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Question about Atarimania Disk & Tape Images

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#1 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Mar 13, 2018 9:04 PM

I'm having a problem being sure exactly what I'm downloading at Atarimania. I've noticed when downloading disk images that have just been uploaded (accessed through links on the "Latest Updates" page), that in the "Additional Comments" area it says, "Missing original disk image!". Now, I'm quite sure that many of these images being uploaded are original, because they're often coming directly through the software preservation effort of Farb, and other reliable sources. So, I assume these are old comments that haven't been removed. But my question is: how do I differentiate dumps that have these comments?

 

A recent example showed this on the "Recent Updates" page:

 

NEW A8 DUMP
Silicon Joy's Caves of Rigel (finally a "good" version retaining the proper format and loading screen!). Thank you Zarxx!

 

But this on the game information page:

 

Additional Comments
Many thanks to Zarxx for dumping this game!


Missing original disk image!

 

I assume everything fine with the image, since the Recent Updates page said it's good. But what happens when someone enters the game information page through searching or other link? Also, many don't even show the, "Many thanks to..." part, even though I know they are recently dumped images, and yet they still say, "Missing original disk image!" in the comments. So, now, whenever I see this comment on a game information page that I've found through searching, and no other information to give me a clue, I'm wondering exactly what I'm looking at and downloading.

 



#2 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:32 AM

Unfortunately, I can't speak to how Atarimania manages their dump entries. I'm sure someone else will chime in with some info.

 

One thing I'd like to clarify though - myself, Zarxx and other contributors to the preservation initiative have also contributed non-original (sometimes cracked) dumps to Atarimania. You will most likely be seeing more of this as we move forward since both sites are collaborating with each other. So, even if you see credit on an Atarimania page given to the preservation initiative or one of its contributors, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is a "preserved" dump of that title. For example, I believe Caves of Rigel was not an original disk and so Atarimania's "Missing original disk image!" is still a valid statement. Zarxx or Atari Frog can correct me if I'm wrong here.

 

The only way to know for sure if a file is an original dump that the initiative created is to check the dump page for that title at a8preservation.com. For every dump on the site, there are CRC, MD5 and SHA1 hashes that can be used to confirm this. Furthermore, we now show the number of times a given dump has been verified against other independent dumps. So, if that number is > 0, we consider it "preserved". This fact is also represented by the inclusion of [!] in torrent file names. As an aside, we also publish a CrlMamePro DAT file with every torrent release so you can use a ROM manager program to manage things as well.

 

Hopefully this clarifies things at least a little bit.



#3 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:44 AM

Do you have other examples? I believe the great majority of the pages should be accurate. I was absent for about four years so maybe some of them need an update. Some of the games / pages are revised on a regular basis to weed out he inconsistencies, missing information, horrible screenshots, bad dumps... so it's a constant work in progress

 

In the case of Caves of Rigel, the only dump that was previously available was either a .xex file or a weird 64 Kb .atr "disk" (made by Holmes?). If I'm not mistaken, the image by Zarxx comes from a cracked disk in proper single density format, with loading screen but still not from an original. 

 

Also, many don't even show the, "Many thanks to..." part, even though I know they are recently dumped images, and yet they still say, "Missing original disk image!" in the comments. So, now, whenever I see this comment on a game information page that I've found through searching, and no other information to give me a clue, I'm wondering exactly what I'm looking at and downloading.

 

Now there may also be the case of a disk that comes from an original in .atx format but still hasn't been verified against another original. The problem is that, for years, when Atarimania was the only database / source trying to differentiate cracks from originals, a single .atx / .rom / .cas file was often deemed to be enough (or nobody really cared). With Farb's, Kr0tki's, ijor's, DjayBee's... efforts, things have changed for the better and maybe the pages on Atarimania will have to adapt and reflect this better (or in a less confusing manner).  

 

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#4 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:51 AM

Farb answered while I was replying.

 

Fortunately, we basically said the same thing, just some different words ;)

 

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Edited by www.atarimania.com, Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:51 AM.


#5 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 9:32 AM

Come on Atari Frog, when are you going to do section packs to save the one at a time method :)

 

I'll keep asking like I have done for years :)



#6 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 10:27 AM

Probably not in the near future. Too complicated, would need numerous updates as soon as something is changed and we don't want the project getting out of hand. 

 

No offense Paul but Atarimania doesn't aim to be a place where it's easy to get "section packs", there are other sites for that.  

 

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#7 DjayBee OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:00 PM

These files cannot be downloaded because they do not exist on the server. Perhaps you can repair the links.

 

http://www.atarimani...ump.awp?id=6493

http://www.atarimani...mp.awp?id=12537

http://www.atarimani...mp.awp?id=12538

http://www.atarimani...mp.awp?id=30626

http://www.atarimani...mp.awp?id=31627

http://www.atarimani...mp.awp?id=31892

 

I found these marked "missing original" but they are contained in Farb's torrent:

 

Gateway to Apshai (198x)(Value-U-Line)(US)[!]
Operation Whirlwind (1983)(Broderbund Software)(US)

Questprobe #2 - Spider-Man Rev 261 (1984)(Adventure International)(US)(Side A)
Questprobe #2 - Spider-Man Rev 261 (1984)(Adventure International)(US)(Side B)
Questprobe #3 - Human Torch and the Thing vF-172 (1985)(Adventure International)(US)(Side A)
Questprobe #3 - Human Torch and the Thing vF-172 (1985)(Adventure International)(US)(Side B)
Rear Guard (1981)(Adventure International)(US)[BASIC][turn off write-protect][m]
Stellar Shuttle (1982)(Broderbund Software)(US)
Track Attack (1982)(Broderbund Software)(US)[OS-B]


Edited by DjayBee, Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:03 PM.


#8 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:25 PM

 

Thanks, not sure what happened... I removed the download option for the moment.

 

We'll gradually be replacing cracks and bad files with verified dumps from Farb's torrent, it just takes some time.

 

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Edited by www.atarimania.com, Wed Mar 14, 2018 1:25 PM.


#9 Mclaneinc OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Mar 14, 2018 2:37 PM

Probably not in the near future. Too complicated, would need numerous updates as soon as something is changed and we don't want the project getting out of hand. 

 

No offense Paul but Atarimania doesn't aim to be a place where it's easy to get "section packs", there are other sites for that.  

 

 

I'm not offended, I asked you about this years ago and you said you were going to do it, that's all

 

Please don't make it sound like I'm after warez packs though, as I've said to you before it might be a nice idea for new users to be able to get big lumps of titles rather than one at a time, it was a suggestion purely for you users. I'm on most of the known places that post updates like Atarionline.pl etc etc so I'm pretty up to date myself although I don't collect as much as I used to.

 

So as said, the request wasn't for me, I've posted stuff that's not on your site as have others but there's no competition, I view the more that is out there the more chance it gets preserved by multiple people and sites, so people Like farb and the others in the with the preservation initiative are so important, the more that have stuff the less likely it will vanish.

 

Paul..



#10 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:10 AM

One thing I'd like to clarify though - myself, Zarxx and other contributors to the preservation initiative have also contributed non-original (sometimes cracked) dumps to Atarimania. You will most likely be seeing more of this as we move forward since both sites are collaborating with each other. So, even if you see credit on an Atarimania page given to the preservation initiative or one of its contributors, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is a "preserved" dump of that title. For example, I believe Caves of Rigel was not an original disk and so Atarimania's "Missing original disk image!" is still a valid statement. Zarxx or Atari Frog can correct me if I'm wrong here.

 

I didn't realise that the preservation initiative was utilizing cracked versions. It does make sense, though -- and not too unlike what Atarimania has been doing over the years -- to have a cracked version available (over none at all) until a clean copy appears.

 

I thought that might be the case with "Caves of Rigel", but as I've said, it's not entirely clear within the language of the comments section.

 

 

The only way to know for sure if a file is an original dump that the initiative created is to check the dump page for that title at a8preservation.com. For every dump on the site, there are CRC, MD5 and SHA1 hashes that can be used to confirm this. Furthermore, we now show the number of times a given dump has been verified against other independent dumps. So, if that number is > 0, we consider it "preserved". This fact is also represented by the inclusion of [!] in torrent file names. As an aside, we also publish a CrlMamePro DAT file with every torrent release so you can use a ROM manager program to manage things as well.

 

I usually use a file compare, but sure, a checksum will work too.

 

Thanks for clearing things up on the preservation initiative's side. It's all good information.

 

 

Do you have other examples? I believe the great majority of the pages should be accurate. I was absent for about four years so maybe some of them need an update. Some of the games / pages are revised on a regular basis to weed out he inconsistencies, missing information, horrible screenshots, bad dumps... so it's a constant work in progress

 

Ironically enough, the first example that came up was an ATR submitted by me.

I dumped this baby, so... I guess it was just an oversight.

 

AtariMania: Drawpic

 

Thanks to Mr. Fish from AtariAge for the scans and dump!

Missing original tape and disk images!

 

-------------------------

 

This may not be a preservation initiative pair of files (two sided disk) on AtariMania, but they come up equal with Farb's images using a file compare.

 

So, given the information from Farb above, these are clean dumps. Maybe it was unknown at the time, if AtariMania had obtained these years ago?

 

AtariMania: 221B Baker St.

 

Missing original disk image!

 

-------------------------

 

I have no file for comparison with this example, but it's unclear what kind of file is available, if it's not a clean copy. Is it a copy of a cracked version? At this point, that would be my assumption.

 

AtariMania: Pondering About Max's

 

Many thanks to Gobo for dumping this rare and highly unusual game!

Missing original disk image!

 

-------------------------

 

Other than the first two cases above, I was not able to come up with any others that I could 100% identify as improperly commented. But for many examples on AtariMania with disks available and "Missing original disk image!" comments, there was no alternate copy available in Farb's collection to use for comparison.

 

 

Now there may also be the case of a disk that comes from an original in .atx format but still hasn't been verified against another original. The problem is that, for years, when Atarimania was the only database / source trying to differentiate cracks from originals, a single .atx / .rom / .cas file was often deemed to be enough (or nobody really cared). With Farb's, Kr0tki's, ijor's, DjayBee's... efforts, things have changed for the better and maybe the pages on Atarimania will have to adapt and reflect this better (or in a less confusing manner). 

 

That would make sense, if you're, now, waiting for verification against other copies.

 

I was under the impression (by my own assumption) that once a retail copy was created and deemed fully-working, then it was case closed at AtariMania -- unless more copies happened to appeared.

 

Thanks for the information. It's a huge undertaking, especially since AtariMania branched out to include other Atari platforms than the 8-bit computers (which it formerly catered to exclusively).


Edited by MrFish, Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:32 AM.


#11 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:42 AM

 

I didn't realise that the preservation initiative was utilizing cracked versions.

I wouldn't say the preservation initiative UTILIZES them - we just happen to come across them in our search for originals and have been submitting the rarer ones that emerge to the community. What we officially publish (e.g. on the a8preservation.com website) is always from an original or backup of an original. It's of course possible that a cracked version could inadvertently make its way into our collection - for example, original media that someone wrote over or a backup that has been altered. If anyone encounters that, please let us know so it can be removed.



#12 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:10 AM

I wouldn't say the preservation initiative UTILIZES them - we just happen to come across them in our search for originals and have been submitting the rarer ones that emerge to the community. What we officially publish (e.g. on the a8preservation.com website) is always from an original or backup of an original. It's of course possible that a cracked version could inadvertently make its way into our collection - for example, original media that someone wrote over or a backup that has been altered. If anyone encounters that, please let us know so it can be removed.

 

Yes, I suppose Atarimania is the one utilizing them. It's more of a beneficial side effect of the project you're working on.


Edited by MrFish, Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:11 AM.


#13 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:48 AM

I corrected the comments on the Drawpic and 221B Baker Street pages based on the information provided. The Datasoft title has been in the database for a long time, we hadn't compared it with Farb's version.

 

A second copy of Pondering about Max's still needs to be found. It was probably dumped from an original - I honestly don't remember - but I believe the game writes to disk or saves high scores. In short, not sure it's "virgin" so it still has the comment.

 

That would make sense, if you're, now, waiting for verification against other copies. I was under the impression (by my own assumption) that once a retail copy was created and deemed fully-working, then it was case closed at AtariMania -- unless more copies happened to appeared.

 

 

We used to work that way when we were almost all alone on this: ijor had just started the .atx project, Farb wasn't around with his page yet, access to Kryoflux was complicated... Yeah, we probably thought it would be good enough to just offer unavailable .cas and .atx files at the time and treat them as originals. Well, they were but double-checking files was difficult. Also, we always thought it would be some sort of bonus to have this kind of software but not THE absolute feature of the site.

 

Now that there's a proper, well run project that exclusively concentrates on originals, we try to be as precise as possible in that field as well.   

 

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Edited by www.atarimania.com, Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:49 AM.


#14 MrFish ONLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 9:10 AM

A second copy of Pondering about Max's still needs to be found. It was probably dumped from an original - I honestly don't remember - but I believe the game writes to disk or saves high scores. In short, not sure it's "virgin" so it still has the comment.

 

Getting clean copies of disks that get written to by games will be tough for uncommon titles. So, maybe a lofty goal in some cases.

 

Anyway, it's good to see things continually improving.



#15 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:14 AM

A second copy of Pondering about Max's still needs to be found. It was probably dumped from an original - I honestly don't remember - but I believe the game writes to disk or saves high scores. In short, not sure it's "virgin" so it still has the comment.

Do you happen to know who donated your current dump? We have made a dump of a disk loaned to us by FredM but should make sure yours isn't from the same source  :P


Edited by Farb, Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:18 AM.


#16 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:18 AM

Getting clean copies of disks that get written to by games will be tough for uncommon titles. So, maybe a lofty goal in some cases.

Agreed, I don't believe the preservation initiative will ever achieve the sheer volume of titles that Atarimania and some other sites offer. I think both initiatives (and approaches) are extremely valuable.


Edited by Farb, Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:19 AM.


#17 www.atarimania.com OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:54 PM

Do you happen to know who donated your current dump? We have made a dump of a disk loaned to us by FredM but should make sure yours isn't from the same source  :P

 

OK, after a bit of detective work, it appears the game was dumped in 2006 by Gobo who still frequents AtariAge and lives in the US. Hope that helps!

 

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#18 Farb OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 2:12 PM

 

OK, after a bit of detective work, it appears the game was dumped in 2006 by Gobo who still frequents AtariAge and lives in the US. Hope that helps!

Excellent, thanks for checking. Our dump is identical to Gobo's so we can consider it verified  :thumbsup:



#19 luckybuck OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Mar 15, 2018 5:43 PM

Yes, Farb is right, a smart way is to check is (on a Mac with Terminal):

SHA-1:

shasum -a 1 file    ;   file: just drag & drop a file from any place directly to the line in the Terminal app.

SHA-256:

shasum -a 256 file    ;   file: just drag & drop a file from any place directly to the line in the Terminal app.

MD5:

md5 file    ;   file: just drag & drop a file from any place directly to the line in the Terminal app.

 

To compare 2 files (DOS), try:

fc /b file1 file2 >log.txt   ;   in the log.txt (same directory) you get the results.

on a Mac in the Terminal app:
cmp -l file1 file2
 

Have fun.

 

btw Farb is doing a real good job! Please go ahead! That is the stuff dreams are made of!







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