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Andrew Davie

"Treasure" Trove

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Back in the early 1980s a friend and I both owned Atari 800 computers, and we taught ourselves to program in assembler on those machines. We each wrote our own games, such as they were, and built up our skills. We used to have challenges, like who could write the fastest "fill" routine to fill arbitrary shapes drawn on the screen. He won that one. Anyway, I wrote a few games, he wrote a few. I released one to public domain when it was finished. A few years later I moved interstate, took my computer with me of course. About a year or so after that, I was robbed and my computer and all my disks/software were stolen, lost forever. Segue to today, and my old friend brought in his box of old floppy disks - about 40 of them - and the labels are so enticing - including one or two with copies of my earlier games (so the label says). One of those I had *totally* forgotten about. And one enticingly labelled as holding the source code to my released game. So I'm sending those disks off shortly to have them "forensically" recovered and we shall see what goodies are on them. They're over 30 years old, so hopefully they will have withstood the test of time - we shall see. But if all turns out, there's going to be some really interesting "period homebrew" stuff from 1983/1984, especially the source code and the tools that we wrote to edit sound/graphics, from two programmers who went on to be professional game programmers, for better or worse. Can't wait!

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Cool... but have you tried to read them yourself first? So long as they've not copped huge swings of temperature or humidity they're probably fine, or at worst might cop a few bad sectors.

Of all the floppies I've got from 1983 onwards, very few have gone bad in that time.

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Neither can we Andrew, glad you got your stuff and we hope it passes the test of time, totally depends on how they were stored.

 

Do share some info and maybe even digital versions which the tremendous people in the Preservation thread will happily help with I'm sure.

 

But even better I hope it brings back wonderful memories....

 

Paul.

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Cool... but have you tried to read them yourself first? So long as they've not copped huge swings of temperature or humidity they're probably fine, or at worst might cop a few bad sectors.

Of all the floppies I've got from 1983 onwards, very few have gone bad in that time.

 

They were stored under a house in a box which apparently has had some moisture damage. But they were in their protective sleeves, inside the protective cases. So it's a lottery. And no, I haven't tried myself - I don't have an Atari anymore. I am sending them off to be professionally read/restored.

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Hoping you can recover them! I still have all my old disks in a closet in my house...not sure if they would be recoverable. Made some programs as well (primarily basic), one is machine code - never finished. I was never much of a coder anyway, but still had fun trying!!!

Good luck!

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We used to have challenges, like who could write the fastest "fill" routine to fill arbitrary shapes drawn on the screen.

 

Interesting. My brother and I had this same challenge, back in the day (I won). We also extended it to pattern fills.

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Curious how this all turned out. Hope you recovered source code, games, and tools (and maybe bonus source code to the old games and tools). Must have been devastating to loose everything. I can't imagine. Reminds me of the theft of John Harris' library.

Edited by pedalpowered
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