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RaSCSI Development Thread


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After futzing about with my scsi2sd 5.5 for the past four hours and having slow writes, unreliable mounting, and disk errors, I've have enough of it.

 

I heard about this project back in 2019 on HN and stumbled upon it again today. Progress looks absolutely amazing!!

 

If I were to buy one (fully assembled to save time soldering), how well does it currently work and how reliable is it? (I have extensive Linux experience and very familiar with the Pi/Raspbian.) Basically, if I follow the instructions in the wiki, is it currently in a state where it works reliably?

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23 hours ago, Phazmatis said:

Threw together a minimal version of the board, just two headers and the 4 chips (no on-board termination). Hope I didn't make any mistakes, and OSHPark likes it, and I didn't miss an important component. :D https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/FLWSmnqS (Board file / schematic is here, but I don't think anyone uses CircuitMaker haha https://workspace.circuitmaker.com/Projects/Details/Edward-Halferty/rascsi )

 

 

Capturasdfsadfe.PNG

 

That is awesome!!! such a cute little guy :-)

 

Something you might consider on the next version would be to make it the exact same size as a Pi Zero so that you can mount it directly on top of (or under) a Pi Zero.

 

I'm excited to hear how it works!!

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3 hours ago, jonpurdy said:

I heard about this project back in 2019 on HN and stumbled upon it again today. Progress looks absolutely amazing!!

Thanks!!! Its been a fun project to work on!

 

3 hours ago, jonpurdy said:

If I were to buy one (fully assembled to save time soldering), how well does it currently work and how reliable is it? (I have extensive Linux experience and very familiar with the Pi/Raspbian.) Basically, if I follow the instructions in the wiki, is it currently in a state where it works reliably?

 

I've had no problems at all with the hard drive functionality. It seems rock solid. For the CD-ROM, as long as you used the patched extension (driver), it works fine as well.

 

IMO the main limitation right now is the boot time of the Pi. So, if you can power up the Pi 30 seconds before you power up your Mac, you'll be fine. On most models (from what I've observed) the Mac will wait for the Pi to boot, as long as there isn't another bootable device.

 

Which reminds me, I need to re-vamp the pricing scheme on my Tindie. The price of the assembled boards is going to go down quite a bit. I had a big (for me) run of them assembled in China. They can do it a lot more cheaply that I can!

 

Feel free to join us on Discord and hang out! https://discord.gg/PyS58u6

 

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14 hours ago, landoGriffin said:

Thanks!!! Its been a fun project to work on!

 

 

I've had no problems at all with the hard drive functionality. It seems rock solid. For the CD-ROM, as long as you used the patched extension (driver), it works fine as well.

 

IMO the main limitation right now is the boot time of the Pi. So, if you can power up the Pi 30 seconds before you power up your Mac, you'll be fine. On most models (from what I've observed) the Mac will wait for the Pi to boot, as long as there isn't another bootable device.

 

Which reminds me, I need to re-vamp the pricing scheme on my Tindie. The price of the assembled boards is going to go down quite a bit. I had a big (for me) run of them assembled in China. They can do it a lot more cheaply that I can!

 

Feel free to join us on Discord and hang out! https://discord.gg/PyS58u6

 

 

14 hours ago, landoGriffin said:

Tindie is updated with new pricing. Check it out!!

- Assembled RaSCSI is now only $45 (+ shipping)!!

- Kit is only $30 (+ shipping!)

That's awesome! I was on the fence for $70 but I have more money than time these days being busy at work, but $45 is great! Just ordered it.

 

I have no problem booting the Pi before the Mac; I assumed this would be the case. I'm actually confused why this would be an issue; is there a situation I'm missing or is it just that it's not as instant as a scsi2sd?

 

One last question: planning on using this with a spare Pi Zero non-wifi (whatever the latest rev is). Is this any less reliable or slower than a Pi 4? ie. should I just buy a Pi 4 and use that if it makes the experience better?

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20 minutes ago, jonpurdy said:

I have no problem booting the Pi before the Mac; I assumed this would be the case. I'm actually confused why this would be an issue; is there a situation I'm missing or is it just that it's not as instant as a scsi2sd?

The SCSI2SD and MacSD devices are pretty close to instant-on.

 

Its really only an issue if you have another bootable drive and you want to boot from the RaSCSI. If the selected boot device isn't present when the Mac scans the SCSI bus, it will pick another bootable device. (This has been my observation anyway. Please, correct me if I'm wrong!) However, if the RaSCSI is the only bootable device, the Mac will display the flashing question mark until the RaSCSI finishes booting.

 

20 minutes ago, jonpurdy said:

One last question: planning on using this with a spare Pi Zero non-wifi (whatever the latest rev is). Is this any less reliable or slower than a Pi 4? ie. should I just buy a Pi 4 and use that if it makes the experience better?

 

It depends on what you're connecting it to. Something like a Mac Plus or SE, a Pi Zero is fine. There are some benchmarks here:
https://github.com/akuker/RASCSI/wiki/Benchmarks

 

Personally, I'm always looking for another reason to buy another Pi ;-) 

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22 minutes ago, landoGriffin said:

The SCSI2SD and MacSD devices are pretty close to instant-on.

 

Its really only an issue if you have another bootable drive and you want to boot from the RaSCSI. If the selected boot device isn't present when the Mac scans the SCSI bus, it will pick another bootable device. (This has been my observation anyway. Please, correct me if I'm wrong!) However, if the RaSCSI is the only bootable device, the Mac will display the flashing question mark until the RaSCSI finishes booting.

 

Ah, that makes sense! I ran into this issue yesterday so I pulled out my PDF copy of Mac Secrets 2nd edition. The solution: hold down Cmd-Opt-Shift-Delete after hitting power, and it ignores the internal drive (in my case, SD to IDE in my 2400c) until it boots off an external drive. (Of course, if there's also an external drive I suspect you'd need to unplug that and let RaSCSI boot, then plug it back in.) This should work with most Old World Macs.

 

I'll give it the RaSCSI a try with my Zero first, and maybe try the Pi 4 later on. Thanks for the help!

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I've added some pre-build system images and utilities image to help bootstrap your RaSCSI experience. They should cover all SCSI Macs, let me know if there's a OS or utility you'd like prebuilt.

 

https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/rascsi-68kmla-edition

 

Also I've been working on a new version of the web interface and adding features such as download to iso (eg, give it a Macintosh garden link, it will download the file, create an HFS iso and mount it, easy way to get utilities on your Mac) and a bunch more stuff.

 

https://github.com/erichelgeson/RaSCSI-web

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12 minutes ago, erichelgeson said:

such as download to iso (eg, give it a Macintosh garden link, it will download the file, create an HFS iso and mount it, easy way to get utilities on your Mac)

 

I must have missed you talking about this on the Discord, but oh man that's an amazing feature!

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14 hours ago, erichelgeson said:

Also I've been working on a new version of the web interface and adding features such as download to iso (eg, give it a Macintosh garden link, it will download the file, create an HFS iso and mount it, easy way to get utilities on your Mac) and a bunch more stuff.

 

OK, that is genuinely brilliant.  Veeeeery nice.

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18 hours ago, erichelgeson said:

Also I've been working on a new version of the web interface and adding features such as download to iso (eg, give it a Macintosh garden link, it will download the file, create an HFS iso and mount it, easy way to get utilities on your Mac) and a bunch more stuff.

 

https://github.com/erichelgeson/RaSCSI-web

 

This is great! So this is separate from the regular RaSCSI web interface, correct? I recall seeing the regular one was written in PHP and wishing it was Python so that I could effectively contribute. I see this is Python + Flask which I use for Mosaicbin (Feedbin client for Vintage Macs). Are there any issues yet that could be tackled as a "good first issue" for non-pro developers like myself?

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1 hour ago, jonpurdy said:

separate from the regular RaSCSI web interface, correct

Yes it's stand alone, after a few more people test it I'll open a PR for it.

 

1 hour ago, jonpurdy said:

"good first issue"

For now just give it a spin and see what breaks or could be improved. Open an issue and if you can, fix it :)

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Got mine yesterday evening and had it up and running in 30 mins with my Pi Zero.

 

I did see an issue trying to freshly format a new blank disk with Lido (crashed before finishing formatting, and crashed on reboot), but no issues after a reboot with it unplugged. I did try other disk images: couldn't get an ISO working, or a disk image made from that ISO with DiskCopy 6.2 within MacOS 7.6.1, but I did get a previously-used .dsk with good partition map info working with the contents of that disk image (dragged over).

 

With the "good" disk images, it works flawlessly! With my scsi2sd, I had so many issues with crashes, and intermittent failures (sometimes it'd mount, sometimes not, same conditions). With this RaSCSI setup, if a disk image mounts it works perfectly with zero errors and consistent speeds, and no intermittent mounting issues.

 

So I suspect my issues were a mix of "weird" disk image as well as scsi2sd flakiness. The best part about RaSCSI is that I can just attach and detach images so quickly and easily SCP images back and forth to the Pi from my MacBook Pro. With scsi2sd I'd have to constantly futz about programming the scsi2sd, then using dd to write the images to the SD card (I didn't have a bunch of SD cards lying around). It's an order-of-magnitude faster to work with!

 

I've only got one Mac here in SF (2400c), but when we move back to Toronto in a few years I'll likely use scsi2sd on whatever desktop Mac I keep (probably my 9500) and RaSCSI will be the ridiculously great diagnostic, recovery, and setup tool.

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Glad to hear you got things working!!

 

12 hours ago, jonpurdy said:

I did see an issue trying to freshly format a new blank disk with Lido (crashed before finishing formatting, and crashed on reboot), but no issues after a reboot with it unplugged. I did try other disk images: couldn't get an ISO working, or a disk image made from that ISO with DiskCopy 6.2 within MacOS 7.6.1, but I did get a previously-used .dsk with good partition map info working with the contents of that disk image (dragged over).

If you still have some of the ISOs that you couldn't get working available, would you able to share them? I'd love to dig in and debug them to see what's going on.

(Disclaimer.... my "free time" is pretty zero right now. But someday... :-/ )

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On 11/11/2020 at 8:05 AM, jonpurdy said:

I recall seeing the regular one was written in PHP and wishing it was Python so that I could effectively contribute.

 

Everyone is always hating on PHP! ;-) (I don't have any special fondness for it either. I just copied what ztto did for his RaSCSI interface, that was PHP)

 

Now, if anyone hates on C#, that's another story..... <3 C# [:D]

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I'm in need of some 2.5" SCSI drives, SCSI2SD is a option but they are pretty expensive and not often available at all

I have been vaguely following RaSCSI's developments for a while so I figured what better time to jump in

RaSCSIPB.PNG.a32c1d9e513b63b540744440d6436213.PNG

It's largely just a copy of landoGriffin's board with just a 40pin 2.0mm header except I swapped the termination for the scheme I used on my SCA - > 50Pin adapters as it uses less resistors and I go mad soldering SMD resistors after a while!

 

I need to double check my measurements before sending it for production as the board is pretty tight in the space, A Pi Zero W is just about the exact same width as the original 2.5" SCSI HDD The silkscreen also needs a little work but it's gone 3 AM here now so that's a job for tomorrow :)

 

I could also compress the board a little but it should fit in a powerbooks HD bay just fine so I don't see much point right now

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I love watching progress of the various development projects, but they're scattershot across the forums and not easily understood by TechnoNoobs like myself. Could someone knowledgeable please start a thread in Hacks linking to the various projects with primer level abstracts for each?

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On 11/13/2020 at 6:31 PM, landoGriffin said:

Glad to hear you got things working!!

 

If you still have some of the ISOs that you couldn't get working available, would you able to share them? I'd love to dig in and debug them to see what's going on.

(Disclaimer.... my "free time" is pretty zero right now. But someday... :-/ )

 

To save you time, I'll reproduce this setup on the weekend and link to non-copyrighted files and provide a bit more detail. But for now:

 

I tried 691-0924-K_MTP-PPC_12-98.iso, and I tried mounting a .img of that created with DiskCopy 6.2 when it was mounted in SheepShaver. These did not work.

 

What ended up working was mounting a .dsk originally copied from Savage Taylor (I forget their 68kmla username) in SheepShaver, deleting the contents, and copying the files from the mounted .iso (showing up as a disk in emulator) to that mounted .dsk.

 

I do know that the .dsk was formatted properly and imaged properly, but I wonder why the .iso didn't mount (something about it being an ISO made from a CD and RaSCSI needs 3rd party CD extensions?)

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Hi Alex! 

 

Can use an external SSD with RaSCSI. I believe there are some hard-coded paths in the web interface that expect all of the disk images to be in /home/pi/images. But, you could just set up your Pi to mount your external SSD at that path. You can also use the command line interface to attach a drive from any path you want.

 

 

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20 hours ago, landoGriffin said:

Hi Alex! 

 

Can use an external SSD with RaSCSI. I believe there are some hard-coded paths in the web interface that expect all of the disk images to be in /home/pi/images. But, you could just set up your Pi to mount your external SSD at that path. You can also use the command line interface to attach a drive from any path you want.

 

 

Thanks for your kind reply, I'm really interested about using an SSD on a USB3 port because speed, has anyone tried this solution here?

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