IIgs iDisk Impressions
This describes my installation and initial use of the iDisk for the Apple II, in a IIgs. Basically, the iDisk (no relation to Apple's iDisk) is a card that pretends to be a Disk II controller. It uses a USB mass storage device to store the images, which can be loaded into the virtual controller, and an external control panel to select which of the loaded disks are in the virtual disk drive.
First, the iDisk has several warnings about this device being designed and tested for an Apple II, II+, or IIe, and use in the IIgs has several caveats. However, with the proper settings, the iDisk works great in my IIgs. Here is my configuration:
- It must be installed in Slot 6
- Control panel setting must set Slot 6 to 'Your Card'
- Control panel setting must set Speed to 'Normal'
This is enough to get the iDisk up and booting. Next step is to start it up. Here is the controller board:
When powering on, if the reset button is held, it seems to clear the configuration and reset the card. After doing this reset and pressing the reset button while the machine is booting, the iDisk configuration menu comes up. For me, out of the box on the IIgs, the menu doesn't look right:
However, with the following control panel settings the menu works fine:
Navigating the menu to a directory, entering the File menu ('F'), and loading a disk into DRVA, and exiting loads the disk without issue! Switching which image is loaded into the drive is documented to only work while the disk is not in use. This is good advice, as switching while the disk is in use really gets things in a jam. To recover has required rebooting and resetting the drive state. The drive is not in use when the left most LED is illuminated in the Drive Use Indicator on the control panel.
This works great. I've fired up several games without problems. Just resist the urge to fiddle with all the buttons and lights!
I have not tried the Bluetooth functionality yet, I'll update when I have.