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Apple II Csa2 FAQs: CD-ROM, Part 5/25

( Part1 - Part2 - Part3 - Part4 - Part5 - Part6 - Part7 - Part8 - Part9 - Part10 - Part11 - Part12 - Part13 - Part14 - Part15 - Part16 - Part17 - Part18 - Part19 - Part20 - Part21 - Part22 - Part23 - Part24 - Part25 )
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Archive-name: apple2/faq/part5
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: 2009/12/01

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
The comp.sys.apple2 Usenet newsgroup Apple II FAQs originate from
the II Computing Apple II site, 1997-2010. 

Csa2 FAQs file ref: Csa2CDROM.txt  rev141 December 2009


 001- What do I need to get/do to use Music and Data CD's on my GS?
 002- What do I need discQuest for?
 003- How can I back up my files on write-able CD-ROM?
 004- Is a special driver needed for a Toshiba External 2X CD-ROM?
 005- How can I get sound from my Apple HSS card + CD300 CD-ROM?
 006- Where can I buy CD-ROM discs for the Apple II?
 007- Where can I find more info on CD-ROM drives, products, etc.?
 008- Where can I find out more about CD-ROM recording?

From: Rubywand, Jawaid Bazyar, Tony Diaz, George Rentovich, 
     Wayne Stewart, Dave

001- What do I need to use regular CD Music Discs and access
     data discs (like the Golden Orchard CD) on my Apple IIgs?

     What you need is ...

1- RAMFast, Apple, or other SCSI interface card.  The Slot in which the card is located must be set to "Your Card" (e.g. via the Control Panel).

Note 1: Today, SCSI devices normally expect that a "termination voltage" will be supplied by the SCSI interface card. RamFAST does this; but, most other cards do not. If you have such a card and have a hard disk connected and working, then, there should be no problem-- either the hard disk is supplying the voltage or the card has been modified. Otherwise, be sure to obtain information on the needed modification. (For the Apple Hi-Speed SCSI card termination power mod, see the Hard Disk and SCSI FAQs in fil
e Csa2HDNSCSI.txt.)

Note 2: A version 1.01 ZipGS card needs to be upgraded to work with RamFAST.

2- External CD-ROM disc drive which your SCSI card supports.

The Apple Hi-Speed SCSI card is known to work with ... 

Apple CD-150
Apple CD-600i 
Apple CD-SC+
Pioneer DRM-600.

The RamFAST is known to work with many drives, including any "SCSI Standard" drive and practically any NEC or Texel. Some specific models are ...

Apple CD-150
Apple CD-300
Nec CDR38
Nec CDR25
Nec CDR74
Nec CDR84
Nec CDR-501
Nec CDR-502 (reads CDs fine but the front bezel music playing controls
  don't work when connected to a RamFAST)
Philips CM425A
Pioneer DM600 (which is a 6 disc CD changer)
Pioneer DR-U06S (slot loading)
Sony CDU8002
Sony CDU8003
Sony CDU555S
Texel DM3X1S
Texel DM3028
Texel DM5028
Toshiba 3401
Toshiba XM-3501
Toshiba XM640LB (40speed)

Note 1: Check to be sure that the SCSI device number of your CD-ROM drive does not conflict with the number for your hard disk, Zip Drive, etc.. Each device on the SCSI chain should have a different number, usually in the range 1-6. #6 is usually reserved for the device you wish to boot, such as a hard disk. (A drive's SCSI number is usually set via a switch on the back.)  SCSI number does not need to relate to position on the chain.

Note 2: The last device on the SCSI chain (i.e. the drive which is physically at the end of the chain) should have its Termination set to ON and Termination for other SCSI devices shoud be set to OFF. If your CD-ROM Drive is the only SCSI device, Termination should be ON. (Actually, a SCSI interface card may be able to handle two devices with Termination set to ON. However, you are likely to have problems if the last device on the chain has Termination set OFF.)

3- A SCSI cable. Common SCSI plug/socket sizes are 50-pin and 25-pin. Get a cable which matches your CD-ROM drive and the device you plan to plug into (i.e. a SCSI hard disk, Zip Drive, ..., or your SCSI interface card).

4- To hear music played from a CD, Stereo headphones, speakers, or hi-fi cables need to be plugged into the CD ROM drive. Most drives have a mini- Stereo socket in the front. To fit the socket, the plug for your headphones, etc. must be a Stereo plug.

5- A Driver file which matches your interface card. For RamFAST, it is Ramfast.Driver. For Apple SCSI cards it is SCSI.Manager and SCSICD.Driver. The Driver file(s) should be in the SYSTEM/DRIVERS/ folder (i.e. the DRIVERS folder in the SYSTEM folder).  To avoid conflicts, RamFAST users should remove SCSI.Manager, SCSICD.Driver, and other Apple "SCSI ..." drivers from the SYSTEM/DRIVERS/ folder.

6- In order to play standard Music CD's via your computer, you should have the following:

     o A Media Driver which matches your CD-ROM drive. For example, RF.NEC is a driver supplied with RamFAST which works with NEC drives. The Media Driver should be in the SYSTEM/DRIVERS/MEDIA.CONTROL/ folder.

     o A standard System 6 control panel file (i.e. a "CDEV") named "MediaControl". MediaControl should be in the SYSTEM/CDEVS/ folder

     o A standard System 6 media control New Desk Accessory file (i.e. an "NDA") named "MediaControl.DA". MediaControl.DA should be in the SYSTEM/DESK.ACCS/ folder.

7- In order to access files on data CD-ROM discs (like DigiSoft Innovation's Golden Orchard CD), the standard System 6 High Sierra file system translator file (HS.FST) should be in the SYSTEM/FSTS folder. This lets you read ISO 9660 format data CD-ROM discs. You should already have the ProDOS FST (PRO.FST) in the same folder. This lets you read ProDOS partitions which may be included along with ISO 9660 partitions on a data CD-ROM disc.

     Once the above items are checked, Shut Down your IIgs. Turn it OFF. Turn OFF the CD ROM drive. Wait 10-20 seconds. Turn ON the CD ROM Drive. Wait a few seconds and turn ON your IIgs. Boot System 6.01.

     Your SCSI card manual and/or information supplied by the CD-ROM drive seller is the best guide for doing any necessary setup chores.  If a SCSI hard disk or Zip Drive is already connected and working, it's likely that no special setup will be necessary.

Note: If the CD-ROM drive is the only SCSI device on the chain and you are using a RamFAST along with a ZipGS accelerator, be sure to run RAMFAST.SYSTEM after booting in order to change at least one setting. You want to click [O]ptions and set "TransWarpGS" to "NO".

Playing a Music CD

     Click on Control Panels in the Apple Menu. Select the Media Ctrl control panel. I have "1" for Media Channel, "RF.NEC" (the name of the driver) for Media Device, and "GAME PORT" for Port. After entering your settings, close the panel. This will save your setup in a file named "Media.Setup" in the same Media.Control folder which contains your media control driver.

     From the Apple Menu click on Media Controller to show the CD ROM player. Click Channel 1, the name of your CD ROM driver sould show in the player display. Insert a CD. Click Play and adjust the volume on the drive.

Loading Data, Games, etc. from a Data CD

     Startup is the same as described above. It seems to be a good idea to have a data CD in the drive before turning ON the computer. Some drive + card combinations may not go on-line if no CD is present by the time you turn ON the computer. You can experiment to see what works for your particular system.


From: Jason Kettinger

     I've got a Chinon CDA-435 1X speed  (150Kps) SCSI-1 CDROM hooked up to my IIgs using the Apple HS SCSI card, and it works great.  I don't have any encyclopedias, and CD-Audio disks do not get detected; but, the IIgs detects ISO/HFS CD removals and insertions fine without a reboot.


From: Rubywand

002- I've heard of a package called 'discQuest' which is
     supposed to open the way to accessing all sorts of
     commercial CD's. But, if I can play CD music and load
     files from data CD's, what do I need discQuest for?

     Below is a condensed discQuest review. It should help clarify things.

DiscQUEST v1.2.2
 for 2MB IIgs from Sequential Systems
 CD ROM drive, interface, and System 6 or later required;
   hard disk and System 6.01 recommended

     There is a burgeoning library of CD-ROM releases. History of the World from Library Reference is a case in point. discPassage is a PC/Mac interface program which lets a user access text, pictures, and sound tracks on CD's which employ a discPassage database.

     Typically, dP products carry the digital data disc symbol and are labelled "for Mac or multi-media PC" with Mac and PC versions of discPassage included on-disc.

    "Whoa! My IIgs has a CD-ROM reader, SCSI interface, and all the standard System 6.01 drivers. It still can't do much with those disc CD's."

     Right. The basic IIgs setup CAN access data and programs on for-Apple II CD's. If you've added the appropriate Media NDA and Control Panel, your CD-ROM IIgs can also mimic a CD music disc player complete with all of the usual controls. Audio is output directly from the CD-ROM drive to headphones, a hi- fi amp, or a pair of amplified speakers.

    "Fine; but, how do I ask the Family Doctor a question, peruse an encyclopedia, and use other neat CD-ROM data disc products?"

     Actually, with HS.FST in your SYSTEM/FSTs folder, you can click the CD- ROM icon, display folders, and even load TEXT files from discPassage CD's. Your IIgs is 'compatible enough' with ISO 9660 even if some of the PC filetypes are unfamiliar. Still, this kind of access is hardly satisfactory. What you lack is the software key to unlock the discPassage database. Your IIgs cannot run PC or Mac versions of discPassage; but, it CAN run a for-GS database unlocker named "discQuest"!

      How do the systems match-up? Well, I tried out several CD's under discPassage on a 33MHz '486 PC and discQuest on a IIgs with 10Mhz/64K ZipGSx. On the PC you get to see an intro pic (which discQuest skips); and, in one case, a sound file which played fine with discPassage did not work under discQuest.

     As might be expected, pictures come in faster under discPassage because discQuest must often spend extra seconds processing each PC-format image. The larger the graphic and greater the number of colors, the bigger PC's advantage. Based upon samplings of several CD's, discQuest often needs about 15 seconds to load and display a pic that discPassage can handle in 3 seconds. Fortunately, you can reduce this delay by selecting Preferences and setting Color to "Gray-scale".

     Both setups handled sound files well, consistently starting playback in under 4 seconds. The big surprise of the face-off came when comparing time required to open folders and display item choices-- for example, to open "Ancient Civilizations" and list article titles. DiscPassage routinely took 10- 20 seconds; whereas discQuest seldom took even 2 seconds!

     Just click the discQuest icon and, in a few seconds, the name and main folders of the current discPassage-compatible CD appear in a scrollable Browse window. From here you can open folders, do searches (by word, author, subject, or title) and read articles in scrollable windows. Of course, you can also listen to sound tracks, view pictures, and obtain printouts of text and pictures.

     A major benefit of having reams of text 'on the computer' is that you can clip and save selections for use in articles, term papers, and other projects. discQuest scores a "pretty good" here, since you are free to add and delete text and can use Cut & Paste within whatever article you are viewing. The result may then be saved to disk. At present, however, discQuest does not maintain more than one text window on its desktop; nor does it support loading text files from disk or opening a New (blank) text

     The standard discQuest package includes a sample CD (such as "Family Doctor" or "Total Baseball"), fifteen pages of information and instructions, and two diskettes. One diskette lets non-hard disk users start discQuest after a bare-bones System 6.0 boot. The other will Install discQuest and a monospace font (CoPilot.8) to hard disk plus, if desired, several support files. The latter include HS.FST and drivers for popular CD-ROM readers plus the Media NDA and Control Panel stuff to support playing musi
c CD's.

     If you already have CD-ROM up and running on your IIgs, then hard disk installation of discQuest should involve nothing more than creating a folder named DISCQUEST, copying the program there and copying CoPilot.8 to SYSTEM/FONTS. The other files were present in Sequential's Complete System Package. The one sent to me included discQuest software and info sheets, NEC MultiSpin (x2 speed) CD-ROM reader, RamFAST SCSI interface card, cable, Labtec CS-150 amplified speakers, manuals, and four more sample CD


From: Matt Portune

003- How can I back up files on CD-ROM?

     Compact disk recording opens up many possibilities. Obviously, archiving software is one of them. Another is being able to record audio. In my studio, I've placed a lot of important material on analog tape; and, unlike the diskette situation, there is no doubt of the imminent danger of degradation. Burning the audio to CD would maintain the original quality, with the added bonus of random access.

     CDR also opens up business opportunities. Archiving data for businesses and spinning off audio masters and mixes for bands and clubs are just two good prospects. All of which more than justified the cost of a CD Recorder.

     First priority, of course, was preserving my precious ][ goodies! I began the whole process on a Wednesday afternoon, and worked non-stop through Sunday.

     Step One was to archive programs and their support files into compressed SHK files. Not only does this help keep everything organized, but it also prevents loss of resource fork data when files are moved to the PC for processing.

     I archived the data from every floppy I have plus files from each hard drive partition. A few items were archived twice; but, this way, I can choose from a 'raw' original or 'set up' version. (Besides, separating out duplicates would have taken an extra day!)  Anyway, the entire backup only reached about 105 megs. There would be plenty of breathing room on a 650 meg CD.

     Since all 10 of my hard disk partitions are ProDOS, I settled for transferring data to the PC in 32MB chunks. This was done using a home brew null-modem cable to connect the serial ports of both machines.

     It's surprising that so many computer users go to the trouble of using diskettes for machine-to-machine transfers. Null-modem is so easy! I attached my cable, launched Spectrum v2.0 on the GS and Hyperterminal on the PC, and, then, told Spectrum to Zmodem-upload everything on the transfer stuff partition to the PC.

     The machines held a steady transfer rate of about 4500 CPS. Since I had a few 32-meg partitions to upload it was a good excuse for leaving the computers to their work and indulging in Babylon 5 re-runs!

     Finally, on Sunday afternoon, the uploading was complete. On the PC, everything wound up in a folder called "GS Backup". Inside this folder, I created other folders (Games, Graphics, etc.). All in all, 100+ floppies and a 340 meg hard drive had been turned into a nice, organized 105 meg archive.

     After double checking the archive, I slapped a blank CD into the recorder, started EZ-CD Pro, and selected "New" from the file menu. I scanned the displayed listing of burn formats for "HFS" because it is recognized by both GS System 6 and Mac. Unfortunately, HFS was not in EZ-CD Pro's list; so, I selected ISO-9660, which System 6 can handle via the HS.FST.

     Actually, the whole process went very smoothly. I chose the "GS Backup" folder as the data to burn to the disc, and, after about 7 minutes, the CD recorder spit out a shiny new GS archive!

     Or, so I thought...  I put the CD in the GS drive. It mounted fine, but upon opening the CD, I found that EVERY file was placed in the root directory, instead of in it's proper folder.  Also, every filename had a ";1" after it?!

     It turns out that the ";1" is an end-of-filename character (the ";") followed by a an ISO-9660 version number. Versions of ISO-9660 which do not support the Apple Extensions require such a suffix for non-directory files. The cure is to find a CD burner program which supports either High Sierra Group format or a more up-to-date version of ISO-9660.

     The directory problem was _my_ fault. I was still learning the software's "parenting" feature, and had mistakenly told EZ-CD to make the disc with every file in the root directory!

     Anticipating some such screw-up, I had made sure to not select "close disc" on the first burn. This makes a disc "multisession", which means you can do later burns ("sessions") and write new stuff until the disc is full, or until you "close" it. (You cannot, however, erase anything.)  So, I told the software to make the first session inactive, and burn a second session which would have the files in their directories.

     After another 7 minutes, out popped attempt #2. Sure enough, in the PC's CD-ROM drive the first session showed as ignored, and the new, Version 2, session was active! Alas, on the GS, the situation was reversed. Version 2 was ignored. I found out later (by asking someone) that HS.FST does not, currently, support multisession discs! As Poor Richard once observed in his Almanac: "Experience keeps a dear school ... ."

     Despite a few tribulations, I'm pleased to report that my first CD was not a waste. If you have the Balloon NDA installed and double-click a file, it is recognized as an SHK archive and is opened accordingly. Opening the files from GSHK worked fine, as well. It 'ain't pretty'; but, the archives are all intact, and perfectly readable on the GS.

     Since I have more things to add to a future CD (like GNO v2.0.6), I'll soon be ready to pull all the data off "disc 0" and burn a fresh one, doing it right this time. At least, for now, I have everything backed up on a safe, long-lasting medium, thus taming my dying-floppy paranoia. Now, if I could somehow archive the II hardware ...!


From: M. Kelsey

     I made a ProDOS 8 CD-ROM just today for the first time. I used Windows '95 since it has APSI driver emulation in an MS-DOS prompt and a *freeware* utility called DISK2CD from .

It consisted of only these few steps:

        1.  Get all software onto youir Apple II hard drive that you
              want written to CD.
        2.  Disconnect the hard drive.
        3.  Reconnect the hard drive to a Windows '95 or DOS machine
              with appropriate ASPI drivers.
        4.  Run DISK2CD.
        5.  Test the CD out on your Apple II =)

     Now I can use Copy II+ 6.5 to make disk images in an uncompressed form, store them with their file attributes, and have a bootable CD-ROM from which I can access the utilities and disk images!  (WooHoo!)  Bye bye to all those 300 5.25" disks!


From: Supertimer

004- Is a special driver needed for a Toshiba External 2X CD-ROM
     drive on a IIGS with Apple Hi-speed SCSI interface?

     Yes, you need an SCSI-2 driver. Sequential Systems sold such a driver for the Apple Hi-speed card. This driver works well with an Apple CD-300 and a quad-speed Hi-Val drive tested against it. The Toshiba drive is also an SCSI-2 standard CD-ROM. They all use the same commands and need this driver.


005- I have an Apple Hi-Speed SCSI card and CD300 CD-ROM drive on
     my IIGS. How can I get sound from my CD's?

     Sequential's driver allows the audio to work. It allows the Apple Hi- Speed interface to work with all new CD-ROM drives.


From: Joe Kohn

006- Where can I buy CD-ROM discs for the Apple II?

     Shareware Solutions II ( ) currently offers several CD-ROMs for the Apple IIGS:

 - The Golden Orchard CD
 - Studio City CD
 - HyperCard-based Script Central CD
 - Bernie ][ The Rescue Starter Kit CD
 - Apple IIGS Photo CD
 - Open-Apple/A2-Central CD


From: Charles T. "Dr. Tom" Turley

     Having both The Golden Orchard CD and The TABBS CD, I can assure all Apple II and IIgs users that they both contain a wealth of Apple II/IIgs programs, graphics, music, information and a multitude of fantastic archives of great interest and value to any Apple II and IIgs user.


From: A.P.P.L.E. Webmaster

     Apple Pugetsound Program Library Exchange ( ) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of its User Group founding by releasing the following Apple II Related CD-Rom Books: 

 - The Wozpak ][ CD
 - Call-A.P.P.L.E. In Depth (Vol. 1-4) CD
 - Call-A.P.P.L.E. 1978 Special Edition CD
 - The A.P.P.L.E. Basic PDS Library CD
 - Peeking at Call-A.P.P.L.E.  Vol. 1 CD


From: Stephen C. Davidson

Related FAQs Resources (ref. FAQs Contents Csa21MAIN2): R014CDROMIN.TXT (text file)

007- Where can I find more information about specific drives,
     interfaces, and CDROM software?

     See the Apple II CD-ROM Info resource file R014CDROMIN.TXT . For additional SCSI interface information see the Apple II Hard Drives and SCSI FAQs file Csa2HDNSCSI.txt.


From: Charles T. "Dr. Tom" Turley and Ed Eastman

008- Where can I find out more about CD-ROM recording?

     Andy McFadden's CDR FAQ's answered all the questions and concerns I had with making an Apple II CD for use on all computer platforms. The URL is .
// .
an Apple II CD for use on all computer platforms. The URL is .

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM