Preservation - that's the name of the game

A forum about Atari protected floppy disks analysis, preservation, emulation, tools

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:46 pm

Lautreamont wrote:like all the "non-free" projects (Steem, PaCifiST, makedisk ...)

Don't you mean "Free"? I have not seen any attempts to make us pay for any of these great tools / emulators?
In fact the only software I can think of associated with the ST that is not free is HDDriver..

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Postby ijor » Mon Jul 02, 2007 9:59 pm

Lautreamont wrote:Beyond that, Pasti depends on a healthy and motivated Ijor to maintain it, like all the "non-free" projects (Steem, PaCifiST, makedisk ...).


We already know your position about what is free and what is not. Please don't start again with this here.

RetroGamerUK wrote:
Lautreamont wrote:like all the "non-free" projects (Steem, PaCifiST, makedisk ...)

Don't you mean "Free"? I have not seen any attempts to make us pay for any of these great tools / emulators?


Lautremont has a different meaning for non-free. Check his earliest posts in atari-forum and you will find-out.

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:02 pm

ijor wrote:Lautremont has a different meaning for non-free. Check his earliest posts in atari-forum and you will find-out.

Rather than search I will hazard a guess at him meaning the source code is non-available?? i.e. "non-free" means "non-open source"??

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Postby belboz » Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:14 am

Is the pasti file format opened up so someone who wishes can write a tool to write un-protected disks back on a normal ST drive?

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Postby ijor » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:28 am

belboz wrote:Is the pasti file format opened up so someone who wishes can write a tool to write un-protected disks back on a normal ST drive?


No, not yet. I know I said already it will be opened shortly. And it is all my fault (and that I was lately quite busy with my non-Atari life) that it is still not yet open.

Having said that, I'm not sure it would be very useful for that particular purpose. Most of the time you will have the Pasti images on the PC. It would be much simpler to convert to MSA/ST on the PC. And then, if possible, write them back on the PC. Or otherwise transfer the converted MSA/ST image to the ST, that would normally be much smaller.

Again, that's not an excuse for the specs not being open. They will be. I can't say exactly when (got burnt myself already more than once promising dates). But it will be, trust me, it is a priority for me.

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Postby belboz » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:40 am

Sounds good. I can wait. Not trying to pressure you into releasing something before it is ready.

I don't have a discovery card, nor a cat weasel. Although I guess the latter one can be purchased still (although no write software exists for that for pasti files correct? or at least publically).

I prefer writing MSA and ST images to disk on my STE itself. Does a much more reliable job in my testing. I have tried using my PC, but have not had any luck.

I hate having multiple copies of things. If I had a pasti image of something I would like to be able to write that directly to disk instead of converting to ST or MSA and then burning that. Just a preference thing.

I wrote my own program to burn ST and MSA files to disk on my Mega STE. Nothing fancy, just a tos program I drag the images onto and it writes them to floppy. It doesn't handle any exotic formatting ( only those supported by normal TOS calls), but it does work for my purpose.

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Postby Lautreamont » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:19 am

ijor wrote:We already know your position about what is free and what is not. Please don't start again with this here.

"non-free" wasn't an attack against Pasti, Ijor.
It's the (neutral) expression of a (hippie ?) culture
rather than an aggressive word.
I'll keep your reaction (and RG's) in mind and avoid
using such a term without further explanation.

I only wanted to say that, in its current state,
Pasti will disappear with you and it would be disastrous.
I used the term "non-free" to suggest that a "free" license would preserve
Pasti itself, but I would be very happy too if another person had a copy of
the project and could act as a maintainer.

About "freedom", "free" has nothing to do with money.
"Non-free" programs doesn't mean they are sold and "Free" programs can be sold too.
"Non-free" only means "not released under the terms of a free license"
like "artistic", various GNU, BSD ... It doesn't have any connotation to me.

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Postby Lautreamont » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:28 am

RetroGamerUK wrote:Rather than search I will hazard a guess at him meaning the source code is non-available??

No, there are free licenses that let you keep your code for yourself only.

EDIT: Truth to be told, I don't really know :oops:

(Sorry to be a bit off-topic)

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Postby ppera » Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:56 pm

ijor wrote:We know that many will not understand our goal, won't share it, don't agree, won't contribute, or even dislike it. We don't claim it is the only way, the only valid way, or the only good way.
Most unprotected disks will work out of an ST/MSA image. Many will work just by copying the files. The files on some data disks are identical to other platforms, so you could just copy the Amiga (or even PC) files.
You can also use cracks and menus. And actually somebody once claimed that cracks are a better preservation method. And you know what, I do not disagree completely. Everybody is free to interpret the exact meaning of preservation.
But this subforum is about Pasti, so if you want to claim about not using Pasti for preservation, please do it somewhere else.


Finally, in fact, we agree in practically all technical aspects. That Pasti can't 'know' 100% is disk content changed, etc... (to not list all now).

Why I discuss here? Did I claimed (proposed) to not use Pasti for preservation. I just talked that it is not necessary in all cases, and that it can be slow and not usable so wide as other formats. Your last sentence is very childish - where I should discuss about Pasti if not here.
Actually, your unclear statements are problem here - people may get impression that other preservation ways are wrong, and Pasti is a must.

That's why I started to rebel here :D

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Postby ppera » Tue Jul 03, 2007 1:08 pm

Cracked stuff: certainly not exact copy of original, so can not be seen as 'preservation'.

But, on the other side, most of people is not 'hard collector' and wants just to use programs, better said playing old games.

In some manner, ignoring cracks is underestimating of 'hard work' of crackers (pyrates). But we don't need too think about their motivations, which could be not only material. We just want to use results of work.
And fast is that often cracked 'versions' are better for users (faster load, less floppies - less disk change etc).
Who don't like it... may do gaming somehow else :D

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Postby ijor » Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:53 pm

Lautreamont wrote:"non-free" wasn't an attack against Pasti, Ijor.


I know. I just wanted to avoid engaging yet another open/close source, unix/windows discussion. It doesn't belong here.

I only wanted to say that, in its current state,
Pasti will disappear with you and it would be disastrous.


I can bet it won't. For starters, you don't need the source for keep using Pasti images without my personal work, you only need the specs. In second place, the sources would eventually be available (certainly they will if I can't continue with the project).

About "freedom", "free" has nothing to do with money.
"Non-free" programs doesn't mean they are sold and "Free" programs can be sold too.


So how much are you ready to pay for a Pasti open-source license? :) (just a joke, no need to answer)

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Postby ijor » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:30 pm

ppera wrote:Finally, in fact, we agree in practically all technical aspects. That Pasti can't 'know' 100% is disk content changed, etc... (to not list all now).


I'm not sure we agree. Of course that everybody would agree that you could never be 100% sure. Nothing is 100% certain in real life, that's not the point. The point is a high level of certainty.

Seems perhaps you missed my reply that Pasti can indeed detect when a user reformatted a track. This is, among many other things, something you can't detect under normal means.

Why I discuss here? Did I claimed (proposed) to not use Pasti for preservation. I just talked that it is not necessary in all cases, and that it can be slow and not usable so wide as other formats. Your last sentence is very childish - where I should discuss about Pasti if not here.


You are not discussing or asking, you are challenging. I don't mind a technical explanation or debate, but that won't be enough for you. I can keep replying technically, but you would still insist that it is not necessary for unprotected disks.

So I decided to make a non-technical point, because that's seems to be your main point. If you believe that in many cases the cons of using Pasti are more important than its pros, you have every right to believe so. But this doesn't belong here, because once again, Pasti is about trying to preserve each and every ST released disk as close as possible to the originals.

You know what, the main thing in software preservation are not the technical points or the tools. It is the hard non-technical work. It is about physically imaging thousands of disks. It is about verifying, analyzing and comparing thousands of images. It is about spending good amounts of money in those rare and expensive titles, etc. And yes, that's what I do personally all the time.

That's preservation, at least as I understand it. That's how I see Pasti, not a couple of tools, but a project. The tools and the technicals are incidental.

In some manner, ignoring cracks is underestimating of 'hard work' of crackers (pyrates)...


You are once again ignoring my posts and not bothering understanding what I write. I have nothing at all against cracks. I do think they are important and I do use them. As a matter of fact, many of the new cracks come from Pasti images, and in many cases with my own personal cooperation. On the other side of the coin, cracks and crackers helped me for Pasti more than once.

ppera

Postby ppera » Tue Jul 03, 2007 4:48 pm

Ijor: at one point, you said that Pasti can not detect always that content is changed. Then again say that Pasti can indeed detect...

I don't want to continue discussion.

If you took all that job on your shoulder, then do it, and don't expect that everybody will agree with your approach. Especially about financial issues.
Making alone program - OK. Not publishing at least format specs - not OK for me. But imaging alone thousands of floppies is insane for me. Maybe you could do something more challenging for your skills...

In any case, I can't contribute - all what I have is already Pasti-ed.

One idea: why not use Pasti just as verifier that floppy is not protected - then just make ST or MSA image... ?

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Postby StickHead » Tue Jul 03, 2007 5:25 pm

Is there a list of games that are still to be Pastied? It sounds like a worthy project and I'd be delighted to help.

MUG mentioned Wacky Races, I'm sure I've got this in my loft somewhere, I would dig it out for you if you need it.

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Postby Mug UK » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:26 pm

StickHead wrote:Is there a list of games that are still to be Pastied? It sounds like a worthy project and I'd be delighted to help.

MUG mentioned Wacky Races, I'm sure I've got this in my loft somewhere, I would dig it out for you if you need it.

Cheers!


It's more a case of PASTI anything that's not on the list at the moment. The list on the Wiki (I guess) will be the main focal list of "those that are done" and as soon as I've got a good batch ready for release I'll add them to the Wiki and Marcer's FTP for everyone to have a play with.

As for Wacky Racers - yes please. In theory I should be able to compare my PASTI image with your one and spot the differences and "fix" my one (in theory) and/or wait for some nice h/ware to turn up that will let me write the image over my original and rescue it.

After all that's what we're trying to help others do :)
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Postby ijor » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:32 pm

ppera wrote:Ijor: at one point, you said that Pasti can not detect always that content is changed. Then again say that Pasti can indeed detect...


I never said that Pasti (or anything in earth, for that matter) can always detect with 100% certainty if a disk was modified or not. Did I? What I said is, and what I believe is the whole point, that we can detect if the disk is mint (not damaged and not modified), with a high level of certainty, in almost every case.

Making alone program - OK. Not publishing at least format specs - not OK for me.


As I said already in my reply to Belboz, I do agree. Specs should, and will be open.

If you took all that job on your shoulder, then do it, and don't expect that everybody will agree with your approach... But imaging alone thousands of floppies is insane for me. Maybe you could do something more challenging for your skills...


It wasn't my plain, but we all (see below what I mean by "we all") learnt that nobody else will do it, and we (all) learnt it the hard way.

There are preservation projects for many platforms. If you bother to check them, you'll see that in all cases the hard and boring work is performed by very few people: the project authors/mantainers and very few contributors.

I'm not complaining, and it is not that bad as it seems. It doesn't need a constant massive contribution from the whole community. If you take the software available at a handful of big collectors, then you get most of the available titles.

One idea: why not use Pasti just as verifier that floppy is not protected - then just make ST or MSA image... ?


Not sure exactly for which purpose you mean. If you mean for the purpose of writing it back, or any other use; then yes, I agree that would be useful (and again, I replied already that to Belboz).

If you mean to preserve it like that, then no, I don't agree. You never know for sure if you won't ever need a more detailed description of the disk content. I'll give you an example. There are a few games that seem to be unprotected, they were designed as unprotected, and if you want, you can consider them unprotected. But because of bugs in the loader, the game will crash if it would load too fast, or too slow. That's means that a different skew/interleave would be enough for the game to not load.

In some cases this is obvious. In others it is not. The main point is, again, that you can't never know for sure if the extra information would be useful or not. So it pays to preserve the image in a detailed format.

You can always convert the image to a simpler format, and you can do that automatically, but you can't the other way around. So you don't lose anything by preserving with a more detailed format. If you want, you can keep both types of images in your hard disk or CD/DVD. The extra space that you would need is not significant for current standards.

Btw, if you check other threads in this subforum, you would see that we already verified and checked many unprotected titles. We also published MD5 tables of those ST images. If you check good enough, you will also see that most of those verified ST images are available on the net.

The truth is that the list of verified unprotected titles is not as big as it could be. We didn't give this too much priority. In many cases I am not completely sure if the disk is protected or not, and I don't bother too much about it. In some cases it is "unprotected" but it can't be saved as a plain ST/MSA image (because, for example, it has a different geometry on each side of the disk).

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Postby Mug UK » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:39 pm

ijor wrote:I'm not complaining, and it is not that bad as it seems. It doesn't need a constant massive contribution from the whole community. If you take the software available at a handful of big collectors, then you get most of the available titles.


Ahem ... I wonder who might be one of them .... :) Never thought that 20 years on from my first Atari ST I'd be in a situation where I've got almost 500 originals :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

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Postby RetroGamerUK » Tue Jul 03, 2007 6:56 pm

muguk wrote:Ahem ... I wonder who might be one of them .... :) Never thought that 20 years on from my first Atari ST I'd be in a situation where I've got almost 500 originals :)

Must you be the biggest and best at everything damnnitt!! :evil:
I feel so inadequate :cry: :)

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Postby Mug UK » Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:38 pm

Ha Di Ha .. considering 99% of the disks that flowed in and out of my parent's house back in the early days weren't originals, I think I'm making up for my past crimes :)
My main site: http://www.mug-uk.co.uk - slowly digging up the bits from my past (and re-working a few): Atari ST, Sega 8-bit (game hacks) and NDS (Music ripping guide).

I develop a free Word (for Windows) add-in that's available for Word 2007 upwards. It's a fix-it toolbox that will allow power Word users to fix document errors. You can find it at: http://www.mikestoolbox.co.uk

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Postby ppera » Wed Jul 04, 2007 11:18 am

Well - images with exact sector number storing (where then skew and interleave is stored too): STT is such, but barely used. I made something similar with my old TRACC. Even Floimg can make (and write) STT images

Surely is good to have Pasti image of everything, but for regular usage other formats are better. Mentioned speed, complicated usage and lack of write possibility is the problem.
Can we expect some progress in Catweasel, Floppy emulator area, considering Pasti image writes to floppies? (Although I prefer running from hard disk).

Apropo: all are games worth of preserving? There is by me at least 80% crap around. Number of not successful imaged good games and other SW is probably countable on fingers of one hand.

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Tastes like fish?!?

Postby FujiMan » Wed Jul 11, 2007 4:50 pm

So... A pasti is a penguin flavored candybar?!?

RetroGamerUK wrote:P-P-Pick up a PASTI Ppera!! :lol:
Image

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Re: Tastes like fish?!?

Postby RetroGamerUK » Wed Jul 11, 2007 7:48 pm

FujiMan wrote:So... A pasti is a penguin flavored candybar?!?

RetroGamerUK wrote:P-P-Pick up a PASTI Ppera!! :lol:
Image

Don't be silly, you can't get penguin flavoured chocolate / biscuit bars :roll:
I mean, who knows what a penguin tastes like anyhow, maybe a polar bear or killer whale does...

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Re: Tastes like fish?!?

Postby Desty » Thu Jul 12, 2007 12:23 am

RetroGamerUK wrote:I mean, who knows what a penguin tastes like anyhow, maybe a polar bear or killer whale does...

I dunno... eskimos? Won't somebody please think of the eskimos??
tá'n poc ar buile!

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Re: Tastes like fish?!?

Postby RetroGamerUK » Thu Jul 12, 2007 6:18 am

Desty wrote:
RetroGamerUK wrote:I mean, who knows what a penguin tastes like anyhow, maybe a polar bear or killer whale does...

I dunno... eskimos? Won't somebody please think of the eskimos??

Ahh please forgive me, that was so obvious I missed it altogether.
I am now thinking of the Eskimos in their igloos :wink: eating their Penguins.

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Postby Dew-It » Thu Jul 12, 2007 8:39 pm

ppera wrote:Well - images with exact sector number storing (where then skew and interleave is stored too): STT is such, but barely used. I made something similar with my old TRACC. Even Floimg can make (and write) STT images

Surely is good to have Pasti image of everything, but for regular usage other formats are better. Mentioned speed, complicated usage and lack of write possibility is the problem.
Can we expect some progress in Catweasel, Floppy emulator area, considering Pasti image writes to floppies? (Although I prefer running from hard disk).

Apropo: all are games worth of preserving? There is by me at least 80% crap around. Number of not successful imaged good games and other SW is probably countable on fingers of one hand.


Well I'm waiting on Ijor to get back to me, so we can finish the work we got started on being able to write a pasti floppy disk image file back to a 3 1/2 disk.
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