Why is a Commodore Amiga needed to image disks?

Some may be surprised by the current need for an Amiga computer to image floppy disks. It would be desirable to support other imaging hardware; the problem is that we are very limited by what is available.

An unfortunate side affect of wanting to get every bit of information from a disk means that we cannot be limited by the floppy controller that is in most computer systems, mostly notably the one in a common PC.

The Amiga has a mostly software-driven FDC, is very flexible, and is therefore perfect for our needs. There is no other commonly available home system that can say the same and we think of it as our disk imaging hardware of choice, rather than a limiting factor.

A couple of possible alternatives are:

  • Supporting a dedicated proprietary floppy controller.
    • Far more expensive than our current disk imaging solution
    • Effort needed to add support.
  • Designing our own floppy controller, and put all the schematics and firmware on the website for people to build.
    • The components needed are likely to be more expensive than our current disk imaging solution.
    • Significant amount of effort needed to design, program, and test it.

We would like to do these, but we cannot say when this is likely to be. It is considered a low priority simply because our current solution works perfectly as it is, is far easier to get hold of, and simply the cheapest option.