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Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative


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#951 Triads OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:48 PM

Hey Farb, when can we expect to see a new updated torrent?



#952 SS OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:01 PM

would you buy a game and have it not work and then keep it?

 You might.  Yo umight just at that ...   :ponder:



#953 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:11 AM

It looks like I've found a rare one.

I would say so!  :-o Very nice find and thank you for sharing!



#954 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:16 AM

Hey Farb, when can we expect to see a new updated torrent?

I'm hesitant to say since I can't commit to anything at the moment due to starting a new job in a few days. I'm hopeful it will be within the next few weeks but will depend on how quickly I can work out the issues with the new script and if I can get help verifying the new torrent or if I have to do that verification myself. The torrent has become large enough that it is no longer a trivial task  :P



#955 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:06 AM

Best of luck with the new job...



#956 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:11 AM

Best of luck with the new job...

Thanks, Mclaneinc!



#957 Zarxx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 17, 2018 3:59 AM

More goodness.

 

20180317_085932.jpg

20180317_091246.jpg 20180317_114934.jpg

 

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16TCMD2meVK0u-zn0LLV924GovGsfH4M4/view?usp=sharing -Manuals

 

 ** Noticed Mediator dump/atx was bad compared to original. Cleaned heads and re-dumped now ok.

Attached File  Mediator (1985)(English Software Company)(GB).zip   3.6MB   35 downloads

 

Attached File  Shamus - Case II.zip   11.71MB   35 downloads - Bonus manual (no game)



#958 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:53 PM

eBay Collection 2

A few originals this time, some protected backups, lots of menu games. It looks like there are a few in this bunch we are missing.

 

Dump comparison results for the ATX files.

 

Farb's torrent already contains the same versions of these titles (names are the relating ones used by Farb):

Ballblazer (1985)(Epyx)(US)[a]

Bandits (1982)(Sirius Software)(US)[!][OS-B]

Battle for Normandy (1982)(SSI)(US)[BASIC]

Conan (1984)(Datasoft)(US)(Side A)[!]                    identical except copyright - but might be a leggit release

Conan (1984)(Datasoft)(US)(Side B)

Factory, The (1982)(Human Engineered Software)(US)[BASIC]                  differs by one bad sector

Gumball (1983)(Broderbund Software)(US)

Hi-Res Adventure #2 - Wizard and the Princess (1982)(Sierra On-Line)(US)(Side A)[!][OS-B]

Hi-Res Adventure #2 - Wizard and the Princess (1982)(Sierra On-Line)(US)(Side B)[!][OS-B]

My First Alphabet (1982)(Atari)(US)[BASIC]

Rescue on Fractalus! v4.1 (1985)(Epyx)(US)[!]             two sectors near the end differ

Silent Service (1985)(MicroProse Software)(US)[!]

Spare Change (1983)(Broderbund Software)(US)        one unused sector differs

Trivial Pursuit (1983)(Domark Ltd.)(GB)(Side A)

Trivial Pursuit (1983)(Domark Ltd.)(GB)(Side B)(Question Pack)

Ultima IV - Quest of the Avatar               looks identical but tampered (all disks)

 

These are not contained in Farb's torrent

Atari Graphics Demonstrations [BASIC]

Computer Crosswords - The New York Times - Volume 1 (1984)(Softie)(US)

Cyborg (1982)(Sentient Software)(US)(Side A)             close to Softsmith release

Cyborg (1982)(Sentient Software)(US)(Side B)

Discdupe 3 (1986)(AWG Software)(GB)[BASIC]

Gauntlet (Side A)             different loader / version

Gauntlet (Side B)             1 byte different from Gauntlet (1988)(Mindscape)(US)(Side B)[!]

M.U.L.E.            same loader as Pinball Construction Set from collection #1

Mig Alley Ace      differs from existing version

Return of Heracles

Spelunker (1983)(Micro GraphicImage)(US)

Warlok

Worms               same loader as Pinball Construction Set from collection #1



#959 Zarxx OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 24, 2018 6:20 AM

Weekend fun!

 

20180324_120546.jpg

 

https://drive.google...iew?usp=sharing



#960 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:30 AM

Wow, some great stuff there. Thanks for sharing!



#961 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:05 PM

More goodness.

 

Two weird dumps:

Necromancer (1982)(Synapse Software)(US)

Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985)(Rush Ware)(DE)

Both have a bad-CRC sector which is flagged as weak with 128 stable bytes. ???

 

Dump comparison results for the ATX files.

 

Farb's torrent already contains the same versions of these titles (names are the relating ones used by Farb):

Kid Grid (1982)(Tronix Software)(US)                     ATXs identical but have different number of tracks

Maniac Miner (1983)(Gentry Software)(US)

Mediator (1985)(English Software Company)(GB)               1 sector differs

Necromancer (1982)(Synapse Software)(US)            last byte in cad-CRC sector differs

Pie Man (1983)(Penguin Software)(US)

Threshold (1982)(Sierra On-Line)(US)

Ultima III - Exodus (1983)(Origin Systems)(US)(Side A)(Program)

Ultima III - Exodus (1983)(Origin Systems)(US)(Side B)(Player Master)[!]

Ultima IV - Quest of the Avatar (1985)(Origin Systems)(US)(Disk 1 of 2 Side A)(Program Disk)[!]     1 byte differs

Ultima IV - Quest of the Avatar (1985)(Origin Systems)(US)(Disk 1 of 2 Side B)(Towne)[!]

Ultima IV - Quest of the Avatar (1985)(Origin Systems)(US)(Disk 2 of 2 Side A)(Britannia)[!]

Zaxxon (1983)(Datasoft)(US)[a2]         I'm not sure if this version is in the torrent

 

These are not contained in Farb's torrent:

Ardy the Aardvark (1983)(Datamost)(US)

Koronis Rift (1985)(Activision)(GB)               close to Koronis Rift v3.1p (1985)(Epyx)(US)

Space Gunner & Mutant Bats (1986)(Red Rat Software)[BASIC for Space Gunner]

Super Huey (1986)(US Gold)(GB)           differs a lot from Cosmi version

Temple of Apshai Trilogy (1985)(Rush Ware)(DE)           identical to Epyx version

Ultima IV - Quest of the Avatar (1985)(Origin Systems)(US)(Disk 2 of 2 Side B)(Underworld)           differs a lot

Zork I - The Great Underground Empire Rel 26 (1982)(Infocom)(US)

 

IMHO crack or tape-to-disk:

Wizard of Wor (1981)(Roklan)(US)



#962 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:11 PM

Weekend fun!

 

Dump comparison results for the ATX files.

 

Farb's torrent already contains the same versions of these titles (names are the relating ones used by Farb):

Choplifter! (1982)(Broderbund Software)(US)[!]         last byte of bad-CRC sector differs

Chopper Rescue (1982)(MicroProse Software)(US)[BASIC]           different sector interleave and a few empty sectors

Clowns and Balloons (1982)(Datasoft)(US)             VTOC sector differs

Crossfire (1981)(Sierra On-Line)(US)[!][OS-B]

Nautilus (1982)(Synapse Software)(US)[OS-B]           several unformatted tracks at the end

Sands of Egypt, The (1982)(Datasoft)(US)[OS-B]        image in torrent is a bad dump and has save game data

Space Shuttle - Module I (1982)(Swifty Software)(US)[BASIC][810 only]

Stratos (1982)(Adventure International)(US)              lower hi-score and several unformatted tracks at the end

Threshold (1982)(Sierra On-Line)(US)

Tumble Bugs (1982)(Datasoft)(US)

WORDRACE (1982)(Don't Ask Software)(US)[BASIC]

 

These are not contained in Farb's torrent:

Bug Attack (1981)(Cavalier Computer)(US)

Buried Bucks (1982)(Analog Software)(US)

Canyon Climber (1982)(Datasoft)(US)               different version



#963 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:46 AM

eBay Collection 2

 

The Gauntlet disks in this collection differ from the Mindscape version in the torrent.

 

The loader is completely different and matches nothing I had so far. Tracks 2 and 3 both have 24 sectors: 12 partial ones with CRC errors and 6*2 good ones as duplicates.

 

Since the title screen says "PROGRAMMED FOR US GOLD BY GREMLIN GRAPHICS" there must be US Gold release.

 

Does anybody have this version for comparison? Or any other non-Minscape release?



#964 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:14 AM

The only visual difference between the two versions is that the US release has a Mindscape loading screen (at least I have never seen an edition from the US without that logo!).

 

--

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http://www.atarimania.com



#965 Fred_M OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:04 AM

 

The Gauntlet disks in this collection differ from the Mindscape version in the torrent.

 

The loader is completely different and matches nothing I had so far. Tracks 2 and 3 both have 24 sectors: 12 partial ones with CRC errors and 6*2 good ones as duplicates.

 

Since the title screen says "PROGRAMMED FOR US GOLD BY GREMLIN GRAPHICS" there must be US Gold release.

 

Does anybody have this version for comparison? Or any other non-Minscape release?

 

I would say that when the title screen says "Programmed for US Gold" than you are looking at the US Gold release  ;)

 

I have Gauntlet by US Gold on cassette, sadly not on disk.



#966 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:14 AM

 

I would say that when the title screen says "Programmed for US Gold" than you are looking at the US Gold release  ;)

 

 

This would be too easy. :P

Both releases have the exact same title screen. Like Atari Frog wrote: They visually differ only by "Mindscape loading screen" vs. "Text title".

 

I guess that Zarxx' version is the US Gold release but would like to have some sort of confirmation.



#967 GlowingGhoul OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:41 AM

So does everyone use these ATX images with emulators? No one seems too concerned with actually being able to use these preserved images on real hardware, which is a shame. I don't enjoy emulation as much as the real thing.

Whatever happened to access to the raw images so they could be accurately written back to disk?



#968 Nezgar OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:12 PM

So does everyone use these ATX images with emulators? No one seems too concerned with actually being able to use these preserved images on real hardware, which is a shame. I don't enjoy emulation as much as the real thing.
Whatever happened to access to the raw images so they could be accurately written back to disk?

I am with you on the writing back to real disks to play on real hardware thing..

While it's technically possible with a 10502PC to control an enhanced drive with the likes of a Happy, Speedy, etc to write out protections, it would take time and skill (and enthusiasm) that may not be readily available to develop that code...

I gathered that if kryoflux-type images are taken of the disks, those images can be used to write back out to real disks with a kryoflux as well. (I don't have one) The written copies would be even more perfect copies than any enhanced 1050 could ever create. With that option, I could see this as a major factor for the lack of enthusiasm to write out using real Atari hardware..

Correct me if I'm wrong!

I guess the important thing presently is to just get the original software disks imaged and preserved before they decay. Additional tools (and cracks) can always come later to make them more accessible.

Edited by Nezgar, Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:21 PM.


#969 phaeron OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:01 PM

The ATX images have enough information in them to resynthesize a working disk on real hardware. a8rawconv has some ability to write an ATX back to a floppy with SuperCard Pro hardware, but it's not good enough to handle some of the more complex protection schemes. It's solvable, but requires some time to figure out what's causing the failures -- for obvious reasons, the original software on the disk isn't helpful with telling you what failed.

 

Flux-level images like KryoFlux streams and SCP files aren't without their own problems. They contain all of the raw information, but finding a write splice and dealing with drive speed variation when rewriting them is a bit of a headache. There's also the issue that writing the raw flux back isn't actually ideal from a reliability standpoint since it propagates timing errors. It's like making a second-generation copy of a VHS tape instead of re-recording from a clean signal.

 

Writing protections back to disk with a standard floppy drive generally isn't possible (it wouldn't be copy protection otherwise), while only some can be written back even with a modded drive like a Happy 1050. The main limiting factor is the hardware -- the floppy drive controller (FDC) chip is limited in the patterns it can write back to the disk, and there are some protections it simply can't recreate. That's why flux-level hardware devices were created.

 

From a pure preservation standpoint, having the raw streams indeed would be better. From a practical standpoint, they're huge compared to ATX images. More importantly, it is much easier to verify an ATX image, since at this point most emulators and I think even a couple of SIO2SD style devices support them. A recurring theme in this preservation project is finding that disks have been accurately imaged at flux level using a KryoFlux or SuperCard Pro, but decoding them to ATX and actually trying to run them has revealed that the original disks were bad. Keeping ATX in the mix means that experts can manually check the flux and tweak the decoded ATX to the correct working data; if the images were only flux, this would actually be a problem because there isn't a single defined way to decode the flux data, and IMO fudging the flux is a worse transgression than using ATX.

 

In the end, the process is defined by whoever is actually willing to do the work. Both flux-level imaging and ATX/VAPI have been around for a long time, but Farb was the one that eventually got the ball rolling on a large-scale archiving project with a complete end-to-end open process and attracted enough attention for others to jump in. VAPI is the only other earlier initiative that really made some progress on preserving disk images with protection intact and in actual usable form on the Atari 8-bit. Everything else didn't get very far or was just hot air.



#970 Clay Cowgill OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:48 PM

I haven't been keeping up with the latest-- are we still looking to dump everything, even if duplicates? I've been queuing up another batch and just wondering if I should run 'em all or not?

 

 IMG_4756.JPG

 

IMG_4758.JPG



#971 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:01 PM

I've been queuing up another batch and just wondering if I should run 'em all or not?


There are definitely some titles in there we don‘t have and some that need verification so it would be great if you could dump them all.

#972 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:21 PM

Currently I am analyzing titles by Hayden Software and am very surprised about the protection of two (or three) titles.

Go (1982)(Hayden Software)(US)

Tetrad (1983)(Hayden Software)(US)[BASIC]

 

Both disks have 28 sectors on track 22 (11 duplicates and 17 with bad CRC). The protection only reads the duplicate sectors.
Go is from 1982 and thus probably the first title to have more than 19 sectors on a track.

I don't want to believe that Hayden had this before Synapse and the other "big" publishers.

On the other hand I doubt that both disks show the same conversion error of a8rawconv.

 

Wargle! (1983)(Hayden Software)(US)

uses the same protection but is currently flagged as unprotected. The ATR in the torrent and other places works only with non-accurate sector timing.

Here on AtariAge is a .PRO dump of this title which gives evidence that Wargle also has 28 sectors like the two other titles. (Due to limitations of the PRO format this image does not work.)


Edited by DjayBee, Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:34 PM.


#973 Zarxx OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:48 PM

Good spot, challenge accepted and completed.

 

Attached File  Wargle!.zip   6.73MB   23 downloads

 

Found this old one too 29s.

Movie Maker (1982)(Reston Publishing)(US)(Side A) - T1 (29s) - Duplicate s17 x12, CRC s1-6, 8-18

Attached File  Movie Maker (1982)(Reston Publishing)(US)(Side A).zip   43.87KB   23 downloads



#974 ijor OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:04 PM

They are all indeed tracks with 29 sectors (not 28). Reston copy protected track is at track 1 instead of track 21, but it's the same layout.

 

I never made historical stats, but yes, very early releases with so many sectors.



#975 DjayBee ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:11 PM

They are all indeed tracks with 29 sectors (not 28). Reston copy protected track is at track 1 instead of track 21, but it's the same layout.

 

Only the ATX of MovieMaker contains 29 sectors (12 dup, 17 crc). The others contain only 28 (11 dup, 17 crc). Dunno for the flux dumps.

 

Could these tracks with many sectors be some sort of error during mastering of the disks?

The reasons for asking are
- this exact copy proctection is used by several publishers (with 11-18 duplicate sectors on the track)
- only the above four titles have that many sectors and they are among the very first using the protection
- the copy protection only checks the timing of the duplicates and does not access the addiitional sectors on the track

 

These titles use the exact same code at the exact same location on disk and in RAM:
Aerobics (1984)(Spinnaker Software)(US)(Side A) (pha+tim $8 / 8 )
Battle of Chickamauga, The (1984)(Game Designers' Workshop)(US) (pha+tim $241 / 577)
Final Conflict (1983)(Hayden Software)(US)[BASIC] (pha+tim $11 / 17)
Go (1982)(Hayden Software)(US) (spt 28), (pha+tim $17b / 379)
GT Albert E. Spread Sheet v2.3 (1982)(Indus Systems)(US)[BASIC] (pha+tim $24 / 36)
In Search of the Most Amazing Thing (1983)(Spinnaker Software)(US)(Side A)[BASIC] (pha+tim $1 / 1)
King Cribbage (1983)(Hayden Software)(US)[BASIC] (pha+tim $9 / 9)
Snooper Troops - Case #1 The Granite Point Ghost v2.0 (1983)(Spinnaker Software)(US)[BASIC] (pha+tim $12 / 18)
Snooper Troops - Case #2 The Disappearing Dolphin v2.0 (1983)(Spinnaker Software)(US)[BASIC] (pha+tim $6 / 6)
Tetrad (1983)(Hayden Software)(US)[BASIC] (spt 28), (pha+tim $17b / 379)
Trains (1983)(Spinnaker Software)(US) (pha+tim $9 / 9)
Wargle! (1983)(Hayden Software)(US)[h restored protection] (spt 28), (pha+tim $17b / 379)

 

These titles use the exact same code but at different locations on disk and in RAM:

Chop Suey (1985)(Antic Software)(US)(Side A)[!] (pha+tim $241 / 577)
Colossus Chess 3.0 (198x)(Antic Software)(US)(Side A) (pha+tim $241 / 577)
On-Track - Computer Model Car Racing (1985)(Gamestar)(US) (pha+tim $241 / 577)

 

These titles do the same but with different code:

MovieMaker (1982)(Reston Publishing)(US)(Side A) (spt 29), (pha+tim $19 / 25)
Run for the Money (1983)(Scarborough Systems)(US)[h restored protection] (pha+tim $2be / 702)
Run for the Money (1986)(Thunder Mountain)(US) (pha+tim $2be / 702)

 

The numbers behind "pha+tim" above are the sector numbers on disk of the duplicates.


Edited by DjayBee, Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:11 PM.





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