Apple II stuff

Basically, the short answer to the eternal question "Can I read Apple II disks on my PC?" is no. However, as this page will tell you, with the correct hardware you can read those disks and put them into your favorite emulator. It isn't quite perfect, but it did allow my to play that old version of Mario Bros. that my brother and I hacked on (we played with the shape tables a bit).

First of all, my method requires that you have a Central Point Option Board installed in your computer and the software for it. If you have a board, but not the software, let me know and I'll see about getting you a copy. On the other hand, if you have a copy, let me know what version it is, as I'm interested in compiling a list of the various releases (some of the later ones supposedly removed support for some types of disks).

The most recent copy I have is version 5.40, available here. Older versions are 5.20 and 5.12.

Ok, now that you have the Option Board, you are all set as far as hardware goes. The main idea is that the copy software can dump an image of a disk to your harddrive. This is supposedly so that the you can then make multiple copies without re-inserting the master, however we will be converting these disk images into ones that the emulators can use. So, take your favorite disk (non-copyprotected for now) and put it into the drive on your system (it should be a 360k drive, I haven't been able to make the 1.2m drives work). And, create an image using the software (again if you need help, let me know and I'll see what I can do).

Now that you have the image of your disk, you need to convert it into a format that the emulator will understand. You can do that with my program img2dsk.exe (26782 bytes) or img2dsk.zip (10691 bytes). This program isn't all that user friendly, but it will take a filename of a disk image to read, and a filename of a disk image to write. Hopefully, at some point I'll be able to write a program to convert the disk images into nibble files, and then some copy-protected disks will work as well.

For those so inclined, I've put together a short summary of how the image file is set up.

Christopher Bachmann <cbachman@ece.nwu.edu>