[PARPORT] [ANNOUNCE] Iomega Ditto floppy tape drives progress

Claus-Justus Heine (claus@momo.math.rwth-aachen.de)
03 Jun 1998 03:16:09 +0200


I'm the maintainer of the Linux floppy tape project (i.e. the
maintainer of ftape).

Currently, there already is support for the Colorado Trakker parallel
port floppy tape drive, courtesy to Jochen Hoenicke

I`m working on supporting the Iomega Ditto parallel port product line
as well. There are two possible ways for supporting these beasts:

a) Micro Solutions, Inc., is the company that produces the parallel
   port interface to the external floppy tape drives (not only for
   Iomega, but for Exabyte and Seagate as well). I'm in contact with
   an engineer at MS, and probably they would give us a binary version
   of their API library to support their interface. I have a sample
   driver ready that uses their library and have sent it to MS for
   evaluation. Of course, this way the support is limited to ix86

b) Decode the parport protocol by reverse engineering (Interestingly,
   the engineer at MS knew that Dosemu has problems with the system
   timers; and he said that I/O trace logs could be produced by EMM86
   as well, is this true???)

   So far, I know how to talk to the FDC in the parport tape drive. I
   have some rough idea how to address the parport's drive interanl
   memory and how to program its DMA controller. Some details are
   still missing.

   I figured it out myself for the EPP protocol; Grant R. Guenther
   <grant@torque.net> was so kind to provide me with his I/O trace
   logs and awk scripts to decode the non-EPP mode protocol which
   was a big deal of help. One basic problem of mine was that I
   couldn't pursuad the DOS tape software to write any data to the
   tape drive; I wasn't able to do any I/O but reading the first
   header segment (and surround FDC protocol), caused by DosEmus
   timing problems.

   I plan to place a couple of awk scripts at my web page so that
   interested people can play with it themselves. These will be
   modified versions of Grant's scripts, featuring EPP mode. Don't
   know when I'll have it ready, maybe never.

I'd say that the support for those parport ftape drives will come real
soon now, withing one or two month. I haven't made up my mind yet
whether to use possibilty a) or b).

While b) is preferrable w.r.t. portability a) has the advantage that
it is already working (while it depends on MS whether I'll be able to
release the driver to the public ...)

Best regards


Maybe Grant will add a link to the ftape home page to his Ditto
parport page. However, there is little information about the Ditto
parport floppy tape drive available yet on my ftape page. I'll
eventually write an update, depending on my time schedule (limited by
my for-pay job etc.)

  Claus-Justus Heine             

PGP Public Key: http://www-math.math.rwth-aachen.de/~LBFM/claus/claus-public-key.asc

Ftape - the Linux Floppy Tape Project WWW : http://www-math.math.rwth-aachen.de/~LBFM/claus/ftape Mailing-list: linux-tape@vger.rutgers.edu

-- To unsubscribe, send mail to: linux-parport-request@torque.net -- -- with the single word "unsubscribe" in the body of the message. --

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Wed 30 Dec 1998 - 10:17:48 EST