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First post, by DeathAdderSF

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Hey guys,

Just a heads-up to let you know my Trackstar website is up, covering the E, 128 and also Quadram's Quadlink <-- These are all "Apple II on a PC ISA card" Apple II clones. Really cool little devices!
If you own these devices, esp. the Trackstar E or Plus, there's HUNDREDS of disk images in its TrackStore format that I've converted manually.
So you can download and enjoy a HUGE amount of software without needing real Apple II disks.

There's also a working KryoFlux disk image of the Trackstar 128 Utility Program disk, so you can create a disk with the copy protection intact which allows you to actually use your 128. This is perfect for those who -- like me -- bought their 128 without the necessary disk. D'oh!

There ain't a lot of info or resources about the Trackstar cards out there, so I hope mine fills the void.

Enjoy it @
www.diskman.com/presents/trackstar

Cruise by Diskman Presents: filled with geektastic classic gaming goodness!

Reply 1 of 6, by infiniteclouds

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What a treasure trove! Thank you so much for sharing this! I came into possession of one in a Tandy 1000 I bought --
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How awesome that these were made by Diamond.
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I am very happy to discover that it is an Trackstar-E and not a 128, for the ability to use images from a hard drive. I'll have to pour through the manual to learn about how to use it since there are no videos or documentation out there.

How do the Trackstars handle software that has music and sound? Can it use a PC/Tandy Chip, or ISA sound card to play what would otherwise use a mockingboard?

Also, being that these are so rare I wonder if it would be possible for someone to clone these.

Reply 2 of 6, by DeathAdderSF

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Sure, you're welcome. I hope you are able to get a lot of useful info from the site.

Congrats on scoring an E! They are the ultimate in Trackstar luxury. 😁

One of the other great things about the Trackstar E is you don't need to have any floppy drives connected to it at all, if you don't want to. Just load up those disk images I converted and you're good to go. The Trackstar config program takes a few minutes to figure out, but after that you're golden.

In case you want to use DSK images with your Trackstar, to supplement all the custom APP images I provide on my site, I recommend connecting a Floppy Emu device directly to the Trackstar's Apple floppy drive port.

About the sound: Apple II standard sound and PC Speaker are basically the same. Trackstar is able to send the Apple II sound data to your computer's motherboard w/o need for a cable. So the sound will output from your PC Speaker. Mockingboards and other Apple II hardware are not supported. You basically have a full-featured Apple IIe Enhanced model w/128kb RAM onboard, which is pretty darn capable.

I was discussing the Trackstar with Henry over @ ReactiveMicro about possibly cloning the E, because he loves Apple II and his hobby / business is cloning Apple II hardware. Who knows if he'll do it; there's a lot of PALs on the card that would need to be "cracked" before any real work could begin. Not the easiest thing in the world. 😐

Anyway, enjoy your E and feel free to ask any other questions you may have. I'd like to know you're having fun with such a neat card.

Cruise by Diskman Presents: filled with geektastic classic gaming goodness!

Reply 4 of 6, by infiniteclouds

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DeathAdderSF wrote:

Mockingboards and other Apple II hardware are not supported.

Ahhh, a short lived dream of playing Ultima III, IV and V with music on my Tandy 1000.

DeathAdderSF wrote:

I was discussing the Trackstar with Henry over @ ReactiveMicro about possibly cloning the E, because he loves Apple II and his hobby / business is cloning Apple II hardware. Who knows if he'll do it; there's a lot of PALs on the card that would need to be "cracked" before any real work could begin. Not the easiest thing in the world.

I hope so! I don't like to see particularly rare pieces like this lost.

Reply 5 of 6, by DeathAdderSF

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There's been some interesting updates to the website over time, such as downloads of the Trackstar 128 EPROMs & Quadram Quadlink ROMs directly from the respective ISA cards. I've also been making frequent updates to the joystick compatibility document, based on my continued game tests.

In the future I hope to offer at least one HDD volume of games -- as the Trackstar E can make use of ProDOS volumes in the form of large image files -- it's in the works now but I can't provide any time estimates.

In the mean time however I am continuing to convert more DSK images over to the Trackstar's custom APP format by way of the device itself. So I'm definitely not going to cease providing disk images just because I'm working on a HDD volume.

Anyway, thanks to everyone who drops by and checks out the website. I'm happy to know it's helping other Trackstar owners enjoy their experience even more. 😉

Cruise by Diskman Presents: filled with geektastic classic gaming goodness!