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#1 2019-05-06 15:56:17

marcampion
Member
Registered: 2019-05-06
Posts: 3

Getting software on my 1984 Macintosh

Hi Everyone

I have a 512k 1984 Macintosh. I am trying to burn some software off of here on to floppy disks so I can use it:
https://archive.org/details/softwarelibrary_mac

But I am failing!

I have a few 800k PC formatted floppys. When I format them on my Macintosh, it reads them but then my 2019 Imac won’t read them (I’m running High Sierra 10.13.6 I think, I am not in front of it right now).

I am using an external Memorex USB Floppy Drive External Floppy 1.44 MB Double Sided/720KB Single Side for Mac/PC.

Can anyone tell me what the proper workflow is to burn software on to floppys that I can use on my Macintosh?

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#2 2019-05-06 16:33:08

mcdermd
Member
From: Corvallis, OR
Registered: 2014-05-12
Posts: 1,020
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Re: Getting software on my 1984 Macintosh

If it hasn't been upgraded, your 512K will only read/write 400k single-sided floppies. Your modern Mac will not read them. You need a middle-man vintage Macintosh to read/write the 400K diskettes.

Your other option is to have someone create the disks for you and send them in the mail.


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#3 2019-05-06 17:51:37

marcampion
Member
Registered: 2019-05-06
Posts: 3

Re: Getting software on my 1984 Macintosh

Thanks for your answer. This is a macintosh 128k body that has been upgraded at some point in the late 1980s to a 512ke. The macintosh has an 800k drive installed internally as it has the 512ke upgrade.

Yup I got some software through the mail but it’s more expensive to do it that way and basically everything is available on-line so I’m trying to find a way to burn it myself on to diskettes.

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#4 2019-05-24 01:31:12

Mk.558
Member
Registered: 2014-07-08
Posts: 168

Re: Getting software on my 1984 Macintosh

In case you haven't found a suitable solution by now, yes the only option for you is to burn a boot disk with some other old mac that can write 800K disks. No USB floppy disk unit in common circulation can write them. I would burn a stack of 6-7 Emergency Network Access Disks for the 512Ke (along with a 400K MFS version just in case) if I was in your shoes.

The reason external USB and PC* floppy drives cannot write your disks is the encoding format. The PC world used Modified Frequency Modulation (MFM) to get about 720KiB out of a dual sided floppy disk (actual formatted capacity was about 710-ish). The Mac world used Group Coded Recording (GCR) which, combined with variable speed constant linear velocity recording, means they could get 800KiB ideal format (actual formatted capacity is about 785KiB).

If you find the Download Town in my signature, you can direct someone with a old machine that can write 800KiB floppies to send a few your way. A few, because some will die or are subject to the usual fickle nature of floppies. The disk you'll want is the System 2.01 Network Access Disk. From there the rest of the Guide can show you how to get that thing on a network. Tip: Get a second floppy drive if you don't already have one. You can use a Linux VM with Netatalk 2.1.6 to serve as a file server, or I think there's a way you can use Basilisk II/Sheepsaver to do that too.

*: Apparently the Copy II PC Deluxe Option Board paired with an internal floppy drive could work with 800K disks. Never had a chance to use one.

Last edited by Mk.558 (2019-05-24 01:33:26)


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