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DiskFlashback: Using image files and discs in PC drives
Developer Rob Smith has introduced DiskFlashback, a convenient software for Windows 10/11 (64-bit) that enables PC floppy drives to read and write image files such as ADFs (Amiga Disk Files) during operation. It also allows you to process real discs in Amiga or Atari format, with the appropriate hardware extensions. To use it, you need the FloppyBridge plugin, which in turn requires additional hardware (YouTube video).

DiskFlashback is particularly aimed at retro computing enthusiasts and professional users who still work with older floppy disc formats. The software makes it possible, for example, to write image files to physical floppy discs and, conversely, to convert physical floppy discs into image files. This is particularly useful for archiving old software or reviving classic games and applications on original hardware. The workaround via WinUAE or other third-party software and expansion hardware for editing ADFs, for example, is therefore no longer necessary.

The features of DiskFlashback include:
  • Mount ADF, DMS*, IMG, IMA, ST, MSA*, HDA, HDF and SCP* files as virtual drives (* read only)
  • Supports the following disk formats:
    • AmigaDOS OFS/FFS DD & HD Disks
    • IBM/PC FAT12/16 DD 720k & HD 1.44Mb Disks
    • Atari ST FAT12/16 GemDOS Single and Double Sided normal & extended Disks
    • Dual Format Amiga/Atari floppy disks and mounts them as two drives! (read only)
  • Use DrawBridge, Greaseweazle or SupercardPro as a real windows drive letter
  • Create blank disk images for the above formats.
  • Rip real floppy disks to file
  • Write disk images to real floppy disks
  • Install boot blocks on Amiga disks
  • Optionally silently swap file extensions (eg: mod.thismusic to thismusic.mod)
The software requires Windows versions 10 or 11 in 64-bit - and of course a working floppy disc drive in the PC. The developer points out that the antivirus system in Windows may recognise the software as a virus. The false-positive warning can be ignored.

DiskFlashback is OpenSource and is licensed under the GPL2 licence. Sources are available on GitHub.

The free download of the software in its current version is available on the developer's website under the title link. Developer Rob Smith offers the software free of charge, but is happy to receive a "tip" via ko-fi.

Editorial update, 12 June 2024 (nba): Our original news article stated that no special hardware is required to process physical Amiga disks. That is not accurate. The FloppyBridge plug-in is required, which in turn requires DrawBridge, Greaseweazle or Supercard Pro hardware. The article has been updated accordingly. (nba)

[News message: 14. May. 2024, 13:15] [Comments: 0]
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Interview: Announcement of a cost-reduced MiSTer FPGA board
Taki Udon recently presented the prototype of a cost-reduced version of the FPGA Amiga clone "MiSTer" in a video. Wes Fenlon has now interviewed him at the title link, so that details of the new board are now also available in writing.

After the price of the DE10 Nano board, which forms the basis of the MiSTer, has almost doubled in the last five years, the clone of Terasic's original is being aimed at 99 US dollars, which is to be achieved through cheaper components and direct sourcing of the FPGA chip from Altera.

Taki Udon believes that the new board could be available in just a few months through the company he has founded with a partner. (Which company's first product will be something completely independent of the MiSTer, though.) Currently there is still a new revision to be tested, and compatibility with various extensions of the original MiSTer must also be ensured.

Details of the new board compared to the DE10-Nano:
  • A USB-C and a USB-A port instead of the mini and micro ports
  • A JTAG header instead of a port
  • Headers for additional USB and power supply
  • Can be operated with 5 or 12 volts
  • Optional housing
A flagship console with all the bells and whistles in terms of analog and digital input and output, additional USB ports and soldered SD RAM is also planned for 200 to 250 US dollars, which should offer the functionality of popular current MiSTer extensions as well as new features. Initially, however, the board itself will be available to buy. After the flagship, a handheld version and consoles in the mid and lower price segments are planned. (snx)

[News message: 08. May. 2024, 11:19] [Comments: 0]
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Arcade port: King and Balloon V0.9
"King and Balloon" is an arcade conversion of the title King & Balloon, originally released by Namco in 1980. The version 0.9 now released by 'RMJ & JoeJoe' (YouTube video) still lacks the title music and joystick support. (dr)

[News message: 06. May. 2024, 16:42] [Comments: 0]
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