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For fun, I'm trying to use an Apple PowerBook 5300c (Mac OS 7.5.2) to do some programming. I've found the software I want to use (thanks to some answers on SO) but I'm unfamiliar with these formats (I've always been a PC guy). I've searched for things like "Windows Mac write floppy", but I only really see pages about reading Mac format on PC (not exactly what I need).

My first thought is to buy a USB floppy disk drive and some floppies -- is this what I need to buy? I have no idea what I'm doing really. Did PCs and Macs use the same floppies? Do I need write in Mac format? Should I use maybe dd or something like that to write .bin files? Maybe if the Mac can read PC format? I also see some .sit (Stuffit) files; will the Mac recognise these? How do I use a .hqx file? Some advice would be very handy.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can accomplish this with specialty software such as MacDisk. The are many other programs that can accomplish this if you look around the internet.

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Ah, that's a good one. I haven't had to do this in years. Last time I needed to there weren't any such utilities. – BBlake Sep 25 '11 at 12:13
I was doing this over 10 years ago. The software that I used was called HFVExplorer ( It seems to have disappeared from the internet. Here's a mirror. – Kibbee Sep 25 '11 at 12:19
Thanks so much guys, very helpful. – nbolton Sep 25 '11 at 12:22

Windows cannot write to a Mac formatted floppy disk (without help), but Mac can read a Windows formatted floppy disk if it's formatted in FAT and not NTFS. While Macs and PCs use the size floppy disks, the file system format is different. So what you can do is download the files using your PC and put them onto a FAT16 floppy disk. The Mac should be able to read the disk and you can copy them off from there.

Another option might be if you can find an Ethernet internal expansion card for the 5300c (if it doesn't already have one) and you could attach it to a network and grab the files off a shared drive.

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Thanks, yeah I wanted the authentic floppy experience, but I will definitely be buying an expansion card as I will undoubtedly get bored of using floppies ;-) -- perhaps you could point me in the direction of the correct expansion card? – nbolton Sep 25 '11 at 12:23

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