APCComm - Amiga<->PC file transfer program

1. FAQ

1.1. What kind of parallel ports are supported?

APCComm 2.3.0 supports multiple ways of accessing parallel port. It can use Older versions of APCComm only supported standard parallel ports on x86 hardware. Reports are welcome about which kind of hardware is known to work.

1.2. How fast does it transfer files?

The transfer speed depends on a lot of factors.
  1. Amiga system
    Faster Amiga systems will achieve higher transfer rates but even for stock Amiga 500/600 systems you can expect to see reasonable numbers, significantly faster than a serial connection anyway.
  2. Amiga read source/write destination
    Reading from/writing to discs can slow down the transfer.
  3. System load
    Both Amiga and Linux are multi-tasking systems, doing a lot of other tasks will slow it down as well.
  4. Access method at the Linux system
    Direct access to standard PC-compatible ports are often faster than indirect access to USB connected parallel ports. Slowdown for indirect access can be around 25%.
  5. Transfer direction
    The direction from Amiga to PC is twice as fast as the opposite direction since twice as many pins on the parallel port are used.
You can see some numbers of the developer's machine here: transfer speed

1.3. How are transmission errors detected?

There is a very basic checksum calculation when transferring files. It can detect some errors but might not detect all problems. I have never had any transmission error not detected, but you can use archives like LHA which usually have their own advanced checksums.

1.4. How do I get the binary to the Amiga?

At the very beginning, there is the chicken and egg problem: How to transfer the APCComm program to the Amiga without having a transfer program available?

There are different ways to do so:
  1. Using a floppy disc.
    If your PC still has a standard parallel port, chances are high that it also still has a floppy drive. The PC can't read Amiga formatted discs, but the Amiga can read PC formatted discs. So you can format a DD floppy disc (720kb of free space) and copy the APCComm program to it.
    You need at least Amiga OS 2.1 to have the tools available on the Amiga to read the PC disc.
  2. Use a serial connection for transferring the binary.
    Even with stock Amiga with OS 1.3 it is possible to transfer a file to the Amiga. The web site AMIGA - PC first steps contains a good description to do it. The web site "transfer disk images from linux pc to amiga" contains additional information specific to Linux.
  3. I can send you back your floppy disc with the tools on it if you prepare everything to make it easy for me. Don't hesitate to contact me about it.

1.5. Can I use a serial connection?

Yes, since version 3.0.0 a serial port can also be used.

Additionally, I also wrote a guide about how to transfer files via floppy disc or serial port to the Amiga using different methods.

1.6. What needs to be considered before connecting both machines?

When connecting something to the parallel port of the Amiga, special care must be taken. The port is directly connected to a custom chip (CIA). Short-circuit or voltage peaks can destroy this chip. Therefore make sure the correct cable is used. There exist different cable versions for different purposes, see requirements for a description of the correct cable scheme.

Then there even exist different parallel ports. The Amiga 1000 has an incompatible parallel port that needs either an adapter or a modified cable. I don't know if there are incompatible parallel ports for the PC too.

Finally, be aware that the parallel port is not specified to allow connecting devices while running. Always connect devices only while the computer is switched off! Also, I recommend to remove the parallel cable if it is not in use to avoid any damage by mistake.

I take no responsibility for damages. USE THIS SOFTWARE AT YOUR OWN RISK.