Re: Lisa Office System images to floppy via PC?

From: James MacPhail <gg__at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 01:34:51 -0800

>wondering if there is a way to write these images onto floppies via a
>Windows 98 pc rather than a Mac

In general, no. The 400K Lisa/Mac disks use GCR encoding, and PC floppy disk hardware supports only MFM encoding.

There are rare pieces of hardware that can do GCR on the PC, such as the Central Point "Deluxe Option Board" and the Catweasel. However, AFAIK, none of these support the common Lisa/Mac disk image file formats you can download.

Most later 68K and PowerPC Macs have a "superdrive" 1.4MB floppy drive with a SWIM controller that can do both GCR and MFM.

>wanted to install/boot into something other than the workshop that was
>installed on the Widget HD.

IIRC, there was a "Macintosh transfer" program for the workshop. It would allow you to format a 400k disk for use by a Mac, and copy files to it (and perhaps from it). It was part of the "Mac Supplement" distributed to early Macintosh developers, since the Lisa was the original development platform for the Mac.

This would predate the DiskCopy and DART formats, so you would need to get plain/binary files to the widget/workshop drive for use by the Mac transfer program. I suspect you could achieve this using the workshop's serial port transfer program. But, it would require that you find individual files (maybe two forks per file) to download to the PC (or PC software to decode the DiskCopy or DART images), or write a workshop program to decode the images yourself. It also requires that your workshop installation is working.

In short, not impossible, but probably too much effort.

I think your best options are:

  1. Pick up a used Mac with a floppy drive. For the purpose of making disks from images, it can even be a G3 PowerPC, but there is an advantage to choosing a Mac that can run System/MacOS 8.0 or earlier: These systems can mount and read/write GCR Macintosh MFS disks (such as made by MacWorks XL) in the Finder. MFS support was dropped in MacOS 8.1.
  2. Find a nearby enthusiast to make some floppies for you to get started

HTH, James

James MacPhail                   "Think not of engineering as art,
uo957_at_email.domain.hidden                 but of art as engineering"
Sigma Seven Systems Ltd.
james_at_email.domain.hidden        <>

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. Received on 2015-07-15 16:42:50

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