Jump to content
6BQ5

What is TOSEC? Is it a huge respository of files?

Recommended Posts

I just came across a site called TOSEC. Supposedly it is a repository of historical software. I understand TOSEC periodically releases updates to the repository. These updates are compress *.DAT files. I downloaded one of the along with a program called Romulus. Running Romulus I can open the *.DAT file but it seems like there is nothing to actually extract. Is the *.DAT file just a catalog or something and nothing else?

 

Has anyone from AA here tried this?

 

(lost and confused) :_(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To make it a simple answer, it's supposed to be a complete set of certain types of software like games, apps, etc.

 

"supposed to be" ;)

 

Ok, then what is it really and how do we access it?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What it is: dumping pretty much all the original software for all platforms. It can be messy but sometimes they do have stuff other archives don't.

 

How to access: look it up on archive.org.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TOSEC is a naming convention used for sets of files the TOSEC group archived and named, the convention for the name ofthe file is like this

 

1st Division Manager (1992)(Codemasters)[cr Nemesis][a5]

 

So you get the Title, year of release, company, who cracked it and in this case its a 5th known (to the TOSEC team) alternate version.

 

There are other naming conventions depending on certain factors, a look for tosec on wiki will gave a more full breakdown.

 

The group do not host the files but its pretty easy to find them with a google search but there's a problem with the TOSEC releases, in general they are ok but there's lots of mistakes and very bad versions in lots of the collections, over time many were weeded out but just as many also created because the people doing the testing may not have been able to fully test the files they had. Thankfully there's normally a few versions of each file so the chances are you might hit a poorly named not matching cracked version with the Amiga files but mostly you will be fine.

 

The DAT files are simply listings that you use with a program, I use ClrMAME Pro as its the most known one and gets regular updates. The use is to have all you images individually zipped and then point the program to that directory and it will go through and rename to the naming convention any files it finds that match the MD5 (the files individual signature of sorts).

 

TOSEC produce dat files for many systems, most are pretty accurate but there are still some bad images that need sorted and there's also people who feel the naming isn't good enough and needs a better more full format. That said, its more than good enough for a gamer etc to find their old favourite programs and have a good old bash.

Edited by Mclaneinc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
As others have said, the TOSEC files themselves (e.g., the games) are not the .DAT files you have. You can download the Atari 8-bit TOSEC stuff at either Archive.Org or the Pigwa FTP site. Download them as several hundred megabyte monolithic ZIP files, unzip them and go to town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TOSEC don't dump anything, they are strictly a cataloging project trying to bring order to the chaos that is ROM naming (in this context ROM is any software you could use in an emulator) the project has expanded over the years to include TOSEC ISO for cd/dvd based media and TOSEC PIX for scans of magazines etc. 

 

They are crowd sourced, relying on experts from different systems to step up and catalog the known software for that system. Like all crowd sourced projects this makes the quality of each individual set somewhat variable. The more well known and popular, the better the quality of the identification. The idea being to correct over time and include new as it is unearthed, but someone has to be there to do it. 

 

Their strength is also their weakness, if the ROMS are renamed badly to start, it can be harder to correct because valuable info was lost by the person who added in the first place. 

 

The Atari 8-Bit sets don't get updated often and suffer from a lot of inaccuracies and outright errors, a lot of nuance in the original names of files has been lost. Over-enthusiastic curators have inadvertently caused corrupted data which instead of being discarded now becomes another data file. Misunderstandings about file formats have caused files with one file type to be included with another. Bad dumps are cataloged as bad [b] but because the person marking them as bad might be wrong, no one removes the [b] files and they continue to be collected, thats a problem with the atari sets, there are a lot of good files marked as bad and a lot of bad files marked as good.

 

They are a great starting point for people new to a system but in the case of the atari 8-bit sets, treat any info in the name beyond the title with a pinch of salt; even some of the titles are wrong!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, as we both said, there's problems with the collections which do harm its reliability but its a fine start for a wannbe player for the most. Collections tend to be problematic in general, one set on the C64 is called The High Voltage Collection (not the music collection of a similar name). It was released by Bod (an old mate of me and TMR) and is riddled with problems but I don't think Darren really meant it to be a collection for release, more of his own set of files but it sort of set off the idea to have a real naming convention and with oddles of un checked Atari files out there (I have buckets of them) a really reliable set needed to be set up and our wonderful guys on the A8 preservation team are doing their very best to make a collection that is clean, properly named and more importantly, tested and verified.

 

Well done that team...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For whatever reason...

 

TOSEC = The Old School Emulator Collection

 

I like many others used to hang about with them on IRC, great folk but lacking in true experts, still, it has been a good idea done well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't personally recommend TOSEC as a starting point to anybody new to romsets. The sheer mass of it and zillions of duplicates can be overwhelming. For microcomputer games Gamebase sets are probably the best out there, nicely organised, having a frontend and extras. Plus No Intro for major consoles.

 

TOSECs strength lies in collecting everything and caring for all the truly obscure machines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't personally recommend TOSEC as a starting point toanybody new to romsets. 

 

A8 software collections were started up waaay before the modern concept of romsets for use with something like MAME. They're much more ad hoc, glommed together stuff collected over years and now decades by varying groups of people from tons of sources, with differing standards for what to include and what to kick out, etc. It's just a different world from MAME or some of the curated collections you can find through torrent tracker sites like Pleasuredome. 

 

TOSEC is fine for hobbyists looking to dabble who might want a bunch of stuff all at once. If you're willing to search for and download individual titles, there's Atarimania, with a large but much less extensive collection. If you're willing to dig through the morass of file titles, there's the Pigwa FTP site, with trees of everything from individual files all the way up to .ISO files of CD and DVD-based collections made by others. 

 

At the higher-end of the "purity" spectrum there's the Atari 8-Bit Software Preservation Initiative. You'll likely need something that can load copy-protected ATX files if you want to use their files, as they use magnetic flux images of the original disks to make their files, which include the original copy-protection schemes of the original disks. That means you need APE (with VAPI.DLL installed as well), the latest dev fork of RespeQt which includes ATX file support, or an SDrive-MAX type device.

 

Alternately, there's DjayBee's wonderful thread of "clean cracks" made from the ATX files above.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another REALLY good set, even better than Tosec in my opinion, and I am surprised that nobody here has mentioned it yet, is the three sets (games, utilities and community (which are graphic and sound demos)) over at Atari Online.   I would actually recommend this set over the Tosec set for someone just starting their Atari collection.   It allows you to grab individual files as well as the complete collection of each of the three mentioned categories.  The web page is in Polish, but here is a link to the English translation.   

 

https://atarionline.pl/v01/index.php?ct=nowinki&ucat=1&subaction=showfull&id=1496159240

 

This collection is updated a few times a year.  Most recent update as of this post is 1/1/19.

Edited by scotty

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes indeed, nicely made set and of course the Homesoft collection needs a mention too.....Hopefully someone seeing this thread will make use of the hints here..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Homesoft for "clean" files, especially useful xex, continually updated, Fandal for demos and programmers real names..., Atarimania for screenshots and manuals...

In Topic for newbies first post, towards the end, there are links...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another really good set is the Holmes CD set.   3 CDs with a Lot of great stuff.  Disk 1 is great for a beginner with almost every game and utility you can think of, and a great set to start a collection with.  Disk 2 and 3 are misc stuff you will not find anywhere else.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another really good set is the Holmes CD set.   3 CDs with a Lot of great stuff.  Disk 1 is great for a beginner with almost every game and utility you can think of, and a great set to start a collection with.  Disk 2 and 3 are misc stuff you will not find anywhere else.   

 

The Holmes CDs are available on Pigwa. Bandwidth is so cheap now, and storage so plentiful, they're not even .ISO files. Just the directory contents of each disk:

 

http://ftp.pigwa.net/stuff/collections/holmes%20cd/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, everyone! :)

 

Re: TOSEC. I'm still a little confused how TOSEC is organized. The DAT files are like a catalog but the actual programs are elsewhere? Archive.org? I Google'ed "atari tosec" and found a page with a huge ZIP file. After this message I'm going to start downloading it and see what it is.

 

I knew about Pigwa and I've downloaded from there before. It's a huge, somewhat scattered collection of collections. I wish there was a way to do a mass download so I can curate the files locally. Downloading everything one by one is kind of tedious. Still, it's great that it's there.

 

I also about Homesoft. Excellent site as well! :thumbsup:

 

The others, like the "clean cracks" thread, Fandal, etc are new to me. So, I have some exploring to do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just FTP to Pigwa with something like Filezilla (free) and download the main 8 bit tree, it will keep all the directories in place and all the files are done for you..You can then do as you please from each dir.....No individual downloads...

 

As said, the Tosec thing itself is just a set list of files renamed in a more readable way, they provide the dat files for programs like Clrmamepro etc to use to rename collections to match. Internally they have of course made the collections which have ended up on sites like Pigwa etc but they chose not to distribute it themselves to save copyright and hosting costs. TOSEC main aim has been to provide updated dat files to add, fix or remove entries. Some sites or torrents show the collection by date so you can see if its the latest version which you can check on the TOSEC site for the latest dat file date.

 

Atarimania is another very good site for files, sadly they STILL won't release packs or allow multiple file downloaders to work but they have an excellent list of software giving you plenty of information about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just downloaded and installed Filezilla. Wow, what a brilliant program! It can download whole directories, including subdirectories. No need to dig and dig and dig. Thanks for the tip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...