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bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17
Transferring software to a Mac SE

Hello everybody!
I recently came across a MAC SE, with one floppy and hard drive, running OS 6.0.
I don't have any experience with old Macs (or any Mac to be honest), but I would like to learn the basics at least.
I have downloaded some applications from this site (in SIT format) and I would like to transfer them
to the MAC. I checked the hard drive and I can't find the program "Stuffit Expander" installed in order to "unzip" the apps, so I guess I have to download Stuffit from this site as well (but I don't know which version is the best).
I am using a Windows 10 PC with an external USB floppy and I have a few 1.44MB floppies which I can use, but I don't know how to format the floppies and transfer "Stuffit" as well as the other apps from my PC to the old Mac SE.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!
Thanks to all in advance!

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24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Are you sure your SE is really capable of reading HD (1.4 MB) floppies?
Many SE were upgraded with this feature, but the stock SE could only read 800k floppies.

With Windows 10, setting up the Mac emulator Basilisk II Build 142 would be the way to go for me.
The emulator is available at Emaculation.com.
App: https://surfdrive.surf.nl/files/index.php/s/yr1NJIa8aZ8J1Rb/download
Guide: http://www.emaculation.com/doku.php/basilisk_142_setup
As boot disk, you may use this:
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/macos-753-emulators

This old build of Basilisk II still has the capability to write/format Mac HD floppies (among other goodies).
If your SE does have the SWIM upgrade, you may swap files with Basilisk II and Windows 10 fairly easy. I would use Stuffit 4 with Basilisk II for a start, but Stuffit 3 should work with System 6 on the SE, if I recall correctly.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Thank you so much for your reply, 24bit!
I will try to follow your instructions tomorrow after work!!
I am not sure if my Mac SE supports 1.4MB floppies. Can I convert my own 1.4 floppies to 800k using Basilisk II by formatting them as 800k??

lilliputian's picture
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Joined: 2010 Jul 29

It is possible to convert HD floppies to 800k in a drive capable of reading/writing to both, but such disks won't last very long afterwards, from what I understand. You will be better off just buying a box of PC-DOS 3.5", 720k diskettes and reformatting those to HFS.

EDIT: But! You can't use a USB floppy drive to read/write 800k diskettes. Mac HFS Double Density disks are 800k because Apple used variable-speed disk drives, which USB floppy drives are not. So that's out of the question, unfortunately.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Sadly 800k floppies (and 400k ones) are impossible to write for PC type floppy drives.
Apple was using variable floppy rotation speed to get the most out of 2DD floppies.
PC drives do only work with a fixed speed.
It should be possible to read 720k DOS floppies on the Mac side via a third party app:
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/accesspc-20

I don´t think it was possible to format 720k floppies as HFS with System 6 or 7, but the Mac could use PC 720k floppies - not sure when the feature was introduced right now.

Another option may be an external SCSI device. BII Build 142 also supports SCSI, given your Windows host has a working SCSI host adapter. I used to have such a setup with Windows 98SE and XP.
SCSI drivers and ASPI for Windows will be near impossible to find for 64bit Windows, I´m afraid.

Lets hope you have the SE FDHD aka Superdrive.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Thank you both 24bit and lilliputian for your replies and for your help!
It seems I am unlucky because the MAC SE I have is equipped with an 800k drive, not 1.44MB and since my usb floppy cannot be used, I have no other way to transfer software to the Mac.... Sad
I checked though and I saw that Access PC is already installed, but when I insert a 720K DOS diskette on the MAC it shows the message "Eject, or Format" so I have no other option but to eject the floppy from the Mac...

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

Maybe the floppy disk drive doesn't work? The "urge to initialize" is a typical sign of failing old floppy drives. Did you ever had it try to initialize one? I bet it'll fail even if you know the floppy is good!

Had the same issue with my SE. Took the drive out, gave it a good clean and it is working since then. Incredible how much dust got inside.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Sorry to hear that, bitzaros.
I just made a few runs with my two remaining DD floppies and that seems to work so far with System 7.5.
I can write small Mac apps to a DOS 720k floppy and they are transferred that way fine.
Did you try several 720k floppies and copied some Mac stuff onto them with Basilisk II?
On my side, W10 can not format 720k floppies any more.
I had to drop back to Windows 2000 to get there.
Maybe Windows 2000 in ViirtualBox could be an option for you?

System 6 is only a faint memory for me with my Mac II.
Others may recall the ways of Access_PC better, but I could try with System 7.
I think that PC floppy support was rolled into the System by 7.5 finally.
It should be possible to upgrade the SE to 4MB RAM and install System 7 on it, if you wish.
If needed, 30pin RAM may be found fairly cheap, e.g. here:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/4MB-Kit-4x-1MB-30-Pin-FPM-SIMM-Parity-Retro-PC-M...
How much RAM do you have installed?
Usually System 6 is best for the vintage Macs, but PC compatibility came way later. Wink

The most modern solution for you might be BMOW´s floppy emulator.
The emulator is attached to the SE´s DB-19 external floppy port and does its magic there.
https://www.bigmessowires.com/floppy-emu/

Last not least, its also possible to move files from Windows 10 to the SE via null-modem.
Is ZTerm already installed on your SE by chance?

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Hello again Smile

I tried installing Basilisk II as you said using the guide but it does
not recognize the 720k floppies probably because of the USB floppy that I have.
I will try to find another old PC with a fixed floppy drive in order to
copy the files from there.
My Mac SE has 4MB RAM and 40MB HD.
I am sure the floppy drive in the MAC SE works because I tried another DOS
floppy disk and it formatted it properly and then the disk was usable normally.
ZTerm is not installed on the SE, I just checked.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Hm, I don´t think the type of floppy hardware should matter much - the host OS does.
Can you format your 720k floppies on Windows 10?
Thats not working on my side, as written above. Windows 2000 does its thing with a USB floppy drive all right.
I tried with a TEAK / Mitsumi brand and a Y-E Data device, but no dice with W10-64bit and 720k.

It might be best to find someone in your area willing and able to get things rolling with a couple of 800k floppies.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Yeah I think the easiest for me is to find an old PC which I can use 800k floppies with. Smile

IIGS_User's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 8

The Macintosh SE has also an SCSI connector.

Means, when it is able to read PC formatted drives, you could get a SCSI ZIP Drive plus another ZIP Drive for your PC, and move the data around this way. Way larger than floppy disks.

About the Floppy Emu mentioned above, you just copy disk images onto a SD card and put it into the Floppy Emu, this device acts as floppy drive.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

It's difficult for me to find a SCSI Zip drive but I can ask, although the easiest thing is to find an old pc with a floppy so I can handle the 800k disks...

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

720k DOS floppies you mean surely. Wink
Yes, something with Windows 2000 and Basilisk II should work best.
I would consider setting up a Windows 2000 instance in VirtualBox just for that.
Some ISO images have been collected here: https://archive.org/details/cd-roms?and%5B%5D=windows+2000&sin=
VirtualBox is free from Oracle, as you will know.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Thank you!!! I may try Virtualbox and Windows 2000 but I asked a friend of mine and he may lend me an old PC with a floppy so I will see what I will do Smile

Troyd's picture
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Joined: 2014 Nov 14

There is no way for a PC to read/write 800k diskettes without additional hardware to account for Apple's choice of GCR recording. The interface card of choice is Central Point's Copy II PC Option Board Deluxe - an ISA card that rarely comes up for sale and will set you back at least $150 when it does. The smarter option is to get a cheap Old World (i.e. pre-USB) Mac with inbuilt floppy. Scouring Goodwill etc might get you what you need for very little with some luck as vintage Macs are steadily rising in price. Ideally, something like a beige G3 desktop or tower or a Wallstreet laptop. Both can take a USB card to make data transfers easy and will create all the floppies you need. Alternatively, the SE and System 6 both support SCSI Zip and Jaz drives, even as bootable media. For those, you will need version 4.2 and 4.3 of the Iomega driver respectively.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Thank you for your reply! I will check what you said and if I don't manage to make it with another old PC with fixed floppy, then I will try to find a Zip drive...

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

While you are tinkering with old Windows OS, you might as well consider a SCSI host bus controller for the PC in question - if it has a PCI slot, that is.
Some old Adaptec AHA-2940 SCSI card should do or a e.g. Tekram DC 390U.
Just make sure there are drivers available for the chosen Windows flavour.
Once you set up ASPI for Windows, you may connect your SE´s internal drive to Basilisk II, B142 to copy over needed files.
In the long run, an external SCSI device will be perfect for moving large Mac files.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Hello!
For the moment I will not need to move large files (most software I've downloaded from this site can fit on a 720k floppy) so for now I won't be making any purchases of additional hardware because I will borrow an old PC from a friend of mine. Thank you for the ebay links you sent me ( I will keep them in case I decide to bid on any of these Smile )
Have a great day !! Thanks again!

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Sure, first steps first. I would be reluctant to hand out extra money on an old Mac either.
An old PC capable of running Windows 2000 or Windows 98SE with Basilisk II Build 142 should be perfect for now.

Once you have success reading a 720k AccessPC floppy on the SE, you might also look here:
https://macintoshgarden.org/apps/null-modem

On a side note, nearly everyting your SE can do, is also available
via the Mac emulator MiniVMac II.
The Mac II also had the option of using a colour display with System 6.
Though is was really fond of my Mac II back in the days, MiniVMac II is a perfect replacement -
if you do not need MIDI or SCSI of course.

Description

MiniVMac II, custom build

Troyd's picture
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Joined: 2014 Nov 14

Just remember to compress files using BinHex to preserve resource forks if copying to a DOS 720k floppy. It isn't enough to use Stuffit .sit files. Those will get corrupted.

bitzaros's picture
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Joined: 2020 Sep 17

Ok thanks for the tip!! I will keep that in mind!

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Sure hqx or BinHex is the way to go when it comes to file transfer via null-modem or foreign file systems.
However both PC Exchange and AccessPC do store the Mac resource forks on DOS volumes making it possible to move Mac apps on them.
Needless to say that the way of storing resource files is incompatible between AccessPC and PC Exchange. Wink

Another way to store Mac files on foreign files systems was available with PC MacLAN.
Not that PC MacLAN would be of any help in this case.