Apple II CD-ROM Manual

Csa2 FAQs-on-Ground file: Csa2CDROM.txt  rev012

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 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 find more info on CD-ROM drives, products, etc.?

From: Rubywand

Thanks to Jawaid Bazyar (Sequential Systems) and Tony Diaz (Alltech) for
information used in this mini-manual.

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 file F00xHDNSCSI.TXT.)

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

2- External CD-ROM disc drive (like Pioneer DRM-600, NEC MultiSpin,
etc.) which yuor SCSI card supports. For example, according to
imformation supplied by Sequential Systems, the Apple Hi-Speed SCSI card
is known to work with the Apple CD-150, Apple CD-SC+, and Pioneer
DRM-600. The RamFAST is known to work with many drives, including the
Pioneer DRM-600, any NEC or Texel, and any "SCSI Standard" drive.

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

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

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

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.


Even more? discQuest

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

DiscQUEST v1.2.2
$99.95 list, for 2MB IIgs
  from Sequential Systems (800-759-4549)
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

     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

      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. (Sequential Systems has been notified; and the
designer says an update is in the works.)

     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 window.

     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 music 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 are present in case you've
purchased 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's. A company rep
noted that CSP components and pricing change regularly; so, if
interested, be sure to check with Sequential.


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

     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

     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,, sells 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 new driver allows the audio to work. It allows the
Apple Hi-Speed interface to work with all new CD-ROM drives.  


From: Stephen C. Davidson

Related FAQs Resources: R014CDROMIN.TXT (text file)

006- 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 Interface Manual file F004HDNSCSI.