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Atari 8-bit Software Preservation Initiative

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5 hours ago, luckybuck said:

? the disks aren't sealed anymore, they are open as in the picture above? If so, they can be archived with an Atari disk drive. No problem at all...

M.U.L.E. is likely copy-protected so couldn't be archived with an Atari drive. I would recommend not running that disk through an Atari drive if you are open to sending them to someone for proper dumping.

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M.U.L.E IS disk copy protected as are all the EA titles (I think)..

 

For me those custom drives are the best way to copy stuff..

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7 minutes ago, Mclaneinc said:

M.U.L.E IS disk copy protected as are all the EA titles (I think)..

 

For me those custom drives are the best way to copy stuff..

Happy 1050's can generally copy EA titles, but the copies usually require a Happy to load them. Of course, that's not acceptable for copies intended for archiving.

 

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Wasn't aware of that, I know the real disks as standard usually need to have the Happy set to unhappy or they stall as part of the protection. As much as I love the happy it was more for the warpspeed, I don't think I copied many games with it as I was sitting on a mountain of cracks and had the guy deprotecting most of the EA titles just around the corner from the shop.

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On 7/4/2020 at 1:36 AM, DavidD said:

I skimmed through the list and I don't recognize anything on it. Oh well... I'll double check when I find my bag of disks, though.

You may have some 8-bit software or manuals that are needed for the archives even if not on that list.

I have an Atari 8-bit collection of about 95 software titles. I looked on the list you mentioned and also did not see anything I have on that wanted list.

After asking here, I was directed to the a8preservation site to look there to see what was needed. I found that their wanted list (under Browse>Want List) is quite big. It would take way too much time to browse for titles I have. So I then went through my list of titles and used the sites search to see what is preserved (verified) or still needed (not verified).  A bit tricky because there can be different versions or year release of the same title. Usually they need two or more dumps from different disk of the same title version/year to compare and verify that they have made an accurate copy of the original software to call it verified (preserved).

I came up with 51 of the titles that I have are needed (46 disks,5 tapes) along with manuals and disk for scans. These are mostly games and utilities from well known US companies such as Broderbund, Datasoft, Datamost, Epyx, EA, Microprose, Synapse, Sirius and Sierra Online, but I do have some rare titles also.

I don't have the equipment or know how to make the dumps for archiving, so I sent them to members of a8preservation. So far nearly all of the titles I sent appear to have been needed for archiving.

 

From what I understand, of the titles that have been dumped so far this is a list of the current results:

6 are new dumps they did not have before 😉 (and now they need more copies to verify)

6 are Alternate versions of what they had. Need more copies to verify (My version of Mr Robot has a title screen rather than a graphic image).

4 are a similar match and would verify, but need unused copy so the high score table is not set.

11 have helped to verify and now the title is preserved.😁

Still working on the other titles.

Mercenary SC and most Synapse disks are a problem getting good dumps. Won't spin or surface flaking? One Synapse disk dumped OK.

All the other titles that were dumped worked first try. No telling how long they will last after more reads though.

These are all disks that I bought back when they were released (early eighties) and stored together.

 

I'm glad I sent these to help the archiving effort rather than just using them until they wear out. Plus I bought an SDrive-Max; so, as long as  the original software is available as disk image file, I can still load them to my 800 or Altirra.

 

Long live Atari!

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8 hours ago, Gearhead Lu said:

I'm glad I sent these to help the archiving effort rather than just using them until they wear out. Plus I bought an SDrive-Max; so, as long as  the original software is available as disk image file, I can still load them to my 800 or Altirra.

 

Long live Atari!

 

Perfect attitude, I think 99% of Atarians would love to see it all archived and to be used by as many as possible. As you say you have digital versions of what you have, they don't wear out and you own the actual item so its not as if you need to feel wrong about using the digital version, its just common sense..

 

To be fair the preservation idea is rife amongst all the retro communities, not only has it saved games but it's also brought never before seen stuff in to the floodlight, with many people like Kevin Savitz contacting people and getting previously unseen stuff out for all to see its never been a better time to be a retro gamer / user..

 

Be it a real machine or emulation, you are still a retro user...Good on ya...

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@Gearhead Lu: First, thank you soooo much for your help from 0 to 100. We really appreciate this. 🙂

 

I am just a little curious, you have so many titles wanted? Just a short one for Synapse, do you have:

•) Synapse Software: SynMail; was finished according to Steve Hales, but after SynCalc und SynFile+ never sold to the public. So, somewhere out there, it may exists
•) Synapse Software: SynText; was finished according to Steve Hales, but after SynCalc und SynFile+ never sold to the public. So, somewhere out there, it may exists
•) Synapse Software: SynTax; ever shipped? Status, as of 2015, is complete unclear.

from: https://atariwiki.org/wiki/Wiki.jsp?page=Rarity 10

?

Thank you so much in advance. All the best and many thanks.

 

@Mclaneinc: If all is preserved, stored on a central server, backup over the oceans, then access via FujiNet to all this would be very, very cool... ;-)

Edited by luckybuck
forgot something

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@luckybuck: Sorry, but I don't have any of those titles. Synapse made utility programs? 😏

At that time I mostly bought games and graphic utilities to make games. I did not stick to making games though. Other hobbies (Go-Karts/Cars) took up my time. ->Gearhead 😁

The original Synapse address was a house near my neighborhood and I remember walking past it. A software company is at a house? Here?

Never had the nerve to go knock on the door and say Hi. Maybe I would have met someone to help teach me how to program and stick with it? Yah, OK dreaming what if. 🤔

 

Some of the titles I have that are 8-9 rarity according to Atarimania are (all sent for dumps):

Armor Assault  

Epyx


Captivity       (Tape)          Program Design Inc.


Crisis Mountain    Synergistic Software


Drawpic                

Artworx Software Company


Epyx Preview Disk         Epyx Computer Software


SAGE                   Adventure International


On-Track Racing    Gamestar


Speedway Blast    Innovative Design Software Inc.


Zombies                 Bram

 

Return Of Heracles     Quality Software


Shadow World   #3291    Synapse Software


Space Eggs   (Manual)

 Sirius Software


Spare Change    Broderbund


Spelunker    Broderbund


Stealth    Broderbund


Survivor  

 Synapse Software


Tail Of Beta Lyrae,The    Datamost


Ultima I    Sierra On-line


Upper Reaches of Apshai    Epyx


Analog Computing Issue 49,Dec 86    Analog Computing Magazine


Antic Aug 1984 Vol.3/NO.04                   Antic Magazine

 

 

 

 

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No problem at all Gearhead Lu, you made the others happy, therefore me, too. 🙂

Thank you very much for your help, we really need users like you. They make Atari great again, for real!

 

All the best and please go ahead.

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So I've been going through my (re-ripped for the 3rd time) Atari originals.

 

As a starter to try to make sure I have no damaged disks, I separated all the images that converted to ATX images with "with errors" > 0.

 

I then verified a few of these images had the same exact (by hand... ugh) protection types vs the database in a8preservation.  But some didn't match up, some in a8preservation don't have it documented.

 

And I've found the MD5/etc to never be a match to my mine.  My latest ones were done with method splice 5 (except for one which I had to drop to 4), with index enabled (except when a flippy).

 

A number of mine were even imaged with the same mechanism.

 

I did use the Supercard Pro software to make the .scp images.  Then I used a8rawconv to make the .atx files.

 

Am I missing something ?  Or are the md5/checksum/sha1/etc rarely the same (due to the nature of Atari and its lack of the use of the index hole) ?

 

I've finally gotten the 'hang' of the SuperCard Proo and its software.  I've finally found a drive that not only seems to work with it, but will not make errors with the media test function, and I've correspondingly re-imaged my entire originals library.  Now I just want to determine if it is sane, what images will help a8preservation and atarimania, etc ?  I can't even help verify if the md5 should match.  I do need to go back and look at ones that did not have any 'with errors' count to see if md5s/etc match up at all with those, or if those are different as well.

 

Any input, pointers, etc on how to determine the sanity of my images (I can test to see if they boot via Altirra, but that doesn't mean an unused sector hasn't gotten damaged (which if it is an unsued one, that doesn't bother me from the point of using my software, but does in terms of contributing towards preservation).

 

Thanks in advance for any pointers, links, input, etc.

 

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1 hour ago, cwilbar said:

So I've been going through my (re-ripped for the 3rd time) Atari originals.

Thank you for taking the time to do that.

1 hour ago, cwilbar said:

As a starter to try to make sure I have no damaged disks, I separated all the images that converted to ATX images with "with errors" > 0.

Errors can also be due to protection as well as damage. So don't discount the ATXs with errors completely 🙂

1 hour ago, cwilbar said:

Am I missing something ?  Or are the md5/checksum/sha1/etc rarely the same (due to the nature of Atari and its lack of the use of the index hole) ?

As you have found, you can't use checksums to compare ATX files. If you want to compare things yourself against our ATX files, you can use the a8diskcomp tool I wrote:

Just keep in mind that you can't compare ATR files against ATX files with the tool since ATRs don't preserve the sector interleave.

1 hour ago, cwilbar said:

Now I just want to determine if it is sane, what images will help a8preservation and atarimania, etc ?

Any dumps you have for software that either has no dump on a8preservation or has a dump not marked as "preserved" would be helpful. Even dumps with only partially good data can sometimes be helpful since we may have other dumps that are bad in those areas and thus we can build a working ATX.

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3 hours ago, cwilbar said:

what images will help a8preservation and atarimania, etc ?

Why don't you upload all of them? ;)

Less work in verifying for you and disk space is cheap (as Kay Savetz say all the time).

 

3 hours ago, cwilbar said:

Any input, pointers, etc on how to determine the sanity of my images

 

To compare ATXs with Farb's tool:

a8diskcomp atxfile1 atxfile2

It will show differences in sector data as well as track formatting

 

To compare ATRs:

1. Beyond Compare

From scootersoftware.com (must be payed, standard version is suffiecient) to directly compare binaries.

I mostly use it to find similarities but not differences. To do a sector-by-sector comparison it is too "intelligent" in resyncing after differences. Therefore you have similar or identical data side by side but no longer in the raster of 128 bytes sector data.

 

2. WinMerge

From winmerge.org (GPL) which is only useful to compare text files.

Therefore I preprocess ATRs with a hexdump tool and compare the resulting text output.

xxd -g 1 "$FILE" - | sed 's/^000/00/' > "$FILE.txt"

This way you exactly see the difference between sectors. If only one byte has been inserted, the remainder of the disk shows as differing - which usually is no problem when analysing disk images.

 

I also have a shell script to call atx.pl and automatically convert ATXs to ATRs which I can upload later when back at home.

 

Edited by DjayBee
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I have built the tools from https://github.com/whizzosoftware/a8-disk-utils on my Linux box, and will be checking that stuff out.

 

Java is not a favorite of mine (for personal use).... so I may look into a branch that can be compiled using kootlinc-native.  Though at least some basic java libs would need to be replaced with native stdio lib/etc to do so.... so might not happen 🙂

 

 

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2 minutes ago, cwilbar said:

Java is not a favorite of mine (for personal use).... so I may look into a branch that can be compiled using kootlinc-native.  Though at least some basic java libs would need to be replaced with native stdio lib/etc to do so.... so might not happen 🙂

The current tools rely heavily on some Spring libraries so it might be tough. I've been learning the Go language and have started re-writing the tool using that since it compiles to a native executable. If you're interested in collaborating on it, let me know 😁

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2 hours ago, Farb said:

The current tools rely heavily on some Spring libraries so it might be tough. I've been learning the Go language and have started re-writing the tool using that since it compiles to a native executable. If you're interested in collaborating on it, let me know 😁

I've not touched Go, but I am interested.  I had started looking into using code in a8rawconv to make an atxdiff tool... before I had found out about your tools :-). 

 

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17 hours ago, cwilbar said:

And I've found the MD5/etc to never be a match to my mine.  My latest ones were done with method splice 5 (except for one which I had to drop to 4), with index enabled (except when a flippy).

A number of mine were even imaged with the same mechanism.

I did use the Supercard Pro software to make the .scp images.  Then I used a8rawconv to make the .atx files.

Am I missing something ?  Or are the md5/checksum/sha1/etc rarely the same (due to the nature of Atari and its lack of the use of the index hole) ?

It has (almost) nothing to do with the index hole. SCP images, and to a lesser extent also ATX images, store analog characteristics of the disk. Two dumps, even taken from the same physical disk with the same drive are very unlikely to match exactly.

 

As DjayBee suggested, why just not upload somewhere the entire set of dumps you made. Everything helps, even just for verification.

Edited by ijor

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I will be uploading these.  I'm going through my duplicates first to see if any of them match using Farb's compare tool.  I did find Apple Panic to have 2 sectors different, no bad sectors, same load address, but slightly different init address.  just a few bytes different on sector 1, large difference with sector 2.  Both boot in Altirra.  It doesn't look like a user done modification (who would do that to an original anyway !?).

 

I will be contributing, just give me a bit of time. 

 

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3 minutes ago, cwilbar said:

I did find Apple Panic to have 2 sectors different, no bad sectors, same load address, but slightly different init address.  just a few bytes different on sector 1, large difference with sector 2.  

Many titles have two or more minor variations and releases.

 

Quote

It doesn't look like a user done modification (who would do that to an original anyway !?).

That's much more common than what you might think. I have seen all sort, including cracks or hacks (such as for unlimited lives) recorded over original disks.

 

Quote

I will be contributing, just give me a bit of time.

 

Sure, take your time. We appreciate :)

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Went through my duplicates with a quick bash script I threw together, and found:

 

Apple_Panic compare failure
Ballblazer compare failure
Deadline_Disk2 compare failure
Murder_on_the_Zinderneuf compare success
Ninja compare failure
One-on-One compare failure
Raid_Over_Moscow compare success
Snake_Byte compare failure
Sneakers compare failure
Starbowl_Football compare failure
The_Seven_Cities_of_Gold_Side1 compare success
The_Seven_Cities_of_Gold_Side2 compare success
Track_Attack! compare failure
Ultima_II_Disc1_Side1 compare success
Ultima_II_Disc1_Side2 compare success
Ultima_II_Disc2_Side1 compare success
Zaxxon compare failure
Zork_II_Side1 compare failure
Zork_II_Side2 compare success
Shamus_Case_II compare failure

 

So, Murder on the Zinderneuf, Raid Over Moscow, The Seven Cities of Gold, Ultima II, and the backside of Zork II compare good.

Apple Panic, Ballblazer, Ninja, One-on-One, Snake Byte, Sneakers, Starbowl Football, Track Attack!, Zaxxon, Shamus Case II, Deadline Disk 2 (only have disk 2 of the 2nd copy), and the front side of Zork II fail to compare ok.

 

Now I need to look at the failure outputs and see if it looks like a possible revision or damaged disk.

 

I was hoping for more success than failure here 😞

 

 

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On 6/7/2020 at 1:50 PM, lbaeza said:

Hi

 

After 6 months wait, here's the redump for "The Casebook of Hemlock Soames #3"...

 

Before I forget, here are the box, manual, diskette, inlay and warranty card scans for "The Casebook of Hemlock Soames #3".

 

Kind regards,


Luis.

HS3_img.zip

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Yup. I'm sure many are looking at them but $100? Ouch, especially since they PD software.

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22 minutes ago, Allan said:

Yup. I'm sure many are looking at them but $100? Ouch, especially since they PD software.

Yeah, that's just nuts.  I was hoping it was already on some of the sites (I checked pigwa, but didn't search everything of course, only one of those disks are on pigwa (P126). 

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I don't knowingly have them, searches didn't find any matches and tried various terms...

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