CFFA3000 new feature requests

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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby ianoid » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:27 am

I would love to see the CFFA3000 able to read copy protected and damaged disks. I know that would be complex, but it would be great to be able to read original disk images for archival rather than cracked copies of disks. An option could be backbone to allow users to modify the way the CFFA reads disks. For example, allow users to enter Copy II parameters or some other unrelated proprietary parameters that users could share and upload to the card or enter manually.

I would also be happy to see the CFFA able to copy images to disks. I realize I can use a copy program for that purpose, but it seems to be a logical converse to the current capability of reading disk images.

I agree on being able to move images between USB and CF.

Renaming disk images would be great.

Larger file names would be neat.



Love my CFFA3000!
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby david__schmidt » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:19 am

ianoid wrote:I would love to see the CFFA3000 able to read copy protected and damaged disks.

It can read damaged (physical) disks using the 'Import to disk image' function. Bad sectors are skipped so what's left can be saved. See page 15 of your user manual. Copy-protected disks are of course outside its capabilities.

ianoid wrote:I would also be happy to see the CFFA able to copy images to disks. I realize I can use a copy program for that purpose, but it seems to be a logical converse to the current capability of reading disk images.

Basically mimicking ADTPro - that sounds like a good idea.
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby TheShanMan » Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:17 pm

MattPower wrote:I have just figured out a kludge to copy disk images to/from CF & USB.

For USB to CF
Mount the desired images on the virtual Disk II from the USB drive.
Import the disk image to the compact flash.

It's slower than a 'select all these and copy', but it's making backing up my files from the CF and importing new ones to it much easier - and I no longer have to open the box.


I just got my cffa3000 (so excited!). I quickly ran into the scenario of wondering how to copy from USB to CF. I'm glad to see there is a workaround, but IMO I shouldn't have to wade through a support forum to figure out how to do this. So I will echo the requests of several others for a direct method of copying between USB and CF. The request has never gotten a response, unless I missed it. Is there some reason for not adding this feature?
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby TheShanMan » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:16 pm

I have another thing that would be nice, but I imagine is asking a bit too much. My kids use my Apple IIe, so it would be nice if there was a way to hide the settings somehow, so when they go into the menu to change the disk image selections, they don't inadvertently mess up the settings. Just as changing physical floppies wouldn't involve opening up the computer case and potentially messing with the hardware, changing virtual floppies shouldn't open the door to messing with cffa settings. We'll certainly survive as is, but this would be a bit of polish that would make it just a bit more kid friendly.
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby TheShanMan » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:03 pm

To add to my prior post, a fallback approach that may be easier to implement would be a way to set the default menu and/or selection when you enter the cffa configuration screen. It's not very helpful to have the "reboot" menu item selected by default. It would be more helpful if the Disk II Assignments menu item could be selected by default, or even better, if I could set it to go straight into the Disk II Assignments screen.

I realize all of this falls into the "what's the big deal?" bucket since it's not exactly hard to quickly get to that screen, but again, with kids who use it, and especially when they have friends come over and play on it, making it as user friendly to someone like a kid would be a nice improvement.

With or without it though, I sure am enjoying the cffa3000!
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby icecruncher » Mon Jun 02, 2014 6:53 pm

After seeing the issues I'm having transferring internet programs and CD files from my MacPro to the IIgs-----
I would love to see a virtual disk .po or .hdv or similar conduit (maybe new tag like .CFF) with ability to have drag and drop into it via the CFFA3000 or CFFA4000 menus directly.

Maybe work something like this:

you find some obscure apple II file in .SHK (OBSCURE.SHK)
you copy it to your USB stick as is (OBSCURE.SHK).
you put the USB stick in your CFFA3000
you call up the CFFA3000 menu system
you find the disk NEATSTUFF on your CF card (NEATSTUFF.HDV)
you copy the file OBSCURE.SHK from your USB stick into the NEATSTUFF.HDV
you exit the CFFA3000 menus into the IIgs and the file OBSCURE.SHK is on the drive NEATSTUFF in the IIgs.
you then just unshrink and use the program OBSURE
Acting like a conduit for actual files that are not easily transferred otherwise.

you could make the .HDV READ Only from inside the GS itself because you can always transfer files off the Apple II as an image, via the menus.

Or at least some more viable option for transferring actual programs and files
Getting disk images on and off the GS is much easier than getting non images ONTO the IIgs or other flavors of Apple II.

When, for example, the Golden Orchard CD has to be completely reworked into the Golden Grail there is obviously a problem that needs a solution. :)
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby roughana » Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:15 am

I tried using the CFFA3000 to image two 3.5" disks. Both reported errors.
I then used Sheppy's ImageMaker. Both were successfully imaged without errors.
ImageMaker does not specifically target errors with retries, so I suspect something else was going on. (I noticed that the CFFA3000 disk access seemed slow and consistent speed for each track, whereas ImageMaker had faster track reads in general and reads that got progressively faster.)

Having created the images with ImageMaker, they were then within the image mounted on the CFFA3000.
I would like a way of getting the created disk images out into the root of the media attached to the CFFA3000.

One work around came to mind:
Use Antoine's MountIt utility to mount the image and then use the CFFA3000 to create a new image from that.

Perhaps there can be a firmware entry point for creating an image on the root of the media and ImageMaker could feed it the bytes.
And/or perhaps the root media can be exposed as a drive to the filesystem so that all existing applications can create files on the root media.
Obviously this is dangerous territory and would need to be disallowed by default.

Fixing the imaging firmware so that it 'worked' and retried on errors would be good too.
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Chaining disksets

Postby koffeiniker » Fri Nov 07, 2014 5:26 pm

I'd love to have one special feature that likely could be done in mere software:

playlists!

A file to be edited on the USB stick or CF that holds a list of images to be mounted in the Disk-II-emus or smartport.

This would go together with a feature to load a playlist from the CF, permanently or ... temporary.
Temporary would be great ... just for the next boot.

Imagine a Prodos menu that would allow to activate such playlists:

Select the adventure and have all 4 of its disks in the drive 1 list to play, temporarily, on the next boot see the adventure, one boot later ... be back in the prodos menu.

You'd be able to pack all the software sets on your USB that use disk-emulation into one nice menu.

I'd assume the feature to load a playlist would be an assembler call with a filename as string parameter. This would work on DOS or on Prodos depending on one's preferences. Even CP/M would be possible with a bit more work.

All that a menu would do: display some text for each playlist known to the menu (which does not need to be able to read the USB, this could be just configuration) and the name of the playlist. Call that API call to activate it (temp/perm maybe in a register) and then reboot.

This would add some automation to all this image selecting and would give more meaning to the remote control.

Well, at least I may dream, right? ;-)

PS: when using a temp playlist, you might even go so far to: reset to the perm playlist only when the reset is with shift as well, allowing me to stick with the selected temp playlist as long as I want and kick back into the menu with just a special boot, the "preset/perm" playlist might also be just a file with a specific name: this would reduce the memory consumption, you will likely be short of eeprom on the µC.
PPS: you might want to allow saving a playlist from the menu of the cffa
PPPS: once you go this way, many enhancement to the usability can comfortably be coded in any suitable language under any OS.
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Re: CFFA3000 new feature requests

Postby TheShanMan » Thu Jan 01, 2015 3:32 pm

MattPower wrote:I have just figured out a kludge to copy disk images to/from CF & USB.

For USB to CF
Mount the desired images on the virtual Disk II from the USB drive.
Import the disk image to the compact flash.

It's slower than a 'select all these and copy', but it's making backing up my files from the CF and importing new ones to it much easier - and I no longer have to open the box.


I'd like to once again throw out a vote for adding direct support for copying between CF and USB. Using the workaround, you have to provide a name for the new image which has a limited length and thus you can't necessarily even give the new image the same name. Obviously the workaround shows that it's technically feasible to copy between CF and USB, but the question is will such a feature ever be added?
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