Preparing for the CFFA3000


Filed under Hacks & mods;
4 comments.

The July episode of the Open Apple podcast debuted yesterday (a Sunday! Unprecedented!), featuring an interview with Rich Dreher, one of the Apple II community's foremost hardware developers. After having long been an admirer of his work, I met Rich at KansasFest 2011 — yet despite all that, I've never actually owned a product of his company, R&D Automation, LLC. By the time I'd dusted off my physical IIGS to complement my decade-long exclusivity with emulation, the second model of CFFA had already sold out, and the mythical CFFA3000, promising both CompactFlash and USB interfaces for the Apple II, was on the horizon. As I've reported before, I didn't buy one of the first batch — not even when presented with the opportunity to buy it directly from the dealer at KansasFest — because I spent last summer geographically removed from my Apple II and didn't want a card I could not immediately use. Foolish me! The first batch sold out faster than anyone expected, and the second was another year off.

Finally, the second run is now available and is shipping at the rate of fifty per week. I am invoice #3410, order sequence #134 — whatever that means. Regardless of when my particular order ships, I am looking forward to putting it in my Apple.

… but then what? I've heard folks say that the CFFA3000 revolutionized storage on their machines, eliminating the need for any other drive from floppy to hard. I don't see that happening in my case: I still have my 5.25" disks that need to be imaged, so floppy drives will always have a place in my daisy chain. But the CFFA will certainly make the imaging process faster and easier, eliminating the need to transfer files across a serial or Ethernet cable via the excellent ADTPro.

I'll have my own experiences to report soon, but in the meantime, I'd like to hear from other users of this device. Did you immediately grok the CFFA3000's potential and start using it to the fullest? Or was there a learning curve as you slowly transitioned from 30-year-old technology to this new hardware? Did the card live up to the hype in your experience?

  1. I still haven't used my CFFA3000 to its potential, but I think the 5.25" floppy emulation and USB support are "game changers". These features make using real hardware much more convenient.

  2. Martin Haye says:

    One lovely feature is the built-in menu system. If you stick the card in slot x, you can get there by:

    CALL-151
    Cx30G

    In particular that menu offers a nice feature for imaging floppies directly to USB. You don't have to boot into ProDOS or anything else to start backing things up. In fact, I use this when I'm developing Super-Mon to make periodic backups. When you exit the menu, everything is just where you left it.

  3. I sent my oder in a week ago. Still waiting to hear back, but hoping to receive it soon!