Legacy Systems Support

Are you still relying on an old ISA-bus PC? Does part of your workflow require a NuBus-based Power Macintosh? Do you need help with something even older, stranger, and more obscure? Contact me! I have parts, documentation, and know-how to support and repair systems that others may have forgotten ever existed. While I can provide support for a wide range of legacy systems I am particularly adept at 68k and PowerPC-based Macintosh computers running System 6 through Mac OS 9.

Data Conversion

If you have part of your life tucked away on old floppy disks in file formats that time has left behind, getting your data onto your new computer may be easier than you think!

I maintain a number of older systems that can read and convert legacy storage media and file formats for current-era computers. Supported systems and software includes, but is not limited to:

Apple II

I have multiple Apple II systems that are equipped to read both 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy disks as well as audio cassette tapes containing Apple II programs and data. If your data is stored in a common file format (AppleWorks or WordStar, to name two of many) direct file conversion to a newer format may be possible. If file conversion is not an option, it is often possible to provide an electronic print-out of a file. I can also provide direct copies of files from ProDOS-formatted disks or binary images of disks in any format.

Macintosh

I have Macintosh computers capable of reading the following media:

  • 400 and 800 KB floppy disks (3.5″ single-sided and double-sided double-density)
  • 1.44 MB floppy disks (3.5″ doubled-sided high-density)
  • ZIP100 and ZIP250 disks
  • Imation SuperDisk (LS120/LS240)
  • Various Magneto-Optical (“Mag-Op”) disks
  • SyQuest cartridges (44 MB, contact me for others)
  • CDs, DVDs, and DVD-RAM
  • DDS tapes (multiple variants; created with Retrospect for Macintosh)
  • Internal and External SCSI hard drives, all flavors
  • Parallel ATA/IDE drives
  • SATA drives
  • External FireWire drives

Fun tip: The method the Macintosh employs in recording data to standard-density (400 and 800 KB) 3.5″ floppy disks means that only a Macintosh with a “real” hardware floppy drive (USB floppy drives won’t work!) can read them. Most of the computing industry wrote to 3.5″ disks using a “Constant Angular Velocity” scheme, meaning that the spindle motor turned at a fixed RPM and the disk media moved across the drive heads more quickly on outer tracks than on inner tracks, much like a record player. The Macintosh, however, when interacting with 400/800 KB floppy disks, used a variation of a Constant Linear Velocity approach called Zone Bit Recording, where the spindle speed is slowed down as the outer tracks of the disk are accessed. On top of this, there are encoding differences between the PC format (MFM) and the Macintosh (GCR). We have the equipment necessary to read 400K and 800K Macintosh disks!

PC

  • 360 KB and 720 KB floppy disks (5.25″ single-sided and double-sided double-density)
  • 1.2 MB floppy disks (5.25″ double-sided high-density)
  • 720 KB floppy disks (3.5″ double-sided double-density)
  • 1.44 MB floppy disks (3.5″ double-sided high-density)
  • 2.88 MB floppy disks (3.5″ double-sided extended-density; used on some IBM machines and possibly others)
  • ZIP100 and ZIP250 disks
  • Imation SuperDisk (LS120 and LS240)
  • CDs, DVDs, and DVD-RAM
  • Various QIC tape formats
  • DDS-1, DDS-2, DDS-3, DDS-4 and DAT-72 tapes
  • DLT tapes
  • LTO-1, LTO-2, LTO-3 “Ultrium” tapes

Others

If you have data locked away on storage media or in file formats not listed here, feel free to contact me anyway with details on your specific situation. It is often possible that with a little work I can devise a solution to convert and preserve your data.