This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 1997-02-04 at 12:00 p.m.
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Formatting Options

by Adam C. Engst

The most work you will do with the Drive 2.4 is to figure out what size to format your disks to. Kennect does a good job at separating the many possibilities, thus helping you to avoid trouble later on. As I said earlier, Rapport can work by itself, either just with the internal drive or with an Apple external drive as well. With Rapport connected to the floppy port, the internal drive can read, but not write, 720K MS-DOS disks. Rapport can also create a special 1200K format on standard disks, but it can only do so in either an external Apple drive or the Drive 2.4. However, the internal drive can then read, but again, not write, those 1200K disks. All Apple drives can read and write (through Apple File Exchange) 3.5" ProDOS disks, and Rapport doesn't affect that.

More interesting, though, are the possibilities when Rapport is connected to a Drive 2.4. If the disk is a Double Density disk (DD), you can format it at the following sizes, 400K, 800K, 720K, and 1200K, in any of three file systems, Mac HFS, ProDOS, or MS-DOS. If you use a High Density disk (HD), you can choose two sizes, 1.4 MB and 2.4 MB, for the same three file systems. Of course, since compatibility is one of the strong points of the Rapport/Drive 2.4 combination, you probably won't want to go around creating 1200K MS-DOS disks or 2400K ProDOS disks, but if you have the desire to do so, go right ahead and enjoy yourself. Luckily, Rapport and can determine which sort of disk you put into a SuperDrive or Drive 2.4, so it won't let you format a DD disk as a 1.4 MB disk, no matter how hard you try. Nothing can prevent you from formatting an HD disk to 800K, though, but the disk daemons will be unhappy with you if you do so.

To prevent compatibility problems, Kennect put a check box labeled "Standard Interchange Formats" in the Format dialog box. When that check box is checked, only formats that make sense for other machines are allowed; the others are disabled. This feature prevents you from making 2.4 MB MS-DOS disks that no PC-clone could ever read and prevents you from making 2.4 MB Macintosh disks (which only Drive 2.4-equipped Macs can read) for backup purposes. If you pay a small amount of attention, you should never run into a situation where you created the wrong sort of disk.