A2CLOUD: use virtual drives!

Ok, almost there. Fire up your A2CLOUD floppy, and at the welcome screen, type V. (If you are at an Applesoft prompt, you can instead type -VSDRIVE.)

Once you’ve done this, you can access your blank virtual disk on slot 2 drive 1, and the 800K version of the A2CLOUD disk on slot 2 drive 2. Check it out by typing CAT,S2,D2. After specifying the slot and drive, they will stick for subsequent ProDOS commands (that’s a quick list; here’s a full manual). You will no longer have access to slot 6. To regain access to slot 6, do a full reset of your Apple II and boot any ProDOS disk as usual.

You can also run VSDRIVE from a ProDOS 8 program launcher (e.g. the BYE command). Nothing will appear to happen, but your virtual drives will become available. (If you don’t see VSDRIVE when you’re not in BASIC.SYSTEM, update ADTPro by typing a2cloud-update.)

If you need access to both slot 6 and the virtual drives at the same time, you can, after booting, type:

-VSDRIVE.LOW

However, this version of the driver for the virtual disks is easily overwritten by other software, especially if you exit BASIC.SYSTEM. However, ProDOS Filer works ok, so it is included on the A2CLOUD disk if you need to transfer files from slot 6 to a virtual drive. Just type -FILER to use it. Note that if you’re transferring from the A2CLOUD floppy disk to the virtual A2CLOUD disk (in S2,D2 by default), you’ll first need to rename the volume of your boot floppy to something like A2CLOUD.DISK, so Filer can tell it apart from the volume named A2CLOUD in the virtual drive.

If you think Filer sucks, because it does, you can instead use ADTPro to transfer your entire 5.25″ disk to a new disk image on your Pi that you can use with VSDRIVE, or experiment with other copy programs.

You can also change the virtual drives to use different images, which I’ll explain in a later post.

3 thoughts on “A2CLOUD: use virtual drives!

  1. Jeremy

    I am having a hard time with getting the virtual drives on-line.

    I was able to connect with ADTPro to the IIe to make an A2Cloud floppy and boot from that. However, whenever I try to access the virtual drives, I just get an I/O error.
    1) Does the ADTPro GUI need to be running?
    2) When I have it running, I still don’t get any virtual drive access, just the I/O error.
    3) I can bootstrap directly from ADTPro and send the Speediboot and Virtual drive disk and then access the virtual drives, so it is only failing when I am using the A2Cloud floppy.
    4) One interesting item I can’t figure out: When I load up a file off of the A2Cloud floppy (say Z-Link or ADTPro), the system will hang (black screen on the Apple II) after loading from the floppy until ADTPro is running on the Pi… It is almost as if part of the file is stored on the virtual drive.

    Any help is appreciated!!
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. ivanx Post author

      The fact that it works with Speediboot+VDrive makes me think there might be a mismatch between the ADTPro/VDrive client version on the floppy, and the ADTPro Server. Can you see what version of ADTPro you have on the floppy, and then check what version of server you have in the server GUI under Help->About?

      The ADTPro GUI does not need to be running, though it can be (you will need to click “Serial”). However, if you quit the ADTPro GUI after bootstrapping, you will either need to unplug and replug the USB-to-serial adapter, or type adtpro-start, or restart the Pi, to get ADTPro running again in the background.

      I have no explanation for point 4, unless you are still pointing at slot 2 after seeing your I/O error. If you type PREFIX,S6 before running the file, does the same thing happen?

      Reply
  2. Jeremy

    Thanks Ivan…

    All versions are 2.0.0

    I think it may have to do with ADTPro on the Raspberry Pi having trouble with my USB/Serial adapter. When I load the ADTPro Gui and boot directly from it, it works fine, however in the Serial Configuration of ADTPro, the Port option is blank and when I click “OK” it indicates that there are no serial ports or the serial port library RXTX is not installed or visible.

    The USB/Serial adapter works well and Linux enumerates it as ttyUSB0 and ttyUSB1 but as the ADTPro GUI seems to have some issues with it (although it ultimately resolves it), I am guessing that the command line server simply can’t figure it out. So this may be an ADTPro/Raspberry Pi/Linux issue unfortunately. As I am out of my depth on the Linux side, I may just start to transfer disk images to floppies.

    One last question if I may: I haven’t been able to login to the Pi from the Apple II. When connecting with one of the terminal programs, does that “stream” work along side of the ADTPro virtual disk server, or do you need to somehow shutdown the ADTPro service to connect to the Pi over serial from the Apple II?

    Thanks again for your response!

    Reply

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