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HFS Workbench for MacOS X

timtiger

Well-known member
Hi folks, I think it's time to share with you what I've been working on for the past few weeks...

Background: After I had my old SE in the basement for a long time, I got it out again some time ago. Downloading files on my MacBook Pro from the Internet and getting them onto the Mac was quite tedious and annoying...

It's possible with Basilisk, vMac, the grandiose FloppyEmu and the wonderful hfsutils - but honestly: That can't be everything. Why are there numerous tools for Windows but nothing for MacOS X? A shame!

*tada* I introduce you to the alpha version of HFS Workbench: A modern interface for hfsutils and other open source libs. And that's what the thing can do so far:
- Open and edit raw images: create new folders, rename, copy, move and delete
- Import and export files as MacBinary, BinHex, Raw and Text
- Convert images from diskcopy 4.2 to raw

But: Before I add any more features, I wanted to ask if this is of any interest to anyone other than me?

Which features would you like to have? Let's hear :)
 

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demik

Well-known member
That looks awesome. I'm sure it would help people to move files to/from vMac for example. At least that would be my use case.
Importing and Exporting folder would be awesome as a feature, if that's possible

Is it written in Swift ?
 

mg.man

Well-known member
Agree - looks very cool! I tried to get hfsutils working on my Mac Pro, but failed (user error?). Having something a bit more user(idiot)-friendly|proof would be great! What I've currently resorted to is formatting a Zip or even MO disk as MSDOS - modern OS X supports this just fine - and then putting whatever I want to move over in an old skool .SIT and sticking that on my physical media for transfer. Have you thought about supporting physical media or drives?
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
Now, THIS is what I'm talking about! All wrapped up in a really nice GUI. If it were possible to work with physical media, that would be awesome too...but just being able to move files and folders in and out...this is too cool.

Other requests: be able to work with the Disk Copy 4.2 images the same way as the raw with regard to copying/creating new folders, etc.
Go the other way: convert RAW to Disk Copy 4.2. Getting those darned ".dsk" images from the garden and the like that I can never do anything with really irks me.
 

timtiger

Well-known member
Is it written in Swift ?
It’s SwiftUI with a splash of C.

Importing and Exporting folder
I am trying to get a sit compressor working. That way whole directory structures could be im- and exported… Could be tricky.

Have you thought about supporting physical media or drives?
hfsutils are supporting block devices - I think it would be possible to integrate that with the gui.
 

mdeverhart

Well-known member
This is fantastic! I was hoping someone would make something like this. I’d toyed with the idea of adding it to my list of potential projects, but I probably never would have gotten to it.

This will be especially useful since macOS has dropped support for HFS. I’d definitely like to see support for block devices added.
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
Does it support hard disc images with multiple partitions? If so, suggestion: add a clearly visible UI for whether the disc has a partition table/driver or not and whether each partition has boot blocks that point somewhere—then that would help vet OS install media and the like. A lot of those images that are out there are missing the partition table and driver and thus don't boot even though they look OK on the surface, and that'd really help vet those images before trying to use them.

We get lots of people posting that they think their mac is broken because they can't boot an OS installer, and it turns out that it's the installer image that's broken...
 

mdeverhart

Well-known member
add a clearly visible UI for whether the disc has a partition table/driver or not and whether each partition has boot blocks that point somewhere—then that would help vet OS install media and the like. A lot of those images that are out there are missing the partition table and driver and thus don't boot even though they look OK on the surface, and that'd really help vet those images before trying to use them.
100% this. I’m fighting with a Toast image that is just the Mac HFS partition, rather than a full disk image. I haven’t had much time to mess with it, but it’s been driving me nuts.
 

timtiger

Well-known member
Does it support hard disc images with multiple partitions?
Yep, it does. Though I have to tame the os sandbox to get it stable.
whether the disc has a partition table/driver or not and whether each partition has boot blocks that point somewhere
Indicators for showing if a partition map is present and if a blessed folder is on the partition are already implemented. It should be not too complicated to add informations about installed drivers. With a little help it should be also possible to identify installed drivers by checksum or so.

In the sidebar is a placeholder for a „toolbox“. Could be a good place for an image/volume health check…
 

rjkucia

Well-known member
This looks incredibly useful, I've been looking for something like this! The closest thing I've found that works well is CiderPress on Windows, which is really old and clunky.

I'd love to try this out! If you're interested in making it open-source, I (and probably others in the community) would love to poke around in it.
 

cheesestraws

Well-known member
Indicators for showing if a partition map is present and if a blessed folder is on the partition are already implemented. It should be not too complicated to add informations about installed drivers

Looks like you didn't need my suggestion then :-D. This tool looks really, really useful.
 

davidg5678

Well-known member
This looks really useful and the user interface is neat too! I love the idea of having a significantly more streamlined way to move files around between my classic mac and modern computer.
 

timtiger

Well-known member
I'd love to try this out! If you're interested in making it open-source, I (and probably others in the community) would love to poke around in it.
Sure, after years of using open source software I have to give something back ;) I‘ll put it on github with binary release downloads.

It is pre-pre-pre-pre-alpha right now. But in a few weeks I‘d love to have some beta testers…

you didn't need my suggestion
Any suggestion is welcome. It’s the many (little) ideas that make a good thing!
 

joshc

Well-known member
This looks awesome. I can help beta test on macOS Catalina when you are ready for that.

I might have missed it but can you dump/export *all* files and folders in a drive in one go as a .hqx?

I'd probably recommend a slightly more subtle/passive visual confirmation of successful file export, so that a user can easily export multiple files one after the other without clicking the success dialog away each time.

Supporting physical media would be great too, say if someone had a USB floppy or Zip drive with a HFS volume on it and wanted to quickly back it up/get the stuff off there.
 

timtiger

Well-known member
Any potential for the DC 4.2 suggestions?
Right now it’s possible to strip the dc headers, to open up dc 4.2 images with hfsutils. What do you think of?
dump/export *all* files and folders
Long story… As far as I know, it is not possible to map complete filesystem structures with BinHex or MacBin. Although it would be possible to replicate the folder structure in the host file system, some flags and hfs meta information would be lost. While exported files could be encoded as BinHex (larger) or MacBin (easily injured).

To transfer entire folders with their contents, it is common either to work with archives (sit) or to use disk images. It would be quite easy to generate a customized hfs volume and replicate folders. Would that help?
a slightly more subtle/passive visual confirmation
I see, good point.
Supporting physical media
The most wanted feature, I‘ll prioritize it.
 

joshc

Well-known member
To transfer entire folders with their contents, it is common either to work with archives (sit) or to use disk images. It would be quite easy to generate a customized hfs volume and replicate folders. Would that help?
Sorry, that's what I meant - export to a .sit or a hfs volume image of the entire drive contents.
 
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