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Author Topic: How can I transfer programs to my Lisa with only a 400k disk drive?  (Read 148 times)

MickeyScott1

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How do members of the forum copy programs (“abandonware’) from disk images downloaded from the Internet to their Lisa computers that only have 400k floppy drives?

I have been using my Lisa 2/10 with 400k program disks I made in 1988 (for my Mac 128) with a Mac Plus I had back in those days. But now, the earliest operating system I can run on my oldest vintage Macintosh PowerBook is System 7.6.1. I can read 400k disks, but I cannot write files to 400k disks with System 7.6.1.

From reading blogs and posts on the Internet, it seems that System 7.5 is the last operating system that can write to a 400k disk, and as many of you may know, the price of these older computers that can run System 7.5 are relatively expensive. (Considering that I gave away over 20 of these older systems in 2008, I am reluctant to buy one to use to transfer files to my Lisa.)

What are my options to transfer programs to my Lisa, which has only a 400k disk drive?
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D.Finni

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Re: How can I transfer programs to my Lisa with only a 400k disk drive?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2020, 08:48:48 pm »

But now, the earliest operating system I can run on my oldest vintage Macintosh PowerBook is System 7.6.1. I can read 400k disks, but I cannot write files to 400k disks with System 7.6.1.

What are my options to transfer programs to my Lisa, which has only a 400k disk drive?
Use Disk Copy 4.2 on your PowerBook and you can make 400K floppy disks from disk images found on Bit Savers and other Lisa sites. Disk Copy 4.2 does not respect operating system limitations, and can make any disk in any Apple 3.5" format.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 08:51:49 pm by D.Finni »
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rayarachelian

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Re: How can I transfer programs to my Lisa with only a 400k disk drive?
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 10:01:26 pm »

BLU for the win: http://sigmasevensystems.com/blumanual.html

You can enter service mode and type a bunch of hex numbers in for the BLU loader, and then upload BLU over the serial port, after that you can make a BLU floppy and then use that to restore other Disk Copy 4.2 images.

Alternatively you could get a floppy-emu from big mess o'wires and put the images on an mini SDXC card instead.
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MickeyScott1

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Re: How can I transfer programs to my Lisa with only a 400k disk drive?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2020, 01:30:02 am »

Thanks for the very useful advice. Unfortunately, the suggestions will probably not work for my specific situation (except for the EMU disk emulator).

Maybe my experience will be educational for others.

First, I am original owner of a Macintosh XL (I assumed it was new old stock), which I purchased from Sun Remarketing in 1991. It has the screen modification with the 3A88 ROM, so original Lisa disks will not work. I tried to read a 400k disk I made with Disk Copy 4.2 of a Lisa image I downloaded from Bit Savers. The Macintosh XL could read the disk, but the screen was a mess; I assume the screen was just a set of horizontal black lines because of the 3A88 ROM.

Second, I lost the original keyboard, and I am using the keyboard adapter with an Arduino, which I discussed in a different thread.

Following the instructions from the Sun Remarketing-published “Do-it-yourself guide,” I tried to enter service mode by pressing “any key” after the first click, but nothing happened. With the original keyboard in 1991, I had been able to use the service mode, but I wonder if the Arduino program emulation of the Lisa keyboard does not work until later in the boot up process.

Since I have the original 400k disks I made in 1991, I can use the programs I bought the computer to run in 1991, so I am relatively happy.

My goal over the weekend was to use software from Macintosh software websites that I use on my Mini vMac emulator and my Basilisk II emulator. One issue is that a .dsk disk image is not compatible with Disk Copy 4.2, and I cannot find a way to convert a .dsk image back into a Disk Copy 4.2 image.

I assume that the .dsk image can be read with the EMU disk emulator, so maybe I will buy one someday. Again, thanks for the helpful advice.
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jamesdenton

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Re: How can I transfer programs to my Lisa with only a 400k disk drive?
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2020, 01:55:01 am »

It is pretty straightforward to turn that XL into a Lisa 2. You will need a video ROM and the H ROMs; both available on eBay or direct from VintageMicros at fairly reasonable prices.

In its current form, you're limited to running MacWorks/XL, which has a single boot disk in Lisa format and a system disk in Mac format. You can then use 400k disks in Mac format for data/apps. With the aforementioned ROMs, you will be able to load Lisa Office System and other Lisa-specific apps, in addition to MacWorks.


As for service mode, that adapter should do just fine. The docs go on to say that after you get the boot menu, try booting from a non-existent device (like the floppy drive without a disk inserted). Once you get the boot error, then hit Apple-S. The Apple key on a USB keyboard may be the windows or command keys; i'm not sure which is mapped and it depends on the keyboard. I know the ADB->Lisa keyboard adapters (also on eBay) work fine, too.

Hope that helps!
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