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FlashPath SD to Floppy Disk Adapter (Actual Floppy Disk)

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I believe Foone on Twitter probably has, and I've had some friends with Sony memory stick variants.

 

To my knowledge, these never worked on Macs, in any capacity.

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For example: 

 

 

By my recollection, the Sony (and maybe the other one) one only worked with a special file transfer type of application.

 

It's a shame because if you could use a tool like this to trick a diskette drive into being a larger volume, having, say, a 16-megabyte System 8.1+OpenTransport boot floppy would be really compelling.

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I had a Sony one. As Cory5412 said you needed an App to read it. It wasn't overly fast. It was less trouble to use a reader or connect the camera to the computer.

I'd bought it with the hope that I could access it like a regular but larger floppy. No such luck

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I have tried on a Mac, and it's buggy.

 

I have a Smart Media version : it's slow, you must insert battery into the fake floppy, and on the Mac, you can only read files. I have a Memory Stick version too, but it will not work. And i know there is a Multimedia Card version, too.

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In essence those things worked in a manner vaguely similar to how those adapters they sell for connecting your MP3 player up to a cassette-based car stereo work, IE, they press a little magnetic transceiver up against the read/write head in your floppy drive. As noted, they do *not* emulate the geometry of an actual disk and are useless without the software that knows what's going on there. They would also almost certainly *never* work in anything but a standard high-density floppy drive that uses DOS-style low-level formatting because according to the scanty documentation for the protocol they speak they present their UI as if it were the first two sectors of a standard 18 sector track; controllers that use GCR or only run at lower data rates wouldn't even be able to talk to the UI.

 

(The same source that documents that also says the read/write transceiver only works if the head is positioned over track 0, so even if you could somehow replace the firmware with one that tried harder to pretend to be a floppy disk it wouldn't work because stepping through the tracks will cause it to lose communication.)

In short they do basically count as useless for most "retrocomputing" purposes; by design they can't act as a general purpose drive replacement like a Gotek or Floppy Emu.

That said I'd kind of like to see what one looks like taken apart. I'm curious how the dingus the head sits on is actually set up, and if there's some sort of sensor connected to a phony hub ring that uses the motor spinning as a signal to wake up.

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And with FloppyEmu and SCSI2SD and what not, it seems pointless.  I've seen these come up on eBay occasionally.  It's a neat trick for sure, but I fail to see the appeal even back when they were introduced. 

Edited by pcamen

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On 10/8/2019 at 6:10 AM, Cory5412 said:

To my knowledge, these never worked on Macs, in any capacity.

I've got one that I believe has MOS8 extensions as well as early Windows (98?) drivers.  The "grand plan" was to use it to read MMC cards from my QT200 cameras.

Edited by jongleur

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That would be extremely interesting to see in action!

 

Did the QT200 not have a serial cable like the 100/150 did? Or was this just for more convenience?

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On 10/7/2019 at 4:06 PM, waynestewart said:

I had a Sony one. As Cory5412 said you needed an App to read it. It wasn't overly fast. It was less trouble to use a reader or connect the camera to the computer.

I'd bought it with the hope that I could access it like a regular but larger floppy. No such luck

It was convenient during the time it was released. I used them quite a bit back in the day. Your choices at the time were:

-Serial port connection to the camera. It usually involved a garbage piece of software to transfer the pictures and where did I put that silly cable again?

-An expensive card reader connected to a SCSI port or parallel port. Most people didn't have SCSI and parallel port drivers were always wonky.

-A fake floppy that you slipped the memory card into and popped into your computer. It usually just worked and you dragged and dropped your images.

 

It would be a few years until USB card readers and cameras that supported USB mass storage would show up (my camera from 2001 was one of the first to have direct connect USB mass storage support).

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On 10/8/2019 at 11:23 PM, jongleur said:

I've got one that I believe has MOS8 extensions as well as early Windows (98?) drivers.  The "grand plan" was to use it to read MMC cards from my QT200 cameras.

Actually, it will be complicated.

 

The QT200 use Smart Media 5V card, and many readers can only read the 3,3 V card. But it's possible to find an USB reader (i have a Fujitsu model for that) or just use the serial cable. I have made a Python script to transfer the photos, and it works with modern and old computers if you have Python and a serial port. https://github.com/Dandumontp/QuickTake200

 

 

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48 minutes ago, Dandu said:

....... and it works with modern and old computers if you have Python and a serial port.

 

 

As it happens, I have a USB MMC reader and I currently use it on my Win2K VM to transfer the images off the card.  I'll give your script a go connecting over the serial port.  

 

Thankyou.

Edited by jongleur

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