HxC Universal Floppy Disk Drive Emulator
By James Grahame
The weak point in many vintage computer and music production systems is the floppy drive. They were unreliable when new, and getting a 30 year old drive to run predictably can be a massive headache. Floppy disks degrade with age and drives often fall out of alignment or fail once parts become brittle. The truth is that they weren't designed to last for decades.
The HxC is a brilliant way to keep old microcomputers running. It's a multi-system emulator that comes in two versions -- you can either load files from an SD card or through a USB connection. The number of platforms this thing supports is astounding: Atari ST, Amiga, Amstrad CPC6128, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Radio Shack TRS-80 and many others.
The HxC also works with a variety of vintage music synthesizers and samplers from the 1980s and 1990s, including the E-mu Emulator, Ensoniq Mirage, Roland S-Series samplers and even the E-mu SP1200 sampling drum machine (a hip-hop legend).
The HxC supports firmware updates by SD card and can be configured to autostart the last loaded floppy image at power up.
You can pick one up on eBay for $109.99.