[lisa] Re: Looking for a Widget or Profile drive

From: Ray Arachelian <ray_at_email.domain.hidden>
Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 10:45:00 -0500

Mike wrote:

>Ray Arachelian wrote:
>>See: <http://SigmaSevenSystems.com/xprofile> for a modern replacement.
>Looks good but out of my price bracket at the moment.
Yeah, it is a bit expensive - outside my toy/computer collector hobby budget for now. I'd certainly love to buy one at some point.

As I understand it, it's fast, it works, and it allows you to slice it up into several ProFiles on demand. So you're actually buying the equivalent of something like seven profile drives in one shot (I think, RTFM to verify) at much higher speed than the old 5M MFM drives.

It's also got support for Flash storage, and that makes them very quiet and very fast, and low powered compared to regular ProFiles. Flash storage does wear out after several hundred thousand writes over the same block, but depending on the flash card write/remap strategy, you're unlikely to ever see this in your lifetime. So far, the only damaged flash cards I've ever heard about is the linear kind, if used in a Cisco router tends to wear out very fast and shouldn't/can't be used in Newtons, but modern ATA CF's are not susceptible to this problem.

Alternatively, if you're able to do some light soldering and are comfortable with electronic projects, there are plans online for how to build a similar device here:


>This might be an option, I have an Apple IIe in the loft, can you give
>me any pointers on th ROMS and software required ?
I don't have a copy of that special EEPROM, perhaps someone on this list does? The EEPROM fits, I believe in a ProFile drive, and a program on the Apple itself - if you have the ProFile interface card, issues the low-level format command. I've neither the EEPROM, nor the interface card, though I do have a IIc that I need build a power supply for... :-)

I'm not sure whether this will work with Widget drives. It may be possible to move the Widget drive itself to a ProFile case/controller and low-level format it in there. I do recall that there is a signature block on both drives that say what kind of drive it is. Not sure if it matters. i.e. the Widget drive says it's a widget + how many blocks it has. Not sure what will happen if you format it using a ProFile controller - it may show up as a ProFile, but as long as it works, it should be ok.

I suppose if someone has the EEPROM and the Apple II + interface card, they could provide a valuable service to this list for a fee... But do keep in mind, these are 25+ year old hard drives, so, you can't expect very much from them. I'm amazed each time I power on my ProFile drives that they've lasted this long. A couple of mine are very noisy, possibly due to worn out ball bearings or the spring at the bottom - yeah, they do sound like fridge compressors. But they do work, and the noise doesn't bother me that much, or rather, I should say, I'm willing to tolerate it for now rather than risk the repair. (The don't fix what isn't broken school of thought.)

>I have managed to get hold of an old sunrem scsi card, however I really
>want to go the Lisa OS route, not Macworks, or maybe a dual boot !
>Thanks for the info
I understand. Personally I'm not craving MacWorks, though I do have a ProFile just for that. It's nice and fine, but there are plenty of classic 68k Mac emulators out there from vMac to Basilisk II and a bunch of others like MAE, Executor, etc. I'm more interested in the Lisa Office System because of it's historical value.

Still, if you are skilled enough and familiar enough with the guts of LisaOS, I suppose it would be possible to write a driver to boot Lisa Office System off a SCSI drive. I don't think it would be easy. So far no one has written such a thing, but it would be nice. :-)

--~--~---------~--~----~------------~-------~--~----~ You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "LisaList" group. To post to this group, send email to lisalist_at_email.domain.hidden To unsubscribe from this group, send email to lisalist-unsubscribe_at_email.domain.hidden For more options, visit this group at http://groups.google.com/group/lisalist -~----------~----~----~----~------~----~------~--~--- Received on 2006-03-15 07:46:35

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : 2020-01-13 12:15:20 EST