Diamond TrackStar Information


    I've had a Diamond TrackStar-E Apple ][ emulation board for a while now, but never had the chance to install it. Well, I began the process at the end of April 2001 and I experienced a high level frustration because weaving together the random information available just wasn't working.

    So, in an effort to help others similarly situated, here is a zip file containing several versions of the TrackStar drivers, a copy of the csa2 FAQ on the TrackStar and a PDF of the installation and operation manual, courtesy of Bart Prine. The archive file also includes several disk images that I have found useful in the short time I've been using the TrackStar.

    Anyway, here are some basic informational items and random tips as to how I got mine to work.:

     Update 5/18/01. For several days now, I've been trying to get several COMM programs to work on the TrackStar. Don't you know, there's a comment in the manual that says that most COMM programs will not work with the TrackStar. How bogus! They went through all the trouble of precisely emulating an Apple //e and couldn't make COMM programs work. Not only that, but the old IN#2 trick to transfer a text file (containing a BASIC program) to the Apple from a PC using a null modem connection doesn't work either. I was forced to dig out the "real" ][+ that I have and use ADT on that. If you need a utility to transfer DSK disk images from a PC to an Apple, use ADT. Get it on any Apple mirror site.

    Update 4/28/01. I originally thought that the reason why the TS began working is that I put a ROM image into the TS directory. After some additional research I've found that this is a red herring. The TS already contains an Apple ROM (written by Language Arts). It seemed that the TS would boot from an Apple diskette in the Disk ][ drive attached to the TS, but not an APP disk image loaded through the TS unless it's handled in a certain way.

    When you create an APP file, you need to format it in order to use it. I assumed that if you use the TrackStar TSUTILIT program (which performs a track-by-track copy) that it would "format" the disk automatically as part of the process. It doesn't appear that this is the case. The only way I was able to get a new disk image to work was to create a blank APP file, boot with a DOS 3.3 disk, INIT the APP file and use COPYA to copy all of the files to the image. This new image is bootable and otherwise works perfectly. I used a similar procedure to create a working ProDOS disk image.

    I have to say that the TrackStar manual has a lot of good information in it, but for 60 some odd pages, it under-covers a few key topics such as the above.

       This is a nifty product. It's a shame that it didn't catch on, but I suspect that the nearly $500 price tag had something to do with it.

-- Rich


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Last Updated 02/12/2023 13:52 -0400