Wednesday, January 17, 2018 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Reading Disks From 1988 in 2018

Jason Snell:

With that all set, it was time to run ADTPro on my Mac. It’s a Java app and therefore not the prettiest thing, but it did the job—I was able to connect to the Apple IIc and boot into ADTPro, at which point I could simply start inserting disks one by one and watch as they were transferred (at a surprisingly fast rate—less than a minute) across the serial cable to my Mac, where they were saved as 143K Apple II disk image files. Talk about anticlimactic. Imaging took less than an hour. There were no bad disks, nearly 30 years later.

After the imaging was done, it was time to read them on my Mac using Gerard Putter’s Virtual II emulator. The disks with DOS or ProDOS on them booted just fine. There’s even a Quick Look extension for Virtual II that would display the contents of a disk in the Finder when I pressed the space bar. How civilized.

Then came a new problem: How do you get text files out of a virtual computer? The answer seems to be the same as with a real one: you “print” the files, and Virtual II’s virtual printer can generate a PDF or put text on the clipboard. But to print a text file, you need to load it into a program.

1 Comment

This was very fascinating. Thank you for sharing the link! I love stories about old data and/or old computers and various kludges to connect such things.

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