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Hello! (and a question on archiving floppies)


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#1 jczarn OFFLINE  

jczarn

    Combat Commando

  • 1 posts

Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:52 PM

Hello all,
Long time lurker, first time poster.  I recently attended the Vintage Computer Fest Midwest which rekindled my interest in the Atari 8-bit gear sitting in my basement.

I have a bunch of floppy disks with games that I used to play as as kid - mostly fuzzy memories as I was probably 4 or 5 at the time (it was my older brothers' stuff).  Looking at them now, many of the disks were probably compilations of pirated gates that my brothers got from their friends. But I imagine there might be some other neat stuff on there as well.  I'm mostly interested in archiving the bootleg or other non-copy protected disks.

A few years back, I remember digging everything out and trying to load up the old games.  A handful of them still worked (mostly the legit commercially produced games), but many of them wouldn't boot, or they would boot to a menu/loader screen and then die when I would try to select a game.  At the time I just kinda gave up and boxed everything back up.

I'd like to try again to recover what's on the disks.  I realize a lot of the software has probably already been imaged and available for download somewhere, but as I mentioned my memories are pretty fuzzy, and I thought it would be neat to recover the compilations/images as they stand.

I have an Atari 400 and an XEGS. As for disk drives, I have:
Atari 810 (what my brothers had back in the day)
Atari 1050 (thrift store find a few years back)
Indus GT (another thrift find from a few years ago)
(but only a single SIO cable)

I've done some reading on the various SIO2PC and SIO21050 cables/solutions out there, but I'm still not sure what would be best for me to buy.  (Also keeping in mind that some of the suggestions in the past are out of stock e.g. Atari8warez or no longer being made.)  I was looking at the atarimax USB prosystem cable, but it seems pricy, I still might need to buy an extra SIO cable, and I read some complaining on how it is rather proprietary (e.g. will that be an issue when trying to do some semi-manual work in recovering these damaged disks).

What would you suggest as the best setup/flow for trying to archive these disk images?  I read that some people have luck with troublesome disks by reading them on several different drives and then manually editing the best blocks from each read to form a complete image.  So not sure whether I would be better served by a SIO2PC or SIO21050 flow in that regard.

Thanks in advance!


Edited by jczarn, Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:55 PM.


#2 tjlazer OFFLINE  

tjlazer

    Stargunner

  • 1,794 posts
  • Retro Atari Addict
  • Location:Historic South Tacoma, WA USA

Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:58 PM

Your best bet is to connect your Atari disk drive to your PC or Mac to make disk images.

http://www.atari8war...yDualUSBv3.html

Also I would clean the disk drive heads with alcohol on a qtip and make sure that the disks are not moldy or dirty.

Edited by tjlazer, Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:59 PM.


#3 Kyle22 OFFLINE  

Kyle22

    River Patroller

  • 3,060 posts
  • Location:McKees Rocks (Pittsburgh), PA

Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:53 PM

Personally, I would go with this high quality professionally made product from Lotharek: http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=98

 

The RespeQt software works great, it is here: http://atariage.com/...qt-r4-released/



#4 Nezgar OFFLINE  

Nezgar

    Chopper Commander

  • 181 posts
  • Location:Regina SK Canada

Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:56 PM

Looks like the atari8warez ones are all sold out?

 

I got mine here: (Requires atari computer to do the actual copying from physical drive to virtual drive on AspeQt/RespeQt)

http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=98

 

And I see there's a newer one that does both Sio2PC-USB and 10502PC as well:

http://lotharek.pl/product.php?pid=198

 

Edit: Sorry, I should have read Kyle22's post first lol. Department of Redundancy Department.


Edited by Nezgar, Wed Sep 13, 2017 5:57 PM.


#5 MrFish ONLINE  

MrFish

    River Patroller

  • 4,074 posts
  • Location:1010-1010

Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:13 PM

A few years back, I remember digging everything out and trying to load up the old games.  A handful of them still worked (mostly the legit commercially produced games), but many of them wouldn't boot, or they would boot to a menu/loader screen and then die when I would try to select a game.  At the time I just kinda gave up and boxed everything back up.

 

For most games to load properly you need to hold down the <OPTION> key while turning the system on, which disables the internal BASIC programming language.



#6 gozar OFFLINE  

gozar

    Dragonstomper

  • 781 posts
  • Location:Ohio

Posted Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:46 PM

You can also get an FTDI breakout board and some header wires and create your own for under $5.

 

http://atariage.com/...breakout-board/

 

Use RespeQT for the software on the computer end.






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