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Farb

Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative

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I did, or attempted to do some work for Alpha Systems in the early, early nineties, just before my 8-bit got retired to the attic and I bought my first PC-style computer, a 486SX33 based system. As part of this work, they provided me with two sets of most of their software protection line, none of which seem to be available at AtariMania. I'd like to create VAPI/ATX images of these disks, but I don't know how. I've been to the VAPI site, and it mentions "VAPI provides a package of software tools for imaging copy-protected software", but I can't seem to locate this package anywhere. Their site has the tools needed to run these images with various emulators and the SIO2PC, but I can't find these imaging/archiving tools anywhere. Am I just blind as a bat like my wife says? Does anyone know where to find this package of tools?

 

The primary VAPI tool I am aware of was an executable that could be used with a Happy-modified drive to create an ATX file. I was never able to get it to work and don't even have a copy any longer. I believe there was a thread on AtariAge where ijor posted a later version (might have just been the source code?). A quick search didn't bring it up for me so you might need to dig a bit.

 

I believe there is also an effort going on with the RespeQT disk emulator to generate ATX files from Happy-modified drives but I don't know its current state nor have I ever tried it.

 

Please keep in mind that all of these solutions assume that a Happy can accurately capture the copy protection on the disks -- this is often the case but may not always be so.

 

The best solution we have for this problem is a flux-level dump which captures everything but requires a Kryoflux or SuperCard Pro. There are a number of people both in the U.S. and Europe that could assist in creating flux dumps of your disks if you are interested in mailing them out.

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Yes, it seems that your Scenario Disk is bad.

Comparing it to v1.0's it seems that they differ only by a few sectors in the center of the disk. I combined the v1.0 image with these differing sectors.

Please try it.

 

Edit:

On 2nd thought I guess that there is NO difference at all between the Scenario Disks of v1.0 and v1.1 and the actual differences seen are some sort of save game data on your disk. The second differing block contains the word "MAP1".

Other SSI titles also do not have differing data disks between software versions.

 

I also added a real crack of the Game Disk which has a track aligment protection. Your ATR will work fine in emulation because there all tracks are always perfectly aligned. But when you write it back to a real floppy it will fail.

 

It all works! I thought about the scenario disks betwwen v1.0 and 1.1 being the same, but not technical enough to determine myself. Thanks for looking and fixing.

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What are everyone's opinions of the two main disk archiving cards, Kryoflux and SuperCard Pro? I know I've read of some people having both, but either one is kind of expensive, and both seems to be overkill. If you were going to get just one, which do you think would be the best to have and why? Are there any other options that I'm missing?

 

Thanks.

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How is the archiving going?

 

Has the list of fully checked items grown enough for a new release or is there still a huge lump of 'to do' stuff?

 

Just interested..

 

Brill work

 

Paul..

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How is the archiving going?

 

Slowly as I haven't had a ton of time to dedicate to it lately. I am probably close to being ready for a new release but it will still take some time.

Edited by Farb

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Yes, that was very helpful. Thank you.

 

After going through the flow chart a couple of times, it looks like the Kryoflux would likely be the better option for me, if I decide to purchase one of these.

 

As expensive as these cards are, it may almost be more expensive to pickup good, working disk drives. I think I have a decent 3.5" 1.44MB drive I'd bought years ago to replace my ST internal drive with, but never used, but I know I don't have any 5.25" mechanisms. I'll have to start shopping around for one.

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One other question has occurred to me if I'm considering purchasing a Kryoflux card. Do these seem to work fairly well with modern systems?

 

The only reason I ask is, we all know that modern motherboards have all but abandoned floppy controllers. I've tried at least five different external USB floppy drives, and I've had zero luck out of every single one that I've tried on my system. I guess I'm concerned about spending $100 for a Kryoflux card, only to find out it has similar issues.

 

I'm assuming this wouldn't be the case, but thought I might inquire.

 

Thanks.

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Slowly as I haven't had a ton of time to dedicate to it lately. I am probably close to being ready for a new release but it will still take some time.

 

Its out when its out, real life wins over the hobby...

 

Thanks for any time you and the others devote to it...Its appreciated..

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It all works! I thought about the scenario disks betwwen v1.0 and 1.1 being the same, but not technical enough to determine myself. Thanks for looking and fixing.

it would still be good to follow the guide, and try you hardest to get a couple good dumps just to be sure. I am sure you've read about clean heads, clean disks, and the nature of how each set up reads the disks... sometimes writing out a disk doesn't work and you write it out again and it does, sometimes you image a disk and it's no good, you image it again and it's all good. It's a finicky process at times, bet well worth it.

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One other question has occurred to me if I'm considering purchasing a Kryoflux card. Do these seem to work fairly well with modern systems?

KryoFlux is a USB based solution designed for modern systems and it operates in a very different fashion from USB based floppy devices.

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Hi,

 

I did, or attempted to do some work for Alpha Systems in the early, early nineties, just before my 8-bit got retired to the attic and I bought my first PC-style computer, a 486SX33 based system. As part of this work, they provided me with two sets of most of their software protection line, none of which seem to be available at AtariMania. I'd like to create VAPI/ATX images of these disks, but I don't know how. I've been to the VAPI site, and it mentions "VAPI provides a package of software tools for imaging copy-protected software", but I can't seem to locate this package anywhere. Their site has the tools needed to run these images with various emulators and the SIO2PC, but I can't find these imaging/archiving tools anywhere. Am I just blind as a bat like my wife says? Does anyone know where to find this package of tools?

 

The imaging tool for Happy and enhanced drives has been deprecated long ago. We now try to create disk images with more powerful hardware like the Kryoflux or the Supercard Pro.

 

It would be very, very interesting to get dumps of those Alpha Systems titles. Their tools are quite scarce and always very attractive. May be you can lend one set to somebody that has the required hardware. Or perhaps you can find somebody nearby to meet for dumping the disks.

 

If you insist in using the original vapi imaging tool it's here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/252191-vapi-library-source-code/?do=findComment&comment=3503591

Read the notes and the caveats in that post. Some disks can't be dumped properly with that software.

 

If you can and you don't mind, may be you can post some pics of those Alpha Systems titles in the meantime?

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After going through the flow chart a couple of times, it looks like the Kryoflux would likely be the better option for me, if I decide to purchase one of these.

As expensive as these cards are, it may almost be more expensive to pickup good, working disk drives. I think I have a decent 3.5" 1.44MB drive I'd bought years ago to replace my ST internal drive with, but never used, but I know I don't have any 5.25" mechanisms. I'll have to start shopping around for one.

The Kryoflux is better for dumping the "flippy" side of original disks. But for that purpose you need a specially modified drive. Without such a modded drive, the Supercard Pro is, IMHO, a better option for Atari 8-bit disks.

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Hi,

 

 

The imaging tool for Happy and enhanced drives has been deprecated long ago. We now try to create disk images with more powerful hardware like the Kryoflux or the Supercard Pro.

 

It would be very, very interesting to get dumps of those Alpha Systems titles. Their tools are quite scarce and always very attractive. May be you can lend one set to somebody that has the required hardware. Or perhaps you can find somebody nearby to meet for dumping the disks.

 

If you insist in using the original vapi imaging tool it's here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/252191-vapi-library-source-code/?do=findComment&comment=3503591

Read the notes and the caveats in that post. Some disks can't be dumped properly with that software.

 

If you can and you don't mind, may be you can post some pics of those Alpha Systems titles in the meantime?

this doesn't look quite like I remember, is something missing from the zip?... I thought it was capable of writing back a protected disk to a real drive with another utility you wrote... was there another separate program to do so? am I forgetting a step?

Edited by _The Doctor__

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this doesn't look quite like I remember, is something missing from the zip?... I thought it was capable of writing back a protected disk to a real drive with another utility you wrote... was there another separate program to do so? am I forgetting a step?

 

Do you really want me to remember, after all these years!? :)

 

Really, I didn't use that tool for ages. But I'm quite sure the "standard" tool didn't have write back capabilities, at least not for copy protected images. IIRC I wrote some experimental write back software, but not much more than that. Not something that you could use to actually write back an image.

 

I seem to remember also some experimental stuff for the Catweasel (Kryoflux and SCP still didn't exist back then). Did you have one?

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this doesn't look quite like I remember, is something missing from the zip?... I thought it was capable of writing back a protected disk to a real drive with another utility you wrote... was there another separate program to do so? am I forgetting a step?

 

It definitely could not write back to floppies. I have an earlier version from around 2006 and it also can only read floppies.

Edited by DjayBee

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Hi,

 

 

The imaging tool for Happy and enhanced drives has been deprecated long ago. We now try to create disk images with more powerful hardware like the Kryoflux or the Supercard Pro.

 

It would be very, very interesting to get dumps of those Alpha Systems titles. Their tools are quite scarce and always very attractive. May be you can lend one set to somebody that has the required hardware. Or perhaps you can find somebody nearby to meet for dumping the disks.

 

If you insist in using the original vapi imaging tool it's here: http://atariage.com/forums/topic/252191-vapi-library-source-code/?do=findComment&comment=3503591

Read the notes and the caveats in that post. Some disks can't be dumped properly with that software.

 

If you can and you don't mind, may be you can post some pics of those Alpha Systems titles in the meantime?

 

Thanks for your reply ijor. My wife and I are leaving for Chicago today, and flying out to China for two weeks tomorrow to visit our Grandson. I'll look into posting some images of the disks when we return and get over jet lag. I'm in southern Indiana and doubt there's a big retro scene going on around here that I haven't heard of, but I guess it could be possible. I am considering purchasing a Kryoflux or SuperCard Pro though, so I will definitely look into archiving these disks once I get setup and gain a little more knowledge. In the mean-time, thanks for the links to the original Vapi tools.

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must have been that experimental write back utility then... who knows where it is or what the latest was... a forgotten or lost work in progress.

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Thanks!

 

If you're putting files on megasync, can you keep the folder synched, so it is always up to date, and not just updated every 6 months or so?

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magnet:?xt=urn:btih:42e3ba1640a45164e5ad005b87934d7b12b4b692&dn=Atari8bitPreservedSoftware2019-02-03

 

it's a bunch o zips this time instead of a zip of zips... that should do it.

Edited by _The Doctor__
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Thanks!

 

If you're putting files on megasync, can you keep the folder synched, so it is always up to date, and not just updated every 6 months or so?

Best idea I have heard in a long time.

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If you're putting files on megasync, can you keep the folder synched, so it is always up to date, and not just updated every 6 months or so?

 

Megasync is just a convenience helpfully provided by remowilliams -- not the primary release mechanism. At present, torrent is still primary.

 

A big thanks to Fred_M, Mr. Bacardi, Zarxx, mikic and everyone else that contributed dumps (or help organizing and verifying) for this release.

Edited by Farb
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Very disappointing, given how small we are as a community, to see leechers appear and then disappear as soon as they become seeders. Whoever the current lone seeder is, thank you!

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