ZULUscsi.com entering the Rabbit Hole for NeXT 68K hardware configurtion advice

Started by Rob Blessin Black Hole, May 31, 2022, 07:38:46 PM

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Rob Blessin Black Hole

Hello NeXT Community: I took the plunge as supply chain issues have depleted the supply of scsi2sd version 5.2 nd 6.0 Cards. I still have some in stock but they are selling quick.

I'm trying once more to get ahead of the supply curve with inertial computing's latest offering fun stuff http://zuluscsi.com/ so
we are very early adopters on here https://github.com/ZuluSCSI/ZuluSCSI-firmware not sure if this is even possible yet but we will make it happen. 

I have 2 cards in hand with a few ideas , I think I'll first go for the low hanging fruit foo , a simple 2gb partition on sd formatted fat32 and see if a floppy starting an install from an original CD finds it ...... say tuned . 

It says the http://zuluscsi.com/ZuluSCSI-Manual/  not much to go by but Ill give it a go stay tuned, anyone out there that has it working or has thoughts or advice , I welcome any help on this it is supposed to be faster the the 5.2 and 6.0 cards :)

Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  [email protected] http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93

Rob Blessin Black Hole



Which firmware version is currently on the ZuluSCSI you're testing with? It's logged to zululog.txt, if you have a FAT32 or exFAT-formatted SD card in the socket, when the firmware initializes.


From: Rob Blessin Black Hole , Inc <[email protected]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2022 2:21 PM
To: Alex Perez <[email protected]>
Subject: Re: RE: URGENT :ZULU SCSI cards Config questions for 2 cards I received from Black hole, inc.


Hello Alex: I hope this finds you well , so I thought I would try the new ZULU SCSI Cards for NeXT Compatability


I think I may be doing something wrong as from reading the FAQ , does the configuration bios reside on the sd card ?


I wasn't sure if their was a gui app like he scsi2sd on the Apple Store yet.


If there is a process for flashing the ZULUcards on Mac OS  , please let me know how , it sounds like a I may have


needed to order a preconfigured sd card ? I'm willing to do that or if I can download it ,I have downloaded the bin file


ideally I have a master NeXTSTEP Iso image for the scsi2sd cards which I'm hoping to adapt to the ZULU SCSI Card


and a Custom XML File for SCSI2SD 5.2 attached so if I'm able to adapt it to the ZULU SCSI , that would be awesome


Currently when I attached the ZULU card to the NeXT  it hangs and does not see the card when I try a regular install it says no scsi disk.

Appreciate your time. 


Step by step would help me a lot thank you or purchasing a preconfigured SD card from you,


I've been trying every which way and Sunday lol.


Do I ping the bin file in Terminal app on the Mac, does it write it to the zulu card as it doesn't appear in disk utility


or do I configure and custom ZULU bios on SD Card on a card reader then move it to the ZULU card.


Or am I completely off ,

Alex Replied :



ZuluSCSI has no configuration software utility.


I suggest you start with http://zuluscsi.com/ZuluSCSI-Manual/#using-quickstart and also read the main README at https://github.com/ZuluSCSI/ZuluSCSI-firmware/blob/main/README.md


Only the ZuluSCSI firmware lives in the flash. All other configuration parameters are either inferred (by default), or you can explicitly specify them with an INI file, but the INI file is entirely optional, and there are preconfigured defaults for vendor/device SCSI strings, just as there are with SCSI2SD.


An example INI file (which is NOT required by default) can be viewed at https://github.com/ZuluSCSI/ZuluSCSI-firmware/blob/main/zuluscsi.ini


Please let me know if you have any further questions.


It is a start
Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  [email protected] http://www.blackholeinc.com
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93


From what I understand here's what you need to do.
Format an SD card with FAT32 or expat. (Use disk utility)
On the SD card run:

dd if=/dev/zero of=hd0.img bs=1M count=2048

This will create a SCSI id 0 disk of 2gig.

You should be able to point previous at this disk image and install Nextstep.
Once that is done unmount the SD card and mount it in the ZULUscsi and boot the NeXT system.

Once that simple test passes, you can use DD to pick apart your normal disk images
and create hd0.img, hd1.img, etc.

Sadly looking at the source code to ZULUscsi it seems to be based off SCSI2SD and blueSCSI source. SO It probably won't be any faster than those. Hopefully we can move beyond ESP32, to something that can saturate the SCSI bus someday.