Announcing The C2 DiskSystem (edit: now called KryoFlux)


Some time ago, the creator of the original “analogue” copier Cyclone for the Amiga, Rich Aplin, started on something that we have been wanting for a very long time. He started work on a new project called Cyclone20, a follow-up to the original concept with an USB-based floppy controller with the ability to read flux transitions from magnetic media at a wonderfully fine resolution, using commonly available ARM-based devices. Unfortunately, after building a fully-working prototype, the project made very slow progress and stalled due to difficulties with the hardware / software and Rich becoming very busy with “real work”. Rich had the original idea and showed that it is possible - we are certainly grateful to him for this.

We, at Softpres, decided to pick up the idea and see where it would take us, and now, another project is in the works - the C2 DiskSystem KryoFlux. This is a technological follow-up with advanced features.

Early on, the decision was taken to start from scratch. Given the information and data from the previous project, we now had the chance to build production quality code right from the beginning. Rich’s work was in the prototype stage, it was built to discover what is possible. Our work builds on the ideas, but is not a prototype. We are also somewhat sticklers for creating comprehensive solutions that follow the tenets of modern software design and production of maintainable and robust code.

The C2 DiskSystem was named after our original Amiga-based dumping software “CT“, and will be used for dumping of various types of magnetic disk media. It is intended to replace CT. It may even be able to write disks, which is planned, but for later on the roadmap. It is designed for reliable disk reading and data transferring using a mechanism that has error detection and correction, should anything bad happen while disk imaging is in progress.

The technology behind the C2 DiskSystem KryoFlux was inspired by the Cyclone20 project as well. The idea is to utilise an ATMEL ARM CPU with some components and a disk drive attached to the PC via a USB connection. Currently, a custom PCB is in the works, which, in contrast to the “official” ATMEL prototyping board, will only contain a reduced set of components and a ready-made connector to attach different types of drives to. Please be aware, that there is still much work to be done and things might change. Buying and modifying a prototyping board on your own could mean wasted money. You have been warned.

This post begins a set of work-in-progress reports of our progress. We will start posting them in the next few days, but they are back-dated to when the work was originally done to keep an accurate historical record. We have not posted them before because we did not want to announce things until we had something that we knew would work. That is a hint by the way.

There is currently a large number of missing WIP reports back to the middle of last year. Once things have settled down a little, we will get those up too.