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Old 15 May 2014, 10:57   #1
Kellogs
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Copying / recovering old Amiga floppies under GNU/Linux

Dear all,

First of all, I would like to congratulate the community for their hard work.

In short, I recently bought a professionnal PCB hoven (to make electronic boards). To my surprise, the PCB temperature controller is running on Amiga 2000 (but is compatible with Amiga 3000) from Floppy discs. I could test the hoven when buying it, so I assume that the floppies are working. I have a bunch of 20/30 floppies to recover.

What hardware would you recommend to read old floppies under Linux? I know this has been discussed here many times, but even recent cards are not selling any more.

I am not using Windows, only GNU/Linux. Also, I don't have access to an old Amiga other than the Amiga 2000 and I don't want to make any modification on the existing Amiga 2000. It is rusty and could die easily.

What do you think of the http://www.kryoflux.com? Alternatively, is there a solution in Linux to bypass the floppy controller and use a traditional floppy reader wihout modification and recover my old floppies?

Kind regards,
Jean-Michel
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Old 15 May 2014, 11:01   #2
demolition
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Kryoflux should work well for you and is probably the easiest way if you do not want to recover the disks in an actual Amiga, but you'll also need a suitable floppy drive to go along with it.
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Old 15 May 2014, 11:10   #3
Kellogs
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Thanks for your prompt reply. Do you mean a PC floppy drive with floppy connector OR an Amiga floppy drive?

From their website, I read that the software is only free for personal use, not company use ... I have a strange feeling of another closed source software. I was buying the advanced kit ... when I canceled everything.

How do I read an Amiga floppy under Linux? I have a computer with decent floppy, floppy connector (no USB) and a recent GNU/Linux Debian. How to proceed?

Kind regards,
Kellogs

Last edited by TCD; 15 May 2014 at 11:35. Reason: Back-to-back posts merged
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:00   #4
demolition
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I think the Kryoflux needs a PC floppy drive. You could ask them what a license would cost for you. They might be resonable. :-)
Another solution would be the SuperCard Pro:
http://www.cbmstuff.com/proddetail.php?prod=SCP

You cannot use the standard floppy controller in a PC, so you need a solution like this one to be able to read Amiga formatted disks on a PC.
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:22   #5
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If you only have the 20-30 floppies to recover and no more, it would be easiest to contact some Amiga/Kryoflux user nearby who could do it for you.
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:28   #6
Kellogs
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I contacter them to ask authorization to use their software. I am not willing to pay for a recovery service. Also, we usually do all work in-house, which is a good way to learn.

Any idea about how to recover an ADF using only Linux and a standard controller?
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:32   #7
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Basically, you can't do it. There is not much difference in the floppy drives but the controller is totally different.

There is a trick which allows you to read an Amiga floppy disk which includes using two disk drives. I don't know if it's practical in your case but see this site for some details.
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:48   #8
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If we cannot a normal licence of Kryostuf, we will simply disassemble the oven and change the electronics and use a software stack that is compatible with Linux or use an embedded platform. Getting back to Amiga via UAE-fs is a nice option, but we'll see if it is workable. I don't want to invest hundreds of Euros in a recovery solution that may not work in the end, as we will need to emulate parallel and serial ... on the Amiga 2000, hoping it works on older models.
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Old 15 May 2014, 12:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellogs View Post
If we cannot a normal licence of Kryostuf, we will simply disassemble the oven and change the electronics and use a software stack that is compatible with Linux or use an embedded platform.
Remember - if you somehow end up not using the Amiga anymore, don't throw it away, there are a lot of Amiga users on here who could give it a good home
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Old 15 May 2014, 13:04   #10
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Sure, we wron't break anything. I love old hardware and one the reasons why buying this oven is that it is old (and still the equivalent today would be very expensive). The Amiga 2000 is a little rusty (really is) and I don't want to play with it. The hard disc is dead and the software is only booting from floppy. The disc controller itself is a huge ISA card. I showed the controller to my kids home and told them how it was back in the old times. So it is essential for us to recover those floppies and then have a deep try for FS-UAE.

I understand there are two solutions:
* Super Card Disc copier: http://www.cbmstuff.com
* Cryoflux: http://www.kryoflux.com

I also remember crawling the Internet and there was some kind of Open Hardware versatile controler. But I could not find it again. Maybe based on Arduino, if you know this project, please let me know.

Let's stay tuned ...
Many thanks for your help.
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Old 15 May 2014, 14:01   #11
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You should be able to image those floppies and transfer to PC without buying expensive hardware. As long as the Amiga 2000 floppy drive is working and you have a workbench disk.

First you need to get software from PC to amiga. Amiga explorer from cloanto should do the job. You need a windows PC with a serial port and a null moden cable. Wine might work if you really don't have any windows PC to use.

http://www.amigaforever.com/ae/

Then, transfer this to the amiga - A command line disk imager which can generate images directly usable in an emulator. Or you can compress them for easier transfer.

http://aminet.net/package/disk/misc/YADI

You can then send the disk images back over the serial connection or you could also write compressed image files onto a 720k PC formatted floppy disk. It is pretty simple to set up R/W of PC format floppies on amiga but I can't remember off the top of my head what you need, I think it depends on the workbench version, later ones can do it natively, earlier ones need some utility, I think, probably quicker and more reliable to use serial transfer anyway.
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Old 16 May 2014, 14:37   #12
Kellogs
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I will look into this, thanks.

I am quite worried that I might only have one working floppy disc with the oven software (hard disc is presumably dead).
The machine is rusty and I need to rescue floppies before anything.

So I just purchased a Kryoflux board with the hope that 1) we will be able to use it and 2) it will work well under Linux.

Last edited by Kellogs; 16 May 2014 at 14:51.
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Old 16 May 2014, 15:40   #13
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Answered.
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Old 16 May 2014, 20:01   #14
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Yes, Kryoflux is probably the safer way to go if your media and original machine are already suspect. By all accounts it is an excellent device. Mr Vince and other recovery experts are here to keep you right too. I think he might know a thing or two about the kryoflux.
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Old 17 May 2014, 09:51   #15
Kellogs
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Thank you all for your kind helps. Vince contacted me and we agreed that we would submit back the software to the preservation project.

The software is a PID controller with at least 20 temperature probes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PID_controller

It is quite surprising to see how the Amiga was in advance in its times. Even today, this kind of oven with a PID controller would cost at least 10.000 EURs.

I plan to create a small blog to explain how we rescued the oven and got emulation with FS-UAE project. I will also look into rescuing the original hardware, as I have some spare parts (a second disc controller for example).

This reminds me of my childhood. I used to have an Apple IIe and an Oric. This was ages ago ... but really in its times I should have used an Amiga. It is not too late ...

Kind regards,
Jean-Michel
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