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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:08 am    Post subject: "Amiga" screams emanated from the crowd Reply with quote

Amiga thread. :D

***

Okay, so here are some photos sent to me by the dude:




The Amiga A500 I'll be buying is pretty filthy, so it needs a bit of a restoration. It spent its years in an Auto shop, so it has several years of that caked on. I'm told it does work though.

Also bonus: it has the 512 KB RAM upgrade, making it a 1 MB Amiga. Nice!

I'm trying to arrange pickup. Hopefully today. Again, it's 90-some minute drive away, but it's a $50 CAD buy-in to the land of Amigas. I'm not seeing much better pricing. Nobody even wants to sell a C64 that.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I recommend wearing at least 2 pairs of gloves when operating that pile of dirt with a keyboard stuck to it.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, On my way! :D
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AMIGA BABY!







Yeah, she's filthy!

But she works.



I did a test on the power supply to see how difficult it's going to be to clean.



Fortunately that was super easy. Just a very quick soap+water scrub and the beige is back!
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got the power supply disassembled. I'm pretty sure somebody spilled coffee in the power supply a long time ago.



Anyways, it cleaned up beautifully with just some soap and water.





Compared to the computer itself.


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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BEFORE



AFTER



Not quite done yet. Fortunately no spilled coffee's inside. I've spent long enough cleaning. I gave it enough of a wipe that I don't feel gross using it.


The top of the case does have some serious yellowing though.



Any guesses where the external Floppy Drive went? ;)

I'm going to have to order some chemicals and blast it with UV to de-yellow it.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Current state of my Amiga:

- I have no AMIGA floppies (I have disks, but no Amiga compatible software on them)
- I can only use Monochrome video on my C64 CRT

Most PC->Amiga disk read/write tools require dedicated hardware.

Except one.

It requires you make a cable, to have an LPT printer port on a PC, and an old non-USB floppy drive to attach to it (optionally you can use the drive from the Amiga itself).

http://m1web.de/ADTWin/index.php

I'm going to see if I can find any alternatives though.

This describes how to copy files using a null-modem cable (which is Linux compatible). The problem is you still need to get software on the Amiga in the first place, to start a client app to receive it.

https://www.area536.com/projects/amiga/transfer-disk-images-from-linux-pc-to-amiga/

http://adfsender.stoeggl.com/adfsenderterminal/methods.html

Above is what to do if you have access to Workbench (which I don't).

For those in my situation there is Hombre.

http://wiki.abime.net/file_transfer/hombre

PAL: https://www.area536.com/fileadmin/content/amiga/Hombre_v1.01_1d__pal_.adf

Unfortunatley you still need to get this on a disk. ;)

...

Or I just wait until my Floppy Drive Emulator shows up.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are 3D printable replacement parts for the A500.

Gotek Mount: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2098110
Trapdoor: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:578287
Expansion Cover: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2281340
Expansion Cover w/ Hole: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2287081
Floppy Eject Button: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:949836
Floppy Standoff: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2410298

Here's a reference for the Joystick/Mouse ports on the Amiga:

https://allpinouts.org/pinouts/connectors/input_device/mouse-joystick-amiga-9-pin/

(NOTE: They are the same as C64 joystick ports, but notable Amiga joysticks support 2 buttons, and this says which pin to use)







* * * * * *

Interestingly, here's how the Sega controllers differ from the Commodore.

Here is the Master System controller.



Note that the 5v is on PIN 5 instead of PIN 7. Because simple gamepads like this don't actually need power (they just ground signals), Commodore/Atari joysticks are compatible (ignoring the fact that the buttons are wired in reverse order compared to Amiga).

Sega Genesis/Mega Drive:



Thusly PIN 7 (power on C64/Atari/Amiga) is used to toggle which button set to return the status of. I've heard that Genesis controllers do work fine on C64, which must mean that you need to bring the "SEL" pin (PIN 7) low to switch to the other set.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I just spent $45 on a SCART cable, and a Kickstart 3.1 ROM (plus shipping)... awfully close to what I payed for the system ($50). ;)

On the plus I probably saved another $40 it was going to cost for the RAM upgrade. :)
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PoV wrote:
Or I just wait until my Floppy Drive Emulator shows up.

Hahahahahahahahaha!



Not ever 24 hours after getting the Amiga. :D
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Apparently it's surprisingly common to modify the Gotek drives so they make sounds on disk access, you know, for that retro feel. ;)

I may just have to look in to this myself. I definitely have the parts to do it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice.

Now you just need to get some RetroBrite and recondition that case ;)

And keys.
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PoV
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep! I meant to pick up some Peroxide Creme last night, but I forgot (oops).

Anyway, I've started 3D printing some replacement parts. Here's the side panel.



I have doubts the system will ever be that white, but we'll see what it looks like after bathing it in Peroxide and UV. Maybe one of my grays will look better.



Here's the guts of the Gotek Floppy Drive Emulator, but in an A500 sized mount. I just need to flash the default drive firmware with the Amiga firmware.

Oh and speaking of restoration, I actually picked up a pair of Comodore VIC-20's last night too. $30.





Between the two I should be able to Frankenstein together a working system.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ended up checking the drug sections of a few grocery stores, but I couldn't find Peroxide cream (Retr0brite). Lo and behold, at the drug store beside the hair color were a couple brands.



This one was interesting because it listed the peroxide content percentage right on the bottle.

I got chatting with my mom about peroxide, and she came out and showed me a bottle of 3% liquid peroxide. Due to a variety of reasons, it seems you might not be able to buy liquid peroxide at very high concentrations in Canada. I brought up that apparently there's a hair care product that contains higher concentration of peroxide, and she sent me home with a hair dye kit she was throwing away. I kept the part that looked like peroxide cream.



You can't see it in the photo, but it appears this bottle was "20 VOL", or 6% peroxide according to the reference bottles above.

As you can also see I grabbed a bottle of "40 VOL" or 12% peroxide while I was at the drug store. I've seen "50 VOL" on Amazon, so I'd guess that's 15%. The stronger the concentration of peroxide, the faster it should work.

For science I prepared 2 squares on the Amiga case. The 6% on the left, and the 12% on the right, with some overlap on the less exposed area to see what difference it makes there.



Covered with plastic wrap to help avoid drying out.



I'm on a stupid sleep schedule, so I've prepared them early (~8 PM), so in the morning they'll get blasted by the sunlight.

If all goes according to plan I should be able to treat plastics here in my apartment over a few days.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

About 8 hours of daylight later.





Surprisingly the higher strength peroxide is only a bit better.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I covered the rest of the case with the 12% Peroxide cream.



I painted it on with a small paintbrush, and by pouring blobs on the middle as my "palette". I'd probably use a paper towel in the future (or a larger brush), as the only advantage the brush gave me was its ability to fill the vents.



Covered in plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.

Notably I got some of the Peroxide cream on my fingers and they were bright white. Not sure which cream is to blame, but I'm pretty sure it only happened to my fingers that cleaned the paintbrush. I got a little worried 'cause it didn't come off, but after a hot bath there was very little of left on my fingers, so it comes off naturally like any paint.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pulled up all the function keys, arrow keys, and the numeric keypad. Gave every key a good scrubbing.

Here's roughly what a before/after looks like.



Under the keyboard is quite filthy. I'll get to that once I remove the rest (I've had enough scrubbing for one night).



And here's a handful of scrubbed keys.



Quite a bit of yellow here too. Definitely need to treat these too.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After some thought, I think I know where I'm going with this Amiga project: Record a complete "Lets Play" of Neuromancer on a real Amiga.



I started a lets play of Neuromancer on the C64 a couple years ago, but I never finished. I totally want to re-do it with a bit more structure (play ahead or check a walk-through to know what to do next). The part I really liked about my playthrough was that I wasn't allowed to use prior knowledge. I.e. this is a game if you know some information, you can get through it faster (speedrunning). It's fine that I know where to get the information, but I liked requiring that I acquire the information first before I was allowed to use it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/a8oxwAVhvyk

Every port but the C64 version tends to be based on the same assets. The Amiga has the 2nd best Audio (C64 has the best IMO).

So yeah, this is a thing.

To get there I need to do the following:

- Finish restoring my Amiga (to make me happy more than anything)
- Upgrade the floppy drive to the USB GOTEK drive (chassis is printed. I just need to install the firmware, maybe perform the floppy -> sound mod)
- Make an Amiga compatible joystick (GamePad actually. Amiga joysticks are nearly pin compatible with C64 joysticks, with the addition of a 2nd button. Planning to modify a NES controller)
- Refurbish Mouse (or purchase a new one. Neuromancer may actually need a mouse)
- Rig up Amiga -> SCART -> HDMI for capture (waiting on cable and adapter, may need to add a heat-sink to the SCART -> HDMI adapter)
- Play through the C64 version first, takes notes. I'd like to be able to look back at and compare the two ports.

Ultimately I'm expecting this to take place in September, 'cause I'm still waiting on hardware from Europe and China, and to give me time to do the C64 playthrough first. Restoring my Amiga should be done next week, but there's still the gamepad and sound-mod todo.

The reason: Again, I've never owned an Amiga. I remember trying to play a game on an emulator years ago, so this is all about familiarizing myself with the system.

Anyway, it sounds like a fun thing to do.

Developing for the Amiga will come later. Right now I'd like to experience it as a gaming machine.

* * *

Just did a test-run in FC-UAE (the Linux port of UAE). I needed to download the Kickstart 1.3 ROM to play the game properly (the internal ROM built in to the emulator was not compatible). As expected the game works well, and nicely, the game only requires a single floppy disk. It still loads about as much as the C64 version, but at least it's on demand. It also requires 1 MB of RAM, which I do have (but had to configure the emulator to support).

Notes about the port:

- Works in NTSC mode!
- Played entirely with a mouse (with keyboard for typing)! Little strange, in that left click toggles what you're going to say, and right click/enter confirms it.
- You need a separate disk for saving.
- Game feels very much the same, but moves way quicker thanks to load time and better UX.
- Different 24 hour music.
- Bank Account trickery (withdraw everything) still works to avoid paying court fees.

I'm pretty happy with the port. Artwork is a bit rough in places, but it does feel like an improved version of the game.

* * *

I found a crappy thread with folks debating what Amiga games qualified as Metroidvanias.

- Odyssey: http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/details.php?id=793
- Cedric: http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/details.php?id=653
- Exile: http://hol.abime.net/2890/screenshot
- PowerGlove: http://www.lazycow.de/powerglove/ http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=76817&highlight=powerglove
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeliard
- http://www.hardcoregaming101.net/talosv/talosv.htm

Not a great selection, but I'm looking for interesting games that were best (or good) on Amiga. You need more substance than "platforms" and "levels" to impress me though.

* * *

I looked in to RPGs too, and I'm starting to remember why I started making games like Murmur's Dungeon and Islandgates: I like "console style" RPGs (FF, Dragon Quest), and all that was available was Ultima and Dungeon Master clones.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gooed up the keys last night.



I'm not to happy with how they look yet, so I'm going to ignore them for a few more hours.




Surprisingly last night they keyboard was already starting to de-yellow. It could have just been the lighting though (my evening photos tend to look darker).



The above is from about noon. Still too yellow for my tastes, but she's getting there.

I'm going to leave it for the rest of the day (another 7 hours of daylight). It's been overcast outside the past couple days, so I'm thinking it's going to take another day of exposure to fix-up.


Before bed last night I popped off the rest of the keys.



I still need to scrub them all, and I may need to repair my enter key (popped a socketted piece off, but should totally be fixable).
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes, that case is definitely looking better :D

One of the best parts about getting old tech is busting it open and cleaning it out. It's disgusting, but the results feel so right ;)
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty excited to see this fully restored. Even seeing this angle again once the top is done is going to be cool.



EDIT:



Well the side and the front lip still have hints of yellow.



But for the most part, now that we're past the yellow, we can start to see the other damage, such as the cracks and chips in the case. Nothing that disturbs how you use it, but she's not perfect. :)
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Edited by PoV on Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:22 pm; edited 1 time
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a shot I'm quite proud of.



But like I mentioned, you can still see hints of yellow in that top-right corner.

You can also see another issue.



The darkened spots now are stains from oils (be it sweat or other oils on the hands). To take them off, I'll have to switch to a more abrasive cleaner.


Initially I was a lot more gung-ho about restoring this system. I still am, but I think I'm less concerned about making it perfect. The damage to the case itself is now more obvious. I just sanded off a corner of the top piece to hopefully discourage it from breaking more along a seam. I can definitely get this in to good shape for use and showing off, but it'll never be a museum piece.

I'm also a little worried about the fragility of the plastic. I heard a creaking sound when I flexed the case yesterday. Fortunately nothing snapped, but I think handling it too much might not be best for its longevity. It would really suck to go through the effort of perfectly restoring the color of the case, to then accidentally snap a corner of it.


Anyway, more progress.



The keys are MUCH improved. There's still yellowing along some of the sides, but overall they look far better than how they began.


I grabbed me a blurry photo of the RAM upgrade.



It was actually inserted wrong. The connector has 2 rows of pins, and only one row was in (oops). I sincerely hope that didn't damage it.


I cleaned all the gunk out of the keyboard.



I could do a better job if I used a toothbrush on it, but where it is now is certainly acceptable.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IKOD Guide for text mode flashing of Gotek Firmware:

https://www.ikod.se/gotek-flashing/

Took LOTS of tries to get it working. I kept getting this error, in both the GUI and the Command Line:

Code:
Unrecognized device... Please, reset your device then try again


Yikes!

Copied the firmware to the STM install folder, and did this (where 5 is the COM port number of my FTDI cable, and fw.hex was the renamed firmware file).

Code:
STMFlashLoader.exe -c --pn 5 -i STM32F1_Connectivity-line_128K -p --drp -d --fn fw.hex --v


Output:

Code:

 Press any key to continue ...

Opening Port                             [OK]
Activating device                                [KO]
Unrecognized device... Please, reset your device then try again
Please, reset your device then press any key to continue

 Press any key to continue ...

Opening Port                             [OK]
Activating device                                [OK]
disabling read protection                                [OK]
reseting device                                  [OK]

 DOWNLOADING ...

downloading      page/sector 0   @0x  8000000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 1   @0x  8000800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 2   @0x  8001000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 3   @0x  8001800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 4   @0x  8002000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 5   @0x  8002800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 6   @0x  8003000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 7   @0x  8003800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 8   @0x  8004000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 9   @0x  8004800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 10          @0x  8005000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 11          @0x  8005800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 12          @0x  8006000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 13          @0x  8006800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 14          @0x  8007000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 15          @0x  8007800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 16          @0x  8008000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 17          @0x  8008800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 18          @0x  8009000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 19          @0x  8009800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 20          @0x  800A000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 21          @0x  800A800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 22          @0x  800B000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 23          @0x  800B800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 24          @0x  800C000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 25          @0x  800C800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 26          @0x  800D000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 27          @0x  800D800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 28          @0x  800E000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 29          @0x  800E800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
downloading      page/sector 30          @0x  800F000    size 1.42(KB)   [OK]
 VERIFYING ...

verifying        page/sector 0   @0x  8000000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 1   @0x  8000800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 2   @0x  8001000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 3   @0x  8001800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 4   @0x  8002000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 5   @0x  8002800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 6   @0x  8003000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 7   @0x  8003800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 8   @0x  8004000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 9   @0x  8004800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 10          @0x  8005000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 11          @0x  8005800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 12          @0x  8006000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 13          @0x  8006800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 14          @0x  8007000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 15          @0x  8007800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 16          @0x  8008000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 17          @0x  8008800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 18          @0x  8009000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 19          @0x  8009800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 20          @0x  800A000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 21          @0x  800A800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 22          @0x  800B000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 23          @0x  800B800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 24          @0x  800C000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 25          @0x  800C800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 26          @0x  800D000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 27          @0x  800D800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 28          @0x  800E000    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 29          @0x  800E800    size 2.00(KB)   [OK]
verifying        page/sector 30          @0x  800F000    size 1.42(KB)   [OK]



More whining: http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=72467&page=16

My cable has a PL2303 chipset. Googling for the driver got me a driver.

Not sure if it's the PL2303 chipset that's to blame, or the firmware that's on the cheaper Chinese Gotek drives. *shrug*
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Mike Kasprzak
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Mike Kasprzak
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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