Archive-name: apple2/cdrom
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-modified: Mar 1 1997
Version: 1.0

                              Apple II CDROM FAQ
   Compiled by Stephen C. Davidson
   (most read) First Release : 6th November 1994
   Last Release : 6th November 1994
   Version : 1.0
   Thanks to the following people who emailed info about which CDROM
   drives and SCSI cards being used as well as other info that they sent
   Bradley Von Haden (A big thanks)
   Auri Man (love PowerGS)
   Avi Drissman
   Paul Schultz
   David Fretz
   Steve Reeves
   Phillip `Ty' Young
   William R. Hall
   Shawn Beattie
   David Empson
   Jawaid Bayzar (A big thanks)
   and anyone I've forgotten to mention (remind me & I'll credit you).
   If anyone wants to add anything or if there are mistakes/ommissions,
   please feel free to email me with suggestions, etc at - (most reliable) (second choice)
   I have no affliation with any company mentioned within or following.
Table of Contents:

   <<Note: This FAQ was originally designed for a text editor, and only
   html formatting codes inserted, but the style of the table of contents
   was outdated, so it was removed, and filled with relative links. If
   they do not work, you may have an outdated www viewer, like Lynx pre
     * discQuest CD-ROM Drive & SCSI Interface Compatibility List
     * CD-ROM Drive specifications / Info
          + discQuest* CD25 Drive ( NEC CDR25 mechanism)
          + discQuest* CD210 Drive ( NEC CDR210 mechanism)
          + Apple CDROM 150
          + Apple Apple CDSC and Apple CDSC+
          + Apple CDROM -300
     * Apple II compatible SCSI Interface comparisions
          + RamFAST SCSI card
          + Apple High Speed SCSI card
     * General Comments
          + Apple IIGS High Speed SCSI card owners.
          + Apple IIGS RamFast SCSI card owners
     * CDROMs available for use with Apple IIGS's
          + GEM-CD / Apple II The Generous Efforts of Many, a
          + DigiSoft Innovations
          + DiscQuest GS(tm) Multimedia CD-ROM
          + discQuest Encyclopedia release info
          + Apple IIGS and Mac SIG in Germany CD
     * Apple IIGS owners reports
     * Companys to contact
discQuest CD-ROM Drive & SCSI Interface Compatibility List

Manufacturer      Model      Apple High Speed SCSI       RamFast SCSI
Apple            CD-150            ++                       ++
                    (Sony CDU-8002 mechanism)
                 CD-SC             ++                       ++
                    (Sony CDU-8001 mechanism)
                 CD-SC+            ++                       ++
                    (Sony CDU-8002 mechanism)
                 CD-300            *1, *2, *4               *4
                    (Sony CDU-8003 mechanism)
NEC              CDR-38            *3                       ++
                 CDR-25            *3                       ++
                 CDR-74            *3                       ++
                 CDR-84            *3                       ++
Texel            DM-3x1S           *1                       ++
                 DM-3028           *1                       ++
                 DM-5028           *1, *4                   ++
Sony             CDU-8002          ++                       ++
                 CDU-8003          *1, *2, *4               ++
                 CDU-555S          *4                       *4
Toshiba          3401-200          *1, *2, *4               *4
Pioneer          DRM-600           ++                       ++

++ - No known problems.
*1 - No CD audio in discQuest (digitized audio on the Encyclopedia
will work fine).
*2 - Must reboot computer to put in a new CD.
*3 - Requires special driver (not included with discQuest).
*4 - No Audio CD's

CD-ROM Drive specifications / Info

  discQuest* CD25 Drive ( NEC CDR25 mechanism)
   Based on NEC's CDR25 mechanism, the discQuest CD25 CD-ROM player is a
   'single speed' top-loading (caddyless) design. This low cost unit has
   an external power supply and is light and portable. The interface is
   SCSI standard, and Macintosh compatible. A terrific value!
     * Average Data Transfer Speed: 150KBytes/second
     * Access time (typical): 650ms
     * Interface: SCSI-1, 50-pin connector
     * Caddy
  discQuest* CD210 Drive ( NEC CDR210 mechanism)
   The discQuest CD210 is a Double-speed CD-ROM player based on the NEC
   CDR210 mechanism. The interface is a standard SCSI-2 connector and is
   compatible with the Macintosh. It features a caddyless, sliding tray
   design and includes a rugged steel enclosure with two full SCSI
   connectors on the rear.
     * SCSI-2 CD-ROM Interface
     * Caddyless, sliding tray loader design
     * Double speed
     * Multi-session Photo CD* compliant
     * External front audio jack with volume control
     * Can be used with Macintoshs, IBM compatibles and Apple IIGS
     * Average Data Transfer Speed: 300KBytes/sec
     * Access time (typical): 400ms
     * Interface: SCSI 2, 50-pin
  Apple CDROM 150
   Apple's CD-ROM 150 is a single speed drive that is single session
   PhotoCD compatible.
   For IIGS owners with the Apple High Speed SCSI card, the CDROM 150
   would appear to an excellent choice.
     * SCSI-1 CD-ROM Interface
     * Caddy
     * Single speed
     * Single-session Photo CD* compliant
     * Front External audio jack and volume control on front of drive
     * Rear RCA audio jacks
     * Average Data Transfer Speed: 150KBytes/sec
     * Access time (typical): 650ms (????)
     * Interface: SCSI 1, 50-pin
  Apple Apple CDSC and Apple CDSC+
   Older CDROM drives than the Apple CD-150 that work with the HS SCSI
   card, the firmware and standard GS/OS CD-ROM drivers. Anyone with more
  Apple CDROM -300 and CDROM - 300 Plus
   Both the Apple CDROM -300 and CDROM - 300 Plus are the same drive
   mechanism, but the Plus has got a Caddyless, sliding tray loader
   design. Drive/s have extra fumctionality on Macintoshs (eg can play
   audio CDs etc) unknown if it can be used with IBM compatibles
     * SCSI-2 CD-ROM Interface
     * Caddyless, sliding tray loader design (300 Plus model)
     * Caddy with 300 model
     * Double speed
     * Multi-session Photo CD* compliant
     * External front audio jack with volume control
     * External rear RCA lacks
     * Two 50 pin SCSI port connectors
     * 256Kb buffer size
     * Average Data Transfer Speed: 300KBytes/sec
     * Access time (typical): 295ms
     * Interface: SCSI 2, 50-pin
Apple II compatible SCSI Interface comparisions

  RamFAST - A High-performance SCSI Interface for the Apple IIe and IIGS
     * High speed DMA (direct memory access) operation for up to 1
       Megabyte/second transfer rates
     * Ideal for hard drives, CD-ROM, tape backup, Syquest, floptical,
       and many other SCSI devices
     * Built-in configuration and hard drive backup software
     * Trouble-free 4-layer circuit board; low-power design
     * 256K or 1MB cache memory for excellent performance on any
  Apple High Speed SCSI card - Apple SCSI Interface card for the Apple IIe and
     * High speed DMA (direct memory access) operation for up to 1
       Megabyte/second transfer rates
General Comments

  Apple IIGS High Speed SCSI card owners.
   For IIGS owners with the Apple High Speed SCSI card, the "best" CDROM
   drive (IMHO) to get would appear to be the Apple CD-150. Although only
   a single speed CDROM drive (and so is a little slow), it works fine
   with the HS SCSI card and the drivers that come with GSOS System
   Software 6.01. It can be used to access Macintosh and MSDOS format
   CDROM's, discQuest CDROMs as well as being able to play Audio CD's
   with the System 6.01 drivers and NDA.
   NEC CDROM drives can also be used with the HS SCSI card but require a
   driver/s from Tulin which will allow the CDROM drive to be used to
   access files/programs etc, but its unknown if the NEC drives could be
   used to plat audio CDs.
  Apple IIGS RamFast SCSI card owners
   If you haven't got a SCSI card for your IIGS yet, the "Best" one to
   get appears to be the RamFast SCSI Interface Card ROM Revision D
   Version 3.01e (or later). It is able to drive (almost) any CDROM drive
   (see above table) without any extra drivers required, except if you
   want to listen to audio CDs. There are drivers on Internet called
   "RFMedia.shk" that can be used to play audio CDs easily, and are
   available from Sequential Systems by request if you order their
   discQuest software.
   As well as better support for CDROM drives, it also has better support
   for Hard disk drives (can supply termination power - needed for many
   of the newer hard drives which don't supply this and won't work unless
   something else does), SCSI Tape backup units, CDROM drives, Syquests,
   Flopticals, etc....
   RamFast SCSI cards can be purchased together in a bundle from
   Sequential with discQuest software, NEC CDR210 double speed CDROM
   drive and some CDROMs, or in a bundle with discQuest Encyclopedia. See
   previous posts to comp.sys.apple2 for info on the discQuest software.
CDROMs available for use with Apple IIGS's

  GEM-CD / Apple II
   The Generous Efforts of Many, a CD-ROM of software for the Apple II.
   (Comment scd - This is a fairly old CDROM disk)
   What is the GEM-CD / Apple II?
          GEM is an acronym for the Generous Efforts of Many, an
          acknowledgement of the many user groups and individuals that
          have contributed their software and time to the development of
          this CD, one of the very few CD-ROMs that contains only
          software for the Apple II. While the Macintosh has seen
          hundreds of CD-ROM releases, few (if any) publishers are
          producing CD-ROMs for the Apple II. We hope that this disc is a
          start of a new trend, and an encouragement to those developers
          who are hesitant to support the Apple II.
   What's on the GEM-CD / Apple II, Volume 1?
          Quite a few items: about 150 megabytes of Apple IIgs and II
          software, plus Macpaint graphics that can be converted for IIgs
          clip art.
   GEM CD _is_ still available (as of a couple of months ago):
          Wayzata Technology Inc.
          P.O. Box 87
          16221 Main Ave. S.E.
          Prior Lake, MN 55372
          (800) 735-7321
          (612) 447-7321
  DigiSoft Innovations
   Jim Maricondo of Digisoft, the company that brought you the Twilight
   II screen blanker for the Apple IIgs, stated that they plan to have an
   Apple II CD-ROM, called the "Golden Orchard", available soon. It is to
   be packed as full of Apple II and IIgs goodies as they can make it. A
   detailed report of the contents has not yet been released, but it is
   expected to include the following categories:
     * 106MB of applications
     * 119MB of disks (selfbooting, non-ProDOS, etc.)
     * 15MB of sounds
     * 31MB of stacks
     * 25MB of text
     * 33MB of TrueType fonts
     * 2MB of Finder Extensions
     * 3MB of NDAs
     * 35MB of graphics
     * 5MB of cracks, cheats, and deprotects
     * 2MB of BASIC programs
     * 8MB of AppleWorks-related material
     * 2MB of bitmap fonts
   (Latest Info)
   Stay tuned for the DigiSoft Apple Orchard CD-ROM too! We've had a few
   setbacks thanks to the extreme bugginess of the HFS FST with large
   volumes, but we're working on some workarounds, and in the process
   improving the CD's content as well. And I'm happy to announce that we
   recently finished negotiating with Apple and you will find many
   megabytes of Apple stuff on the CD that previously were only available
   on hard-to-find Developer CDs or the System 6 GM CD! More info will be
   posted as it becomes available..
   If you'd like to be sure you're on our internet e-mailing list to
   receive notification of release of the CD or further progress reports,
   send your electronic address to me here at
   Jim Maricondo
   DigiSoft Innovations
  DiscQuest GS(tm) Multimedia CD-ROM
   Sequential Systems has introduced DiscQuest(tm) and DiscQuest GS(tm);
   a hardware/software combination that will give today's Apple IIGS user
   access to the exploding library of information available on CD-ROM.
   DiscQuest(tm) utilizes standard SCSI CD-ROM drives and will support
   currently available CD-ROM titles from leading multimedia publishers
   such as Creative MultiMedia, Grolier, Compton's and more.
   DiscQuest(tm) Software, developed by Sequential Systems, Inc. and
   Procyon, Inc., provides text search, still graphics display and audio
   from DiscQuest-supported titles. Bundled with Sequential Systems'
   RamFAST SCSI interface, search performance of the DiscQuest System(tm)
   using a non-accelerated Apple IIGS is similar to that of a Macintosh
   DiscQuest GS(tm) software (for Apple IIGS computers) will be made
   available to resellers and end-users for use with other SCSI-type
   CD-ROM drives. The software includes a copy of Creative MultiMedia's
   popular title "The Family Doctor".
   The DiscQuest GS System(tm) is a bundled product that includes
   Sequential Systems' DiscQuest(tm) Software, an external CD-ROM drive
   with cable and one disc caddy, a RamFAST SCSI interface, and four
   CD-ROM titles.
   DiscQuest(tm) works with the following hardware:
   Any Apple IIGS with 2MB of RAM or greater
   RamFAST/SCSI with NEC, Sony, Apple or Sequential CD-ROM drives
   Apple High Speed SCSI with Sony, Apple or Sequential CD-ROM drives
   If you have a RamFAST you need the very latest ROM revision, 3.01e.
   CDROM titles available so far are -
     * Darwin Multimedia CD-ROM
     * Monarch Notes(r) CD-ROM
     * Sherlock Holmes (CMC)
     * The Family Doctor (CMC)
     * Shakespeare (CMC)
     * Great Literature (Personal Library Series)
     * Parenting - Prenatal to Preschool
     * Multimedia Audubon's Birds
     * Multimedia Audubon's Mammals
     * The Best of The Bureau
     * Total Baseball - New 1993 Edition (CMC)
     * 1991 YearBooks(R) (YearBook Medical Publishers, Inc)
     * US History on CD-ROM (Bureau)
     * History of the World on CD-ROM (Bureau)
     * Countries of the World on CD-ROM (Bureau)
  discQuest Encyclopedia release info
   Sequential Systems announced the release of their new 'discQuest
   Encyclopedia(tm)' product, the first comprehensive encyclopedia on
   CD-ROM for the Apple IIGS.
   discQuest Encyclopedia is based on the Compton's Interactive
   Encyclopedia(tm), and features hundreds of audio clips, thousands of
   still images, and thousands of articles on virtually any subject.
   discQuest comes with the CD-ROM, a hard drive installer disk and a
   standalone boot disk version, and a short manual describing the
   features of the software. The package is very easy to operate, as it
   uses the IIGS's "point and click" graphical interface. Other benefits
   include the ability to print articles and images, and cut and paste
   text directly into other applications. discQuest bundles, including
   RamFAST SCSI interface and CD-ROM drives, are available from
   Sequential Systems. Contact Florence Welkie.
  Apple IIGS and Mac SIG in Germany CD
   The Apple IIgs SIG and Mac SIG here in Germany have produced a joint
   CD which is available NOW. It contains about 300 MByte worth of
   Macintosh PD and about 200 MByte worth of Apple IIgs PD [public
   domain]. It's a plain HFS formatted CD you're able to access from
   Finder without any special programs necessary [other than the HFS FST
   that comes with System 6].
   The price of the CD will be US$ 43.00, CAN$ 60.00, resp. AUS$ 62.00
   plus s/h.
   Shipping the CD airmail with jewel case to the US, Canada, or
   Australia will cost US$ 10.00, CAN$ 14.00, resp. AUS$ 14.50; shipping
   the CD with booklet and inlay card in a 5.25 inch disk mailer will
   cost US$ 6.25, CAN$ 8.75 resp. AUS$ 9.00. (I suggest you buy your own
   jewel case and get the CD in a floppy disk mailer...)
   Cheques in US, Australian or Canadian currency will be accepted, drawn
   on a US, Canadian or Australian bank. Please, add US$ 2.00, CAN$ 3.00,
   resp. AUS$ 3.00 for cashing fees. So to get the CD in a floppy mailer,
   send me a cheque for US$ 51.25, CAN$ 71.75, resp. AUS$ 74.00; to get
   it with jewel case, send me a cheque for US$ 56.00, CAN$ 77.00, resp.
   AUS$ 79.50. (Other currencies and countries, please ask.) Guys [and
   gals, I presume] living in Europe send me an Eurocheque for DM 80.00
   (CD with jewel case). Within Germany the price will be DM 72.00 (for
   nonmembers of AUGE). A catalog of the IIgs part of the CD is file
   #22701 in the A2 Library. Send your cheques to:
   Udo Huth
   Leipziger Str. 16 a
   38329 Wittmar
Apple IIGS owners reports

   The following are reports from online IIGS owners.
   Bradley Von Haden
   Apple High Speed SCSI with Apple CDROM-150 drive, single speed playing
   audio CDs through Earphone socket. Using discQuest for discPassage
   Auri Man
   NEC MultiSpin CD-ROM (2x speed) hooked up to a RAMFast, and it works
   like a charm. Haven't had any problems, and it's fast as heck. I don't
   know why people stick with the Apple HS, since it is no longer
   supported, but if you want to insure compatibility with today's SCSI
   devices, and hopefully tomorrow's, I would ask you to consider
   purchasing a RAMFast from Sequential Systems.
   RAMFast SCSI, ROM 3.01e, REV D with AppleCD-150, Single speed can play
   audio CDs though external speakers connected to the drive using the
   RFMedia.shk package. It allows you to hookup several different CD ROM
   drives to your RF. It also has the audio additions required. It works
   great for ISO & HFS formatted disks. GS disks are available but harder
   to find. There is a german UG that just came out with a CD (I have it)
   and DigiSoft is coming out with one. On the audio side, it took me a
   while to figure out how to play CDs properly. There is a Media
   Controller NDA that works with the RF. It is just like the Apple
   "Remote Control". But you have to skip to track 2 to play audio CDs.
   It is a fault on Apple I believe but you get errors trying to hit play
   instead of the >> key to skip to track 2.
   Avi Drissman
   The RamFAST SCSI, Rev D, Rom 3.01d with an old NEC CDR-25 single
   speed. The CDR can play an audio disc only with speakers ( or
   headphones) attached to the earphone plug. Nothing special is needed
   for computer CD's except for FSTs. The RamFAST driver works fine. For
   audio CDs, I use the Media Controller desk accessory, the Media
   Control CDev, and a media control driver called "RF.NEC" available
   from Sequential (in RFMedia.shk file).
   Paul Schultz
   An NEC CDR-25 single speed drive hooked up to my RamFAST rev. D
   3.0.1EZ. Have used the publicly available drivers for the RamFAST
   which allow me to play audio CDs through speakers connected to the CD
   drive using the Media Controller supplied with Sys 6.0.1 as the
   Apple HS SCSI Card nonterm power version with Apple CD-150 Single
   speed. Plays audio through the Media control panel and the CDRemote
   NDAs through the CD RCA jacks on back or earphone jack on front.
   Drivers to get it to work with program CD's and/or audio CD's to play
   are the ones included with System 6.01.
   Steve Reeves
   An AppleCD 300e double speed drive based on the Sony CDU-8003
   mechanism which uses caddies and has a 256K buffer with an Apple High
   Speed SCSI card. The drive reads data discs (ISO 9660/High Sierra and
   Macintosh HFS) just fine using the CD driver and FSTs included in
   System 6.0.1. It has the capability to play audio discs, but there
   isn't currently a driver that supports this (on the Apple IIGS -
   davoesq ). It is also capable of reading multi-session Kodak Photo CD,
   CD+G and CD+MIDI discs, and can transfer CD digital audio data over
   the SCSI bus, but again there is no software that supports these (on
   the Apple IIGS - davoesq) .
   The CD Remote NDA and AppleCD SC media control driver included with
   System 6.0.1 were designed to work with the older AppleCD 150 and SC
   drives, which use a proprietary command set to control audio. The
   AppleCD 300e uses the newer, standardized SCSI-2 command set. I am
   hopeful that someone will create a driver that takes full advantage of
   this drive.
   William R. Hall
   Apple High-Speed SCSI with Apple CD-150 single Speed which plays audio
   CDs through headphone jack on front of drive and/or from two
   line-level RCA jacks on the back of the drive. Drivers are the
   standard Apple drivers included with system software. Both CD-Remote
   and Media Control Tool will play audio CDs. With an unaccelerated GS,
   the single-speed drive doesn't seem to be a big speed problem. The
   disk accesses seem to be relatively quick compared to the processor
   time spent interpreting them (with discQuest, sound file converters,
   image converters). Of course, it isn't as fast as a hard drive!
   Stephen Davidson
   Apple High Speed SCSI card with Apple CDROM-150 drive single speed
   which play audio CDs through RCA jacks on back of drive or through the
   earphone jack on the front of the drive. Drivers are the standard
   Apple drivers included with System software 6.01.
   Shawn Beattie
   RAMfast v3.01e, REV.D, 1 MB cache with an Apple PowerCD Single speed.
   CDROM player can play audio CD's (either through the IIGS's speaker or
   via speakers connected to the earphone socket on the CDROM (or
   directly connected to your stereo system via RCA jacks. Oh yes, and
   can be controlled with a remote control. Pretty much like a regular
   portable CDROM. Also does PhotoCD discs direct to your TV. I just use
   the RAMfast driver for access to CDs. I haven't messed with the Media
   Control drivers since it plays audio CD's just fine on its own. This
   drive is not produced or sold by Apple anymore. This drive runs off
   6AA batteries also. (nice if you have a Powerbook)
   Jawaid Bazyar
   With System 6.0.1, the Apple CD300 works fine on an Apple HS SCSI card
   except for CD-Audio. Also, since the discQuest Encyclopedia's audio is
   8-bit digitized, it will work fine as well.
   The company to talk to about device drivers would be Tulin; they're
   the people who currently sell the NEC CDROM driver for the HS SCSI
   (written by the Apple engineer who wrote all the SCSI card drivers). A
   SCSI-2 CDROM driver for the HS SCSI card has been discussed with Tulin
   (Quality Computers sells a SCSI-2 drive, like the CD-300, that has no
   HS SCSI driver). They're looking into it.
   You might look into a NEC model of CD-ROM drive as well, since the
   driver for these drives already exists, and NECs are available in a
   wide spectrum of prices and capabilities.
Companys to contact

   Company: Tulin Technology
   Address: 2156H O'Toole Ave.
   Suburb: San Jose, CA, USA 95131
   BH Telephone: 0011 1 408 432 9057
   NEC CDROM drive drivers for use with Apple High Speed SCSI card.
   Sequential Systems, Inc
   1200 Diamond Circle, Ste D.
   Lafayette, CO USA 80026
   BH Telephone: 0011 1 303 666 4549
   Switchboard: (303) 666-4549
   Sales: 800-759-4549
   Tech Support: 800-999-1717
   GEnie e-mail: SEQUENTIAL
   Notes : Hardware, RAM Cards, CD ROM Software, SCSI Controller

Stephen C. "Davo esq" Davidson                 _--_|Apple Users Society of Melb
ourne (AUSOM)      /                                                    _.--.*/

<*> Nathan Mates      <*>
# What are the facts? Again and again and again-- what are the _facts_?
# Shun wishful thinking, avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors
# think-- what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? -R.A. Heinlein