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Farb

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About Farb

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  1. You must be logged in to see the full resolution versions and they are only present on the release pages.
  2. When we started doing the preservation work, there were very few options for ATX so it made sense to do the extra work to also catalog the ATR versions. However, today there is now ATX support in many hardware devices and emulators. A non copy-protected ATX can always be reliably converted into an ATR (but the reverse is not true). For those that want to continue using older hardware or emulators and need ATRs, there are at least two utilities that can very easily perform this conversion: a8rawconv and a8diskutil. Sorry, but given the shortage of time and the many other things that need to be done, spending time on producing, cataloging and distributing ATRs simply doesn't make sense anymore. Wherever possible, the ATRs that we have currently cataloged will eventually be replaced by proper ATXs that preserve the track sector ordering that ATRs do not.
  3. They have already slowly been making their way onto the website. When it will all be finished, I cannot say. I interleave that work along with all the other things that need to be done. We don't catalog homebrews but this is a nice blast from the past. Thanks for posting it!
  4. Each release is built using ClrMamePro and I have included the DAT file used in each one. If any releases had it missing, it would have been an accident. Attached are the DAT files I have archived. a8preservation-dat-files.zip
  5. Wow, nice find, thanks for sharing! And the Ancient One is....... identical to the non ancient one (except for the serial number) 😛
  6. Hi all. I figured I'd post this to the larger thread so others can see it as well... TL;DR We can definitely use the Atari community's help to improve the preservation project and you don't need to be highly technical to contribute. Even just a knowledge of how to use a spreadsheet and a willingness to scour through the existing public website, magazine PDFs, etc. would be extremely valuable. See the items highlighted in red bold-italics below for specific areas we could use some help and please PM me if you'd like to get involved. The longer version We have a very small group of people assisting with the core preservation project work and the bulk of what we do is the actual dumping of media, scanning, performing time-consuming analysis, scouring old publications and doing other research to identify release dates, similar titles from a time period, similar protection types, etc. This information not only helps in cataloging everything but can also be valuable when we encounter rare disks or tapes with data corruption and need to manually attempt to fix them. For example, a non-trivial number of ATX and CAS files do not come from a single raw dump but are actually manual reconstructions from several raw dumps that all have data corruption in different parts of the disk or tape. We've created and maintain various tools to help us in these endeavors. I wrote the a8preservation.com site itself completely from scratch and I have been slowly enhancing it to expose the results of our research and experimenting with new capabilities that don't exist (at least to my knowledge) in the Atari community today. For example... 1. Rather than simply creating a single category for a title, the site uses a tagging system which allows multiple tag associations per title. The site's search feature can filter based on the presence of one or more tags and even the absence of tags. This is how the Browse Software page is driven. For example, clicking the Text Adventures - Fantasy category is really a search for all titles that have the "Game", "Adventure", "Text", "Fantasy" and "NOT Graphics" tags. These tags are also used to generate the "You may also be interested in..." section at the bottom of each title page. There are even tags for all the different vendor disk protection variants we have identified so far. We can use help identifying and fixing gaps in the tagging of our titles and releases. 2. Our Publications section has entries for most major Atari magazines. If you click into a particular issue, you will get a list of articles. Some articles also have the article text itself available. Software review articles are of particular significance because we can discover information such as details of a particular release, how many disks were included, etc. The database currently has the ability to establish a relationship between a title and its software reviews. If this relationship exists, and we have the text of the article in the database, the site performs AI-based sentiment analysis of the review texts and generates an aggregate "critics' score" for the title. An example of this can be seen on the page for Jumpman. We also have the ability to establish a relationship between titles and magazine ads (as also seen on the Jumpman page). This is another data point we use to identify release dates for a title if we don't have other indicators or if the other indicators are misleading (e.g. copyright dates that come from the release of the title on another platform rather than the actual Atari release date). We can use help identifying missing article entries from each magazine issue, identifying missing ads, creating formatted article text from magazine PDFs, etc. 3. We still have gaps in our release metadata such as number of players, memory requirements, supported controllers, BASIC, etc. These are not only displayed on the website but also drive the generation of the filenames that we distribute. We can use help identifying and resolving gaps in our release metadata. Why is the above work useful to the community? Well, there are two main reasons I have right now... 1. I've been slowly working on a public REST API for the site. It's still being actively refined but is already driving portions of the website today. This API could be used by the community in various ways. An obvious example would be an emulator getting the data it needs to configure itself accurately from the file CRC/MD5 when a disk, cassette or cartridge is loaded. 2. I am not currently aware of a data-driven estimation of title rarity. Others have made a great effort to estimate this manually based on their impressive knowledge of the Atari scene, but I'd like to try something more deterministic. We've been accumulating dumps for 7-8 years now. I think we have a number of data points that could go into a rarity calculation including how many dumps of that title we've seen, whether the media was mass produced, how many magazine reviews exist, how many publication ads exist, etc. Summary Sorry for the long post but it's been a while since I've shared what we've been doing in the background besides releasing a new collection of media dumps every few months. If you have read up to this point, thanks for your attention and please consider donating some time 😉
  7. No one has hosted a torrent in a while but there was a Mega link posted in this thread a few weeks ago. There will also be a substantial update coming shortly.
  8. Hi Russ, Thank you for the offer of help. We don't sort the file directories in the preservation archive using the TOSEC standard since it is more important for processing purposes that we track the raw dumps by their specific release, the contributor & date of the contribution, etc. However, the a8preservation.com website uses an extensive tagging system that can be used to categorize titles in many different ways for searching and other purposes. This is still very much work in progress as it is a failry recent addition to the site. If you have the free time, and are interested to help us improve our organization/categorization at the website level, please PM me and we can chat further.
  9. Yes, there was not a lot of consistency around this. On-Line Systems magazine ads and reviews for the title showed it as one word. And it is one word on the labels for Jawbreaker II (which were confusingly named just "Jawbreaker"). But you are right, the media labels and manuals I have seen so far show it as two words so I have changed it in the database. I probably need to implement an alias feature so both can be captured for search purposes 🙂
  10. Yes, thanks. We can often use non-original dumps to verify original dumps (assuming that we can confirm the two dumps didn't come from the same physical media) 🙂
  11. Thanks for the Snokie dump and the clarification on the drive hardware that was used. Non-originals are always helpful for verification. I have updated the information in the database (although I used a8rawconv 0.92 to create ATXs from your SCPs).
  12. Thanks for posting everything. I know how much work it is to do so! 🙂
  13. Thanks for pointing this out. In the past, we only included ATRs in the collection for unprotected disks. Now that ATX is a more commonly supported format, I have been slowly replacing the ATRs with ATXs where possible. From the dumps that Pete submitted to us, Kampfgruppe, Panzer Grenadier and Computer Quarterback Teams Disk 1985 still had ATRs. I've updated the first two in the database but we don't have a good ATX for the latter due to disk corruption. I've also updated the database with you as the contributor for Pete's dumps. Thanks again for your contribution!
  14. Correct. We do not have a good dump of the Game Program side.
  15. Thanks, the filename will be corrected in the next release.
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