DriveWire 3 FAQ

Q. What is DriveWire 3?

A. DriveWire 3 is a product that allows your CoCo (under Disk BASIC or NitrOS-9) to utilize a PC hard drive in place of a real floppy or hard drive. It consists of software for NitrOS-9 and Disk BASIC environments,and server software for the Mac and Windows platforms.

Q. How does the CoCo connect to the server?

A. The CoCo connects to the server via a serial cable. One end of the cable plugs into the CoCo's built-in RS-232 port (also known as the bitbanger port). The other end of the cable plugs into a DB-9 serial port on the server.

Q. How fast is the transfer rate?

A. On a CoCo 3, the serial connection runs at a constant 115,200 bits per second. The speed and performance of DriveWire 3 is comparable to what a floppy drive system would provide. On a CoCo 2, we achieve a nominal bit rate of 57,600 bits per second, and 38,400 bits per second on a CoCo 1.

Q. I thought the bitbanger was slow. How can you achieve these high rates of speed?

A. As a matter of course, the bitbanger can only achieve 1200-2400 bps. However, we've employed a few software tricks to bump that speed up significantly, mostly through tight coding and careful masking of interrupts at certain points in the driver.

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