Gotek : Different Gotek Firmwares

The Gotek Floppydrive Emulator and the Different Types of Gotek Firmwares

The Gotek drives were originally designed to work with specific (type of) machines that are (were) dependent on a floppy drive. For example, consider the following related target groups:

1. CNC machines
3. Robotics industry
5. Knitting and embroidery machines
7. Music industry (Samplers, keyboards, synths)

2. Plastic Injection Molding Machines
4. Textile Industry
6. Wire Cutting Machines

The almost machine specific original different Gotek firmwares offer very little flexibility to machines and applications outside the scope of the single machine it was developed for.


In the beginning :
Sometime in late 2013, Hervé Messinger decided to purchase a cheap Gotek Floppydrive Emulator from Ebay.
Disappointed that the device didn't understand the amiga disk structures, he decided to write an Firmware for that Gotek floppydrive emulator himself, that could support ADF files and would work fully functional on Amiga hosts.
And so Cortex 1.0a for the Gotek was created in early 2014, which made the Gotek a suitable floppydrive emulator for the Amiga.

A small overview of (some of) the Different Gotek Firmwares available :

Cortex :

Cortex is a simple yet effective Firmware that makes the Gotek Floppydisk Emulator suitable for the Amiga computers.
There is nothing to configure, the firmware on it and a USB Stick with an ADF (the bootloader menu).
Furthermore, supplemented with the ADFs that you want to load yourself when starting the amiga.

When the Bootloader is started, it will scan the connected drives DF0: to DF4: (so you don't necessarily have to boot from the gotek to work with it), and once the Gotek is found, the drive contents of the USB stick scan and display it in a menu.
(It is possible to use a directory structure, this makes everything a lot faster and clearer to use)

The Cortex Firmware supports the Amiga ADF file format, 880KB Read/Write from a USB Stick that may be Fat12, Fat16 or FAT32 formatted (So no EXFAT, NTFS or LINUX file systems)
Sometime in 2014 the developer stopped working on Cortex when he became frustrated with the fact that people were making a lot of money on Ebay from the Goteks equipped with its free operating system.

In summary : if you want a no-nonsense Firmware for an amiga 500 / 600, if you don't need things like OLED display or Rotary encoder support, you can work with this.

If this works then it will continue to work, you don't have to do an update every week, they won't come 🙂

Gotek Firmwares : Cortex
Gotek Firmwares : HXC


HXC originated sometime in 2006 as a private project to keep the Amiga and Atari ST Computers afloat in the world that seemed to be getting rid of Floppy disks and their drives at lightning speed.
His project continued to grow over the years as support requests continued to surface for support on more platforms and disk formats.

The goal of the HXC Floppy Emulator was to completely replace Floppy drives and floppy disks with an electronic storage medium.
Today you can find HXC Floppy emulators in a variety of machines, Retrocomputing, the music world and in the industrial sector.

HXC originally did NOT run on Gotek hardware, they had already developed their own hardware platform for some time which does not support USB, but SD cards as storage media.
Somewhere in April 2015, a first public version was released of the Port of the HXC firmware to the Gotek Floppy Emulator platform.

In summary : HXC is a very dynamic platform, in full development, and the supported formats are huge, and there is good support.
If it's a downside, it's that this firmware can only be installed online for a fee on a Gotek Floppydisk Emulator.
So in most cases, end-users won't be able to easily do this themselves, because for that you need some things to reprogram that Gotek Floppydrive Emulator.


Flashfloppy :

Flashfloppy is a firmware written for the Gotek Floppydrive Emulator
Connecting the Gotek Floppydrive Emulator just like a regular floppy drive, only through Flashfloppy you can use images on a USB stick instead of old and vulnerable diskettes.

In 2014 Keir Fraser started his open source project 'FlashFloppy' as a replacement for the Cortex Firmware project that was no longer in development for the Amiga.
Keir already had a lot of experience with (Retro) floppy disk formats because he already did a project with that theme ( Disk-Utilities ), a deep analyzer and transcoder program for a number of disk image formats.

The goal he had set was an even more comprehensive firmware for the Gotek Floppydrive Emulator with support for the disk formats he used before and support for more host systems than just the Amiga.
Keir has rebuilt the firmware from scratch, without using closed source libraries in order to be able to release the source completely.

In summary:
Supports an impressive array of retro computers, synthesizers and samplers, and industrial machines.
is a free, open source platform, in full development, and the formats supported is huge, and there is good support from both the writer and the community.
Reads and writes many disk formats directly.
Supports Flexible track layout for Raw Sector Images.
If necessary, a lot of configuration options.

FlashFloppy is free and is Open-Source Software.

Gotek Firmwares : FlashFloppy

Comments are closed.