and a simplistic
command interface to control those from the embedded system over SPI,
UART or parallel FIFO interfaces, all on a $30 DIP module that's a
doddle to interface to the Apple II bus. Simply add a bus transceiver,
quad NAND or two for IOSEL decoding and a ROM and you're operational
pretty quickly. It's no longer something that's complicated or
expensive to do.
FWIW, I like the idea, since it's a 'universal' solution: even once
USB 3.0 becomes common devices are going to support the older
protocols for a LONG time, so it's about as future proof as a storage
solution is likely to get, and using image files on a FAT filesystem
on the attached storage device mitigates the need for custom software
solutions - as you know there's still no Mac OS port of CiderPress.
However, since the above mentioned device has an onboard
microcontroller, flashable firmware, and capability to do 5v
signalling already, I think there is a fairly obvious use for such a
device on the Apple II in an area that thus far has received very