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External USB Floppy Drive

Posted: Thu 11 Oct, 2018 8:28 pm
by shareware123
Do you think USB external floppy drives will be compatible with future releases of PCem?

Re: External USB Floppy Drive

Posted: Fri 12 Oct, 2018 6:46 am
by Zup
USB floppies (usually) are very limited.

Usually they only support 1.44Mb disk, with 2 sides, 80 tracks, 18 sectors/track (starting at 0), and 512 bytes/sector (some of them also support 9 sectors/track). Usually there is no way to read odd-numbered or odd-sized sectors (Opera Soft games used to have an 8K sector as disk protection) so booter games can (and probably will) fail. Also, there is no support for "big" disks like 2M or Microsoft DMF (they usually have more than 9/18 sectors per track).

Those USB floppies are only good to read/write normal disks, so I don't think they're useful for PCem. I have one Nec external drive and I use it only to read old (unprotected) disks... when I need to do something weird (i.e.: prepare a disk for my ZX Spectrum +3) I use a Toshiba Laptop with an internal drive that is connected to a "real" FDC.

(Kryoflux and other similar devices are a totally different beast... they can read disks at the lowest level, so they can read almost anything)

Re: External USB Floppy Drive

Posted: Fri 12 Oct, 2018 6:55 am
by ppgrainbow
I don't think that PCem has no support for reading physical floppy disks at this time, only physical CDs. If you want to use floppy disk support in a emulated machine that PCem emulates, you can use floppy disk images and be prepared to insert a floppy diskette image when you initalise a hard disk image and set up an operating system.