[Coco] Gotek floppy emulator

Francis Swygert farna at att.net
Sun Feb 14 10:37:33 EST 2016

Someone mentioned more info on this product. Here is a great article! Not computer related, used on some sort of copier that used a 3/5" floppy, but the Gotek is designed to directly replace any 3.5" floppy drive -- physically and electronically. It has that USB stick sticking out the end or it would be perfect! An SD card would be less intrusive (extrusive in this case?), but the USB is probably cheaper to implement. The thing sells for as little as $15, but with shipping from China. NewEgg sells it for $24.19 plus shipping (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=1B0-001Y-00007).
Reviews are mixed. The software sucks, and it's not easy to switch between floppy images. It seems to work a lot like HDBDOS under DECB. 100 floppy images are created on the USB stick. The USB stick has to be set up on a Windows computer. You don't have to install the drive, but you can't just pull it from the box and set it up on an old computer. The docs say it emulates a 720K floppy. It's a near perfect floppy emulator though. On a CoCo it would act just like plugging in a 720K floppy -- DECB would only use 35 or 40 tracks (or use 35/40 on both "sides" in a single image with something like ADOS). While that leaves a lot of wasted space on the USB stick, who cares? USB sticks are cheap, and your data is safe! Everyone says the software is anything but intuitive, but with a little work it's not terribly difficult to get set up... if you have a little technical experience. Most CoCo people do, at least if they've been using the CoCo for a while. If not, there are plenty on here to help. Sounds like someone needs to re-write the Windows software for it, or write some Linux programming/setup software. Has to be for a computer with USB memory stick accessibility. 

Should be possible to write something for the CoCo with something like the Cloud 9 SuperIDE and a CF card USB host adapter. I couldn't find any new, but only spent a little time searching. Something like this: Add a USB port to your handheld--SolarExpress Single Port USB Host! | Smartphone & Pocket PC magazine.  It would work, but finding one might be a bit of a challenge. Found a couple used ones though. Searching for "CF to USB" or "USB to CF" gets the same results -- card readers that plus into a USB port, not the other way around! I found a site with the CFU2 (http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/products/CFU2U.html), but it has been discontinued. The review above was in 2010... six years ago is a long time in computer technology!
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 Frank Swygert
 Fix-It-Frank Handyman Service

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