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Member Since 18 Nov 2015
OFFLINE Last Active Dec 1 2015 6:49 AM

#3378283 Who/Which was your favourite Pirate/Cracker in the 'bad old days'

Posted by Scott3555 on Thu Nov 26, 2015 4:45 PM

Anything with "ArtSoft" on it came through Waterloo, Iowa.  ArtSoft had the habit of stealing credit for hacks and I know that he really did some of what he took credit for.  However, our little group of about 6 pirates had an old man with connections in Australia, New Zealand, UK, and Sweden.  I contributed to one of the hacks but, I relied on two Happy drives and a Duplicator drive.  Then came the breaker program from the maker of the Duplicator and it removed the protection from almost everything which took the fun out of making copies.


I read the entire thread and I can relate that the real game wasn't playing the software as much as it was the Protectors VS the Pirates.  I always bet on the Pirates to crack/hack/copy it within two weeks of release.

#3376215 ATR Files, general information for those that don't know

Posted by Scott3555 on Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:56 AM

For the newbees that come back from the past.  In the 1980s we didn't have such things, otherwise I'd had some.



ATR files are image files of old Atari self booting single sided disk.


What equipment and software is required to make ATR files?

   Usually a SIO2PC cable and required software in necessary.


Can a ATR file be used to re-create a workable floppy disk, assuming that we can find some blank disk? YES


All of the physical copy protection is removed from the original disk before the ATR is created or the original disk never had any 

physical copy protection schemes.


An ATX file is an image of the a disk and any copy protection on the original disk is included in the ATX file. 

   See Farb's responses about ATX files.



Nov 26, 2015 edit:

*************************  Special thanks to Farb  for the following **********************


Scott3555, on 25 Nov 2015 - 5:40 PM, said:

So can a ATX be run from the image file or does it have to be copied to a floppy disk?  I know enough about 

copy protection schemes and the Atari 1050 drive to know that there were many copy protection schemes

that cannot be copied by the standard 1050, therefore we enhansed our drives with the Happy card.


Farb's reply:

You can run ATX images with appropriate software or hardware. For example, you can use Steve Tucker's APE program with the VAPI DLL available from Atarimania. I don't know what other software packages have support for it. On the hardware side, SIO2Arduino is the only hardware solution I know of that has support for ATX although it is somewhat limited since it doesn't fully emulate drive timing.



Is it safe to assume that to write these disk image back to a floppy it requires a Happy 1050 drive to write them?


There is no publicly available software that allows writing an ATX with a Happy 1050 that I'm aware of. The only available option I know of is using a SuperCard Pro, a PC floppy drive and phaeron's a8rawconv tool. And even then, that setup will only let you do single-sided disks as the SuperCard Pro doesn't support double-sided disks yet.



Nobody has mentioned anything about what software to use.  Does it come with the SIO2PC cable?


There are quite a few software solutions out there -- the aforementioned APE, AspeQT/RespeQT, SIO2OSX and a number of others. Some are available freely while others must be purchased.


I would suggest searching on these forums as there are many threads that talk about these tools. They all have different requirements for type of PC, operating system, etc. Some are more limiting than others and/or may require some technical savviness to get working. I don't believe there's really a "silver bullet" solution.



************************  end of Farb's enlightening reply   **********************************************


I went to the SuperCard Pro website, CBMSTUFF.COM, and there is an update as of September 3, 2015 that says the software for the SuperCard Pro now does the conversation without the need for phaeron's a8rawconv tool.  Is this the "Silver Bullet" solution?  stay tuned...

#3373205 Yet another thread about the fate of the Atari 8-bit in the UK

Posted by Scott3555 on Fri Nov 20, 2015 2:36 PM

I wasn't in the UK in the 1980's.  I was a student up in college.  I was also in the local Atari pirate group.


 For me and the rest of the pack it wasn't so much the cost of software but rather, it was the game of "copy the software that couldn't be copied".  It became a game of wits between the programmers copy protection schemes and our innovations to crack the code.  On two different occasions I did soldering inside my 1050 to make it possible to copy that which couldn't be copied.  I had two Happy equipped drives and one Duplicator drive.


I remember one disk that had like 235 sectors on track one. For reading this track the drive could take multiple turns to read the single track. However, for writing, the drive had to write the entire track in one turn of the disk.  To help the drive do this feat, we slowed the drive down to 44 RPM.


I had a lot of software that was nothing but shelfware.  I think that in reality there were only about 25 games that we played a lot.  It amazed me at what crappy software some companies thought was even worth marketing.


After all the software companies said they were no longer doing Atari software releases, I got the idea that our little game had killed our computer.  I moved on to the  IBM 80-16 and never pirated any software for it.  And I guess the software companies got the clue that they had engaged in a game that they couldn't win and software copy protection seemed to disappear.  I like being able to make backups.

#3371967 Need the name of a game that I use to play

Posted by Scott3555 on Wed Nov 18, 2015 9:39 PM

Here is the game play description:  

  Space game.

  Turn based play.

  Kill alien ships.

  Find and protect starbases.

  Can launch probes to locate stations or aliens, alien ships stops the probes.

  Game is played on a square grid type playing field.

  Starbase will request help if attacked but won't give its location.

  can drop mines and then can use a shuttle to collect them after the battle.

  Ship needs to refuel (and resupply?) at starbase.

  Starbase will usually drop shields to refuel your ship, sometimes it won't.


My version was on disk but almost everything I had was hacked so it might have been a cartridge only game; no idea.


Any help is appreciated.  Thanks in advance.


I just bought a replacement 800XL, 1050, MyIDE II with one gig sd card, Happy Board for 1050.  


Do Atari users still use the 1050 happy drives?  I haven't tried the MyIDE cartridge drive yet.


I gave away from my Atari 800XL system when I got a IBM model 80-16 to my poor cousin about 25 years ago.  I was about 24 and I think he was about 15.  God, that makes me feel old.  I kept a complete copy of all my software but lost it in a house theft back in 1993.