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Does anybody know the history of Synapse's Filemanager?

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Does anybody know the history of Synapse's Filemanager? It's a little confusing because there is Filemanager+ and Filemanager 800.

 

Allan

 

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I'd have to go back and re-listen, but something about this may have been mentioned in one of the ANTIC podcast interviews with Ihor Wolosenko, Steve Ahlstrom or Brian Lee: http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/size/5/?search=synapse

 

Looks like "FileManager+" is actually "FileManager 800+" according to the screenshots on AtariMania. I've never used FileManager, but I see similarities to SynFile which I have used, so it might be the basis of the later SynFile products...

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I'd have to go back and re-listen, but something about this may have been mentioned in one of the ANTIC podcast interviews with Ihor Wolosenko, Steve Ahlstrom or Brian Lee: http://ataripodcast.libsyn.com/size/5/?search=synapse

 

Looks like "FileManager+" is actually "FileManager 800+" according to the screenshots on AtariMania. I've never used FileManager, but I see similarities to SynFile which I have used, so I have a feeling it might be the basis of the later SynFile products...

Don't trust the entry on Atarimania.com too much. I want to get the facts to correct it.

 

Allan

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I re-listened to a few ANTIC interview episodes this evening to find some specifics on FileManager.

Episode 261 with Steve Ahlstrom has no mention of File Manager. Steve and Daniel wrote SynFile from scratch in Forth.

ANTIC Interview 247 - Brian Lee mentions he joined Synapse around 1982 to head up a new Applications development division, to develop the next version of File Manager (SynFile).

This article in ANTIC Magazine about Brian Lee - https://www.atarimagazines.com/v2n3/fillingthegap.html- shows he was a proponent of File Manager 800+ at The GAP stores while he was there before Synapse:

ANTIC Interview 13 with Ijor Wolosenko mentions File Manager was the first thing that Synapse did (programmed by him and Ken Grant), and was very successful because of the hunger for software to run on people's new toys. File Manager was the first iteration of database software before SynFile. File Manager laid the foundations for the contacts that Ijor made to build Synapse into a larger publisher. (He suggests inventing what it means to be a software publisher)

For File Manager, Ijor says he did the look of it, the structure of functionality offered, assembly programming for sorting functions and stuff. Which presumably means Ken did the rest.

He also talked about how copy protection in File Manager was done in two ways: Using an modified disk drive, he taped on a nail to the R/W head and suspended it in a specific space with the stepper disconnected, so it scratched out a groove in the magnetic coating of the disk. The software would look for and ensure that it could find nothing there. :-D He also developed the dongle for the joystick ports (The DataLock keys) using a Radio Shack electronics kit, with a very basic logic chip that would change digital outputs based on input, hired a student to solder the chips to the PCB's Ijor had cut to tiny bits with a radial arm saw, and then had a local college plastics department encase them in moulds using a hand injection machine as he brought in buckets of them. He claims it was the first dongle.

It's interesting File Manager is not mentioned at all on the Wiki page for Synapse software, considering its foundational role of the company.

Inverse Atascii comments about an ad for FileManager 800 "This is an ad for FileManager 800, which SynFile+ grew out of." - https://inverseatascii.info/2014/12/16/s1e6-synapse-synfile/

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There is FileManager 800 and there is FileManager+ (or FileManager 800+, both names with and without 800 seems to be used). The "plus" version seems to be just a later version that was rebranded, possibly with new additional features. IIRC both are very similar.

 

Btw, it's Ihor Wolosenko, not Ijor, no relation with me :)

 

Edit: Forgot to attach screenshot ... added

post-6585-0-51439000-1535081773.png

Edited by ijor

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Btw, it's Ihor Wolosenko, not Ijor, no relation with me :)

D'oh! Your right. Thanks, not paying attention while making notes typing that post while listening to those podcasts that evening, and I guess your spelling was more prominent in my brain seeing it so often on AA :)

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With a bit more digging, I found the difference between FileManager 800 and FileManager 800+ in COMPUTE! ISSUE 57 / FEBRUARY 1985 / PAGE 73

https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue57/review_syn_series.html

 

SynFile+ is an outgrowth of two previous Synapse data base programs. The original one, FileManager 800, has been around for several years. It was fairly easy to use but lacked sophisticated features such as field totaling. This problem was addressed by the improved program, FileManager+, which became quite popular.

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For what it's worth, here a photos of all the versions I have:

 

post-11281-0-47377800-1535296944_thumb.jpg

post-11281-0-37843300-1535296955_thumb.jpg

Filemanager 800, binder (may have had a slip cover - not sure), © 1981

 

 

post-11281-0-83920500-1535296936_thumb.jpg

Filemanager 800+, binder with slip cover, © 1981

 

post-11281-0-99839800-1535296905_thumb.jpg

The first SynFile version, comes in binder with slip cover case. © 1985

 

 

post-11281-0-51646500-1535296925_thumb.jpg

post-11281-0-33657000-1535297158_thumb.jpg

The second version of Synfile - uses extra 130XE memory. Much different packaging, copyright 1983,1985

 

 

post-11281-0-06372000-1535297557_thumb.jpg

And just for fun the PC version - package is still sealed but the outer box says © 1982

 

post-11281-0-41568300-1535296893_thumb.jpg

post-11281-0-21234000-1535296914_thumb.jpg

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Not sure if there is any connection, but here is Diskmanager - a tool to catalog diskettes. Copyright 1981

 

post-11281-0-35402100-1535298519_thumb.jpg

post-11281-0-47318100-1535298523_thumb.jpg

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For what it's worth, here a photos of all the versions I have:

 

attachicon.gifDSCF1326.JPG

attachicon.gifDSCF1327.JPG

Filemanager 800, binder (may have had a slip cover - not sure), © 1981

 

 

attachicon.gifDSCF1325.JPG

Filemanager 800+, binder with slip cover, © 1981

 

 

Thanks, Jacobus.

 

From what I have seen so far, there was:

 

Filemanager 800 = which was published in 1981.

 

Then came:

 

Filemanager+ in later 1981, which was still to early for 1200XL/800XL OS updates so it must have been just general program updates.

 

Then they replaced Filemanager with Synfile. Also it doesn't seem that any of the Filemanager programs are XL compatible, adding for the reason to replace Filemanager with Synfile.

 

Allan

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Not sure if there is any connection, but here is Diskmanager - a tool to catalog diskettes. Copyright 1981

 

attachicon.gifDisk Manager 1.jpg

attachicon.gifDisk manager 2.jpg

If you ever have the means of dumping the disk or scanning the manual, that would be fantastic.

 

Thanks for al the pics.

 

Allan

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Filemanager+ in later 1981, which was still to early for 1200XL/800XL OS updates so it must have been just general program updates.

As per my August 23 post, FileManager+ added "sophisticated features such as field totaling"

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post-11281-0-47797500-1535309066_thumb.jpg

Synape - Disk Manager.ATRSynape - Disk Manager.LOG.txt

 

OK here is a dump of the diskette along with the .log file from APE. Diskmanager requires an 800 with Basic - fails on an XL/XE. With Altirra it fails immediately with enhanced SIO enabled, and after a few seconds with it disabled. Sadly the copy protection is quite real and will need to be broken to go any further. I have included a screen shot of the title page for reference. I will try to find some time tomorrow to scan the manual.

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Sorry for the rather off-topic response, but I couldn't resist...

 

I am a huge fan of Synapse soft. Many titles are excellent.

 

My entire music school administration (which is pretty huge, and it is official!) Is done on syncalc on my Atari 800xl. It's every time a joy to work on the administration.

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Sorry for the rather off-topic response, but I couldn't resist...

 

I am a huge fan of Synapse soft. Many titles are excellent.

 

My entire music school administration (which is pretty huge, and it is official!) Is done on syncalc on my Atari 800xl. It's every time a joy to work on the administration.

Could you please (if you haven't already) do a writeup on this? Perhaps a blog post here, or just start a new topic?

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OK here is a dump of the diskette along with the .log file from APE. Diskmanager requires an 800 with Basic - fails on an XL/XE. With Altirra it fails immediately with enhanced SIO enabled, and after a few seconds with it disabled. Sadly the copy protection is quite real and will need to be broken to go any further. I have included a screen shot of the title page for reference. I will try to find some time tomorrow to scan the manual.

 

The protection seems to be (mostly) identical to Filemanager+.

I am working on a crack.

 

Because many of us did not know about this program, please get in contact with one of the dumpers to get a full image including the protection for preservation.

*thanks*

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That makes sense, I suspect that DiskManager is simply a runtime version of FileManager with a few changes to read the directory sectors.

 

Certain menu selections make Filemanager load modules from disk. I could not find this in Disk Manager at first glance.

 

Find attached a faked and working ATX-File, a cracked ATR and some documentation on the protection.

 

Please test the crack.

If it loads moduls from disk then it is quite likely that they also will check for the protection - as Filemanager does it. In this case let me know how to replicate this.

Disk Manager (1981)(Synapse Software)(US).zip

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Bump...

 

Does the ATR of Filemanager 800+ at Atarimania work?  Using Translator A, it loads and comes up OK, but then if one of the modules are loaded, it hangs.  Perhaps a different translator is required?  (The Synapse demo of it piqued my interest.)

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