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The Great SPARC Floppy Muddle

 
 
Charles Lindsey
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      05-21-2008, 10:16 AM
Having attempted to relocate a Flopy Drive from a SPARC-5 to an Ultra-2,
and encountered all sorts of misfeatures, bugs and incompatibilities, I
have written it all up on my website at
http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/floppy-muddle.html
Hopefully, this will provide a general guide to how SPARCs and Solaris
(mis)handles floppies.

Comments will be welcomed.

Share and Enjoy!

--
Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
Tel: +44 161 436 6131 Fax: +44 161 436 6133 Web: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl
Email: (E-Mail Removed) Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU, U.K.
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Dave
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      05-27-2008, 10:01 AM
Charles Lindsey wrote:
> Having attempted to relocate a Flopy Drive from a SPARC-5 to an Ultra-2,
> and encountered all sorts of misfeatures, bugs and incompatibilities, I
> have written it all up on my website at
> http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/floppy-muddle.html
> Hopefully, this will provide a general guide to how SPARCs and Solaris
> (mis)handles floppies.
>
> Comments will be welcomed.


I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.
 
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Cydrome Leader
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      05-28-2008, 03:14 PM
In comp.sys.sun.hardware Dave <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> Charles Lindsey wrote:
>> Having attempted to relocate a Flopy Drive from a SPARC-5 to an Ultra-2,
>> and encountered all sorts of misfeatures, bugs and incompatibilities, I
>> have written it all up on my website at
>> http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/floppy-muddle.html
>> Hopefully, this will provide a general guide to how SPARCs and Solaris
>> (mis)handles floppies.
>>
>> Comments will be welcomed.

>
> I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.


or using floppies anywhere at all.
 
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AGT
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      05-28-2008, 05:56 PM
On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:29:09 -0700, erik magnuson wrote:

> Dave wrote:
>> Charles Lindsey wrote:
>>
>>> Having attempted to relocate a Flopy Drive from a SPARC-5 to an Ultra-2,
>>> and encountered all sorts of misfeatures, bugs and incompatibilities, I
>>> have written it all up on my website at
>>> http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/floppy-muddle.html
>>> Hopefully, this will provide a general guide to how SPARCs and Solaris
>>> (mis)handles floppies.
>>> Comments will be welcomed.

>> I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.


If you have a PC-DOS floppy you should be able to make an image of it
and net that over and use lofiadm to mount the iso

> I found that an external USB floppy drive 'just works' with Solaris 10,
> though haven't done anything beyond showing that it works. FWIW, I
> bought the external drive to help make a recovery floppy for her laptop.


Since when is an Ultra 2 a laptop?
Its an SBUS based SPARC machine - where are you going to
plug in the external USB drive?

 
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AGT
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      05-29-2008, 02:14 PM
On Wed, 28 May 2008 22:15:38 -0700, erik magnuson wrote:

> AGT wrote:
>> On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:29:09 -0700, erik magnuson wrote:
>>>Dave wrote:
>>>>Charles Lindsey who has far too much time on his hands wrote:
>>>>>Having attempted to relocate a Flopy Drive from a SPARC-5 to an Ultra-2,
>>>>>and encountered all sorts of misfeatures, bugs and incompatibilities, I
>>>>>have written it all up on my website at
>>>>> http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/floppy-muddle.html
>>>>>Hopefully, this will provide a general guide to how SPARCs and Solaris
>>>>>(mis)handles floppies.
>>>>>Comments will be welcomed.
>>>>I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.


Ditto - although I have a couple still on OLD SPARCs

>> If you have a PC-DOS floppy you should be able to make an image of it
>> and net that over and use lofiadm to mount the iso
>>>I found that an external USB floppy drive 'just works' with Solaris 10,
>>>though haven't done anything beyond showing that it works. FWIW, I
>>>bought the external drive to help make a recovery floppy for her laptop.

>> Since when is an Ultra 2 a laptop?
>> Its an SBUS based SPARC machine - where are you going to
>> plug in the external USB drive?

> My comment about the laptop was in reference to my wife's laptop, NOT
> the OP's Ultra 2 (accidentally edited out the reference to my wife).
> Since almost all new laptops (and quite a few desktops) lack a floppy
> drive (not a big loss), having an external USB floppy can be handy. The
> point I was trying to make was that the external USB floppy drive 'just
> works' with Solaris 10 on a box recent enough to support a USB port.


It was off-topic AFAICT : > optimistic as well. x86 on Solaris has
a way to go yet. Many things are still problematic on my laptop
that shouldnt be. Im at b83 something too. My suspicion is that
SOME USB floppies would work - not all : <

And a waste of money since Solaris only reads/writes/mounts ancient PC-DOS
FAT disks you can simply 'iso' a floppy and use lofiadm to mount it.

>
> - Erik


 
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Huge
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      05-30-2008, 09:29 AM
On 2008-05-29, AGT <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> On Wed, 28 May 2008 22:15:38 -0700, erik magnuson wrote:
>
>> AGT wrote:
>>> On Tue, 27 May 2008 23:29:09 -0700, erik magnuson wrote:
>>>>Dave wrote:
>>>>>Charles Lindsey who has far too much time on his hands wrote:
>>>>>>Having attempted to relocate a Flopy Drive from a SPARC-5 to an Ultra-2,
>>>>>>and encountered all sorts of misfeatures, bugs and incompatibilities, I
>>>>>>have written it all up on my website at
>>>>>> http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl/floppy-muddle.html
>>>>>>Hopefully, this will provide a general guide to how SPARCs and Solaris
>>>>>>(mis)handles floppies.
>>>>>>Comments will be welcomed.
>>>>>I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.

>
> Ditto - although I have a couple still on OLD SPARCs


The only floppies I have are 8" ones....


--
"Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain
and presumptuous desire for a second one."
[email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
 
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Charles Lindsey
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      06-02-2008, 10:33 AM
In <g1ohe4$g3s$(E-Mail Removed)> Huge <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>On 2008-05-29, AGT <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:


>>>>>>I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.

>>
>> Ditto - although I have a couple still on OLD SPARCs


>The only floppies I have are 8" ones....


AFAICT, the Intel Chip and the Solaris driver are still quite capable of
handling shuch floppies, if you can find a suitable drive for them.

--
Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
Tel: +44 161 436 6131 Fax: +44 161 436 6133 Web: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl
Email: (E-Mail Removed) Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU, U.K.
PGP: 2C15F1A9 Fingerprint: 73 6D C2 51 93 A0 01 E7 65 E8 64 7E 14 A4 AB A5
 
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Dave
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      06-02-2008, 02:08 PM
Charles Lindsey wrote:
> In <g1ohe4$g3s$(E-Mail Removed)> Huge <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>
>> On 2008-05-29, AGT <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>>>>>>> I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.
>>> Ditto - although I have a couple still on OLD SPARCs

>
>> The only floppies I have are 8" ones....

>
> AFAICT, the Intel Chip and the Solaris driver are still quite capable of
> handling shuch floppies, if you can find a suitable drive for them.
>



And you can be bothered to fit it!

 
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DoN. Nichols
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      06-02-2008, 09:05 PM
On 2008-06-02, Charles Lindsey <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> In <g1ohe4$g3s$(E-Mail Removed)> Huge <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:
>
>>On 2008-05-29, AGT <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>
>>>>>>>I suspect few people now are going to be using floppies in Suns.
>>>
>>> Ditto - although I have a couple still on OLD SPARCs

>
>>The only floppies I have are 8" ones....

>
> AFAICT, the Intel Chip and the Solaris driver are still quite capable of
> handling shuch floppies, if you can find a suitable drive for them.


Interesting. I've still got a couple of DSDD 8" floppy drives.
Aside from needing an external housing (which I have), you would also
need to play games with the cables, because the 5.25" and 3.5" floppies
use a 34-pin connector, while the 8" ones use a 50-pin connector. A bit
of digging for the pinouts, replace the smartcard "drive" with a plate
carrying a connector, and there you are.

Of course -- from my first unix box (a Cosmos CMS-16/UNX -- v7
unix on MC68000 (8MHz) in Intel Multibus) I still have the controller
for the 10 MB 8" Shugart hard drive and the 8" floppy -- adapting both
to SCSI, so I could probably just hang that on a system without needing
the metalwork.

Next question is "why"? :-) Do I have anything which I might
still need to read on 8" floppies? And if I do -- a lot of it will be
on the SSB (Smoke Signal Broadcasting) DOS-68 and DOS-69 formats. I
think that I remember enough about that format to write something which
would process an image of the disk and extract files. An interesting
system -- instead of being something like a FAT, it was built on
doubly linked lists. Each file used the last four bytes contained
track and sector for the next sector and track and sector for the
previous sector. The directory was similarly structured, so it could be
expanded at need. All free sectors were yet another linked list, with
the most recently deleted file tacked onto the tail of the list so you
had the maximum chance to recover it before it was overwritten.

Enjoy,
DoN.

--
Email: <(E-Mail Removed)> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
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Charles Lindsey
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      06-03-2008, 10:21 AM
In <(E-Mail Removed)-and-d.com> "DoN. Nichols" <(E-Mail Removed)> writes:

>>>The only floppies I have are 8" ones....

>>
>> AFAICT, the Intel Chip and the Solaris driver are still quite capable of
>> handling shuch floppies, if you can find a suitable drive for them.


> Interesting. I've still got a couple of DSDD 8" floppy drives.
>Aside from needing an external housing (which I have), you would also
>need to play games with the cables, because the 5.25" and 3.5" floppies
>use a 34-pin connector, while the 8" ones use a 50-pin connector. A bit
>of digging for the pinouts, replace the smartcard "drive" with a plate
>carrying a connector, and there you are.


Hmmm! Maybe I was being a bit too optimistic. But for sure a 5.25" drive
would be no problem.

--
Charles H. Lindsey ---------At Home, doing my own thing------------------------
Tel: +44 161 436 6131 Fax: +44 161 436 6133 Web: http://www.cs.man.ac.uk/~chl
Email: (E-Mail Removed) Snail: 5 Clerewood Ave, CHEADLE, SK8 3JU, U.K.
PGP: 2C15F1A9 Fingerprint: 73 6D C2 51 93 A0 01 E7 65 E8 64 7E 14 A4 AB A5
 
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