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Fitting a SCSI2SD in a 68k Mac


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4 hours ago, sutekh said:

I'll say this though, I've had a number of SD cards fail over the years personally and professionally

 

The 2010 thing was a bit of an incomplete thought but I'm having a weird day and the time between me thinking it and me writing it was enough that I lost the thread.

 

The next thing I think I was going to say was looking at datasheets for ~2010-2011 or so SSDs and calculating, like, what if you rewrote this thing in full constantly until the end of the cited life and, you get something like 50-60 years out of that.

 

Maybe the connection was: But even as far back as 2010 or 2011 SSDs were being given caches and wear leveling techniques and had internal controllers responsible for spreading writes around and SD cards Don't.

 

W/re VM on low-memory systems, that's a good point and for my part, the desktops where I've got these things deployed so far don't need VM, but, I also continue to hold firm on the idea that it's not bad to leave VM on even if you don't need it.

 

W/re scars from earlier eras: me too, in a bunch of ways. At this point, (outside of cameras) I basically don't put anything but like OS installers and the fourth copy of stuff on cheap removable flash if I can avoid it.

 

At this point my strategies are relentless centralization plus hooking a dedicated spinning backup disk to every machine, or designating a network location (In the case of my modern Macs, that's my '11 mini, in the case of my vintage ones, I store data directly on vtools.)

 

 

4 hours ago, sutekh said:

FusionIO

 

That would explain why these are hanging around so long in used markets. 

 

44 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Until current 3.3v solid state memory modules hit a Fast/Wide SCSI II bus it's nothing but theoretical.

 

If I'm reading this right: The problem isn't the SD or CF cards on their own - those are now rated for more speed than U320 SCSI. It's a combination of the cards not being meant for use in computers, and, the adapters using SPI interface, which is not the fastest possible way to use an SD card.

 

The primary non-Mac markets don't need much more than what a SCSI2SD - of any kind - will give you, and the presumptive higher-end markets 1) got new SCSI disks manufactured until roughly 2012, perhaps a little later 2) are 100% hobbyist based 3) often, have the same options we do for newer systems, such as SCSI/SAS cards, so they're not considering SD that closely anyway.

 

44 minutes ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

Data portability makes SD a very enticing notion for CSII era machines that really don't have anywhere to put a CF slot.

 

Hmm.

 

Outside of "well, you literally just mentioned the networking slot, so, use networking" - that sounds like a great use case for the SCSI2SD v5.5. Those can plug in at the back of the Mac.

 

That said, SD cards when used in the SCSI2SD, because the default configuration for the SCSI2SD is to emulate a hard disk, have the same cross-generational limitations hard disks do. i.e. you won't be able to use HFS+ on system 7 and you won't be able to use >4GB volumes on '030s or with 7.1, so-on-and-so-forth.

 

So, like, calling back to the networking slot: These things are all problems that networking solves. AppleTalk networking is baked into every Mac from the original to the Beige G3 (and the protocol survived on Ethernet until 10.4), even the Duos, as their only onboard port. Even on an ad-hoc basis, I keep a couple Mac serial cables around so I can do stuff like use a beige desktop to move stuff from vtools to my 180 or 6200, but I also keep an ET/LT bridge at the handy so I don't really need "a bridge mac" to do it, I can talk directly to the file server if I need.

 

I've got a Classic II with a SCSI2SD set up with 2+2GB volumes (if I remember correctly) and I use it this way. Software is installed on the SCSI2SD and it auto-mounts my folder on vtools and I store my data on the network, so all my other Macs can get at it. The one piece of data on the machine is my Claris Organizer file, which I use locally and sync each session to a central file on the server.

 

So, in that Mac, the SCSI2SD is just fitted near the existing hard disk, which got left in for reasons I don't remember. Anyway, using networking, even over LocalTalk, is faster and easier than dealing with swapping SD cards around or shutting machines down and powering them back on so I can move a data volume around.

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What's a networking slot? :grin: My bad there, CSII was a dual purpose modem/NIC and now is a single use interface. I used it only as shorthand (dubious, unsatisfactory as it was) for Alchemy thru TAM PCI machines with first gen IDE as it's one of the defining, if overlooked features of the series. They only address one IDE device so something like SCSI2SD might make for a good addition. Put that and a simple CF adapter in the HDD bay and hang the SD card out the back on an extension tether. I now wonder if installing the laptop SCSI2SD inside the now useless Tuner compartment would work. But that's still farther off topic.

 

3 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

.  .  .  sounds like a great use case for the SCSI2SD v5.5. Those can plug in at the back of the Mac.

 

I did a double take on that one, fitting SCSI2SD onto the outside of a Mac? Then I stepped back and rediscovered the topic's not about physically fitting SCSI2SD in a Mac, it's about getting the things up and running in a 68K environment! Again my bad, you were talking SD suitability/quality/durability/lifespan and I had a side question about CF in comparison. Thanks for your answer.

 

I did say that the MicroSD male end of my extension cable looks to slip through the Security Slot of a Mac, especially nice for a Plus(internal SCSI upgraded) or Classic if installing SCSI2SD internally. That would keep the data side of things portable, as in swapping out removable media from the extension cable without cracking the case. One might want to use v5.5 shared across several machines, but one or two special machines might have SCSI2SD installed internally. The pet IIfx comes to mind, a dedicated V6 on its Fast/Narrow SCSI Card would be really nice, especially if I didn't have to pop the hood for the likes of an SD oil change. Breaking SD media out of the box on a cabled extension might be great for that? Not so if it's already been tried and found to not work so well? I guess that's for another topic.

 

I'll be quiet now.

Edited by Trash80toHP_Mini
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14 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

But even as far back as 2010 or 2011 SSDs were being given caches and wear leveling techniques and had internal controllers responsible for spreading writes around and SD cards Don't.

This isn't an accurate depiction of the current state of things, these days, in all circumstances. Most consumer SD cards do have some form of simplistic wear leveling, although the specifics are considered industry secrets. Many SD cards now exist for custom write-heavy uses, which may have a larger array of pre-reserved blocks for re-allocation later in life, if cells/blocks go bad. And then there are the rather expensive Single Level Cell SD cards, which Panasonic and Delkin Devices, as well as a number of others make. They're costly for a reason.

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10 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

SII was a dual purpose modem/NIC and now is a single use interface

 

What was the other use?

 

Dial Up Networking is still, networking, even if it's only wide-area networking and not local area networking.

 

It would be neat to find out that there was like a CSII sound card or a CSII SATA card.

 

20 minutes ago, aperezbios said:

This isn't an accurate depiction of the current state of things, these days, in all circumstances.

 

That's good to hear. Do you know if any of them have terabytes written ratings or any kind of indication as to what the expected reliability actually is?

 

I've been using high end consumer oriented cards and they're fast enough, I'm fortunate to be able to not need VM, although with even basic wear leveling, at the rate older classic Macs go, I imagine that it would be "fine" for a while.

 

 

More generally:

 

I would say a worthy precaution for anybody who is concerned about data loss with a modern disk replacement solution using flash cards would be to run backups, just like you would have if you were concerned about data loss on a conventional/period hard disk.

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4 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

What was the other use?

 

Modem and NIC were the only two purposes AFAIK. The Modems were pretty terrible, so if you didn't have a NIC for that slot,  you'd likely pull it out to free up the plugged up serial port for use with a faster external modem.

 

4 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

Dial Up Networking is still, networking, even if it's only wide-area networking and not local area networking.

 

You got me there! l set up a sweet remote control system with one way VidCap over landline with Timbuktu Remote in the day.

 

4 hours ago, Cory5412 said:

It would be neat to find out that there was like a CSII sound card or a CSII SATA card.

 

IIRC someone made a 10/100 NIC for CSII, but that's probably the only thing that works? I doubt we'll ever find anything else. The NIC interface on CSII is a half baked PCI slot (flopped cake with mal aforethought?) that doesn't work AFAK. I took a look at the pinouts, comparing it to PCI in an attempt to hijack the PCI Slot ID for a third standard slot with a PC riser, but I think it was a dead end.

 

We're off topic here, but it would be great if someone would take a whack at a Gigabit NIC for CSII. That would be oh so cool, the TAM crowd would eat that right up. CSII should handle that I'd think, een if the machines can't manage wring the most out of it, it'd be one mean hack.

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18 hours ago, Trash80toHP_Mini said:

We're off topic here, but it would be great if someone would take a whack at a Gigabit NIC for CSII. That would be oh so cool, the TAM crowd would eat that right up. CSII should handle that I'd think, een if the machines can't manage wring the most out of it, it'd be one mean hack.

Agreed, way off topic, but I think it'd be very interesting to perhaps see if you could add modern wireless connectivity to CSII machines by way of an RPi Zero W, or other low cost SBC with wi-fi. It would need to use the serial interface, hopefully at a reasonably high speed, since most low end, modern SBCs don't have any sort of PCI support. Does anyone here have or know of any reference documentation from Apple for CommSlot II specs?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I wanted to report a successful boot of an LC III with SCSI2SD v6 2020c (with a few issues, see "Issues").

 

Here's how I did it. 

 

My host PC was a Surface Pro running Windows 10.

My Mac is an LC III with 16MB RAM, a Floppy Emu, and an external AppleCD 600e.

 

Update scsi2sd firmware

  • Installed UsbDk_1.0.22_x64.msi
  • Attached the scsi2sd to my PC and used zadig-2.5.exe to ensure that the UsbDk driver was being used for the device (this took a little figuring out)
  • Then launched scsi2sd-util6 and triggered a firmware update to firmware.V6.2020.dfu

Prepare the SD card

  • Attached the SD card to my PC via a USB reader
  • Formatted it with SD Card Formatter 5.0.1
  • Put the SD card back into the SCSI2SD

Configure the SCSI2SD

scsi2sd-general.thumb.png.d633b06d28e07f3eea646def4b7e2f25.png

scsi2sd-device1.thumb.png.f6426310973a494b245cd6e26f16c08e.png

  • Saved this configuration to the device.

Initialization

  • I ensured the SCSI2SD was attached to the LC, with nothing connected to the power connector.  (My PC was still connected to USB.)
  • I booted 7.6.1 off the "MacOS v7.6.1 Universal" CD.  I know the "Legacy Software Recovery" CD boots too.
  • I used the Floppy Emu to mount the lido.dsk that comes with Floppy Emu and ran lido.  lido detected a 2GB drive and was able to initialize it.
  • I rebooted once (again, into the installer) to ensure that the drive continued to be recognized.
  • Then I installed 7.6.1 normally.

Issues

  • The bootable Lido-7-56-for-LCIII.dsk.zip did not work for me -- it booted okay, but Lido crashed with a "bad F-Line instruction."  I did not investigate further.
  • Even if I configured the virtual drive as a 4GB drive Lido still only saw 2GB.
  • HD SC Setup from 7.6.1 never saw the virtual drive, despite selecting model information that should have been compatible with the stock HD SC Setup.
  • After getting one 2GB virtual drive going I tried to add three more 2GB virtual drives.  Lido did not see them, no matter which SCSI IDs I assigned them.  The two things I changed from the configuration for the first volume were the SCSI ID and the serial number (last digit 2, 3, 4).
Edited by Spyffe
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