On 2 Nov 2011, at 18:00, cctalk-request at classiccmp.org
I am summing up some answers here. I hope you are comfortable with this.
I'm pleased to see the project opening up (release
of library source,
etc). I was a bit uncomfortable with what I perceived to be a proprietary
approach earlier on.
We always promised and we keep our promises.
What would really be the clincher for me is the
ability to take a sector
image of the various machines, e.g. an Apple ProDOS or DOS 3.3 "*.po"
image and write it to a diskette. I get the impression that it currently
has the ability to read flux transitions and extract such sector images,
but nothing mentions the capability of re-creating a track image and
writing them out to media.
There are several image files for some platforms, we usually support one major as there
usually are other tools to convert between these.
Speaking of MFM: It's used by so many platforms that we do one generic MFM dump, which
can then be further processed, e.g. by adding a header for some emulator.
I have an interest in archiving, but I'm also an
avid tinkerer with old
hardware and often need to generate "real" diskettes from a sector image.
Some of the machines I would need to do this for:
Amiga 5.25 and 3.5
Apple 2 and 3 (GCR)
Intel MDS system (M2FM)
I have technical means for all of the above now, but they are inconvenient
and/or require dragging out and setting up something particular to that
one operation. "One stop" shopping would be great.
If the unit is capable of doing this, please advise?
I think this and the quotes below originate all from the very same misunderstanding.
KryoFlux _CAN_ be used to read data that can be transformed into IPFs. It's a feature,
but you aren't locked to it. Like you can use your scanner to scan something, then
load it in Acrobat and do a PDF. You can chose to use whatever imaging application you
like, you are not forced to convert to PDF. In this case you could as well chose to
convert the image file to PDF with a third party product. It's the same here. We made
our STREAM format fully documented and open as well, so you can convert to whatever format
you like. Take a look into the development section on our forums, there are third party
apps that process and convert data.
Looking at the formats above... DTC supports, among many others, Amiga, C64 and Apple out
of the box for reading.
Writing is _at the moment_ limited to IPF because we wanted to to the most challenging
part first. We will be adding more sector formats to the write engine in the near future.
It's fully expandable and it was made to be easily expandable.
Thanks for pointing that out. They are welcome to use
business/IP model they wish, but this one bothers me enough that I would
avoid the device.
Again, I think this refers to IPF. You are not locked into this format, but I don't
think it's grossly unfair to ask those that want to use it on a professional basis to
pay for it. To be honest, I haven't seen anything that compares to it, and I feel
there won't be anything like it soon, if at all. It's not that I don't wish
there should not be, I just don't think there are many engineers out there that can
design such thing. I did not invent or program it, so I think I am allowed to say this. I
would also like to point out that there aren't many willing to dedicate their time to
developing tools for floppy disks as the niche is very small.
And what prevents them from "archiving"
anything you send them?
This question is SPS (Software Preservation Society) related. The project's scope is
about preserving computer art, which usually means games. SPS shares these files with
contributors that send in the same dump (e.g. you sent a damaged dump, lateron an
undamaged one comes in... you would be given access). SPS also share games preserved with
archives, libraries and museums. These assets were released into the commercial
marketplace. It therefore makes sense to share between institutions, because you don't
have to re-analyze something if you have a good preservation asset (unless it's a
different version of course). A global collaboration makes sense and was the idea of the
You could of course submit data as part of an assignment where SPS would be working
specifically for you. This only answers your question if you would be willing to trust a
My feelings exactly. I can't imagine any
professional archive taking this group seriously, and it is
completely opposite of CHM's policy of preserving and making available any
information on underlying
media formats that we find.
We do share information, about formats and things. Just look at our site or simply feel
free to ask if it's missing. The Emulator II format we reversed was not only put into
KryoFlux, but it was also put into HxC for emulation. Afaik it always was free, is free,
so the decoder is right there available as open source.
I posted the link to the WIRED article, and I would invite you to e.g. speak to the
British Library and find out and get first hand information about our work for them. I can
name you some other archives if you like, but would prefer to do this via regular email as
I can't just post client information here.
I sent them mail saying "I would want
documentatino on how to talk to
the hardware, because your GUI will not be suitable for me" (any UI
that's suitable to most of pretty much any market has an excellent
chance of being somewhere between unpleasant and unsable for me).
I replied to this mail, twice. At least I tried. The first came back because you
blacklisted our ISPs mailserver. I have no control over it, I don't know who and if
someone uses it to spam. Anyway. I switched to my private email on my own machine and
server. It was blocked again because your system tries to retrieve a whois record from the
denic. As it seems, they either don't provide it there or not at all (they are the
registry for Germany, so what can I do about it?) - so again my reply was blocked. I got
tired and put it to rest.
My reply, in short, was that the board has all standard components. There is no firmware
flashed to the board, it's uploaded from the host software. If you ever used a 1541
with custom software... it's a bit like that. So all you need is take the ATMEL SDK
and write your own code. There is nothing stopping you from using your own software with
the board. I could say "why not use our firmware", but that would be a binary
again and you said you don't run precompiled software.
The complete schematics are supplied with the software download and you can do with them
whatever you like as long as you don't sell it (schematics or boards). I think this is
a fair limitation.
One last, personal thing: There were some replies with "them" or
"they". It feels a bit odd, like talking about someone in third-person when
he's in the room. I follow the digest, so you can address me. I am not asking anyone
to share my opinion or to spare me, so keep it coming. Thanks.