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genenorton
Memphis, TN

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by genenorton Thu Jul 19, 2018 5:27 am

Yes. I have a A1000 that I bought when they first came out and a Starboard with Stardrive that I've had since the late 80's but I never used the StarDrive. When I unpacked it in 2012 from being unused for a long time the battery was a mess. I tried getting the clock to work but it just hangs when I access it. I have a Zip Plus that I got off ebay a couple of years ago. I got nowhere with my old Stardrive "install" disk, but recently I used the disks that you posted back in your april 27 post. I am able to access the zip drive but the format fails. I'm guessing it might be due to incorrect drive geometry. I've used the drive with other amigas and scsi controllers on OS 3.1 and of course it just works.
I'm really looking forward to your write up!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Thu Jul 19, 2018 9:03 am

This is a quick note about the SCSI Zip 100 project, which I do plan on fleshing out in a lot more detail soon.

  • The StarBoard and StarDrive software will only work with KS/WB 1.2. Stay away from it. It's a dead end, unfortunately. It only causes problems.
  • The StarClock, if you have a functional one, will only support up to the year 2010. My StarClock does indeed work, but I can really only use it for the month/day. The year I have to set to 2009 because beyond 2010 the program simply fails. A shame, but that's how it is.
  • I will publish the Zip 100 geometry soon. But the bottom line is if you format your disks on a different machine, HDInstTools is not to be trusted in the geometry it reports. It's completely wrong. The only way this works is if you use the very specific geo I will post here, very likely next week. It took many tries, and I owe the answer to a connection on the Amiga Facebook group. He saved the day.
  • I will also publish the startup-sequence required on the WB floppy to hand over control to your Zip. By the way, after formatting the zip, one must install an entire full-blown copy of Workbench to it so when your custom WB floppy hands over control it's good to go on the Zip side.
  • Once everything is working, it almost feels like magic. To be able to boot up Workbench 1.3 on your A1000, yet pop out the WB floppy yet still have access to all of Workbench is just glorious. Hang in there. I need to collect all of my notes and get everything in order.
  • From a technical standpoint, if I were to reassign the geometry of the Zip attached to my 2000 to be the same as my 1000 (right now they are different) in theory you could pop a Zip out of either and pop it into the other. But that's for another day.
  • In my particular case - and my friends who also have this setup - it is mostly awesome. But the fact is the software we're depending on that was written by Microbotics a million years ago is not amazing and kind of janky. In fact, it's a bit unstable. If you boot up your machine and just let it sit, sometimes it'll just guru for no apparent reason. It is a little bit flaky. But the benefits do seem to outweigh the Gurus.
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dalek

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by dalek Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:18 am

For the clock, I wonder how it stores the year? From the pics the chip is: PCF8573 which only stores the month. So maybe the year is stored on the floppy disk that starclock is run from, or stored in some eprom on board?
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A10001986

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by A10001986 Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:43 am

In that case the year is handled in software on the Amiga which makes it fixable...
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Dynamic_Computing

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by Dynamic_Computing Tue Jul 24, 2018 2:38 pm

Back in the day I used a Syquest 44MB Removeable drive on my A3000 - Kind of a bulky predecessor to the ZIP drive. It worked really well and 44MB was a fine size to save just about anything to back in '93. I suppose I still have the drive somewhere. I just saw the old disk the other day... Dang it, now I have another project to work on!
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:00 pm

@DC I have one of those in my A2000. I only engage it once every couple of months when I want to perform backups (it's quite noisy). But it does the job it's supposed to do just fine.

That being said, I have been eyeing an internal ZIP 100 drive to replace it recently. Haven't pulled the trigger on that but have been tempted. Both of my daily drivers have ZIP drives on them now.
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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by Zippy Zapp Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:45 pm

Cool story, I love Zip drives. I have one in my PIII built 1998. I always ordered them with any Macs I bought. I have a brand new SCSI external in the box that has never been used. I found it a couple years ago at a thrift store for $3. The only thing I think it might not have come with is the Macintosh Floppy disk. It came with a Windows/Dos one. I am not entirely sure it was supposed to come with one though. It did come with the Zip Tools Zip disk. Although the box was opened everything was still sealed and not opened inside.

The only thing I like better then my Zip drive from that era is the SyQuest EZ135, that was a competitor.

You have inspired me to try it out with the A2000. {Added to List}
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intric8
Seattle, WA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by intric8 Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:01 pm

@ZippyZapp in my personal experience hooking up the Zip to the 2000 was a snap. I plugged it into my Ge-Force030's SCSI port. HDInstTools saw, formatted and mounted the drive with zero issues. It mounts to my desktop on boot and I use it mainly for data (pictures, icons, etc.).

I love it.

Good luck! And, it's good to see you back here, ZZ. It's been awhile. :)
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Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Re: (Another) Iomega Zip Drive for the Amigas

by Zippy Zapp Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:11 pm

Cool, thanks for the tips. I am in A2000 restore mode so it is in the queue. More on that shortly.

intric8 wrote:Good luck! And, it's good to see you back here, ZZ. It's been awhile. :)

Thanks! I have missed this place. Been a crazy little while in life land, unfortunately. But I am making an effort to get things organized until we move, hopefully by years end and then finally more space to work on stuff.

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