Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

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Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jul 05, 2015 3:33 pm

This thread is opened to discuss the different Atari image file formats used primarily by hardware and software emulators. I am aware of the following image formats:
    • ST: Created originally for the PacifiST emulator
    • MSA: Created by the compression program Magic Shadow Archiver.
    • DIM: Created by the well-known Atari copy program: "FastCopy Pro".
    • STT: Created the developers of Steem Engine emulator.
    • STX: Created by the PASTI initiative (Atari ST Imaging & Preservation Tools).
    • IPF: Created by the Software Preservation Society (SPS).
    • CTR: Created by the Software Preservation Society (SPS).
    • RAW stream files created by the KryoFLux board.
    • SCP: Created by the SuperCard Pro board.
    • STG: Steem ST Gost format created by Seagal for Steem SSE
    • STW: Steam ST Write format created by Seagal for Steem SSE
    • HFE: created for the HxC2001 project
I have dedicated a web page on my site that provides information about definition, creation, and usage (emulation, and disk backup) of these different image formats: http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/Images-formats.php and I have created the following documents:
Knowledge of these formats is only useful for developers.

In order to help the development of programs that need to use these formats I have created a public domain project called AIR (Atari Image file Reader-writer). The project is available on GitHub. This project is composed of subprojects for specific file formats. Each subproject is composed of source files that illustrate a possible implementation to read and write one particular image file format. The source files are tightly related with the image file format documentation. During reading and writing the program displays a lot of information about the content of the file image. This is valuable to better understand the format and can be used in conjunction with a hexadecimal editors to explore a file content.

Information about AIR can be found on my web.
Currently AIR is composed of the following subprojects:
All these programs come with a nice GUI based on Microsoft Windows Presentation Framework (WPF) and are therefore developed in C# (an easy to use managed language very close to C++).

These programs can be installed using the provided setup file. Once installed they will auto-update using the Microsoft click-once technology.
Please follow instructions provided in the web page

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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:04 pm

New release 1.0.5662 of IPF reader-writer
New release 1.0.5662 of Pasti reader-writer

Air pasti minor bug-fixes
Air ipf now has full write capability and bug-fixes

The new ipf writer code is getting integrated in Aufit to add IPF writing capability. But still a lot of work to do

Information http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/pc- ... es.php#air

ipf setup: click install here http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/pc- ... blish.html
ipf source documentation http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/pc- ... index.html

pasti setup click install here http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/pc- ... blish.html
pasti source documentation http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/pc- ... index.html

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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Sun Jul 05, 2015 4:25 pm

New version v1.4 of IPF documentation.

This new version fixes several errors especially on GAP and DATA stream elements.
The error where found while updating the AIR IPF code for writing IPF file

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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby JimDrew » Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:44 pm

You probably want to update your information to state that SCP image files can be used directly without any conversion required with STeem.
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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby Maartau » Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:59 am

:cheers: Jean... Great work (as always 8) ) !

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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:05 am

JimDrew wrote:You probably want to update your information to state that SCP image files can be used directly without any conversion required with STeem.

Thanks for the information. The page has been updated. Please let me know if information is correct.


Question for Nicolas: Does Hatari support STT file?

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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:19 am

Lot of diverse floppy image formats . I would suggest right now that change thread name to Atari floppy image ... Or if want general storage image formats, then add other storage image formats too - what would be easy at the moment, as only RAW images are used by my knowledge .
There is HFE format too for hard disk images, but not used in Atari ST waters, most likely because not supported by emulators.
Somehow related with above is ST floppy image format, "invented" by Pacifist author - in fact it is just raw image of sector contents in row, what is same as DSK format, and some other extensions. I don't know which was the first.
All this reminds me on situation with Sinclair Spectrum tape and floppy image formats some 10-15 years ago: there was plenty of new ones introduced with almost every new emulator (and there is plenty of them for Spectrum) . But this is how things go, and I can understand why every new HW or SW solution wants to use own format. Not understand those, who just "invented" extension, and DIM is such too, as I know.
Btw. I have own floppy image format too, what I used in period 1987-1999 . Extensions are DSU and DSC (Uncompressed, and Compressed) :D
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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:42 am

AtariZoll wrote:Lot of diverse floppy image formats . I would suggest right now that change thread name to Atari floppy image ...

Done
There is HFE format too for hard disk images, but not used in Atari ST waters, most likely because not supported by emulators.

Steam SSE now directly read HFE this is why I added here.

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:55 am

My error - it is not HFE, but HDF hard disk image format what I meant. It is basically RAW, just added 128 bytes header with CHS for old hard disks .
So, I think that should add RAW hard disk and HDF hard disk image formats. Extension for first is IMG usually. In fact, not much diff. between FAT12 floppy and hard disk images: bootsector, FAT, ROOT, DATA area. In case of hard disk there is extra partition table .
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Re: Atari Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby npomarede » Mon Jul 06, 2015 8:50 am

DrCoolZic wrote:Question for Nicolas: Does Hatari support STT file?

Hi
no, Hatari doesn't support STT. I had a look at it, and it's too much an in-between solution IMHO, it can solve problem MSA can't handle (for example, having tracks with different number of sectors, or sectors of different size), but appart from that it's not able to store many protections scheme.
I could add a STT to STX internal converter in Hatari, but I don't see the need at the moment, nearly no one used this format (maybe steem's author had more plans for this format, but once STX was released they considered it made no sense to work on STT anymore ?).
Hatari supports : ST, MSA, DIM, STX, IPF, CTR

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:12 am

Yes, I second what npomarede says - STT is barely used, and likely abandoned when STX arrived. Not much originals can be successfully imaged with STT format, max some 20 titles. Example: Virus .
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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Mon Jul 06, 2015 3:45 pm

I agree STT not use much. Was just asking to update my web page http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/Images-formats.php (Done :))
Already so many formats with some more created recently!

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Tue Aug 18, 2015 5:35 pm

New KF Raw file reader / writer in the AIR projects

For now only available as sources on GitHub

https://github.com/DrCoolzic/AIR

executable will soon be released.
KF raw reader is a rather complex piece of code, but KF writer is just a piece of cake :mrgreen:
Look at the source.

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby Jeff_HxC2001 » Wed Aug 19, 2015 6:08 am

Btw here is a C version of the KF Raw file reader / writer :
https://github.com/jfdelnero/libhxcfe/t ... eam_loader

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:57 am

Jeff_HxC2001 wrote:Btw here is a C version of the KF Raw file reader / writer :
https://github.com/jfdelnero/libhxcfe/t ... eam_loader

I had a look at the writer. Very nice code :wink:

PS: Actually the writer can be furthermore simplified as you do not need to align OOB and add StreamInfo on regular basis but of course it does not hurt :)
PS.PS: As you can see in AIR project the writer is in C# but apart from not worrying about memory allocation it is C code 8O
PS.PS.PS: I am probably getting lazy but I now love C# better than C++ even though I was part of its definition in the US committee back in the early days. Not to confuse with VB http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quote ... 01164.html :mrgreen:

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby walterj64bit » Sat Oct 10, 2015 3:01 am

The Discovery Cartridge makes a Floppy disk Image too "the file written is named MFMBTEMP" files can be large from time to time. I'll make a MFMBTEMP file or two you like to see the file(s), just let me know.
SC1224, 1040ST(E)4MB, The Link 2, RoDIME Systems 45 Plus, RoDIME Systems 20 Plus, Happy Computers Discovery Cartridge.

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:23 pm

walterj64bit wrote:The Discovery Cartridge makes a Floppy disk Image too "the file written is named MFMBTEMP" files can be large from time to time. I'll make a MFMBTEMP file or two you like to see the file(s), just let me know.

DC is described here http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/devices/dc.php

All my first developments around flux analysis were based on mfmbtemp (back in the 80s!) see http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/dev ... c_programs for a program that interpret the DC content ....

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby walterj64bit » Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:59 pm

DrCoolZic wrote:
walterj64bit wrote:The Discovery Cartridge makes a Floppy disk Image too "the file written is named MFMBTEMP" files can be large from time to time. I'll make a MFMBTEMP file or two you like to see the file(s), just let me know.

DC is described here http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/devices/dc.php

All my first developments around flux analysis were based on mfmbtemp (back in the 80s!) see http://info-coach.fr/atari/hardware/dev ... c_programs for a program that interpret the DC content ....

WOW, we have got hardcore St user here! :cheers: If it wasn't for your webpage I wouldn't have a copy of dmfmbkup V2.7, Thanks! 8)
SC1224, 1040ST(E)4MB, The Link 2, RoDIME Systems 45 Plus, RoDIME Systems 20 Plus, Happy Computers Discovery Cartridge.

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Re: Atari Floppy Disk Image file formats and AIR Project

Postby DrCoolZic » Thu Jan 21, 2016 5:27 pm

New vesrsion of AIR :)

Mainly a bug fix for fuzzy block in IPF file not handled correctly

Github sources updated with latest fix https://github.com/DrCoolzic/AIR

Also new version of IPF documentation and IPF reader/writer available at http://info-coach.fr/atari/software/pc- ... es.php#ipf

Enjoy


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