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irich2

FYI: Imaging Atari 8-Bit Disks with Applesauce Floppy Drive Controller

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Applesauce is a floppy drive controller for connecting vintage Apple ][ 5.25″ and 3.5″ floppy drives up to your modern computer via a USB connection.

 

Applesauce website: https://applesaucefdc.com

 

Below is a link describing the latest release of their imaging software, which now supports the ability to image Atari 8-Bit Disks:

 

https://applesaucefdc.com/2020/06/16/release-1-37-major-fast-imager-5-25-upgrades-and-now-supports-commodore-atari-8-bit-and-other-platforms/?fbclid=IwAR2wYJDks5c49XOa8VcfELdEhEn6tpKjqpljQRrdyO42szYxZxbAZ47-Cks

 

Disclaimer:  I do not own or have any connection with this product.  I am providing the link to my fellow Atarians for your interest and information only.  Any inquiries about the product or its software should be directed to its creator, John Keoni Morris.  He is a member of the "Apple II Enthusiasts" Facebook Group.

 

Applesauce Contact Page: https://applesaucefdc.com/contact/

 

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...Except that Atari disks are 40 track and Apple II disks are 35 track, and according to the blog post the standard Apple II drives will only do ~36 tracks, so you need a third-party disk drive with a Disk II interface.

 

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The AppleSauce hardware is sold out - but curious if this thing can write software to a disk from the PC - ie, go both ways?  I see it can handle Mac 800k disks, can I move .sit files from my PC to a Mac disk using this thing?

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I'm still of the opinion that the best imager of Atari disks is by using an Atari drive, so that would mean something like the VAPI project or this:

 

I really, really wish the VAPI project had been carried further, but it wasn't, so it resides as-is at Atarimania:

http://www.atarimania.com/atari-vapi.html

Phaeron did post an app to write out ATX images, IIRC.

 

Another "unfinished" imager was the APE Prosystem.  At one time, Steve was looking at writing out protected images to a Happy Drive, but AFAIK, nothing ever came of it.

 

 

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Note that there are likely better .atx images for most of the titles. My advice is to download files from Farb's Atari Software Preservation Initiative torrent as our disks are probably outdated. Due to how preservation has progressed these past years, our VAPI page will need to be modified or taken down soon.

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49 minutes ago, www.atarimania.com said:

Note that there are likely better .atx images for most of the titles. My advice is to download files from Farb's Atari Software Preservation Initiative torrent as our disks are probably outdated. Due to how preservation has progressed these past years, our VAPI page will need to be modified or taken down soon.

I'm curious -- what is a "better image?"  Are you saying that the images posted don't work properly, or are you saying something else about the method used to produce the image?  (Clearly, I'm in the camp of if it produces a successful working image, then it works.)

 

Also for sake of curiosity, if Jimmy and Johnny use imagers (Kryoflux or whatever) and independently produce images, and they both have successfully captured a working image, is one better than the other?  To go a step further, would two random original disks be likely to produce exactly the same image for two different users?  (I don't know the answer to these questions, but perhaps someone here that is very familiar with imaging can.)

 

And, what is the url for the Software Preservation Initiative torrent?

 

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Posted (edited)

Not being a technical guy, I can't answer some of your questions in detail but, to me, a better image would be one that has bugs / inconsistencies fixed due to more precise equipment being used (such as KryoFlux) or once proper comparisons between two disks of the same title have been made.

 

You'll find all the .atx files work but most aren't 100% verified. Preservation work has moved forward these past years and disks / defects can be studied more accurately nowadays.

 

 

Edited by www.atarimania.com
[grammar]

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Larry said:

I'm curious -- what is a "better image?"

Some more sophisticated protections could not be imaged with old tools. Very likely this is not an issue with Atarimania's old dumps.

Many copy protections rely on erroneous sectors and therefore true imaging must replicate each error found on the original disk - be it intentionally or only due to bit-rot. Here lies the bigger risk of these old and unverified dumps. They might contain read errors which have not been present on the disk at the time of release and can be in areas needed by the program.

 

10 hours ago, Larry said:

Also for sake of curiosity, if Jimmy and Johnny use imagers (Kryoflux or whatever) and independently produce images, and they both have successfully captured a working image, is one better than the other?

If both use equipment (hardware and software) of similar quality probably not.

 

10 hours ago, Larry said:

To go a step further, would two random original disks be likely to produce exactly the same image for two different users?

Most probably not.

1. They have slight variations in timing between sectors.

2. The Atari ignores the pulses coming from the index hole of the disk and thereofre does not have the one angular starting point of a track; they all vary.

Both these variations in timing can lead to a not working copy if the copy protection has been programmed with a too small window of tolerance.

 

10 hours ago, Larry said:

And, what is the url for the Software Preservation Initiative torrent?

The homepage is at http://a8preservation.com/ but it does NOT contain any disk images.

 

You can find a link to the latest release in this post.

If you follow that thread then you will also be up to date if a new release happens:

 

Edited by DjayBee
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17 hours ago, Larry said:

I'm still of the opinion that the best imager of Atari disks is by using an Atari drive, so that would mean something like the VAPI project or this:

...

I really, really wish the VAPI project had been carried further, but it wasn't, so it resides as-is at Atarimania:

Hi Larry,

 

No, I don't think that using an Atari drive is the best imaging method. It is not only about advanced protections that are difficult to capture. A flux level device can record much more detailed and precise information. e.g., you can't dump the alignment of the tracks with respect to the index hole with a 1050, because it doesn't have index hole detection at all.

 

Of course that using an Atari drive is very convenient and widely available. Many times I "toyed" with the idea to release a better 1050 imaging tool. But developing is time consuming, a PITA to debug, and probably not worth. So unlikely that this is going to happen, at least from my side. Note that you can currently use RespeQt to produce ATX images with an enhanced 1050, with some limitation of course.

 

16 hours ago, Larry said:

I'm curious -- what is a "better image?"  Are you saying that the images posted don't work properly, or are you saying something else about the method used to produce the image?  (Clearly, I'm in the camp of if it produces a successful working image, then it works.)

 

Just working is not enough for preservation purposes. Having said that, I verified many of the ATX images (feels like it was some centuries ago :) ) that were originally posted at Atarimania, not only for "just working" but also for being a correct clean dump. But of course, Farb's initiative have gone much further.

 

16 hours ago, Larry said:

Also for sake of curiosity, if Jimmy and Johnny use imagers (Kryoflux or whatever) and independently produce images, and they both have successfully captured a working image, is one better than the other?  To go a step further, would two random original disks be likely to produce exactly the same image for two different users?  (I don't know the answer to these questions, but perhaps someone here that is very familiar with imaging can.)

 

These questions are not so simple to answer. No, as DjayBee said, the two images probably will not be identical. Even if you dump the very same disk multiple times, the images are unlikely to be identical because of minor timing differences produced by magnetic and mechanical imprecision. This is on top of the small differences between two different disks. And that's besides that many titles have multiple releases, sometimes with different copy protection methods.

 

Not always, but certainly one image can be "better" than the other even when both work and, technically, both are correct.

 

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